Called to Serve

We have loved traveling and being with family for the past two years but we felt the call to serve another mission so here we are in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania for the next year.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Am I Blogging Down?

It appears that I have neglected to add anything to our blog for the past month and a half. I will blame that on the fact that during that time I was flitting here and there and never had the time. I will catch you up on the activities of the last little while.

August 6th Wayne and I left for San Francisco. He had a conference to attend and I amused myself by doing a Hop On Hop Off bus tour. I have been to SF so many times but I really enjoyed the ride around town and the narration that went with it. There were so many things that I recognized but I did not really know the facts about places. Not that I really remember what I heard but I did have fun. While we were there we went to an "Off Broadway" play called the Drowsy Chaperone. It was so good and FUNNY. Neither of us had ever heard of it but we were really glad that we had gotten tickets. I recommend it to anyone.

The following week we had our Clarke Campout. Wayne and I, Jason, Tamera, Preston, Ashlynn, Stacy and Ashley all headed for Bass Lake. Major mistake on the location. It was SOOO HOT! The campsites are all pretty small and you feel like you are right on top of the campsite next to you. Add to that their rediculous reservation system and it was pretty well a bad few days. Wayne and I were the first to arrive (by hours!) and so he went to check in and get our campsite assignment. They have some strange color coding system and so the two sites that we reserved were at opposite ends of the campground because they do not have the same colors grouped together. We had decided that we were going to squeeze everyone into one campsite when we discovered that the people next to us were using one of their two campsites (which somehow were across the street from each other) to park their cars. They very graciously allowed us to put up our big tent there and we had Jason's family bunk down there. We were then informed by the camp host that they had a rule that even if you don't use a campsite for sleeping in you had to put up a tent there (why that did not apply to the people next to us I do not know). We had Stacy's car parked at the other campsite but we had to put up a tent - rules are rules - so then we were one tent short. Stacy did not want to cram in with Ashley! She ended up sleeping in the back of Jason's truck under the stars. She was fine with that until the next day when she heard that there were bears in the area. Her remedy was to put one of the tent flys over the truck bed. How that helps protect you from a bear I do not know - for that matter how does a tent protect you?

Jason found an innovative way to keep the bugs out of his face and Preston loved making S'mores.

Despite a few problems here and there we did have some good moments. Stacy had gotten little fishing poles for Preston and Ashlynn and they used the plastic fish that came with it to practice casting for hours and hours. At one point they tied peanuts to the fishing line and they would cast it out then wait for the blue jays. As soon as one got it in his mouth they would reel it in. It was so funny.

Josh brought a huge blow up island raft and the kids had a great time with that. We also had fun going to the Forks for breakfast and having Josh wait on us.

We took a ride on the Sugar Pine Railroad then went up to Nelder Grove for a picnic among the Big Trees. There was an old cabin and remnants of the logging flumes along with a lot of other interesting stuff at the information station.

All in all, family camp is a keeper but we will chose much more wisely next year when it comes to the location.

The day we got home from camping, Jeannie and I packed up and headed for BYU Education Week. We had to wait for her to get off work at 2pm so it was kind of a late start. We got as far as Henderson, Nevada that night and stayed with Pat Clason. Unfortunately, Denise had gone to Fresno since her grandmother was in the hospital. In her absence, Pat was a wonderful host and it was great catching up on everything. We arrived in Provo Sunday night about 6:00pm and got settled into our dorm room. Annaleesa and her friend Kristen ended up in a room 3 doors down from us. We had a great week and I attended some interesting classes. We did a lot of shopping and got in a nice visit with Auntie Caye. We headed back home early Saturday morning and pulled into Clovis at 6:30pm, in time for me to attend Daniel Larsens wedding reception.

On August 29th Stacy and I headed to Maryland to babysit while Jon and Margo vacationed in Paris and Amsterdam. What a week. I am so glad that Stacy was able to be with me most of the week. We had one full day of touring Amish country (which I hope she enjoyed - it was her choice to go)and then the rest of the week was work! Stacy came home on Sept. 6th and I about cried when I dropped her off at the airport. She was such a help and I was leery of being on my own for 3 more days. Not to worry though. The boys were great. It was so nice to have had Lucas bond with me from the very beginning. He would never let Stacy do anything for him, he would always so "No, Grandma". Does a heart good!

Thomas started PreK while Jonathan and Margo were gone.
Stacy and I had the pleasure of walking him to and from the
bus each day.

Lucas loves playing on the swings. He thinks it is a horses saddle some times.

Margo and Jonathan got home late Monday night and I gave them a day to recuperate before going home on Sept. 10th. I am so glad I was able to do this. I was wiped out but loved every minute of it.

That catches me up but now what of Wayne during all this time? As far as I can tell he was just working, visiting his mother and missing me.

He did do a little hike with Jason and Preston.

And everyone went to Jeannie and Kerry's for a Labor Day Bar-B-Que and swim party.

Wayne's big activity now is getting ready for his retirement. He has this week and next and then he is a free man. He has a retirement luncheon scheduled for October 3rd and then 6 days later we go to China.

Today is Wayne's 60th birthday. We had a little family dinner for him yesterday but I wanted to do something that would distinguish today from any other day. I emailed everyone that I had email addresses for and asked them to send an electronic birthday card. Wayne was checking his email this morning and after about the 3rd or 4th greeting he asked what was going on. There were only about 6 emails when he left for work. There are about 20 more now and they gradually keep showing up. I also got a cake and took it to work. Ashley emailed the whole office to tell them to go by and wish him a Happy Birthday and share the cake. He had people wishing him a Happy Birthday all day. I think he had fun with it all.

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