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.