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!