Faustina is in town. Ben and I took her and Kweku to see the lights on Temple Square. I had a wonderful time. Auntie Fausti did, too.
Earlier in the day we took Kweku on a snow shoe hike to the beaver dam at Big Spring. He wasn't sure he wanted to go and then was surprised he didn't get cold. We told him it was all about layers. I don't know why I get such a kick out of seeing my African friends in the snow, but I do.
Ben brought his African engineer, Kweku, to the US so they could collaborate. The best time for Ben's schedule was this week, but Ben was concerning about mixing Kweku and snow. Kweku said he was very curious about snow and would love to come in December. The first few days he was fine as long as he wore a shirt, a fleece and a coat. Inside. A snow storm came through Saturday and with some coaxing I got Kweku outside. He's adapting.
This is the first time I have decorated for Christmas since before our mission. I bought the new low wattage LED lights. They wouldn't power my Star Trek ornaments. I had to fish out an old string. This one says, "Enjoy your holiday. Resistance is futile." Kate, Ella, Ben & Kyle are coming. There will be no resistance from me!
At first, I resented a smoked turkey because there is no gravy or stuffing from the bird. After a few years of this, I have learned that not having a bird hogging the oven makes the day so much better. Another big factor is that a smoked turkey is fabulous!
We went to the beach. Twice. I love walking along Mary's beach. We picked up a lot of shells.
Melanie did some fancy wave jumping. Dave loves to catch things for his jetty tank. Dave and Corine bonded while prying anemones from the rocks. This blob. . . Looks like this in his tank. Seeing Dave's coral in his salt water tank is one of my favorite things.
In a "Waldo" moment, can you find the little tiny starfish? It walks all over the tank and this night my camera caught it.
Check out these two smiles. Nathan will be blessed while we are here. Mary came to visit often. She lives two blocks away. She also brought a lot of our Thanksgiving dinner.
Papa Ben, Will & Matt experimented with electricity and magnets.
Jacob told Corinne she was as pretty as a butterfly. She would have liked to have been one, too. Corinne left DC for her flight out of BWI three hours early, but traffic was terrible because of two wrecks. Her plane departed 3 minutes after she boarded.
Mary and I played Mexican Train with the kids. She won, too.
Ben brought a Russian doll from his recent eclipse trip. Jacob and Mel had as much fun with this doll as I did with one my grandmother had.
Ben isn't really having fun unless he's fixing something. Jacob became Corinne's shadow and said they were "Best Buddies."
(Matt took this picture.) The night Corinne left, Jacob said the family prayer. Papa Ben asked Jacob to pray for Corinne to land safely. He said, "Bless my best buddy to land safely." I did some bonding, too. Chinese checkers is harder than I remembered. But I still won most games. Everyone went out to shoot up rockets except for me and Nathan. Lots of mosquitoes right now. Jacob got in some fancy swinging. Notice the fence. Ike was here. The neighbors are planning a fencing party on an upcoming weekend. One of the reasons I love to visit David, besides his fish tanks, the beach, Mary, the kids and the fun, is that David makes me ice cream. This is chocolate custard toffee. Definitely worth the trip! Ben and I will head for home early Monday morning.
Uncle Mike said he'd take me for a wild ride. He drives a mean train, that's for sure! Maia is actually the one who took a ride. Although Carson made it into the air And Caleb sent the soccer ball up pretty high! Ben was good for a few thrills, too. Miracle Max showed off his stuff by helping Bapa make dinner. In case you missed the news, Max now eats with a spoon,
I went to a birthday party today. It was at my cousin Annette's. We had fun. Aunt Maydae was there. She has a birthday this month.
I got to see Aunt Janet again. Sometimes we talked about serious things. But mostly we laughed. Six cousins, two aunts, 4 pairs of sisters. Besides Janet and Maydae, Carolyn & Annette, Georgia and Laurie And Susan and Julie. Ya, it was a fun bunch! And Charlotte, who told us a great story from her Boston days. Her friend was pet sitting. Unfortunately, the dog, a big one, died. Her mother told her to take it to a vet's office. The friend had no car, so she put the dog in a big cargo bag with wheels. She got on the bus. A friendly man asked her if she was visiting Boston. She thought, "Why not?" and said she was visiting her parents. He asked if she was a student. The friend thought, "Why not?" and told him she was. He asked if her computer and books were in the bag. The friend thought, "Why not?" and said as much. At the next stop, the man grabbed her suitcase and ran off the bus with it. The friend stayed put, thinking, "Why not?"
My nephew Matt came from Rice to BYU to give a physics presentation. Becky and I went, thinking we'd be supportive. I figured since I watch a lot of Star Trek, that the science would be easy to understand. This was a case of where I knew every word, but I didn't understand one sentence. Matt talked about Rydberg atoms. They are big and like to donate electrons. Matt traps the ions. A professor listening to the lecture asked, "When an atom dies, what becomes of it?" I thought it was a religious question, but it wasn't. Then the professor asked, "How do you determine when an atom is dead?" Becky and I tried not to laugh. A physics professor from our stake saw me and said, "Sister Markham, I didn't suspect that you came to these types of lectures." Afterwards we came back here for tikka masala. Tom and Sally came, too. Later in the evening I got a new grandson. More on him when I get pictures.
Gayla, Tom, Dave, Erik, Mark. Sam, Douglas, Becky on the right. Scott, Reed, Laura, Sharon, Jeff and Jill.
Tom, Gayla, Mark, Sharon, Erik, Dave Douglas and a runaway Amy, Scott, Sam holding screaming Tommy, Reed, Matt, Jill holding Dave Owen, Jill & Jeff, Laura's in the front. Feel free to correct me. This was hard.
Julie with fashionable 1976 glasses and Sammie
Dave, Sam and baby Jeff
Sammie in the sand, 1976, at Airport Lake in Blackfoot.
Davy kissing new baby brother Sammie, 1975.
Dave, Jeff, Sam and dog Lizzie on a 1981 Christmas morning
Ben and Sammie with Ben's old train set Christmas morning 1981.
Aunt Mary, who used to live with us, smooches Jeffy, 1978.
This carpet was so in style in the late 70s.
Mary lived with us until Sammie cut the straps on all her shoes one morning.
Mary was a classic 1980 bride. I still miss Mom a lot. In my brain this is little Tommy, 1983. Now he's Steve. I made this costume for Dave, but Tommy grew into it. Dave playing with little Tommy, 1983.
Dave still loves Aunt Mary. The slide is dated 1978. The slides were dumped in a box. It's random what I pick up. This is new baby Cori. She was a perfect baby. I used to find her singing in her crib.
This, of course, is Jeffy!
Fearsome Jeff in Sesame Street pajamas.
1977, Mom and Dad visited us in Baytown.
1981, Christmas Day. I seem to have the same glasses from 5 years ago.
Just for the record, I was thrilled to have an adorable baby girl. 1983.