Friday, October 23, 2009

I didn't take nearly enough pictures while Sara and Isaac were visiting, but here are some of my favorites.

Arlianne and Sara and Hazel in front of the door of the Temple.

I love this one with Hazel reaching to touch the Temple.

Two happy, beautiful girls......

Jackson is a great help to his Mom, the Photographer!

As though Sara didn't have anything else to do, she decorated this cake after she got here and before the luncheon!

Cam loved to hold Hazel, as did all the other kids while we were at the cabin. She had a great time with all the attention!

Lunch on Saturday in the park, when we finally found everyone!

Luckily, there was a tree right by where we ate that was perfect for climbing. Thankfully, we didn't have any accidents or broken bones!

Grandpa doing his favorite dance!

I really liked these geysers and hot pools, with the long boardwalks, until I read the sign that said the last eruption was in 1985, shooting over 300 feet in the air, and that there was no way to determine when it might erupt again. Why do they let people walk around there???

What a sweet family!

Jackson and Isaac at the pond with the cabin in the background.

Just before we took off for the airport. We were ready to keep Hazel and send Sara and Isaac on their way!!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A Wedding, a Bear Park, and a Baptism!

Tom, Daniel and I (and Dash) went to Rexburg for Marci and Dave's wedding on Friday,Aug. 28. It was the first time Tom and I had been in the new Rexburg Temple, and it was lovely, as was the ceremony. Marci and Dave had most of their pictures taken at the Temple before that day, and so we didn't have to wait terribly long to go to the luncheon, which was at his parents ward outside of Rexburg. The reception was that evening in a garden on the BYU-Idaho campus. It was a very nice day, being with family, and seeing this wonderful couple start a new life together.

We finally got to meet Ryan's wife, Pam. And it was fun to see Rex and Shalee, too.

Here's Dixie and Haleigh (not sure how she spells her name). Haleigh is very happy to be expecting in Oct.

The happy Bride and Groom at the garden reception.

On the way home, we drove by the "bear park", and every time we drive on that road, I always make some comment about wanting to see the bears, so Tom drove in!

Here are a couple of grizzlies.

Kind of a lazy day for this guy!

This bear was so funny--he's trying to figure out what the bear sign means!

They had some cubs that were born in January, and these 2 never stopped wrestling with each other.

It was way too expensive, and the condition of the animals was not the best, but we did see many bears close to the car, and now we can say that we did it!

Yesterday, Saturday, Sept. 5, Emma got baptized! The Baptism was at 3 pm, and afterward we went to Mike and Michelle's for sandwiches and lots of food! Here are some pictures we took right before the meeting started.

Another great day was spent with family!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Visit to Philadelphia

We had such a wonderful visit with Sara and Isaac and Hazel! We had fun seeing the new nursery, and expecially playing with the person for whom the nursery was decorated! Hazel is absolutely the best baby I've ever seen--and that isn't a prejudiced view--it's the truth! She sleeps about 10 hours at night, and she takes a couple of naps by putting her in her car seat with a binky, and she peacefully falls asleep! I couldn't believe it! I don't think Sara slept longer than 30 minutes at a time for the first several months! I was quite impressed with Hazel.

Sara posted pictures from our visit, so I'll not repeat all of them. I am so glad that we went to upstate Pennsylvania to see the site on the Susquehanna River where the Priesthood was restored. It's something that Tom has wanted to do for several years, and it was a very worthwhile experience.

We found a B & B in a town close to the site, and the name of the town was "Montrose." I grew up in "Montrose" Califoria, so I said we had to go there! The name of the B & B was the "Rosemont Inn," and the main street that connected to my own street (Community Ave.) was "Rosemont Ave." Can you believe it?! So there was no question about where we were going to stay--I was just hoping it would be good! It was wonderful!

I especially enjoyed the night before we went to the site, sitting in the B & B where we stayed, having a discussion amongst the 4 of us about the Priesthood. And then to be at the spot where the restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood took place was a special experience, and to be able to walk where Joseph and Emma had actually walked and lived.

This is where their little house once stood. It was also very poignant to think about Emma, and how often she must have knelt next to the grave of her firstborn baby, buried not far from their home. I'm sure she couldn't have helped but wonder why God had not intervened, and kept her baby alive, as I did when my baby Cindi died. Poor Emma, she lost so many children--she had many, many things she had to endure alongside her husband Joseph. Anyway, it was a very good thing to be there.

This is the grave marker for Isaac and Elizabeth Hale, Emma's parents. About 30 feet away from these markers is the marker for Joseph and Emma's baby.

It says: "In Memory of An Infant Son of Joseph And Emma Smith June 15th, 1828." The Church has done an interesting thing. On the back of this newer monument is embedded the original marker.

There was a county road about a block away that went down to the river. Because of the railroad, the monument site and cemetery are fenced, so you can't walk down to the river from there. At the end of the county road is a dirt road that backtracks to a place even with the Priesthood site. However, it had been raining for several days, and the road had become a large pond, and since we were in a rented sedan in the middle of nowhere, with a baby, we decided to not be adventuresome. Sara and I and Hazel stayed in the car, and Tom and Isaac hiked back to the area. They returned to the car quite muddy, but they were glad they went all the way down to the river.

There was a little island in the river, and the eddy it created looked like a perfect place for a baptism! Of course we have no location specified where the baptisms took place, but somewhere along this river, somewhere in this area, John the Baptist appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery.

This is the quote I got off the Church internet site:

"Joseph Smith Jr. first came to Harmony in 1825 to find employment. He and his father boarded near here in the Isaac Hale home, where Joseph first met Emma Hale, his future wife (JS-H 1:56-57). Joseph and Emma were married 18 January 1827. The Prophet received the gold plates 22 September 1827 at Manchester, New York, and soon thereafter moved with Emma to Harmony, where he began translating the plates in their small home near the river. During the translation of the Book of Mormon, Joseph and Oliver Cowdery wanted to know more about baptism and walked to the river to pray to the Lord concerning the subject. In answer to this prayer, John the Baptist appeared on 15 May 1829 (JS-H 1:66-74; D&C 13). He conferred the Aaronic Priesthood on Joseph and Oliver. They then went into this river and baptized each other for the remission of sins. Joseph and Oliver were then directed by John the Baptist to ordain one another to the Aaronic Priesthood. Soon thereafter, Peter, James, and John appeared on the banks of this river and conferred on Joseph and Oliver the Melchizedek Priesthood (D&C 27:12-13; 128:20)."

On the way back we saw a wild turkey in someone's field, and we should have gone back and tried to get a picture of it, but we didn't.

We had such a wonderful time. I even got to see fireflies, which I love! We left SLC on June 18th, and instead to trying to meet at the airport, we rented a car and met Sara and Isaac and Hazel at an "Irish Pub." The food was really good. During our time in Philadelphia this trip, we tried a new (for us) place to get a Philly sandwich (HUGE), and as Sara mentioned, we tried sushi at a place I think was called The Pod. Some of it was OK, but some of it was quite good. The whole eating experience was fun. We had rain for a couple of days, which I think was a lot better than hot and humid weather, which started the day we left! One day we met Isaac after work/school, bought food at one of the truck vendors, and went to the tennis courts to sit down and eat. I love this picture of Hazel looking at her Grandpa.

Afterward, we went to watch Isaac play baseball on a co-ed team he belongs to.

I'm just so glad we had the chance to go visit and be with Sara and Isaac and, especially, Hazel!

All's well that ends well!

No connected with the trip to Philly, we had dinner one night at Keri's, and I took a couple of pictures. It was so nice that Grandma was able to be there.

Isn't this a beautiful picture of Keri?!

Matt and Kati and kids, and Mike and Michelle and kids were there, and we had such a nice time that I didn't take the time to take many pictures!

I have more "summer" pictures to post, but I'll tackle them later!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Hawaiian Church History

A little Hawaiian Church history for you. On 12 December 1850, just three years after the Saints entered the Salt Lake Valley, ten Elders landed in Honolulu after sailing for two weeks from San Francisco. They ascended a mountain and built an altar and dedicated the islands for the preaching of the gospel. They then split up into five companionships, two remained on Oahu, and the others left for Hawaii, Molokai, Kauai, and Maui.

George Q. Cannon and James Keeler made the two day crossing to Maui, now twenty minutes by jet, and met with the governor at Lahaina who gave permission to preach. Some of the missionaries grew despondent because they couldn't learn the language and left for home. But Elders Cannnon and Keeler remained for 3 1/2 years, slowly learning the language, and starting a translation of the Book of Mormon in Hawaiian, which Cannon would later finish in San Francisco. They sickened when they ate poi, and prayed that God would make it sweet to them, and had no problems after that. One of their most influential converts was Judge Jonathan Napela, who became the anchor of the small branch on Maui. In later years, his wife contracted leprosy and was consigned to the leper colony on Molokai for the rest of her life. Brother Napela joined his wife, where he, too, got leprosy and died before she did. He was the first leader of the small branch of leprosy victims who were members of the Church.

When you sit in a fine restaurant overlooking Lahaina's harbor, you can see the island of Molokai looming in the distance and you can think of the Napela's and others who lived their lives in a leper colony, and you can count your blessings. And you can think of those early missionaries who built up churches on the Islands, where today there are wards and stakes and two temples. Trivia question: What was the next temple built after the Salt Lake Temple was finished in 1893? That's right, the Hawaiian Temple at Laie [pronounced La ee A.] Thanks to the efforts of those early missionaries, and especially George Q. Cannon, who later became an Apostle and a counselor in the First Presidency.

While you're eating Hula Pie, you can also think of the time in 1864, when five brethren landed at Lahaina and transferred from their ship into a small boat which would carry them ashore, but the boat capsized in the heavy waves. Four brethren surfaced, but Lorenzo Snow was missing. They, and others who came to their rescue, found him trapped under the boat and drowned. They carried Elder Snow ashore and worked on him, to no avail. Praying for Lorenzo's life, the impression came "to place our mouth over his and make an effort to inflate his lungs, alternately blowing in and drawing out the air, imitating as far as possible the natural process of breathing. This we persevered in until we succeeded in inflating his lungs. After a little, we perceived very faint indications of returning life. These grew more and more distinct until consciousness was fully restored." And, as you know, Lorenzo Snow, who drowned in the harbor at Lahaina, would become the fifth President of the Church, and live to his 87th year.

Your Mom and I attended Church in Lahaina, and I was greatly impressed with the Priesthood brethren, big, tall, handsome Hawaiian men, all dressed in dark suits and white shirts and ties. I was asked to sing with them in a priesthood choir, right then and there in Sacrament meeting, and, man, did they sound good. I even sounded good, singing with those brethren. I sat next to the High Priest group leader in Priesthood meeting, and he asked me what I had enjoyed most about Hawaii. I thought of the Temple, the Polynesian Cultural Center, the luau, Pearl Harbor, Waikiki, the Dole pineapple plantation, burgers at Cool Cats, whale watching, the splendid beaches, the hotels, the flowers, the palm trees, and the 80 degree weather in January. The best thing was just being with Barbara, of course, but I told him that singing with the Hawaiian Saints in a chapel overlooking the harbor at Lahaina on the island of Maui on a splendid Sunday, was as good, and as Hawaiian, as it gets. He smiled.

I'll tell you, Maui makes you smile. Maui and Barbara really makes you smile.

Love to all of you, Dad.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Maui and Whale Watching

To finally continue the saga of our trip to Hawaii. The last entry ended with us having lunch at "Cool Cat's" in Lahaina. After lunch we went for a drive up the coast (what I considered north of the hotel, but I have no idea what direction we were going in). There were rugged beaches, and once in awhile we saw a bay where people were snorkeling. After awhile the road started making a lot of sharp turns, and we decided that maybe it would be good to turn around and head back to civilization. On the way back we stopped at several overlooks.

There was also a turn out at the bottom of a ravine that looked like a rain forest, so we stopped to take a look. The pictures don't show how dense it was.

We kept hearing the sound of a strange bird while we were there, calling to another bird a ways off. We finally spotted it--thinking it would be some kind of exotic parrot--and it was a rooster! I don't know if they have chickens and roosters living in the wild, but we often saw them along the road when there weren't homes near by.

We found a petty little public beach call D. T. Fleming Beach Park, where we stopped for a little while.

Close to our hotel was a place called "Whaler's Village," an outdoor shopping center. We went to a place called "Hula Grill" for dinner. The tables were in the sand, with thatch covered umbrellas overhead. Once again, we sat there looking at the ocean and the boats sailing by.

We had another great meal and terrific desert! While we were waiting for our bill, (they were incredibly slow with everything--but how could you complain because you were sitting there, in Maui, looking at the ocean!--although it was very windy that afternoon), I took some pictures looking up the beach at our hotel.

After dinner we were so full that we walked around the"Village," window shopping, and came across this "whale."

Sunday morning we got up early to be ready for Church at 9 am, and actually got to the breadfast buffet before the crowds, and got to eat at a table, outside. The Ward we went to was the Lahaina 1st Ward, and the people were wonderful. The Elder's Quorum Pres. greeted us and gave me a kiss on the cheek. Every meeting was started with "A-looo-ha," which the congregation answered back, "A-looo-ha." There were a lot of visitors, and everyone was so nice. After Church we found a Chinese restaurant not far from our hotel, and took the food back to eat on our balcony. After a Sunday nap, we decided to drive down the coast, going the other direction. There wasn't much to see--pretty much middle class town and homes, until you got near the end of the island. Then it became very posh and exclusive and expensive.

We saw this funny sign on one of the side roads--I guess the water can come inland when it storms.

We stopped at one beach, and there were signs about leaving the turtles alone, but we didn't see any.

Sunday night we were in a quandary as to where to eat dinner. Most of the restaurants have quite a "party" feel to them, with a bar and entertainment, and we just felt like that was not what we wanted. We ended up going back to "Whaler's Village" and got fast food at their food court. It was pretty lousy, but that's OK. When we got back to the hotel we went for a walk around the pools and beautiful grounds lit by tiki torches, then went to our room and started to get a head start on packing.

Monday morning we brought our breakfast back to the patio, and this time they gave us large glasses of orange juice--in coffee cups!

We took more pictures of the hotel, with Dad standing on our balcony,

and then we checked out at 10 am. We drove to Lahaina, and got in line to board the boat for our 2 hour whale watching cruise. We put patches behind our ear the night before, and we didn't have any problems with sea sickness, but several kids and a few adults were throwing up. It was relatively calm, but there were swells that made for a lot of ups and downs. We did see a lot of whales, but it's extremely difficult to get a picture of one, because you don't know where exactly one is going to surface, and by the time you get your camera aimed, it's usally gone! We saw lots of blows, lots of rolls, some tails up in the air, and a couple of breaches.

We saw a couple of whales, probably females, doing a dorsal fin slap over and over. They think it's a way for the females to draw the attention of the males.

But best of all was a mom and her baby, along with a large male escort. The person doing the tour said that she had never seen a baby that small, so it must not have been very old. The baby kept jumping out of the water. It was so cool! It was a great experience! Here are two postcard pictures that I scanned so you can see what it really looked like when a whale breached,

and when they would make a deep dive, their tail would come up in the air like this.

We never saw it from this close, but even farther away, it was spectacular!

After the cruise was over, we went back to "Cool Cat" for lunch, and then headed for the other side of the island, to where the airport is. On the way we stopped at a beautiful place called Iao Needle.

After we got to the other side of the island, we drove up the coast, but didn't see much. Back in the harbor we say this cruise ship.

We went back to town, and found a place to eat, "Ruby's Diner," which was OK. I spent most of the time on the cell phone with Delta, trying to change our flight to the non-stop flight that left an hour earlier than the one we were booked on. Finally, we got that acomplished, returned our rental car, and then went to the airport to wait for our flight home. We were not able to sit together, but we were close enough to look at each other! The flight left at 9 pm, and got into Salt Lake at 6 am our time. Neither one of us could sleep, so we were extremely tired when we got home. Daniel came to pick us up, and because it was snowing, he had left home at 4:30 am. It was not a fun drive home in the snow, expecially trying to get up our hill with the cars in front of us spinning wheels and going sideways. But thanks to Dan's excellent driving skills, we made it home! That day, Tuesday, February 17, we had about 18 inches of snow by the time the storm ended.

What a welcome home! Where was Hawaii and the 80 degree beautiful weather that we had gotten so used to??? Back to reality! Aloha!