Thursday, September 29, 2011

Renaissance Fair

Eileen's sister got extra tickets to the Renaissance Fair which is held near Minneapolis.  She invited Eileen and I and Lisa.  We had a fun day seeing lots of shows and way too much stuff to buy.  They ought to give the tickets away for all the begging for tips at all the shows and all the food and goods to buy.   The line at the ATM was unbelievable long.  Lucky for us we had correct change when we bought our lunch and didn't even have to wait in line.  I got a smoked turkey leg which was it delicious.

The picture with the fire ball is one of the acts where a juggler also blows big fire balls into the air at the end of his last juggling act with fire.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Guess Who's Birthday

Yes it was Lisa's birthday Monday but because we were on the road returning from Jefferson City MO we had to wait until Tuesday to celebrate.  Years ago we started celebrating with Reg Kemp as his birthday is the same year.  Last night we went out to their farm, sang happy birthday to the two of them and enjoyed ice cream and cake.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Paige is Now a Member of The Missouri Bar

Sunday after Church we drove to Kansas City to pick up Paige and drive to Jefferson City MO the state capital.  We arrived a little after 10 PM and 523 miles.  I love the great gas mileage our Park Avenue gets.  We didn't have to buy gas until Monday.  How many economy cars can get over 32 MPG.

Paige had to check in at the state capital at 7:45 AM.  We stayed just three blocks from the capital so we could walk which worked out really well.  She then took an oath and was admitted to the Missouri Bar by the Missouri Supreme Court at 10 AM.  There was then a nice reception for all the new lawyers and their families before the next swearing in to the western division of the Federal Courts in Missouri which was held at 11 AM.

At both swearing in ceremonies the judges took the opportunity to counsel the new lawyers on their behavior.  One judge commented about all the lawyer jokes and cautioned them not to be a reason for the jokes.  They were both good to attend.

We then headed back to Kansas City where we had lunch/dinner before heading home arriving just after 10 PM - a very quick trip as we are now trying to get ready to leave for the Winter.


Sunday, September 18, 2011

Reminding Us of Years Past

Today Eileen was assigned to speak in Sacrament Meeting and had also been asked to teach Sunday School Gospel Doctrine class.  Then when we arrived at Church this morning she was asked to lead the music in Sacrament Meeting.  She had been considering doing a solo - that would have made it a really full day.

Zeke had been assigned to play the piano for all the songs in Sacrament Meeting as the normal accompanist was out of town.  He is amazing at 12 years of age to be able to play the hymns so beautifully.  He has recently started playing the hymns for Priesthood meeting.  Today when he had finished two men behind me commented about how great he plays the hymns.

Sorry about the quality of the picture. Zeke was playing the postlude and I took the picture quickly and did not look to see it was so poor.

Friday, September 16, 2011

#10 Makes 21

Randy and Heather are having a baby girl.  Lily is very excited to have a baby sister.  Jakey is not very happy though as he wanted a baby brother.  He still has Tyler though and now Lily has a sister.  This little girl is our 10th granddaughter giving us a total of 21 grandchildren - the girls are catching up fast.  Aren't the 3D ultrasounds something else.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Preparing For Winter

One of the usual perks of living in a townhouse development is not having to do exterior maintenance such as landscaping, snow blowing and painting.  Of course that all comes with a monthly fee which can be reasonable or expensive.  In the case of our Minnesota home the fee is low enough to be quarterly but it does not include painting.  I think it probably did when the units were built but in time most of what had to be painted was covered with aluminum to eliminate that expense.  The exterior walls of the units are brick except for the garage backs and eaves which are wood.  We also have wood fences between each unit.  One neighbor called while we were out of town and said she was having her fence painted and would it be OK if the painter came in our patio so he could do a better job.  I said sure and have him paint my side at the same time and I'll pay you when we get home.  That 11 foot section of fence cost me $200 so this week I scraped all my exposed wood and painted it.  I had done some painting before we left on our last mission but it didn't weather well (cheap brand of paint - not this time).  In the picture you can see a few of many holes I filled in the wood siding that were there long before us.  You can also see the missing paint at the bottom of the boards (years of too much snow piled on them - OH and Wednesday it snowed in northern Minnesota).  The paint the neighbor used is a deck paint so I am hoping for longer life this time.  It is also much darker than the original color (again the lack of community control so many shades of the same color) but it has a nice richness to it.

Our Walking Companion

While Lisa and family were in Utah we took their dog Parker on a walk every morning and evening.  He helped us get out and enjoy the walks.  We enjoyed walking him enough to keep doing it.  We don't do it  every day now as we have other walks and riding our bikes we enjoy too.  The picture is David who trained Parker to be a good walker.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Congratulations Paige!

Guess who passed the bar - Paige can now practice law in Missouri and many other states having reciprocity agreements with Missouri.  Paige made a great decision to go to Law School in Missouri and take the bar examination there.  She can now be an attorney in many states besides Missouri.,

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Fun Find

Eileen and I are the Family History Center Directors for the Austin Ward Family History Center.  When we were given the calling the library had not been used in some time and the equipment was out of date and would not connect to the internet or the Church intranet.  First we were told we needed to upgrade the software which took several weeks to receive.  Once we received it we could not load it on the computers because they did not have DVD drives.  So next we had to wait for computers that arrived this Friday.  We thought they would be ready to go but we still had to load the software they sent us and then had to download additional programs.  I got one up fairly quickly but after 4 hours we left the second running and went home.  It was finally finished this morning.  But the exciting part was yesterday while I was waiting for the software to load on the one computer I worked on the other searching family names.  Since I never knew Grandpa Bremner I decided to see what I could find out about him.  I was surprise to learn he served in the Canadian Over-Seas Expeditionary Forces during WWI.  I was also surprised that his birthday was not what we had been told.  I continued looking for information but the only other item I found was the 1901 Canadian Census for Prince Edward Island which listed the same birthday as this record so I feel we were given the wrong information before and will now correct our records.  I tried finding more information on others but this was all I found this time. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Thoughts on 9/11 by Thomas S. Monson

I found this on a Facebook posting or you can read it below.

9/11 destruction allowed us to spiritually rebuild

 The calamity of September 11th, 2001 has cast a long shadow. Ten years later, many of us are still haunted by its terrible tragedy of lost lives and broken hearts. It is an episode of anguish that has become a defining moment in the history of the American nation and the world. This week, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, along with Tom Brokaw, will pay its own homage to the unforgettable events of September 11, 2001.
There was, as many have noted, a remarkable surge of faith following the tragedy. People across the United States rediscovered the need for God and turned to Him for solace and understanding. Comfortable times were shattered. We felt the great unsteadiness of life and reached for the great steadiness of our Father in Heaven. And, as ever, we found it. Americans of all faiths came together in a remarkable way.
Sadly, it seems that much of that renewal of faith has waned in the years that have followed. Healing has come with time, but so has indifference. We forget how vulnerable and sorrowful we felt. Our sorrow moved us to remember the deep purposes of our lives. The darkness of our despair brought us a moment of enlightenment. But we are forgetful. When the depth of grief has passed, its lessons often pass from our minds and hearts as well.

Our Father’s commitment to us, His children, is unwavering. Indeed He softens the winters of our lives, but He also brightens our summers. Whether it is the best of times or the worst, He is with us. He has promised us that this will never change.

But we are less faithful than He is. By nature we are vain, frail, and foolish. We sometimes neglect God. Sometimes we fail to keep the commandments that He gives us to make us happy. Sometimes we fail to commune with Him in prayer. Sometimes we forget to succor the poor and the downtrodden who are also His children. And our forgetfulness is very much to our detriment.
If there is a spiritual lesson to be learned from our experience of that fateful day, it may be that we owe to God the same faithfulness that He gives to us. We should strive for steadiness, and for a commitment to God that does not ebb and flow with the years or the crises of our lives. It should not require tragedy for us to remember Him, and we should not be compelled to humility before giving Him our faith and trust. We too should be with Him in every season.

The way to be with God in every season is to strive to be near Him every week and each day. We truly “need Him every hour,” not just in hours of devastation. We must speak to Him, listen to Him, and serve Him. If we wish to serve Him, we should serve our fellow men. We will mourn the lives we lose, but we should also fix the lives that can be mended and heal the hearts that may yet be healed.

It is constancy that God would have from us. Tragedies are not merely opportunities to give Him a fleeting thought, or for momentary insight to His plan for our happiness. Destruction allows us to rebuild our lives in the way He teaches us, and to become something different than we were. We can make Him the center of our thoughts and His Son, Jesus Christ, the pattern for our behavior. We may not only find faith in God in our sorrow. We may also become faithful to Him in times of calm.

Thomas S. Monson is president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Friday, September 2, 2011

OH Those Needles

 Both ears - both hands - both feet - enough said!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Home Again Home Again Home Again Home

We are home again for a few weeks.  The trip was better flying home as there were no layovers.  Both plane changes were scheduled to begin boarding 1 minute before our previous flights were scheduled to arrive.  I didn't think it would work but they really do give you enough time to make it between flights.

Our last evening in New Hampshire included dinner at a Japanese restaurant.  The girls had been asking to go to it for a long time.  With the girls starting school the next day, Kristi decided to celebrate the start of school.  It was a fun evening with the chef cooking our meal in front of us with some theatrics.  The flaming tower was a stack of onion rings.

I started the video below too late - the chef had been juggling an egg which he threw in the air and it disappeared.  The video starts with him taking the egg out of his hat where it had landed.

Thanks Kristi, Karl, Kylie, Elle and Cordi for a great week.  We look forward to coming back.