Uncle Truman enlisted in the Army, he will be missed!!

Well my 22 year old brother (aka..very loved and adored uncle) will be leaving for basic training in as soon as 2 weeks.  We don't have the exact dates yet, but we are very proud as a family to now have an immediate family member serving our amazing country we live in!  Truman is perfect for this, he's a conservative and a true patriot and fighter for freedom.  He's very excited!  We are grateful for all those who are serving Gods Country, the awesome USA!  God bless this land and those who fight for it!

Olsen Reunion 2008

Well, it's been 2 years and you know what that mean
s right?  Have you heard, have you heard, have you heard of the Olsen Ranch? (beginning lyrics to the reunion theme song)  That's right, we packed up our stuff and headed out to a little place called Joes Valley just south west of Castle Dale Utah.  It was a lot of fun... a lot harder with kids, but really fun.

Most of Rachel's family made it out, and we loved being able to just sit back and
 talk with each of them.  Since we moved to Utah, our exposure to California family is minimal, so it was nice to see familiar faces, as well as all of the little cousins that Dax, London, and Evelyn were able to play with.

It really was an eye opener for me on the first night when our comfy air mattress blew a hole due to a rose bush I had set the tent on, I had to improvise with a water proof band-aid to seal the deal of a descent nights rest but to no avail.  

I don't know how the pioneers did it
!  I mean, I'm sure that they NEVER felt really clean.  And let me tell you, just 3 days away from a shower, first of all, I REAKED, I mean this was epic, and that was even after I jumped in the river twice.  And second of all, when I got home... you better believe I soaked my body for a good hour.  

Maybe I'm a wuss or just a city boy at heart, but man, there ain't nothing like sand and dirt in your buttcrack that only a high pressure shower nozzle can remove. (I'm sure Rachel is going to love that I said that..)

Anyway, aside from the adventures from camping, there was an instance when we were all sitting around talking, when I hear Tiffany's (my older niece) daughter Jacey crying coming down the hill behind our campsite.  At first I wasn't sure how bad it was, but then I noticed that Daxton and Mason were escorting her down the hill.  Now if there is one thing that I've learned as a parent it's that if a hurt child is flying solo after a fall, chances are, they're ok, but when you've got friends taking time to help the hurt one back to mom... buckle up, cause something is wrong... and something was.

I could see the blood on her face, but it seemed to really
 start to gush as I approached her, I could tell it was just above her eye, and I remember thinking, "thank goodness it wasn't ON her eye."

As Tiffany and I helped Jacey into the camper trailer, we took a closer look, and could notice that the white part of her eye was red.   I asked Dax what happened and he said he was wacking the weeds on the hill with an old arrow that he'd found, and although he didn't mean to, hit Jacey as they crossed paths on the hill.

After view her eye more closely, (and it did not look good, it was not dilating, and the colored part of the eye was full of blood)  I could tell that we needed some professional help, and a second opinion to see if this was a serious as it looked.  Blake and Tiffany were worried.

There is a doc in the fam, so we brought him up, and I will not forget the feeling I got after he had looked at her eye.  "You need to get her to the ER ASAP.  She has severed multiple muscles behind the iris, and the pupil has turned oval, and moved to the left of the eye."  My heart sank, the thought kept running through my mind, "my son has just caused this little girl to go blind in one eye... what do I do?."  The first thing out of my mouth was "I'm so sorry" but Blake (Tiffany's husband) was quick to correct me in saying, "It's NOT your fault Paul, don't you think that for a moment."

After the doctor left, a thought came to my mind to suggest to Blake that we give Jacey a blessing before they head down the canyon to the ER.  Oddly enough I had packed my oil for the blessing of the sick, which I normally never do, and so we got most of the family that held the priesthood into that trailer, and gave Jacey a blessing.  Blake administered to his injured daughter.  It was beautiful.  Words of comfort were spoken.  And then they were off.

Before Blake even began giving the blessing he prayed that the Lord be with Rachel and I, and that we would know that Blake and Tiffany loved us, and that we should feel no guilt in this matter, and that it was in Fathers hands now.  I'll never forget that.

After we left, there were a lot of tears, nobody wants to se
e a vacation ruined by an injury that could leave such a devastating result, especially in a child that has only had 3 years to see out of those eye's.  I remember going into my tent and pleading with the Lord to please help me to have the faith to quantify that priesthood blessing, I have always heard that faith proceeds the miracle... now it was the time to prove that faith.  We all did our best, within minutes we had other family members, and family groups stopping by our camp site to pray with us, and to offer to fast for little Jacey.

Later on that night was the talent show, and as we watched the various acts, someone tapped me on the shoulder... it was Blake.  I turned around and stood up to find him, Tiffany, and Jacey standing at the back of the pavilion.  I was very astonished to see them ALL THREE together.  I asked why they were back, and what the dr's could have possible said, but deep down inside, I already knew the answer.  "Nothings wrong" said Blake,  "We took her down to the ER, and they were wondering what the big deal was... her eye was completely healed, and they could find nothing wrong with it.

At this point I lost it a little, Blake lost it a little, and we all embraced one another for a time, and gave praise to God and his goodness, and his Priestho
od that had healed Jacey's eye.

Call me doubting Thomas if you want, but I wanted to make sure.  I went and grabbed the Dr. that had looked at her before... he didn't believe me, so I told him to grab his flashlight.  One quick look, and his exact words were "I don't...believe it."

It's funny how the Lord will throw these stressful and sometimes scary situations your way in order to grow your faith, and expand your testimony.  

Jacey's eye was almost completely healed by the time we took off on Sunday to head home.

All in all, we took a lot more away from this reunion then we had expected, but it was a great experience, and I wouldn't trade it for the world.  Rachel and I are so glad that we have a loving Heavenly Father who is aware of our needs, and answers our prayers.

Anyway, we've got some fun pics from this whole thing, be sure to check them out!

To view pictures from the Ranch: Click Here