Friday, March 16, 2018

RootsTech 2018

RootsTech is the world's largest family history conference.  It is held at the Salt Palace in Salt Lake City in the winter.  This was our third year going as a family.  My fifth year attending.  RootsTech is always a blast and this year was no exception.  

We flew into Salt Lake City and stayed at the Holiday Inn right across the street.  It works perfect for us! We cross the street in the morning and then enjoy the spirit and camaraderie that is RootsTech all day long! 

This year we were on the twelfth floor and had a pretty view of the valley and city lights. 

RootsTech sponsored a Photo-Story contest this year.  And I decided to enter.  We could enter one photo for each of four themes, Heritage, Belong Connect, Family

This is a story about surprising some of my grandchildren with chocolate cake for breakfast one year during a visit. 

This is a about my feelings of seeing an empty wheelchair with Evan playing in the water in Morro Bay. 

Christmas trees and lights are my favorite and I shared a story about my mom loved Christmas too! I am happy I entered, it was fun to see my pictures on display!!   The pictures are going to be placed on display at Family Discovery Centers throughout the United States.

During the day we attended inspiring keynote addresses and listen to classes on all kinds of different subjects from using DNA in family history history, finding Catholic records,  how to store and share digital records and photos etc.

I had never heard of Natalia LaFourcade before.  She is a famous Latin American singer. She has a beautiful voice and an intriguing family history story.  You can watch her keynote address here.

One of the fun classes we attended was about the reality show Relative Race.  We are fans! It was fun to see two of the teams and we even were able to try out one of the challenges in the expo hall. 

 For this challenge you had to build a tower at least three feet tall that stands at least for five seconds and includes all the pieces that you can see there.  The round pieces baffled me at first!  It was hard but I finally did it!!

My favorite keynote address this year was Scott Hamilton, the ice skater.  He was adopted as a baby and was very ill as a child, but persevered and become a much beloved Olympian Ice Skater. He has such a great positive and happy attitude! You can watch his keynote address here.


Of course what would RootsTech be, without getting together with our family.

John's family meet us Wednesday night at Bucco di Beppo's one of my favorite Italian restaurants.

Then the very next night, we went again. This time to meet with David's family and Sarah's family.

It was so fun to see everyone!

We celebrated Joanna's birthday a few days early!!

We have the best family!  It snowed Sunday morning making it difficult for us to get out with Evan.  Our families brought us dinner in the late afternoon and we converged on the breakfast room (with permission of course).  We enjoyed eating, playing games and talking together.

Choo Choo!! This is a train game.

Daniel and Joanna entertaining each other.

John and little Owen.

Leah taught us a new card game her friend made up. It was pretty fun!

Just chatting!

A trip up the elevator!!

Love both these smily faces.  Owen is our youngest grandchild and Spencer is our oldest!

I am not sure how she did it, but Sariah came color coordinated with the furniture!!

We had time Monday before our flight to walk to over to Temple Square.

I love all the spires reaching for heaven.

Evan could not resist throwing a snowball at this dad!  What a surprise!!

On our way to back to finish packing up at the hotel we spied these workers taking down the awesome RootsTech sign.  I hope those guys have good life insurance, looks like a scary job.  Goodbye RootsTech until next year!

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Thanksgiving Weekend

Our kitchen is in disarray due to an unexpected renovation (water damage) so Katie graciously invited us to her house for Thanksgiving dinner.

We enjoyed two fun days playing with their family.

We had to keep in pretty calm because Joshua broke is arm a few days before, and needed to still kind of keep in quiet, or at least try too.

So, we painted rocks, make a cool fruit turkey, watched videos together, did some serious lego building and went to the beautiful Los Angeles Arboretum. 

Here are some pictures and videos.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Forty-Four Years

When you say the words forty-four years, it sounds like a very long time.  How, then, has the time gone by so quickly.  It is hard to believe we have been married for forty-four years.  I am so grateful for such a wonderful husband.

 We had a fun and full day celebrating our anniversary.  We started out by going on a hike at Kerncliff Park. It was beautiful area that used to be the site of a quarry.  We hiked a boardwalk over the wetland area, forested hilly area and escarpment.  It was so peaceful and quiet. 

After our hike we changed and went to the Toronto Temple. Being in the Temple helps to remind us that we can be a forever family.  The Toronto Temple is beautiful! 

For dinner we drove to Mississauga, a suburb of Toronto and went to the waterfront.  We ate at a cute little restaurant, The Snug Harbor, and then enjoyed a leisure walk.  

When we first arrived in Toronto, on our way to our rental we saw a huge white tent in Mississauga.  We wondered what that was all about and just accidentally found out about this spectacular horse show Cavalia Odeysseo.  We thought that would be a fun thing to see for our anniversary.  It was stunningly beautiful!  I am so glad we went to see it!   If you ever get an opportunity to see this show, DO IT!! 

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Traveling Back in Time to Brantford

On our third day in Ontario, we spent the day with my friend Jo-Anne.  Our moms were best friends growing up and they stayed close through letters and phone calls into their eighties.  They both grew up in Brantford, Ontario, Canada.  I had found an old letter Jo-Anne wrote to me many years ago in a box about a year ago.  I decided to see if she was on Facebook and low and behold, I found her!!  She remembered me and we became friends again, just like that!!

This is a picture from 1959 when I last visited Brantford with my family.  Jo-Anne and I are standing up in the back!  The front row is Aunt Eva with Tim, my Dad, Lillian, Doug, Grandma Virginia and Fred Nelson.  I guess my mom took the picture!

Anyway, Jo-Anne still lives nearby in Hamiliton.  She agreed to take us on a little tour of the old homes where our families lived.

But, first we toured the Dundurn Castle a 40-room Italianate-style villa built in the 1830’s.  It was pretty interesting to see how high society lived back in those days compared to the servants who lived in the basement! 

I loved the back of this piano!  

The first home we visited was my grandma's little bungalow house at 47 6th Street.  This is the home I remember from when I was five and went to visit my Grandma and Aunt Eva.  It is very different now as you can see from the picture below.  

This was back in 1959!  I have such fond memories of this visit.  We picked fresh peas from her garden and ate them right then and there.  Nothing better!  There was a little market down the street and we would walk down and buy candy. 

The house has a big tree in front now and several in back and is overgrown with flowers and bushes!  

This is the home where Jo-Anne grew up.  It is interesting as soon as I saw the address, I recognized it as the address my mom would send all those letters to Lillian through the years!  

This home on 111 Winniett Street. was the home where my mom lived from age 4 years old until 17 years old.  She has fond memories of this place and many of the stories she shared from her youth came while living here. 

This is the home (now a bike shop) around the corner from my mom where Lillian grew up.  Mom meet Lillian while walking to the store one day.  Lillian's mother was Alice and that is my middle name after her! It's Jo-Anne's middle name too! 

My mom called this place Strawberry Hill.  The Strawberries are long gone and there is new development.  Such is progress, but it's sad!

After touring Brantford we took a lovely drive to Port Dover Beach, along the shores of Erie Lake.  It was very pretty. 

We ate dinner at the Cove Room.  They actually roll a little salad bar to your table and it stay while you eat dinner.  I had never seen anything like that before. I had perch for dinner. It was yummy and fun!

We enjoyed our day with Jo-Anne! She is delightful and we had fun! Hopefully, she will come visit us sometime!

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