Saturday, August 29, 2009

3 weeks till Becky and Jeffs' wedding

In 3 weeks from Saturday Becky will be married. It's an exciting time for her and our family and Jeff and his family. I just had to post these pictures that were taken of them. I thought they turned out really well. A friend of Becky's took the pictures and this girls' family owns a scrapbook company in Utah so they will make the invitations as a wedding gift for Becky and Jeff. That sure helps!
As usual Becky is pretty organized and hopefully her day will go well without a hitch. She has had her colors picked (lime green, black and white) since June, her wedding dress has been purchased and things are set for the Temple and the reception to follow later in the day.
I am hoping for nice weather. Septembers in Portland Oregon are never always predictable. Sometimes it can rain the whole month while other years it is dry and hot. I'll take dry, even if it isn't that sunny. The world is ahead of them and so much awaits them both.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Pennsylvania and Ohio : Family Vacation 2009

I am still jet lagging and feeling a bit sluggish after a 2 week trip to Pennsylvania and Ohio. I had my class reunion this year and was hoping to find nice airfare to go and $198 RT sure made it a great deal! Once we had that taken care of we decided places we wanted to go and see and visit. Hershey Park was one of them and Bryan couldn't wait to go there. A few weeks prior to leaving Becky opted to come with us. It was great to have her along. Her last trip as a "single chick". Hershey has grown a lot since the last time we were there but it's a fun place to go and on warm sunny days you can still smell chocolate in the air :)
It was a great day at Hershey..temps in the mid 80's with very low humidity..we went on nearly every roller coaster as well as as other rides at the park. By the end of the day our feet were sore and ready for a soak.

After Hershey we decided to head off to Ohio. We had always wanted to visit Kirtland and see the Church History sites there as well as make a trip to Cedar Point. Cedar Point is a place Wes has wanted to go each time we have gone back East but we never fit it in before. We visited with one of Becky's former roommates, Mollie Weisman (who we found out is actually a cousin after some genealogy ties) and Mollie's family. We attended Church at the Kirtland Ward that is real close to the sites as well as the historic Kirtland Temple.

I really had wanted to take photos inside the Temple but that is not allowed. It is interesting how the Temple is talked about by those who guide you through it. They are not LDS and to them the significance of the Temple is merely treated as "history". As I set there and tried to imagine what Joseph Smith talks about in the D&C as he and Sidney Rigeon are visited by Heavenly Messengers including Jesus Christ it was really amazing..yet the Spirit is not there really. You can feel it strong on the property that the Church as restored and owns.

On Monday we were off to Cedar Point..the land of roller coasters. Another hot and muggy day but once again we made the most of it. It was great having Mollie along since she is from Ohio.

After Ohio we headed back to Pennsylvania for an 8 day visit with my parents and family and extended family as well as family reunions. We only had 1 day where it rained..that was pretty lucky. the 15th of August was Becky's 25th birthday. We had a cake for all the those who had birthdays that month. My brother in laws Mike and Jack, Becky and my nephew Matt. I can't believe I have a 25 year old! Mom made sure that we took a picture of my sister Mary with Becky and with Mom. Becky is 25, Mary is 50 and my Mom is 75. We had our family get together at Bingham. This is a small village where my Mom grew up. There is still an outhouse on the property and no running water. Mom has kept this property since her parents died and it has been a great place for family gatherings and get togethers.

After the family reunion I headed off to Bradford to attend my High School reunion. It was great to see so many that I had not seen in SO long. I had hoped that some of the people I went to school with would be there but they didn't make it..too bad, we all had a fun time. The school I attended only had 47 graduates and of those 21 were in attendance. Many that I knew since first grade. It was a great night.

It was great to be back in my hometown for a while. I hadn't been there since 2005 and with my Dad just coming out of surgery it was nice to be closer to him for a while. You really learn to appreciate your family a ton more when you are farther away from them. Tears are always shed as we hug and kiss good bye with hopes that it won't be another 4 years till we all see each other once again.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Bethany had an awesome week attending EFY(Especially For Youth). This program is simply amazing. The money is well worth it and the spiritual growth that takes place in just 5 days is a miracle to see. This year the theme was the same as the Young Men/Young Women's theme for the year: an example of the believers. Bethany went with friends Alina Grawrock, Courtney Cray and Emily Basham. They attended a session in Tacoma Washington at the University of Puget Sound. It's a beautiful campus where the youth and youth leaders can feel the spirit. These wonderful leaders were great for Bethany to have around this past week. They prepared and studied so that they could be able to steer and help each young man and young woman.
Becky was an EFY counselor 5 years ago and she described it as a "mini mission". There were girls who had come to EFY only because they were forced to go...Becky saw the change in these girls and their testimony strengthen. I think for those that are struggling to feel and develop a testimony EFY makes it possible in a setting of cool counselors and great youth. For those that already have strong testimonies it only helps them want to be better.
It was a hot week for Tacoma..just as it was for Portland. Thankfully the campus has a lot of trees and that helped.
Pizza night is ALWAYS a hit! The girls gather with the other girls in their group and their counselor and share not only pizza but good times. Bethany has made friends with many this year and these youth are all sources of strength to one another.
These gals and guys are great examples of the believers.

Bethany was home only a few hours and wished she were back...she was obviously touched by EFY and had a great time this past week. It was great that she was able to spend some extra time with her "BFF" Alina too :)