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.)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Nights Under the Stars



We spent two nights sleeping literally under the stars. It was the first time I had ever done that in my life. It was beautiful and I will never forget it.

Our Trek family of 8 slept on a tarp in our sleeping bags in the wide open. God was protecting us for sure because at night nothing crawled on me but during the day, I got scorpions, termites, giant centipedes, snakes, you name it!



29 Ok Kiddies time for din-din! MMMmmmm my favorite! Chicken broth! Yum!

030 30

Wakey-wakey! How would you feel the morning after sleeping out in the open, walking 13 miles the day before? Did I mention what I had for dinner last night?


Let the Pioneer Games Begin!

Haha! Hi Chip munk cheeks...

Candle making just like the pioneers!

Hand Wrestling- Sierra Wangeman was really good, got to the semi-finals round for the two stakes :D

Chris Rincon, one of our Stake Presidency's daughters laid the smack down and became the Hand Wrestling Champ for the women! whew!

As you can see below I was quite impressed with her thwomping skills...

Our Son Johnny was bested by the Male Hand Wrestling champ (Trekky, another boy from our stake) but what a way to go! haha You can just hear the thud as he lands can't you?

Women's Stick Pull- here's one of our Trek Daughters, Taylor Brown and Andrea Rincon. They were at it for almost 10 minutes...

Our Son Sammy (in hat) put up a good fight...

And I did too I swear! haha I never let go of the stick during the pull, she pulled me right on top of her haha

Dan and I were meant for agile, swift sports, not sports built for bulk and brute strength... ;)