Thursday, May 29, 2008

Here we are - home all safe and sound from our big auction adventure. Well, maybe not safe and sound, but at least we're home! I came home with a terrible sprained ankle, went to the doctor, got a brace and have been treating, rubbing, icing and taking pain pills. After 2 1/2 weeks, I can finally walk on it, but I can tell healing is still a long way off. Harold came home with a back out of place and a sore knee. His back is starting to feel better, but we are working on the knee - he has another doctor's appointment on Monday. We are hoping it is an easy fix, but hasn't been so far! So - here we are limping around trying to take care of Stan and not getting much else done. I do think we reached our objective, though, of earning enough money to either do the kitchen or a bathroom in our home, so that part is good. Well, I guess that is the only BIG news from our corner of the world, but at least we are beginning to feel like we are home. It has been a long 5 months of travel and uncertainty, and sometimes we have felt like visitors in our own community, but finally we can begin to do “normal” things. You know – like vacuum or do laundry or work in the yard and stare at the huge pile of stored “things” that is still awaiting us in our basement.

If I thought when we were first married that it was a wild ride, it is nothing compared to the ride we have been on since we came home from our mission. I’ve learned things I didn’t think I would ever need to know and some I didn’t want to know, but we press on! Stan is doing well considering what he has been through. We feel deeply for him as he is forced to make decisions that he wasn’t ready to make; change his life in a way that causes loss of freedom; and move forward into a new way of life. One with many restrictions and consequences. He is leaving behind a full, active life filled with friends and pleasurable activities. But it is a necessary change.

This experience hasn’t been easy on us either. We feel like we have sacrificed some family time and activities (which was our goal when we left Australia) to assist Stan with his needs and the changes he needed to make. And we have struggled with not being able to even finish our unpacking – or catch up our yard. It is so far behind that I can’t even see daylight. It makes me think if we ever get time, we had better simplify, simplify, simplify!!! If anyone has a spare hour we have two fences to prepare for and build, every bed to repair and/or plant, and about 5 billion weeds to take care of. So come on over – we’ll put you to work and have a bbq! I don’t even think we will be able to have a garden this year, which really makes me sad.

Our immediate plans are to attend my 50 year class reunion (yes, 50 years) on June 7 and then to spend a few days in St. George visiting Ty, Jon & Lisa and Christopher and attending a show at Tuachan with Don & Shirleen on the 9 & 10. Then we’ll get ready to take Stan to Portland, leaving the 16th of June. Shirleen, Harold & I will clean out and close his apartment while he stays in an assisted living there to visit with old friends, see his doctors and such. We are hoping we’ll be back in about 10 days. Stan plans to stay on for a while and then may fly home either for the reunion in July or later in August.

Stan would love to have some company, so anyone who feels they could spend a little time to visit here, would be greatly appreciated. He asks about each one and really has a wonderful memory that still works (usually better than mine.) We haven’t forgotten birthdays; it’s just that sometimes we CANNOT keep up with all of them. We are looking forward to this changing also as soon as we can get Stan’s life settled down.

Messages from family are our life-blood, so please let us hear from you. I hope I can put in an entry each week, so keep checking my blog – who knows, it may get interesting!!!! Stay happy, healthy, hopeful and humble - and remember who loves you.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Spring Greetings!!!

It seems that so many things are happening in the family that it is hard for me to keep up with them, so I thought I’d send along a little update newsletter so we can catch up on each other’s lives. Everyone will than have all the e-mail addresses I have and maybe you can catch each other up on details. Some news may be old – just ignore it. If I’ve made some errors or omissions, I apologize – just send along the correct information. I’ll just go down the line:
Mom & Harold: Harold has been driving truck and helping with the western auctions that a grand-son-in-law, Shawn does. The last 2 weeks he was in Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma and Monday we both leave for Cave Junction to pick up a truck and then drive to Texas! Can you imagine that??? I didn’t plan to go with him and help with the paperwork at the auction, but things have worked out and it is the last auction of the season, so off we go! We appreciate Dar & Brad for taking us to the airport and Dane & Trina picking us up in Medford. Stan has been with us and we will pick him up again when we get home, and are so happy we are here and can help him. He has put his name on a waiting list for an assisted living facility in Ogden, and we are helping with the huge load of paperwork that goes along with insurance, Medicare, and changing from Oregon to Utah. Our yard is really in need after being neglected for 2 years, so we are playing catch -up in that area. Anyway, we are certainly staying busy!!!!
Sherry & Dan: This family has some great blogs, so for the real scoop go to Also check with them for an update on your Dad. Sherry & Dan have sold their business, Dan has written a book, and now they have another business starting up. Sherry, Curtis and Curtis’ fiancĂ©e, Callie, are all working with Dan to get things going.
Jayna & Tyler: CONGRATULATIONS! They just had their third beautiful little girl, Lila Mckay, weighing in at 7 lbs. 7 oz. They are busy with pre-school and other classes and activities for Grace and Caroline. Both girls are enthralled with princesses and horses. What a fun time for this little family!
Christy & Gabe are also expecting a baby in late July, but they want the sex of the baby to be a surprise, so aren’t telling. They have bought a home in Boise and are getting their things settled. It is a challenge since all their furniture and keepsakes were stolen from their storage unit. Thankfully, the insurance company is covering the loss, but it will still take much shopping and buying to replace all that can be replaced. Of course, the greatest loss is in the memory books, photos, and items from their wedding, Gabe’s mission, etc.
CONGRATULATIONS to Curtis who has just become engaged to Kallie from Boise. They are planning to be married later this year and are currently both working for Dan.
Jon & Lisa also have big news in their family, and many CONGRATULATIONS are in order here. Jon was privileged to baptize Lisa the end of March. It was a beautiful gathering, with all 4 of Jon’s kids making the trip to St. George. Jon is working for Hughes Construction and is building all kinds of things on the side, like a hydrogen generator, and he wants to build a rammed-earth house. Lisa continues her stressful yet rewarding job as an industrial engineer. They are enjoying beautiful St. George and being grandparents.
Christopher is now working in St. George for the same company as Tyson and they share an apartment there. Christopher and Brittia are expecting a baby girl the first of June, and then she will join him in St. George.
Joshua is still working for his same company and doing well. He is engaged to Katrina and they may be married later this summer also. He looked so good at Lisa’s baptism!
Brittney and Dallas are also expecting another baby – a boy in late July to join sweet little Brylee. They are currently in Florida where Dallas installs security alarms. They are planning a wedding soon and will probably have a reception when they get back to Utah in late August.
Julia and Darren both seem busy and happy. They are really involved with their horses and will be in parades and competition this summer as well as participating in search and rescue if needed.
Dane & Trina: Dane is in the middle of a huge up-grade for the computers for his company. It is really stressful and he will be VERY happy when it is over! In fact, I just heard he has completed it! CONGRATULATIONS! He has been given a great promotion at his work. Trina is still Primary President and busy with the kids’ school and activities. Stephanie is attending college and is active in the singles ward there. Kimberly has her own apartment and is working part time. Brett is doing well and is going out for football.
Dar & Brad: Dar is still crazy busy with 4 boys and all their activities, working at a stressful job full time, and being Primary President over more than 100 children. Brad is on a weight loss challenge with some of his friends and doing well. They both keep upgrading their home and yard and it is really comfortable. Paul is busy going out on dates and playing football and running track, and has earned his Eagle Scout award. Zac also does well at football, is working on his Eagle, and is counting the months until he can drive and date. Mitchell loves football and Taylor is taking swimming. Both boys are active in scouting also.
Glory Krista & Brian: I haven’t been able to talk with your this family much, but I know they made the trek to Orlando over spring break, and I’m sure it was the trip of a lifetime for the kids. I’m sure everyone is busy with jobs, school and other activities. Please let us all know how your family is doing!
Justin & Heather: It was a surprise to see them come to visit us in Utah, and we were happy to have them closer. They were able to spend a lot of time with Whitney, which was good for all. They are now back in Cave Junction where Justin is trying his hand at what he does best – fixing things. We wish them the best!
Alexia: CONGRATULATIONS!! Big kudos for attaining her Bachelor’s Degree in December. Now if she can just get a good job and get on with her life!! She is living in Bountiful “playing” as she puts it! Come on, Lex, you can do great things!
Tyson was offered an opportunity to manage the south Utah area for his company, and was sent to arrange for an office, parking for their trucks, hire 8 employees, arrange for electronic equipment, training, etc. What a huge undertaking! CONGRATULATIONS to him for managing all the responsibility he has been given.
Future Family Events: The BIG Johnson Reunion will be July 12 in Brigham City. Hollis’ family is in charge and it should be a fun time. If we can get everything arranged by then, we plan to have some of Stan’s beautiful paintings and other items available there for the family. He really wants to contribute to the family in every way he can. I think he will be a special guest of honor this year. Mark your calendars!
I also want to have a Stewart Family reunion perhaps late in August. If we would hear when any marriage dates would be, we could plan it the same week. I have a ton of ideas for fun things to do, and everyone could contribute to the food and it would be good just to be together. I also want to have our traditional Thanksgiving together, but sometimes travel if iffy then, so please let’s plan one this summer. It has been too long. Send your preferences and ideas – talk to each other, and let’s set a date!! It won’t happen if we don’t all contribute. Let's just DO IT! And who would like to be in charge? Any volunteers???
If I’ve left anything out or screwed anything up, I apologize! I love you lots and forever. Stay happy, healthy, humble and hopeful!
Love, Mom & Harold