Monday, January 16, 2012


It came with a start. We were not even recovered from traveling home from Kirtland yet when it appeared one morning actually the 1st day of January. We miss Kirtland but boy is it nice to be home again. We had unpacked the car by then and moved on to other things.

Much has happened since we last visited. We went to Idaho just days after returning to be able to see my brother Rex who had terminal cancer. He is in the middle being held up by his brothers in the picture. All eleven siblings were together with their spouses that evening. It was such a sweet and memorable time for us. Rex passed away peacefully on Christmas Eve, the 24th of Dec 2011. He was ready to go and his wife and family are doing so well. What a great man and a great brother. He will be missed greatly. When we would see him always before, he would wrap me in his arms and kiss me on the head and ask, "How is my sister Annette?" I will miss that.

Thanksgiving we spent with all of our children and grand children. What a day that was. We enjoyed it so very much. Our gang is too big for any one home anymore, so we held it at a church in Stansbury Park by Darla's home and that worked wonderfully. We can only say it was a glorious day after missing all of them for so long.

We held our Welcome Home on Sun. 11 and had a great support group. Our Directors for part of our mission in Kirtland, the Butterfields attended and that was so sweet of them. They also had a great reunion with Kimi who had been a missionary in their mission (he was mission president) 15 years ago in Ventura CA. Adams and McQueens came too but I didn't get good pictures of them. It was such fun to see them. We fed 80 People that day. It was a wonderful day.

Christmas was fabulous. We spent Christmas Eve at Kimi and Jeff's and it was fun to hear the squeals of little children coming down the stairs again. We enjoyed it greatly. Two days later (27th) we went to the wedding of our oldest granddaughter Mikayla, in the Mt. Timpinogas temple but none of my pictures turned out, so I couldn't include one. She married a great young man Nate Thatcher and they will be extremely happy I am sure.

Two days after the wedding we headed for Idaho again to attend the funeral of my brother Rex on the 31st. I felt honored that they would ask me to do the Life Sketch. I worked hard to make it nice and was able to get through it without blubbering all over too much. The six of us sisters sang my sister Jenny's song "If Christ Should Speak to Me" and the four remaining brothers with three nephews sang "O Home Beloved". Aw, it was so beautiful.

We spent New Year's Eve at the Hyers home (our Stake President) having a fabulous steak dinner and playing a few games. Then we begged off so we could go home, sleep and get up early enough to get to Sharise's ward where she and Ron and Calli and Katie were all speaking. I am sure our ward people think we have gone on another mission. Our mission right now is to be able to see all of our kids.

Our kids Joel and Marianne left us and went to Arizona taking our little grand kids with them right after our homecoming thing. How rude! We were just getting to know them again, and getting to know little Joel Franklin who had been born while we were away. But we headed for AZ on the 5th of January and came back on the 11th. We had a great time visiting and trying to help them a little bit.

We are now busy up to our eyeballs with other things so the thick of things has started already. I have a new calling as the pianist in the Mt. Erie Branch, which is funny. I have sung all over the country, I have directed choirs small and large including ward, Stake and Regional and even in Africa and Kirtland, but never in my life had I played the piano in front of anyone until Sunday morning. I have to practice very intensely and I choose the simplest songs. But I am determined to do it. We also spoke in two wards the same day.

All is good here. Mark is thinking of doing some projects soon and is making plans. He has helped me clean out some places that I can't reach or Don't want to climb on a latter to do. He is good help to have around. And so our New year of 2012 begins in a big way.

Monday, October 24, 2011

The Autumn Leaves Drift By My Window

The best thing that has happened on our whole mission is that Kimi and Jeff came to see us October 20-24. We have had such a delightful, wonderful time just being with them and being able to take them on all the tours here in Kirtland.

I have no idea how much the pumpkin weighs, but I thnk it weighs more than I do even. That was our last outing with the Guenthers. All the rest of our Pdays will be taken up with getting ready to come home.

This month of October has sped with lightening speed leaving leaves all over the ground; leaves of every shape, size and color. We had two gloriously beautiful weeks or brilliant color and then a wind and rain storm stripped many of the colors. But Jeff and Kimi are here right now and they think it is absolutely beautiful still. It just changes in shifts and at least doesn't strip all the color off the trees all at once.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

September of what year?

We are losing track of time. It is slipping by so quickly now that our departure date is but two months away form today. We love serving a mission in Kirtland Ohio and loved serving in South Africa too. We have had three sets of tours from South Africa this past month and that brought back such great memories. Here we have a picture of Niel and Ineka Atkins from Johannesburg whom we knew while there. We knew their son Michael and Michael's wife even better. But we knew them well enough to know they are the greatest of people.

The man with the motor bike is Roy McGinnis who was our next door neighbor in Garrettsville. He was one of several who came to a BBQ Picnic at the Johnson Farm that the Missionaries held (Elder Guenther also in the picture) down there and we attended that picnic. It was such fun to see our old neighbors and good friends in attendance.

What a month we had this past few weeks! It has been such a privilege to serve the Lord here.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Here is the beauty!

A path we walk on frequently.

Elder Orton greeting lots of tour groups and I had to get a picture of this cute boy (Elder Orton) and the other one.

See the flowers within the flower? Isn't the Creator a most marvelous designer?

Here is Elder Orton in front of the Joel Johnson Home. Each dwelling has exquisite flowers and you would agree that the Visitor's Center is a show place for guests from all over the world. I am so pleased to be part of the work that goes on here. Everything is going to change soon here and we are so thankful we were able to serve in 2010 and 2011.

My computer would not let me include these other pictures I was about to put on the last blog. I had to start over and do a new blog. We will just post a few more for your benefit of seeing how lovely Ohio is.

There is Beauty All Around

What a beautiful time of year in Ohio! I know you will be jealous when I tell you the night temperatures have been in the 60's and the day time temperatures in the mid to high 70's. We see on the news how hot it is in Utah and Idaho. I am sure we deserve it however, since we had such awful hot, muggy months before this. However, with the cooler air, the leaves start to turn red in the very tippy tops and some have begun to fall. I suspect they have to get a head start or it would completely blanket the entire state with leaves if they fell all at once. Here are some views of where we walk, and some of Elder Orton in front of what is Joel H. Johnson's property and what they used to think was his home. It has been established now that it is a move-on house, not Joel Johnson's original home. It stands right as one would drive into the parking lot of the Visitor's Center. One of the reasons we took Elder Orton's picture here is partly so you could see the house, but also so you could see the flowers. The flowers on the grounds are just stunning right now too.

Time is flying and we will be heading home in three months time. In the meantime to keep our thoughts focused, Kimi and Jeff will be coming out to see us in October and we pray for lovely weather and a few beautiful leaves. I wish the weather would stay like this until then. In the meantime we are very busy and doing quite well.

We are thankful to report that our car whose picture was in the last blog, was repaired painlessly to us because it turned out that the part needing replaced had been on recall from Toyota, so the dealer fixed it at no expense to us. What a nice missionary blessing.

I've been working with a couple of small choirs for different events and enjoying that very much. The next one will be for a training meeting the senior missionaries have with Elder Nash of the Seventy. I am also in charge of the Historic Kirtland History, so try to make pages for that in between other things. Life is good and "Our future is as bright as our faith" to quote a wonderful prophet of God.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I always think I am going to blog every week or two. But the months keep passing. We had a little trouble with our car our here. We didn't expect to, but if they can get it fixed it will probably be a good thing. At least the problem happened while trying to get out of our driveway. The power steering just completely failed and it was impossible to steer at all. Mark was able by going forward and back and forward again, to turn just enough to get it back into the drive way. He had backed up and started to turn so he could go downhill when it went out. We had to get a tow truck to take it over to the Toyota dealers while we envisioned a terrible bill to follow. We should get it back within the next day and now after a day without a car even that sounds good. We can walk to work if we need to.

I think I will include a little picture of our "Luxury Lounge" under the stairs at the Visitor's Center. It is a laugh a minute. The women usually gather there because we are not supposed to all be out in the foyer at the same time. This space is supposed to be for up to seven couples when they are not on tour. Isn't that funny? Everyone bumps their head on the stairs if back in the back seat. But we are extremely grateful for the cushy chairs and a piece of carpet and even a microwave.

We are doing well in Kirtland even with the heat. We have a good air conditioner in our house this year, unlike last summer, and it makes us feel better in the mornings. We are excited to continue our work and to meet many more great people. Where is the time going? What happens to it once a week has gone by? Is it out there in history somewhere? I know we cannot call it back. But I don't want my future speeding up either, do you? Have a happy summer even though it is more than half over.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Pictures around us

I wanted to send pictures of the flowers in front of our house which are getting full and beautiful, a tree that is in the back of our house, which has tendrils and is most interesting. I will take time sometime to identify it. The tendrils are gone now and just the large oval shaped leaves remain. Also a picture that Mark took of the puzzle he did of the Farmall tractor like his dad used to have. I will post other pictures as we get them downloaded.