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!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Court Decision Leaves us Baffled and Sad

Today was a sad day for our family, as the Denver court decided to award Travis's biological father temporary custody for the next two months.  Rob called at noon, and all of them were crying so much it was hard to understand him.  Even the judge said the best home for Travis would be with the Wilcox's but nothing has proven the bio-father unfit.  We knew he might be taken away, but had hoped if it happened it would be to Wendy, the birth mother.  After a full year of being part of our family it is too sad to think of him leaving us, We are heart broken.  We still hope and pray that a door will be opened in some way that Rob and Kathryn can one day adopt him.  The final hearing will be Nov. 1.

Rob and Kathryn testified in the afternoon, Rob sent us the following:"Thank you for all your prayers and thoughts.  The judge still awarded temporary custody to the birth father, and set Nov. 1 for permanent placement.  We are still listed as interested parties in the case, so we are not out of the picture.  We get to have visits every other weekend for 6 hours.  Wendy gets 2 hours, 3 times a week and 4 hours on the weekend.  If Nick messes up in the next two months, the judge can change his mind.  We have to give Travis up Sunday Aug. 28 at noon in Durango.  If anyone wants to see him one more time we will be home Friday evening and Saturday."

      Wendy actually went with Rob and Kathryn to see Travis again, and visit with them. She will be central to any case to prove Nick (the bio-father) unfit, as she will have much more interaction with him and Travis during the next two months. She still feels very strongly that Travis should be with Rob and Kathryn and Ethan, So that is encouraging. We haven't given up hope, but yesterday was a very dark and sad day for all of us.

Anthony and Ashley drove up from Mesa Thursday night to be here when they got back. Amy and Andrew's family came down as well, to support them, which was very much appreciated by both Rob and Kathryn.

We received so much strength from friends in our two communities and our extended family who have continued to remember them in their prayers in.  We haven't given up hope that something will yet turn the tide in our favor.  We pray that Travis will be safe while he is with this other family.  We are really worried about his ability to care for this little one-year-old, and can't believe the court would just turn him over with no apparent concern about his welfare. 

On Saturday The Redds and Wilcoxes got together to go on a hike,and then later celebrated Travis's birthday.  It was a very bitter/sweet day, with this dark cloud hovering of loss over our heads the whole time.

Eating the birthday Cake Ethan made for him

Travis, we love you.  You have blessed our lives so much.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Blanding 4th ward Dissolved after 38 years

We returned home from Idaho on Sun. the 14th in time to attend the 1 PM combined 4,5,6,7 ward special meeting where 4th ward was dissolved and the other three wards absorbed our membership.  It was quite a shock, and I'm still not sure how I feel about it, but I love change, and the challenges it brings, so I think we're both up for it.  I was the first Relief Society president of 4th ward, 38 years ago.   We had 3 little boys, who were really just toddlers, and then Chris was born 6 months after I was called.  It was quite a juggling act to pull off, and I only lasted 15 months I think.

We will be in 5th ward, along with about 50 other 4th ward families.  The 4th ward attendance today at church really helped fill the chapel.  We were also called today to continue with our assignment as Young Adult Advisors in 5th ward.  Attended the last two meetings at the YS branch and then hosted a YSA dinner today to honor Tyler Saganey who is leaving in September to serve a mission to the Dominican Republic.  He drove up from Kayenta today to see his Blanding friends one last time. There were nine who came to dinner, and we had lots of Steve's delicious produce: corn, new potatoes, cucumbers, melons. Tyler was one of our favorite students last year; he came often to our home and always expressed appreciation for everything we did, and usually offered to help.  Once he even made the fry bread for one of our dinners.  We know he'll be a great missionary.

After the wards were divided, I remembered I had taken a photo of past bishops.  So I submitted the photo to the Panorama  and they ran it on the front page this past week. It was taken 5/15/2007.  All of these couples are very special friends to us, and we've gone through so much of our life here in Blanding with them and their families.  We dearly love each of them.

Sob, Sigh, and Sulk Intervention Party

Because of all of the saddness expressed by some of my friends related to the ward change, I felt prompted to try and remedy at least some of their sorrow, and send this invitation out Aug. 16.  It was very impromptu, but I felt inspired to do it, and it turned out swell.

Hey sisters, I think we need one more "Relief" party to counteract all the emotional stress we've been going through since Sunday.'s the plan:

A potluck lunch on Thursday---Aug. 18 at noon....

Bring anything you think will make someone feel better--even if it's YOU.

I'll furnish the drinks and some fajita snacks, so bring your best "feel good" dish and come join us. I want to take a photo of as many people as we can round up We'll do that about 12:45.... We may not all be together again for please try and come.
Please pass the invite around, as I don't have e-mails for everyone. Especially invite your visiting teaching sisters...this will be your Aug. Visit!!

Twenty-four sisters came and here they are:
About 3 hours before the party I remembered I had this box of Hawaiian decorations, so it was our Aloha party, which can be Hello and Good-bye.  Everyone had a chance to share their feelings and express appreciation to one another, and take photos.  It was a fun activity I think for everyone. So glad I felt inspired to do it.  Steve was a huge help, setting up the shades, since in the middle of the day it is super hot on the patio.


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Steve's Garden 2011

Steve has been as busy as ever with a big garden this year.  Andrew sent down raspberry starts for us for my birthday, and dad has put in two rows.  We need to figure out a way to keep them cooler, as they like moisture. 
Here he is weeding the strawberries.  They are doing pretty good.  Below them are the squash and cucumbers, and corn.  These first pictures were taken Aug. 1  We ate our first corn on the 18th, so it has grown a lot since this pix was taken.

Today, I canned 4 quarts of beans and froze 2 bags of them. Made a batch of jalepeno plum jelly, froze two trays of bell peppers, and ground up peppers, onions, cukes, and cabbage for relish.  Dad also did his first ever canning this week.  Pickled 3 bottles of okra!  What's the highest bid?

Here is the west side of the garden.  The early crops: radish, lettuce, etc. are gone.  The photo on the left shows his drip system for melons and tomatoes.  One little melon was so full of moisture this week, that it burst open Thursday, and we are every bit of it.  It was delicious. 
Ate several catelope as well.

Onions and peppers are doing really well.
Steve picked some beautiful bell peppers today!

New potatoes for Sunday dinner tomorrow for Tye Sageney

What in the heck is this strange creature, Grandpa found in the garden?

Can you come up with a name for it?

Jason Workman Memorial

The funeral service for Jason Workman was held in the stake center today. There was a  large crowd. Gov. Herbert as well as Elder Webb, a 70 representing the church and several dozen Navy Seals attended the funeral. Bishop Joe Lyman conducted and did a good job. All his brothers, as well as his mother gave moving tributes and memories about his life.  One of his close friends in the Seals also gave insights as to the level of danger in his assignments, and how well he had performed in each mission.

It was a fitting tribute to Jason and many of his friends came to pay tribute.   After the funeral they asked us to remain in our seats and they took the casket followed by his family outside. They did a 21 gun salute, plus they played taps. Jason will be buried in the Arlington cemetary this coming Friday. He was only 33 years old.

Afterwards they had a lunch for everyone at the armory. Steve stayed to work in the garden but I went down and was able to talk to all the Workmans.  I hadn't seen Tim nor Steven for quite some time.  All the boys did a great job speaking about their brother.  Sister Workman and her sister had some very good messages as well.  I was also able to visit with AJ Mexican, Rachelle Shumway, Maureen Olsen.  There were quite a few of Jason's friends who came to the funeral: Tate Bennett, Denim Lyman, Cory Halliday, Brad Harris, Jimmy Ray and probably lots I didn't recognize.  Ian Nielson also spoke and did an exceptional job.  He and Jason served in Pittsburg together.

Today is my Brother Clint's birthday.  He was born in 1950, and died in 1982.  He would have been 61 this year, but was only 32 when he died.  I miss him still and wish he were here to share his quirky sense of humor with his neices and nephews.

My brother Lynn's birthday is Aug. 29; he's just 2 years older than Clint.  And Nancy...she's at least 20 years younger that any of us!  Birthday Sept. 12

Saturday, August 13, 2011

County Fair Blue Ribbons

I delivered four quilts to the county fair just before we headed north on our Idaho trip.  All four of them earned blue ribbons, and the Eagle Scout quilt and  Aztec Sr. Citizen also got a special Honorable Mention award, thus earning me $23.


Here are the other two:  

You Can Go Home Again--Idaho Trip

August 10-13 we made a quick trip to Idaho, staying with Andrew and Amy on the way up. The big excitement there was Mattea's new little family of ducks, which she bought with her 4th of July sales.  That night Amy and I went to "The Help" which was just released, and it was a great movie.  Now I need to read the book.

We left early the next morning for Idaho. Our goal was to determine the best site for our reunion next year, and to also go to the farm on Antelope where the Keeler kids grew up. 
Our first stop, however, upon getting to Ririe was to visit Betty Anthony.  She was my first piano teacher and second mother, as I stayed at their home often during my high school years.  I took piano lessons from her for nine years.  After she stopping teaching piano, she took up painting and became a very good artist.  She's still going strong at 90!  She mentioned several times how much she had enjoyed Mom's visits with her.  She also asked if Doug and Nancy still played the piano.  (She didn't ask about you Lynn, so you're off the hook!)  Her daughter Barbara has been my best friend forever, and from them came Anthony's name.

We next visited several of the potential sites for next year's reunion and decided to go with Mountain River Ranch just south of Heise.  The preferred dates of June 29-July 1 were available and it was less expensive than the other two sites.  We reserved the lodge and 7 cabins.  Here are a few photos of the area, but you can also find more info on their site.

Lodge kitchen where we can prepare meals, though the deck just outside has both fire pit grill and gas grill.

Deck outside the kitchen door at the lodge

Trip to Antelope Bench and the Keeler Farm

 After calling four times to make connection with Niel Brown and failing, the manager of our farm, we finally exercised our faith and drove on up, hoping he had remembered we were coming.  It is only 11 miles from Heise.  The gate was left open for us and we were able to spend some time driving the "old roads of home" and even visited with Bob Echart the caretaker who lives in our house.  He let me go in and take pictures, and also said there wouldn't be a problem with our family doing a reunion activity there next summer, as long as the Rockefellers aren't using it. 

We are hoping Doug, Lynn's and Nancy's family can come join us Sunday, July 1 at the farm for a trip down memory lane.

Looking down the hill to our home.  All the former buildings (except for the house) were torn down, and an quanset shed put up.  Here is what it used to look like:

I was very happy to see so much of the farm under cultivation, mainly barley and alfalfa.  The fields looked good.  The only sad thing was that some of the coves and swells where Dad had left trees had been cleared, even though they aren't really farmable.  According to Doug, it was the Hayes family who did this. They later sold the farm to a Nature Conservancy Organization, whose purpose was to protect the Snake River corridor from development, preserving it for wildlife, returning it somewhat to its pristine state.

The mountains in the background form the corridor the Snake River follows as it makes its way to Ririe.

The front of our home when I was a teen

Front of the house now with a wrap around deck.

On our way back to Heise for a 5:30 appt. with "that old gang of mine" , we stopped at the new scenic turn off along the Snake River.  There was also a Vardis Fisher Memorial Plaque there.  Some day I'll have to tell you of my run in with Vardis Fisher.

The Snake River is beautiful and seeing it again brought back many happy memories of the times we spent playing and fishing further up the river.

Thursday evening some of Ririe's Class of 1960 got together for pizza at Heise and visiting.  It was great.  JR pulled it together, even though he had been Huckleberrying all day.  Linda and her husband drove clear up from American Falls. Steve and Tom and their wives left before I remembered I had a camera!  At least I hadn't left before I remembered!!
We stayed with Barbara and Harry Groom Thurs. night (the first couple on the left) and the next day went to Blackfoot for a Murphy, Keeler, Jensen family reunion.  It was at a really nice pavillion and park.  Bert and Veloy's families were there.  Veloy had just been diagnosed with cancer in her mouth, and was quite concerned about what would be happening. 
Bruce came down, as the lone Arnold.  He and Doug had a good visit.  Nancy was in Illinois helping Andrea with their new baby which arrived the next day I think.   Jessica and her cute little kids came early, so we got to visit with them quite a bit before the big crowds came.  Della still isn't feeling very well, and she and Doug left early.
     Both Sue Del and Marilyn and Dean came, as well as Julie and some of her family.  Wayne and Wendell were both there.  Talked quite a bit to Wayne's son, Spencer, who had been in Iraq two different times.  We left about 4 PM, heading for Autumn's, and when we got to the Malad Summit, the traffic was stopped because of a gas truck accident that blocked both lanes of traffic.  At first they were able to send cars via the old highway, until a 2nd diesel truck crashed there also...not a good day for truck drivers!
    After waiting for about 1 1/2 hrs. we finally decided to go back to Downey, across to Preston, and Logan and then down.  We finally got to Autumn's about 10 PM. 
The next morning Steve got up early with Autumn as the official photographer of her triathlon while I stayed and goofed off with the kids.  She did very well finishing 1st in her category, and 3rd overall.  Afterwards we celebrated by getting pedicures, and shopped for fabric for a quilt for her friend Arin who's getting married in Sept. 

We headed to Chris's about 5 PM, and had a fun evening with them celebrating Chris's birthday, and playing games with the family.  We also had fun watching Kids History on U-tube.  Might be a good idea for a reunion challenge.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Happy 70th to Steve

 Pulled together a little cookout for Steve to celeberate his 70th birthday, on Monday the 8th. Most of our Home Evening group came, plus some other friends. He did a lot of the cooking: doing ribs (on the grill the kids gave him) Dutch oven potatoes, and spicy squash. Ate, talked, and played "Which is the Lie." 

Learned a lot of new things about old friends!

Cupcakes formed a 70!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Post Reunion Family Activities

Anthony and Ashley's family were able to stay after the reunion for three more days before they headed home to Mesa.  We went to the dinosaur museum;

hiked out to the tepee and tower at West Water; celebrated Sam's birthday with a special cake that his mom decorated.

Had a cookout  and played games on Monday with the McFarlands, and went to Voices of San Juan on Wednesday.  We enjoyed our pre-and post reunion visits, as well as the actual reunion.