Monday, November 8, 2010


Anns birthday was on November 4.  A couple of months ago, I mentioned to a couple of my kids that I wanted to do something special for her.  They came up with the idea to have our whole family meet in Salt Lake for a surprise birthday party for her.  We rented a vacation house for the 4th 5th and 6th.  We managed to keep it a surprise.  Most of the family arrived on Thursday evening.  On Friday Ann and I left Caliente about 12:30. I arranged with them to meet at and Article Circle restaurant near Alma and Matti house.  When we arrived and walked in I could only see Alma and Matti there.  Everyone was hiding among the playground equipment.  They all jumped out and surprised her.  It was great to see the surprise on her face. 

We had a great time visiting and eating ice cream.  We then went to the rental house and visited for awhile.

On Saturday, the girls fixed a great breakfast for everyone.  I keep telling Ann, my daughters and daughters-in-law that is really tough duty to be surrounded by great cooks.  They all are great cooks.

The rest of the day was spend with various activities.  Some went shopping, some when to Cabelas, Alma and Matti went to the U football game.  Everyone enjoyed the spacious back yard playing games and visiting.

For Saturday evening we had planned another surprise for Ann. Her siblings that live in the area were invited to come at 7:00 PM.  Ann and I went to the store to get ice cream and toppings for desert. While were gone they arrived. 

After that Ann asked "is there anymore surprises?"

We had a great time. A great big thank you to all who made this possible.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Dutch Oven Cookoff

On September 18,  Cathedral Gorge State Park , one of six state parks in our area, hosted its sixth annual Dutch Oven Cook Off.   There were 20 to 25 cooks participating.  We started around 3:00 pm, with judging at 5:00 pm.  You can enter as many items as you want.  The main requirement is that all entries must be cooked in dutch ovens.  The park provides the charcoal.  Many businesses in the area provide the door prizes and raffle prizes.  A lot of people come to to taste and enjoy the entries.

We participated for the fourth time this year.   We decided to enter Meat Loaf, Barbecue Pork, Breakfast Casserole and Pumpkin Bread. We took third place in Main Dish with the Barbecue Pork, and second place in Side Dish with the Breakfast Casserole.  We won a charcoal starter for the third place prize, and a pair of dutch oven gloves and lid lifter for the second prize.  We also won a new 12 inch dutch oven in the raffle.

Two of our dutch ovens started.

Ann getting another entry ready.

All four entries about finished cooking.

Our prizes

Cory trying to steal some ideas.  (Actually Cory and Melissa took first
in desert for their Apple Dumplings)

Sawyer just chilling.

We had a great time participating.  It is fun to visit with the other
people cooking and getting some new ideas.


Saturday, June 12, 2010

New York

For a few years now, Ann and I have been wanting to go on a trip to Palmyra New York.  With the help and encouragement from our kids,this year we finally made it.  Last Christmas, as a group they gave us a one night stay in a bed and breakfast and a gift card for Flaherty's (a local restaurant in Palmyra)

We left home on on May 31st and flew to Buffalo NY arriving around 11:30 pm. and traveled to Niagara Falls.  We spent most of Monday visiting many of the attractions at Niagara Falls.  On Tuesday we traveled to LockPort.  There is a two hour cruise of part of the Erie Canal there. We traveled back to Niagara Falls and visit some more of the sites there.  I am always in awe at the beauties and wonders the Lord has created on this earth.

On Wednesday we traveled to Palmyra.  We visited the Hill Cumorah visitors center for most of the afternoon.  On Thursday we visited the Peter Whitmer Farm in the morning, and the Grandin Book Store and Sacred Grove in the afternoon.

The first picture is a view of the Erie Canal from our boat.

The next a view of the Canadian Falls from the Maid of the Mist Boat.  

The next is a view of the Palmyra Temple from the Smith Farm Visitors Center.

The next is from the top of the Hill Cumorah.  (They are starting to get ready for the pageant)

The next is the monument at the top of the Hill Cumorah.

The next is Ann and me at the Peter Whitmer Farm.

The next two are in the Sacred Grove.

The next is the Bed and Breakfast place we stayed at in Palmyra

The last is at Flaherty's restaurant.

We had a great time.  We felt the spirit of our Heavenly Father as we contemplated the great events of the restoration of the Gospel that occurred there in Palmyra.  All the missionaries were very helpful. 

Our Son in Law Andrew's parents are serving a mission in Palmyra.  We were able to visit and have lunch with them on Friday before we left to go back to Buffalo.  We enjoyed our visit with them.
We flew back home on Saturday June 5.

We had a great time.  We really appreciate the gifts our children gave us to help make this trip enjoyable.


Sunday, May 16, 2010

First camping trip with new trailer

Friday and Saturday May May 14 and 15 was our annual Fathers and Sons outing.  Our stake puts this on as the commemoration of the Restoration of the Priesthood.  My Dad, my son Cory and his two boys Hudson and Hafen and I went.  Our traditional place to go is about 7 miles up the Caliente Summit on highway 93.  The stake provides a dinner and then a short program about the restoration of the Priesthood. 

This year, I decided to try out our new Jumping Jack tent trailer.  If you have not seen these before they are neat setup. We also took our Yamaha Rhino and did some exploring around the area.   We had a great time.

We arrived about 5:30 pm and found a spot to set up.  We unloaded the Rhino and got the tent trailer set up, and put our sleeping bags etc in.  Dad and I took the Rhino out for a little while.  After the dinner and program, we went back to our camp.  We built a fire and had a good time visiting.  Cory put the boys to bed and then he, Dad and I just sat around the fire visiting.  We haven't had a chance to do this for a long time. 

Saturday morning we got up, and the ward provided breakfast.  We cleaned up our camp and then Dad, Cory and the boys and I went for a ride on the Rhino for awhile.  I was a lot of fun.  I enjoyed being out with them.  We got home about 11:00 Saturday morning.

You can't see it the picture very well, but Hafen is sitting in the Rhino and holding up some flowers we picked for the boys to take home to Melissa.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


As Vera mentioned on her blog, on February 10, 2010 Neal entered the Provo MTC (Missionary Taining Center) to begin his service as missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  It is always an emotional time.  Neal has planned for this for most of his life.  Neal was to report to the Brazil MTC, however he did not receive his Visa so he was reassigned to the Provo MTC.  It is anticipated that as soon has his Visa comes through he will travel to the Brazil MTC.

Ann, Neal and I traveled to Salt Lake on Tuesday, had dinner and visited with our Son Alma and daughter Jeanette and their families that evening.  On Wednesday we finished some last minute things, and drove to Provo.  We were to drop him off at the MTC at 1:30 pm.  We arrived a little early so we walked around the Provo Temple grounds for a few minutes. 

We are pleased with Neals desire to serve.  We miss him, but know his is doing the work of our Heavenly Father.  We wish him success in his sevice.