Wednesday, December 8, 2010

After 4 years in storage, we dusted off the treasured nativity that traditionally graces the top of the piano and restored it to its proper place. It reassured us that we are truly back again in our home at this Christmas season, 2010.
Merry Christmas, to one and all!

Christmas is coming! Christmas is coming! You can feel it in the air!
Our home is taking on the festive appearance that Linda so enjoys! She delights in all the sights and sounds of the the season. Every corner of our little home is touched with her gift of decoration.

Our grandson Aiden (David & Meredith's 3rd child) celebrated his 6th birthday Monday, Dec 6. We were there at his home in north Mesa when he opened his presents. He loves to draw and he was so excited to open one of his presents from his parents and find it to be filled with colored markers! His younger sister Jolie is also giving this new gift serious attention.
How we do love to be with these dear grandchildren after 4 years of being away. They grow up so fast!

We live in such a special neighborhood, here in Mesa. Our Vineyard Ward Primary held an after school activity the first week of December, which included a chance to ride in the neighborhood "train," with Bishop Bob Wright at the controls. When Bishop Wright saw me taking pictures, he said, "Terry, as a former Deputy Sheriff you're not going to turn me in for driving an unlicensed vehicle are you?" I said, "Bishop, it would take a very hard hearted officer to ticket this train."

Saturday, November 27, a great many of the family attended the Arizona high school 3-A football championship game held at the Northern Arizona University Skydome. It was thrilling to see our grandson Rathen and his team, the Show Low Cougars take a 20-3 lead at half-time and hang on to win in the final moments, 20-17, over their arch rivals, the Lakeside/Pinetop Blue Ridge Yellow Jackets.
Here is the photo, taken by our grandson, Scott LeSueur, that proves the old saying that "a picture is worth a thousand words."
Rathen, the star quarterback, holding the just presented championship trophy, is surrounded by the members of his family. Left to right, his younger sister and member of the cheer squad, Alexis; Randy, father and head coach of the team; his mom, Rebecca (our #4 daughter) the world's greatest sports mom, his older sister Brookelyn and her husband Ross Willis with the video camera; and kneeling, his younger brother Rhett, the team's indefatigable waterboy. Standing behind the family with finger upraised is their close friend, Billy. As head football coach for Show High School, Randy led his Cougars to three State championships games and two state championships in his 4 years at Show Low. His son Rathen holds almost every state passing record and is rated among the 4 leading high school quarterbacks in the nation as he finishes his final season as a senior at Show Low High. We are very proud of Randy and Rebecca and the Ricedorff family for their acheivements on and off the football field.

On Thanksgiving afternoon and evening our children and grandchildren came to our back yard on N. Orange Street in Mesa. We had a great time! It was so good to have them with us once more at this season of the year! Their Uncles, Clark and Reid, and members of their families also stopped by. The temperatures dropped into the 40's after the sun went down, but we have a fire dish and everyone gathered round.
In this picture, in the left forground, Meredith is seated with her youngest, Jolie, on her lap, looking at the fire; John's Rebecca, standing on the left, looking toward the camera; Russell and Melissa, standing together, beyond the fire; Reid, with his hands on his hips; Clark, observing his nephews as they play ball in the side yard; Clark and Connie's two children, Cole and Whitney, are seated in the whte chairs, talking with each other. We hadn't seen them in such a long time. Reid and Stephanie's daughter, Ashley, who lives here in Mesa, was also present, but not pictured here. Emalie, Melissa and Russell's oldest daughter is wrapped in a blanket, in the foreground, talking to (I think) her Aunt Kelly.

Friday, December 3, 2010

On Thanksgiving Day we attended the Burnham family gathering at the Carpenter homestead in Gilbert. Here we are with Linda's brother, Robert, and his wife Jenell ("Jen"). It looks like we are eating sack lunches, but, in fact we consumed a full turkey dinner with all the trimmings. The paper bags contain Christmas gifts sent down to us from Linda's sister, Diane in Parawan, Utah.

Nov 6, the wedding of our nephew Cory Carpenter (Irene & Don's oldest) to his bride, Jennifer, took place in the church yard at the LDS meeting house near Ray & Gilbert roads in Gilbert, performed by their Bishop.
This picture was taken, moments after the ceremony was completed. We are very happy for Cory to have found such a lovely girl. You can see Cory's youngest brother, the ring bearer, off to the left.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

After our visit to the Willis farm, selecting our pumpkins and seeing Brookelyn who was helping out with pumpkins sales as a member of the Willis family, (She is married to Ross Willis), Rebecca and Melissa and children joined us for lunch at a local Mexican restaurant in downtown Snowflake. Then they went with us to see the home we are interested in purchasing, west of town near Temple Hill. If you look closely you can see the Snowflake LDS Temple in the distance, beyond the house.
As you can see this home is unoccupied and its yard uncared for, but it is a very nice home at a good price and in a very nice location. We will see what happens.

Notice the pumpkin in flight, a hundred yards or more down range from the catapult.
The Willis family have a scarecrow in place as a target. You can see broken pumpkins littering the ground, but the scarecrow was standing tall, without a direct hit while we were there.

Rebecca looks on as a couple of young men load a large pumpkin in the Willis catapult

Well, you can see that we couldn't decide on just which pumpkin was best, so we got as many as we could load on the wheel barrow. It was fun to be there with Melissa and two of her children, Garrett and Kacey, and with Rebecca and her youngest, Rhett (cap on backwards).
While we picked out pumpkins the boys enjoyed firing off the giant pumpkin throwing machines the Willis family had set up for their customers. they had a good time!

Before returning back to the Valley, we drove to Snowflake to hunt for pumpkins in the Willis family pumkin patch.
Kacey, Melissa's youngest, found one she likes. It was so big I went and found a wheel barrow to carry it in.

I have totally failed in all my efforts to take any action pictures of our grandson, Rathen, as he performs in his role as quarterback of his Show Low football team. Me and my little camera are not up to the task, everything is in such rapid motion.
But, we do call your attention to the members of the Show Low cheer squad as they perform during half-time at the Blue Ridge game. Rathen's younger sister, Alexis, is a member of the squad. She is one of the flyers. You recognize her don't you? She is the prettiest one there.
We are very proud of Alexis for her accomplishments in school this year.

There is our favorite football coach, our son-in-law Randy Ricedorff, Rebecca's husband, walking back toward the sidelines after conferring with his team one last time before the start of the Show Low/Blue Ridge game. We love this man for his integrity and his firm committment in building character into his players as they compete in high school athletics.
Win or lose, he is a winner!

Here are three of our all-time favorite people in all the world, our daughter's Melissa and Rebecca, with Brookelyn, a married granddaughter, sandwiched in between.
They are all bundled up in winter clothing and very excited, sitting in the stands before the beginning of the "greatest rivalry game in Arizona High School football;" the Show Low Cougars vs the Blue Ridge (Lakeside/Pinetop) Yellow Jackets. This was near the end of this year's regular season, held at the Blue Ridge football stadium in Lakeside on a very cold night. It was a thrilling game with Show Low going out in front, early, but Blue Ridge came back like they often do, and won it in the 2nd half. So, Show Low will have to play them again in the State Championship if they want to be "Kings on the Mountain."

The coast of California has it's special beauty, but it is always good to be back on the open road in the State we love the best, Arizona!
This was taken as we traveled east on US 60 on one of our many trips from Mesa to Show Low.
Picket Post Mountain, a favorite landmark, comes in view as we near Superior, Miami and Globe.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Thanks, Steve and Ann, for inviting us to spend a few days with you at the seashore. We loved it, and we are very sure that the children will never foret those special days with their mom and dad, enjoying the wonders of the surf and sand.

It was great, being with Beau and his dad, searching out the variety of tiny sea creatures that inhabit these tide pools among the rugged rock formations that are part of this particular beach. We saw sea anenami, small crabs and thousands of shell fish that fasten themselves to thes rocks along the shore.

Now, it's Gracie's turn! Oh, what fun!

Josh isn't looking to sure about this being buried in the sand, but, in fact, he loved it!
This is at the beach just down from the cottage where they were staying.
Steve and Gracie have just finished covering Josh and drawing designs to make it look like a turtle shell??

Linda could not negotiate the 199 steps down to the beach, but she did drive down to the public beach just a ways to the north and rolled up her pant legs and waded out into the surf. She loved it so much she was just about to dive in, clothes and all, when I took this picture.
The woman knows no fear!

This is the view of the Pacific Ocean from where Ann & Steve were staying. That is Catalina Island ("26 miles across the sea") in the distance.

Here is the delightful cottage that Stev and Ann rented during their one-week stay at Laguna Beach. It is just a half block off the Pacific Coast Highway, on a hill overlooking the ocean. To reach the beach, however, you must take a flight 199 stone steps from the street level down to the ocean.

We were with Ann, Steve and their three children, Beau, 8, Gracie, 7, and Josh, 2 yrs, Mon - Wed, Oct 18, 19, 20. Despite the rainy weather we enjoyed some great time with them.
Beside several hours at the beach nearby, we did some sightseeing around this beautiful seaside community of Laguna Beach.
I took this picture as we were leaving a Marine life saving station, where they care for injured sea lions and seals. What you are seeing behind them is the acutal rib bone of a giant whale.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

On Monday, Oct 18, we drove up the Pacific Coast highway (101) from San Diego so we could meet up with Ann, Steve and family at Laguna Beach. Even, though it was still overcast and rainy it is always great to see the ocean.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A closer view, looking up into the face of this work by Edward Fraughton, which stands atop the hill above the Mormon Battalion Visitor's Center in an area called "The Presidio."
Photographs cannot do justice to the artistry and detail represented in bronze in this heroic size statue. We marvel at the attention to detail, the skill and committment of the artist in the creation of such a work. It must be viewed in person and walked about at all angles to begin to appreciate it in full.
We have a great admiration for Brother Fraughon.

Atop the hill to the east of the Mormon Battalion Visitor's Center is where you find the bronze statue commissioned by the church in honor of the men of the Mormon Battalion. This beautiful piece of artistry has very special meaning to us because we know the sculptor, Edward Fraughton of South Jordan, Utah. Ed Fraughton's work is renown within and without the church. The 10-year project he just completed in downtown Omaha, Nebraska represents the largest Bronze statuary in the United States, if not the world. It is a pioneer wagon train, larger than life-size, including wagons, men, women children, horses and oxen, covering a full city-block.
You can view some pictures of this significant Omaha work in previous entries of our blog, taken as we a road trip across America after serving our first full-time mission, in the summer of 2008.
Brother Fraughton is the father of our dear daughter-in-law, Kristi, married to our oldest son Jeffery.

One of the real highlights of our trip to San Diego was to go into Oldtown for a visit to the Mormon Battalion Visitor's Center, pictured here.
The church has recently remodeled this visitor's center, adding wonderful displays that help the visitors more greatly understand and appreciate the wonderful contribution made by this group of Mormon soldiers who participated in the longest military march in American history, ending here in the area of San Diego in 1847.
Don't miss the opportunity to visit this site if you are in the San Diego area. It is very, very impressive!

Right next to the "Star of India" at the San Diego harbor is a famous seafood restaurant where we had a very nice meal. On our way out onto the sidewalk in front of the restaurant we noticed this statue of a man. I told Linda to take a closer look at him, he appeared so life-like. As she got up close he suddenly came to life in dramatic fashion, moving his arms and pointing straight at her! Everyone standing nearby got a great laugh out of it, at Linda's expense. She was so surprised!
But, what would you expect in California?

On October 14, in response to an invitation from our daughter Ann and her husband Steve Williams, to join them for some days of relaxation in Laguna Beach, California, we drove down to San Diego and for a three nights stay, sightseeing in the area before driving up the coast to Laguna Beach the following Monday.
This is an old sailing ship, "The Star of India," tied up to the warf in the San Diego Harbor. It is rigged as a spook ally for the Halloween holiday. That is why it is sporting these ragged sails.

Here is our little home at 445 N. Orange St, in Mesa. We are very happy to be back in our home after more than 4 years being away.
We were able to serve our two missions because we knew our home and large yard were being cared for properly by our nephew Bryce Burnham and his wife Karlie. It was such a blessing to have them occupying our home while we served as full-time missionaries for the church. They took such good care of the home and the yards. It provided us with peace of mind, knowing they were there. They had their first two children (two sweet little boys) while living here and they are hoping to find a larger home now, having outgrown this 2 bdrm home of ours.

Part of settling back into our home in Mesa is giving attention to our big yard. One of our older citrus trees became diseased and had to be removed.
This is our neighbor, Dan Filbrun, getting ready to uproot the remains of our Valencia orange tree with his power shovel, after I had cut off the upper limbs. It took him only a few minutes to dig it out of the ground, roots and all! I can hardly imgine how long it would have taken me to dig it out by hand

When we are in Mesa we get the opportunity to attend some of the games our grandson Nathan Funk, 15, performs in as a member of the Junior Varsity team at Mountain View High School.
That's him, Number 28, standing with his teammates before their game with Brophy. Nathan is gaining in size and ability. He is fast and is a member of the kick-off team. We look forward to his opportunity to carry the ball as a running back.
Nathan is the 2nd oldest son of our daughter Amy and her husband Gary Funk of Mesa.

There are other outstanding football players in this family of ours. Here is our grandson Zachery Perkins, 13 yrs, posing here for a picture with his dear mother, our oldest daughter, Kelly, at their home in Show Low.
Zachery is a Deacon in the Aaronic Priesthood in his Show Low ward, and he is enjoying a good year at Show Low Jr High where he plays on the 8th grade football team. What a special young man!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Here is number 10, Rathen, with his younger sister, Alexis, a member of the cheerleading squad, and his mother, Rebecca, posing for grandpa to take a picture after a game they won against Fountain Hills.

Earlier in September, we drove down to Thatcher, Arizona to attend a high school football game between Show Low and Thatcher. It gave us a chance to visit our granddaughter Breann Perkins, who is a student at Eastern Arizona Jr. College, and it gave us the opportunity participate in an endowment session in the new Gila Valley Arizona Temple. What a beautiful temple! That was a choice experience.
We also got to be with other family and friends who came to be at the game, which Show Low won easily. Our grandson Rathen had another good game as quarterback for the Show Low Cougars! He is headed for a record breaking season in 3-A football.

Drew and his dad, Rich Dalton, posing for grandpa to take a picture after the soccor game was over. Drew's team lost the match, but Drew scored a goal for his team near the end on a great play. What a guy!

Here is another of our grandson's, Drew Dalton, participating with his soccor team in a game held at the huge sports complex on South Greenfield Rd in Gilbert, Arizona.
Drew is the 2nd from the left in the mid-background, dressed in his green and blue.

Here is our grandson, Beau Williams, the newest Wolf in the cubpack in the linden Ward. What a handsome and bright young man he is! It is always a pleasure for us to be back in close contact with our grandchildren.

We arrived back in Show Low on Saturday, Sept 25, in time for Linda to join her daughters and granddaughters in attendance at the Show Low Stake Center for the broadcast of the LDS Women's Conference.
Afterward, they all gathered back at Ann's in Linden and enjoyed visiting and playing games; a real girl's night out!

After meeting with the Hodge's in Durango, Sept 23-24, we drove to Monticello, Utah for an overnight visit with my brother, Reid, and his wife Stephanie, at their lovely home.
It was very enjoyable to have a few moments with them and enjoy such a relaxing night's rest and delicious dinner and breakfast before we departed.
This picture was taken in front of the home, just before we left for our return to Arizona.

On September 23 we drove to Durango, Colorado for our reunion with our dear friends, Elmer & Sue Hodge of the Bedford Virginia Branch. They brought boxes of our personal things with them in their car. They were originally planning to meet us in Springville, Utah where they planned to visit members of their family, but then their daughter and family decided to join them for a tour of sites in the 4 Corners region. So, we agreed to meet them in Durango.
Here we are, seated outside an ice cream parlor in downtown Durango, following a stroll along the main avenue, visiting the many little shops and having lunch at one of the downtown restaurants.
It was great, seeing them once again. It was so kind of them to care for our things we had to leave behind when we departed from our missionary assignment in Bedford and to transport them out to Colorado for us. We still have some other items stored at their home. We plan to make a trip in the Springtime and finally retrieve them all.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Here they are! Gracie (on the right) and her friend, Kamrele, in their dance costumes.

Gracie with a friend. They had lots of fun playing dress-up that particular day. They are the cutest!

Friday, September 10, 2010

During our stay with Ann, Steve and family in Linden, Grandpa enjoyed his one-on-one time with these delightful grandchildren. Beau and Gracie were always off to school on the bus by 7:50 a.m. Josh was up early too, ready to go for a walk down the country road to water the horses, or to spend hours on the front or back porch with his many miniture cars, trucks, and heavy equipment pieces.

While the sun was setting in the west on August 24, this was the sky as it appeared as we looked east across the Linden Valley

August 24, the evening sky over Linden, Arizona, looking to the southwest.

August 2010, we continued to reside with our daughter Ann and husband Steve and family. Summer rains blessed this mountain area during August.
On August 24, the evening sky was particulary beautiful. I took several pictures, all from Ann's home on Burton Rd in the Linden Valley.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Thursday, August 19, we attended funeral and burial services for Curtis Chapman, 51, held in Taylor, Arizona.
Curtis is the son of my cousin, Fullmer Chapman and his wife La Donna, residents of Taylor. Curtis was victim of cancer. He was much beloved by his family and friends. Three brothers and two sisters and his parents, children and extended family and friends participated in the services.