We’ve been home for almost three weeks, which is a record! And we’ve had a lot of fun being here! It’s been an unusual non-winter and other than the nice little blizzard that we had the last time we were home, we haven't seen much snow. We did have one nice little snowstorm last week (after blizzards almost every day last winter).
We went to the Sunday morning performance of the Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra on Temple Square which is always an extraordinary experience! The Primary president had asked me to come into the Primary later that morning and tell a story about an ancestor that made a good choice which had made a difference. Thus I had just been reading about my darling Grandmother Elizabeth Jacobson from Denmark who had six children when they joined the church and immigrated to America, changing all our lives forever!
The family lost their oldest daughter before they left for America and then someone carried measles on board the ship they left on from Liverpool and four more of their little children died on the way, one just as they sighted the Statue of Liberty and they carried him to land for burial. Undaunted, she got pregnant again and walked 1000 miles across the plains beside their covered wagon and then gave birth to the Osmond Family's great, great Grandmother Amelia. Her last two children were born in mid-winter in a little log cabin in Bloomington, Idaho and her last child was my great grandfather Frederick. Man, when the choir sang “God be with you ‘til we meet again,” at the close of the program, I was a basket case! I just couldn’t stop the tears thinking about meeting this amazing woman some day!
To our delight, the Pothiers came from AZ for Spring Break to ski. They opened the new pool at City Creek so we filled up the pool with the Looslis and the Pothiers. It was so fun to see the cousin’s fun reunion!
Jared can really chuck those kids like basketballs!
It’s Relief Society birthday season so we had the opportunity to give speeches in several stakes. It was SO fun to have Shawni and Lucy with us for one of them! Shawni added just the right icing on the cake at the end of our remarks. These Relief Society women are truly amazing!
Afterward we had lunch with Daniel and Tamara Oswald who are our old and dear friends beginning in England when we went back the second time. Daniel is a bishop in that stake and Tamara, who is the harpist for the Orchestra on Temple Square and her flutist friend from the orchestra played the prelude music. Shawni babysat for them when we were in England, including while they went to the hospital to have a baby. In turn, they babysat for us while we went to Sri Lanka including taking Jonah to the hospital with pneumonia while we were gone. They are an amazing couple with kids to match!
The fun just never stopped! We had the privilege one night of attending a Jazz game as the guests of Randy Rigby, the President of the Utah Jazz along with Elder Whitney Clayton of the Seventy. We were on the fourth row, right behind the team and I snatched some pictures of our beloved Jeff Hornacek and the winner of the slam dunk contest this year, Jeremy Evans. We were treated to fabulous food, great entertainment (we won) and terrific company.
On Sunday night we gathered with some of our favorite friends in a group started many years ago in Boston based on C.S. Lewis’ group of writers who met once a month called “Inklings.” It was an especially fun night as we each shared one of our favorite poems. The art of reading, writing and thinking about poetry is being lost and it filled us up to delve into the delicious world of poetry. Delightfully, Noah’s mission president’s wife Sheri Bennett came along with their son Mason who has just returned from a mission in Romania. He and Shawni had an instant affection! Why am I in this picture instead of Shawni?
Fun always abounds when we get together with my sister Lenna and her daughter Jessica. We met them at the Macaroni Grill along with Claire and Lucy for a quick “catch up” before we take off again.
We’re trying to suck all we can out of the Pothier’s visit before we both go our separate ways on Saturday morning. They’ll head back home and we’re headed for D.C. for a speech and a fun visit with Eli and Julie, which will, thanks to the early spring, include cherry blossoms and then we’re off to Poland and Germany for speeches and then on to England (since we’re in the neighborhood) to visit our precious Shumway family!