Saturday, November 29, 2008

Nov 28, 2008, Family at the park

Well, what do people do after a tough day at the office, or in this case at the family picnic at the park? Well, they get in their swim trunks and jump in the nearest swimming pool, Brrrr! 50 degrees! Then they jump into the warm Jacuzzi; then back into the pool; then back into the Jacussi ... that is what they do!
Here is the picture to prove it. Future business executives Rhett Ricedorff and his cousin and pal, Garrett LeSueur. The fact that it is now November doesn't mean a thing to them.

Here is a cute threesome! Left to right, Ryan Funk, 8 yrs, Kacey LeSueur, 5 yrs, and Cade Chapman, 4 yrs, enjoying the sand in the volly ball court.

While wild and crazy things were going in the football game, this sweet little group were gathered together at the children's play area with Darcey Perkins, 15 yrs, leading them in different games and activities they could enjoy.

Thank you, Darcey, for being such a good friend and mentor to your much younger cousins.

Dallin Funk, 16 yrs, in the forground, certainly belongs in the game going on between the dad's and their sons and nephews. Dallin is a member of the Mountain View Football Team which is scheduled to play in the State 5A semi-finals against Brophy Dec 6.

But who is that behind Dallin, taking part in this all-male sports activity? Well, of course, its our daughter Rebecca. If is a competion she wants to be part of the action!

"Uncle" Steve Williams is about to catch a pass for the "old man's" team. I didn't get a photo of his really amazing pass reception. It was a long bomb thrown by Gary Funk. Two defenders went up for it. The ball got deflected. Steve had fallen to the ground after going up for the pass, but caught it while flat on his back on the ground!
I asked him if he could do that again as I was so amazed at watching it happen I had forgotten to ready my camera. He said, "Sure. Stand by."

Of course, when this group gets together the grandsons and some of the dad's always have a ball and make a game of it, together. Here is Rathen Ricedorff, 16 yrs, looking over his possible receivers, while Brock, Randy, John and Gary in the distance, are intent on spoiling his day.

Drew Dalton, 6 yrs, holding hands with his sister, Paige, 3 yrs.
Dear little Claudia, 2 yrs in March, is in the forground. Her big brother Christian, 7 yrs, is climbing the equipment. Claudia and Christian belong to John and Rebecca, our second son.
We love being with these dear grandchildren. We so enjoy seeing them interact with each other as cousins when they get a chance at a family event.

Two busy mothers, Ann and Melissa, stopped just long enough for me to take this picture.

They don't like it that I publish these pictures to the blog. But, aren't they cute?

Our daughter Rebecca and her youngest daughter Alexis, enjoying their visit with Mom/Grandma.

If Rebecca isn't smiling and talking she is most likely in bed, asleep. She is one enthusiastic woman!

My brother Reid visiting with Ann's husband, Steve Williams. Steve is holding little Joshua. I believe Josh is our youngest grandson right now. He is a cutie!

It was great to see our White Mountain families. Here is Kelly and Brock saying "Hi" to the mother of this family.

Kelly's 3rd daughter, Darcey Perkins is seated behind them. It was so good to see her again. She continues to attend school here in the Valley. She is an outstanding student. At this gathering she devoted her time to organizing play activities with her younger cousins. She is a most caring and unselfish young woman. We are proud of you Darcey!

Here is Elizabeth's happy, contented baby Erica, being held up for a picture by her father, Rich Dalton.

That is Nathan Funk at the water can, Amy and Gary's second oldest boy.

Grandson's Garrett LeSueur and Zach Perkins took their picnic lunch and settled down under the slide. They called to me and said, "Hey, Grandpa! Look at our orange smiles!"

They had some of the orange slices I had cut for the luncheon. What a pair!

Friday, Nov 28, we were able to gather with our children, grandchildren and other family members at a neighborhood park near the home of Melissa and Russell in Gilbert.
My younger brother Reid (cap) and his wife Stephanie from Monticello, Utah also joined us with their son Todd(far right) and daughter Ashley.
Good food and good times! The weather continued to treat us so well, with perfect temperature and plenty of sunshine.
Linda counted and said later that we had 52 in attendance.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Nov 27, 2008, Thanksgiving Day

Linda was not feeling at all well this Thanksgiving morning and had to stay in, but I was able to be present at the gathering of the Burnham family, out at the Irene and Don Carpenter home on Ray Road in Gilbert.
Our dear mother Lucille Burnham, 87 yrs, is seated near the end of the table. She resides in her own home which is on the same property.
Over 80 family members were in attendance. Lots of great food, with turkey and all the trimmings. The weather treated us so good, after some light morning rain. It was so fresh, cool and mostly sunny. An ideal Thanksgiving Day!

The reason the old guys lost was because of catches like this by Scott. This was a touchdown catch!

Bigger, stronger, faster and better hands! How do you beat that?

You can see Russell and another Elder closing in on Scott as he is about to launch a pass! Scott said that his dad was talking a lot of "smack," but he stayed cool.

Thanksgiving morning, Russell (in forground) and his oldest son, Scott, who plays on the Highland Varsity football team (not shown in this picture) participated in their Ward's annual Turkey Bowl game.

It was the young men against the older men. Age and experience against speed and energy - yeah, you are right, Scott and the young guys took it! Everyone had fun.

Thanksgiving Day dawned with a light rain, cool fresh breezes and then broken clouds, cool temperatures and sunshine. A perfectly beautiful Fall day here in Arizona!

A great many people were out early for traditional activities like football and running.

This is our daughter Elizabeth Dalton and a good friend, running the track at Highland High School in Gilbert. They started at 7 a.m. and ran until 9, a total of 41 laps - over 10 miles! Way to go Elizabeth! We are proud of you.

The rains came to the Valley, starting on Tuesday, Nov 25. We love the rain here in the desert.

This picture was near sundown, looking out from Emalie's window (our temporary bedroom) at a beautiful rainbow after the rain.

Two nights ago, long after dark, I went out to the back yard, here at the LeSueur home, and what do I find? Garrett and his little sister, Kacey both swimming in the pool! They would go get in the warm hot tub on the east side of the yard and then jump out and run over and dive into the swimming pool!

I felt the water. It had to be in the 50 degree range! Cooold! Kids! Can you believe it?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

When someone we love departs this life, we are reminded again of the blessing and importance of every member of our family.

When our dear grandpa Glenn Chapman died at age 92, it brought us together for a few precious moments.

We can give thanks for the great blessing of our family ties, which, if we remain faithful to our covenants, will bind us to one another for eternity. We love our family!

We took this picture during our visit to the jail in Carthage, Illinois in October. Here is where the Prophet Joseph Smith and his devoted brother Hyrum were slain by an angry mob on June 27, 1844.

We can give thanks for the restoration of the Church and Kingdom of God once more to the earth and that we are privilaged to live during this last and greatest of all dispensations of time in the earth's history.

Sunday, Nov 23, during our priesthood meeting at the Vineyard Ward in Mesa, Jeff Ward, 1st Counselor in the Ward Bishopric, extended a challenge to all of us, beginning Thanksgiving Day, to write down something we are sincerely thankful for on that day and continue making daily entries in our personal journals, writing down one or more things we are thankful for throughout the Month of December.
I remember attending a football game at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado and watching as the cadets unfurled this huge American flag, before the playing of the National Anthem and a fly-over of 3 F-16s. This is a great country!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Monday, Nov 24, 2008

Monday, Nov 17, after several pre-op visits and consultations, etc, with her doctor, Ron Burton, MD, of Mesa, Linda underwent bladder repair surgery at the Banner Desert Hospital. They kept her in the hospital overnight. She came through the operation just fine. The recovery should take about 6 weeks. She expects to be ready for travel to the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah by January 3, 2009 for the preliminary training before our missionary assignment in the West Virginia Charleston Mission.

During our stay at the hopsital, she was visited by a woman Chaplian; a very nice lady, who is serving others as a part of her committment to an inter-faith ministry. She goes from patient to patient in the hospital, offering comfort, prayer and her expressions of faith and love.

We had a nice visit together and we told her of our service as senior missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and our call to a second mission, beginning in January. She congratulated us on our mission call and spoke of her positive experiences with Mormon Priesthood leaders and Home Teachers who she is often in contact with as a result of her chapliancy here in Mesa. While Linda was temporarily out of the room the Chaplian remarked that she could tell that Linda was a woman of great faith because of her quiet and cheerful demeanor and her lovely smile. She said, "Your wife's faith can be seen in her eyes."

I believe that to be true. We are all praying that Linda will continue to make a successful and complete recovery from her surgery and that she will be blessed with all that she needs to go forward in fulfillment of her sacred missionary calling. This is the sincere desire of our heart, that we can continue to go forward in our committment to fulfill our missionary call, overcoming any health or other difficulties that may beset us from time to time.

Melissa began employment last week as a new dental assistant for Dr. Larry Adams, DDS, of Mesa. Dr. Adams has been our family dentist for a good many years and we are happy that Melissa has found work with such a good guy and a good office staff.

There she was to greet us at the dentist's office when Linda went in this morning for a follow-up appointment!

Life is never dull when you are involved with this family!

Doesn't she look cute in her "scrubs?"

Saturday, Nov 22, we were in our upstairs bedroom at Melissa and Russell's, visiting with Melissa and we start getting bombarded with marshmallows, incoming through the open bedroom window which looks out upon the front yard of the home.

We look out and who do we see? Garrett and another grandson Rhett Ricedorff, firing at us with their homemade marshmallow guns! Kids!!

Friday, Nov 21, several family members, spouses and children, joined our daughter Amy and her husband Gary Funk in the stands at Mountain View High School Football Field to help cheer the Mt View Toros on to a 29-8 victory over Corona Del Sol of Tempe.

Amy and Gary's oldest son, Dallin, is a starter on Special Teams, even though he is a Junior. I wasn't close enough to get his photo, but he is fast and a hitter. We look forward to seeing Mountain View in the State 5A semi-final game the first Friday night in December, against Brophy High School, Phoenix (It was Brophy that our grandson Scott LeSueur's Highland High team went up against this same night. They played well, but lost). The winner of the Mt. View/Brophy game qualifies for the 5A championship. Way to go Dallin, and the Toros!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Nov 14-15, 2008, Highland Football & Flame Soccor

Another shot of Drew and his team getting close to scoring a goal!

This morning, our grandson, Drew Dalton, played in a soccor game with his team, "The Flame," over at the Cross Roads athletic field in Gilbert. This is 3 on a team, played on a smaller field. These little guys give it their all. It was so great watching Drew playing with his team and making good kicks and passes and scoring the final point! Way to go, Drew!

Our grandson, Scott, 16 yrs, shown here with his mom & dad after last night's 5A football play-off game. They are all smiles because Scott's team shut out Desert Vista, the #4 ranked team in the state, scoring 16-0!
Great win! Now they must get ready to play Brophy next Friday.
During the game, Scott's dad, Russell LeSueur, kept checking in with Gary Funk and others who were at other football play-off games. We were all excited when he learned that another grandson, Dallin Funk, had entered the game for Mountain View v Tucson High, and intercepted a pass, returning it for some 30 yards, setting up another Mt View score! Mountain View went on to win 49-6. Could it be that Dallin and Scott will be facing off against each other a couple of weeks from now!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Nov 11, 2008, Nature walk at Riparian preserve, Gilbert

Here is one flight of 6 Canadian geese that swept out of the south, over the Riparian Park, headed north and flying low, right over me. I managed to snap this photo.

They are fast and not easy to photograph, at least not with my simple little point and shoot camera, so I was very pleased to get this picture of these birds I so much enjoy seeing!

This photo confirms what I discovered a few days ago, to my great surprise and enjoyment; Canadian geese can be found in Arizona!

We told our Colorado friends, when we served in the Denver area on our Mission, that we had never seen Canadian geese in the wild in Arizona. Wrong!!

Before my walk was completed I observed 5-6 different flights of geese come over this park area, always flying south to north. I could not tell where they were going. They are wonderful flyers!

On this Veterans' Day, I took the opportunity to walk over to the nearby Riparian Park, a wetlands and desert habitat preserve, right in the midst of this City of Gilbert. I hoped to observe some water fowl and I wasn't disappointed.
You have to look closely, but near the center of this photo is a Blue Heron and a White Egret. I attempted to get a closer picture, but they moved off further down the water course where the abundant plant life along the shore allowed for no easy access.
Walking paths go all about this wetlands area. It is a beautiful place. It is located on the south side of Guadalupe Road, between Greenfield and Higley Roads. It is just to the east of the Gilbert City Library and just west of the Gilbert Water Treatment Plant and one of Gilbert's newer fire stations.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Nov 8, 2008, The play-off game Show Low V Fountain Hills

To our surprise, what did we also find at the football game Saturday night? But, our two granddaughters, Catelyn and Elsie, on the field, helping the team as "Water Girls." Surely the prettiest water girls in Arizona!

The Show Low Cougar football team won the State Class 3A championship last year. It was Randy's first year as football coach for Show Low High. It was a great season.

This year they have a much younger team. Randy and Rebecca's son Rathen is only a sophmore but has had to step up as the team's quarterback. He has done well. We are so proud of him and of what they accomplished this year in a very tough mountain league. They made the play-offs and stunned Fountain Hills in the First Quarter of this play-off game, going up quickly 10-0. But, give Fountain Hills credit, they finally woke up to the fact they had a serious fight on their hands and they came back and managed a very tough fought, hard hitting win.

Show Low should be very good the next couple of years with the boys they have now and the ones coming up from JV and Freshman teams. WE ARE PROUD OF YOU, RANDY!. CONGRATULATIONS ON ANOTHER GREAT SEASON!!

This shot was taken just as the game ended. Coach Ricedorff is the one with his arm around one of his players (#21). We know Randy to not only be an especially fine football coach but a wonderful role model and mentor for young people. He and Rebecca are making a positive impact on their community in the White Mountains.

Saturday evening was the beginning of the play-offs for Class 3 A high school football. Our daughter Rebecca's husband Randy Ricedorff, is the coach of the Show Low High School team. They came down to play Fountain Hills in the first round of the play-offs. It was a toughly fought game on both sides and it looked like Show Low, with our grandson Rathen at quarterback, just might pull off an upset, but the score ended 20-17 in favor of Fountain Hills.
Members of the family, old and young, from the Valley joined with a great group of loyal fans from Show Low to cheer for Randy and the team.
Here is our dear little granddaughter, Erica, in the arms of her father, Rich Dalton (married to our Elizabeth). She and her mom and dad and her older brother and sister invited us for pizza at their home in east Mesa and then we piled in with them and all of us came to the game. It was great to be with them and our other Arizona and Show Low families, showing our support!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Nov 8, 2008, A day with cousins at LeSueur's and the park at Tone Ranch, Gilbert

Later, after we were at the Park we were joined by two more cousins, Drew, older brother to Paige, and Beau, older brother to Gracie. Drew had just come from participation in an organized team soccor game where he scored a goal! Beau, the older cousin had come down with his sister and mother, our daugher Ann, from Linden, for the day.

They have discovered a tiny (harmless) bug and are so excited, because if they touch it, it curls itself into a ball. If they set it down on their hand or arm and leave it alone, it will soon open up and begin to crawl. They love it!
Starting clockwise with Cade, next to him is Paige (Dalton), Kacey (LeSueur) and then Gracie (Williams) in the blue shirt. They are totally oblivious of grandpa's presence. They are just being children, discovery something interesting.

When Paige Carol came to join the other three, we went over to the nearby park and they played for hours together. These little cousins really do love to be together. Kacey loves all her cousins, both the boys and the girls.

Unstructured play is really important for children. They develop important social skills from their imagintive play together.

Well, every yard should have one, don't you think so? A tree house. "Please, please grandpa, get the ladder and help us get up on the tree house."

Here they are again, Gracie, Cade and Kacey. Just too cute for words!

It is Saturday, Nov 8. Because of three birthdays all taking place within a few days of each other, Linda and our daughters and daugthers-in-law have all gathered for a day of celebration and dinner out (ladies only). Which means that it is cousin day, a time for the younger cousins to be together while their mom's are out partying.
Here is Cade, Kacey and Gracie, stopping long enough from their play on the rope swing in the LeSueur back yard on Stanford Street to let me take their picture. What fun they are to be with!

Nov 6, 2008, Kacey LeSueur in school performance

This is Kacey, dressed in her red, white and blue for school on the day they are to participate in a Veteran's Day program for their parents and family.

We sure are enjoying our opportunity to be back with members of our family here in Arizona!

Thursday, Nov 6, we were able to attend a Veteran's Day musical program at Pioneer Elementary where our granddaughter Kacey LeSueur, age 5, attends school.
They gave a great performance, tributes to our veterans and members of the US military who have defended our country over so many years.
Here is Kacey with some of her classmates. They were so enthusiastic! How fun for us to see this group of children perform!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Nov 5, 2008, Garrett LeSueur's Court of Honor night

Garrett with other members of his scout troop that received awards and advancements at the Court of Honor.

Garrett, with his mom, dad and younger sister Kacey, aftering receiving his 2nd Class Scout award at the Court of Honor, Wednesday night.
Our grandson Garret LeSueur, with his scout troop at their out-door Court of Honor ceremony, where Garrett was awarded his 2nd Class Scout badge.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

November 1-2, 2008, Flagstaff to Linden to Mesa, AZ

As the sun began to set Sunday evening we bid goodbye to our 3 White Mountain families and made our way down old US 60 to Mesa and the East Valley , our home for almost our entire life.
We will be residing temporarily with our daughter Melissa, husband Russell and their family of four in Gilbert while we prepare for our missionary service in West Virginia. We are scheduled to be at the Provo, Utah Missionary Training Center on January 5, 2009.
These last 60+ days of travel have been a wonderful, memorable experience, confirming upon us the beauty of this America, the goodness of its people, the blessing of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ, resonating with ever growing power in every part of this nation and the world. As we have traveled we have, through the miracle of modern technology, taken our family and many of our friends along with us, with daily postings to our blog, receiving responses and updates from so many of you as we went along. What a choice eperience for us! We love each other, our country, our family and or God!
This is the day to exercise our right to vote in this wonderful experiment called American Democracy; a nation "of the people, by the people and for the people." May we each help ensure that it "shall not perish from the earth."

Here are two of Kelly's daughters, Catelyn and Elsie. Catelyn (on the right) said if I took this picture I would have to put it on the blog. So, here it is! Two perfect charmers, these granddaughters!

It was so fun to be with our White Mountain families once again!