Amid all other influences

Amid all other influences
"reaching for the light"

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Catching up on Trip Pics

Our trip plan during June was to go and see family, sights, and take pictures of great places to visit. When you plan such a trip, often as always with me, I plan too much to do and the allotted amount of time. So it began with our usual pilgramage to a military installation nearby or along the route and check things out, especially the shopping. (Somehow, Jo and I can't get it out of our systems.) Anyway, from one thing to another, our trip began to get delayed at each stop. We loved the family visits, and then when we got to some breath-taking view along the way, we would stop, take pictures, more pictures, and then get back on the road. Those short stops really adds up the time. Anyway, no regrets here from both of us, we really had a great time. When the weather wasn't cooperating and just clouding over, we would stop, have a prayer for sunshine and better picture taking weather, and put our trust in God, the sun would come out and we again would stop and take pictures.
So, here are pictures of family that we had an awesome time visiting. It was great catching up with, playing with the grandchildren, and spending some fun times together. We're figuring out this grandparent thing pretty good. We have some super grandchildren.
Here are our family pictures of the trip:

Dick and Joan at their 50th Wedding Anniversary Celebration

Brenda, Joan, Jo, Dick, and Me

Brad and Holly and Family

The Costantino Family (Niece Brenda)

Daniel and Family

Jo at Vandenberg AFB Beach

Hammy and Gabby

Hammy, big brother Pookie, and Bun

Troy, Leslie and Kids and Us

Miss Anna

Emily, Grandma and friendly puppy

Erin and Jarom directing the kids to pick up the parade candy

Mark and Ruby Jo (Strawberry Days beautiful baby contestant)

Ruby Jo and the "Bruddahs"

Tribute to Sister-inlaw

My sister-inlaw, Freda Ford passed away recently and we travelled to her home for a family gathering in memory of her life and support of her family. Three of her four children were there with their families. She was also survived by three siblings, brother Richard and two sisters, Dorothea and Jo. Several friends of the family also attended. It was a meaningful opportunity to meet family and friends and a time to keep in contact.
When Jo and I got married, we were away from both our familys. So, at our first opportunity to meet the family during our travel, I was introduced to Freda and the family. She made us feel welcomed and insisted that we took her master bedroom of her small but modest home. I got to meet her sons, Fred and John and daughter Kelly. They were so young then, and now as you look at the pictures, they've all grown up.
While there, I got to look through the old family picture albums. There was a picture of our kids and Amy working on churning an ice cream bucket on a warm summer day. Those were fun times.
I think as our family grew, we probably had more opportunity to visit Freda and the family over the years. Any time we were passing through Southern California for any reason, we stopped in and saw her. On our visits to Disneyland, her home was always a stop along the way. Even as late as a year ago, we stopped in to visit the family and then on to Disneyland.
She was always accomodating and open to our family.
My wife looked up to her as her older sister, perhaps among her favorite of siblings. It was cute. She could ask questions, talk about sewing, ebay, health issues, vent, and about anything, Freda was there.
I remember once while we out camping in Yellowstone, we met up with Freda and Hank. While we were towing a travel trailer and had to park it and set up for camping, they drove around in a motorhome and were all ready to go any place they desired. That sure was a fun trip.
Once she told Jo that she had come across some spools of sewing thread. So we came down to see her and then went to get all the spools of thread we could get. Wow, it was a bunch and more. She had a knack for getting these great bargain deals, even like the roll of denim. Anyway, we'll miss her. To her children and their families, what an awesome Mom she was.
Kelly and her daughter April

Amy, Tim and their daughters

Kelly with son Richard and daughter April

Dorothea and Jo

Jo, Dick, and "Baby Dot"

Ashley, John, Barbara, and "little" John

Tim and Amy and Daughters

Friday, June 19, 2009

Trip Pics

The central coast of California.
No guard rails to stop you form going over the edge.

Peaceful coastline

Julia Pieffer State park beach

Monterey Bay Aquarium
Life in the kelp forrest

Sharks are also part of life in the kelp forrest

Feeding time for the fish

Jelly fish as big as basketballs

View of Half Dome rock at Yosemite NP

Yosemite Falls

Scenic background of Yosemite NP

Sitting on a redwood

Tree bigger around than your car
Driving through a redwood
Just some of the sights on the trip. We really got to appreciate the awesome sights and beauty of our country, created by God. We thought we'd share them with you.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Blitzing the West Coast

This posting is to let all our family and friends know that we made it home safely, but tired. Vacations are meant to have fun, relax, and chill out. This one kind of got out of hand. Our agenda was to coincide our visit with several happenings. Jo's brother and wife celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Way to go! We got to see their family who are all grown up. We had hoped to see Jo's sister whose health had been declining. Sadly to say, we never got to see her and she passed away yesterday. So, we will be making a return trip to Southern California soon.
By the way, we enjoyed getting to see Nikki + (2), Dan, Pookie, Gabby, Bun, and Hammy at Vandenberg AFB plus Leslie, Troy, Christian, Anna and Emily at Ephrata, and of course our extended family at Apple Valley. All totaled, we drove some 3700 miles according to the odometer.
During the travels, we enjoyed listening to a couple books on CD, stopping by the roadside to take photos of the scenery, touring Yosemite NP, the Redwoods, Monterey Bay Aquarium (only me because it was $30 a person), California central coast from the vantage point of driving CA Hwy 1, the southern Oregon coast, the Columbia River, Wenatchee, Cashmere, and Levanworth WA, and of course the drive home through NE Oregon, Idaho, and Utah. Wow, we are plum tuckered out.
When we rescued our Po doggie from Erin's boarding kennel, she was soooo excited to see us and to know that we're home. The biggest shock was that while we were on our trip, the weather in Utah has been wet with frequent rain. To top that off, I set the sprinkler system to take care of the usually dry weather and surprise, our lawn is at least a foot plus in height. Anyone got a few sheep to loan us?
We'll upload some pictures of the trip soon. Have a great day! Aloha!
(ps. I wasn't sick at all or felt ill during the whole time on the trip. That priesthood blessing from our home teacher (Aussie Bro. Anthony) sure strengthened me the whole time. Went to the hospital for two test yesterday and will see the doctor next week for what's next?)