Tuesday, December 23, 2008


We put our Christmas tree up "early" this year (the 15th). Romy and Sophia helped us pick one and we left it in the garage until Sherrie returned from Provo (taking care of Rebecca "post-foot-surgery") on Saturday.

You'll see a series of "snowgirl" pictures that I just left in for fun. The last one was taken today and the little girls made the snowgirls last Monday night so they lasted pretty well.

We finished up our "bucket project this week (see below). I included pictures of the "set-up" just to show how we had it organized. There is a picture of me with a young boy. He arrived with his dad and I asked his dad if I could assign his son to work "keeping cardboard boxes cleaned up and transported to the cardboard-breakdown area". He said that his son was autistic but that he should be able to do it ok. For the rest of the session, he did great...stayed on task and had a good time.

We had another snowstorm on Wednesday which set some records here in the valley. In fact, school was cancelled on Thursday because of concerns over snow. Thursday, however, was a beautiful day and there were no transportation concerns at all. Oh well, the kids had fun playing in the snow.

Friday was our "Happy Feet" service at Ruby Thomas Elementary School.

Friday night I went to Josh's ward's Christmas program...well, a dinner, three Christmas carols, and we went home.
Saturday was our last "bucket project".

Sunday was our ward's "Christmas program" and the choir sang a number of songs. Sherrie sang in a trio for one of the numbers. After Sacrament Meeting we drove to Josh's ward to see the little girls sing in their ward's Sunday Christmas program. After church we had dinner and then came home.

Monday was spent shopping for food for the week and cooking a lasagna for our ward's monthly "feed the homeless" at St. Timothy's in Henderson. I didn't go out this month and when our group arrived they found that "Panda Express" was already there with dinner. Hmmmm, signals crossed somehow. They packed the food back up and took it to St. Vincent's.

Josh's family stayed overnight with us. We babysat the kids Monday evening since Josh and Zully had an office party to attend. Sherrie and the girls made sugar cookies and we had a fun day today.

Today was "clean up the house day" and "cake delivery" to the mission office and my home teaching families and to the Hooglands.

(From memo from Hooglands to the stake presidents.)
"In all, over the six (6) double sessions, starting on December 2nd thru today, December 20th, we had approx.1420 volunteer/workers and we completed 203+ pallets or 17,060 Cleaning Kits.
The volunteer workers from all the Stakes did such a wonderful job. A number who came stayed for both sessions with enthusiasm and willingness to work.
Sandstone Stake; Tuesday, Dec. 2, from 6:00pm to 9:00pm. Completed 40 pallets w/ approx 350 volunteers.Las Vegas Stake; Wednesday, Dec. 3, from 6:00pm to 9:00pm. Completed 32 pallets w/ approx 122 volunteers.
Lakes Stake; Tuesday, Dec. 9, from 6:00pm to 9:00pm. Completed 38 pallets w/ approx 308 volunteers.
South Stake; Saturday, Dec. 13, from 9:00am to 12:00am. Completed 35 pallets w/ approx 290 volunteers.
Warm Springs Stake; Tuesday, Dec. 16, from 6:00pm to 9:00pm. Completed 29 pallets w/ approx 140 volunteers.
Anthem Stake; Saturday, Dec. 20, from 9:00am to 12:00am. Completed 29 pallets w/ approx 210 volunteers.
* Some volunteers came and went without signing-in so that the actual numbers may vary slightly."


See our family website for all the pictures.

12-1 The first couple of pictures are from our Rotary Christmas Dinner at Spanish Trail Country Club.

12-2 The next bunch of pictures are of the Sandstone Stake (our stake) members assembling "cleaning buckets" for the Humanitarian Service Room. They put together about 3,200 buckets in 3 hours.

12-6 Our ward party was on Friday night and none of the pictures came out very well. Sherrie is one of the angels on the second row.

12-11 Josh, Zully, Sherrie and I went to the National Finals Rodeo on Thursday night. The Thomas and Mack Center was packed but we didn't have any traffic problems. In fact, when we left the parking lot after the rodeo , we didn't stop again until we pulled into our garage...20 minutes...Sherrie hit all the lights just right.

12-12 Friday. Sherrie and I left about 5:30 a.m. to drive to Rachel's in San Jose. Easy drive but long...about 9 hours. Her "chorale" was singing that night. We sat next to one of the judges that Rachel works for. The other lady in the pictures is also a judge. Canasta til midnight. Ryan and I lost big time (actually we had to finish the game the next morning!)

12-13 Saturday. We drove to Menlo Park to visit some friends of mine: Martin and Loessa (who is recovering from a stroke) Tuhey and Del and Cheryl Fassett. Del and I started the same day (7-15-71) at the Federal Home Loan Bank Board and Martin was one of the first people I met. Martin just turned 92 a couple of weeks ago. We had a nice visit and then the Fassett's took us to lunch at "Hunan Home", a very good Chinese restaurant. When Del and I worked together, we probably had "Chinese" at least once a week.

We then drove to San Francisco to see the "Afghanistan" exhibition at the Asian Art Museum (across the plaza from City Hall). We drove downtown and spent some time at Union Square, Macy's, etc., enjoying the decorations, the crowds, and the cold weather. Then it was off to dinner at Rachel and Ryan's favorite italian restaurant in North Beach..."Steps of Rome". During the evening we saw lots of groups of "pub crawlers" dressed in Santa costumes...hence the picture as we were leaving the restaurant.

Sunday morning we went to the Santa Clara ward. I met another visitor there who was returning from Nigeria where he had served as the first temple president in "Abu". He had previously served as a mission president there, as well as a senior missionary. He is from Fremont and knows Bill Bain (my cousin Louise Hanks' husband) really well. The group picture is the high priest group who wanted a picture to send to an ailing group member...I volunteered to take the picture (with their camera) and took one with mine just to be safe. Later that afternoon we went to the concert again. They are really good singers and it is a lot of fun just to sit and listen. Ryan prepared pasta, roasted cauliflower, cooked broccoli, toasted french bread with a really good artichoke spread. Dessert was bundt cake that Ryan asked us to bring for Rachel's birthday cake.

Monday morning we left at 5:30 a.m. to head back to Vegas. It was cold and rainy at various times all day including snow over the Tehachapi Pass and just about all the way from Barstow to Las Vegas.

When we arrived home, Zully and the girls came over and we made snowgirls (Josh arrived after work.) Sophia had been asleep in the car when they arrived so she wasn't in too good of a mood. Will had made some cupcakes so we "bribed" her with one of those. She ate part of it and then Zully dressed her up in her warm clothes. She was still a bit cranky so we gave her the rest of her cupcake. She refused, however, and said she wanted a "new" one. So out the door she went with a "new" cupcake and all bundled up. She stood and watched Romy and I roll snowballs and then she went to step up on the pool deck and fell flat on her tummy and dropped her cupcake. Many tears ensued including a request (demand?) for a "new" cupcake. Sherrie took her back in the house and there she stayed. She finally came outside when Josh took Marisol outside to take a picture. She must have got her second wind because she went back in the house and dressed in her snow duds and came back out and insisted that we do another "snowgirl". So we did.
After warming up with hot chocolate, Romy, Sophia, Sherrie and I went out and bought a Christmas tree. It was still raining and the tree was really wet, so we just set it up in the garage and will leave it there until it dries out. Sherrie is headed to Provo tomorrow to help Rebecca with her foot operation so we will decorate next week probably.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Rotary Christmas Party

After our rainstorms last Wednesday and Thursday finally quit and the sun came out, all the paint on the top of my truck roof and engine hood starting peeling off.
Lowell Rex, who served in the Guatemala-El Salvador Mission at the same time I did, had a long layover today at the airport so I picked him up and we spent a few hours visiting and having lunch at Cafe Rio. He lives in Southern California not far from Jennie's.
The moon tonight was flanked by Venus and Jupiter hence the blurry night shot.

Tonight was our Rotary Holiday Party at Spanish Trails Country Club. Last year Sherrie wasn't able to attend because of her neck operation so it was nice to have her there this year.