The Energizer Cowboys who kept things humming at the reunion

The Energizer Cowboys who kept things humming at the reunion
These kids know how to have fun!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Welsh Festival in Malad, Idaho June 25 and 26

Returning to the "land of my birth" and the culture of my ancestors, Steve and I attended the Welsh festival in Malad this summer.  We met up with my sister Nancy, Marilyn and Dean Westenskow, and their daughter Julie, as well as some of the Marleys and then cousins we had never met.  We are all related to Jonah Evans, our 3rd great grandfather who immigrated to America after converting to the LDS church, along with his wife Francis Bowen.

Aled Betts with Dr. Ron Dennis, former BYU teacher of Welsh
Aled Betts, one of our Bowen relatives was a presenter.  He is a Welsh historian and actually lives in Wales.  He is related to Geraint Bowen, whom we met 10 years ago.

Descendents of Jonah Evans and Frances Bowen convened at a special family gathering with Mr. Betts Saturday  in the basement of the 2nd ward chapel, which is adjacent to the park where the events was held. He shared photos and information related to the Bowen and Evans' lines.

Lillian Talbot, citizen of the year.
 We traveled about 10 miles out to Samaria, where Jonah was the first bishop.  During this time he also remarried, as Francis had died.  We also visited Lillian and Andy Tabot, her son, and Leann Bosworth her granddaughter.  Lillian was my mother's 1st cousin.  She is 90 years old now, but still lives alone out in the country.  Her son and granddaughter are nearby.  

Janet, Aled, and my sister, Nancy: The meeting of the Welsh
Malad Valley has the largest per capita concentration of people of Welsh ancestry outside the country of Wales itself and they have revived the rich tradition of eisteddfod,  Our relative Geraint, was honored several years ago in Wales at this event.  One of the presenters is Ron Dennis, who led the trip to Wales and Scotland that we took.  He taught Welsh at BYU for many years, and probably knows more about our Welsh family than we do.
My Henderson grandparents home in Malad, where we spent many
early Christmases.

Jonah Evans tombstone in the Samaria  Cemetery near Malad

Monday, June 28, 2010

Wilcox Reunion on Blue Mountain

Wilcox Relatives Who Came to Blue Mt. -- 74 Strong

(Click on photo for an enlarged view)
Front: L-R:  Janet and Steve Wilcox; Nathan, Tammy, Brendan and Laurie Wilcox; Anthony holding Logan, Ashley with Sam Wilcox; Bev holding Brig, Quincy Sage, Quentin holding Ava Wilcox;
2nd Row: Rob, Ethan and Kathyrn Wilcox; Theron Jeppson holding Hunter, Autumn holding Hinckley with Peyton in front; Andrew, Jaxon and Amy with Mattea (baby Gannon?) Wilcox; Sharon and Jerry Wilcox; Chris with Adam, Danny, Pam with Emily, Hailey, Kylee, Michael and CJ Wilcox
3rd Row: partly hidden  Mary Mills Bingham, Mattew and Marcus;   Mel and Jeannie partially hidden
4th Row Debbie and Nicks family:  Derick, Elizabeth, Jeremy 2 missing names; Diane and Keith; Lynette and Jeff Woerner's family: Alex, Paige, 3 more children; The Lewiston Jeppsons: Jeff, Susie, (in front of them) Carson, Lehi, Tucker, Gunnar; Justin, Lexus and Stephanie Wilcox Hazel and Brian Wilcox (Walter's kids). (Katherine and Harvey are the phantom attenders)
(Hindsight note to self:  We should have grouped the families in columns with the little kids in first two rows, and the Big Hunks behind them on the back rows.  Also we should have taken the Steve Wilcox large family group pix and Keith Wilcox group, like Mel and Jeannie were smart enough to do!)  Wish I'd thought of this sooner.

Since Autumn was the child in charge of the Steve Wilcox reunion this year, we did a two-for-one reunion since Steve was in charge of the Wilcox extended family reunion. She planned a lot of fun activities and had good help from her siblings and parents.  Of course, Hinckley was her constant buddy.

Thursday Nathan, Autumn, the Idaho Jeppsons, Mel and Jeannie, and Steve and their families arrived at the camp site, so we were off to a good start and had time for visiting. and shared food!  We appreciate Sharon and Jerry and Jeff and Susie's family for the long distance they travelled (2000 miles round trip). 

Friday AM Anthony, Steve, Rob, Ethan, and Grandma enjoyed golfing in Monticello.  By noon most of the family campers were starting to roll in and get their tents set up.  The weather was perfect, though the nights were cold.  Just right for campfires and s'mores.

There was lots of yummy food!

Mary and Katherine's breakfast

June Birthdays Celebrated: Carson, Derick and CJ (Brig missing and one other?)  The feast included gourmet Dutch Oven deserts: chocolate raspberry, blueberry, and apple cobblers!

Reunion Activities included:Playing in the creek (Love that water and gooey mud!)


Shooting water rocks off.  Luckily there was only one innocent by-stander hit

Decorating Water bottles, face painting on Friday-- sometimes the kids painted parents!

Camp cooking with lots of good food & company

Family hike challenge on Sat. included making up a skit or song, sharing, telling jokes,  finding clues
Family portraits,
Painting picture frames

Robb, Kathryn & Ethan-

Mel and Jeannies's extended family.
Front: Gunnar, Lexus, Mel, Jeannie
Susie, Carson, Lehi, Jeff, Tucker
Stephanie, Brian, Justin

Friday was Madagascar Night with a mission report and slides by Tucker who had only been home from this far-away place for 7 weeks, followed by the movie, Madagascar.  But only those NOTsleep deprived made it to the end!

Andrew, Jaxon and Mattea:                                           Nick & Debbie's family

Chris and Pam Wilcox family" CJ holding Adam, Pam holding Emily Hope, Michael  Front: Kylee, Hailey and Dan

  Nathan and Tammy, Brendan and Laurie               Jerry and Sharon Wilcox

More family portraits

Theron & Autumn Jeppson family  
Peyton, Hinckley, Hunter, Leah, the Lab               

Quent & Bev Wilcox family" Ava, Sage, Quincy (Brig was napping)

Anthony & Logan, Ashley & Sam and
our friend Diane from Canon City, Co.

Katherine, Mary, Matthew and Marcus

Mel and Jeannie and grandchildren: Brian, Justin, Stephanie and Lexus in front.

Four wheeling and basketball were also enjoyed as well as mountain golf and hiking and side trips to the Four-Corners and Arches.

Saturday was the Wilcox Jeopardy game which featured many talented participants and friendly competition.  Afterwards we watched the 50th Wedding Anniversary Show Remake, remembering Grandma and Grandpa Wilcox.  Unfortunately, many family members left early and didn't get to see it. 

Sunday morning, those who wanted to, attended church in Blanding and had Father's day dinner with Steve & Janet.  Diane McNeave orchestrated a Father's Day recognition game, honoring the good fathers in our family.  All in all it was a fun -filled four days for most of us, and shorter for the rest. We're glad you all came.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Day of Reckoning Arrives--We Face Hole in the Rock

4th Ward Trekkers

Steve and I were a part of the Blanding West Youth Hole in the Rock Trek June 2-4.  We drove to Escalante the first day.  The group stayed at Jerry Roundy's camp ground, which was shady and he was so accommodating, and so interested in the Hole-in-the-Rock Pioneers. We stayed in a motel, for which we were mighty glad.   About 120 of us went.

 Steve helped with the cooking, and I helped plan the presentations, and gave one myself at the top of Hole in the Rock.  I told the story of Arabella and Stanford Smith.  I used the her as a metaphor of "holding on and never letting go" related to the Iron Rod.

R. Vaughan Johnson from the Ensign accompanied our group on the trek;  He actually hiked clear to the bottom.  Then he went to Bluff and met up with the Blanding Stake, and the following week went with the Kanab Stake.  Later he met with youth from our group to get followup quotes and ideas for his story.  It will come out July 2011.

We hiked a little over half way down, but it was very steep, and we decided we better make sure we could get back out--which we did successfully.  It was an experience I'd always hoped I'd have, especially after working 3 months straight on the pioneer history blog sites.  I was called as a history specialists just before Christmas, and worked every day on finding and posting pioneer stories on 3 different blogs I created.  We also set up a Stake blog for posting photos, etc. but it was so complicated to use, it wasn't as beneficial as I had hoped.

I got sick by the 3rd day, and didn't have any Vit. C. for fighting off a cold.  We stopped at the Anasazi Museum in Boulder and had hoped to talk to Mike Nelson but he was gone, so just left a note. He is Pres. McKay's grandson and worked at the edge of the Cedar's Museum..

The sage was in full bloom across the 60 miles to the Hole, and also got some great shots of cactus, cows, and hoodoos at Devils Garden.

The kids had lots of fun exploring these sandstone formations, climbing, and hiding.  We had our first meal here.  It was about 16 miles off the mail highway close to Escalante.

Dance Hall Rock and the dance social that wasn't--but the fiddling was good. 

This is the kind of hiking you can expect at Hole in the Rock. Steep, rocky and challenging.
This is the sight I'll always remember. I have a core deep appreciation for those first 250 pioneers who blazed a trail, not only down this impasse, but the rest of the 200 miles to San Juan.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Trip to Idaho May 2010

   The last two weeks have been a whirlwind...ending with that crazy UK espisode yesterday...I feel I've been in a race, only to fall off a cliff at the end  ...and now am trying to get enough energy to crawl back out and get organized again.  I'm hoping I can just change my gmail account, but can't seem to find a phone # for tech help on Google.  Do any of you have a suggestion on a # with a real person? (My e-mail address was hacked into and I'm having to recreate over 500 addresses in a new account.)

We had a wonderful trip to Idaho, starting up on May 19.  We stopped long enough in Provo to visit and set up a little treasure hunt for Danny's birthday.  We made it to Doug's place about 6:30 that night, and had a good visit with them.  Doug has really made progress, and is so much better than last summer.  I'm so thankful for that.

The next morning we went to see Jessica and new baby Audrey, and Matthew.  They have really been busy fixing up their home.  Jessica has turned into quite a gardner  We also checked out Dixie's Diner where the class reunion would be held, and found where JR Hayes lived, as we would be staying with him Sat.

Nancy, Bruce and Steve by Rexburg temple
  That afternoon we drove up to Teton Valley, and stayed with Nancy and Bruce 2 nights.  Friday morning all four of us went did a temple session in the Rexburg temple, which was wonderful.  Lots of wheat motifs in the decorations and a wonderful spirit there.  Grandma and Grandpa Keeler would have loved that.

 Nancy even found one of my lost classmates. Farrell Bush was a veil worker there...what a surprise.  Friday was Lexie's birthday, and Ryan coming home was the birthday surprise, as she didn't know he was in Idaho.  It was  lot of fun.  Had pizza and enjoyed their new home.  It was rainy and overcast most of the two days, so we didn't get any walking in.

   Sat. morning we kidnapped David Keeler in Rexburg, for lunch prior to his track meet.  He looked good and seemed to be doing well at school.  We then stopped by the Annis graveyard to put flowers on the Keeler graves, then swung by Barbara's for a quick visit, as I knew I wouldn't have time to visit with everyone at the reunion.

 We had about 40 people come to our 50th reunion, and we all had a great time I think.  We sat by Jim Ritter, so got to visit with him quite a bit.  He and Brian Kremer asked about Doug and other siblings.  Linda Summer's husband died in 08, which I hadn't know. Everyone seemed to appreciate and enjoy the Jeopardy game I put together, and also the DVD of the class.  Some were even a little bit teary eyed...remembering the "good old days.  I had made a copy for everyone, so we sent them home happy.

We stayed at JR's that night, and stayed up even longer talking about how they run their addiction recovery classes in IF.  They have a beautiful home and stay very busy, as they teach 3-4 groups each week!
   We went to Sac. meeting with them Sun. morning and then headed down the road.  We stopped for about an hour to visit Sharon and Daryl in Pocatello.  Their place is really close to the freeway and easy to find.  I hope they'll let their siblings know about the Welsh festival in Malad.  Marilyn has gone to quite a bit of work to get it organized.  I told her our family would bring cookies, so if any of you come, that's your assignment to help with that.

We stopped for a few hours to visit with Andrew and Amy, then stayed at Autumn's overnight, and then headed home in a blizzard between SLC and Provo Mon. morning.  Fortunately, it ended quickly, and the rest of the trip was nice. 

We had expected that Anthony and Ash would be there that afternoon, but they got bogged down in packing and cleaning, and didn't leave until 3:30 AM from Mesa.  They arrived about 10:30 Tues. and we kept pretty busy all week with the kids.  We went to the dinosaur museum, to Shrek 3, Sand Island, Bluff Fort, cookouted with Rob's family, visited with Shumways, planted garden, and moved rocks.

   Then of course the antithesis of two great weeks, happened with the hacking into my e-mail account, and all the drama associated with that.  Good thing Anthony interjected his humor, or I'd still be depressed.  I still haven't recreated my's too overwhelming.  We must have had 20-30 phone calls, plus several who came to the house to make sure I wasn't in the UK.

      This week we go on trek to hole in the Rock, and I have quite a bit of prep to still get organized for that.  Hopefully, I can get my mind back on that and off the address mess