Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Blue Angels Overhead

On July 23th and 24th Dan and I had the show of a life time. The Navy Blue Angels came to Idaho Falls. We decided not to buy tickets but to watch from the house and see what we could see. Well, we had the "best seats in (at) the house". We set up our chairs in the shade of the red leaf maple tree and sat back to watch. I had a really hard time staying in my seat because those beautiful, stealer fast jets were circling our home and flying directly overhead. It was amazing. At times they were so low you could clearly read the US Navy on the underside of the wings. They proceeded with their program and we enjoyed every bit of it.
On Sunday we ate dinner in the backyard and finished quickly so we could go back into the front yard. It was as if they had planned their whole program around our front yard. Hal Monson, Tessha and Lucy joined us for the Sunday show. Like I said, it was the show of a life time. Here are a few pictures I took. There are also some from a friend who was on the Citizen's Patrol Watch that day.
At the end of the show we literally had a traffic jam on Washburn. It took over an hour for all the cars to clear out so we could get out of the driveway. Amazing!!Enjoy!!!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Glorious Days out East

I'm finally getting a chance to do my blog on our time out East! I'm running about a month behind but I've not given up the race yet and I'm excited to finally write about our trip to Daniel and Dalynn's.

We began this trip the day after we dropped Gracie off at the MTC when we caught an early morning flight from SL to Denver. Because we always fly stand-by we are always so grateful when we get to board the flight. This morning we both had seats on the first flight and on the second flight from Chicago to Baltimore. We got in there early evening, got our rental car and found our hotel. OH, MY GOODNESS!!!

It was actually dark when we finally got to the hotel and because I had booked it on line and had no actual idea of where it was or what it was, it was a REAL SURPRISE!! No, it wasn't nice... it was a dive!!! I had asked for a non-smoking room and I can say you couldn't smell any smoke in our room but from the time we got out of the car till the time we shut the door to our room, we were surrounded in a cloud of smoke. Inside the room, there were holes in the walls and wires loosely dangling under an air-conditioning unit at the window. The bathroom was thrashed and the worse was when I used a "clean" towel after taking a shower. While standing there (stark naked, of course) wiping down with a towel, my fingers got caught in something on the towel. I usually try not to panic when I think something is wrong, but when I loosen my fingers and looked I saw a wad of black, kinky hair.... Now, don't throw up but yes, there was a wad of black, kinky hair and lots of loose black, kinky hairs all over the inside of the towel. YUCK!!! That did it!! We had to get out of this place. (No pictures taken ~ thank goodness)

We hurriedly left and went to Daniel and Dalynn's that night where we had a nice visit with them, Tim and Cindy, Ryan and Tracy. It was most fun to see the girls; Mika and Ember and hold sweet little Maren.

It was wonderful!!!

We ended up spending the night at our "room?" and then checking out the next morning. Dalynn had gotten us a reservation at a "nice place" closer to them and we'll be forever grateful to her.

Now the fun was going to begin. Daniel and Dalynn had made arrangements for us to go to the "shore". Easterner's don't call the beach "the beach" or "the coast". They call it "the shore". So we all piled into cars and we lucked out with Mika in our car and headed to the shore. It was fascinating to travel the highway back east.

Although we'd been to Baltimore before I'd never been that far east. We crossed rivers, drove over the Chesapeake Bay and paid to drive on a toll road. We tried to stay together on the road but eventually Dan and I got separated from the others. We kept in touch by cell phones and we finally hooked up when we were crossing the last bridge to the Chincoteague, VA. island where we were staying. There was road construction on the bridge and things had slowed way down. It was there that we saw Daniel's and Tim's cars just ahead of us.

We stayed at the house that Lee and Lynette Edgar were renting for the summer. They were going north for the weekend and offered to let us stay the night at their place. Can you imagine my surprise at meeting up with the Edgar family on the other side of the country.
The house was large enough for all three families to have their own space and we were all pretty excited to be able to stay there.

We unpacked the cars and then got right back in and drove out to the beach, oops, I mean the shore.
We played in the sand ...

and walked the shore line till it was dark and we had to go back to the house. We had a fun dinner all together, went to bed and were up early hurrying to get back down to the beach. (Having grown up in Manhattan Beach, CA. I guess I'm just a California "beach" girl to the bone.)

Daniel, Dalynn, Ryan and Tracy rode bikes out. Tim and Cindy took the three girls, Dad stayed at the house and I went exploring the small coastal town. It brought back good memories of Manhattan Beach and I loved the time going in and out of the little shops. I bought a couple of souvenirs and then hurried on out to the beach to meet up with the kids.

It was the Fourth of July weekend and of the roads were extremely crowded with the locals and with out-of- towners; people like us. I had to park the rental quite a ways from the beach and walk to the kids. I have to say that I throughly enjoyed the walk. It was rather long but the sun was shinning and I was very content. When I got to the beach I walked up and down but couldn't find any of the kids. There were so many people enjoying the water that day.

I started back to the car when lo, and behold here came Daniel and Ryan on their bikes. They had gone back to the house for something and were on their way back to the others. They showed me where our family was sitting and I found everyone enjoying the beach.

Mika and I built sand castles
and went on seashell treasure hunts.

When she found a couple of good shells, we made a seashell necklace for both her and Ember.

We played in the water.
and had a bite of lunch. Like always, eating at the beach means sandy food. Oh the memories!! Oh, the fun!!!

It seemed way too soon and we needed to head back home. We went back to the beach house, cleaned up, packed up and got on the road. I little while later Daniel pulled over at a resturant and we all went in for a great dinner. After that people in the cars started dropping off to sleep and we had a quiet ride home. I followed Tim and Daniel came along behind us.

Back at their home, we unloaded Mika and her things and went on over to the "nice hotel". Boy, were we ever glad we had a nice place to sleep that night.

The next morning we met up with the others early and then followed Daniel out to their church. It was fun to drive over the green, rolling hills and through little towns on our way to church.

In Sacrament Meeting, Papa Daniel, Granpas, Uncle Ryan and others circled our little Maren and gave her a beautiful Priesthood blessing. I was able to write the blessing down for Dalynn to keep. It really was a special blessing. Then they had Fast and Testimony meeting. Daniel bore his testimony and it was full of the spirit. It had been quite a while since I'd been able to hear his testimony so it was a real treat for me.

We took pictures on the church front lawn after the meetings

and then we headed back home for dinner. We all had naps that afternoon -the best way to spend Sunday afternoons and then later that night we went back to Daniel's for a little while.

Since we had early morning flights again, Dan and I went back to our "nice room" and went to bed. Morning always comes too early but we needed to catch our flights so off we went. Again, we were blessed to board every flight home. WOW!!

I finished our fun trip by walking home from the IF airport, breaking into our back yard, opening my office window, using the tramp ladder to climb in and get the van key. Tessha had kept the car in Utah over the weekend and wasn't home yet. As usual, we had left the key to the house in my car and the key to the van in the house. It was just another blessing to be able to break in and get the key. I drove over to the airport and picked up Dan and the luggage. Always an adventure!! Always a great time!!! Thank you Daniel and Dalynn!!! Thank you! Thank you! We can't wait to come back out!!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

A Farewell to Sister Thomas

It was early in the morning of June 30th when Dan, Tessha, Grace and I got in the car once again and headed to Provo. This was going to be our last day with Grace for 18 months. She was entering the Missionary Training Center for two weeks before flying out to Tampa, Florida. Oh, how we were going to miss her. We could only take comfort in the excitment we felt for her.

We stopped in Orem and picked up a few things she still needed, found a post office and went on to Laura and Mark's place. We had prepared lunch for all of us before they would go with us to the MTC.

Kristi, Haini and their family joined us and Grace opened a few parting gifts. Then we all left for the MTC.

Things have changed since we took Seth there. No longer do we enter the building, take a seat in the large room, listen to how much cereal the missionaries at the MTC consume, nor do we watch the Call To Serve film.

Now we simply drop them off and wave goodbye from our cars. At least that's what they told us we'd do. So, we went to the upper parking lot, parked, got out and took pictures.

We could have walked to the MTC and taken pictures there but Gracie was quite ready to go so we just took a few pictures in the parking lot then got back in the car. We drove down into the MTC drive and followed the kind elderly men waving us this way and that. Before long we saw the bordering sidewalks lined with missionaries, young ones, older ones and lots of couples waving and waiting the help the new, incoming missionaries. I wished I hadn't been driving for I would have loved taking pictures of it all. It was like being welcomed to heaven by angels who were excited for us to be there. I really envyed Gracied right then.
We found our place along the walk and parked the car. She was out and getting her luggage from the truck about as quick as I've ever seen. Sweet elders were right there beside her lifting her bags and asking where she was going on her mission. A quick hug and she was gone. All so fast and sure.

We left the area feeling a little too light in the car. Gracie was gone, but it was all very good. You could spend a lot of time wondering about those mixed feeling during other monumental times in our lives like being born and dying. Good times but sad times, too. Good thing we knew we'd be seeing her again before too long.

Later that afternoon, Dad, Tessha and I went to see a show to kill some time before dropping in for the night at the Sugies. I think we saw "Eclipse" the new Twilight movie. When we came out it was raining lightly and we were glad to have it cool down a bit.

We spent the night with Kristi and Haini's family and early the next morning Tessha drove Dan and I to the Salt Lake Airport. We were on our way to another wonderful summer adventure ~ A trip to Daniel and Dalynn's house and baby Maren's blessing!!!.