Friday, July 22, 2016

A Fun Experiment

Okay, here is a fun request. Our oldest granddaughter is taking a summer school class and has just joined us for our reunion up at Bear Lake. She needs help in her Communications class which is very interesting.

Right now they are doing a social media interactivity study and she and her roommate (who are in the same class), are participating in a class contest to see who can create the most activity on social media. We family people have offered to help. The assignment is to take a picture of something that everyone relates to with a short quote and then post it online to see who can get the most action online. Just veiwing this will help but if you want to make a comment it will help even more.

This is just an experiment. Let’s see what happens. Hooray for fun college classes! We’ll let you know the results! Thanks in advance!  Reunion posts are coming soon!

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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

July Came in With a Bang!

Our kids are crazy!  That’s why we love them! Noah and Kristi had driven from California in their big Sprinter to meet their friends for a reunion at Bear Lake at the end of June. After that they packed everyone in again and headed for Washington D.C. with their five kids ages 10 to 2. The kids had been singing in a large and extraordinary Children’s Choir in Orange County and they were headed for the Nation’s Capital so the kids could perform in three concerts there in large concert halls and on the Mall outside of the Lincoln Memorial.

In the meantime, Saydi, who lives in Boston loaded their four kids in their van and started across the country for their first ever drive-rather-than-fly adventure to the Shumway Family Reunion in California. Jeff was out of town, working and would meet them in Salt Lake several days later.
On Noah and Kristi’s way back, they met the Shumways in Nauvoo and caravanned the rest of the way to Salt Lake with them. Here they are, gathered at our house before they each went their separate ways. Great to have them all together for a few hours just before I took off for London to welcome our new grand baby.

Notice the Carving that Richard has started on our front door. It’s eventually going to say Eyrealm. I’d be panicked except that he loves carving and has a set of expert carving tools. He thinks he has genetic memory from his Grandfather, who was in charge of the woodworking department at USU many years ago.

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So great to see this little cherub below, who just recovered from open heart surgery, adored by her siblings (choke hold style).

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On the 4th of July, I took off for London with great anticipation and just a little sorrow that I was going to miss the onslaught of family that were about to arrive prior to our annual reunion. The moms and kids stay at the lake most of July but the actual reunion is from the 20-24th. I’ll be arriving home on the 18th so it’s all good!

Charity came to meet me at the airport on the tube since Ian is working 12-14 hours a day in preparation for his paternity leave.  It was such a delight to see my baby just about to give birth to her baby any day. Her due date is July 11, so we’ll see  how that works out!

The first thing we did after we left my bags at her flat was to head for the Summer Exhibition at The Royal Academy of Art. This is our idea of a good time!

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One of my favorite pieces was this:

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You've got to have a closer look at this thing! Imagine doing this!

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Another one I really like was this little ink drawing on a wood board:

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And closer…..cool huh?
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There were so many incredible pieces!

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And closer on this one:

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And closer…..

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Thousands of strands of copper are strung horizontally below:

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The exhibit before we entered the building was fascinating too. It moved around constantly like a snake and had a camera for an “eye” that rotated as it showed the scene below from a panoramic 360 degree angle.

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Everything in London is decked with beautiful food and flowers at this time of year!

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We saw all the fun things we could within walking distance of their flat, which was a lot of places because they are live in Central London. We wanted to get as much fun in as possible before the real fun started with a new baby!  Here we are at the famous shop called LIberty.

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That night we went to hear a gorgeous concert with a small group performing an amazing selection from Bach at St. Martin in the Fields. During the intermission we walked across the street and heard the most amazing guitar player I’ve ever heard. He played the promenade from Pictures at an Exhibition. It was as good as the concert I think!

The next day we walked to St. James Park which is a short walk from their flat and ran into some beautiful scenes, astonishing flowers and ponds and incredible trees!
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The next morning we walked a short distance the other way to an incredible estate with stunning art from several eras, but what we found most fascinating was the art by a woman who was “a medium” and said that her hand was directed by people from the “other side” including dead poets and historians. I must say the works were quite amazing!

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There were at least thirty remarkable prints like this including this explanation:

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And here is a rarely seen painting by Picasso!

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By the end of the  day we had walked about 9000 steps (new fitbit). It had been four days since I had landed and  Charity was becoming a bit anxious about when the baby would arrive so that I would have a time to help her for at last a week before I had to leave.

That night we sat down and found some good recipes for the week and then we went ahead and planned six more things we’d like to see together before I left. That did the trick!  The next morning Charity new she was in labor.

The exciting deails on that coming next!  

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

June was a Sparkler!

It’s the 4th of July and it has been a month since I last wrote but what a month! June was so crazy busy that I hardly had time to take pictures. But here are a few with a synopsis of events for family history’s sake! 

During the first week of June, we made an epic trip starting in the mountains of Colorado with a group of mostly dads and their kids at a Dude Ranch. It was a ranch fit for kings complete with beautiful lodgings, great food and so much fun packed into every hour!  We enjoyed being with these great people and had a chance to speak with the kids in a big beautiful barn and about 30 dads and one mom and their really terrific kids!
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This ranch had 200 horses and about the same number of staff!  It was pretty fun watching the cowhands match kids up with their horses:

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At 5:30 p.m. every night all 200 horses ran back to their pasture which the ranch hands called “a jingle”. It was pretty spectacular. Wish I knew how to post a video. This was just the beginning!

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There was also a shooting range. Rick’s dad was a prize winning marksman and so he inherited a good eye for a target!  He hit eight out of ten clay pigeons coming out of the shoot and was pretty proud of himself.

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It was a stunningly beautiful spot on earth!

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On the last morning we arose at 2:15 a.m. to get back to the Denver Airport for a 5 a.m. flight to Washington Dulles airport. It was the morning Mohammed Ali died so we got to hear all about his incredible life on the way and we were glad to have the story keep us awake.

When we arrived at Dulles and got to our next flight which was a prop plane to West Virginia where we were due to give a speech that evening at 5:30, we got bumped off our flight. The details are incredible but to spare you the details, after they had offered $1000 each to any two people who would give up their seats, no one could get off. We had paid less for our flight because we got our tickets at a lower price months ago, so we were goners!

We raced back down the concourse, flagged down a rental car shuttle and got the first car available for the four hour and forty minute drive  to our destination. Our event was to take place in four hours and thirty minutes so it was a white-knuckle drive through two flash floods and horrible traffic. Halfway through the ride we were notified that our flight out of Dullas had been cancelled due to bad weather. Somehow we arrived at “The Tree House” at the National Boy Scout Center (where they hold the International Boy Scout Jamboree every four years), one minute early! Needless to say, our host, who had been in touch with us all along our wild ride, was delighted to see us!

From there we drove back to a hotel in a driving rain storm near the airport 90 minutes away and headed for home the next morning. We forgot to take one picture of the whole crazy day!

The next morning we were greeted with beautiful flowers on our property by the barn and the weeds finally removed from our gravel paths.

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And the next morning we were off to Bear Lake (with the horses), where we were recovering from a horrendous flood in the downstairs of our main house.. The water heater had burst and filled all the rooms with water. Our contractor was in process of replacing some walls and baseboards and new carpet was being installed. It was a crazy couple of days putting the house back together and washing soaking wet bedding.

BUT it was still beautiful up there!

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And the horses loved their new home for the summer….lots of green grass from all the spring rain and a plethora of sagebrush!

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We also needed to check on the baby birds that were born in a nest prepared by their mother in our barbecue grill. Two babies were born naked and were just beginning to produce feathers when we found them. We are happy to report that by the end of June, they had produced full-body feathers and flew away! Sadly, one egg never hatched so we kept it as a souvenir of their little family.

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After 24 hours we drove back to Ogden for an Eagle Scout Court of Honor and a special day for our 16-year-old Grandson Ashton!  He had taken books and a computer to an orphanage in Bulgaria the previous summer for his “project” and we loved sharing his honor with him!

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After going through what it takes to produce an Eagle Scout five times in our own house we were so happy to pass the baton to the next generation!  Ashton is a stellar example of a great Eagle Scout!
One down and three to go for the Loosli Family:

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The next weekend, I had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play in an orchestra for a huge stake choir for a conference. The meeting was conducted by one of our apostles, Elder Jeffrey Holland where he combined two stakes.  The meeting was held in the historic Tabernacle on Temple Square in Salt Lake City where the Mormon Tabernacle Choir performs every week. I am behind the conductor but just sayin’ it was so much fun to play with cherished friends.  

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From there we went back to Bear Lake where we opened all the houses in preparation for the reunion.

Noah and Kristi hosted their traditional reunion with several friends who served with him in Chile when he was a missionary, along with his beloved mission president and his wife Curtis and Sheri Bennett. It was a joyous reunion and a chance for us to greet those great young men, their wives and their adorable children. Grandfather and I brought the horses down so the kids could ride and then we put the kids to work pulling weeds. The weeds turned out to be as fun as playing in the sand.

Our greatest delight was seeing this little cherub on the left. This adorable child had endured open heart surgery five weeks before and was smiling and dancing on the deck along with this adorable little friend.

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Father’s Day was so fun as we reminisced about our good fortune in being able to have these nine terrific kids. This dad looks pretty proud (and kind of young) at the birth of our ninth baby, who is now about to have a baby of her own!

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From there it was  off to the Montage Resort at Dear Valley where we gave two speeches and were lucky enough to go to a beautiful home where we were treated to a splendid gourmet dinner. While we dined a much acclaimed artist painted the view out our window in a beautiful home shown in the center below. All paintings shown were done by the same artist! Terrific stuff!

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Afterward we went to the  Park City ski jumping center and saw several Olympians having fun on the jumps as they prepared to plummet into the giant swimming pool below:
 
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Rushing home, we cleaned and got things ready to meet some movie directors, documentary producers and full-length film people to talk about the production of a film an incredible woman from Switzerland is interested in producing based on The Turning, our book that was published last year about the “turning away” from the family, worldwide, and what we can do to “turn back”.  We are very excited about that but it will take several years to complete. More coming on that later.

June was full and overflowing and now it is so fun to turn to July and our annual wild family reunion at the lake and even more importantly, welcoming the newest member of Eyrealm in London!  His mom is ready to deliver! I'm on my way to be there for a few days to witness the birth and help with the exciting transition!