Monday, November 29, 2010


Yee Haw!! Hey Ya’ll!!


Dan and I at his first concert! Can you believe it? A country concert by Gretchen Wilson… haha



Country Rock. I could get used to this…


Well since Dan and I live in Davie, FL, the South Florida center of all things rodeo, we decided to join up. We went to our 1st rodeo together.


Dan laughed so hard as I screamed at the men riding the bucking broncos. I thought they were gonna die! geez



It was fun. I loved the country music and the food. But not so much the cold (it got down to the 50’s) or the smells haha.

I am 28…

Hi everyone 

so shocker! we took pics of my birthday! Dan really did make it great for me. He somehow bought me balloons without me knowing- which if you know me it's super hard to surprise me.


He made me a home-made velvet cake, helped me buy some new snazzy running shoes, and made me a special breakfast and dinner. How cute is that? :D


Here's a pic of my new shoes! I went running this morning. LOVE THEM LOVE THEM! It's like running on air. Thanks Dan!


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Experience the real Florida keys…

So now it was my turn to teach Dan something new again.. we headed down to the FL keys and I took Dan snorkeling in the ‘big blue’ for his first time ever!


We spent 2 days in Key Largo’s John Pennekamp State Park. The FL Keys is the world’s 3rd largest coral reef, absolutely gorgeous and so unique!

Dan said he didn’t realize snorkeling was so easy, the flippers esp. help make it easy! You just float around, kick to go somewhere and follow amazingly cool fish as they eat coral and swim.


We saw 2-3 feet parrot fish, blue french angel fish, and the blue “Dorie” fish off Finding Nemo. We saw five 3-4 feet barracuda, giant lobsters, and many other schools of fish. It was such a cool feeling swimming into a school of fish- feeling their currents around you, watching them systematically divert their swimming patterns around you like music.

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We also went snorkeling at the State Park beaches where they have old Spanish canons. It’s good practice cuz it’s way shallow at parts but deep enough to dive if you want and practice before going out into the ocean. ;)

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Do you see the lobster?

Afterwards we went to Key West with my parents. My mom’s posted all the historical sites we visited. But we also went snorkeling again at Higg’s beach in Key West along the pier. And I saw a Lion Fish. Whew! It looked like a sea urchin so I got about 1 foot away to get a better view. It was upside down and side ways eating the coral, as it turned around and faced me it was about 1 foot long, then add its poisonous spines… And no I didn’t get a picture because I was busy screaming and backing up as fast as I could. My dad and Dan heard him and came over. My dad did the same thing I did- got close enough to tell what it was and backed up, yelling haha. We had a blast!

Next snorkel adventure is Bahia Honda State Park! Wanna come?

Just a boy and a girl in a leaky canoe…

Have you heard the camp song above? Well dan, I and my parents experienced what this song feels like a few weeks ago. Dan and I enjoy teaching each other new things, so since I taught him/got him to go white water rafting, he’s been teaching me how to canoe. So we decided to go canoeing in Jupiter, FL and invited my parents to come along- lonely empty nesters you know…


We had a great time till we realized that my parents’ canoe was leaking… whoops! :( Here’s a pic of dan and dad dumping the water out.) So we tried to make the best of it and switched canoes with my parents after we had already paddled 2 miles down the river.


It was so peaceful and beautiful. It is Florida’s wet season so the man-made waterfalls on this river were flooded so that was lame but we enjoyed the rustic nature of the river complete with fallen trees, bridges and other obstacles.


Another time when we were emptying the water out of the 2nd canoe, Dan and I decided to climb out on a fallen tree to have a picture taken… well what do you think happened? Take a look…



That’s right.. we decided to jump in haha!  no…

Of course I lost my balance and knocked Dan in with me, but it was way fun. Too bad mom was too far away for me to pull in too… And of course dad got it all on camera. thanks dad ;p

North Carolina


It was beautiful. Just look at that view! Dan and I have always thought of NC as a perfect place to live so we went to visit western NC in May. (We took a kodak and water camera so just now got it developed haha). img038

We climbed several mountains, did EVERYTHING on the Blue Ridge Mountain Parkway, and stayed with our good family friends, Merle and Marty Share.

It was so nice staying with them. Merle was my primary teacher in church and they always tell us such fun, old stories about our family. ;) Thanks again for letting us stay with you! We had a wonderful time!

And I didn’t take a picture sadly but the view we had from our bedroom window in their house was amazing. I opened the window that first morning because I couldn’t believe what I saw. The mountain view with the clouds and sun were gorgeous. Then when I opened the window and smelt and felt the beautiful mountain air, heard birds and a running river, I felt like I was in heaven. 


The Shares went with us to a local park near Asheville, NC. It was raining so the park and all its gardens were pretty much empty. We enjoyed it so much. We walked all the trails, talked all about botany. But our favorite was the bonsai garden. It was amazing to see all these miniature trees and gardens made from real trees, dwarfed down to 1 ft. tall- maples, oaks and even willows!


We also went white water rafting! It was Dan’s first time so I took him on the low-intermediate level and sat him in the front. He loved it and is ready to go again on high intermediate! The river was gorgeous and so fun.


We were heroes that day too. A raft behind us with 8 people went backwards over a class 5 rapid, 6 of the 8 fell out and began floating down the river. Dan and I put out our paddles and brought 2  of them on board our raft. They were all perfectly safe- lucky that they were rescued before next big rapid. Awesome adventure!


Here’s a pic of their empty raft. whoops ;p

And below here’s some more random photos we took on the trip while adventuring on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

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Monday, August 23, 2010

Temple Service

We went to the temple this weekend. It was hard to get there but Dan and I have made a family goal of going to the temple every month. And we have been greatly blessed for it.

It was our first time chaperoning in the baptismal area together. I had done it once as a YW leader but that was with a family ward. This time Dan was the branch presidency rep for our group. When he walked up to the Temple desk to check in, he said "We're here for our 1pm appt in the baptistry." The attendant said "ok, just step to the side then and we'll wait for your leader." Then Dan said "I am the leader." Well needless to say the man didn't believe him. He thought Dan was just another YSA trying to be funny. So we waited ten minutes for all the YSAs to get there, then Dan approached the man again. This time another temple worker was also standing there. Dan said 'I am a member of our YSA branch presidency, and my wife and I are chaperones for this group today." Well when they saw me, haha I don’t think that helped Dan's case too much. But they finally allowed him to start filling out the forms for our group. They collected cell phones. That is a new rule too.

But it was fun and such an enjoyable experience serving the YSA in the baptistry. I served as a matron. Several of them were doing family names for the first time. It was wonderful to see the light and happiness in their eyes as they were baptized and confirmed for their ancestors. God truly is a God of mercy and justice, allowing us to have temples again on the Earth, just like in the days of Adam or Paul. I can’t wait to go as a chaperone again!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Reading is a way of life

Well as anyone knows me I absolutely love reading! I guess I take after my Grandma Wampler in that regard. I also have an affinity for historical fiction.

Right now I am reading the following books and each has made such an impact on my life:

We are reading Lord of the Rings together- love it! This is the 2nd series of fiction books I have ever read. Can you guess the first? That’s right not TWILIGHT…. but Harry Potter. My kitties Fred and George are dan and I’s constant private joke… it’s always so funny when I tell people my cats’ names and they say oh weird names… then later, randomly they get it and haha hilarious!

I am also reading lots of religious books that keep me close to God and help me so much through all our family and personal trials… and we all have many.

Old Testament

Family Proclamation Textbooks: Helping and Healing our Families; Strengthening our Families

Domestic Violence Books

Right now for my English 315 class I am writing a research paper on Domestic violence. I have read several books and articles now on this subject and I have learned so much!

Here is a list of some of the best of the best I’ve read on this hidden American epidemic:

Shattered Dreams by Fedders

Men Who Hate Women and the Women Who Love them by Forward

I am reading several more. The statistics today are shocking.

Domestic abuse is not just physical; it can be emotional/psychological and even just verbal…

For your knowledge, here are some statistics below:

“It is estimated that 2 to 4 million U.S. women are physically abused each year and that domestic violence may occur in as many as one of every four U.S. families.”

McCauley, J. et al. (1995). The “battering syndrome”: Prevalence and clinical characteristics of domestic violence in primary care internal medicine practices. Annals of Internal Medicine, 123, 10, 737-746.

Table 1. Violence by intimate partners, by type of crime and gender of the victims, 2008

Total Violent Crimes Committed Against Female Victims 

Against Male






Overall violent crime






Rape/sexual assault












Aggravated assault






Simple assault






Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics, National Crime Victimization Survey, 2008.


Institute "Feed Your Soul"

Brother McIlrath, our regional CES Institute teacher has asked me to be his substitute for the Nova (university) Institute while he is gone in Utah doing EFY for the next 3 weeks! haha what? yea so we are learning the Old Testament. And i was so excited to start this Institute class this year because that is the book I know least about... hmmm. We are on Genesis 27 this week. Any ideas guys?

I love attending institute as a married couple. We learn so much about the gospel! And we have other Dental couples who come too even with their adorable babies! Not a problem!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Ft. Lauderdale Stake Pioneer Trek 2010

Check out the posts below to get a glimpse into our Trek experience. 3 days walking, pulling handcarts and sleeping out under the stars. We had to cook all our own food in iron dutch ovens and use the wide open as our bathroom…

This is my favorite picture of our Trek Family. 01

This was typical. Me and the kids hanging out, playing games, talking and dan working haha. ;) No really Dan was a wonderful Trek father and all our kids loved and respected him. He was a true mountain man, complete with hat, scruff and B.O. haha!

We had one afternoon of down time. It was so fun to have this time to get to know my kids.

Gathering for the Trek West

  The Kirkman Family


These are our Trek children, ages 14-18. We had 2 14 year old girls, two 16 year old girls, one 14 yr old boy, one 17 yr old boy and two 18 yr old boys…

I am stylin’ huh? Who said all pioneers matched? haha


Spiritual time: we had the kids read stories about their pioneer ancestors and record their feelings in their Trek journals.


Lots of buckets everywhere- all our our stuff had to fit into one bucket each. yikes!


We had the best kids ever! They were all spiritual and got so much out of this Trek experience. I feel so blessed to have been their Ma and treasure my relationships with them and the experiences we had together.


Pioneers Sang as they walked and walked and walked and walked and walked…

I have never walked so long in my entire life! Once home I took several showers to get the caked layers of dirt off but it was worth it for the experiences we had.

“We became acquainted with our God in our extremities….”

I absolutely love this picture. Look at our reflections in the water. This photo brings back all the feelings and spirit of the Pioneer Trek for me- deep, powerful feelings that only the Spirit of God can give.

Do you see that bonneted young pioneer woman (pink bonnet, purple apron) pointing towards the river? Yea guess who? Yours Truly…00010

09 9Here’s our Chillin’- 4 girls and 4 boys. Left to Right: Chloe Rampton, Sierra Wangeman, Taylor Brown, Allie Pratt, Devon Bartholomew, John Galleo, Ben and Sammy (my momma’s boys) 



Here’s Dan and I talking to a reporter from the Orlando Sentinel Newspaper- giving our ‘Ma’ and ‘Pa’ perspective. A full page article on the Modern Mormon Trek was published in the Orlando and Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel Newspapers.


Here is our miracle tree- see story on Trek Journal on earlier post.



Pioneer Children sang as they walked and walked…


There’s me and my fam. haha I don’t even recognize me!


My sons- what hunks huh? ;)



Re-enactment of the Sweet Water Crossing. Our Trek Sons carried several young women across a canal and back to re-enact the courageous and powerfully inspirational story of the Sweet Water Crossing.


It was during a freezing winter as the last of the Mormon Hand Cart Pioneers were crossing this river. They were so frozen, physically spent and demoralized they could not cross. In their pioneer journals, they say they saw grown men crumpled to the floor crying as they saw this river and the ice chunks floating in it.


In the most loving act of service I can think of besides the Atonement of our Savior, 3 young men about the age of 18, carried over 200 people each across the partly frozen river. These three rescuers all died at an early age from this exposure to the elements.


When the prophet at the time, Brigham Young, heard of their loving sacrifice, he wept too and said that this  021 act alone would grant them eternal life with Heavenly Father. I agree. As I watched my Trek Sons carry those young girls across, my heart filled with sorrow, gratitude and awe at the love that must have motivated those boys…0022 



During the Hand Cart Pioneers Trek west to Utah, the U.S. government came and required all their able men to fight in the Mexican-American war. Their battalion became known as the Mormon Battalion.


While their husbands, sons and fathers went to fight for a nation, who at the time had deserted them and denied them their basic rights, these pioneer women continued their journey on alone to the Rocky Mountains.

I was so proud of my daughters. It was a moving experience for me. (Ma’s were not allowed to help push.)