From Diane Setterfield's The Thirteenth Tale

People disappear when they die. Their voices, their laughter, the warmth of their breath. Their flesh. Eventually their bones. All living mempry of them ceases. This is both dreadful and natural. Yet for some there is an exception to this annihilation. For in the books they write they continut to exist. We can rediscover them. Their humour, their tone of voice, their moods. Through the written word they can anger you or make you happy. They can comfort you. They can perplex you. They can alter you. All this, even though they are dead. Like flies in amber, like corpses frozen in ice, that which according to the laws of nature should pass away is, by the miracle of ink on paper, preserved. It is a kind of magic.

--Diane Setterfield

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Another ward, another talk

Enjoy. Also, a four year break in a blog is totally normal, right? Luckily I have that other blog that I've written in for a few months at a time during those four years.


I think that it’s traditional that one introduces themselves the first time they give a talk in their ward, but I’m really not that interesting – um, and in some other wards I have gotten more opportunities to speak and it helped me overcome the anxiety, but it’s been two years since I gave a talk and all that overcoming speaking anxiety is gone.  Also, when I was thinking about how I might go about introducing myself it sounded more like an infomercial. No good.  So, if you feel like my introduction during this talk is inadequate than I challenge you to try to find me during 2dn or 3rd hour and talk to me. Now, that being said, I have had to write a few introductions for myself this past week and I feel that I can at least share with you all as much as my online classmates at BYUI get.
Subject line (these are usually discussion boards and the subject line is) “I’m just me... a little bit of a hot mess”. My name is Arren Quigley, I'm a senior graduating from BYU-Idaho’s online program in December with a BS degree in BM-and an emphasis in entrepreneurial management. I also have a terrible slash / “awesome” sense of humor; I'm so glad I have a brother who 'gets it'.  I have tons of interests and hobbies, but it will probably take a few weeks after I graduate to remember what they are. I have vague recollections of art and singing and running and hiking and reading and organizing and animals and makeup and building furniture and dancing (shrug)...
I live in Colorado Springs, CO (I moved to Manitou 4 years ago and moved to Security in October of last year). I grew up in a suburb of Houston and have lived many places, but I'm trying really hard to put down roots here in the Springs. I love it here. I have two kiddos; Jaedyn is 17... oh, I mean 9 going on 17 and Andrew will be 5 in June and a super delight to have around.
I'm in the midst of a tragic time - I would love to slow down and take less classes each semester so I can focus on them 'more better', but I need to get a degree ASAP and be able to provide for myself and my little kiddos. To that effect, I'm working part time as a nanny for some firefighter friends and part time as an Emergency Medical Technician in Woodland Park and I volunteer with the Manitou library as the monthly toddler Music Time leader and as the treasurer and board member for Friends of the Library Board and I lead the music in Sacrament in my ward among other things like laundry and cooking and dishes. I was given a tentative job offer to come back part time to the Intern job I had last semester at the Ambulance District in Woodland Park (where I work as an EMT) to help in the office, but I'm still waiting to hear if they have found some money in their - very tight- budget for me.
I think in one video intro I talked more about what I love about Colorado and how grateful I am for the grace of God and the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the ability that those gifts give me to move forward through the trails I’m facing and the switching of so many hats and trying to make it “look good”. I’m unwilling to speak in detail about my current trials because they are still too raw, but I can say that for the trials I am living right now the description of Moroni and the People of Nephi defending and protecting themselves and their loved ones from the overtly aggressive attacks of the Lamanites led by Amalickiah is appropriate. Especially in Alma 48 verses 21-24 *But, as I have said, in the latter end of the nineteenth year, yea, notwithstanding their peace amongst themselves, they were compelled reluctantly to contend with their brethren, the Lamanites.  Yea, and in fine, their wars never did cease for the space of many years with the Lamanites, notwithstanding their much reluctance.  Now, they were sorry to take up arms against the Lamanites, because they did not delight in the shedding of blood; yea, and this was not all—they were sorry to be the means of sending so many of their brethren out of this world into an eternal world, unprepared to meet their God. Nevertheless, they could not suffer to lay down their lives, that their wives and their children should be massacred by the barbarous cruelty of those who were once their brethren, yea, and had dissented from their church, and had left them and had gone to destroy them by joining the Lamanites. * and in the same chapter verses *14-16 *Now the Nephites were taught to defend themselves against their enemies, even to the shedding of blood if it were necessary; yea, and they were also taught never to give an offense, yea, and never to raise the sword except it were against an enemy, except it were to preserve their lives. And this was their faith, that by so doing God would prosper them in the land, or in other words, if they were faithful in keeping the commandments of God that he would prosper them in the land; yea, warn them to flee, or to prepare for war, according to their danger; And also, that God would make it known unto them whither they should go to defend themselves against their enemies, and by so doing, the Lord would deliver them; and this was the faith of Moroni, and his heart did glory in it; not in the shedding of blood but in doing good, in preserving his people, yea, in keeping the commandments of God, yea, and resisting iniquity.*
What a comfort these people had; they knew that if they were obedient to the Lord they would be given specific help in their fight. It is my testimony that when we utilize the Atonement in our lives, we too can have that comfort. Because I’m not ready to speak to my trials I went looking for some trials that may be alleviate if one were to apply the Atonement of Jesus Christ to their situation. In Stephen L. Richard’s talk Gifts of the Gospel, he outlined how Comfort is a gift of the gospel. *long quote alert, but he says it so much better than I can* He said,
“I speak of comfort in the spiritual and scriptural sense bringing consolation, peace of mind and soul, resignation, tranquility, and serenity in times of bereavement, suffering, fear, doubt, and uncertainty. Very few are without some kind of trouble and many think their own troubles most severe. I remember years ago on one of my first visits to the beautiful memorial church at Stanford University reading an inscription engraved in stone on one of the walls. In substance it was as follows: If every person in the world should wrap his troubles in a bag and then throw it in a heap with all the packages of troubles of all the people, and if each were then told that he could go to the heap and select the package of troubles which he would bear, each would go to the pile and bring back his own package. So it may well be in the providence of things that each should have troubles of a kind suited to his capacity and experience in life. However this may be, we all need comfort and perhaps the self-sufficient ones who do not recognize the need really require it more than any others.
Physical pain is torturing, hard to endure. I am a witness to the fact that it may be assuaged by spiritual blessing and comfort. Thousands there are who testify as to the efficacy of prayer and the healing and the comfort of the priesthood, but even the torture of pain is not more excruciating than the humiliation and stigma of disgrace or the consciousness of guilt. Thank the Lord for the gift of repentance which has been so beautifully portrayed, to the transgressor, but it often happens that even the greater sorrow comes to the innocent. A wayward child brings tragedy to a family, shattering a reputation and good name it may have taken generations to build. A drunken or otherwise perverted husband or wife smashes a good home. A rebellious son or daughter stabs a knife into the hearts of loving parents as he or she discards the loyalties of a lifetime. These are cases for comfort beyond the merely human touch that call for deep understanding, for spiritual fortification, for a resignation that is divine.
And then there are the lonely. They who have been bereft of the companionship of loved ones, sometimes left all alone without kin about them. I was reading the other day that there are more than six million widows in the United States, many of them being widowed at as early an age as forty with an expectancy approximating thirty years of life without their mates. Some are without the companionship of children. In the immediate circle of my own friends and associates, many sad partings have come. Decades of loving and most beautiful association have been sadly interrupted just at a time when it seemed to mortal ken the ripest and richest years of holy wedlock were in the offing. I know many a friend who needs comfort. I am deeply grateful that for the most part my immediate friends have this consolation of the spirit. They are buoyed up by an unfaltering trust that the sad separations are but temporary. They give themselves and their great service to the master to requite in part at least that which he gives to them—comfort and peace to the soul.”
In Sheri Dew’s book, Worth the Wrestle she list another sort of trials we go through. Questions. At some point we may find ourselves asking: *Am I good enough? Can God ever forgive me, after what I’ve done? Why do I question my faith when everyone else in my family doesn’t? ...* My suggestion for an answer to many of these intense questions comes from Christ’s comforting directive to the woman taken in adultery found in John 8:11. “Neither do I condemn thee; Go, and sin no more.” I find it a comfort that we are not condemned by our Savior, but that we are directed to go and do and to be better than we were before.
In a talk by Carlos H. Amado titled Overcoming Adversity he tells about watching someone he loved grieve. He could do nothing to help her but recognized the importance of what was revealed about the Atonement of Jesus Christ to Joseph Smith in Doctrine and Covenants 19:18-19 “Which suffering caused myself, even God, the greatest of all, to tremble because of pain, and to bleed at every pore, and to suffer both body and spirit—and would that I might not drink the bitter cup, and shrink— “Nevertheless, glory be to the Father, and I partook and finished my preparations unto the children of men.” Christ has suffered more than any of us, and He knows the intensity of our afflictions. There is no suffering we have that He did not undergo in Gethsemane and on Calvary. That is why He understands and can help us. Christ stated in John 11:25: “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.” 
I reflected back on how I have felt the comfort of the Atonement in my life and, rather than a specific experience, a parable developed in my mind. I am not as clever with parables as Christ was, and if you find a whole in my logic, I beg with that you heed the words from the title page of the Book of Mormon “And now, if there are faults they are the mistakes of men; wherefore, condemn not the things of God (the Atonement of Jesus Christ), that ye may be found spotless at the judgment-seat of Christ.”
The parable goes:
There was once a certain person who grew up in a training gym. This person had a coach who helped them practice skills they would need in the boxing ring. They had a mentor who had been through all the fights before, and who had come out victorious every time. This mentor could give them perfect advice about what to do in order to also be victorious in every match. As this person grew they sparred in the gym; little matches that were for their good, that gave them experience and helped them learn and grow. They were daily preparing for bigger matches that their loving manager would let them participate in. When this person got to a certain age, they went to the ring and was set against on opponent. In the ring the parried and attacked. Sometimes they successfully blocked a blow from their adversary, sometimes they didn’t. At regular intervals they could retreat to a place of safety and rest while they were given some life- sustaining water and a comforting towel was wrapped around them. To this person the rounds seemed to stretch on and on. Their strength flagged and the opponent’s blows seemed to rain down. This person could hear the encouraging cheers from their supportive friends and family and this helped them find the will to fight smarter, using the skills they learned from their coach and from their mentor. Sometimes this person felt that they were getting the upper hand or would notice the opponent backing down and this person could look out at the other matches in other rings, this person used that time to cheer on his friends and training partners. But the break never lasted, the fight would continue and eventually they felt they couldn’t go on. They had reached the end of their ability to fight off their adversary. Just at that moment, their mentor stepped into the ring and took this person’s place in the fight. The mentor had fought this fight before and he is always victorious. At the end of the match, the mentor brought this person to the manager and presented them as the winning party to the match, at which point this person heard the manager say “Well done”.
Because I wrote it out, I could go into detail about all the symbolism for this parable, but I only want to point out some of the big-ticket items. I’ll leave the others for you to ponder over. We were sent here to live on this earth to be tried and tested, life here has been called a school, a proving and “Training” ground, much like a training gym. As we grow and learn we are given little learning opportunities; goodly parents and wise church leaders train and “coach” us in the ways of righteousness. At some point each of us will face trials, I’ve talked about what some of those trials might be, but regardless of trials named today or not, no one is exempt from facing some sort of trial because it is Heavenly Father’s plan that we prove ourselves. He is a loving manager who, when He knows we are ready, lets us take on a real trial. Our perfect Savior is right there to guide us by His example and when we have done all we can do, He steps into the ring for us. And He never loses. Because of this we can return as victors when we meet our Heavenly Father.
Additionally, we who are members of the Church of Jesus Christ have taken His name upon us, we have promised to be His hands to Comfort those in need of comfort. We can cheer for and help to lift up the heads of those in the boxing rings around us comforting as best we can those who stand in need of comfort. When I feel overwhelmed with trials and hardships, I find one of the best antidotes to despair is to go and serve others. I have a testimony that our ability to comfort others when we are feeling overcome is a blessing of the enabling power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
Our fight is not a one and done match, so we are constantly needing to learn and become better. As we do, we find more comforting and enabling blessing of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
Forgiveness is one of those enabling and comforting powers of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Forgiving is hard, but the effects of comfort to our soul and ability to come close to God are great. In Stake Conference last week, Bro Malnar quoted his son who said “I want to be like Jesus.”  I want to be like Jesus too. Elder Holland said, “Except in the case of His only perfect Begotten Son, imperfect people are all God has ever had to work with. That must be terribly frustrating to Him, but He deals with it. So should we.” It’s taken some time but I can testify to the comfort that comes from using the Atonement of Jesus Christ in my life to forgive imperfect people for their flaws, even the flaws that hurt me deeply. Part of that comfort comes from an understanding that they will be held accountable for their choices, and another part comes from knowing that they will have the same opportunity to repent and be forgiven that I am given, that each of us are given.
It is my testimony that Christ Atoned for us and that because of that Atonement, we have hope for better things to come. That regardless of the trials we are facing, we can find comfort in the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I say these things in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Living in the Shadow

Sometimes I like to live in the shadow of people who I don't know, but for whom I have respect. The bits and pieces they share with the world resonate with me. I find myself sharing their opinions and wanting to live like them.
No one but me knows about the shift within that is happening. It's not overt. I just want to be more hopeful, more open to adventure, live with less stuff, to make a life change and have a really great attitude about it.
Maybe I can, maybe it's not too far beyond me to become the attributes that I admire in others.
But I still feel a little foolish trying to explain the 'why' of a change with "well, I read about where someone else did it... and it .. sounded ... cool?"

Saturday, June 15, 2013


While I was pregnant there were three very important-to-me other women (family really) who also found out they were pregnant. Each of these women have had miscarrages before and I didn't talk about my own pregnancy much to spare their feelings. I've had my baby now*, and two of those three women have lost theirs, one very early in the pregnancy and the other delivered but he didn't make it.
I'm riddled with guilt when I know they will see pictures of my Elliott, and be reminded of their empty arms. To those women, who may or may not ever see this:
I'm so sorry for your loss. I love you.
I'll still post pictures of Elliott, feel free to look or not, but please remain my 'friend'.

*I'm very happy about my son and though the pregnancy / labor was so much harder than Jaedyn's, the delivery went well, and I'm very happy with that experience.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Nap time

yesterday we phased out naps, because Jaedyn is getting to be a big girl who does not need them anymore. Today at lunch time, when I was working, I overheard this converstaion:
J - ( trying to negotiate instead of throwing a fit) Can I do (whatever) after my nap?
S - Oh, you don't need a nap anymore, you are a big girl now. No naps for you!
J - But I'm TIRED! Please can I have a nap?
S - Sorry, you're a big girl now.
J - But I'm tired...Can I have a nap today?
S - Oh, okay if you really need one
J -  (puts herself to bed)
She "slept" for 10 minutes and then had to stay awake all day. Bed time has been so much easire now.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Covenants - my talk from church today

Just because I'd like to put it out there...

Hello, I’m happy to be here today.

Our little one watched me prepare to give a talk in Sacrament and she really wanted to come and give a
talk as well, so I’m going to invite Jaedyn to come up and help me introduce our family.

Jaedyn can you tell the congregation the names of everyone in our family? (Jaedyn, Arren, Scottt)

Where did we move from? (Texas)

Why did we move to Louisville KY? (Dad got a job)

Can you tell us why today is a special day in the Quigley family? ( It's Jaedyn's birthday)

Last question, this is very important for the rest of my talk, how can you tell if Mommy is feeling the
Holy Ghost? Does my voice get all woarbly, too? (She cries!)

Thank you, you can go sit down now. She is such a joy to us!

So now you have been forewarned, by one who knows, I am a crier. A woarbly voiced crier.

I will let my husband fill in any details are pertinent when her gets up to speak so I can tell you about my
reaction to the invitation to speak today.

First, I was pleased to hear that it might not be a full house. I was asked to speak the second week after
we arrived in our last ward. I had a great topic and didn’t realize until that Sunday that I was speaking on
Easter Sunday. Talk about a full house! Our ward was about 400 active members on a ‘regular’ Sunday.
For Easter everyone and their dog was there. Austin is a very dog-friendly city, and my first impression
to everyone (and their dogs) was that I am a woarbly voiced, sniffily nosed, testimony crier. Our records
got read in as I was sitting on the stand that day, they had no warning. You have some warning J

My second reaction was to the topic itself. I have this little sticky note that’s been in my scriptures since
before I was married, like 9 years. It’s got a question about the New and Everlasting Covenant that I had
while studying one day. I wrote out what I knew and what I didn’t and left it there. When I was asked to
talk about covenants specifically, I thought ‘Great! Now I can finally find the answers to my sticky note

So, trying to be methodical, I pulled out my notebooks and looked up what I already know about
covenants. I have been keeping notes from church lessons and talks and personal scripture study since
I was a Beehive and now I have many notebooks full. I found entries in 3 journals about covenants and
the definition I had written in my own words was very consistent through each. They follow the entry
for Covenant in the Bible Dictionary which says:

Read from Bible Dictionary

So the definition as I understand it and have recorded it in my journals is:

  • A two way promise between God and Man (like when we individually covenant at baptism) or Men (like when God covenanted with the Nephites in Mosiah 5)
  • God sets all the terms and consequences
  • We choose to obey or not and receive the accompanying consequence – I have a note here that ‘consequence’ is not necessarily a bad thing (like “Do you need a consequence?”) They fall into categories of Blessings, Not getting Blessings and Penalties
  • If we obey God’s terms, God will always bless us – another note that covenants have assigned and specific blessings. We know what we are getting into or getting out of our obedience, and that these blessings are promised to us by Heavenly Father.

I understand that sometimes the scriptures can be a little harder to understand, especially in the Old
Testament, but I think this scripture in Judges 2:1 where the Lord is speaking to all of Israel by the voice
of an angel is pretty clear. Starting at the last phrase, the verse says:

Read Judges 2:1 (I (the Lord) will never break my covenant with you)

I think that is SO refreshing! The Lord tells us in good ol’ Modern English he will never break his side of
the agreement. We read in Mormon 9:19 that I say unto you he (God) changeth not; if so he would
cease to be God; and he ceaseth not to be God, and is a God of miracles. and D&C 121:37 that
Priesthood power and authority are withdrawn from any who are unrighteous. Obviously, giving one’s
word and noe keeping it constitutes an act of unrighteousness, so, if God were to break his agreement
with us, he (and we) would *poof* cease to exists.

So the fact that we exist and are alive is a reason to celebrate. “Our God is an Awesome God!”

Our covenants with God are another reason to celebrate. Here is one reason why from an article titled
“His Promise”:

a covenant is about achieving mutual goals. Like when our Founding Fathers signed the
Declaration of Independence. Each person who signed the Declaration of Independence
did so as a pledge to one another to sacrifice their fame, fortune and sacred honor
if need be for the purpose of establishing a free society for themselves and their
children. , a covenant With God implies we are agreeing to work with God to achieve
a common goal. As such, we are pledging that God's goal will be our goal, that His
desires will be our desires, and that our motives and purposes will be the same as His.
Thus, when God seeks to make a covenant with us, it is He who wants us to join with
Him. A covenant is God's way of extending an invitation for us to become part of
His team, and be united with His kingdom. It is interesting to note that, even though
God is our Father and we are His children, yet He doesn't expect us to take His word
simply by virtue of His position. God, the greatest of all, is willing to swear an oath in
order to give us complete assurance that He will do what He has promised.

So there are two reasons why God enters into a covenant with His children. The first
is to give us an assurance (pledge, promise, guarantee) of His word. The second is

so that we can enter into an alliance, compact, union, and be in league with God. In
other words covenants are a way for us to work with God in helping Him establish
righteousness, building up His kingdom on earth, and assist in saving all His children,
both living and deceased.

Bonnie D Parkin explained in her Talk “Celebrating Covenants” that :

Father in Heaven knows us as individuals. The covenants we make with Him are performed one on one. President Howard W. Hunter noted: “I have always been impressed that the Lord deals with us personally, individually. We do many things in groups in the Church, … but … the most important things are done individually. We bless babies one at a time, even if they are twins or triplets. We baptize and confirm children one at a time. We take the sacrament, are ordained to the priesthood, or move through the ordinances of the temple as individuals—as one person developing a [personal] relationship with our Father in Heaven. … Heaven’s emphasis is on each individual, on every single person” (“Eternal Investments,” address to CES religious educators, 10 Feb. 1989, p. 4; emphasis added). These individual commitments made directly with our Heavenly Father are things to celebrate.

She wonders why or covenants so often feel like obligations. I think that we feel “obligated” to do
something that we don’t really enjoy. So my question to myself is how can we enjoy our covenants?

The first ideas that came to mind are:

1. Make keeping covenants a habit – Sister Parkin says The sacrament enables us to renew our
covenants. Thus, if we keep those covenants with honor and exactness, we can feel as fresh and as pure
as we did when we were first baptized. We can feel as committed to a temple sealing as we did as a new
bride or groom. Covenants keep us new. Because, just like covenant breaking, covenant keeping becomes habit forming. And in the Doctrine and Covenants Student Manuel we learn that Covenant making
can help a person break away from routines of habits of the past as he clearly identifies a new course to persue and makes that commitment known to others. This arrangement becomes a fortification against the powers of opposition. The Lord seeing his willingness to make commitments imparts to him of his Spirit, which gives him strength to continue.
2. Continually learn and Share what you learn from your covenants – When, by the way did it become un-cool to get excited about something you just learned or a skill you improved upon? Never. If you if have no one else to tell, you can come to your Heavenly Father at the end of the day and tell Him “Father today I was able to help a friend with a problem (Bearing one another’s burdens is part of our part of the baptismal covenant) and it made me feel so great!” OR “ At school today I was able to stand as a witness when some classmates were asking me what Mormons believe.” Doing these kinds of things – Living your covenants and sharing your success - can be so uplifting and makes living the covenants enjoyable.
1. Find a reason to Love your covenant – Don’t keep a covenant Only because some parent or Bishop told you to, Keep your covenant because you have found a reason to Love the Lord. Maybe you love that the Lord’s Atonement gives you a second chance, or because you love the idea of becoming like God, and by keeping your covenants you are learning the skills to become like Him, or maybe you love your covenants because it’s all so easy. Every step has been laid out for you and all you need to do is follow the recipe for covenant keeping. In Sister Parkin’s talk, she tells of Mark, a high school student in her ward who recently stood in fast meeting and talked about how he was finding strength to live his covenants. He summed it up with this formula succinctly and memorably. He said, “A scripture a day keeps Satan away.”

One of the reasons I enjoy living my covenants is because I feel like I have a better understanding of
them, especially of the New and Everlasting Covenant that I had questions about. The Gospel Principles
Manuel puts it so beautifully:

The fulness of the gospel is called the new and everlasting covenant. It includes the covenants made
at baptism, during the sacrament, in the temple, and at any other time. The Lord calls it everlasting
because it is ordained by an everlasting God and because the covenant will never be changed. He gave
this same covenant to Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, and other prophets. In this sense it is not new. But
the Lord calls it new because each time the gospel is restored after being taken from the earth, it is new
to the people who receive it (see Jeremiah 31:31–34; Ezekiel 37:26).

I agree with Sister Parkin when she said:

My covenants are an expression of my faith; they are why I stand before you today. Covenants help me focus on the big picture and not just the immediate. Covenants help me make a difference in the lives of others. My covenants are not negotiable. They make the choice of righteousness easier. I humbly pray that our covenants might become a greater source of celebration and strength in our lives; that we may walk uprightly and steadfastly, that when we most need the Lord’s hand, it will be there waiting warmly.

I bear testimony of this and of the love Heavenly Father has for us in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Saturday, December 1, 2012


This is just too funny not to share. 
Okay, backstory:
Scott's sister and her husband live in Lexington on Supr road under a mile from a prison and about a quarter mile from another youth correctional facility. They have a little farm (5 acres or so) between two subdivisions. Very quaint. The street is tiny. It winds and twists like a drunk snake, had no shoulder or sidewalks and has a speed limit of 45 MPH.  It kinda looks like this first picture.
Their driveway is right after a twist in the road and at the middle / top of a hill. 

We went to their home this evening to watch a movie after their ward Christmas program, so we got there about 6:30. It's getting to be winter up here, so it was totally dark outside. Also, their house is about 150 years old and the chimney started falling in last week when they tried to have it cleaned, so they were heating the house off propane, but they ran out and have not gotten more. So it is pretty cold inside (it was .5 degrees warmer than outside). 

Bethany had to run an errand while Neil put the kids to bed, so Scott and Jaedyn and I played quietly downstairs. We saw flashing lights coming from the road in front of their house.

When Bethany got home, the police had to pull out of her driveway to let her in. A car had broken down right in front of their property and the police was there to help protect the car from other motorists while the tow truck came and they car's driver got a ride home. 

They had left their projector at the church from their ward Christmas Party that afternoon. So Scott and Bethany went back to the church to get the projector while I put Jaedyn to bed in a back room. When Bethany and Scott got back the flashing lights had moved a little, but it was just the tow truck that had arrived and the police were still there to make sure no one crashed while the car was being loaded. 

Scott was cold, so while Bethany gathered some leftovers for us to feast upon while we watched a movie, Neil got his new neon orange jumper out for Scott to wear. Evidently it's super warm, down filled or something. So Scott puts it on and Neil says wouldn't it be hilarious if I put it on and started walking around the neighborhood. We had a good chuckle and expanded the imaginary prank to include being in front of the nearest correctional facility and waiting for cars to see us and then dive into the side of the road. Ha Ha Ha. It would be awesome! Can you imagine? Neil says can you imaging how many people are going to call the police? Ha Ha Ha.

Then we sit down to watch the movie.

The lights are still outside flashing in the driveway half way through the movie. It's 10PM and we pause the movie and wonder about going out and asking what's going on. The tow truck looks more like some weird utility vehicle now, maybe that car crashed into something? No, Scott says it has K-9 written on it. But the consensus is that It's probably nothing and their pet dogs will scare away anyone who tries to actually come up the 60 yards of driveway. The big black lab is nice enough looking but the German Shepherd is kinda scary when she's coming right at you. So we start the movie again.

The movie ends and there are still flashing lights in front of the property. Neil has not fed the dogs yet and needs to do that, and check the mail. Ugh. So he gets the jumper from Scott and goes out.

Proceed to the prank:

Neil walks out to the road to get the mail in a bright orange jumper and moseys up the the police in his car who is innocently checking his iphone.

Neil knocks on the window and asks what's going on. 

The officer looks up and nearly jumps out of his skin. 
Then he tells Neil that he's helping to patrol the area because two convicts escaped the correctional facility at 7PM tonight.
 Cue the link to the news. No, there should be no need to worry, but please stay inside. 

Neil got the mail and stumbled back into the house laughing. He still didn't feed the dogs.
We got into the car, locked it and drove off. We did see some patrol cars, and an officer on a bicycle as we left the neighborhood. 

We are safe, but oh, how we laughed on the way home!