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Thursday, December 24, 2009

More than a Million

December 23, 2009 was a very exciting day for the Indexers and Arbitrators of the Pleasant View South Stake. We passed our Million-Name Goal which we started on July 1st. Over one million names were indexed and arbitrated by about 200 people in our stake in six months. I feel so blessed and lucky to have been a part of the great effort and the one who kept everyone posted on our progress.

I will always remember 2009 and the adventure of working together in a great effort which will affect so many people for good. It will be another adventure to see what the next challenge will be with this stake calling.

We will continue to count and report the numbers of names indexed through the end of the year. It will be great fun to see how far beyond the million we can get by December 31, 2009!

They Are Here!

Dani and Kelly are home for Christmas! What sweet words to type! They've been gone so long and even though we talk on the phone, write emails and each keep a blog; I've just missed them so much. It felt so good to hug them at the airport early this morning when, after four hours of weather-related delays, they finally arrived!

We are going to have such a memorable Christmas having our family all together this year. Here's wishing you a marvelous holiday season and the love of family in your life, the warmth of love in your home and the gift of the Spirit of Christ in your heart.



Sunday, December 13, 2009

Winter Woes-Year Three

The first eight winters we lived in Pleasant View were pretty mild and seemed relatively snowless compared to our years in Bountiful. Well, the last three winters have more than changed my mind about snowfall totals and low temperatures in Northern Utah.

This week has just been cold that Simba has been living in the laundry room. Our garage cat is only allowed into the house during the nights it gets below 20 degrees, but we haven't even been getting above 20 degrees in the daytime, so he sticks pretty close to his 'kitty cushion' on the laundryroom floor and we have to use him like a Swiffer Sweeper to get him out for a litterbox break and to eat/drink a little.

So it finally warmed up to freezing yesterday (it felt absolutely balmy) but that was because it was snowing. It snowed ALL DAY yesterday and through the night and currently it is snowing really hard. We were supposed to be at Elder Jordan Hanks' mission report this morning, but we decided the roads are too snowpacked and scary to make the trip to Bountiful.

Every December to March for the last three years I've wondered why I live in Utah, home of the 'Greatest Snow on Earth'? We proudly advertise that on our license plates, but this morning I'm thinking Arizona, Southern California or Florida wouldn't be a bad place to winter. I must be getting old or turning into a goose.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

And Go!

The mission call finally, finally, finally came!

It was an exciting day. For a change the mail actually came early...around 1:30 this afternoon. That made the last few hours at work pure torture and we made poor Bryan wait until we were home from work, so he felt tortured too. We promised him we'd be there by 6:00 p.m. and both Rob and I made it home with time to spare so it was just before 6:00 p.m. when he finally got to rip the envelope open the rest of the way (he had torn about 1" open and was trying to peek in when we got home.) Luckily, Larissa was there and kept him from opening it all the way before the official moment. Thank you, Larissa!

Here is a video clip of Elder Crouch opening and reading his letter:

So there you have it...Budapest, Hungary is the place Bryan will spend the next two years. He enters the MTC on March 10, 2010 and we are all very excited for him.

Let the next adventure begin!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Day 8--Japan and Home

Saturday, Nov. 28th we woke up and packed our bags and prepared to leave Japan and all the adventures behind. We have mixed emotions about leaving...sad to leave family we miss so much when we're away and happy to return to family we've missed while we've been away.

Luckily, we got to have one more Japanese experience before we left. Ethan Shion Shumway was starring as the Tin Woodsman in the Kindergarten Play, The Wizard of Oz so we walked over to his school and watched the performance. Even without understanding the language it was an amazing show because all of those little six-year-olds spoke out their lines and acted their parts so well. It was cute! They had darling costumes and were so excited to perform for their parents and grandparents. I give the show five stars!

Cowardly Lion, Tin Woodsman, Scarecrow and Flying Monkeys

Wicked Witch of the West

Our star and his parents following the show.
After the play, Mark caught a taxi and took us to the train station to catch a Bullet Train to Narita, one of Tokyo's airports. Mark walked us through the immense maze of the station and waited with us for our train.
We found our way through the airport and checked our bags, went through security and had a few minutes to spare. The noodle shop we chose for lunch took a long time to prepare our food and Kevin and Bryan had to gulp and slurp hot noodles in hurry for us to make our flight, so with scalded tongues we got on board and made another incredible journey across the sea. This flight was actually five hours shorter than our flight to Inchon not only because of less space to cover but also because we had tailwinds instead of headwinds.

Bry and Kev slurping noodles before leaving Japan.

We got through customs at Seattle/Tacoma airport and had a couple of hours to doze while we waited for the last leg of our journey home. The last flight was uneventful too and Rob was waiting for us at the airport. We were so happy to see him and to hear that all was well at home while we were away.
Cami was at home and was thrilled with the gifts we brought home, especially the beautiful hat her Aunt Nana purchased for her at a swank Tokyo shop.

Cami in her fashionable hat Nana purchased for her.

I spent the rest of the evening doing laundry, paying bills, sending the indexing reports to all the Bishops, Stake Presidency and ward newsletter editors. Then I crashed and slept until noon on Sunday. It is nice to be back and now I'll try to get back into a routine, but I'm definitely a different person, traveling changes a person and gives us a different view of the world. I feel so blessed to have been able to make this journey.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Days 5, 6 and 7 in Japan

I’ve been delayed in getting the last few days of our trip onto my blog…mostly because we’ve been so involved in enjoying our trip and our family here in Tokyo.

We had a full day (and I do mean a full 24 hour day) of travel as we left Gwanju, South Korea at 7:00 a.m. Tuesday morning to 8:30 a.m. Wednesday morning when we finally arrived in Tokyo. The ferry ride across the Yellow Sea was a blast. Our boat was called a “Beetle” and it was a hydrofoil, which means it rises up on blades and uses water jetting though the system to race across the top of the water. Our first difficulty of the day was when we arrived at customs in Fukuoka, Japan. Apparently they had not had any US citizens enter Japan this way and it really aroused suspicion about us. Since we also couldn’t answer the questions they were posing to us in Japanese (Kevin was trying to speak Korean, but no one understood that either), we were held up for quite awhile at customs while they located an English speaking agent to question us and finally stamp our passports and let us through into the country. That was a little nerve racking. Then we had to get ourselves to the rail station and trade our rail vouchers for the actual passes we would use while in the country. We figured out a bus schedule well enough to get on the right bus, but were anxious to not miss our stop and to become lost in Hakata. It was such a relief to get off that bus and find ourselves in the right place, but our relief turned to concern when we finally got our passes and then discovered there were no more trains to Tokyo that night and we could only get as far as Osaka.

Ready to ride the Beetle
In The Harbor
We ended up finding a friendly rail worker in Osaka who took pity on us poor Americans and got us bus tickets to travel from Osaka to Tokyo. We phoned Mark and told him our plans and waited anxiously in the rain for our bus which departed at 11:50 p.m. When we finally were seated, we were so exhausted we fell into a stupor as this bus trundled us all through the night towards Tokyo. During the rainy night we would awake and listen to the names of the stops and try to guess how much closer we were to our destination.

I’ve always loved my brother, Mark, but I have to admit I’ve never been so happy to hear his voice as I was Wednesday morning as we wrestled our luggage off that bus and he said, “Can I help you?” I almost burst into tears of joy to turn around and see his sweet face. We put ourselves in his very capable hands and trusted in his skills of navigation and language and have had a fabulous time ever since.

The inside of Mark's & Nana's Apt. Bldg.

The outside view of their Apt. Bldg (Tokyo Towers)

After getting us to his apartment, we were shown to the spectacular guest lodging Nana had reserved for us. It was on the 26th floor of their building and had a spectacular view of the city and the huge river running through Tokyo. We freshened up and started to feel human again. Then Mark, Nana and Avery took us to the Imperial Palace and gardens and gave us a tour of that part of Tokyo. We ate a delicious Japanese lunch and dinner and enjoyed an evening with Eric, Ethan and Avery before calling it a day (what a day!) at about 8:00 p.m.

Views from the Imperial Grounds

We needed the sleep because the next morning (Thursday) we took the train to Kyoto and had the most amazing day seeing many cultural and historical sights. Kyoto is truly a Japanese treasure! We rode taxis and walked all over the city having such an incredible day seeing Buddhist Temples, Shogun Palaces, Pagodas, Zen Gardens, Etc. The three hour train ride home that evening was even special for me because I was seated next to an American from San Francisco named Vivien and we became friends during that journey and I look forward to hearing from her by email so we can continue to become better acquainted.

Nana had pizza and pasta ordered when we got home. It was delivered just moments after our arrival. After that delicious meal we retired to attempt to catch up on so many hours of lost sleep.

Friday morning was another gorgeous day in Japan. The weather has been spectacular. It feels like September here instead of November and the leaves are so incredibly beautiful. I’ve collected several bright colored Japanese Maple, Ginko and Elm leaves that are just a sampling of the amazing fall colors showing here now. Our day in Kyoto was made even more memorable with the spectacular fall foliage at every place we visited. I kept thinking a tree couldn't be more beautiful than one I was looking at and then we would turn a corner and see an even more amazing combination of colors.

Just a small sampling of the Foilage of Kyoto

Friday Mark and Nana took us to several shopping districts in the city. Cami wanted us to bring her some true ‘Tokyo Street Fashion’ so they took us to Shibuya. It was like Broadway in Manhattan only more people and more shops and more crazy. Nana bought Cam the cutest hat and I found her a skirt. If she’ll add her own black tights, cute top, scarf and boots, she will look like a Tokyo Girl!

The main intersection at Shibuya
Mark took us to a special place in Shibuya for lunch where we had teriyaki eel for lunch. Then we walked through the sensory overload area known as Akihurba where every kind of digital, electronic, 'gadgety' item known to man can be found. We collected the boys after school and all of had a traditional dinner eating Sushi while seated on mats on the floor. I’ve had the California rolls before but this was my first experience eating the raw slices of mackerel, yellow tail, tuna, etc. The thing that really amazed me was watching three little boys eating all the raw fish, fish eggs and other things many adults, let alone children wouldn't even try.

Sushi Eaters!

Japan in truly an amazing country and we have amazing relatives who live here and who have made this trip so incredibly wonderful in every way. We will never be able to thank Mark, Nana and their boys enough for all their hospitality and generosity in making this trip possible and the most memorable time I’ve ever had.

Monday, November 23, 2009

S. Korea to Japan Day 4

I shouldn't really be naming my posts after the day we are here, rather the day that has just past and I don't have time this early morning to write about the wonderful day the guys and I had yesterday in Naju and Gwanju Korea. We were able to see several of Kevin's mission areas and felt like celebrities everywhere we went. There is a distinct lack of foreigners in this land and Kevin was able to tell us about many of the comments people would make about us (not thinking we could understand what they were saying). It was so fun. The day was absolutely a blast and I will have to write more about it another time since we are on our way out the door to catch a taxi to catch a bus to catch a subway to catch a ferry to get to Japan.
Bryan and Kevin at Buddist Shrine in Naju

Downtown Naju

A long day is ahead of us and I will try to attach photos and write all about it later or tomorrow or maybe after we get back. It seems like every day is too full to really give a sense of all the amazing adventures we are having and sights we are seeing.
Marketstreet in Gwanju

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Day 3 South Korea

Kevin's Missionary Apartment in Gwanju Riding the Korean Rail System
Gwanju's city center

This morning we are in Gwanju. We had a nice day yesterday riding the very comfortable rail system in Korea. (Why can't the airlines make their seats as nice, roomy and comfortable as the railway?)

Our next hotel did indeed make and KEEP the reservation Kevin made and had a room ready for us. What welcome news that was because it was the address we left with Korean Airlines to return the missing luggage. Sometime in the night after we were asleep, the phone rang and we were informed that the bag was here. First thing this morning Kevin went down and retrieved it for me from the front desk. Happy day!

So today, we are on our way out for more Korean adventures. We will walk downtown and take the subway system to visit some of Kevin's old mission areas. We found the Gwanju Stake Center yesterday and Kevin reminisced about attending church, bringing investigators, and spending P-Days playing ping pong there.

He says many things seem different and other things haven't changed at all. It is a strange feeling to come back to a place you've been away from for several years.

Tomorrow we will have to check out the hotel really early to catch the train to Pussan to catch the ferry to Fukuoka, Japan. So today is really our last day in Korea and we will try to make the most of today.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Day 2--South Korea

The Korean Airliner we flew on for 16 hours!

Inchon International Airport was absolutely gorgeous!
A quaint rail station on our way to Daecheon

Hello from Daecheon, South Korea to my faithful two or three blog followers!

Kevin, Bryan and I made the long and arduous journey from Salt Lake International Airport to the Inchon International Airport as we flew through a day and a night and right through Bryan's 19th Birthday. Unfortunately, not all of our luggage made the voyage with us. My suitcase is sitting somewhere in this vast world where I'm not...I'm realizing what a material girl I am as I shower and put on the same clothes and don't have my toothbrush, hair gel, hair spray, makeup, etc. to prepare for the day.

The second setback came when we finally made our way through 3 subway transfers, a mad dash to make our reserved rail car, finally found a taxi driver who knew which hotel we were to stay at and finally upon arrival discovered that the hotel reservation didn't match up with anything at the Best Western Inn AND that they didn't have a single room available for the night. I for the first time in my life had an inkling of what Mary and Joseph must have felt as they were turned away in a strange place into a cold night without a room to stay in.

We pulled our remaining suitcases down the sidewalk and around the corner to another hotel and felt extremely blessed to find lodgings there. Thank goodness we didn't have to locate a stable, although a bed of straw may have been a little more comfortable than the rock-hard beds we slept on last night. But even with with the uncomfortable beds, the place was warm (too warm actually and how do you turn down the heat in here?) and there was bottled water in a little fridge (at only $2.00 per bottle on the provided list). Kevin went out this morning and bought us orange juice, fruit and crackers from a corner store so we had a little breakfast and now we are off on our next adventure.

As often as possible, I will post an update so those who know and care about us can keep track of where we are and what we are up to. Please also keep us in your prayers (I could use all the help possible so my suitcase will somehow find its way back to us.) Thanks!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

19 Years Wasn't That Long Ago!

19 years ago our little family was living in Bountiful and was involved in a very extensive house-hunt. I was very pregnant--in fact I was so huge, strangers would always comment to me that I must be having twins and when I would say, "no, just one very big boy", they would act shocked.

19 years ago, I lugged little 3-year-old Dani through two feet of snow as we followed a realtor to look at six more houses. It was an exhausting day and when I returned home, I had to get out of the car and lift the old garage door to park. It continued to snow throughout the day and I couldn't quite bring myself to drive to the hospital even though I was definitely in labor. I spent the rest of the afternoon doing laundry, scrubbing the floors and making Thanksgiving pies for the feast I would be hostessing in two days.
By 6:00 pm there was another foot of snow on the ground and there was no denying that we had to leave for the hospital. I labored for a few more hours and dilated to a 10 by 10:00 p.m., but still no baby. Finally the doctor decided to break my water and as soon as he did, the cord compressed and an emergency Cesarean had to be performed. As soon as Bryan made his appearance, the doctor's response was, "Well, no wonder he wouldn't come...look at the size of that head!" My 9 pound baby boy was perfect in every way! I couldn't stop smiling even though I'm sure I was in shock over the fastest slice-and-dice delivery on record. Bryan's birth took place just minutes before midnight on November 20, 1990.

Bryan and I got to spend Thanksgiving Day in the hospital. The next day Bryan weighed in at an even 10 pounds; I got a dozen metal staples removed from my belly; and Rob, Kevin and Dani came to take us home.

19 years later, Bryan, Kevin and I are packing for our great voyage to Asia. We need to leave in the wee hours of Bryan's 19th birthday so tonight I wish my wonderful, talented, and amazingly intelligent baby boy a very happy birthday!

Nineteen things you might or might not know about Bryan:
1. He graduated from high school with a perfect 4.0 GPA and a 34 on his ACT
2. He earned a "full-ride" scholarship to every university in the state and several outside of Utah.
3. Bryan accepted the offer from the University of Utah and is majoring in Computer Science.
4. Bryan is anxiously awaiting a mission call!
5. He works for Weber School District Technical Support, setting up and maintaining the computers in every school in the district.
6. He doesn't like to shave, but will soon have to do it every single day!
7. Bryan is fearless when it comes to heights; he has rappelled down many cliffs and explored many canyons over the last few years.
8. He loves his own style of music...none of the rest of us can figure it out.
9. Bryan is very musical, he plays trumpet, baritone, bass and piano.
10. But he does not sing.
11. Bryan loves Larissa!
12. Bryan doesn't like football, basketball or baseball.
13. But he has a blue belt in karate.
14. Bryan has acted in two plays and played in four pit orchestras for musicals. He was also drum major for the marching band and played in symphonic and jazz bands.
15. Bryan is hilariously funny. If you want to laugh, spend a few minutes talking with him.
16. Bryan collects strange band shirts.
17. He is buying a footlocker to protect all of his band shirts and expensive electronics from the family during his mission.
18. Bry gets to tour part of South Korea and Japan over the next week and a half.
19. Bryan is very loyal to his friends and family.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Get Set...

Thanks for the mission guesses which have come in so far. Bryan's mission papers have been to Bishop Albrechtsen for two weeks. The Bishop has received back the dental and medical forms and has lined up the stake president's interview to complete the process. As of tomorrow, the entire package should be sent to Salt Lake...

Our map is waiting for any other guesses to be made over the next week or two while we wait. Post, email or call your guess to be pasted on the map.

As for our trip...we are less than three weeks from our departure date. Kevin has been working on booking our rail passes and lodging in Korea. Mark and Nana have reserved the guest lodging in their apartment building for us. My greatest worry at this point is that the mission call will come while we are away.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Mission Guesses

A few years ago while Kevin was waiting for his mission call, we put up a world map in our office and had everyone who knew him write their guess of where he would be called to serve. The map became covered with tiny slips of bright colored paper as everyone made their guess. Kevin's cousin, Amanda, guessed he would go to South Korea and earned a large bag of M n Ms for her insightfulness. Those slips of paper recently came down even though Kevin has been home for four years.

The map is still on the wall and is now waiting for guesses of where Bryan will go on his mission. I've got another bag of M n Ms (or your favorite candy) to the one who guesses the closest country/state of Bryan's call.

Post your guesses here and we'll put them up on the map and hopefully we'll know in a few weeks where our son will be spending the next two years.

Monday, October 12, 2009

On Your Mark...

I feel as though our feet are in the starting blocks of a great race. Bryan is just completing his mission papers. He visits with his dentist and doctor tomorrow for final signatures and then all that is left is the dreaded HAIRCUT for the missionary photo that must be uploaded to complete the paperwork.

Along with that, Kevin, Bryan and I have just purchased our airline tickets to South Korea and Japan. We will be flying out of SLC on Nov. 20th, Bryan's Birthday. We will then fly for 16 hours and land at Inchon International Airport. We will spend two or three days touring Kevin's mission area of Dacheon and then we will ferry to Japan where we will take the bullet train to Tokyo. We get to spend four or five days with Mark, Nana and their adorable boys seeing some of the sites of the amazing country they now call home. We will fly back home from Tokyo, Japan on Nov. 28th.

Our passports have arrived, the tickets are purchased, the papers are nearly completed: we are poised on our mark...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Happy Day, Baby Girl

Another birthday celebration is upon us at the Crouch household. Cami is 16 years old as of 8:33 a.m. October 5th! It is hard to believe that so many years have flown by in what seems to be a heartbeat. With the constant remindings we received during the countdown to this momentous day, you wouldn't think it could have snuck up on us like this, but it did.

Sixteen years ago last week, my parents traveled from Arizona to be with us and help out around the house during the recovery after our baby's birth. We had a planned C-Section and thought we knew exactly when the day would be, but on September 26, 1993 I had an amniocentesis performed and found that the baby's lungs were not developed yet, so my Dad returned home and left my Mother with us in Bountiful. That next week was one of the most fun and memorable times I've ever spent with my Mom. She cleaned the house like it had never been cleaned before...every window gleamed and the floors were spotless. We shopped, we went on long drives, we did some canning, we sat and talked and then when I did go to the hospital I knew my other three children were in the best hands possible. What a joy it was to bring home our new baby Camille and give her the middle name of Rose after her loving grandmother who had given us so much of her valuable time and energies.

Happy birthday, Camille Rose. We love you and are thrilled you are a member of our family. We hope you will strive to live up to that amazing middle name you've been given.

Some things you should know about Cami:

1. She has a beautiful smile, she is the only one of the four kids who didn't have to wear braces to get those straight teeth.

2. Cami is very kind especially to animals, older people and those who are less fortunate in anyway. She has a soft heart.

3. Cami plays the violin and now has a desire to play the guitar. We are currently shopping for the perfect instrument.

4. Her math skills have usually left her frustrated, but this year she is doing very well in Geometry. Don't ask her to do Algebra though.

5. This sweet face can be contorted into the funniest and strangest face you've ever seen. Ask her to do the "Gloo" for you some time.

6. Camille LOVES new clothes. She says she wishes she could draw better because then she could be a fashion designer. She is the family's fashion advisor and won't let us out of the house if she doesn't approve of the outfit.

7. She also loves to dance. She has a natural ability and rhythm. She wants to be a Cougarette at BYU while she attends college there someday.

8. Camille has a sweet testimony of the Savior and the gospel. She loves to attend EFY, Firesides, and other events where she feels the spirit. She earned her Young Womanhood award two years ago just before her 14th birthday.

9. Cami has great communication skills, she writes beautifully and expresses herself well in both written and verbal illustrated by her constant use of a cell phone, computer and her mouth.

Friday, October 2, 2009

I've Often Wished I Could Paint

I've longed to be able to paint. It is something I've desired since I was a child, but today my heart aches because I don't have the skill to even poorly duplicate what I see in nature.

As I was driving to work in the predawn, when the sky was opalescent pink and the western mountains only tipped with the very first ray of the sun, a flock of Canadian Geese took flight from a farmer's field. Their necks were stretched far forward and their strong wings beat in unity as they instantly moved into their 'V' formation.

God must find such joy in His amazing creations. I can only imagine how he must delight in the beauties of his designs. There are times when I see grace and form or hear music that stirs my soul when I desire to have even a particle of that creative ability to make something so beautiful it almost hurts to see or hear it.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Varied Uses of Milkweed

As I drove home from work yesterday, I went past a ditch bank in Harrisville grown over with milkweed; their pods bursting open and fluffy seeds spilling out. It brought back such a rush of childhood memories. For several summers (from about 7-10 years old) my friends and I had a 'fort' in a canal with old elm trees hanging over it. Of course we had to endure the difficulty and inconvenience of having our fort uninhabitable whenever water was turned into that ditch and for a few muddy days after each irrigation turn. But when it was dry, that ditch was a fun place to hang out. One of the best things was the milkweeds that grew there. We discovered a multitude of uses for milkweed. At first, we just enjoyed those large pink/purple flowers of early summer, then we watched the tiny pods begin to develop. Then came the wonder of watching the stripped caterpillars climb into place leaving holes in the fuzzy leaves where they stopped to snack. The adventure of seeing them spin their cocoons where they hung down from the largest leaves and eventually the butterflies which emerged to sit and sip on the fading flowers. As the pods became larger they could be split into two sections and used as small cups to hold sand, pebbles, seeds, marbles, etc. Later in the summer the milkweed seeds were a blast to play with. Who needed bubbles when you had milkweed fluff to blow into the wind and watch them whisked in whatever direction the breeze would carry them. We made up stories about fairies and princesses since each seed looks like a little head and the downy part like a lacy ballgown. We would play at our make-believe games for hours. Another great thing about milkweed, is the gooey, white sap you find when you break the stock. We found this made the best glue. We pasted leaves together we brought paper and stuck up our drawings on the tree trunks and fence posts along the ditch. Would you ever believe that a common weed could bring out such discovery, creativity and imagination?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Its not Father's Day nor is it a birthday month of either Dad. They neither one passed away this month but for some reason I've been thinking a lot about our fathers. Pop (Rob's Dad) is one of my all-time-favorite-people. In fact he is right near the top of that list. When Rob and I were dating it wasn't until I met his Dad that I knew I loved Rob. I'm sure it was because I figured Rob had the potential to be like his father. They become more similar in more ways every year. We lost Pop on April 14, 2002. Life hasn't been quite as sweet or gentle without him on this earth. I think about him all the time and miss him so much. Pop adored his grandchildren. He would make the trip to see us for what he referred to as "lap time" with the little ones. During our kids' school years there wasn't a concert or performance of any kind that passed without Mimi & Pop in attendance. Pop was an attorney and a very brilliant man. He loved to read all kinds of books. Some of my favorite reads are books he recommended to me.
My Dad passed away on November 14, 2007. Perhaps its the very vivid memories of traveling back and forth between here and Arizona two years ago during my Father's illness and final months of life which makes me think about our Dads these days. I miss my Dad. I look at this photo of him every time I'm on the computer. It hangs above the clock at my desk. Fishing was his favorite activity. You can't see his face in this picture, but I'm sure he was smiling as he sat in this traquil setting and enjoyed his hobby of trout fishing in a mountain stream. My Dad was the hardest working man I've ever known. Luckily I remember him as the forceful and in-charge man that he was and not the one who lost his powerful strength to cancer. My Dad was a contractor. He built or worked on so many of the homes and businesses around town. Everyone knew him as a very capable and reliable carpenter. After his funeral, I was surprised at the number of people who told me about the beautiful work he had done on their homes.

These important men in my life are on the other side of the veil. I often wonder if they get together and visit about their common family still on this side. I like to think they team up to help us out when we need it. I could use a little 'Dad teamwork' tonight because I'm really missing them.