Saturday, July 30, 2016

Birthday Celebration

Week three after our return and we were on the road again. We went to Kennewick, WA for Diane's mother's 86th birthday.

We left on Tuesday and went as far as Nampa, ID. We stayed with Tony and Emily in their new home. They really have a nice back yard.
Emily and her apple tree
Three plus "the shadow"
We went to visit Darwin and Missy, who also live in Nampa. Later John and Tiffany came over in the evening to Emily's so we could visit with their family. It has been nice renewing connections with family. Tony and Emily were wonderful hosts.
Piano duet with Liahona
Big smiles from a great family
 On Wednesday we went through Nyssa where Diane was born. It was fun for her to relive some of her fond memories.
A girl from Nyssa
 We wanted to see the headstone where Diane's father was buried. Fortunately her mother has not yet take up residence.
Mitchell headstone
This is farm country 
It is also along the Oregon Trail
 We went to Owyhee where her parents families settled and found their grave sites.
Walking through the Owyhee cemetery 
 Diane's mother recently moved into a new apartment in Kennewick, WA. It is a very comfortable one-bedroom apartment. We were able to help her hang quilts on the wall and set up her embroidery patterns on her computer.
Mother and daughter resting at the mall
 Friday was her 86th birthday. Don and Nadine took her out to dinner. Karen (her sister) and John went with us also. We are staying in Karen and John's house. It comes with delicious gluten-free cookies.
Birthday dinner
 We went through Spokane, WA on the way back so we could visit Blair and Janae and deliver a toy cupboard for him to refinish. This has been a good trip for visiting family. We got as far as Missoula, MT Saturday night and found a motel. We were able to attend sacrament meeting there in Missoula. It is beautiful country (at least in the summer).

On Sunday we continued back to Logan. We took a break to see Grant-Kobhrs Ranch NHS. This was a cattle ranch with a lot of history.
Grant-Kobhrs Ranch NHS
Ranch house
Herb garden
I could ride this kind of horse!
Chuck wagon
Camp cook
Even though it was a bit rushed, this was a nice break to visit family we haven't seen in a long time.

Sweet Sixteen

This has been a busy week moving furniture around to get ready for the big move. It has been a lot of heavy work. We were able to take a break one evening to see the play Peter Pan at the Festival Opera.

Kamber and Hillary, two of Andrea's companions from her mission stopped by to take her to a missionary reunion in Provo. We were able to watch the grandkids while she was gone.

Kamary had her birthday on July 22nd, the same day as my brother, David. She is now sweet sixteen. We had the family party on Friday.
Alyssa checking out the presents
Kamary taking a picture of her cake
16 candles 
OK, she's quirky!
Queen for the day
We went swimming on Saturday morning. Later in the day we took the youngest three grandchildren to the American West Heritage Center for their Pioneer Day celebration and Mountain Man Rendezvous. It was a bit different being a visitor rather than a volunteer, but it was still fun.

Pony petting
Pony riding 
My foxy friend 
Modern-day mountain man
Fun pioneers
Kamary had a party for her friends on Saturday night. It was nice to see how much fun a group of teenagers could have while eating pizza, playing games, and watching "Into the Woods" on DVD.

Independence Day

Since Logan celebrated the 4th of July on the 1st of July, Andrea and family went to Salt Lake over the weekend to celebrate with Jason's family. That left us alone to figure out what to do on the 4th. We decided to take a hike up Logan Canyon and get shakes at Bear Lake.

We hiked the Limber Pine Nature Trail, which is not very long and very scenic. It really felt good to get into nature again.

Limber Pine Trail
Overlook into a mountain valley 
This is a nice, gentle trail
The trail overlooks Bear Lake
 We went into Garden City for a shake. We ended up having lunch which included a hamburger with a gluten-free bun. We then drove around the lake, a 50-mile drive.

We were still very busy getting the yard and house in order, including cleaning out the garage. I went to the University (USU) and was asked if I would be willing to teach a class for this fall. Two faculty left the department and two others are on sabbatical so they are empty handed. I'll teach the beginning circuits class.

Wednesday, Kohler, Lauren, and Brynlie were trying to catch butterflies in the yard (catch and release, of course). I offered to take them to a little juniper park at the mouth of Green Canyon. It was a lot of fun.

I know there is a butterfly somewhere
Kohler, that's not a butterfly net 
Happy butterfly hunters
On Thursday we met with the Andersons, who will take our places as Area Technology Specialists in Brazil. Since they used to live in Logan they came here from Orem. We had quite a training session then went to eat dinner at the Elements restaurant. We hope they get their visas soon. They will really enjoy their mission.
The old and new ATSs for Brazil
 I have worn out my walking shoes so decided to get some new ones. On Friday I tried them out on the Gateway Trail to Logan Canyon. It starts at First Dam and joins in with the trail in Logan Canyon close to Stoke's Nature Center. It was a nice hike except for one thing. Diane couldn't find her walking shoes for our morning walk (Kamary borrowed them without saying anything) and developed blisters from her other shoes. She made it to the end, however.

New trail in Logan Canyon
Ducks at First Dam
When we got up Saturday morning we had a flat tire. We couldn't find the warranty information and couldn't remember where we bought the tires (there are still many things we can't find). After putting on the spare I took the car to Big-O where they fixed it with no charge.

On Sunday we had a conflict. There were two couples we knew in Brazil having their mission report at the same time in two different places - the Zaugg's in Bountiful at 11am and the DePaula's in Orem at 10am. We decided to go to Zaugg's since it was closer. After the meeting we went to the Mountain Shadows 1st Ward sacrament meeting. This was the Portuguese Ward where we served while waiting for our visas. They have split the ward. It was good to see some of the people we worked with.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Are We Really Home?

Four weeks have gone by without a new post. You must be wondering if we really made it home - We Did. Andrea and our six grandchildren are still living in our house getting ready to move to Indiana in August where Jason found a job. We are trying to reclaim the house piece-by-piece, weed the yard, and run the many errands needed after being away for 1 1/2 years.

We were greeted at the airport by Andrea and family on June 25th. It was still a long ride to Logan, but it was also wonderful to be with family again.
Luggage carriers at the airport
We didn't have much time to rest. On Sunday, the day after we got back, we reported to the High Council at 7 am, spoke in church at 11 am, and were finally released as missionaries in the afternoon. Ken and Kate joined us for our report home. 

One of the things we enjoy about being home is the morning walks. We live in a beautiful valley surrounded by mountains.

Logan Canyon in the morning
Our time has been spent weeding, cleaning out the attic to find our things, and participating in training over WebEx (we are still doing some of the tasks for Area Technology Specialists until our replacements arrive in Brazil).

July 1st is Canada Day, but in Logan we had fireworks for the 4th of July. Normally they have them on July 3rd, but this year it was on July 1st since the 3rd fell on a Sunday.
Happy Canada Day 
Waiting for the fireworks
Firework show on July 1st
The Logan Aquatic Center provides free swimming for families of disabled children on Saturday mornings so we went swimming for the first time since we left on our mission. We decided to go up the canyon for a cookout on Saturday evening, but all of the activities of the day let the time slip by, therefore we had the cookout in the back yard.

Kohler preparing firewood 
Campfire dinner
We wore ourselves out on the mission and have been so busy during the first week we were not able to recuperate. Maybe next week.