Monday, November 13, 2017

What Did We Do on Halloween?

Roger and I have spent pretty much all of the Halloweens for the past 46 years 

taking our kids/grandkids trick or treating and answering doorbells.

I was excited when Holly Laird leaned back to me from a pew in church before the meeting started 
and invited Roger and I to her Halloween Open House. 
The whole branch and neighborhood were invited with invites by word of mouth.
She said, with a twinkle in her eye, "Wear a costume, 
but if you don't, we'll only stare at you with scorn for one minute!"

Halloween Party
Bob and Holly Laird's beautiful home was decorated gorgeously
(can Halloween be gorgeous?)!

Pattie Haynes (left) took many great pics and this lovely geisha (she is really a redhead) is our hostess, Holly.

Our branch president was in US Post Office administration, so he came in uniform, and his cute wife, Lori, made a giant postcard.

There was lots of delicious, spooky food.

We each had our fortunes told by Bob Routsong.
They were actually of a spiritual nature.
He also gave us each pins he had made up with the new Cedar City Temple on them.

So Roger and I came up with this costume. He is the pilot, and I represent the T-38 plane he instructed in that is flying through the sky and the clouds!
Thanks, Min, for making my cloud hat!

We were amazed at the many great costumes!

This gal's name is Charlotte.
Get it?

There were many more not pictured.  What a great way to spend Halloween!

Monday, October 30, 2017

A Farewell, A Visit and A Wedding

A Farewell

On October 14, Roger and I drove to Elkridge to stay with Patty and Hal overnight, 
then attend their missionary farewell the next day. 
They are going to serve a temple mission on the Big Island of Hawaii. 
They are particularly excited about going there because our great-grandfather, Isaac Fox, 
served two full three-year missions in the Sandwich Islands (Hawaiian Islands), starting in 1884. 
Much of his time was spent on the Big Island.
Patty and Hal both delivered fine talks, and I especially enjoyed hearing Patty talk about Isaac 
and how meaningful it will be for her to serve where he had served 143 years ago.
A lovely dinner was held after the block meetings in their beautiful home 
and it was wonderful to get to chat with their relatives and friends.

A Visit

October 18 was the beginning of Fall Break (UEA) for Rick and Jodie's kids (Katie, Abby and Blake) 
and Mindy and Jeff's kids (Jack, Addie, Charlie and Fiona). 
They headed to St. George to spend it with us! 
Jeff's brother, Scott, his wife, Meredith and their two boys (baby Roscoe is just over 6 weeks old and adorable!), 
came, too, and stayed in Aunt Jan's Sunbrook home, 
but we invited them to come have all of their meals with us. 
 I had a houseful (16) to feed for three days, so I did lots of baking and cooking beforehand.
I spent one whole day baking, and we grocery shopped and I made Sloppy Joes, macaroni and shrimp salad, 
marinated bean and corn salad, hummus and veggies, Liquid Gold syrup 
and a gingerbread poke cake (not pictured).

The Stratfords and the Linds arrived Wednesday night before Newsies at Tuacahn
and I made fish tacos and chips and salsa for them.

 They all made several trips to various parks with the kids, went swimming each day, shopped and played. 
A highlight was taking the kids to Staheli Farm, which is owned by our niece, Shaylee's husband's family.

The cousins had lots of fun playing on the farm playground, which had slides, trampolines, 
animals to pet and games, which kept them busy into the night.

We got a quick bite for dinner.
Blakey loved the fries dipped in ketchup.

Music was blasting on huge loud speakers and Mindy got up on stage and danced with the kids. 
Blakey really rocked out!

 Friday, Jeff flew in from NYC (he had business come up, so Mindy 
had driven the kids here on Wednesday night), 
so now we could have Addie's Tea Party. 
She made invitations the night they got here and passed them out to everyone, 
and she wanted to wait to have it so her daddy could come.
She and I have had one every time she visits, but this time she wanted to invite everyone.

Chocolate milk tea is always a hit!

Addie welcomed everyone, then offered an opening prayer!

Even the little boys liked the tea party . . .

 . . . and Daddy Jeff and Uncle Scott were the honored guests.

Addie instructed them how to hold their tea cups when they drank . . .

. . . and they were quick learners!

Fiona and Blake were little buddies and Blake copied everything that Fi did!

Rick, Jodie and kids had to leave Saturday afternoon and Mindy, Jeff and kids left after church on Sunday.
We ate at, Sanchez, a new walk-up Mexican restaurant (Mindy loves Mexican food) Saturday night,
 and Fi loved it! 
Of course, she kind of loves everything you put in her mouth!

I conducted INSTA-CHOIR on Sunday, our first performance after summer break, and we sang, Be Still My Soul, 
with violin and piano accompaniment 
and close to 50 were in the choir. Roger spoke in another ward (stake high council assignment) 
and had prepared a wonderful 20-minute talk 
that he had to give in 6 minutes because the "ten minute" speaker went way over! 
The kids went to hear him and were disappointed that they couldn't hear it in its entirety!
We had a quick John Rich's chili (a yummy, treasured recipe he gave me) dinner, 
then the Linds were on their way. Exhausting, but it was so fun to have all of them!

A Wedding

October 25 we headed up north and stayed at Rick's so we could attend Carson Shupe's 
(Roger's sister, Shellie's, youngest) and Sydney Osborn's marriage and sealing in the Salt Lake Temple 
and the reception that night in Ogden.
When we arrived at Rick and Jodie's, she had a yummy dinner for us and she asked if I wanted to attend 
a Stake Relief Society special night for women, part of a series each week. 
Sister Wendy Nelson, President Russell M. Nelson's wife, spoke for an hour and a half on Covenants and Temples.
 Rick's stake is loaded with wonderful people - 
Elder David A. Bednar's wife spoke last week and Sheri L. Dew will speak next week.

Next morning, we attended a beautiful sealing and wedding ceremony, 
then went outside to a gorgeous autumn day to take photos.

Shaylee with son, Jax

Scott, Sheri, Julie, Eric, Michelle and Courtney

Here they come!

Todd and Shellie hosted a delicious wedding luncheon 
at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building across from the Salt Lake Temple.

Carson and Sydney are a beautiful couple!

Grandma Stratford has been able to attend the temple wedding of all of Shellie's children, 
and Shellie expressed teary appreciation for that. 

We enjoyed hanging out with Susie and Craig for much of the day.

The display in the JSMB looked so pretty we took a pic.

And this statue of Joseph is such a great one.

Roger took this pic of the temple as we came out of the JSMB.

That evening, we didn't take pics of the reception, but there was a large dessert buffet. 
We got to see and visit with many of Roger's relatives, including our sister-in-law, JaNae (Gordie's wife), 
and their cute daughter, Shaunie.  

We stayed with Rick and Jodie that night, then got up early next morning and traveled with Rick 
(in separate cars) to Provo to see Josh's BYU intramural flag football game, where he plays quarterback.

Josh's birthday was the day before, and after the game, Rick treated us all to lunch at Even Stevens
his favorite sandwich shop.
We surely love this great kid! He is killin' it at BYU!

After we ate, we hugged goodbye and Roger and I headed for St.George. 
It was another great time up north!