Camping in southern Idaho...

Rachel, David, and I have decided to go camping next weekend. We are super excited not only because we will be camping for the first time since we've been married, but we will also have Jopes, Elizabeth, Joseph, and Everlit there too!

We are planning on meeting halfway between us and rexburg idaho at some campground. Do any of you have an idea of where to go?


P.S. I got a tent for christmas a couple years ago and we decided to bring it out to test it out and get it all set up before going camping. Unfortunately, we discovered that the tent is not in the tent bag. There's only a tarp and some poles. The pictures are of David figuring out what we'll do instead. I'm just glad that we discovered this before we went to the campsite. :)

Crowd sourced story telling...

9 of us drove 700 miles to return home on Monday (From Highland, UT to Mesa, AZ). We came up with an idea to keep us mentally engaged and to do something creative.

We decided to make a story. The rules were kind of loose. Essentially, each person would give a sentence or two. The only requirement was that they needed to use a word that began with the first letter of their first or middle name.  (Joshua James...always had to use a "J"!).

Each of us had an idea how to get the story to move the direction we wanted.  So we would set up the next person. But invariably they had other ideas.  So as you listen/read you can hear the tug-of-war we had.  

Becca typed the story into her iPhone and was able to read it back to us so we could keep things straight.

In the end I think it turned out surprisingly well!  It took 2 hours and 45 minutes to get through it.  We were happy to be done, which is why the story finally ended.

There are a few items that could still be explained in the story...but that just sets us up for a sequel.  Or dare I say a series!

We would like to thank our cast of authors ranging in age from 52 to a few months: Diana, Becca, Melinda, Jeff, Samuel (who started crying at just the right part in the reading of the story), Josh, Andrew, Adam and Joe.

Becca also did the dramatic reading for us when we were done.  You can hear the road noise in the background.  At that point I think we were at about Gap, AZ.

Here is the audio and the text.

Once_upon_a_time....m4a Listen on Posterous

Between Kanab and gap az, 2 1/2 hours on July 23 2012. 

Dad [jw], mom [dk], becca [ri], Melinda [mk], Jeff [jr], josh [jj], Adam [ad],and Andrew [ja]. 


Once upon a time, 


The sun broke through the clouds, streaming through the leaves, glistening off the back of the jabberwock. [jw]


It was going to be a glorious day. [dk]


The jabberwock ran through the ivy filled glen, [ri]


Just as he reached the glen, a giant cave opened up in from of him and a bear witch appeared in the opening. [jr]


The jabberwock narrowed his eyes with distrust but opened his mouth to say the magic words. [mk]


"JALEPENO!!! BEAR WITCH GET THEE HENCE!!!" And snarled through his teeth. [jj]


After this the bear witch disappeared and in its place a portal appeared in the entrance to the cave. [ad]


Cautiously the jabberwockie walked through the portal, suddenly he found himself in an unusual place. [ja]


Waking from his dream, Jeremy pondered the meaning of it all. [jw]


"What could this mean? Is there something I need to know about jalepanos? Dear me what am I to know?!!" [dk]


Glancing out his bedroom window, he watched the rain flood through the ivy garden outside. [ri]


(Melinda do you wanna recrap of the the story?)


Then he stretched, stepped onto the floor, and made his bed. [mk]


Later that morning on his way to school, Jeremy remembered that he forgot to turn off the oven, so he said "BIBIDY BOBIDY BOO" which is the code word for Siri to turn off the oven. [jr]


As Jeremy was walking down the sidewalk he noticed his friend James.  James is an odd fellow but is very intelligent and superstitious. [jj]


As jeremey still walked down the side walk, James asked "where are you going?" And Jeremey said "To school." And James said "Didn't you know? School isn't happening today because of the rain!" [ad]


Jeremy replied, "In that case do you want to go to IHOP with me?" James agreed and they walked off to IHOP. [ja]


As jeremey looked over his rooty tooty fresh and fruity breakfast he asked James, "do you know what a bear witch is?" [jw]


"Of course you ding bat!" James said, "Who doesn't know?" [dk]


James continued after seeing the look of puzzlement on jeremeys face and said "It is a rare beast found in the northern scopes of rexburg and they live in igloos."[ri]


"huh" said Jeremy. "Is that some kind of mythological creature or does it really exist?" [mk]


But Jeremy would have to wait to find out. He suddenly spotted  dangling from James' fingers millimeters from his lips-a giant Juicey red glowing jalepano!!!! [jr]


Jeremy, in his head of course, screamed like a little girl, "JAMES! Its the red jalepano!! Can'tcha see it." [jj]


"So?" Said James. "I get jalepanos on my pancakes everyday. Especially red growin ones." [ad]


"Oh" said Jeremy with a sigh of relief, "Are you ready to leave then?" [ja]


"I promised you an answer" said James, "and I plan on giving it to you, have another pancake.  What is this all about?" [jw]


So jeremey reluctantly related the crazy dream from the night before. [dk]


Then suddenly a waitress who had been listening in on the dream slipped on an ice cube and flew across the room!!! [ri]


Kristen the waitress got up and ran back to jeremey and James. "Wait!! You had that dream too?!?!" [mk]


"What do you think it means?!" the waitress asked. "The portal that leads to the Ross elementary school gym?" [jr]


"I don't know" Jeremy and James replied. Jeremy thought for a second, then asked "do you know about the fortune teller up the road a couple of miles?" [jj]


"No" said Kristen. "But I say we go and check out the Ross elementary school gym." As they walked outside an antelope ran past them into a giant igloo. [ad]


Then Jeremy rubbed is eyes and the antelope and the igloo were gone (tarter sauce says Adam). Kristen asked if he was ok and he replied "yes I'm fine I think". 


"I suggest we go to the Ross elementary school gym  and since the fortune teller is on the way we could go to both. What do ya think?" [jw]


The fortune teller listened quietly as the group explained their dilemma. Then she gazed into her crystal ball and said- [dk]


"Beware of ivy, igloos, and ice. And most especially, STAY AWAY FROM IV's!!!!!" [ri]


"There may be more I could tell you, something about a JALEPENO, if you'll give me another $5." [mk]


James reluctantly pulled five dollars from his pocket. "WAIT WHAT'S THAT?!" The fortune teller exclaimed as something red glistened in her eye. [jr]


And of course it was the red jalepano from before. "See" said Jeremy "that's the red jalepano I was talking about." "Hmmm let me check my books." [jj]


Right as she opened up the book screams of terror came from the streets. "Here is a glowing red JALEPENO for luck." [ad]


As Jeremy and his companions ran out to the street to see what the commotion was about they found it was snowing.  And there were screams of delight not terror. [ja]


As the three companions arrived at the school it was hard not to be shocked at the scene. Snow covered saguaros cacti and just a little ivy around the front door. [jw]


James turned to his companions and said, "I'm ready to tell you the answer...the bear witches really do exist but only appear when it is snowing." [dk]


Startled, jeremey and Kristen looked towards the ivy crusted doors to the gym and hopscotched toward the door to open it. (as that was the only safe way to approach a bear witch) [ri]


As they went through the door, Kristen reminded them to avoid touching the ivy the fortune teller and warned them of. They finished hopscotching towards the middle of the gym and stopped to look around. [mk]


An unexpected silence fell over the gym, the group looked at each other quizzically and listened for any sound. [jr]


Nothing was heard for a long time until a faint cry could be heard. This is no ordinary cry stated Jeremy. They could all tell that this cry was of a little child. [jj]


As they looked to the right they saw something moaning but they couldn't see the shape of it, but it looked like a zombie. [ad]


As they approached they realized it was the fortune teller from before! She suddenly turned and said. "It's here." [ja]


Crashing through the roof the giant bear witch sprawled snarling on the gym floor. The light streamed through the hole in the roof and struck the jalepano that Jeremy held, transforming it into a jabberwock!!! [jw]


Dazed by the crash, the children froze for a moment. Then Kristen whispered. "Find the portal!!!" [dk]


They split from each other in an isosceles triangular fashion and began to frantically search for that dang illusive portal hole. [ri]


Kristen remembering the school's mascot were caveman ran towards the team entrance often known as "The Cave". Sure enough there was a faint green glow coming from "The Cave". 

"I've found it!" She yells. [mk]


"Avoid the Ivy" James repeated to himself as he ran toward the Cave. "Avoid the ivy". He absentmindedly glanced at his watch and was surprised to notice a needle protruding from his wrist. Of course he exclaimed "I'm still dreaming!" [jr]  


"James listen to me, you're not dreaming!" Cried Jeremy. "You've been intoxicated from the IV. Just come with me through the portal and you'll be ok." [jj]


"Alright" said James as they walked through the shimmering portal they found themselves in the magical land of candy land. [ad]


As they looked around they saw several other portals. [ja]


As they were deciding which portal to go through, candyland disappeared before them and the bear witch was standing right behind them!! Jeremey shouted "JALEPANO!!! GET THEE HENCE  BEAR WITCH!!!" [jw]


The bear witch disappeared evaporating completely. And the four of them stood before the jabberwockie.  [dk]


Hopscotching around the jabberwok the four some circled it looking for some weakness. [ri]


"Kristen, Jeremy, James and mistress Tralony. Thank you for ridding the world of another bear witch!! As a reward for your service, you may each have one wish and one jalepano." [mk] 


"That's easy" said James "I'll take an order of pancakes with a glowing red jalepano on top." [jr]


Kristen said "Oh I wanna open up my own restaurant so I never have to be a waitress again." Mistress tralony thought long and hard- "I just want a giant JALEPENO ;)" [jj]


Jeremy wished for all of this to just be a dream. [ad]


And suddenly jeremey woke up. It was all a dream. 


As he looked around his room he found a glowing JALEPENO resting on his bed side table... [combined]

David, the basketball player.

Remember these brothers


June 27, 1844, 168 years ago Joseph and Hyrum Smith gave their lives for their testimony. They were outstanding in so many ways including magnifying their priesthood responsibilities and restoring the fullness of the gospel. 

I have always loved that they were allowed to be together through it all. Having great brothers myself I know what a great blessing that is. Going through really hard times with someone else is a true blessing. Doing it alone is an overwhelming burden.

The Lord from the beginning has encouraged us to be our "brothers keeper". To see all men as our brothers. And to love him and all men.

Here is a link to a song sung by the MTC choir filled with Elders and Sisters singing "Praise to the Man" from April Saturday morning session. Download it, turn up the speakers and spend the next 5 minutes and 8 seconds thinking of the great blessings you have because of these brothers.

As you play it think of the words, think who is singing.  "Millions shall know Brother Joseph again" sung by a representative group of over 50,000 who are sharing with the world.

I feel a greater need to be more of a brother to everyone I meet and I look forward to meeting these great brothers and thanking them.

Street sign that made me chuckle


Saw this and just chuckled, thought I would share............

It is planted

It may be a bad time of year but Andrew and Adam would not be denied. So here is the garden. Watermelon, cantalope, zucchini, pumpkins and sunflower. My bet is on the sunflowers!

In any case the "family project" is done and Andrew can get his merit badge. So it is a win, win, win!!


Sent from my iPhone

Real Players

Here is Dave, Matt and myself showing how we can be "in the world and not of the world" or maybe how we are "avoiding the appearance of evil".

I remember we put food coloring in water for our drinks and we are playing a tough game of rook poker it looks like, with our feet on the table. 

I think we puled if off pretty well, though I think I detect a smile on Matt's face!

This was in Jan 1979.  Matt would be 9 turning 10, Dave may have just turned 17 and I was about to turn 19 in March.  Great mission prep, huh?


Barbecue at South Fork


Fun times!

Grandma Free Testifies Powerfully

A few of us were lucky enough to be here this morning when Grandma spoke in her ward.  

Her talk was magnificient. It is like one huge testimony.  It will be worth your time to listen to this.  I'd like to get a written copy for each of my children and grandchildren.


grandma_free_20120527_085606.m4a Listen on Posterous

A mockingbird and an iPhone…amazing and fun!

A mockingbird and an iPhone…amazing and fun!

David playing with his friend at the park.


Thought I would share a quick photo of David playing at the park with one of his friends. Isn't he cute!?!

Can you post to posterous?


Sent from my iPhone

Begin forwarded message:

From: Jeff Smith <>
Date: April 20, 2012 4:18:25 PM PDT
To: Joe Free <>
Subject: Can you post to posterous?

Jake Free with Mitt Romney
(black shirt to left of Romney)


Sent from my iPhone

It was awesome!!!


Sent from my iPhone

The anticipation builds!

Opening night! Less than 30 minutes to the curtain!

Go Lauren, break a leg!

Sent from my iPhone