Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Farewell To Jake - Eh!

This handsome young man has been called to the Edmonton Canada Mission 
to serve a two-year mission for the LDS Church. 
Jake completed a summer semester at BYU and plans to enter the MTC on September 6.
He is pumped, as they say, to serve the Lord and we know he will be a fine and caring missionary.
Of course, Roger and I wanted to go through the temple with him to get his endowments and to hear him speak in Sacrament meeting before he leaves.
In order to get to Mesa in time to go through the temple with him on Saturday, 
Roger and I needed to miss the last day of Education Week 
and leave from Patty and Hal's in Elkridge on Friday morning.
It's about a ten hour drive through Flagstaff.
We always love to stay with Stacy, Tom and the kids because they treat us so well and make us feel so welcome.

We enjoyed a beautiful session in the Mesa Temple with Elder Jake Young.

Missy (from Boise), Mindy (from Alpine, Ut.), Grit and Sherry (from Orem, Ut.) flew to Mesa on Friday.
Jimbo and Sham were moving into their new home that day.

We are all so proud of this good kid!

Mom Stacy is going to miss her boy!

Grandma Sherry and Grandpa Grit, with a second home in Mesa, have watched lots and lots of Jake's ball games!

After the temple session we went to dinner at one of Jake's favorite places for Mediterranean food.

Jake really likes their hamburgers. This friend went through the session with us.

The Three Amigo cousins -
Pete plans to go on his mission next year, Jake is just leaving and Josh just returned from his in Hong Kong.

Mom Pam with her beautiful daughters, Missy Mindy and Stacy

Dad Roger with his girls - Emily had already left, helping Ryan with his crutches.

We called Sherry over for a pic with the Arizona sunset. Grit and Sherry had to fly out that night back to Utah to be at another grandson's farewell.

Ryan and Em's kids came over to Stacy's when we got home to see everybody.

Ryan is recovering from surgery reattaching his hamstring. He caught a tip of his water ski that detached it while skiing in Montana this summer. 
He's doing remarkably well!

Sunday morning, bright and very early (Sacrament meeting started at 8:30 am),we all went to Young's ward to hear Jake. What a fine talk he gave on loving and accepting everyone, no matter their race, creed or circumstance. As a bonus, Tom, on his monthly High Council assignment, was assigned to his own ward to speak, so we got to hear from father and son.
Afterwards, family members and some friends were invited to brunch at the Youngs.
It was the first of three parties Stacy and Tom hosted that day.

 Priesthood Power 

Such a great mother/son combo!

We all helped Stacy lay out Einstein bagels and cream cheese, breakfast casserole, fruit, waffles with buttermilk and maple syrup and whipped cream and lots of different juices.

Roger and I manned the waffle station, using four waffle irons at a time. Roger is the best cooking partner ever!

Some of the Ryan Stratford clan with Jimbo's son on the right

Sweet sisters

Roger's sister, Chyrrl's, son, Brad and his wife, Synda, were invited over. They also live in Mesa and have been good friends with our kids there.

Tom's brother, Jim, with his cute wife, Sham, are expecting their fifth child in December.

Josh and Jodie flew in late Saturday night. Rick had an important assignment in his stake and couldn't come.

This is Miss Cynthia. She is a very important person to the Young family. They first became acquainted with her when she worked at the elementary school where the kids went when they lived in Paradise Valley. Londyn and Maddy loved her and she helped all of the kids adjust to their new school, coming from Connecticut. When the twins were born, she babysat them at least once a week and was their second mom. They absolutely adore her! Stacy invites her over for all of their important events, and has had her many times to dinner and to church events. She is a Catholic.
She has had a hard life, yet is so filled with love.

Roger and I also grew to know and love her when we would visit Stacy in those early years raising the twins.

The farewell was right on Roger's birthday, August 27.
The second party was a lovely pork tenderloin roast dinner with delicious fixin's for all the Stratfords!
Roger was pretty tickled to have all of his girls with him on his birthday.
All the kids except Rick and the Mesa grandkids loved to help him celebrate!

Stacy made him his own pan of brownies with lighted candles and we all sang Happy Birthday! 

I did it!

Each of us took a turn saying something we love about Roger.

Cousins Londyn and Sarah Kate

They love Grandpa Roger!
Becca was asleep and Jodie and Josh had already had to leave to catch their plane.

The third party of the night was an Open House for Jake's friends and more of Tom and Stacy's friends. She served pazookies (a chocolate chip cookie baked on the bottom of a tin, then topped with ice cream and homemade hot fudge sauce), brownies, drinks and the delicious sugar cookies below with Canada's flag on top. Lots of people dropped by. What a big day! I don't think I have ever heard of anyone hosting three parties in one day! Stacy is amazing!

Roger and I stayed two more days and we did fun things like watching the Diamondbacks play on tv and seeing how each family member knows the players' names and records. We loved going to see the movie, Dunkirk. Jake wanted Grandpa to see the airplane scenes in this true story about WW2, so Jake, Stacy, Roger and I met at the theater after Jake and Roger golfed and Stacy and I shopped.
A highlight was being in their Family Home Evening
and feeling the love that each member has for each other.

We drove home through Las Vegas on Wednesday. We had an appointment at the airport 
to get our Global Entry passes and arrived home late that night.
After being gone ten days, it felt good to get home, but what a great ten days it was!

Saturday, September 2, 2017

BYU Education Week, 2017

I think the captions Roger and I are holding say it all.
I think a happy life is all about the light,
and everyone needs recharging now and then.
For a once-a-year major recharge, 
BYU Education week has been great for us!

We took this selfie in the Marriott Center while we were waiting to hear the Devotional on the first day 
given by Elder Lynn Robbins of the Presidency of the Seventy. What an inspiring message, packed with info about our agency and our responsibility in life. 

Most of the instructors use power points to help us take notes, and here are just a sampling of illustrated ones.

Tuesday at 4:30, we got to tour the new addition to the MTC, and we were so impressed!
It is a new, modern campus with lovely grounds between buildings with beautifully-appointed public areas 
for the missionaries, young and old.

 This gorgeous mural adorned this large wall.

This luminary chandelier hung from the ceiling in one of the lobbies.
It was created in Japan and when it arrived at the MTC, 
the construction workers didn't know how to hang it, so they flew the artist/creator to the states to give instruction.

It represents our spirits ascending from pre-existence to earth to heaven.

We attended several classes we enjoyed very much, including Brad Wilcox, Anthony Sweat and  Curtis Jacobs.

Roger and I enjoyed Wayne Burton's class, where he lectured, played the piano and sang his original compositions.

Wednesday evening, we enjoyed four concert pianists playing music written for all four to play at once on two grand pianos.

They were excellent and they concluded with the rousing, Stars and Stripes Forever!

Mindy and Jack joined us . . .

. . . as well as Patty and Hal.

On Thursday, Patty joined us for classes all day. We stayed with Patty and Hal for four nights in their wonderful home in Elkridge.

We met Patty's best friend from high school, Lois, who lives in Wyoming, and her sister, Karma, for lunch in The Hole in the Wall in the basement of the Wilkinson Center. Lyle, Lois's twin brother and a presenter at Ed Week, his wife and Nancy, another friend from high school, also ate with us.
We also later attended Lyle's parenting class.

Anthony Sweat's class

After lunch, we attended Anthony Sweat's class and while we were looking for seats, my friend in St. George, Charlotte, came running up to me to say that President Uchtdorf's wife, Harriett, was on the second row. Then, as Roger was talking to old WHS classmates, the Morrises, the wife asked me if I would take a pic of her, Sister Uchtdorf and her daughter, who she knew.
Long story short, I got this pic with Harriett Uchtdorf (she was lovely!) and my friend, Charlotte.

Patty went with me to Wayne Burton's class and we enjoyed it very much. Such a humble, sincere heart!

That night we took Patty and Hal to dinner in downtown Provo and Mindy dropped Addie and Jack off at the restaurant
so they could go to the concert with us.
Jeff and Mindy had planned to go, but it was their anniversary and friends from out of town had planned a party that night.

It was absolutely wonderful, with these two superb vocalists singing many Broadway favorites, including Impossible Dream, Popular, Girl in 14 G, For Good, Something's Coming, The Music of the Night/ All I Ask of You, Think of Me, Bring Him Home and The Prayer. Such a feast of sound!

Stacy and Sydney are friends with Sandra Turley from their Connecticut and Steve Young's Forever Young Foundation days. Addie wanted their autographs, so we got them and enjoyed talking to Sandra Turley. Addie also talked to and got Dallyn Vail Bales's autograph.
Both these stars are as kind, spiritual and good as they are talented!

Another bonus of being at Education Week was running into old friends, notably two different KD sisters. 
Cheryl Smith was our sorority president and we hadn't seen her in years and Linda Taylor Ballesteros was one of my best friends. 
We talked over dinner in the Cougar Eat with her and her husband, Bob, 
whom Roger knew when he was working for Braniff and Murdock.

We headed for Mesa on Friday morning for Jake's Farewell before going to the MTC for his mission to Edmonton, Canada.
We missed a day of classes, but we wanted to get to Stacy and Tom's Friday night so we could go through the Mesa Temple with Jake and family for him to take out his endowments on Saturday.

We really loved being at Education Week this year and we feel renewed and recharged, 
hopefully ready for what life might bring until next time.