Daron, Melanie, Stephen, Kassie, and Kenny

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Honoring Mom & Dad's 50th!

"Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise"... We loved having our special weekend getaway with mom celebrating mom and dad's 50th anniversary together. We will always miss Dad's jolly laugh, but we look forward to many good times ahead spoiling Mom with our love. She's delightful to be with, cares about us and our kids more than anyone else, and has a lifetime of knowledge and wisdom... so glad she recorded her 'child-rearing/parenting' thoughts in her great book - we all have so many great memories as we look back thru those pages and appreciate - EVEN MORESO NOW - the gift of wonderful parents we have always had in Mom and Dad.



The Woodlands Resort! 


Dad always loved floating in the water with us, and it was as if he was right there enjoying us, still giving Mom kisses.

Our dear friend Robert Boyd created a work of art that will hang as a testimony to Mom and Dad FOREVER. Here's his post about making it:
This is a new Los Angeles Temple picture titled "Inger's Garden". 
Many weeks ago, the children of Stephen and Inger Schmutz approached me about commissioning a picture of the Los Angeles Temple for their parent's 50th Wedding Anniversary Party, to be held next week. They wanted a LA temple picture, where their parents were married, with a lot of color and flowers. I was able to arrange a trip out there, and began working on this piece for them as soon as I returned. Tragically, Stephen passed away this past Monday. I will never forget these last several days as we worked with, laughed with, and cried with the Schmutz family. We already loved these wonderful people, but I had no idea how much more they would become like our own family. Today was the funeral of a great man, Stephen Schmutz, who left a great legacy of love and devotion as a father and a husband. A man of God. This picture was presented to sweet Inger today. We have been inspired by their love story, and their devotion to God and their family. Our hearts and prayers are with Inger, Jennifer, Kassie, Melanie, Sterling, and Stephanie and their families. May God be with you.

Getting into a new groove... enjoying temple dates, family gatherings, people's neverending generous kindness to us, & learning to fill gas!



Thursday, June 22, 2017

More Dad love

Priceless service and unconditional love for Bishop Knowlton and Leslie Mortensen ~ now family! Kassie's text to Bishop said it well:  How can we ever thank you for all of your service to our family. We are eternally grateful. My parents love you. You have shouldered the most difficult part of our dads passing. You have gone without sleep and have had to witness things you undoubtedly would have preferred not to. We feel your love and support and it has made all the difference to us. We love you. 

And from Leslie's sweet husband Quinn:  Although it's been a week of devastating experiences, I know, that just as President Ellis said during Stake Conference...God is in the details. He is aware. I know day-by-day things will get better. We love your family and I know there are many...many more that do as well. That's a lot of amazing people praying and fasting for you and your family. We are here for anything that is needed. Please don't hesitate to reach out to us. 

Dr. Gibson checking Mom's eyesight to make sure she can drive - yay, she totally can!

Bishop said Sterling gave such a beautiful dedicatory prayer for Dad's grave



Dad's precious last page of entries - mostly payments for others!

Sweet Allie Monson wrapped mom in a lovey quilt ~ this post from her:
 "I went to my mailbox, and it was better than Christmas! My book I had been wishing for was there from Jennifer, with the sweetest note inside! A gorgeous thank you note from Kassie with the pic of Inger's garden was inside as well. Just a few days ago, there was one from Sterling that was so tender, as well. We've already consumed treats dropped off by Melanie in just days after such a hard week for their family. Every thoughtful, personal, connecting word written by each of these Schmutz children stands as pure testament of the incredible people who raised them. Never have I seen people who can continue to LIFT others like this family does, even as they walk through their own grief. As I read these notes, tears stream down my face in certain parts and then giggles follow the tears in other parts. I am so blessed to glean pearls from these unbelievably remarkable humans. Thank you for showing us what beauty can come as a result of intentional parenting. I'm already diving into the book, and only a few lines in, can see how you truly LIVE "parents should become best friends with their children". What a gift it is for all of us who get to behold the fruits of that recipe that you clearly stick to. I have to admit, I have had to fight the urge to stop by your house "too often" as I just love standing in awe of the palpable family bonds inside those walls. We love you all so much!!!"