Thursday, November 17, 2016

October was about Tennis and Getting Older

Every year we take a journey to Southern Utah with two horses in tow so that they can enjoy the beautiful fall weather in New Harmony at the base of the five fingers of the Kolob in Zion National Park. This also happens to coincide with the Huntsman World Senior Games in St. George and a big birthday!

The Senior Games have become a very important part of Richard’s life, mostly because he likes medals!  He has a plethora of them….gold, silver and bronze! He has a lot of “heavy metal” for basketball, track and tennis.

This year he won the gold in doubles for his age group. Even though I have to say that those guys on the left look a little older, they aren’t. As you can see he was pretty happy about that win!

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He really enjoys his terrific partner (below) because he’s an excellent player with a terrific dry sense of humor!

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He also won the silver in singles. He claimed that he had a kinked neck and that was why he lost in the final, but the guy who beat him also has 14 gold balls for tennis and pickleball, which you would only appreciate if you are a tennis player, but it’s BIG!

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While we were there we had a chance to enjoy the beauties of fall in Southern Utah!

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We got home just in time to see our grandson Ashton’s last football game at Ogden High. See that handsome blonde, standing in the middle of the pack at the after game meeting? Sadly, they lost!

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I had a grand opportunity to go to a Utah Symphony Concert at the Browning Center at Weber State University with the twins, who are always entertaining themselves!

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Just before we left for a speech in St. George our two great sons living on opposite sides of the country came for a work meeting in Provo and went to breatkfast with us to help celebrate their Dad’s birthday which was especially nice because we were due to give a speech back down in St. George on his actual birthday.

Eli came from Manhattan and Noah came from Orange county to kick off the birthday fun!

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They brought gifts from the grandkids too! These fun gifts below are from Zara and Dean because Zabar’s is our new favoirte place right around the corner from where they live in NYC.

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Noah’s kids messages were sitting home on the counter, but luckily Noah had a picture of every precious word and drawing on his phone. It was a fun morning!

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And we were off to our little lofthouse where we could view the Five Fingers of the Kolob Canyon from our balcony for the big birthday. I was so excited to give Rick his best birthday present in a long time….glasses for the color blind!  He can’t tell the difference between red and green and blue and purple and many other weird color configurations.

It was fun to see him see the world through new eyes (although it takes some time for your eyes to adjust to the new reality).

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It was quite a birthday! They even gave him a little birthday cupcake with a candle before we started our speech at the Roots Family Expo. We spoke about the importance of teaching children and grandchildren about their family narrative. Researchers have proven that kids who know stories about the good as well as the hard times from the lives of their parents, grandparents and ancestors have more resilience, more grit and more self confidence when they are faced with hard times themselves.

We had so much fun with a very fun group. We shared our “Ancestor Journal” that has stories of our ancestors written by us when our children were young in children’s language. Then we had the kids illustrate the stories which made a lasting impression on them.

Below is one of your children’s idea of what the ship Franklin must have looked like as their ancestors from Denmark embarked on their long journey across the sea for America.

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Here’s another one drawn by one of the kids telling the story in art of their great

great Grandfather who saw our great great grandmother singing in the choir when he was a missionary in Sweden and felt very strongly that she would someday be his wife. He finished his mission, went home and then came back for her. Note the chandelier, the halos over each of their heads and the scriptures under Grandpa Swenson’s chair. So cute!

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We finished October in Las Vegas at a National Tennis Tournament and enjoyed our favorite Cirque show called KA!  We had seen it many years ago but were amazing with so many creative new things. It just happened to be Halloween that night and we saw some pretty wild costumes that night! It was a night to remember.

And so went another October with another fun birthday, lots of tennis and the splendor of in autumn enjoyed in many places. That last week of October we slept in six different beds!  We keep saying we’re going to slow down but we haven’t noticed that yet!

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