Sunday, October 30, 2011

Wrap up of the summer that ended months ago

It is now November and I thought I really should wrap up our summer because it was very eventual, and I know that in the blink of an eye it will be Christmas and this year will be over. So this week I will quickly update you on our summer and hopefully next week I will update you on our fall.

The month of June was spent mostly in classes for me. Garth and I did have a quick trip to Las Vegas to see Garth's cousin's daughter get married. It was fun to ride with Paul and Lee and we got to go over the new bridge bypassing Hoover Dam.

I also had a quick trip down Havasupi once again. Here is the twin sisters rock formation that towers above the village and serves as the Supi tribe symbol.

I went with a teacher from school and her sister. Neither of them had ever backpacked before and they both did great carrying their packs down and up.
And here is a look at one of the new falls -the new Navajo Falls, but they aren't officially named that yet. The Elders of the tribe have to vote on the new name and they haven't had time in the last three years since they were formed. They are the absolute best to jump off of.

We had lots of time to swim this summer and it was especially fun to have Amelia and Millie come over to swim. They both loved the water and the pool.

It was great having Lonica and Scott back. They waited all summer to close on the house they made an offer on in May. They actually got the keys last week on November 1!

For the Forth of July we decided to head out-of-town and the heat of the valley and spend the day up on the rim north of Strawberry. Paul and Lee came with us and we had a great time just relaxing and eating.

Things did get a little wild, as usually happens at Drain parties, and Jason thought he could wear Amelia's sunglasses.

Then Paul thought he could wear Millie's hat. As Amelia would say siwee (silly).

A couple of days later the boys and Garth and I flew to Hawaii for a week. We spent a few days in Honolulu checking out Pearl Harbor, Wikiki, Hanauma Bay and the Polynesian Cultural Center.

Then we headed to Maui for four days. Our second day there we headed up to the top of the dormant volcano, Haleakala, and road our bikes down 29 switch backs from about 10,000 feet. It was the easiest bike ride ever - hardly any pedaling! You just had to keep from going too fast.

The rest of the week was spent snorkeling, lounging by the beach, looking for good places to eat and driving the very memorable road to Hana. There is a narrow windy road that leads to Hana on the south end of the island. All along the road are waterfalls, spectacular views of the ocean including black sand beaches, fruit stands where wonderful fresh smoothies are made and we ended up at Wai'anapanapa State Park that had this amazing volcanic beach. We gawked at the force of the ocean on the rocks and I knew it would be certain death for me if I fell in.

Preston thought in every picture we took he needed to give the hang loose sign and stick out his tongue. I hope some day he will grow up.

The boys took surfing lessons one day and they both did pretty well for the first time. Unfortunately, they both got really sunburned on the backs of their legs while they were laying on their boards waiting to catch a wave. Here is Preston.

A couple of days after we got home from Hawaii I had surgery on my foot which incapacitated me for the rest of the summer. After spending a week in a chair with my foot elevated and working on vocabulary tests for the fall semester, I decided to tackle the job of refinishing Garth's grandmother's Victrola. Paul had given it to us years ago and it took us about 3 years to pick it up out of his garage. It then sat in our garage for about 8 months. It was really dirty and the finish was in bad shape, but it still worked and came with lots of records.

After about a week of stripping, sanding, staining and varnishing, we made a new home for it in our living room. We've had great fun showing it off and dancing with granddaughters to it. Come by and check it out.

But the biggest event of the summer came on August 22 when Preston gave his farewell talk before he headed to MTC and then on to Brisbane, Australia. He had lots of support from family and friends. Here are those that gathered with us for brunch after church.

Tuesday night Pres. Ahlstrom (our stake president) came to set Preston apart and give him a blessing. He did a wonderful job and we are all interested in seeing how the promises in his blessing are fulfilled.

Here is our missionary son. For years I knew the day would come when my older kids would leave home, but the one I never planned or prepared to leave was Preston. It has been a big adjustment, one I'm still not sure I want to make. Preston has been my pal for years - going hiking and camping with me, playing in Europe with me, helping fix my computer or set up my classroom, he talked to me while we worked at our computers each night and listened (at least I thought he listened) to me drone on and on about whatever I had on my mind.

While I know there is no other place I would rather have him be right now, it is still hard to have him gone. I live for his letters each week, just like I did for Jason's, but this time I don't have someone sitting next to me while I read it to them. I'm thrilled that he is so happy and growing and learning while having the opportunity to live in Australia.

He left for Salt Lake early on August 25, so Garth and I were the only ones who got up to take him to the airport. One of his friends from our ward was on his way to the MTC too and was on Preston's flight, so they left together

The last event of the summer was having Amelia's second bithday on the 29th of the month. She was so excited about the balloons, presents and cake. But she loves everything. It looks like Christmas with that stack of presents for her.

She was thrilled with every present she opened. Millie didn't really understand what was happening, but she wanted to be close to he action.

Lonica and Scott had been working with Amelia to teach her how to blow out the candles, but she couldn't quite do it. Luckily mom was right there to get them out.

Once again, the summer flew by, yet the heat lingered forever it seemed! I guess that is what you get when you live in the desert.