Monday, May 30, 2011

Visit to Alec and Kelly


 We had a most wonderful visit to Idaho to see Alec, Kelly, and Katie.  Our trip up to Idaho was smooth, but we drove through lots of rain.  It was fun to see tons of cows and calves as we drove through Utah and then tons of Sheep and lambs while driving through Idaho.  The little ones were so cute running and frolicking through the field and pastures.

 Saturday morning we went to a Farmer's Market.  They had many, many fresh fruits and vegetables, breads, sweets, cheeses, soaps, pottery, jewelry, and you name it.  We had fun walking around and buying a few things.  I got some really nice smelling soaps and garlic infused evoo.  John got scones, cookies, and other sweets that he wanted to munch on.  That guy has got a big sweet tooth.  He does share though.
 I really liked this statue of 3 kids playing keepsies .

 It was cold and really, really windy as you can tell by my lovely hair. Ha!  After we were done, we stopped for some hot chocolate to warm up.  Then we went home and watched I Am Number Four.  It was pretty good.

 For dinner we went to McGrath's Fish House.  I had the yummiest salmon with veggies.


 Then we stopped by Alec's office to pick up some things.  John enjoyed looking at some of his diplomas and certificates.  Some of the other's are hanging in the Eagle office. Mom's have some bragging rights.  Right?
 Then Alec drove us to this tree that has a bunch of owls living in them.  He passes the tree very often when he is training for the Boise 70.3 Iron Man because it is right on the path.  The marathon is in a couple of weeks and he will swim 1.2 miles.  Then he will bike 56 miles and end up with a 70.3 mile run.    I am in awe of people running.  I have 2 friends, Connie and Yvonne who run and they just inspire me so much.   I loved seeing these owls.  There were about 6 of them and a couple of babies.  Look soooo carefully in the picture and you might be able to spot some of them.



Later that evening we watched Alice In Wonderland which I enjoyed quite a bit.  Sunday John and I spoke to the youth about our mission.  I was nervous at first, but it was really fun to talk to them.  We concentrated our talk on the young people and the young missionaries that we worked with.  I think they really enjoyed it a lot and it ended up being great.  

We will be traveling home today.  Our visit was tooooooo short.  I wish my kids lived near me.  I made a big mistake raising my kids.  We taught them to be independent and then they took us up on it.  Ha!  Now they live all over the U.S.  and I miss them so much.  I wish it was like in the olden days when everyone lived near each other.  I am so lucky and blessed that I have wonderful children.  I love them so much and fortunately for me, they love me too.  

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tickets

Yesterday I got tickets to go to Maryland and visit Lana and her family.  We are going in July and I can't wait.  It has been forever since we've seen the cute grandkids.  I know it will be sooooooooo hot and sooooooo humid, but that's okay.  We will be too busy having a good time hugging and kissing everyone to pay too much attention.

In addition, we are going to Alec's and his family for this Memorial Day Week-end in Idaho.  I can't wait for that either.  It will be so much fun.  

Lucky us.  We get to see two of our kids and their families and enjoy some "in person" time.  I feel so happy that they always want us to come and encourage us to come and visit.  :)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Fun Dinner Party

 Our dearest friends from years and years back are at the MTC.  They are preparing to leave on their mission to Chili this Saturday.  We had to see them, so we picked them up and we went to dinner together at Mimi's Cafe in Provo.  We had such a wonderful time together.  When Bruce was a young man he served his mission in Mexico. There he taught a family and baptized them.  After his mission he went back to Mexico and courted and married beautiful Raquel.  They moved to the U.S.A. and have lived a good, full life.  They have 2 boys and 2 girls and lots of grandchildren.  An interesting fact is that when Bruce filled out his first mission papers, he wrote that he would like to serve in Chili.  Of course that didn't happen.  He said it took the church 38 years to fulfill his wish, and they are sooooo excited to go.  They will be serving as a mission office couple and I know they will do a great job.
 Of course seeing them just once wasn't enough so we invited them over for dinner.  We also invited the Phairs, our dear friends from our mission.  We met the Phairs a few weeks before we left on our mission because we were both going to the same mission and both waiting extra time for our visas to be cleared.  As it turned out, we flew out to Brussels on the very same airplane.  Both the Phairs and we worked with the JA's (young adults).  They were at the Center in Brussels and we opened up the Center in Lille.  We shared many things on our mission; recipes, ideas, challenges, triumphs etc.  We were also able to take a few Senior Trips with them and some of the other senior missionaries.  We have remained good friends.  I think when you work together so closely and share the same values and goals and ideals that you develop those close feelings of love and friendship.  Besides that, they are an awesome couple.  Larry served there when he was a young man and they had previously also served another mission in France several years ago.
I also invited Sharon who has been our friend forever and used to live near us in California.  By chance we now live really close to each other again.  Sharon just came back from serving a mission in Mississippi about a month or so ago.  She worked in the church employment center and was also lucky enough to go out on splits with the young sister missionaries.  She absolutely loved her mission.  Sharon was Relief Society President when John was the Bishop.    Our children were great friends together.  In fact our two daughters Lana and Lana were the bestest of friends.  They even had some matching clothes.  Those two girls had a great time together.  Each week they would go to the library together and each girl would choose many books (at least 10).  Then in the middle of the week they would meet on the corner half way between our houses and sit on the curb and exchange books and talk and talk. They were inseparable for many years.   Our Michael and their Greg spent many hours hiking, fishing, hunting, working, taking care of dogs, dating, and hanging out together.  Those two boys also liked to play tricks on me quite often and each time I fell for their stories.
 I served an avocado and shrimp appetizer.  Then I made a chicken, mushroom with sauce crepes and tossed salad.  For dessert I made more crepes and people could pick their own toppings and make theirs just the way they wanted.  We had strawberries, Nutella and whipping cream. We had sugar with squeezed lemon.  We had strawberry or  raspberry jam.  I think everyone liked the dinner.  We were so busy talking and laughing and enjoying each other's company that I forgot to take pictures.
 Raquel is the cook extraordinaire.  When we all lived near each other, everyone always loved to go to their lovely home and eat her delicious food.  A funny little story about her.  Raquel loves desserts and whenever they go out to eat, she always orders dessert.  At least she used to.  Now getting a little older I think she doesn't always do that. :)
When all of our children were young they loved playing together.  When they became teen-agers there was one day that her 2 boys and my daughter Lana needed to go to the store for us.  I later found out that   Richard put Lana in a shopping cart and strolled her through the parking lot and the store.  They were teen-agers  and thought that was sooooo funny.
Below are some photos of the cuteness that keeps me busy every day.  Here she is eating soup and not wanting to let me take a picture.






Saturday, May 14, 2011

Welcome Home Pankratz and Making Wonder Ovens

 The Phairs and the Servosses.  We loved getting to know these fine couples.  The Servosses will be leaving on another mission in a few months.  This time they will be serving in New York.

 Last Sunday we went to a missionary welcome home for the Pankratzes.  We served together with the Pankratzes only they were in Brussels and then the Netherlands and we served in France and Belgium.  We had a ride up to Tooele with the Phairs.  We sure enjoyed their company.  It was a lot of fun to hear the Pankratzes talk and tell of their experiences and also to meet with the other Senior Couples whom we had met on our mission also.  Above is sweet Sister Speck sitting next to John.  They left their mission suddenly and we all knew it was because of her health, but we didn't really know what happened until Sunday.  Apparently she was having lots of pains in her abdomen and finally went to a Dr. in the Netherlands.  He told her that she would need to have a CAT scan and other testing, but it would take 5 to 6 months to even get an appointment.  Miraculously one of the leaders in their branch worked in the medical field and was able to get her an immediate appointment for her.  She had the testing done and was told that she needed to go right home to the USA.  The church immediately flew them home and after testing she had abdominal surgery less than a week after arriving home in Utah.  When they opened her up they saw lots of cancer.  She had some ribs removed, part of her liver, a kidney, some intestines, some of the colon  and other things (about 50+ pounds of internal organs.  She was very, very ill.  She is now undergoing chemo and will until October, but she is doing just great.  She told us that it's a miracle that she is even alive.  She looks fabulous and it was wonderful to talk to her.  We are so glad that she's doing well.
 The Langevelds are another awesome couple that we got to know while on our mission.

 When we walked into the chapel for sacrament we saw Elder Schmutz and Elder Ferguson.  It was such a happy and joyful feeling to see them again.  They were just as happy to see us.   You really have such a bond with the people that you serve with.  It's hard to explain, but it is so real.  Serving the Lord bring people happiness and joy.  Below are the Pankratzes.  They worked sooooo hard.  They were the office couple and oh boy did they labor.   We talked about some fun memories that we all had and some funny incidents too.  Bro Pankratz remembered how they would often be driving with their GPS and the road would get smaller and smaller.  Suddenly there would be a canal on one side an a river or ditch on the other side and finally they would end up facing a ferry landing.  They couldn't back out and so they would end up taking the ferry across.  We loved talking about our young adults and how well they are doing.  In fact w have had 2 more couples get married in the temple since we've been home and just a week ago we got an e-mail from Alexandre telling us that he got his mission call to Australia.  What exciting news that is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 This Thursday evening I went to Relief Society and we made 88 Wonder Ovens.  These ovens are amazing.  Each oven is made out of 2 pieces of 100% cotton fabric cut into a certain shape.  There is a top and a bottom.  Then the fabric is stitched into sacs and the sacs are filled with special tiny beads.  Amazingly enough you can cook just about anything in these ovens.  You can even make bread which I tasted and which is really quite good.  We began working about 6:30 and worked until about 9:40.  These ovens will be wonderful for cooking in case of an emergency.  I was a bit tired when we were done.




Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Carl Bloch

This afternoon John, Tal, and I were able to go and see the Carl Bloch Exhibit at BYU.  It was wonderful. He is such a great artist.   I never realized that he painted so many beautiful paintings of Christ, many of which I recognized and was familiar with.  The tickets were all sold out when I tried getting them a few weeks ago and today we just went and tried to get stand by tickets.  We only had to wait about 10 minutes and they let us in.  Tal behaved perfectly the entire time.  She actually looked at many of the paintings and  she was also very busy saying hi to all the other little ones in their strollers.  It was a very enjoyable afternoon outing.