|This was the first float they moved ahead of us before the sun came up.|
|We did not get to hear the Marine band.|
|At least one of the grandkids had a good view.|
|The floats were over the top cool.|
|Sam and Ginny and Xela.|
|They moved this band ahead of us.|
|Every surface that you can see has to be from a living plant.|
|Some of the floats were whimsical.|
|They were so creative.|
|They are much better in person than on TV.|
|76 trombones led the big parade.|
|Many had moving parts and articulation.|
|The Goodyear blimp was on hand.|
Click below to see the animation.
|James had a great view.|
Click below to hear the bagpipes.
Every parade needs bagpipes.
|Each float was magical.|
|Lots of very big bands.|
|What could be better than cowgirls on horses.|
|A float for Oklahoma.|
Click below to hear their band.
Oklahoma Marching band.
|And one for Georgia.|
Click below to hear their band.
Georgia Marching band.
|This was my favorite band. I think they were from Japan.|
Click below to hear the band.
Can you say Star Wars
Click below to see them dance.
This band had the best dancing.
|A little south of the border group.|
|Lots of roses and lots of pretty girls.|
|I think this was my favorite float.|
Click below to view the float.
Click below to view the float. Pandamonium
|This float broke down right in front of us and had to be towed with a tow truck.|
|Even a float with a Mayan theme.|
We had a lazy afternoon with mom and Ginny going shopping and Sam and I watching some of the Rose Bowl in a chicken wings restaurant that was right around the corner from their house. Tuesday we headed for the airport to fly to SLC to see James, Kirstin and their family. We got on the airplane in Burbank and had a connecting flight in San Jose, then on to Salt Lake. We were on the tarmac for takeoff, but returned to the gate. They explained that there had been a security event in San Jose and that the terminal had been evacuated and we couldn’t leave till it was resolved. They deplaned and told everyone that had a connection to SLC to go to the counter and get rerouted. Our new flight was not going to leave for 5 hours. So Ginny came back to the airport and got us. We spent a few more hours with her girls. We arrived in Salt Lake in the evening. James and his family were at the airport to pick us up.
|These three were waiting for us at the airport in SLC.|
We went to his new home in American Fork that is a few blocks west of the Mt. Timponogos temple. It is a beautiful home they had built and moved into last summer. Wednesday morning we went to the Museum of Natural Curiosity at Thanksgiving Point. We spent the morning there with his three darling children. Campbell, the youngest, is the one grandchild I wanted to see the most. He was born a few days before we left, but was in the hospital and we never got to hold him. He reminds us of James. He is huge and happy and into everything.
|Keeping up with grandkids is hard work.|
|The three musketeers. |
Click below to see Rigby get the ride of his life. Fun times at the playground.
|These three are so much fun.|
|Rigby's floating head.|
|I am still sore from all the rope climbing.|
We went to lunch at JCW’s Burgers. We had to do some shopping so that James could smoke, BBQ, and cook us some ribs.
|Sharing a shake with Nana.|
|Lunch after a fun time at the Curiosity Museum.|
In the evening, we went to the movies and saw The Greatest Showman. The “wild man,” as Campbell is referred to, stayed home with their nanny. We had a great time. Thursday James got up early and got the ribs in the smoker.
|I made Swedish pancakes both mornings we were at James'.|
We went to Emme’s dance class and then came home and had the best ribs in the world. I’m not exaggerating, they were delicious. James is a real chef. He is ready for a BBQ competition.
|Emme is the cutest little ballerina.|
|To die for Ribs.|
|Everyone got into the action.|
|But James and Rigby really know how to enjoy ribs.|
|They were finger-licken good.|
We then headed up to John and Jill’s home. They bought a home last November and we wanted to see it. It is a large home on the east bench of Bountiful. They live in the same ward as David and Janet Norman, my brother Van’s son. There is a very good chance that when we get home I will remodel the basement and put in an apartment for us. It certainly is big enough. We then went to Kate’s new home. We had never seen the home they bought that is right through the block from Charlotte. They are literally 3 houses away, but they are in different stakes (only in Utah). It is fun to see the progress and changes in each family. They have all been blessed for our service as we were promised. We took Stan and Luke to buy their scriptures and scripture covers, because they will turn 8 before we get home. James then took us to the airport. We flew back to Burbank through San Jose and arrived at 10:30 pm. We rented a car and drove to Ginny’s home where we crashed. Friday morning we drove to Chula Vista and turned in the car. Enterprise Rental Car drove us to the CBX (Cross Border Express). We walked across the border and into the Tijuana airport. After we were at our gate, we called John. He had just finished meeting with the oncologist. Here are his words, “I have cancer. I will always have cancer. I will receive chemo at some point, and then likely again, but for now have elected to monitor the cancer and wait until I have symptoms. For now, I am feeling good, and should act normally. The doctor told me to forget about it for 3 months until my next scan. I could have chemo in a few months, or a few years...I will just have to have it eventually. Emotionally we are okay. This is just another reason to focus on what is most important, give forgiveness to others and ourselves, and try and be our best. I am a believer in Christ and he taught that if we are to find ourselves we need to lose ourselves. Serving and giving are the happiest ways to live.” I am very proud of my son, John. His attitude is one of hope and belief that there are more important things to worry about than having cancer. Whatever the outcome, we as a family will be ok. I am not going to blog more about John’s cancer until he needs to have treatment. Thank you for your prayers and support, we feel like they have worked and he has received good news.
|Tijuana is not a little town. Almost 2 million people live there.|
We had to fly to Mexico City and there we had a two hour delay, so we arrived back in Guatemala at 1:30 am. We found a taxi and got home. We were exhausted from travel and the emotions of the trip. Technology is great, but there is nothing like being able to hug, kiss and love children, their spouses, and our grandchildren. Thanks John and Jill for making the effort to bring your family to California so we could participate in the baptisms of Jake and Xela and to our other children who drove down from Utah for our mini-family reunion. We were grateful to spend a few days in Utah and to see James and Kirstin too. Saturday we took the missionaries that were here to see the movie “Wonder” and then we went grocery shopping. Sunday we went to the stake conference of Las Victorias stake. Elder Ochoa presided. It was so nice to have the opportunity to speak and testify and feel the power of the Spirit. I’m feeling very tender-hearted after this trip and my talk was a bit of a cry fest.
|The Sunday session was well attended.|
|Sister Ochoa, President Carranza's daughter and mom.|
|Elder Ochoa and his wife Nancy as we were getting into our cars.|
In the afternoon, we took the missionaries to the “Break the Fast” dinner at the area offices.
|Break the Fast dinner.|
While in Salt Lake, we had the opportunity to talk to some dear friends, Lee and Connie Crayk. Chris and I served with Lee in Ecuador, some 47 years ago. He also recruited us to serve with him in Cochabamba when he served there as the Temple President. He and Connie had very comforting words and great advice for us as we enter the last few months of this assignment. Our hearts connected and we felt the Holy Ghost comfort and support us. We continue to feel the blessings of a loving Father in Heaven. We are happy to be back in Guatemala and we know that when we are done we will miss everything about this assignment. We will try to do what Lee Crayk advised us to do, “work hard, do your best, and enjoy these last few months”.