Thursday, November 25, 2010

Jillian is Ward's Newest Member

Jillian Thomas (aka “Jilly” or “Jillybean”) was baptized on the Saturday morning before Thanksgiving by her uncle Randy Simkins (with whose family she has lived for more than four years) and confirmed by her grandpa - Shar’s father Dave Taylor, to become the newest member of the Bloomington 7th Ward. Through her obedience to the commandment to “come unto Christ” Jillian, in the 3rd grade at Bloomington Elementary School, is setting an example of righteousness to other children in the Simkins household, including her brother Jarrett Thomas, cousins Summer and Shane Simkins and half brother Jaxon Mills and half sister Jaselle Mills - as well as to others in the Bloomington 7th Ward Primary.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

B7 Relief Society Celebrates Christmas Around the World

In true Relief Society style, Sisters Ward, Chappell, Temple and Church - along with several dozen others - gathered for dinner and to celebrate “Christmas Around the World” on Wednesday, November 17. Under the direction of Deanne Hill (assisted by her creative committee, including Nancy Church, Leah Graham, Shirley Golding, Penny Walbom, Mary K Temple, and Pauline Smyly), the sisters enjoyed music, socializing and inspiration from speakers who shared experiences celebrating the birth of the Savior in countries outside of the United States.

Carol Stephen spoke of her time in Armenia, Shirley Golding reported on holiday festivities in the Philippines, and Luana Warner spoke of the yuletide season in Pakistan. Music was provided by Emma Warner Nelson and Janet Labrum singing holiday carols from England, France, Ireland and the United States.

Thanks to the food committee chaired by Margo Parker and including Ann Brown, Gayle Morawetz, Barbara Pinder, Elaine Tucker, Pat Chappell, Janet Labrum, Claire Cammack, Barbara Schaerrer, Nancy Church, Sherolyn Pederson, Ellen Sorensen, Patty Downen, Jeanine Smith and Marilyn Orlossy. Special thanks, as well, to Trudy Oviatt and Julie Terry for designing the invitations and to Penny Walbom for the programs.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Meet the Conrad's

Roger and Bonnie Conrad - like many others in the St. George area - found their way from the northern part of the state to Utah’s Dixie after growing weary of shoveling snow. About their home in Woodland Hills, Roger says, “the snow doesn’t clear until April and since we have business concerns involving student housing in both Cedar City and Provo, we decided it was just as easy to drive north as it is to drive south!”

However, even after the decision was made, it took another two years of looking before they found the right house with lots of wall space and the right lighting for Bonnie’s large body of award-winning oil paintings representing more than 20 years of professionally painting the American West and her rural heritage! She is a Signature Member of Oil Painters of America (OPA) and American Women Artists (AWA) as well as American Plains Artists (APA). Her work is in the permanent collections at the Pioneer Center for the Arts in St. George, Utah and the Clymer Museum in Ellensburg, Washington. Among her many prestigious awards she has the American Plains Artists First Place Oil 2009 and Best of Show 2004, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation 2008 Poster artist, St. George Arts Festival Best of Show 2004, Zwei Tu Color Award Oil Painter's of America 2003, First Place Oil American Academy of Women Artists 2003, Best of Show Western Spirit 2003.

On her website at, she writes: “Painting for me is somewhat of an addiction. I am often referred to as a 'painterly' painter and when I get into that mode of freedom…applying the strokes with calculated abandon…I am at the height of my glory! Exploring the use of color and light is what captivates me. There is power in being able to breathe life into a two-dimensional image thru the use of value and temperature and strategically placed unexpected color notes can make a piece sing.

There is something about a masterfully executed painting which touches deeply the inner soul. I am constantly challenged to accomplish that type of response in myself and others. The best compliment a viewer ever gave me is ‘WOW!’”

Roger spent 20 years as “the boss” on numerous big ranches of the “for profit” side of the LDS Church’s commercial and agricultural operations in Utah, Wyoming, Montana, Texas and Oregon. “Some days I was in the saddle or in the feed lot . . . some days I was in meetings with the FDA or Crow Indian tribal leaders,” notes the businessman. He became “voluntarily unemployed” in 1996 when he quit ranching to work four years with Sinclair Oil and another few years with a land developer in Oregon before pursuing a career in real estate. Currently his license is on the back burner until he decides if 14-15 years is enough! About his career, Roger notes, “I’ve never worked a day in my life! On the ranches, I got to choose how I spent every day and I’d frequently ask ‘They’re paying me to do this? I’d do this for free!’”

The Conrad’s are the proud parents of six children (“all boys except five,” jokes Roger) and 23 grandchildren, ages 14 to “just barely.”

In their life in rural America, the Conrad’s have always served the Lord. She has been a Relief Society president, a Young Women’s president, a Primary president, taught clogging, played the piano (until rheumatoid arthritis made it impossible to continue), and according to her husband, “really knows how to put on a roadshow!”

He has served in 4 bishoprics - including two stints as a bishop. He has been on a BYU high council and has served as a scoutmaster.

Evelyn Conrad, lives with her son Roger and daughter-in-law Bonnie in their Bloomington home. Born 90 years ago in Storrs, Utah, a coal mining town in Carbon County, she grew up in Helper and attended school in Wellington. There were very few members of the church when she was a young woman, so her mother called Church headquarters asking that missionaries be sent to their community. Evelyn married young but went on to live a happy life with Don Conrad. The couple, who enjoyed 70 years of wedded bliss before he passed away at age 94 of Alzheimers disease, raised a family of six children (one died in infancy), which has now resulted in 30 grands and “lots of greats”.

Says the new ward member, “I love to read, cook, quilt, iron and dance. I’ve enjoyed being a mother and I’ve raised a wonderful family. Other than that, I’ve really not done anything spectacular in my lifetime.”

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Q is Baptized

Quincy Adams, affectionately known as "Q" by his friends and family members, stepped through the gate and onto the path to eternal life when he was baptized by immersion and received the gift of the Holy Ghost - both ordinances performed by his father. The son of Quincy and Sunnie Adams, and grandson of Steve and Sylvia Peterson, is a student at Bloomington Elementary School and the newest member of the Bloomington 7th Ward.