Monday, June 29, 2009

Beautiful Woodland Hills

Just past Spanish Fork and Salem is Woodland Hills (on the east side of the freeway). The foreground flower looks unusually large because I was using a super wide angle lens. I was probably about 2-3 inches away from that flower.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

San Diego California Spanish Mission

Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcola
San Diego Mission

The San Diego Mission is the first of 21 Spanish missions scattered up and down the California coast. For the majority of the world, this structure represents the birthplace of Christianity in the 'far west'. These missions are rich with history, which also includes Mormon history. We were gratified to see the plaque below, acknowledging the Mormon Battalion, and the contributions made in building and repairing this mission.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Oquirrh Mountain Temple

I was out and about last Thursday when the sky had such incredible clouds from the most recent rain storm. I was on the freeway and happened to glance west, where the clouds were exceptionally beautiful over by the new Oquirrh Mountain Temple. I had my camera with me, (unusual), and a little bit of spare time so I took the next exit and headed that way. I drove around the temple several times and was really disappointed because I couldn't find a view I liked. The temple is beautiful, of course, but there was so little greenery, and every view seemed to have big white tents, lots of people, houses, highways with cars, etc. Finally I turned down a side road from the highway in front of the temple in order to turn around, and when I did turn around, this was the view. The tall weeds from this vacant lot, hid the highway in front and the tents and people. I trudged through the weeds and took my picture. There's nothing symbolic about those dark clouds behind the temple (haha), but the sky was so beautiful. For those of you who haven't yet seen this newest temple, I hope you enjoy my picture.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

My Three Sons

Yesterday Jaron, Dalin and Tyler all arranged their schedules so they could spend the afternoon together playing golf. They've been trying to get together every so often to either play golf or go shooting, or 4-wheeling. Last night at dinner, Jaron kept us laughing with details about the event. Dalin buying expensive golf balls and losing most of them on the first couple holes. Tyler driving the cart through the mud and getting them stuck. All of them trying to make golf carts do stuff they were never meant to do, and all of them unknowingly showing up in color coordinated attire - even if the 'colors' were gray and black. I am so proud of all of them and count as one of my sweetest blessings that my sons care about each other, like each other, and enjoy being with each other.

(What was I thinking!!!! I spend the time making those cute matching outfits, then let Jaron wear those awful socks in the picture!)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A typical Moab scene. We took a trail to Dellenbaugh Tunnel, which will be called Dennenbaugh Arch in a 1,000 years. We were able to squeeze through the tunnel and on the other side we were rewarded by this vista. We parked the truck right at the spire you see in the background, then drove the RZR (Razor) over slickrock and down river washes to the tunnel.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Quick Moab Get-Away

Just a quick overnight trip, but we managed to go on four different ATV trails on our 24 hour adventure. We had a ton of fun! I'm the photographer for the top photo, and Jeff is taking my picture on the bottom one.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Phriday Phun

Isn't it amazing what can be done with a few pieces of fruit!! (This was on one of the breakfast buffet tables on our last cruise.)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

From the Sublime (last post), to the Ridiculous (this post)!

Nothing heralds the beginning of summer for some people like a good demolition derby!!! We figured it was time for Emily to really know how classy the Larsens are, so we took her to her first derby. We offered to buy her a delicacy from the concession stand, but she politely refused the 'fried twinkies' or 'fried ding dongs'. (Hmm, go figure!) Hobnobbing with other spectators was especially interesting (see next photo). When all the 'fun' was over, she said the whole experience was awesome. She's either very polite, or else she fits right in!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Welcome Home Sawyer!


Sunday, June 7, 2009

One Day Old

Yep........he has Michelle's sense of humor!!!!! (Either that or one side of the family is related to Popeye the Sailor Man!)

Friday, June 5, 2009


Isn't he HANDSOME!!!!! Sawyer weighs 7 lbs. 10 ozs. , is 19 1/2 inches long, and was born at 9:45 am this morning. After 2 hours and 15 minutes of labor, and 3 minutes of pushing, he was here! His apgar scores were 9 and 10. He is nursing like a pro, and Michelle feels great! (The chocolate bunny is Gavin's favorite stuffed animal, and I suspect he will make his appearance in many family photos.)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Laguna Beach Cottage

Isn't this the cutest doll house! We stayed in Laguna Beach for a night on our recent trip to California and I spotted this while we were driving down to the beach. My friend Mary lives in a doll house like this several blocks away. (I don't know why I didn't take a picture of her cottage, it's almost as cute!) Anyway, she is going to Africa for a month this summer and asked if Jeff and I wanted to house sit for her and the only rent would be to feed her kitty and water her flowers. What a fun get-away!

Monday, June 1, 2009


We have such fond memories of the years we lived in St. Louis, and this is partly because of our friendship with Gary and Sandye Muncy who lived across the street. Sandye and I became such good friends - we talked and laughed and ate sunflower seeds while waiting for the school bus to bring our kids home. We took trips to the park, and Busch Gardens, and went camping together, and did all the things that families with young children do. Not only did I love to be with Sandye, all my kids loved to be with her. Whatever the kids were doing, she was in the thick of it. Often when my kids were bored, they would tell me they were going over to ask if Sandye could come out and play with them. When Dalin had to have major surgery, Sandye was such a help and comfort to me. She came to the hospital every day with her three kids to visit Dalin and brought him a toy every day. One day they came with a huge, yellow smiley face balloon that would hardly fit through the doorway. What a friend! Then there was the time Jeff lost his job and we were struggling to make ends meet. It's interesting how right at that time, the Muncys needed cabinets built in their garage and, if I remember, some work done in a bathroom, and they wanted Jeff to do the work. We were honored when Gary and Sandye asked Jeff and I to be godparents to their son Sean, and now he is all grown up and was just graduated from college. Jaron, Matt and Dalin were all good buddies, and we thought it'd be great if Kelly and Tyler grew up and got married. But plans change and a great career opportunity required a move back to Utah. Jeff moved to Utah and I stayed behind to sell the house. It was not a good summer for me to be alone taking care of 5 kids, while trying to maintain the house and yard. I remember times when Sandye would come over and help me scrub my kitchen floor to get ready for a realtor bringing a buyer through. During the next decade, the Muncys came to visit us in Utah and we went on a vacation to Yellowstone, and then several years later we rented a house boat at Lake Powell. We wondered if the kids would be shy around each other, but it was like they had never been apart. Then one year the boys flew out to spend some time in St. Louis, and Jeff and I drove out to pick them up, (am I remembering this correctly??) Now all the kids are grown and making their own lives, but the memories of those years still remain. Thank you Gary and Sandye for making those years so fun. You are the best!!!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY SANDYE, YOU YOUNGSTER, I'M THINKING ABOUT YA!

P.S. Hey you guys we now own a time share in a house boat on Lake Powell and would love to plan a reunion! It would be fun to see how many of our kids we could get together.