Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Mission goodbye visits

 Halloween at our house was sooo much fun this year with cousins, carving pumpkins together and a very scary front door after the creations were done.


  A tired sheik after the ward Halloween party at which we won the best costumes party!
Nothing better than the loot after a long night!
 Nothing says it better than this glorious picture!  We got to spend a weekend with Reagan in Florida in the Magic Kingdom.  She seriously struck this pose by herself and said spontaneously, "Dreams really do come true!"
 Ben found us a perfect place to all stay together.  It was a wonderful trip sharing a little girl's magical dream.
 The first thing we did was go to lunch together in the castle!!  Reagan got to be with all the princesses and decorate her own birthday cupcake.  It seriously made me and Molly cry! 

We had soooo much fun!  Especially dancing on Main Street together and riding the small world ride 10 times!

We were so thankful to have one last visit with Reagan, Ben and Molly before missing them for 18 months!
We were able to travel to Oregon to be with Nathan as he was ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood.  It was an awesome visit.  We were able to give Nathan his own personal power tool; symbolic of the power of the Priesthood which he now holds. 
We went to some amazing restaurants while there!  This was a special Moroccan place where we sat on low stools, wore costumes, ate with our fingers, no utensils, and enjoyed amazing food.  We also went to an Oregon specialty; ice cream with crazy but delicious flavors like pear and blue cheese, and a chocolate place that was unforgettable!  

Mostly we were so grateful to spend one last visit with Nathan , Aria and Marianne before leaving on our mission.  We will miss our dear family....every one!!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Nathan's Birthday

 Friday, two days before our farewell was a BIG ONE!  We celebrated Nathan's birthday by going to Anti Gravity.  The kids loved it!

 All the kids in a cage having a great time!  What an idea!
 The girl's branched out to the big trampolines together.

Even the Dads and Moms gave it a shot and nobody was injured!  Well, Garrett, Jordan and Marianne the brave ones!  
Skyler man strutting his stuff!
  Best friend cousins resting on the couch for a minute between jumps.
 After going home, we had birthday cake with trick candles that had sparks and refused to be blown out!  In the end Nathan won and we could eat it.

This is an absolute treasure!  Take a few minutes and watch my grandchildren singing, "I hope they call me on a mission.  It made us cry!  We are missing a few here because Gracie can't talk yet and Reagan couldn't come.

Saturday we had Thanksgiving dinner at 5:00 pm.  We were waiting for Danielle and Gracie to come to Saint George from Provo on the Shuttle.  She stayed behind to run a half marathon.  She finished, did a great job, but her legs had a little trouble moving that night and the next day! 

Friday, October 5, 2012

Last summer at the cabin before our mission!

One of the magical things about the cabin is that while there in the space of the summer months, one can see the glorious beauty of  four seasons compressed into four months! 

 This year we opened the cabin in May - unheard of - Ben and his family came for Abigayle's wedding and we stayed at the cabin a couple days before.  This was the view outside the front window in May. 
Here's Aria during her family's visit chopping wood!
 One of the delightful outdoor hot dog dinners before the fire restrictions for the summer were imposed.

 Just savoring fun of family and beautiful mountains together.
 On a hike with Marianne! This view, among many, feeds our souls with gratitude to God!
 Nathan and Papa chopping wood, Carter acting as the consultant in this particular endeavor.
 Rachel and Marianne's families with Great Nana, Nana and Papa on a family hike.
Our favorite place to worship the Lord; singing primary songs and testifying of eternal truths in Aspen Cathedral.
 Another shot of a treasured spot!
 The yearly trek to the culvert.  Hope springs eternal that we will ever find another blue hard plastic boat that the parents used when they were little.  This year the inner tubes that Marianne brought up lasted for several trips through before popping!
 Marianne made a special treat for Papa for Father's Day! His favorite; coconut cream pie with special toasted coconut on top.
  This was the beloved homemade German chocolate cake Nana made for Papa's birthday dinner. Matthew and Abigayle came up to surprise him to join the celebration.
 A daily moment of excitement as someone sees something outside our back window that we all have to run to appreciate.  This year we heard a very nearby BEAR, saw moose, fox, wolf, porcupine, an owl, multiple deer, eagle, flying squirrels (a first) and caught 6 mice!
 This was a very big day!  Great Nana turned 86! I stayed home to make her birthday dinner for later.  Dwight kept my earlier promise to her to pull her to the top of pine and aspen mountain to celebrate turning 86.  She was a trouper and made it almost to the top before conceding that it might be a very difficult if not impossible task.  Her legs actually gave out several times coming down and when she came in, I insisted she go rest on her bed as she looked like she could pass out any minute.  Alan, Julie, Matt and Abigayle came up to surprise her and we had a delightful birthday dinner..... AFTER her nap.  She later wrote in her weekly letter......"I finally had to admit that I am 86, not 68!! 
 Before the hike!
 Still hoping for the impossible!
 The birthday dinner celebration for a brave and noble woman!
 During Jordan's family's visit, the neighbors zip line was a definite hit!

 Mom Danielle, holding "the Who", while watching the zip liners!

 Some beautiful views of the most sacred ground on earth to our family.

 This year, for the first time since I was a child, we stayed late in the Fall before closing the cabin because we are leaving on our mission.  We learned much about the pipes freezing from our May experience and installed a new valve that closes off the outside watering bibs.  One actually froze in May but Ben and Dad were able to solder a new pipe to fix it.  During the nights when it would drop below freezing, we let the bathroom sink pipes drip very slightly until the temp. in the daytime got above freezing.  What a treasure to see the stunning palette of color as the scenery changed to Fall.  The following pictures were just a taste of the feast we savored.
 The temperatures were perfect, the view drawing us down long and winding roads.
 Until we meet again.

 Our last walk to yellow lake with Abigayle.

We sadly closed up the cabin with a special prayer that it would be safe and protected until we return after our mission in two years.