Tuesday, October 25, 2016


Blake and Leah are playing on the volleyball team this year.  It is a Junior High team, but they were few in numbers so pulled up the Grade 6 kids.  Since it is Junior High, the Grade 6 kids rotate the days they play.  Both of them have been enjoying it a lot.  Blake has some power.  He is excited about volleyball and plans to continue.
Leah also has never played.  She is doing well.  She has already decided to try out next year.  They have a very strong volleyball program at the High School so we will see, but I am glad she is willing to try.

They have had a few games.  Won some and lost some.  It is a small league.

At first Leah said volleyball was just a warm up to get in shape for bastketball.  Now she likes it.  

Blake has a 5/6 tournament coming up in November.  He played in that last year and is looking forward to it again.

Friday, October 21, 2016


Last week we celebrated Cora's 17th birthday.  Can you believe it?  She couldn't!  She kept saying, 'I am 17.  17, Mom. I'm SEVEN...teen"   We started the day early as usual.
I knew I had one more gift coming in the mail, but she chose to open her presents in the morning.  She had really wanted these Canadian boxers.  I had to drive a very long way out of my way to get them.  She was sure I had not been able to go, and she was very surprised to open them.

All ready to rock and and roll for seminary.
She had requested Angel Food Cake.  I have no idea what happened, but the first one fell flat.  I took it out of the oven and it was nice and tall and beautiful.  When I came back it had slipped out of the pan and slammed to flatness.  I quickly sent her a text asking to pick up another one.

I got it made and cooled by an open window just in time for Dave to eat some before high council.  Cora was still teasing me about her 'wedding' pose at the Dresden temple, so Leah and Cora decided to pose again with her cake.

For dinner she wanted Panko chicken and Ceasar's salad. 

I was trying to get a picture but it was all to bright around her.

She ran downstairs and sat on the landing for her cake photo.

Well it worked.  :)  Cora is always full of life and enjoys everything.  With the amount of stuff she does, most days I think she enjoys a little to much, but wouldn't change a thing.  She is doing everything and anything she can to make the most of her life and bring joy and laughter to those around her.  Happy Birthday Cora.  I feel it is a pleasure and an honor to know you  and to see you grow each day and strive to reach your potential.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Thanksgiving 2016

Fortunately we were able to spend Thanksgiving with both side of the family this year.  Sunday we all gathered at Myrna's.  We had a delicious meal.  The kids played a few games.  We did a good job of getting lots cleaned up before the meal this time which made clean up after go swiftly.

I was very pleased with my girls.  Before, when they were playing games, I would just let them know when it was time to wash a few dishes and they would jump up to help.  After the meal, I didn't say anything and they started clearing.  Stayed till every dish was put away.  They usually do around our house, but I was once again very proud of the help they give without being asked.

The men went off to watch the baseball game and the girls chatted.  The littles mostly played down stairs.  It was nice to sit and be together.  Monday we went out to my parents.  It had snowed overnight and the roads were kinda scary.  At one point we even called to see how it was at their house to see if we should keep going or turn around and go home.  After a few minutes discussion we decided to press forward.  Slush was grabbing our wheels and made for a nervous drive out.  We had another wonderful meal.  My parents had used all their fine china and goblets.  Also they had invited the missionaries for dinner.  3 Sisters and 2 Elders.  The Elders were last minute as they had no where to go.

After dinner the youth and missionaries enjoyed talking in the great room together.  They were a loud group of teenagers, and McKay :), but it was fun.  

Once again nice for the adults to sit and be together and not worry about them.  It was a lovely day.  We had a snack and cleaned up before it was time to leave.  By the evening, roads were clear, even dry in some parts.  We got home and watched a movie.  A perfect holiday.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

School Pictures 2016

For better or for worse, here are our 2016 school pictures.  I was starting to panic about getting them done.  We had already had one snow fall.  It was a little cold, muddy, and windy anyways.  Usually I do these the first of September.  The kids quickly got showered and hair done yesterday and we went out and took them.
They had a lot of ideas this year about what they wanted to do.  I just rolled with it, so we could get it done.

It took a lot of tries to get them all in the air.

Cora so strong she caused them to shake and be moved back.  I think she was being Thor.

Even with the wind and cold this is what we are going with.

I love the relationship these two have.  It has deepened and grown over the last two years as they have learned to depend on one another and be there for each other.  It was a fun day.  We took them all quickly in under and hour.  But it is what it is.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Crazy Cattle

We moved cows today.  Just across the road.  We meet at 10:30 and set up ropes across the road so they could walk in without getting side tracked.  First we moved the bulls to one side.  Dave was in the Tahoe with the kids and Jared on the quad.  I was on the other side of the fence, so I decided to just hide behind a tractor that was there.  Jared got them right into the small watering place before they moved across.  One went straight over, the other to the corner.  I thought I would be helpful and step to the corner to give it a nudge.  That was the wrong thing to do.  Normally is works, but this bull got spooked.  I quickly moved back and hid in a tire so it couldn't see me at all.  He was so nervous.  It took a good 10 mins for Jared to convince it to move.  I could tell the bull kept looking at the tractor, wondering where I was.  At one point I was staring to wonder if I should just come out or if that would stop all progress.  Finally it went across.  Next time I will just get in the Tahoe also.  We then moved on to the cows.  We all went in the back gate to carefully crowd them up first.  Jared and Emry on quad. Dave, Blake, Leah, and I in the Tahoe.  (We left Cora home to write her talk since it was a small move)  There was one little calf that Dave was trying to move forward.  Leah and I jumped out and walked.  Dave drove right up to the calf and it barely moved.  Leah tried to nudge it forward and it would circle with her.  It just wanted to follow her.  So she just kept walking, checking to make sure it was following.  The funny little thing was very friendly.  I didn't see the number, but am sure it would have to be one of the calves we bottle feed for so long.  It followed her almost to the gate until it got spooked by the quad.  All went smooth and pretty fast.  I really wished I had brought my phone to get a picture of that calf following her. :)

Thursday, October 13, 2016


For this flight we got to sleep in until 4:30 am.  :)  We got ready, checked out, caught the street car to the train and the train to the airport.  First we had a short 45 min flight from Dresden to Frankfurt.  Frankfurt is the big international hub.  At the airport in Dresden we meet up with a different 12 missionaries.  10 Elders and a couple going home.  When it came time to board the plane they were on the same flight.  I told Dave I was not worried about this flight at all.  With all those missionaries I felt very save, even through the turbulence.  I was wishing some of them would be on our second flight.  We landed in Frankfurt about a mile from the airport.  We caught a shuttle bus to take us there.  As we are on the bus, on of the missionaries got in the same side as us.  We started talking with him and finally Dave asked if the Elder's dad had taught at the M.T.C.  The way the Elder was standing we couldn't see his name tag.  The Elder said he had.  Turns out that the dad had been Dave's teacher at the M.T.C.  Dave said the kid looked exactly like his dad that is how he knew.  The Elder had pictures of his family and showed them to us.  How cool it that?  How can people say that things like that are a coincidence?  Once in Frankfurt we had a 4 hour lay over.  We had to wait in this hallway for over an hour to even see which terminal we were at.
We got some lunch and boarded for our final leg of this amazing journey.  When I asked Cora if she was sick of flying yet, she said definitely not.  We got a new plane going home.  Each person had their own TV in the seat ahead of them.  Kids watched movies, and played games, slept and read.

We left at 1 pm and landed at 3:30 pm.  It was a 9 1/2 hour flight.  The kids decided they were time travelers.  It was a really long flight.  We went up over Greenland and Iceland.  We could track our flight the whole way, which was cool.  The attendants were constantly bring water by, that was nice.  We had a dinner, two snacks and vanilla ice cream.  It was really nice to land and get through customs.  There was a stake youth activity that night that the girls had wanted to go to.  At the point we landed we had been up for 24 hours.  The still wanted to try.  Crazy girls!!  Customs took us a long time and we didn't make it.  Stopped to pick up a few groceries.  And at long last arrived back home.  The next morning we were all up early.  At 3 am,  I finally gave up and started laundry.  It was conference weekend.  The perfect weekend to return with jet lag.  The whole trip was amazing.  We feel so blessed we were able to do this and take the kids.  It was wonderful to be together with our kids all that time and not have any distrstions or things we had to run to.  Also so grateful to see so many things that Dave has told us about over the years.  Hopefully these memories will last the rest of their lives.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Dresden - 4

On our second to last day we went to Frieburg to see the temple. (There is also a Frieburg in the south that is bigger, not to be confused with this one)  When we got on the train we walked past 12 missionaries.  I was very excited to see them and stopped to see where they were from.  All from the states, mostly Utah.
Once we got to Frieburg we had a 3 km walk to the temple.  We had thought about taking a bus, but there were no clear signs about which one to take.  It was a lovely day and we enjoyed the walk.  Frieburg had a small town feel to it.  It is still fairly big, but quiet streets, we only passed a few people, but little houses.  We came across a park area where Cora and I needed the water closet, and then the kids played for a bit.

We then continued on our way.

Another beautiful temple.  Off to one side of the temple sits the church building and at the back is a Temple Hotel.  How cool is that.  If you are travelling a long distance you can stay.  Brilliant!

I was trying to be creative and get some artistic shots, which I am not good at.  Cora said she felt like she was posing for her wedding photo.

I loved the idea of this one.  If the sun would have been behind me, I feel it would have been awesome.  I had to kneel right down in the grass to get this.  My knees were a little damp, but worth it. 

After walking around and then sitting and chatting we hiked back to the train station and back to Dresden.  We found a street vendor selling doner.  We got two to try in case we didn't like them and ended up buying three more.  Again such good bread, sauces were delicious, fresh cabbage and nice spicy sliced meat.

It was then time to see the Glass Factory.  I had been excited about this one.  I love watching how they make glass.  When we arrived, I was amazed how big it was.  I mentioned to Dave that I was glad there was a glass making factory in Dresden we could see.  He said, 'What?  What are you talking about?'  I explained how going to this Glass Factory was going to be fun and I had been looking forward to it.  He started laughing.  Apparently it is a building made  OF glass, not making glass.  It is were they make Volkswagen.  You get to see the assembly lines and watch them make the cars.  Also neat, but funny I didn't realize what he was talking about.  When we got there, outside were some guards.  They told us that there was a convention or something going on, so no tours that day or the next.  Too bad it was our last two days.  Guess we should have checked it out earlier.

We went back to the square.  We bought our souvenirs.  Saw this odd 6 person bike.

And got our last gelato.

Wandered back to our hotel for evening bread and bed.  Our final day we got to take the steam boat tour down the Elbe.  

I know I keep saying it but it really was beautiful countryside.  These vineyards run right up the side of the hills.  Cora thought that if they need a staircase to garden it was to steep.  We saw many of these and people working in them.

We passed under a few bridges.  This one is called The Blue Wonder.  It was the only bridge that did not fall in the bombing of WWII.

Little villages

We stopped at the Summer Palace to tour around.

There was really no place to eat and Blake was starving.  It was a good thing I had an apple, some buns, a few peanuts and some gummy bears still in by backpack.  We didn't realized it would be so long until we ate.  The Summer Palace was a museum.  It was the strangest museum we had ever seen.  No really rhyme or reason to it.  In one part was bikes and world bike records.

Another would have dining rooms all set with 15th century place settings and decor.  Next would be statues.

Cora saw this bust and said that it was exactly how she feels her hair looks.  So I made her take a picture.

We saw 70's style bedrooms and TVs.  Some glass and pottery.  I loved the ancient kitchens.  We saw the meat room, the ice room.  They had about 4 kitchens, one was for making bread..

..one for pastries.  This one seemed to be the main kitchen, it was huge.  Along one of the pillars was marked up the side, some up into the white part of how high the flood was in certain years.  Last time it flooded was 2002.

It was all fascinating but really strange set up.  We meet the steamboat and went back.  For dinner we had one last doner for us all and went back to the hotel.  We got packed up, the kids showered and caught up on journals.  We had one last swiss chocolate bar to share and early to bed.