Monday, February 20, 2017


Have you ever been in situation where you received news that was devastating?  We have.  Twenty-nine years ago we were told our unborn baby would be born with a serious birth defect. It is amazing how fresh those memories are in my mind.  I was laying on the bed during the ultrasound, when the room got really quiet and the doctor's face just said it all without any words.  We were shocked. How could this be!  We felt alone and scared and just cried!  

My how time heals.  We have this amazing young man in our lives.  Not to say life is not without challenges, but certainly the good out weights the bad.  We are grateful for those who were put in our path to help us gain knowledge and ease the burdens.  So, of course we are happy to give back.

That is why when our daughter Rachel shared the following flyer with us, we jumped at the chance to give back and share our story.  

I contacted Orange Socks and when we were in Utah we were interviewed.  We want people to know that all lives are precious even little ones who will be born with birth defects.  They should NEVER be discarded, but rather loved and embraced.  There is much to learn from them! 
 We pray our story gives hope to others that find themselves in the same situation.  

You can listen to our story below by clicking the play button in the top left corner of the collage.  Please feel free to share our story with others who may need it.  Or, please consider sharing your own story.  Click here to go to the Orange Socks webpage to learn more about their mission and to listen to other stories. Thank you. 

Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Calm Between the Storms

We have had a really, really, wet winter.  We need the rain desperately!  So, it's a good thing.   Yesterday's storm brought wind and a lot of rain!  There are a lot of downed trees and some homes are still without power.  Today we ventured out to see what things looked liked in a break between the storms. 

There was tons of debris on the beach.  This is the area where the Pismo Creek and Meadow Creek have converged.  The beach is ever changing.  I think there is a lesson there for our lives which seem to be changing all the time too! 

This is what clever people do with drift wood!  Pretty cool little hut!  

This large piece of drift wood just wants to stay stuck in the sand!! 


It is interesting to see how Meadow Creek had curved around the sand dunes.  

This egret seemed to be enjoying all the water! 

In case you couldn't tell this is area is a hazard. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

RootsTech 2017

I am a small town girl.  Crowds are not my favorite thing!  So, why did we just travel to Salt Lake City last week to join tens of thousands of people in the Salt Palace Convention Center!  I wanted to learn and be inspired and add a little fun too!!  RootsTech 2017 did not disappoint!  Somehow the crowds there don't bother me!  It is the camaraderie I feel there, I think.  Everyone is friendly and you can just strike up a conversation with anyone!  I laughed and cried and learn a ton this week too!  I was able to reconnect with some long time friends too!! Oh, and we have our two oldest sons in the area with over half of our sweet grandchildren!  What is better than grandma time!! It was so fun to spend time with everyone!

We had a hard time deciding whether to drive or fly and we were watching weather reports closely.  We finally decided it would be better to fly.  We are not good drivers in the snow and on black ice.  The flight there was my bumpiest flight ever!  But, we made it safe and sound.  

Tuesday was our day to explore downtown Salt Lake City.  We were staying in a hotel right across the street from the Salt Palace Convention center, where the convention was held.  This works out great for us because we didn't have a car and walked and rolled everywhere!  The Salt Palace was all ready for RootsTech as you can see by the cool sign on the tower.  

We had fun reading all these opposite signs!! 

We went into the Salt Lake Visitor's center and found this cool display with our name on it!!  Actually, I think it was for Price, Utah! 

As you can tell by our clothing it was just a little bit cold outside. 

Tuesday night, David's family came to visit with us and have dinner together.  We saw that there was Buca Di Beppo's just a few blocks from out hotel.  That seemed perfect for dinner! Buca Di Beppo's is a fun Italian family style restaurant.  We got to sit at the "Pope's table!!"  I guess you can tell why they call it the Pope's table.  It had a giant lazy susan in the center of the table and it was a domed alcove that had great acoustics so you could talk to  the person sitting way across from you and actually hear each other!  

Mike got to sit on the throne!!  

This is what brotherly love looks like in our family!!  

Here is the whole gang!  We really had fun eating here and the food was delizioso!!  

The girls were really outnumbered so we needed a selfie!!  Thanks to Joanna!!

RootsTech started on Wednesday afternoon.  I loved my first class!  It was called "When Worlds Collide: Resolving Conflicts in Genealogical Records".  Now that is something that I think most family history researchers can use.  And, I especially have conflicts!  My second class was about finding information for Civil War ancestors.  Lots of great information. 

Wednesday evening, John's family came to have dinner with us! This time we went to the Garden Restaurant on the top of the Joseph Smith Memorial Building.  We had never been there before!  What a beautiful view!!  And such great company!!  Aiden and Callan had fun checking everything out.  Aiden played a great game of "I Spy" with me while waiting for our food!  

Fountains are really really hard to ignore when you are seven!  

The view of the Salt Lake Temple from the restaurant was stunning! 

And it just so happened that my friends Sandy and Deanna from the Santa Maria Family History Center were eating there too!!

The first full day of RootsTech started with a video about "what my grandma taught me".  It made me really stop and think what kind of legacy I am leaving for my grandchildren. I personally didn't know any grandparent really well and that makes me sad, but I can help to leave memories for my own grandchildren.  

Here is a video that gives a little feel for what Thursday was like at RootTech! 

Thursday night there was a special concert, "Music, It Runs in the Family" with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir!  It was an evening filled with Rogers and Hammerstein music and narrated by his grandson!  It was a delightful evening.   We were able to meet up with a long time friend Judy Martin who is serving as a Church Service missionary at the Family History Library.  It was so great to see her and her husband who was helping with security!!

This is just some of the fun things to see in the Expo Hall!!  

Friday's keynote address was my favorite of all time.  LeVar Burton gave a touching, heartwarming, inspirational speech.  At the end FamilySearch presented him with a binder full of family history and showed him a marriage record with his great grandfather's signature.  He was stunned and in tears!!

Friday evening our niece Sarah and her two children Autumn and Ephraim brought us dinner!  (It was raining outside so we were happy we didn't have to walk out in the rain for dinner).  We had fun chatting and catching up and getting to know her awesome kids better!  

Saturday was just fun!  The keynote address by CeCe Moore was so interesting about DNA and the progress being made.  The Cake Boss shared his story too!  And there was even a fun cake competition.  

Evan is the video above.  Can you spot him?? 

Saturday is always Family Discovery Day at RootsTech.  Thousand of young people and their families come to learn about family history.  We were lucky because our dear friend Jeremy Gardner came with his son and the youth group from church.  It was great to spend some time with them!!  

The closing event made us all laugh!  Jason Hewlett is a crack up, he does singing impressions and can do really weird things with his mouth.  There was a singing competition between Vocal Point and Noteworthy that was fun to watch too!

Sunday morning we were able to see Music and the Spoken Word in person!!  It was more Rogers and Hammerstein music and I loved it!! 

After church we went and toured the LDS Conference Center, it is definitely an amazing building! 

Water and light are a big component of the LDS Conference Center.  I find it to be very symbolic! 

Sunday evening our sweet daughter-in-law, Sariah, brought us homemade soup, salad and cornbread!  Oh, and her family too!  We enjoyed eating together and laughed our heads off playing the game, Things.  It was hard to say goodbye to our family, but we will see them in the summer for family reunion! 

We enjoyed RootsTech and are going home with tons of great information to help with our family history research! Next year we hope we can go again!!  

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