Creating a family bonding experience is a very personal decision, and for the Orton family it means leaving everything behind to set sail in a 38’ sailboat.
Whether it’s doing a puzzle or sailing or flying to St. Maartin, there are countless ways to create a strong family bond while the kids are still at home.
And for the Orton family, time together with all five kids at home is running out, making this the perfect time to take the family trip they have planned for over six years. “Life moves fast,” Erik Orton records on the family blog, “This is our last year before our kids start leaving for college, missions, marriage, etc. All good things, but life will change. We want one last chance to be together as a family before we move into that next chapter.” So where is their six-month ultimate family experience taking them? Try somewhere in the Caribbean on a 38’ catamaran boat they’ve named Fezywig.
It isn’t every day that you hear a tale of a family picking up and leaving everything to live on a little boat, away from wifi and friends, but despite expectations, Orton told LDS Living in an interview before they set sail this past weekend that they have had an enthusiastic and encouraging response: “I think the response that has been most unexpected is that people will send us a note or talk to us and say 'You know, this is so great. I’ve always wanted to do _______ and seeing you do this with your family just makes me feel like I can do the thing that I want to do.'” Orton adds of their experience that “it kind of sparks something in [others], which is really wonderful to see and be a part of.”
It may be February, but for Young Women leaders everywhere, it’s already time to start thinking about girls’ camp.
When you're planning Young Women's camp, one of the hardest tasks is coming up with a theme. They can range from spiritually uplifting to downright goofy, but we’ve found that the most memorable ones are a combination of both. Check out these great ideas for inspiration!
Light the Fire Within: Girls Camp Olympics
For LDS athlete Noelle Pikus Pace, the journey to the Olympics has been a long and often heartbreaking one--and this year in Sochi is her last chance to go for gold.
Photo from Pampers / Getty Images
For many, the journey to the Olympic games is a long and difficult one, and for Mormon Olympian Noelle Pikus Pace, that story is no different. Her first shot at the winter games should have come in 2006, when she was favorite to win gold, but an unfortunate accident where another racer's bobsled flew off the track and struck her, breaking her leg, prevented her from competing.
Undetered, she got back on the track, and in 2010, Pace competed in the 2010 Winter Olympics, on a sled that her husband built, and was the top U.S finisher. She placed 4th. Just one-tenth of a second out of the medals.
Pace retired after the Olympics to spend more time with her family. She and her husband, Janson, had a baby boy named Traycen in 2011.
But in the summer of 2012, Pace decided that she would give it one last try to earn an Olympic Medal, if their family could all travel together. They raised enough money in her 2012-13 season to make it happen and Noelle had her best results ever: she won 16 national and international medals including 10 gold medals, 4 silvers, and 2 bronze. She finished the season ranked 3rd in the world.
February is the month of love, and to celebrate, we asked our readers to share their proposal stories with us--the good, the bad, and the ugly. Enjoy this selection of some of our favorites.
“My husband and I were visiting Put-In-Bay in Ohio and decided to go sit by the water before the sunset. While skipping rocks, he asked me how much I loved him, and I responded with, ‘Enough to marry you.’ Right then, he pulled out the ring and asked me to marry him. I couldn't have imagined it happening any other way.”
--Stasia Leigh Charter
“My husband Kevan proposed to me while we were watching movies in the day room of our Air Force dorms, with a ring he got in Hawaii as a kid. He put a piece of masking tape on it so it would fit. We only had a few days to get married if we wanted to get stationed together. He's lucky I loved him so much.”
With LDS NFL offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell going to the Super Bowl with the Seahawks this year, we were wondering--how many of our readers plan on watching the big game this year?
To watch or not to watch? That is the quesiton.
I still remember the first Super Bowl I ever watched. I had recently moved to Seattle, Washington, and the state's beloved team, the Seahawks, made it to this game of all games for the first time in a long time. It was big news. Seattle fans in particular are known for their loyalty (and their record-breaking cheering--as loud as a jet engine when they play at home). It was incredibly easy for my non-sports-following family to get swept up in the excitement, and for the first time in our lives, we wanted to watch the Super Bowl.
Which is always, we knew, without fail played on a Sunday.
Lucky for us, one of our neighbors had an ingenious plan: he would record the game, and we would hold our Super Bowl party on Monday. We'd stay away from media outlets (not hard on a Sunday) and all be surprised by the outcome Monday morning instead. Given how my family isn't big on sports, waiting wasn't hard for us, but for many, I can sympathize with the flaws present in this plan. It's so easy to just check score updates discretely between family dinner and scripture study.
Still, even if a few at our party had "cheated," a fun time was had by all and it was a great introduction to sports for me.