Our Summer Vacation at the Warm Springs Ranch has come to an end. We are so happy to have had the opportunity to serve here as we know there are many members waiting in line for a chance to enjoy a service mission here. We are glad we were chosen for this time.
Remember, there are many ways to be able to bring your family and friends here. You can make reservations online on the church website. You can come for open swim on Thursdays from 10 AM to 9:00 PM, for 3 dollars per person. You can contact President Norda, to do a Serve and Swim day or President Richards for a Family Camp. (I think they were thinking a fee of 30.00 per family) These two people are from the Tule Stake Presidency. Tule Stake has been given Stewardship over the Warm Springs Ranch. If you need to contact either one of them, request their information from your local church leaders, as I’m sure this information will change do to the nature of callings. If you have any problems or concerns regarding your visit to Warm Springs Ranch I would advise you to follow the normal chain of command, contact your Bishop who will then contact your stake president and then they will contact Tule Stake or those in charge. Again this information is always subject to change but your Stake leaders will most likely be up to date. Of course if there is an emergency at the Warm Springs Ranch, call 911. Don’t forget to like the Warm Springs Ranch page on Facebook.
This has been so much fun. Goodbye Warm Springs Ranch. We Love you!
Recently, as I’ve watched Tule Stake members really come together and take responsibility for different aspects of the Ranch, I’ve come to understand the power and splendor of Stewardship.
They have people in charge of clean up after open swim, people to pressure wash and clean the pools, people to take care of the equipment, and even others still, to open and close the pools. They are doing an excellent job sharing the Stewardship they have over the Warm Springs Ranch.
This week we have had the wonderful opportunity to meet Dave. Dave has been called to care for our workshop. He gets the gas and works on the lawn mower. He even offered to make me a key for the paper towel holders in the old bathrooms. He and his daughters cleaned out the entire garage. They swept and served and swam and they were happy to do it.
Our valley is a wonderful place. While we do not have very many amenities, we do not have a lot of government involvement either. That is both good and bad for us. We have parks and things but no one to maintain and care for them. How wonderful it would be if we could just call people to care for different parts of our valley. “Elder and Sister Bowman, we call you to have stewardship
over the Children’s Park.” How fun would that be? Or “Fill in the Blank, we call you to look after the library and share your resources and insight with those working there.” (I would choose Jill Hansen if it were up to me. Her kids are big readers and she has done a bang up job keeping them in books.) What a wonderful world it would be for us to have each other’s support in caring for and supporting our valley’s amenities.
Working at the Warm Springs Ranch has been such an incredible blessing for our family. We have come to love and respect this beautiful place and the people who come here to bond and unite with their families and wards. Our children have enjoyed working along side us even more than swimming and exploring. And that is more than we could have hoped for.
This opportunity made me want to do more for our community and to invest in our valley. We are excited to see Friends of Pahranagat Valley’s Splash Pad coming along so nicely in it’s new location. It is amazing what we can do with a little courage, a lot of love and a wonderful, united valley of people who step in to help make our Valley a better place.
After some long hours put in by the Tule Stake leaders, we have some beautiful new pools. They are a lovely addition to the facility. Since they are only a few feet from the cooking grills. I thought it would be a good time to tell you how Elder and Sister Bowman keep their little ones safe around the pools while we work and live here at the Springs.
1. When cooking or working around the pools, we like to designate a babysitter for our small children. While these new pools are rather deep there are some tiny streams of water that babies can wade in comfortably when accompanied by an adult. Designating an adult is important to me because that way I know for certain that someone specific is watching my small ones if I can not. Mostly, I like to watch the kiddos and Elder Bowman likes to cook and that works fine for us. Each of us knows our jobs and everyone is safe. It only takes a second for a little one to get away from us.
2. I’m a big fan of life jackets, swim floaties and pool noodles. Our favorite for our little ones are the Puddle Jumpers. They are Coast Guard approved and are easier to manage than life jackets for our little ones. They are hard to find though. I buy them when I find them and you can get them here on Amazon. Our good friends own Big Ash, in Alamo, and the water is quite deep there. Elder Bowman and I enjoy using big noodles and life jackets because while it might be fun for a little while to tread water if you plan on being there for a long time it can become difficult and even uncomfortable and no fun at all. The upper pool here at the ranch is deep as well, and can be fun for the whole family if young children have some flotation device even if they know how to swim.
3. We are careful around the drains. We have quite a few here at the Warm Springs Ranch. The one pictured here, is in the upper part of the lower pool. It is the only one not on the side of the pools but is right in the middle of the more shallow part of the pool instead. We have had some trouble with closing and opening the drain and one day it was open while the other drains kept it full of water so there was a suction and it was a little scary. Now, it is closed and we can’t get it to open so no water is currently going through this drain but it isn’t covered so we have been really careful with our kiddos around this drain.
4. We teach our children to swim but we also teach them to be calm during a water emergency. While we were teaching our little ones to swim, we were excited to see them pick it up really quickly. Until one of them tripped on the stairs and fell into the water and panicked. So we made an effort to teach them to stay calm. We had them practice falling off of their pool noodles and jumping off of the side of the pool to get them use to the initial shock of unexpected water situations. That seemed to make them more comfortable. This was a lot easier at Little Ash. The water was at the waist of most seven and eight year old children. And this lesson was easily taught. I was hoping that the new pools would be about that same depth but they turned out to be a lot deeper.
5. We also keep a first aid kit in our vehicles. It’s a good practice considering our drives are always very long. Here at the Warm Springs Ranch we do not have a First Aid Kit on site. So our personal first aid kit, that we keep in the Van has come in very handy quite a few times.
So there it is, five steps Elder Bowman and I take to keep our little ones safe here at the Warm Springs Ranch.
When you are working at the Warm Springs Ranch, in 115 degree weather, 99 in the RV, you need to keep cooling off by getting in the water periodically throughout the day. There are also chores to be done and people to greet and give tours to. Under normal circumstances, all three of these things would require different ensembles. Enter, swimwear by Dainty Jewels. My teenage daughter found this for me while we were looking online for modest swimwear. She really understood the need for something like this and was right on every count.
When you get to a certain age, after having children at a certain age, there are some things about you no one really wants to see. And it can be very difficult to find swimwear to cover those things. For me, modest really is hotest, in so many ways.
As a missionary at the Warm Springs Ranch, we get visitors all the time. At any given time of the day, we would welcome anyone from church leaders to non-members and it became obvious after the first week , that I would need an outfit that would be presentable in every situation. I love this bathing suit because it dries quickly, it is modest, and I can look well dressed in all of my duties here at the Springs. It is just really practical.
Doing work around the Ranch is easier too. Not only is it comfortable to work in but it also prevents sunburn. Very nice.
Still, after one of our meetings with Presidents Richards and Norda, I came away feeling silly for wearing a big ol’ dress around the Ranch. So the next swim day, I dawned my less bulky bathing suit and the funniest thing happened. A family from Saint George Utah, had reserved the lower pool that day and had also invited their homeschool group to join them. And everyone, and I do mean everyone, from the tall to the small were in beautifully modest bathing suits. It was incredible to see. One of the beautiful young moms was wearing something that looked like it came from Modli. I wish I had worn mine. I would have fit right in!
On another night, I went down at closing time to take the trashes out, and one of the cutest little teenagers came by me wearing the most darling vintage looking bathing suit. It was a beautiful top with shorts and not the boy shorts either, real live shorts. When I complimented her, she replied very politely. I think dress really does influence our behavior. It truly is an outward expression of our inner selves.
Modest isn’t just practical, it is really beautiful as well and there are many people out there looking for modest swimwear. But don’t take my word for it! The Wall Street Journal would agree. They published an article entitled, “Modest Bathing Suits Make a Splash…” So if you are looking for a fresh look for next summer consider some of these links for a modest, practical and beautiful look.
Today, thirty of the most darling young ladies from the Alamo and Hiko Wards, came to help me with my chores around the Warm Springs Ranch. Annette, their Hiko Achievement Days Leader arranged to do a Serve and Swim on our weekly maintenance day. Even though Pres. Norda from the Tule Stake, had announced open swim day on Thursday, the girls decided to come and serve anyway. I was so happy to see them. We had been working hard all morning and it was nice to have reinforcements! Many hands made light work today. They were a lovely, hardworking group. The older girls cleaned the bathrooms, the middle age groups cleaned off the tables and the youngest group cleaned up all the palm fronds. They worked really hard. One of Annette’s daughter’s is a lifeguard and she worked really hard as well, watching all these young ladies swim and play and keeping them safe. Annette runs a tight ship, with everything done on an elegant schedule. Little sandwiches were served at the proper time and the ladies were in the van 15 minutes before 6:00 to keep Monday curfew and have the young ladies home in time for Family Home Evening. I can’t even begin to tell you how much this meant to me. Thank you all for coming and supporting this beautiful LDS Recreational Facility.
When we first interviewed for the Missionary position, President Norda, explained that new regulations limit the amount of chemicals that can be put in the water and food and drinks must stay clear of the fenced area for that reason. So I was really excited when he said I could use any cleaners I wanted. We have a good friend affectionately named, H2O Joe that showed me how to use water to kill 99 % of the germs in my house. Making it possible to clean toys, and toilets and with the same results. My favorite part is that my small children can clean with me and I don’t have to worry about the affects of harmful chemicals. This is called ozone water. It is what Heavenly Father uses to clean the atmosphere with rain. Every time it rains, germs are cleaned from our air. How amazing is that? The machine I use now is the A2Z Ozone Aqua 6 Multi Purpose Ozone Generator. I use it with a wide mouth spray bottle.
With all the minerals from the hard water in the springs we also use vinegar and these awesome scouring sticks, I found at the Alamo Sinclair. I was worried about scratching the toilet bowls with these but I did a test in an isolated spot and then touched it to see if I could feel any scratches and I couldn’t and when I cleaned a tough spot it was definitely smoother than before I had used it. I made sure to wet it first as per instructions. I used vinegar on the showers and boy did my hand get sore from using the spray bottle to spray all the showers. I figured out later that I could just use a pump sprayer!
One morning at 5:00 AM, I went to clean out the bathrooms. It was still a little dark but I was trying to beat the heat. When I opened the door, I found a scorpion at my feet ready to sting. I ran out and texted president Norda, worried to death because the YSA group was scheduled to be there later that day, and I didn’t want them running into each other. I was completely unaware of how early it was. Luckily, he knew a little about them and told me to just keep the lights on. I’ve never seen one again. Ha Ha.
Still, I looked up how to keep them out without harsh chemicals and found that Cedarwood essential oil would do the trick and keep the infestation of spiders down to a more manageable level at the same time. So I picked some up the next time I was at my house, put fifteen drops in a pump sprayer, filled it halfway with water and sprayed everywhere in the bathrooms and the spiders stayed away for almost two weeks.
For the toilets, sometimes using chemicals is simply unavoidable. One week Derek came home from his travels with the most awesome and loving surprise, a Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet Fresh Brush. Just in time too. I love Elder Bowman!!! We had a big mess in one of the bathrooms and I was so grateful I didn’t have to use anything else to clean it. I like to use Scrubbing Bubbles because the smell of the chemicals do not bother me at all, and I am very sensitive. I do not flush them but I do get a lot of use from them. It is nice to be able to throw away the cleaning tool after cleaning some really dirty toilets and the scrubbing bubbles make quick work of it too.
Anyway, that is how Sister Bowman and her lovely Angels clean the Warm Springs Ranch.
The first thing we learn in Graphic Design is that white space is a good thing. As a student, I had a hard time with that concept in my design and in other aspects of my life. I use to get really nervous unless I was talking or someone else was, like when there was a lull in the conversation. I felt like I needed to fill every quiet space with words. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned the value of quiet, white space and space in all aspects of my life.
One of the many things I love about this Valley is that it is so much like a big, beautiful white canvas. Take the Church Ball Park for example. One day it is a place for the young ones to learn the to play football, on another day it is a place for us to come together to raise funds for one of our townspeople, still on another day while it is being watered, it becomes a place to skim board. It is a highly functional space that can be anything we want it to be at any given time.
Our Children’s Park could be very much a place like that. Unfortunately, the only usable space we have is a volleyball court, prone to weeds and not at all usable most of the time. The skate park area has become more dangerous than fun. Since we do not have sidewalks for the children to practice skateboarding, it is difficult for the children to use it for it’s intended purpose. While on the subject of sidewalks, the Children’s park is one of the few places where children can ride their bikes or power wheels safely away from the street.
What I would love to see is the removal of the skate area, the creation of a blank grassy area in place of the volleyball court and perhaps, if we could find a way, a play road for bikes and power wheels outlining the entire park.
The Removal of the skate area – as explained earlier, it isn’t being used for it’s original purpose. While it is perfect for daredevils and small children’s big imaginations, it isn’t always safe. At the same time, it also takes up prime real estate next to the volleyball court. It may be expensive to move but I believe it will be worth it.
The re-purposing of the Volleyball Court- The park has been designed to fill every space with purpose. And every space is taken by park equipment and sidewalks. Still, we can not know exactly what we will need at every moment of the year. Some days it would be nice to have a family reunion picnic, other times it would be great to have the space for yard games. If every space is taken for a specific purpose, the park becomes very limited and thereby less functional. We need that space for a myriad of functions.
A Play Road away from the street- Sidewalks are out of the question. A walking path is a dream that keeps dying. And still, the children need a place to learn to ride their bikes and play with their power wheels or remote control cars. A play road would serve all these purposes and would be a fun play space all year round. If we could find a way to make one that circles the entire park, it would be great exercise for kids and parents walking alongside.
I know that the idea of having a splash pad during the summer is exciting and as the days get warmer, the idea just keeps getting better. But the truth is, we can purchase portable water features and find a place to store them during the rest of the year leaving the park available for other functions. Maintenance and set up would be a breeze making it more likely to have it done by summer.