About Us

Billings, Montana, United States
The Professor and I were civilly married 24 May 1998 and sealed for time and all eternity 11 Sept 1999 in the Mt. Timpanogas Temple, American Fork, UT. We have, between us 6 biological children and 3 we claim as ours through the heart strings! We call Billings, Montana home and love it here. We camp, hunt, fish, ride horses and LOVE bull riding and rodeos. Our church is a huge part of our lives and our callings keep us very busy. We love our Saviour, Jesus Christ and strive to show that love to our fellow man every day. We got our nicknames because I am the "spark" that keeps things lively around here, and he was smart enough to marry me! That's the short story on it anyway!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


We just had a wonderful time with our friends Ray and Tricia Messemer from Lovell, WY.  They arrived on Saturday and after their arrival we went to the Temple. Oh that was a wonderful event! The Manti temple is truly gorgeous, I mean as in STUNNING inside!

After the temple we went out to eat at El Mexicano Mexican restaurant in Salina. This is Megan's favorite restaurant and the Messemer's loved it too.

Sunday they came to church with us. They were very impressed by the friendliness of the people in our ward. Tricia met a man she is related to and they had a wonderful time. They went to the Monroe City cemetery and he showed Tricia all kinds of family graves, and filled her in on a lot of family history. Tricia was also able to fill him in on some stories he didn't know. They were at the cemetery for a couple hours. Tricia was very excited and wants to come back because brother Hutchinson said he has a whole trunk of pictures to show her. After church Megan and Victor came over and we had halibut, polish sausage, corn on the cob, and fried apples. It was really good and I learned that halibut isn't half bad!!

Monday we took them to Bryce Canyon National Park and spent most of the day there. Ray and Tricia LOVED the park. I will post several pictures:

Tricia Messemer

Tricia and me

Ray and Dan

Ray, Trish, me and Dan

Tricia and Ray

Natural Bridge

                             The little squirrel above came for some handouts! He sure was cute!
Panguitch UT, has an annual quilt festival and the streets are lined wit quilts

Strange things to find in someone's yard!

Even aliens are welcome in this yard!

We saw this yard that had skeletons all over and some dinosaurs, a gorilla and lots of other strange things. It was fun to take some pictures of it all.

When we got home we went to the little Mexican restaurant here in Monroe for dinner. This place used to be SO good, but we found out it is under new ownership and the food was nowhere near as good, plus there was less quantity but for more money. Very sad. We probably won't be going there anymore. :(

Tuesday Dan and Ray went for a drive up near fish lake and checked out the wildlife while Tricia and I went into town and did some shopping.

Then we came home and went to the senior center for lunch and after that, the Messemer's left to go visit their daughter in Kerns.

It was a really nice visit with them. We sure are blessed to have such good friends!

So, until next time Ray and Tricia....WE LOVE YOU!!

Thursday, May 29, 2014


Wow, I can't believe it's been so long since I've posted on here! So much has happened since my last post. I had surgery on my head. I had an acoustic neuroma, a benign tumor deep inside my ear resting on my balance nerve which caused me to walk like a total drunk. On December 19, 2013 I had surgery to have it removed. It has been a rather long road back.

Hospital pictures of my surgery. It is now a little more than 5 months post surgery and I am still having some balance issues but my incision is finally feeling pretty much healed.

My balance issues come mostly on uneven surfaces, in the wind or in the dark, and on unfamiliar turf.

Immediately after my surgery, the right side of my face was paralyzed. I couldn't smile with the right side, my right eye didn't work properly. I went to physical therapy for my face and regained full use of everything. I can even whistle again which I couldn't do before.

We have now been here in Monroe for a year and we are all settled in. It has been a good year. The best part has been Megan getting pregnant and watching her bloom in her pregnancy. They are having a boy. They don't have a name yet, or if they do, they're not saying what it is. I was teasing Megan for a long time by calling the baby "Herkimer"!! 

I am so excited to be here and be able to be with her to help her when the baby comes.

I threw a baby shower for Megan and the baby. It was a LOT of fun!
Isn't she adorable!

Megan is decorating the baby's room with monkeys, so here is the cake I got her

The baby game we played for Megan's shower.

Dan has been called to be the Young Men's President in our ward and I teach 5 year olds in Primary. both callings keep us busy.Dan and the boy's went to the Klondike derby and had a blast!

I went up to Montana in May to see Jacob, Heather, Ben and Gwen. Oh what fun I had! Jacob had to work, so I didn't get to see him until he was off work, but then we did have all day Saturday together. We went to the zoo twice. Well, Heather and I took the kids one day, then Jacob, Heather and I took the kids again on Saturday. We also went to parks to play and I took some family pictures of them.

I had so much fun with Heather! What a gem she is! I loved getting to know her even better as we spent time together teasing each other, laughing, joking and playing with the kids.

Aren't they a beautiful family!

I love this picture! Gwen just would not cooperate!

And finally, bringing us up to date, Dan and I just celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary. We went to Bryce Canyon National Park to camp for the weekend. It was gloriously beautiful!

The last 16 years being married to Dan have been the most wonderful, best, happiest years of my life. He does so much for me and for us and for our kids and grandkids. I'm so grateful to and for him.

Natural Bridge in Bryce Canyon National Park

The love of my life!

My honey picked me some wild flowers!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Well, Hello everyone!

What a wonderful year we've had! Lots of great camping and travel trips, Let me give you a run-down. To start, we moved from Montana to south central Utah. It was a great move and we are glad we did it....but I have to admit I REALLY miss Jacob and Heather and Ben and Gwen. We try to Skype at least once a week, but preferably twice a week.

The pictures above are of Gwendalyn and Benjamin. Jacob and Heather's two darlings! It's nice to be closer to all the grandlittles that are here in Utah, but it's still hard to be away from the ones that aren't here in Utah. We have 4 here in Utah and 6 not in Utah, with one (here in Utah) on the way.

Capital Reef National Park. Such a beautiful drive from our house. Beautiful autumn day, perfect weather, a lovely day for a little road trip with us and the dogs!

On of the greatest moments of the summer was being able to go to Michigan to attend the wedding of my cousin Mandi DeGregory Zimmerman. It was the first time we have ever met each other. She is my biological cousin, and since I was given up for adoption, I never met her before this. It was wonderful. I met several other cousins as well and had a wonderful time! Isn't she a gorgeous bride!

Lily, Brighton and Tyler. Playing at Papa and Mae Mae's house. So much fun to have them closer and to be able to have them come down more often

Our first 24th of July in Utah. For those who don't know, July 24th is a Utah state holiday honoring the day the early Mormon pioneers arrived in Utah and took residence, finally able to escape the mobs and persecution that plagued them from New York to Illinois, Missouri and everywhere they tried to live and worship God according to the dictates of their own hearts. Freedom of Religion was not something they were able to enjoy until they landed in Utah.
We had one heck of a major rainstorm! I thought it was going to get into the camper, but fortunately it didn't. WHEW!

Megan and I did some canning/bottling etc. of peaches and apples. We made peach jam, bottled peaches and we made apple butter, applesauce, apple pie filling. SO good!! Great fun to do together as well!

Where's Mari?  Yes, there is something (or someone) in the trees. I didn't notice for a long time, but, look closely!

It is one week and two days after my surgery on the Acoustic Neuroma. It was wildly successful and I''m feeling pretty darn good! I am having an issue with my right eye because it doesn't want to shut properly and it feels VERY rough and scratched. I have called my Dr. again to see what to do about it. Just waiting for his office to call me back.

I am so grateful for my surgeons and all the rest of the medical staff who cared for me. I understand I was NOT a very good patient while in the hospital. I guess I decided to pull out my IV and my Catheter and just get out of bed and tried to take off somewhere! They had to restrain me to get me back in bed and then I guess Dan had to stay there with me to keep me from doing it again. What a brat I was!!

I am already able to walk around on my own volition and not need my cane or walker. At least in the house, I haven't tried to go to the store yet, but I'm thinking I will today.

We will be having a quiet Christmas here at the house, we had a big Thanksgiving, but decided to just have a small Christmas, likely it will be just Dan and me. We will be getting Megan and Victor baby items for Christmas since they announced to us at Thanksgiving that they are finally pregnant!! We are SO very happy for them. They had been trying for awhile to get pregnant.

I am trying to figure out what to get Dan for Christmas this year. Any ideas anyone? It's hard to know what to get a guy that seems to have everything. I mean come on....he has me, what else does he need??  LOL!! I know, I'll get him a diamond studded bellybutton cleaner!!  hehehehehe!!!

We wish all of you a very wonderful Holiday season. May your blessings be great and your troubles be few. May  you feel the spirit of the season and have good health and much happiness in the coming year.

Love to you all....Dan and Mari Catherine

Sunday, November 17, 2013


Today was my favorite Sunday of the year!!  Once a year the primary children do the sacrament meeting. In my class we have a young man (he's 6) who is pretty squirmy so I had him sit on my lap. Then he suddenly looked up to me and said "Teacher?" and I said "yes" and he said "I love you" and I told him I love him too. Then he started doing the sign language symbols for "I love you"

Everyone thinks Michael is "a handful" and he is, but with some love, patience and guidance, he's a sweet boy. He did get mad at me when I made him put the dinosaur he brought from home on the floor and didn't let him play with it during our lesson. But oh well....whats a teacher to do!!

Monday, November 11, 2013

counting down to surgery

On Dec 9th I will have surgery to remove a benign tumor in my right ear. It's called Acoustic Neuroma. The tumor is resting on my balance tissue and my hearing tissue. If it continues to grow, it could go into my brain and that would be fatal.

The surgery will be about 4 hours, they will shave that part of my head, make an incision, cut out a section of my skull, and lift the part of my brain under that section of skull and go in to get the tumor out. In the process, they'll have to sever my balance nerve permanently and until my left ear can fully compensate for the right ear, I'll be even more unbalanced. There is also a 50/50 chance I will lose all hearing in that ear.

I have been given a priesthood blessing, and that helped me feel calm, but I am still fairly nervous. I wish I could hurry up and get it done instead of waiting until Dec.9, but oh well, what can I do!

Of course everyone has been incredibly kind and helpful. Many have expressed that they are praying for me and you can imagine, it is very comforting to me to know that I am being prayed for like that.
So, thankful to all my friends and family who are and will pray for me! 

In all honesty, I am a little nervous, but I know that whatever happens, it's the Lord's will and so everything will be ok.