Sunday, December 31, 2017

Taking Memories Into The New Year - 2018

Wishing for all a very Happy New Year of 2018. I always look forward to the new years because it gives me an opportunity to reflect on the many blessings received in the past year and all of the anticipated sweet moments of a New Year.
This past year has been busy and challenging but filled with blessing. We have had miracles, powerful learning moments and joy-filled family times. We feel profoundly blessed by our loving Heavenly Father as we have deepened our faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement and felt His love for us through countless miracles in our missionary endeavors and everyday experiences.
We look forward to another great year of progress, loving, serving, and experiences more family time.
As I move forward into the new year, I do so with a feeling of joy. I want to choose to be happy and to learn and grow from my future life moments. Our Father In Heaven intends for us all to have Joy. May you all have a New Year filled with Joy.
The last two months of 2017 have been filled with many moments with family.
We were able to take a trip to Hawaii and meet our oldest daughter Christina, Brandon and their family. Here is a recap of our family times in November and December.
November 2017
In November we left for Spokane Washington to visit our youngest daughter Tiffani, Dave and their children, Michael, Sarah, Kaitlyn, and Williams. 
We celebrated my birthday while there. Wow, I am getting old. Being with their family was fun.
We were at the church waiting for our Grandson Michael to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood to the office of an Elder He is getting reading to serve a mission.
We went out to dinner with our children and Dave's parents and then to a movie. 
We took family photos of us all. Having a picture of Michael and us was fun.
We then drove back home having had a great time with their family.
 We had our oldest son Sean, Mary and their children; Gillian, Jackson, Joseph, Jonathan, Jeffery, and Josh down for Thanksgiving. We also had our Grandson Jacob, Dana and their two children, Sagan and Katalina. We had lots of yummy food, football, conversation and board games. It was an enjoyable Thanksgiving celebration.

We next had a delightful day with our Granddaughter, Justice and her friend Tyler. They came down to Utah from Idaho for a social function and stayed with us. We had lunch and a shopping time at Scheels. 
 December 2017
We attended a choir concert for our Granddaughter, Karli from Idaho. It was held at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. It was an excellent program. We are so proud of Karli for being in the choir.  
 We traveled down to Monroe, Utah to visit my sweet Aunt Alene. She turned 97 years old on December 11th. Spending some time with her was fun.

We were very blessed to have our Granddaughter, Sariah come for an overnight visit from Australia. She was on her way to the Mission Training Center in Provo for three weeks before going to her mission assignment in the Sacramento California Mission.
Our sweet daughter, Jenni, Michael and their children; Alyssa, Emma, and Benjamin just moved into our home, so it was fun for us to have them all here.
I took Sariah shopping for a little while and then we all went out to dinner to celebrate her mission and her birthday earlier in the month.

On December 13th my husband and I flew to Hawaii. We had a great flight there, and it was an exhilarating moment for us. We spent the first few days just exploring the beach and Waimea Valley. The landscape is lovely. The weather was iffy. We had rain and sun. We enjoyed all the moments regardless of the weather.
Our first day on the Beach was incredible.
A day at Waimea Valley. The vegetation and landscapes were spectacular. I loved the trees. We had lunch there, and the Peacock joined us. 

My favorite time was our being able to attend the Laie Hawaii Temple. The grounds and the inside of the temple were so lovely. We enjoyed doing a session there. The history of the temple can be found here.

While there we had a used Skype to tune in and see our Grandson, Austin received his mission call to the Omaha, Nebraska Mission. He leaves for the MTC on February 14th. We are thrilled for him. His Great Great Grandfather served there in 1896 as missionary and Mission Conference President. Our Grandson, Jackson served in this mission also.  We know that this calling was from the Lord.
Our daughter Christina, Brandon and their children; April, Abbey, Faith, and Levi arrived to join us in Hawaii. We left our hotel and moved over to a lovely home right on the beach. It was charming and the view terrific.
The 2nd day there we spent some time downtown in Honolulu shopping and dining.
 We spent a rained filled day at the Polynesian Center and had a fantastic time. The rain didn't stop the fun. We learned about the Islands different cultures. It was a tremendous adventure. It was fun to hear the stories, watch them do their various Polynesian dances and etc. We had an excellent dinner in the evening an then went to a Theather for the presentation of "The Circle of Life." It was spectacular.

 We had the emotional charge experience of visiting Pearl Harbor and a tour in Honolulu. It was a great day trip.
Our first stop was to the USS Arizona that was sunk by Japan on December 7th, 1941 with all the crew aboard. They are buried at the bottom of the ocean. The memorial to them was emotional and spiritual. There was 1,700 plus seaman lost. Averages ages 18-21 year olds. Looking at the list of names was overwhelming. The loss was profound. They gave their lives for our great country. I love the United States of America.
 We next visited the USS Missouri Battleship. We took a tour of the boat and learned so much. The history of this ship is so fascinating. You can find it here.
Take a moment and read the story of the Kasma attack against this ship. It is a story you won't forget. You can read it here.
On our Daughter Christina's birthday, we took a boat trip to go snorkeling. Roger and I didn't go snorkeling, but we enjoyed watching the kids and making a ton of photos. It was a commercial tour that took them out to two different places. Lunch was also provided. It was a beautiful day, and the weather was perfect.
Later on, our dear daughter went for a massage and then came home with a fever, and we started the flu cycle. She was too sick to even open her gifts. She was in bed until Christmas day.
 Our Christmas Eve was really lovely. We had dinner in and then went through the Nativity story and shared some excellent thoughts on that. We enjoyed the tree that our Son in law Brandon had gotten and decorated. We put or gifts out and watched a Christmas movie before retiring.
Christmas Day was just beautiful. We got up late, and our Chrissy was able to join us and felt good all day. We opened gifts and had a delightful Skype call with their daughter and our granddaughter Sariah at the MTC. It was a highlight for sure. Roger and I also had a precious moment of reading letters from each of our children telling us one of their favorite memories of Christmas through their growing up years.
The weather on Christmas was lovely, so we spent the afternoon on the beach, and my husband and I went Kayaking. It was a first for us.

The day after Christmas it rained most of the day. We packed, cleaned up the home we were in and left to find something to do before going to the airport. We had a delightful time on the Temple grounds and at the visitors center. We watched an incredible video of the Laie Hawaii Temple. 
There were some flood warnings in areas of the Island, so we decided to head to the airport early. 
We caught our flight around 10pm. The trip was smooth except that I started with severe flu symptoms and was sick for the entire flight. I was happy when we finally landed. 
Since then Roger got the flu too, and we have been recovering. As of tonight; New Year's Eve we have improved a lot. We have sincere gratitude for having the chance to make this trip and enjoy the beautiful island of Oahu. 

We have been able to enjoy some of the New Year Eve celebration with our daughter Jenni, Michael and their children; Alyssa, Emma, and Benjamin 
May you all have a fantastic New Years Day and a great year of 2018.
Love to you all!

5 comments:

Debbie said...

where to start, where to start, what a wonderful post!!

i LOVE the first picture, beautiful of both of you!! (and i like the shirt, that matches the tie)!! november looks to be pretty special, your birthday cake is so special!!

thanksgiving is also a favorite and the husband on the floor with the puppy. i have seen that picture before and have always liked it!!

seeing you in hawaii was extra special, you so deserved that retreat. more towards the end, is a picture of you in a red shirt, what a beautiful and happy face you have!!

you have an amazing family, everyone is so close - you all must be doing something very right!! happy 2018 to you and your beautiful gamily!!!

Tracy said...

HAPPY NEW YEAR, LeAnn!! WOW... what a fantastic backward glance this was... So much enjoyed seeing how you enjoyed the last weeks of 2017 with family, friends and so much! It's good to catch up with you! LOVE that photo of you & Roger at the top. :) We were deep in the cozy of Christmas, and it was a sweet time, so I’m slow getting back here. Today I’ve had to wear clothes ALL day, and there’s been things to do… So it feels a bit cold turkey getting back into the swing of things… LOL! Wishing you & yours a very happy, healthy, peaceful and love-filled 2018, my friend!! God Bless you all :))) With LOVE, In Christ--Tracy ((HUGS))

Christy Monson said...

This is such a great e journal. Your family will love it for generations to come. Lots of love and hugs, Christy

Marsha said...

LeAnn,
Love your Christmas photo. Looking at that photo reminds me of what my husband said the first time he saw a picture of the two of you. He said your husband looks like a Stake President and this photo showed that once again. You both emit that special light!
What an amazing, blessed few months you have had. You truly have much to reflect on.....bringing happiness and joy.
Take Care - Marsha

Barb said...

Hi LeAnn!!

Welcome home!! I'm so sorry you got the flu - so not fun to fly when you are so sick!! And poor Christina, so sad that she was sick too! I hope you are all better and ready to conquer 2018!

I loved this post! All the photos of your beautiful family, and that selfie of you and Roger was the best!!

Your trip looked amazing! I will probably never make it to Hawaii, so I will just live it through your photos...I can almost smell the salty sea! My aunt used to go there almost every year and she told me that she was pretty sure that Heaven would look just like, Hawaii.

I've heard that the, Pearl Harbor memorial is very emotional and spiritual, it is sacred ground for sure. The Polynesian Center looked like fun!! That's also a once in a lifetime treat - can you imagine dancing in a grass skirt?! It must have been fun, they are all smiling!

You will be busy with Mike and Jenny and the kids there, but busy in a very good way! Enjoy them!!

I'm hoping that we can spend a little more time with each other this summer - we always treasure our visits with you two!!

Hugs and Much Love,
Barb

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