Sunday, June 22, 2014

Seth and Elise on the JSL Tour

 Seth and Elise are heading out today on a 'Joseph Smith Legacy Tour.'  They will leave from SLC on Monday in the early morning, so Seth is driving the 2 of them there this afternoon. I am so excited for them and a smidge jealous.  They will fly to NY then work their way to Far West over the week.  They are going with a tour group our of Gilbert and my dear friend let me know about it as she is sending her kids.  She tells me there are lots of great kids going and the tour guides are astounding.  I hope they have a great time-I won't know until they get back as electronics are not allowed (hooray!).

Getting a good pic of these two was harder than it looked. They thought they were pretty darn funny, and they were. Love you guys! See you in a week!!!!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Temple and Graduation

We had a really full and enjoyable day today.  This morning John and I headed over to Monticello to go through the temple with one of our favorite young ladies. Our friend Elli heading on a mission to WashDC and went though the temple for the first time today.  We have known her and her family for lots of years and we are just so proud of what good choices this little lady has made. There was another young man from Moab going through for the first time with his family and we learned that he and Elli will be going to the same mission, reporting on the same day. So fun!

 After heading home, we had the pleasure of attending Seminary Graduation tonight. Another terrific young lady graduated from Seminary. Delanie (as well as Staysha, not pictured) graduated from all 4 years of Early Morning Seminary.  Quite a feat! I am so glad I get to rub shoulders with such great youth!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Planting Grandma Kristine's Tree

After checking all of our local nurseries, I found what I think is the perfect tree to plant for Grandma Kristine.  It is a thornless Black Locust.  It is a tree that is quite rugged and drought tolerant. It has delicate leaves that throw a dappled shade and (my favorite attribute) it flowers in the month of June here in Durango-which just happens to be the month of Kristine's birthday and Temple sealing.  The blossoms are a purplelish pink and have a wonderful, strong scent.

Elise walked the track hoe over and dug the hole.  We carefully put the tree in place from off the trailer.  We had originally planned to plant the tree nest to Jack's tall cottonwood tree.  But John, after much thought and discussion, decided it would be better to plant it near the 'kiddy pool' part of the pond.  There is could provide shade for our youngest pond users.  I loved the placement.

Seth arrived after we were done placing it, but he helped us to get the dirt back in place and get it watered in well. Our whole family really misses having Grandma Kristine around and anything we do to help remember her seems to feel really good.  I look forward to lots of blossoms and shade from this tree in the years to come.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Last Day of Seminary '14

This morning was our last day of Seminary so of course we had to go to breakfast at Denny's! :) What a great class I had this year.  They are all such great kids and going through the Book of Mormon has been a pleasure. Sis Francom is a great co-teacher and I am almost afraid to admit how pleasant it is to only teach every other week, because I don't want to jinx it!

Most kids were there, but we were missing Clay and Gabe (who is still in UT).

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Moab Easter Jeep Safari, Baby!

Months ago we planned a jeeping weekend with our pals the Kofords.  We didn't know Gabe would be in Utah, and we also didn't know it was Easter Jeep Safari weekend!  I (surprisingly) was a bit hesitant to go on the notoriously busy Holiday weekend, but I was excited to see our friends and Gabe.  Jebb and Jackson drove over with me in the truck and of course because we are Gillelands, we took as many vehicles as humanly possible.  haha

Gabe brought some of the kids we met in Guatemala. It was fun to see Jed, Brig, and Aubrey again.  The Kofords brought some friends that we had met jeeping with years before, Kip bought Jac, and the Williams fam rounded our group out nicely. We went to the arena, jeeped trails, hiked streams, swam in the hotel pool, ate at Milt's, took lots of pics and had an all around fabulous time!

Doesn't it look amazing! The weather was perfect and the company was even better.

Because it is "Easter" Jeep Safari we took some time to remember the miracle of the empty tomb by attending a local ward.  And also because I am a tyrant, I of course made us go and take Easter Family Pictures! Hooray!  They were fun.  While I love our family pic, I took what may well be my favorite photo EVER of John and I!

Such a great weekend with friends and family!  What a beautiful world we live in!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Hangin' With Papa Ross

Gabe sent me this picture today.  Apparently he was out last night with my dad getting milkshakes.  This is a pic Gabe took of my dad taking a selfie. :)  How cute is that! Gabe thought it was pretty darn funny and thought I'd like it too... which I did! John was able to see Gabe last week and it's nice to know that he is hanging out with my parents now that he is friendless. haha  He has been working out with a really good club Bball team and is really enjoying it even though he is at the bottom of the team. He likes the coaching and the other players. He told me that he thinks school will really be fun once he makes some friends.  Gabe has known everyone at his his school since pre-school. What a great stretching experience this is for him.  His siblings pray every night that he will find good friends and have a good time.  I think it is a good experience for them too in a different way. Seth especially has a little different roll in the house and the dynamics are always different when anyone is gone. Maybe we will all learn a little something this term.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Prom '14

Well, he has only been gone a week and Gabe missed us so much that he decided to come home and visit.  OK, the fact that it is Prom weekend may have been a factor too. 

Gabe went with his lovely friend Tatum.  I think they make a handsome pair. 

We went out to the golf course and took pictures. The kids all ate dinner there then went to the dance and after-party stuff. I think Gabe had a good time although I hardly saw him. But I'll take it! :)

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Spring Break '14

 With Gabe and his move to Utah, we decided to bring the family up for Spring Break while we worked on getting him registered. Luckily, their term starts next week.  Good timing.  We went down to visit Brad's family and I think the cousins all had a great time together.  I hit an indoor trampoline joint with Elise, J&J, and John went miniature golfing and batting with us one evening. 

 We got Gabe all registered and ready.  I think he is a little nervous, but pretty excited.  One of my friends called me and asked if he was really just going to rehab. We had a good laugh and I told her that thankfully that was not the case.  I can't really point to one reason Gabe is doing this except that it just seems like a good thing to do.  I am already planning weekend activities for us to hang out with him. ;) 
As you can see, he is super sad I am leaving....

Love you Gabe! See you soon!!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Sometimes They Have to Spread Their Wings

Today we loaded Gabe up and took him to SLC.  He has decided to live up in Utah for the last term of his Junior year.  I had jokingly suggested he do this a few weeks back.  When he came to me and asked if I was serious about it, I was much less jovial.  He wants an adventure and this seems like the right thing as we have all thoughtfully and prayerfully considered it.  He will go and stay with my Sister and her family and attend Bingham HS.  We love Gabe and really like him too.  This will be a change for everyone, but hopefully it will be a good experience for everyone involved.  Love U Gabe!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Elise and History Day

I am really proud of Elise! She participated in History Day with her school.  Elise and her friend Megan worked together and did a report on the Haun's Mill Massacre.  This was her idea and I am so proud of her for not being afraid to take on a topic with religious overtones. 

I had two different moms come up to me at church and comment on Elise's project.  They both were impressed that she was able to share her beliefs in such a public forum.  Go Elise!

Monday, March 3, 2014

End of the Season

Gabe's basketball team went to Denver this last weekend for a playoff game.  They have had a good season overall, but Gabe has been seeing little if any play time this year.  While I like that they are winning, I am not sad that their season is now over, and I think Gabe feels the same. While they were up there they had a team meal at on of our Dickey's resturaunts.  Gabe is ever the opportunist. Because he was already in Denver, and because John and I are big softies, we let him stay there for the weekend after the team bus drove home.  His coach called me to make sure I was letting Gabe leave because a teenager (our friend Chandler) was there to pick him up and was I OK with that?  I assured the coach that the teen would be taking him somewhere to be supervised by adults.

I think he had a fine weekend...except for this unfortunate consequence of a skateboard wreck:
Boo for broken bones. It didn't show up on the xray, but the doc casted it anyway.  Maybe that coach was right to be concerned about releasing Gabe to the care of another teenager. Haha

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Elise and Orchestra

 Tonight Elise had an orchestra concert.  This is the only picture I got of her.  No, I can't really see her either.  Elise does not enjoy orchestra, but mean mom that I am, I have made her finish out Middle School as a member of it.  I think it is only tolerable because she has friends that also are in it.  Elise has really grown this year and I hope she can one day appreciate all of the culture she is getting. :)

Friday, February 7, 2014

Old Photos and Forever Families

I haven't gotten much accomplished the last few weeks.  I have a list a mile long but I don't seem to be in any rush to work on crossing it off.  During Kristine's funeral, someone went up to her storage container and pulled out all of her old photo albums.  They are quite a mish mash of some really cool old stuff.  I thought I ought to go through them and try to organize it went on my list.  You know, the one I haven't gotten to...

But today I woke up and thought I needed to get to it.  Our kids were challenged recently by their Stake Leaders to 'Take an ancestor to the Temple' for stake temple day.  My kids have looked on my family tree and hadn't had any luck finding names of ancestors that had not had their work done already.  The temple date is only 2 weeks from now. This thought was on my mind as I grabbed my first album.

I went for my favorite one.

It is full of really old pictures that I think must have been given to Kristine by Jack's mother, Geradine.  She was born in Florida and must have been from a well-to-do family judging from the pictures.  There are old photos of their family playing at the beach in their turn of the century swim suits and ladies wearing full length dresses to play tennis on a grass court.  Their hats are gorgeous and the scenery is beautiful. Here is a sampling of the types of pics I was looking at:

I thought I ought to scan some of the pictures in the album and add them to the LDS Church's Family Search website (Jan, I was thinking you might like to see some of them :)).  You can go there and add pictures of people on your direct family tree.  I had to log in as John to see and add stuff on his pedigree.  I figured out how to scan the photos and I was really enjoying thinking about them and adding them to the site.  I was also feeling pretty cool that I had figured it out all by myself (I try to savor the little things....)

I got to this picture (check out that cool mustache!) and couldn't find him in John's direct line.  Jack's mother Geradine was an Anderson and while I had no problem following her line, I didn't see ALK Anderson anywhere on it.  I pulled the picture out of the album to see if the back had anything written on it.

Bingo! Luckily someone had written the genealogy of ALK on the back along with the fact that it was taken around the turn of the last century.  That was very helpful.  I looked back and found ALK's grandfather, Thomas Anderson of Northumberland in John's direct pedigree.

Charles King is listed on the photograph as Thomas' son, but when I clicked on the 'Children' button on Thomas Anderson, only Robert Gerard (John's direct ancestor) showed up.  I decided to click on Thomas' expanded pedigree and for some reason, and the expanded pedigree shows 4 children ( I suspect this has something to do with the fact that his wife, Isabella, is listed many different times as his wife--maybe the children are all listed as coming from separate wives--hence, not showing up on our pedigree).

There was Charles King Anderson, and wouldn't you know it, he needed some temple work done as did his brother, John Soulsby Anderson! (These brothers would be John's Great-great-great-uncles.)

Charles King Anderson was listed as having a son--Alwyn Lowder King Anderson.  So that is what ALK stood for!  And here I was looking right at his picture. The records list no wife or posterity. And ALL of his temple work still needed to be complete!

I called John on the phone and explained how I found the man in the picture in his Grandma Geradine's photos.  I guess ALK would have been Geradine's Father's first cousin (is that Geradine's 2nd cousin then?)  Confusing without the chart--I know!

But no one would have ever looked for him because he didn't have posterity. ALK's own father Charles doesn't even show up when you look for him under Thomas, unless you take that extra step.  I never would have thought to look for them had I not gotten the photo out of the album.

I got emotional as I recounted my steps to John (which I know are really confusing to read...) and I felt a spiritual witness that Temple work is sacred and special.  Families need to be bound together.  They are waiting to be bound together.

I know Kristine glued those pictures in the album and she was probably the only person left on earth that knew about ALK. The picture we have of him is definitely an original.  I know she knew about him because it is her handwriting that is under the picture in the photo album.  Luckily someone had written the family history on the back that enabled me to find him.

I also believe that Kristine has likely recently met ALK.  That is a pretty extraordinary idea! And isn't it wonderful!!  I am glad that I got a nudge today to open up that album and find the cousin that no one would have ever looked for.  I love the Plan of Salvation.  I love the knowledge we have of life after this life.  I felt it close today and I look forward to taking those ancestors to the temple.