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!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving in Blanding 2012

It was faster than a turkey trot for three days at the Wilcox home this past Thanksgiving.  We were so happy to have Rob, Anthony, and Autumn's families come to visit, hike, play games, and keep us entertained and busy in the kitchen. 
     As I often say, you'll learn something everyday, if you're not careful and we learned quite a few things about smoking turkeys this year -- what to do and not do.  Hopefully, we will remember, or will have Andrew to mastermind the event next time!


The kids made some fun decorations for Thanksgiving, which sparkled up the table and the house.  Of course the main activity for the kids was going on a couple of trailer rides with Grandpa, and also going fishing.  Grandpa also took Hunter and Ethan out for target practice out at Westwater with the BB gun.

    For Grandma the fun was playing games late into the night (and being beat!) by the grandkids.  We played Spazz Uno, Snorta, Quiddler, Aggrevation, chess, and Blokus.  I was really impressed at how well our little grandkids can spell! 

Autumn and the girls made delicious croissant rolls from scratch, with messages rolled up in them. Each person told what they were thankful for. Ethan gathered the responses earlier, and  I typed them up. It worked pretty well.  As each slip was read, we guessed who had said it. It was a reminder of the many  blessings our family has received-- and only Hinckley ate the slip of paper! 

We had a delicious Thanksgiving dinner, with a new potato dish brought by Lila, who joined us.  Kathryn brought her yummy rolls for sandwiches that evening, and Lila also made Rob's apple pies.  He had bottled a couple of batches of Granny Smith apples earlier this fall.

Those are so handy to use.  I did about 45 quarts this year as we had a bumper apple crop.

Grandpa and the kids pulled the wishbone, and the grandkids finally won!

Part of the fun was playing with cousins, and joining in when Rob played the piano.  Lawsyn and Ryan were wonderful little babies, and were so cute and fun to play with, though I didn't get to do much of that as there was always a mess in the kitchen and more food to fix.  Next big family visit, I'm assigning out meals.  It's getting too hard for me to keep up a 15 hr. pace for three days.

Theron and Anthony were able to get most of the outside lights up, which I really appreciated. We'll get the rest up this week. Autumn got the Christmas village pretty much in place, and Ashley and the girls helped dust and decorate the Christmas it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas and it is only the 25th of November! I love all the lights and brights it brings. I forgot to take the kids up to see our big Blanding Christmas extravaganza at the Moons. If you come down for the temple sealing on the 15th of Dec. remind me that we need to go ooh and aah at the lights. Ashley is going to help organize the program, but plan on participating with either songs, dances, or poetry for the season.

Rob also figured out a way to keep those crazy boys under control by applying handcuffs!  They had a lot of fun teasing their uncles as well as playing on the computer and building bamboo forts in the orchard.

We were able to Skype Quent and Bev's family Thankgiving night.  It was Quincy's 11th birthday on the 22nd, so we all sang to her. Leah (the Jeppson's dog)  turned 8 that same day, so we remembered her too.   Quent's family was in pretty good spirits considering the stress that they've been under this past week.  Bev was sustained as Primary President last Sunday the 18th, and then two days later Brig ended up in the emergency room with breathing problems, but he is on the mend now.  Quincy and Sage were attacked by head lice this week also, so they are being treated for that and had on new fashionable hats!  They missed a couple of days of school in the process, but we're hopeful they'll be good as new next week.  Marci came up for Thanksgiving and we were able to send most of their Christmas gifts back, as well as the gifts Andrew and Amy had for their family.

The weather was beautiful and we took a fun hike out to the natural arch out by the Westwater ruins. I had forgotten it was even there, until our home teacher mentioned this week, that Cleal Bradford's family had finished making a pretty good trail out to the little arch.

I can't believe we've never hiked this part of Westwater before.  It was fun and exciting, yet doable!
We took plenty of water, oranges, and licorice to keep us going.  The boys cut down bamboo poles to use for their hiking sticks.  As you can see the day was absolutely beautiful.
The trail had quite a lot of up and down climbing. Grandpa was the rogue hiker but finally found us and the trail.  We didn't have to go clear down into the bottom of  the canyon as they had installed a couple of railroad tie bridges to get across Billy Goat Gruff's stream. Water was still running  It was a little scary for Peyton, so she crawled across!

I had just seen a picture of this arch in one of the old Pinion yearbooks this past week, and they had the whole SJHS drill team standing on this bridge for their group photo.  Several of our group went out on the bridge with Leah, but I didn't suggest a group photo there!   It was an awesome sight, however!

After we got back to the car we walked down to the turn around at the end of the road, so we could see the Anasazi ruins, but we didn't hike down that trail.  We'll do that another time.

All in all it was a great weekend...and oh, yeah, I heard there were some football games going on too--but never saw any!  Autumn, Ashley, and I were busy doing our Black Friday Internet shopping!! 

Many Miracles as Zion Grows

Sometimes the miracles God provides are so close to us, we hardly recognize them, but last week an answer to thousands of prayers was realized as the new Monument Valley Chapel was dedicated Nov. 18.  We drove down on Saturday for the Open House, taking Neldon Holt with us.  It was a beautiful day, and the monuments never looked better.
   Jim Dandy Jr. is the Branch president, and he and his wife along with the Stake Presidency, and missionaries were there to welcome everyone and show them the new building.  The chapel is huge, and was filled to capacity and even more came Sunday for the dedication.  While we were there, many community members who were not members came over to see the building and to visit. 

President Jim Dandy Jr. and Lynette Adams great visitors
Lynette and Jerry Adams have been serving in the Mexican Hat branch for 6 years, and they were there to help as well.  We visited with several missionaries who had served there earlier, as well as Jim Dandy Sr. whose foster father, and brother drove clear down from up north for the big weekend.  Raquel Dandy really seemed to appreciate the effort we made to be there.  Brother Holt also visited with the Parrish family whom he had helped to teach many years ago while serving as a stake missionary.  We also visited with Toni Dee, whose son Jonathan lived with us one summer. This was the last activity we did with Neldon as
he died Feb. 2, 1913.  He's been a great
friend over the years.

    I took down a southwest flower arrangement for the chapel, and photo holder with Navajo weaving objects on it for Pres. Dandy's desk.  I'm glad I was inspired to do so, for there was no other decorations in the chapel or office.  They have a good sized Primary and Relief Society room, as well as a baptism font. There is a kitchen, and probably 8 classrooms as well.  I am sure this building and its members will be a beacon to the whole valley.  The branch was also moved into the Kayenta Stake this summer, which is closer for them, and will have more ties clanwise, than being with the Blanding stake.
     Now for the miracle.  Craig Zwick's construction company built the chapel this past year, and it had been ready for utility hookups for nearly four months.  But the wheels granting permission move mightly slow on the reservation.  In fact, the large conference center build across the highway was finished and stood locked up three  years waiting for permission from the tribe.  Our stake presidency asked us all to fast and pray, two different fast Sundays, and within three months the utilities were hooked up an ready to go.  What a blessings this will be for our Navajo brothers and sisters!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Other Visits and Vistors

Two of our favorite Trick or Treaters!
on Halloween Night.
  This is why I'm getting so husky. I know how to eat real food!

Grandma and Ryan's favorite activity!
Isabella's wonderful protectors and helpers!
Time to snuggle up on the bench after Church.
The last good weekend before the snow came!

Who's the cutest Pumpkin?

Saturday night, Nathan and Tammy and family came over for supper, visiting, and playing games. We had a really fun time playing Spaz-Uno with the kids.  Laurie and Brendan are doing great in school and Isabella is a gret observer!
She wasn't quite sure she knew us, so we've got some work to do the next two months, getting reacquainted.  Autumn pulled off some great gourmet meals while we were there  It's time to rein ourselves in again!  But we loved visiting with everyone!


We had a great time visiting, and enjoying walks on such a nice fall day.  We attended Church with Autmn's family and also saw the work they are doing in their neighborhood, getting ready to bring a freeway down through their neighborhood!
   After Sunday naps we headed down to Provo to stay with Chris and Pam's family and enjoyed another delicious meal and more home made rolls!.  We had a wonderful visit with them too, and got a few games in with the kids before heading to bed.  CJ will turn 18 in June, so has some big decisions coming up.  He's attending Missionary Prep and ran in cross country this fall, and went on several dates!  Michael tried out for the BB team and made the first two cuts.  As soon as he gets his height, we're sure he'll make the team.  Everyone one was happy and well.  We have such great kids and daughters and sons-in laws and wonderful grandchildren.  We feel truly blessed.

The Altamont Wilcoxes Move into New Home

South side of Ashley and Anthony's new home.  It sits on a rocky promontory
looking down on the road headed to Altamont.

North side of the house, adjacent to garage, and driveway.

Lawsyn was the happy superviser of
the two-day move in.  What a good
baby she was!

The Master bedroom before the work began!
 There are lots of windows in this home, and we were able to get most of them washed on both sides. I love the light and openness of the floor plan and setting. The Master bedroom is full of windows as well -- no more running around in your skivies! It also has a door opening out onto the patio deck as you can see here.
Steve hung blinds, helped paint, and repaired things.  I spent most of the time hauling boxes in for the kitchen and putting things away.  This house has amazing storage.  I've never seen so many closets, cupboards, and big storage areas.  It's going to be great.  There are 3 bedrooms and 3 full bathrooms, with the potential of a 4th bedroom in the garage, and also room for a possible dungeon in the crawl space.

Whitney and Ashley spent most of two days puting two coats of paint on the Master bedroom.  They are experts at taping, and doing fine detail work! They did a great job, and are professional enough, I'm sure they'll be hiring themselves out!  Ashley's mom kept us well fed, while she and Kerry took care of dozens of other family projects. as well as wandering neighbors.

For San and Logan the funnest thing was seeing their toys which been in storage since May. It was a happy reunion.  By the end of the second day, we had most of the kitchen things in place, all three bedrooms painted and the beds moved in and made.  They finished moving in the following Monday and are enjoying life as a nuclear family again.
The kitchen, dining room, and front room are all open and blend one into the other.  There is also an office/den/game room on the backside of the fireplace.  Again, there are lots of built in shelves and cupboards.
They got the pellet stove running the first night they stayed, and Anthony said it kept the whole house warm and toasty.  The fireplace on the other side is wood burning.
There is a large 3 car garage, one section of which is
being turned into another bedroom, or a man cave!

There is large fenced in yard, with trees, grass, flower beds, and garden boxes.  It looks alike good safe place for kids to play. All the driveways are paved.  They also have 10 acres adjacent for future horses, dogs, cats, kids, and who knows what else!   We loved being able to come up to help.  There is something very energizing and fun about working together on a big project, and seeing it pull together.  Thanks for letting us help.
Sat. morning we drove to Autumn's, while Anthony and the Longhorn football team faced Rich, in an unhappy ending.  Anthony had been helping as an assistant coach all fall, and has had a positive impact upon the young men in the football program.  The coach has been real happy to have him, and even asked if he'd consider being the head coach next year.  Who knows if that will come to pass, but it's always good to be appreciated.