HAPPY NEW YEAR ALL!
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.