Thursday, April 30, 2015

Charian…Lost and Found in Nepal!

What a week we’ve had!  We flew to NYC this a week ago today to welcome Grandchild #27 into the world! It was pure heaven and details will follow on the next post, but first I have to say that while we were there we saw the devastating news about the earthquake in Nepal, which really “hit home!”  Not that our hearts aren’t ripped out every time we hear about a disaster like that but this one was different. Our adventuresome youngest child Charity and her terrific new husband Ian (combined to create Charian) are on an “Around the World in 80 Days” Tour and just happened to be on the Nepal leg of their journey. They were on a 10 day trek through the Himalayas called the Annapurna Circuit, which was less than 50 miles from Katmandu and the epicenter of the earthquake.

Though we had a feeling that they were okay, needless to say, we were worried!!! We searched the Internet for clues and figured out exactly where they were, found snippets from hikers who were on the same hike but nothing definitive. If you’re interested in seeing details about where they were and haven’t already seen this on Shawni’s blog which includes details and an interesting map, you might want to check it out here.

Were we ever overjoyed when they found little slice of Internet at one of last villages on their hike and called us! They had felt the earthquake but didn’t think much of it and had no idea of the scope and devastation. For details on that go to Charity’s blog post today here.

Wow her voice has never sounded so great!!! Since then they’ve been able to send a text every day for which we are so grateful!  They are not out of the woods yet. In fact the adventure to get out of Nepal might be more exciting than the trek! They left most of their luggage at a hotel in Katmandu. Who knows if it will still be standing! 

Of course our hearts ache for what may add up to 10,000 people lost during the earthquake and many more whose lives are full of grief and have changed forever! We have sent donations to CHOICE HUMANITARIAN who are there on the ground there and suggest you go to their web site at choicehumanitarian.org if you would like to contribute. We continue to pray for them!

Here are a few glimpses of their journey through Nepal. The second one is near Base Camp at Mount Everest where so many climbers were lost during the earthquake! Turns out that we probably should have been more worried about the cold, ice, snow and extremely thin air (18,000 feet at one point) YIKES!

I have to say that Prayer Works! Thanks to all family, friends and strangers who have been praying for this dynamic duo! We are so grateful!

Just  when you think you can’t love anyone any more than you already do…you do! 

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

A Baptism and Hawaiian Adventurers

Time to go back to Hawaii for three reasons: 1) our sweet Elsie’s baptism and 2) Jonah and Aja are setting off for their next adventure and 3) it is pretty ugly and cold in Park City and warm and lush in Hawaii!

This family never ceases to amaze us an had put a new roof on their cute Hawaiian house, sanded the cement and added huge big windows in their dining/all purpose room at the back of the house, cleared out closets, bleached walls and baseboards and put everything they didn’t want to take on their at least nine-month adventure in a nice dry space under the house.

We were glad to be able to help just a little bit around the edges to get them ready to leave their cozy house as they take off for Europe with their five extraordinary kids. Aja just takes it all in stride as though it was nothing different than what she has been doing every summer when they rent their house while they spend the summer on the mainland.

The wrap-up is no small deal though…last swim meet, last meeting with their delightful congregation at church, last few days at school for their two elementary kids, last Joy School for three-year old Po, last scout meeting for Jonah and Camden, last Young Women’s meeting for Aja.

Grandfather was immediately “crowned” by the little girls as soon as we stepped in the door and the fun just never stopped. Baby Ezra, who is a solid brick of gold when it comes to babies and his mom, who is the same when it comes to mothers. This family creates never-ending delight!

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This little joyful little girl is pretty happy by something her her Grandfather (who is obviously sitting next to her in his favorite shoes) said. 

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Jonah does a magnificent job with their morning devotional every morning, reading scriptures from his iPhone just before the elementary kids leave for school. And Camden, though mostly horizontal,  soaks in every word and answers the myriads of questions Jonah asks with perfection!

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Jonah has also become an amazing tennis player!  He plays every day!  They somehow managed to take time out of the tasks at home and play a little doubles with Grandfather, Aja and Ana.

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While Ezra figured out how the Macadamia Nut Cracker worked and explored the area!

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Ezra also spends quite a lot of time here, playing games with us until he gets “ready”!

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We slipped away for a couple of hours  for a little sun on the beach over by the famous Mama’s Fish House.

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One of our favorite things is walking the kids to school. Here is Elsie, an astonishing artist with her latest creation just outside the door of her schoolroom (with her little side-kick Po peaking around the side. 

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The kids spend a lot of time on their trampoline with friends. These three girls jumped with Ezra sitting in the middle  for an hour….until he was entirely exhausted and needed a little R&R in the tub!

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On Saturday morning, it was so great to be at Ana’s last swim meet where she won the 200 meter race and came in third in the Individual Medley race. She has become an outstanding swimmer!

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Then Saturday evening, we enjoyed “the main event”, which was Elsie’s baptism. Grand father gave a terrific talk on baptism and Ana gave an excellent talk on the Holy Ghost just before the confirmation.

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After the meeting all Elsie’s little friends from the war simply drenched her with candy leis (a ward tradition and a sugar-averse mother’s dream)! As you can see, Elsie was heavy-laden and delighted!

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Po just cannot wait to get her hands on that candy!

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The next day was this family’s last Sunday with their ward family. It was Fast Sunday, which means that church members fast for two meals for a particular purpose (often for a  family member or friend in need) and then give the money they would have spent on food to the bishop to distribute to the poor. Speakers come from the audience as those who feel prompted go to the microphone and express their feelings for Jesus Christ and their families. Ana did a magnificent job and quoted Helaman 5:12 from memory and her grandfather talked about the importance of “Wonder.”

Jonah taught Ana’s class because the teacher wasn’t there and Richard and I sat in and soaked in his excellent lesson!  The kids were eager participants and so respectful and attentive! All 13 year olds except one 14 year old.

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Aja, an excellent musician, played the organ beautifully and was released as the Ward Music Chairman, Jonah as a Cub Scout leader and Aniston as the Beehive President. They are going to leave a hole in the ward family!

After the meeting we all headed for a gorgeous spot on Maui, THOMPSON ROAD!

On the way the Jacaranda trees were showing off their gorgeous purple flowers at every turn!

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A drive down Thompson Road is like going to the Scottish Highlands for a few hours!

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See Oprah’s nice little house and guest house at the end of the road:

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We are going to miss this fabulous family at the reunion this summer:

Camden must have seen a snake.

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We were invited to break our fast by sharing a delicious dinner at the home of the Eyre Family’s dear friends, along with the missionaries. Jonah’s bean burritos with homemade wheat tortillas were a hit as usual!

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And then Grandfather and I were off to take Ana to Hana to take her final tests. More on that coming next! 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Easter at Temple Square

Easter has been more memorable this year than most!  Not only did we get to celebrate the actual day with our oldest two daughters and their families, but our third daughter inspired us to be more dedicated about reading about life of Jesus Christ in a book called Jesus the Christ by James E Talmage ( after whom our third son Talmadge was named). Every morning Richard and I read together during the last couple of weeks before Easter and beyond. Wow was there ever a lot to ponder there! We loved what we learned about our beloved Savior!

In addition we had the splendid privilege of spending the weekend with our two oldest daughters and their stellar families. 

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It was also the General Conference of our Church in Salt Lake City which always falls on the first Sunday of April, which just happened to be Easter this year, so we got a double dose of JOY!

We ate together, laughed together, worshipped together and enjoyed every minute of being together….food, fun and great conversations!

On Saturday night the girls and I even squeezed in a fun party with my sister Lenna (third from the left and some of the girls in her family who live in the area. It was so terrific to be together for 90 minutes of catching up and enjoying being together!

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I’m not sure who had the most fun…. these cousins above who hadn’t seen each other for a long time or their kids below….some of whom ran outside and made a quick lip-sync video together! 

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These guys, leaving for the semi-annual Priesthood meeting were ready to join their other three “bros” (Jared, Ashton and Isaac) in the Conference Center on Saturday night

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Sunday was a perfect Easter morning with glorious flowers on Temple Square and an even more glorious morning of listing to our prophet and apostles giving us impeccable words of wisdom to inspire us and motivate us to be better! Sitting in that hall with 21,000 other people made for quite a day to remember!

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The Easter Bunny managed to fin his way to our little condo downtown and the kids were not disappointed!

 

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The Temple Grounds were positively spectacular! The gorgeous blossoms from the week before gave way to the lush flower gardens while those thousands of people milled around the grounds!

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BEAUTIES!

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How lucky are we to be the parents of these two beautiful women who are making a delightful difference in the world at 71toes.com and powerofmoms.com!

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It couldn’t have been a more perfect weekend to commemorate and celebrate the life and sacrifice of our Savior Jesus Christ!