Saturday, August 20, 2011

Moving on Up

As they say; "The only thing that doesn't change is the fact that everything changes" We are going through some interesting family changes.

Mom and I are finally moving to a new house this next week after 17 years in the same place. It has been very painful trying to sell the house, because people are so cruel in their comments. They have said that the house looks tired. I thought after housing Tracy and I, raising 6 kids, 2 foster kids, 4 exchange students, occasional guests, 1 son-in-law and 1 grand child, and over 25 missionaries maybe it will look a little tired, but very happy. It has been a great 17 years.
We have spent this weekend celebrating with Don and Austin some changes in their lives. Don is moving on to start school and soon to be a father . He is ending his work as a landscaper in the heat of the Phoenix sun and trading in his shovel for school supplies. Don and Leslie are so happy that he will be able to spend more time at home.
Austin has just graduated from 3 months of Marine Boot Camp in San Diego. We were able to walk around the base with him after a few ceremonies on Thurs and then he graduated on Friday. They call it Family Day on Thurs and keep building up the tension by having the recruits run and march in front of us for a couple of hours before we actually get to see them. When they first pulled up in front of us wearing their running shorts I couldn't pick Austin out of the crowd. I though I had the wrong group. He looked so different. He had gotten a little tubby, but was tubby no longer.

They do the Moto Run (Motivational Run) and then go change into their dress uniform to come out and march in front of us. We were sitting in the stands waiting for the company when this recruit limped by and he kinda of looked like Austin and so I tentatively said, "Austin????" and it was him. He hurt his knee on the run and was given permission to come sit with us to watch the others march.
We had a grand time as he narrated the action on the Parade Deck and jealous parents all around us had to wait another hour before they got to visit with their recruit.Austin distinguished himself in a couple of ways at Boot Camp. Within 2 days he was selected as a Squad leader over 14 other recruits based on his energy, wisdom, loud voice, ability to understand directions and help other. They change out squad leaders over the 3 months, but Austin only missed one day as leader. He was also chosen as Prayer Leader. He gave scripture study lessons from both the Bible and Book of Mormon and lead the prayer every night. Probably the highlight of the day was after the Marine graduation we went to a local church and Austin baptized and ordained to the priesthood a recruit from his platoon. The recruits mom went on and on about the positive influence Austin had been in her son's conversion.Bold

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

4th of July Weekend

Mary Ellen has a new torture called a simple black sand bag. It is exhausting work. We pick up this stupid black 30 lb sand bag, heft it to one shoulder, squat, drop it to the ground, we drop burpee style, do a push up and then jump back up to do it all over again. I had to do 60 of those on Friday in 10 mins. I know it doesn’t sound bad but it was a killer and my shoulders are dead, hey I’m 59 now and things hurt.

Sunday night the 3rd mom and I went to downtown Denver to Civic Park for a big band concert and fireworks show. It was incredible, especially when the band was playing the 1812 Overture or patriotic music and the fireworks were blasting away. I loved it and I also heard birthday greeting from all my kids. It was a great day.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Summer Kick Off Event

It was "old folks trying to act young and be cool in the mountains, by Buena Vista, to kick off the summer" weekend. I think we did a great job of looking at least 10 years younger then our actual age...but we blew it when the conversations around the campfire centered on retirement income, our aches and pains, visits to the doctor, and grandkids. We had a blast riding the ATV's up to old mining sites or Kayaking across a windy lake to tour some old buildings. I think 60 is the new 40.

This was our campsite and mom is waking up on a chilly morning.

Mom was having so much fun she didn't even scream on these narrow and steep ATV roads.

I got a rare photo of the Goddess of the Lost Mine, she looks quite striking in the mid day sun.

This was on old remote brothel for the rich folks in Leadville during it's heyday. it is a very large building for it's day. The winter's are long and cold in the mountains.
Dot doing a sales job on how great Buena Vista is to live and play.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Catching Up

It has finally warmed up and become Spring so the Elders helped prune the apple tree. The top is totally missing, but they had fun.

Mom and I went to Austin, Texas for Multi Awards Conference and it rained most of the time. We had one afternoon to run around town and had a blast. Our trip included a walking tour of Austin's famous ghost site. This hotel had several ghosts, but the scariest part was about the original owner. He built this incredible hotel when everything else around him was just a shack, but he charged $1.00 a night instead of $0.25 and went bust in 5 months.
Right after Texas I had eye surgery that still hasn't worked out very well. Old age is miserable. One of the elders said I had gained weight and looked fat, he also notice I was going bald, and that cateract surgery was for old men. Well I can look forward to our new house which is finally framed out.
We went to Utah for a Family reunion and send Bryce and family off to New York. We had a blast. Tiana and Preston are great hosts.

We were glad to have a new truck to haul all of Bryce's stuff to the airport. All of his baggage filled the back of the truck.
On the way back from Utah the weather was so nice that we took a detour to hike to Hanging Lake. The spring runoff was wild as you can see from the picture the trail had become the river in places. Mom didn't have hiking shoes and it was tough going trying to walk carefully.
Mom was dieting and hadn't eaten anything to give her energy so she "rested" a few times on the hike.

The view was spectacular!!!
And mom is still very hot!!!

Catching Up with Pictures

I'm trying to catch up from a lot of neglect of the blog.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

One is the Loniest Number There Could Ever Be

Imagine for a whole week around Mother's Day your wife heads off to vacation hundred's of miles away in a flood plain. Leaving you alone to prepare dinner and feed four missionaries for Mother's Day. That isn't the worst; Danica leaves with the only grandkids around and goes with Tracy to Branson, MO. Dave went to his sisters funeral in KY. But there is always Austin to hang around, oh but no he went to Phoenix to visit with Don and Leslie. Well at least I can visit with my CPA buddy, but he and his wife go off to No. Carolina to golf. Thank goodness for the walking stomachs called missionaries. As long as I have food and Simply Orange drink I will have company. It ended up I was only alone during dinner prep and clean up, during the meal I had lots of company. Some day justice.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Traditional Easter Priates Easter!!!

This is what you get when you combine the two biggest holidays of Christendom - Easter and Christmas, you get Easter Pirates. That means mushing the family Christmas picture of Pirates and Easter. The grandkids loved it.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Pre Conference Breakfast

The mission president promised us that he would send only the finest missionaries in the entire mission to our home, since we have had missionaries for such a long time. He followed though on that promise and here are a few of the latest photos of their fine work:

Eating waffles.

Coolest hats.

Best looking ties.

And yes they have set a few records for the number of lessons taught and investigators found. They are working hard and so we will happily put up with a few goofy pre-conference breakfasts..

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Busy but Quick Trip to Utah –

We were all pulling for BYU to make it to the Elite Eight and I got to see them destroy the Zags here in Denver but I made it off the plane in time to see the last minute of the regular action tie against Florida. The overtime was a disaster and BYU didn’t advance but had a great season.

Friday morning was spent in the Appeals Court Mediation session. I went in owing $22,000 and came out owing only $7,500. So after 4 years we can finally move beyond that stupid 1031 case. All in all I have lost about $70,000 which is better than the $120,000 I thought at one time I would lose, but it still hurts. It’s over and there are more important things than money, like family which I was able to enjoy the rest of the weekend.

I spent some time with a friend going through a hard time and again realize that life is not a straight line, there are knots twists and turns. We had a ball going skiing and snowboarding at Sundance. The weather was cold but clear and Bryce, Marcia, Austin and Preston and I really had a ball. Preston was very impressive taking massive jumps and even though I couldn’t keep up with Austin I had a ton of fun. We even got free dessert at the original Claim Jumper Restaurant in Heber City.

Saturday Tiana and I went to the color festival in Spanish Fork. It is some Eastern Indian celebration and everyone throws paint (caulk) at everyone else. There were thousands of people there and everyone was covered in paint. We escaped with very little damage. Fun experience.