Saturday, January 1, 2011

Utah A White Christmas and Unbelievable Beauty

The Clock Tower At Kiely'and Matt's School

Sweet House-~~Kiely & Matt's

New Library Across The Street From Kiely's and Matt's House

The Aitken's Married Housing~~ Darling Place

Crazy Mr. Potato Snow Man Just Down The Street From The Aitken's
Dec. 23, 2010
I'm impressed by the snow in Utah. I love it. It's so fluffy and we just saw it, white and pure. I'm not that unfamiliar with the snow problems of black ice and ugly stacks of hard brown and gray snow. The bad melty snow wasn't there yet and we were so happy to be in Utah's "Winter Wonderland"

Higher The Altitude~~ Snow Sprinkles

What Is This? Name it 4-H and The LDS Kids Will Drink Coke?

Cache Valley Cheese in Beaver, Utah

Squeaky Cheese

We did make the usual stop in Beaver at the Cache Valley Co-Operative and buy some "squeaky cheese" for our family that live a few hours to the north. The snow through all the little towns seemed to sparkle with shimmering lights. I was afraid to even breathe the snowflakes. The snow looks like gnats or White Flies that we have around here, in Southern California. Ewwww! I know to also carry a hankie because of the cold air does unusual things to my face and nose. All of winter scenes and the excitement of a very real merry Christmas, made us more than anxious to be with our family there in Utah. December 26th will be the baptism of our grandson on Sunday, and it falls on the day after Christmas. And today we will be attending the Temple in Manti.
We Can See The Manti Temple From Far Away

We easily made the last session at the Manti Temple. My experience at the temple gave me the true meaning what Christmas it meant to be and I really want to attend the temple each year at this time. My attendance at the temple for my family has given me a great feeling of joy.

We Ate At The Manti House After Our Temple Attendance

Manti Temple

Dec. 25, 2010

Christmas Eve was exciting. The Knapp family, set the stage by reading from Luke II the night before and talked about the Nativity scene and all the the traditions we hold and that have meaning about the Savior birth. My son-in-law made certain everyone was aware of the importance of remembering that all of this, is to honor of Jesus. The children recited their memorized scriptures and we had a sweet Family Home Evening that my children and grandchildren took seriously and reverently. I hadn't slept well that night, not for the opening of presents on Christmas, but thinking of my talk that I needed to prepare for Dean's baptism talk. I went upstairs when everyone was getting in bed and put notes together from all my reading. I was stalled in III Nephi, when Jesus Christ was there teaching, blessing, and preaching to the people of the Book of Mormon. Most of my talk was taken from that chapter. I used the "stepping stones" object lesson from "Sugardoodle Blog" and my daughter, Kiely also had prepared a very visual talk. We were both ready for Sunday, by Christmas Eve.
Larin & Dave Knapp are Done!

Peaceful Dreams of Christmas

Jaxon Dreaming of Christmas With His Weesy

Finlee, Not Aslee
I woke everyone up Christmas morning, but not on purpose. It was really early, still dark, and I stumbled upstairs and knocked over some steps. The loud crash against the wall woke the whole house and it was a stampede up the stairs to see what Santa had brought them. They just stared. The children waited for us to get ready by parents who distracted them with the sight of their gift peeking out their stockings. And we all enjoyed the slow opening of gifts and the glee of each moment, one of the kids realized what they were getting as they opened each one. It was fun.
Fun Things Bungie Cords and Leopard Duct Tape for ME!
Jaxon's in Heaven With A Big Truck

Dean Methodically Opening His Presents

The Wonder of Christmas

Snow Days & There Is Still Activities

Finlee Kissing Her New Present

A New Bottle For Finlee's Baby Doll
Kiely & Matthew Aitken's First Christmas

Mario's Still Popular?
Dave's place at the table is always where the whipped-white and cherry jello is placed. We had wonderful meals and my daughter's are excellent cooks. Everything was perfect. After the food all the family seemed to rest.
After Dinner Clean-up
 Steve and I took-off for sight-seeing somewhere in the Fish Lake Forest area. We should have asked about the steep terrain, the frozen mud, and the locked gate with no turn-around at the top. The off-road trip was very scary especially sliding down the hill sideways. I hope my mother doesn't read this, she won't ride with us anymore. Off-roading: I can say now, I'm okay with the "sand" 4-wheeling, the ice and snow...not so much.The cemeteries were what we were going investigate, but all of them were so covered in snow, it didn't seem like we could manage snow-digging at the cemetery for the Lazenbys, who may or may not be buried there.

Wonderful Snow

Slippin' In Snow

Snow Everywhere

Dec. 26, 2010

I was so tired by Sunday I wanted to paint eyeballs on my eyelids to make it through Church. I felt like a jerk when I found that it was high counsel Sunday. The talks of the week before were postponed because of the Christmas Program. Oh it was hard to get ready to even go to church. I can say there were way too many of us and so many showers were needed. The snow was still deep, but not cold. We walked to church without our jackets and as usual. I  must say all the places in Utah are really, very warm inside. At Church, I listened and learned that most of the people of that sweet town are either truckers like Dave, or miners, or ranchers. All the men had distinctive drawls. The town of Salina, I thought was pronounced like Salinas in California. Kiely and Larin still say it like "Saw-line-a" The regular church members all called their home, "Slide-a". Now, I'm confused and hesitate each time the town's name comes-up in conversation. Actually, I still hesitate to say my daughter's new married name of Aitken. It's pronounced like Aching...well, without the "g" so more like Achin'. It didn't help that while they were going together everyone corrected me outside the family, that the name was "AT-KIN" She reminds me that her blog name is "Our Aitken Love" and not think of the way the name looks.

Kiely still loves the snow after her year anniversary. It even snowed the last day of school for summer break. She told me that sliding down the Peeteetneet School in Payson was the highlight of her snow experience. She has done the sledding one time before, but she was so young she didn't remember it. I can only imagine her husband was chuckling at Kiely screaming, as she raced down the steep slope, just as her grandmother had done so many years before when she was in grammar school. Oh, and all her great aunts, uncles, and also her great grandfather. Matt of course also attended the school at Peeteeneet. I know he has been down that same slope a lot as he was growing-up in Payson. I'm sure all his family enjoyed the school "Amusement Park". Kiely said it was better than Disneyland. I know it will be a wonderful sweet tradition in their family, too. Snow isn't like I thought and definitely not as cold. Amazing.

The baptism was my favorite part of Sunday and the whole trip. Dean, my grandson, was so reverent and even came to the podium to tell me his memorized scripture about baptism. He was very prepared. Matthew, Kiely's new husband, conducted and my Steve was able to perform the confirmation and Gift of The Holy Ghost. This was Dave's first time to baptize his own child and I know it was an experience that will be forever a very blessed memory. It definitely was a beautiful evening and again the shimmer and glistening of all the lights highlighted the quiet and sweet peaceful and reverent moment of the Baptism. This occasion will be a precious moment in our family history.

 Matthew & Kiely Atkin, Steve & I, Knapp Family: Larin Holding Finlee,
Dave, Dean the Baptism Boy, and Jaxon with His Weesy Blanket
Dave and Dean Before The Baptism

Knapp Family
Dec. 27, 2010

We started home and we were able to visit my aunt and uncle in St. George. My Aunt Eileen made a beautiful painting of a cow and calf for Kiely. When she saw the photo that he dad sent of it, she was overwhelmed. The baby calf looked just like her first steer, Cookie, as a little calf.

We headed southwest and went to the Las Vegas Temple. How amazing is it to witness the visual of the city below and the temple high above in heaven and view down below what to me, seemed like hell. That feeling was overwhelming when we attempted to maneuver through that main "strip". Most buildings are askew and out-of-proportion. The whole scene looked, cartoon-like. We saw huge "large and spacious buildings" that were up so high, we couldn't see the top. Hundred's if not thousand's of people were running and walking holding large packages of new purchases, and dressed to the "nines". Everyone seemed to be in fancy clothes, like it was evening.

You know things are really bad in a city when just off the main street are old run-down shops that are filled with lawyers, pawn-shops, bad newspaper stands, street walker ladies, and small warehouse looking wedding chapels. The cars that surrounded us in Las Vegas were Bentley's, new Rolls, and sport cars. I haven't ever seen that before. Here we were... in a super-red-muddy FJ Landcruiser.

I'm sure of the holiday and short stay in Utah didn't give the highway workers a chance to fix any roads. Again, the detours were everywhere and the sun was right in our faces. I was relieved that we stopped for dinner at a yogurt place and just took our time for the sun to go down behind the hills. My husband set his sight on Palmdale and we were able to let our neighbor know to feed the livestock and miscellaneous animals for us, because we were going to be home late. Again, we had stopped for refills of "squeaky cheese for all our family here at home" I'm also thankful we were able to visit Cove Fort. That was on my list--we are always in a hurry and we needed to still see and hear Church History, one of my favorite interests. We about threw the "squeaky cheese" on Tressa's lawn in Fillmore, and were able to give my mother, and Marnie some before we went in the house. The rest would have to wait until tomorrow.
Side-Trip to Cove Fort
The Small Cove Fort~~Didn't See A Lot of Action
Pioneer, Sister Hinkley's Kitchen
 Home. We couldn't get to bed fast enough, both of us were exhausted. I didn't want to think of crazy Las Vegas, but didn't have to-- because as soon as my head hit the pillow, I was looking at my eyelids. Home again.

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