Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Southern Utah TJed Mom Fall Retreat


The leaves were changing and were so beautiful!


The cabin was amazing!! Its for sale if anyone is interested--only for $1.15 million
Remember a few months ago when I posted about wanting to do a mom retreat? Well, this last weekend was the retreat.

Nikki-one of my favorite people ever!

The cabin had a loft upstairs, bedrooms downstairs and a fabulous kitchen. We couldn't have asked for a nicer place.
Organizing the retreat was a lot of fun (since I got to plan it with my sister!) but it was an insane amount of work. I think I was unprepared for the amount of work that transpired. I haven't decided if I will plan one for next year, but if I do, this year was a good prep year for it..lol..

There was a lot of food! It was all good!
When I started this whole thing I really felt that it was a "saygobedo." --A say-go-be-do is that little voice that you hear in your head and you immediately follow it. You either say it, go to it, be it, or do it. It is a powerful concept that can truly change your life. In my religion-LDS- it is often called following the spirit.


The sunrise was so peace
ful. I couldn't get enough of it!

Sometimes I get so wrapped up in "following the spirit" and questioning whether or not it is the spirit. I think saygobedo has taken the pressure of making sure it is the spirit etc, and I just do it. This entire process was FULL of saygobedo.

Visiting at night.

The famed Chris Bowler came and gave us a personal concert. Wow! What talent!

Sunrise with Amy and Misty.-two angels of mine! Thanks girls for all of your help!
The presenters were amazing! Diann and Jodi presented an entire evening about fulfilling our mission in life. We did a vision walk about missions and explored what finding our mission looks like. It was a transformational experience. At one time Diann was talking about that conformational feeling that you will get, and immediately the thought came to me that I had experienced this the day before at the day of RAINN. This was very nerve wracking to me. The feelings that I went through on RAINN day were very difficult. I felt great and very empowered, that afterwords I found myself questioning myself if I would really be able to do it again. Could I really speak with such boldness again???? This confirmation that I felt at the retreat I had to write down right away, because I don't think I would be able to believe myself later about it.


That night I had the pleasure with talking to so many phenomenal women. Women whose lives were so interesting. They are very powerful women who have the power to change the world. --many of them already are!


BrYan and Nikki
We discussed the book Little Men. It was one of the best colloquiums that I have ever participated in. The depth of that book is unmeasurable! As one of the ladies said...."Dr.Demille just copied this book and called it TJEd!" Although he didn't, you can certainly see examples of almost every principle and step that is discussed in his book.


Wonder woman even paid us a visit. I don't think anyone will forget that!

Shaunna Dunn as Wonder Woman. You were so awesome Shaunna!!

-- my husband is SO jealous!


We were guided through scholar phase with Amy and Kami Mitchell again helped me become a better person.

Amy presenting about scholar phase.

We also ate pretty well too..lol...

I am so blessed to have had this experience. The adversary was certainly working against me. Several times the past couple of months I almost cancelled for one reason or another. I kept going back to that moment of saygobedo and how I had decided to do it, so I just kept pressing forward.

Jo Deann and Mari

One of the obvious moments of saygobedo was with dinner. Katy was bringing the rice, she had car trouble and was arriving late. (my van also had problems and we ended up having someone drive me up too!) So, that morning when I was packing up I had the distinct impression that I needed to bring rice. I immediately said to myself that Katy was bringing it and so I didn't need to worry about it. Not only that, I only had brown rice and not everyone likes brown rice (although it is delicious!) So I didn't bring it. So, when it became obvious that Katy was running late and we would need to buy rice, we ended up paying $3 for a pound of rice.--we needed 4 pounds. Yikes! What was funny was one gal admitted that she told us that she felt that she needed to bring rice. Then later that night another gal said that she also felt she should have brought rice. Although the rice was not a big deal, it was just an example to me that the Lord was watching over us and wanted this retreat to go well.

Thank you everyone for coming! I wanted to help my TJEd community and ended up changing myself.

Love you Katy!--next time we need mom and Anna there!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

RAINN day

This past week has been so full of life changing experiences. Cory organized a day of RAINN for his senior project. It was quite a project!!! I was able to share with others my story to raise awareness for sexual assault.

That morning I was incredibly nervous. I had to take a moment to get myself together and decide if I was really going to be able to do it. Well, after a few moments of wanting to puke, I was able to fully participate in the events. I talked to news reporters and had a microphone in my face. It was a surreal experience. I was so thankful that I was able to go through this crazy day. At the beginning of the day I felt alone, but I soon found myself surrounded by incredible people who were able to love like few other people I know.

I think this was defiantly a day that really showed myself how far I have come. Just a few years ago I was unable to talk about the incident with anyone else but family. But I found myself talking about it to strangers. It is a miracle to me.

I have received so much support from people. The supportive comments are what really help survivors. Thank you hun for all of your love and support!! Its been a crazy journey!! Can't wait to see what we do next.




Here is the story from the Spectrum.

ST. GEORGE - The sun had set one particular night 15-years-ago in Rexburg, Idaho, and Bonita Sutton, who was attending Ricks College, was walking home after class. "A man jumped out of the bushes and proceeded to walk me home," Sutton said. "He tried to get me to come home with him and I said 'no.' He continued to make advances toward me - I made it very clear I wasn't interested." http://www.thespectrum.com/section/VideoNetwork?bctid=616516472001">Video:RAINN at Dixie State

It was at that point, Bonita Sutton's life changed forever.

"He (perpetrator) shoved me to the ground, had a knife at my throat - and proceeded to rape me," she said.

After the attack, Sutton walked home. She said she told only one person and made them promise not to tell anyone.

Life continued on like nothing happened. Bonita Sutton got married a year and half later and started a family.

"(I) convinced myself that it didn't happen - I repressed it until three years later (after the rape)," she said.

As a returning student, Cory, Bonita Sutton's husband, is working to bring awareness of sexual assault to the Dixie State College campus.

On Thursday Cory Sutton brought RAINN Day to campus. RAINN is rape, abuse, incest national network. As an integrated studies major in communication and psychology, Cory Sutton took on bringing the awareness event to DSC as a senior project.

"They (sexual assault victims) need to know there are people out there who are willing to give support in the healing process," Cory Sutton said.

With sexual assault impacting him personally in his life, Cory Sutton, strongly believes in educating people about sexual assault and providing information on services available to victims.

Bonita Sutton said there were times during her healing process she couldn't talk about her attack.

"I went through some really dark days where I thought I wasn't going to survive," she said. "I've been blessed to have a good husband and family that love and support me."

(2 of 2)

Without them, Bonita Sutton said, she wouldn't have made it through those dark days in her life.

As students walked down the Diagonal Thursday they were presented with teal ribbons and information about RAINN and sexual assault. The DOVE Center was there along with a representative from the Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

According to the RAINN website, rainn.org, the national statistic is that one in six women and one in 33 men will be a victim of sexual assault in their lifetime. Cory Sutton brought those numbers to life with 800 teal ribbons placed on stakes in the grass - a representation of how many students may have been assaulted according to national statistics.

"Most college girls don't report it (sexual assault)," Bonita Sutton said.

Although DSC hasn't had a reported sexual assault, many don't believe it's immune to it.

"I think one rape a year is a problem," Bonita Sutton said.

Holly Malnar, case and program manager for the DOVE Center, was at the event providing information on what sexual assault is and where to get help if it occurs.

"I think awareness is the key to this whole issue - awareness that the way a woman dresses or acts doesn't make her responsible for her assault," she said. "There's not enough awareness out there that make women (know) it's not their fault."

Alana J. Kindness, executive director of the Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault, said it's important for students to have an opportunity to talk about the issue - to ask questions and recognize sexual assault does happen and it is a part of communities.

"No one deserves to be sexually assaulted," Kindness said. "As a community we need to support each other and take away the shame."

There are many things, Kindness said, people and survivors can do to help survivors of sexual assault.

"The more people talk about it the safer people will feel," she said. "It's their (victims) fear of what other people will say, why they don't report."

Zero reports, Kindness said, gives a community or college campus a false sense of security.

If someone has been sexually assaulted the DOVE Center is available to assist. To contact the center call 628-1204. The center also offers a Rape and Sexual Assault support group Tuesdays from 5 to 6 p.m.

Contact the center for more information on the support group.

Without them, Bonita Sutton said, she wouldn't have made it through those dark days in her life.

As students walked down the Diagonal Thursday they were presented with teal ribbons and information about RAINN and sexual assault. The DOVE Center was there along with a representative from the Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault.

According to the RAINN website, rainn.org, the national statistic is that one in six women and one in 33 men will be a victim of sexual assault in their lifetime. Cory Sutton brought those numbers to life with 800 teal ribbons placed on stakes in the grass - a representation of how many students may have been assaulted according to national statistics.

"Most college girls don't report it (sexual assault)," Bonita Sutton said.

Although DSC hasn't had a reported sexual assault, many don't believe it's immune to it.

"I think one rape a year is a problem," Bonita Sutton said.

Holly Malnar, case and program manager for the DOVE Center, was at the event providing information on what sexual assault is and where to get help if it occurs.

"I think awareness is the key to this whole issue - awareness that the way a woman dresses or acts doesn't make her responsible for her assault," she said. "There's not enough awareness out there that make women (know) it's not their fault."

Alana J. Kindness, executive director of the Utah Coalition Against Sexual Assault, said it's important for students to have an opportunity to talk about the issue - to ask questions and recognize sexual assault does happen and it is a part of communities.

"No one deserves to be sexually assaulted," Kindness said. "As a community we need to support each other and take away the shame."

There are many things, Kindness said, people and survivors can do to help survivors of sexual assault.

"The more people talk about it the safer people will feel," she said. "It's their (victims) fear of what other people will say, why they don't report."

Zero reports, Kindness said, gives a community or college campus a false sense of security.

If someone has been sexually assaulted the DOVE Center is available to assist. To contact the center call 628-1204. The center also offers a Rape and Sexual Assault support group Tuesdays from 5 to 6 p.m.

Contact the center for more information on the support group.

Dixie State College has no reported sexual assaults last year. Although the reports aren’t there, campus police aren’t na├»ve to the fact the attacks don’t happen. National statistics show one in six women and one in 33 men are sexually assaulted in their lifetime.

According to the National Center for Victims of Crime, it reports:

• 44 percent of victims raped by a steady boyfriend or spouse report the assault – 77 percent of victims raped by a stranger report.

• 50 percent of dating violence victims report the violence to someone else: 88 percent report the violence to a friend and 20 percent report to law enforcement.

• 32 percent of students report dating violence by a previous partner and 21 percent report violence by a current partner.

• 39-54 percent of dating violence victims remain in physically abusive relationships.

• 12 percent of completed rapes, 35 percent of attempted rapes and 22 percent of threatened rapes occur on a date.

• 60 percent of acquaintance rapes on college campuses occur in casual or steady dating relationships.

• An estimated 5 percent of college women experience a completed or attempted rape in a given year.

• 51 percent of college males admit perpetrating one or more sexual assault incidents during college.

The DOVE Center is available to women who are victims of domestic and sexual violence. If you need information or help contact them at 628-1204. The center also has a rape and sexual assault support group on Tuesdays 5 to 6 p.m. For more information on the support group call the center.

RAINN Day at Dixie State College campus gave tips on how to better help those who've been a victim of sexual assault. Some ideas were:

-Openly support surviviors of sexual assault.

-Be comfortable in talking about sexual assault.

-Know what consent means.

-Take away the shame of sexual assault.

Information and discussion is key to preventing a sexual assault.

On college campuses many students date. When dating someone talk about what your expectations are in a relationship.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The power of prayer and email

Have you ever had a prayer answered through someone else? I mean, something totally and completely unrelated to what was actually happening around you and then out of the blue-a different prayer was answered.

I had this experience this week and I wanted to share it.

Some of you may know the difficulties I have in September. It was in September that I was attacked and raped when I was in college. --Even typing it out it still brings me a flutter of anxiety. For the last few years September has been pretty mild. There have been moments of anxiety and panic but, really, it has been mild. In the past I would be practically paralyzed with fear and anxiety. Thankfully I have a very supportive husband, family, and friends who have helped me get past these dark days.

This year was a little different. This year I am helping my husband prepare for his senior project which is a day of awareness for sexual assault victims. So, as you can imagine, this has brought all sorts of healing opportunities for me...lol..

The other morning was a particular difficult morning (it was "the day" that it happened). I was finding myself giving into the anxiety and the desire to stay in bed. It felt like a dark, heavy weight pressing on me. I had so much to accomplish that day and I was caving into the negative feelings. Cory was at school and I couldn't get myself to call anyone. I felt I was on my own to deal with this. Thankfully it wasn't so bad that I felt I could still pray.

Sometimes prayer to me is like breakfast. My day goes so much better when I pray in the morning. Well, that particular morning it was all I could do to plead to my Heavenly Father to not forget me that day. I didn't need a big sign from the heaven, the walls of Jericho didn't need to come down for me (there have been times when I did need that, but that is a different story), I just needed to be reminded of the peace that I had felt in the past, so that I would remember that I could get through this day.

Well. I stayed in bed. I decided to check my email since I was expecting some emails for various reasons. I grabbed my itouch and promptly got back into bed.

I recieved an email from a gal that I have only met once or twice. She is a leader in the homeschooling world and was replying to me about something completely unrelated. I have never shared with her my story. So I was a little taken back when her email felt so direct. This is part of what she said: "I hope you will see and feel how you have grown and benefited from this experience. I understand that it is painful and hard....For me, I am certain that every time I step out and work to create something bigger than myself it feels hard and painful and many times I cry out and wonder why in the world I do it. Always there come a moment when the Spirit consoles me and shows me that it was worth it. I am praying that you will have this as well."

For me, it was just what I needed. It was a reminder of how far I have come. I made it through the day with minimal anxiety and today I feel like myself again.

I am so grateful for those in my life who follow the spirit daily. Sometimes we forget how much our obedience to the spirit can bless others. It can be easy to get wound up in how much it can bless our own life.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

New pet

A warning....this post is not for the squeamish...Keri/Tara/Grandpa Sutton... you've been warned.

So the boys have found a new pet. No its not the many frogs that have come out lately or even a cute little snake. Nope. Guess again.



I tried to figure out what kind of spider it is, but I can only take looking at so many up close pictures of spiders. I feel all creepy crawly just thinking about it. I think it is just a basic garden spider. They eat lots of bugs (see the video below) and are not poisonous to humans.

Not only are the boys watching this new spider everyday, they have started to assist in the bug catching.





Our life is so exciting!!!