Friday, July 29, 2011


Quinn has been invited to a scientific conference in Brazil, the very place he served his mission. It's hard to believe, but that has been ten years ago and his passport has expired. He's trying to go through an expedited process to get a new passport and visa, which necessitated me making an emergency trip to the Brazilian Consulate in Chicago on Quinn's behalf. It was a pretty straight-forward process, but it did require an early-morning trip into the city and walking a fair distance in the rain (which was probably good for me). What made it worth it, besides that I love my children and would do ALMOST anything for them, was that I got to see the new Marilyn Monroe statue that is causing a buzz in Chicago. She's hot for sure, but this is the part that seems to be getting everyone's attention!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Doctor X 2

You know how sometimes good things come in pairs? Two of our kids became doctors this week. On Tuesday, our baby (Quinn) defended his dissertation at the U of I. We were able to attend his defense and were pretty proud of him. He looked great, and sounded great, even if we understood little of what he said. His PhD in Biochemistry is official now and next week he's off to Harvard to begin a 3-5 year post doc -- grades 24 to 28.
The following day, Travis graduated from the 27th grade and became an official doctor. He's done a bachelor's degree, medical school, residency, and now a fellowship, and I don't even think there is anything more he could do if he wanted to. Even as I write this he is driving his family across the country (and I really mean across -- from Boston to Washington State) where he will begin his practice as an orthopedic surgeon.

Our children have all worked really really hard and have gone through years of long hours and little income. They've had children and been good parents, held significant church callings, provided lots of service to other people, gone through discouraging times, scary times, tired times, and exhilarating times. Congratulations to our two newest doctors!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Play Clothes

When Heidi's Lindsey was born I went to take care of Max and Elise. Heidi instructed me to get the kids cleaned up and bring them to the hospital to see the new baby. I chose a cute little play outfit for Elise, put matching ribbons in her hair and hauled the two of them up to the hospital. Heidi, mortified, said, "Mother, those are Elise's pajamas." They looked like play clothes to me!

So maybe I'm not a good judge, but I like to tell myself that when I putz around my yard before I get dressed in the morning, or when I go out in the evening to move the hose and people see me in my pajamas they just think I am wearing a cute little play outfit. What do you think?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

More Pictures of the Laurs

Yesterday I had a request for more pictures of the Laurs. On the day that we arrived in St. Quay we were just in time for a birthday party for Sandrine's daughter, Manon. The entire family was there but Vincent's wife, Soazig. I'm embarrassed that I do not have a single picture on my camera of that entire day. Andre, Florence and Nils were our guides the next day and we have lots of pictures of them, but will have to post pictures of the rest of the family stored on someone else's camera.
The oak tree where Ted's parachute landed.

At the harbor after our boat ride to the crash site.

At the memorial made from Ted's propeller engine.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

La Chimere

One of the things I loved most about our trip was the day we spent in St. Quay, France. That is where Grandpa Ted's plane crashed and he parachuted into the hands of the French Resistance. Through reading the history written by Mathieu Petitjean we became aware of two places where Ted hid out that we had never seen before. We were able to find one of them.
It was the home of Madame Cellerie. The house was named "La Chimere" and still bears the original name plaque. The couple who now lives there were very gracious to us and seemed excited to meet the family of one of the aviators who had actually stayed at the house. The aviators stayed on the top floor where you see the little dormer windows. Apparently, the ground floor was a little pub where the German soldiers often ate. Little did they know that while they ate their dinner, the upper story was filled with the very Allied aviators they were looking for.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Nicole's Baptism

Our little Nicole turned eight years old on June 11th. We were thrilled when Randy said they had received permission to baptize her while we were together in Portugal. On Saturday, July 9th, we drove to Agueda, the last city that Randy had served in. We drove into the mountains where the Alfusquiero River had created a beautiful little pool. It was such a peaceful, secluded spot. Nicole had asked different family members to help with a little baptismal program, and then, with Grandpa and Bennet as witnesses, her dad baptized her. It was a precious moment. She was confirmed a few days later on our last evening together. Not very many little girls can say they were baptized in a beautiful river in Portugal and confirmed in Paris, France.

Monday, July 18, 2011


Family members are asking for photos. If a picture's worth a thousand words I think I've written enough for one night. Perhaps some more tomorrow.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Another Birthday

Happy Birthday, Dell! When people ask me what Dell does I have to admit that I don't really know. I know he is an entrepreneur. I know he runs companies and helps other people who are trying to run companies. He skis, he is an awesome cook, he's a photographer, he loves little babies, he hikes and bikes. He's a pretty impressive guy. I've always said he should be an ambassador, either for the United States or for the church. He's great with people! But at heart, he loves his ranch and his animals. He's the handsome guy in the cowboy hat. Have a happy day!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Happy Birthday, Elise

Happy Birthday to my little violin virtuoso! Twelve years old and going into Young Women. How is that possible? You were just born five years ago.

When grandpa and I were in Hong Kong last year we attended a dinner at which a young man performed on a chinese violin called an erhu. I was really fascinated by this instrument and caught a few minutes on a video. The instrument has only two strings and the bow is played between the two strings. It has a very unique sound, but I'll take Elise's music any day!

Monday, July 4, 2011

July Birthdays

July is a month of family birthdays for us. While none of our six children were born in July, both of our sons-in-law and four of our grandchildren have July birthdays.

Brent was born on the Fourth of July. I once asked him if he minded sharing his special day with another holiday. He said he loved having his birthday of the Fourth of July -- he never had to go to school on his birthday, and he NEVER had to work on his birthday. Guess who has to work today--one of the down sides to becoming important. Happy Birthday, Brent! Hope you finish work in time to watch the fireworks. While you're celebrating, we'll be kissing like the French, eating heaping platters of steaming mussels from the shell at the St. Quay waterfront, dining around Agnes' table until 11 p.m., and taking MORE photos under the oak tree. Wish you were going to be with us.

Friday, July 1, 2011

A Lucky July

Take a look at your July calendar. This year July has five Fridays, five Saturdays, and five Sundays. This phenomenon occurs only once every 823 years. It's supposed to bring good luck, so smile and then get about the business of making things happen!