Sunday, August 2, 2015

SUMMER 2015 Sam and Jess's Visit

Where does the time fly? Can it really be August? And where have I been, you may have been asking.  I have had several people email me saying they were worried because our blog was inactive for so long and I wasn't responding to texts.  I 'm sorry to have worried anyone.

We started traveling the first of June and got back the middle of July.  I don't blog "on the road", it's just too difficult for me and we were in Canada a good part of the time and  my messages were not working both ways, it seems.

I will hopefully be able to blog about all of our wonderful adventures during the past 2 months but for now I am just going to start with this past week and a half to get us current and then I will go back and just add things a bit at a time under the broad Post of "Summer 2015".

We came home and got right back into our missionary "routine" here beginning with a wonderful dinner and Family Home Evening with our Temple presidency and temple missionaries.  One of our couples, The Thornocks, will be finishing their mission and returning home to Oahu, Hawaii this week.  We would have thrown a party in their honor, but showing the kind of folks they are, they instead volunteered to throw a Hawaiian Luau for the rest of us.  It was delicious and fun. Sadly, I was having too much fun to think to take photos of that one so I'm cheating here and adding some photos of a previous get together which I forgot to post.

 left to right: Sister Foote, moi, Elder and Sister Rex, The Thornocks, Elder Duke, Elder Foote
The "Feet" as the mission affectionately called them, have since gone home.  :(

 Elder and Sister Denney, Sister Dahle, Sister and President Bowen, Elder Dahle, Sister and President Thompson

The Weights, the Petersons, the Millers
The Millers have since returned home)  :(

We have spent 3 beautiful days in the temple since our return.  Last Thursday we were blessed to be a part of  something very special.  A lovely young couple from our Portuguese Group came to take out their endowments and Dale and I were assigned to help them. And then this last Thursday, they came back with their 2 beautiful children and were sealed together as a family forever. These are among the best experiences one can have.  To see the joy in other's faces and lives is true joy for us as well.

We also finally got to meet our new Mission President and his wife and youngest daughter: President and Sister Miller and Bella!  They were gracious enough to host a dinner for all the senior missionaries.  Sister Miller with the help of Bella, made her specialty -homemade lasagna and these fabulous pepperoni/cheese bread rolls made fro homemade bread, no less! All delicious!  But the best part was getting to know them a little and associating with our fellow seniors.  After dinner we went around the table and played a little getting to know you game where the spouse or companion tells a tale about the other and the rest have to guess whether its a truth or a lie.  Entertaining!

This was taken at the end of the evening and President Miller had just taken off his tie and Jacket to go out and play with Bella in the yard. He was a good sport for the paparazzi!  They are truly lovely people inside and out and every way in between.  We are looking forward to serving with them and for them and getting to know them better in the few short months we have left here.

Sunday, sweet Sunday brought with it 4 more baptisms!  Four more souls accepted the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ as the truth and made this first important step in their returning journey to Him.   The Portuguese Group is growing!  Thanks to  wonderful members, wonderful missionaries sharing the Gospel and a wonderful senior couple, The Walshes.

Welcome to the church Walter Viera Veiga, Suzy Tavares, Joilton Tavares, and Joilson Tavares.

Cape Verde typical celebration food!

While we were away our zone alone had 14 baptisms!!! 
We rejoice that our consecrated and dedicated hard working missionaries are seeing the beautiful fruits of their labors.

Remember our record-breaking winter?  We do! And we remember our president's counsel to get out and enjoy the summer before the winter comes again.  Never let it be said we don't follow counsel!

On Tuesday, we decided to take advantage of the lovely summer evenings here and go to our own Waltham's free summer Concerts on the Common series.  One of the many things I love about New England is that nearly every single town has a town common or a town green, a grassy park- like area with benches, usually a gazebo and nearly always surrounded by churches or city halls and such. And nearly every single town has a free Summer concert series.  Lovely.

This night it was a trio of local musicians who played hit songs from the 40's on up to today.  The vocalist was very talented and performed each song very well.  He also played several instruments- guitar, bass guitar, saxophone, and flute.  We took our lawn chairs, supported the local fund raiser and bought hot dogs and pizza for dinner, and enjoyed the night.

The sky was glorious!

Lots of people were not shy about dancing and they had the most fun of all !

We also paddled a canoe on the Sudbury River to the Old North Bridge in Concord.   Beautiful day, beautiful scenery along the way, beautiful houses on the banks, and a beautiful experience all around. 
Concord and Lexington are among our very favorite towns here and it's especially nice that they are so close- just 15 minutes from our apartment.

 We pulled over to the shore and got out just past the bridge  and sat in the shade of a magnificent maple tree, refreshed by the breeze and pondered once again the events that took place here that shaped our country and the world.  We noticed and commented on the fact that most who come here speak in subdued tones out of reverence and respect for this place.  We've been here many times now and never tire of it.

Some new friends we met along the way.

Such a delightful place to swing!

Thursday was yet another day in the temple. The flowers are so beautiful there right now.
I love these daisies (and they always remind me of my mom as they were her favorite flowers).

Friday brought a very special treat for us...our youngest son Sam and his girlfriend Jess came to visit!
It was a very brief trip but we were so grateful for every moment we had with them.  We had never met Jess so that was an additional pleasure.  She is lovely in every sense of the word and we couldn't help but love her.  They arrived around 5pm on Friday night and since they said they have both seen Boston and the environs before they wanted to go to Maine and have a lobster.  We were more than happy to accommodate them :) ! We headed off straight from the airport to Ogunquit, a most darling little town we came to adore last summer when we went their to celebrate Mike and Susan's anniversary.  We stopped at Bob's Clam Hut for dinner which was right on the way. Of course it is "world famous" and, of course, it was on "Diners, Dives and Drive-ins".  Sam and Dale had the clams and Jess and I shared some fish and chips.

Ogunquit has a summer stock theatre- the Ogunquit Playhouse- so we went to see a lively musical featuring Gershwin tunes; "Nice Work If You Can Get It." When we saw the ocean of white heads all around us  and nary anyone Sam and Jess's ages, we were a little worried they wouldn't like it but they were good sports and it was very entertaining- especially the 2nd act.

Saturday, we walked to an omelet place for breakfast then continued walking into the cute town. Sam bought some sandals and a baseball hat, Jess bought some sandals and a pretty sun hat, and I bought a  cheesy touristy sweatshirt to always remind me of one of my favorite places. 
We also walked along the Marginal Way- a breathtaking stroll along the coast. 

Beach going is a little different here than in Southern California. 
Rocks look comfy?

This reminds me a little of a painting we had in our house...people sitting on rocks at the sea.

These kids work hard and their jobs, though they both love them, are stressful.  Jess even brought some work along with her. They wanted to just relax so we headed for the pool and did just that for a few blissful hours.  

Relaxed and refreshed, we headed off for the rest of our adventure.  First stop:  Footbridge Beach.

A storm across the water.

A rainbow.  :)

Next up:  Perkins Cove for lobsters at the Lobster Shack! 

Low tide.

The day lilies are closing up for the night.

Pretty obvious why I love this place, right?

After a few more mandatory( mine) stops for photos we were on our way back home.
Sam and Jess were very patient and accommodating with me and my photo op obsession. 

Cape Neddick

Nubble Lighthouse
One of our favorites.
Right before the sun dropped below the trees.

Sunday was another peaceful day.  Powerful and sweet testimonies were borne. 
We had Sam's request for an early dinner...Monte Cristo sandwiches.  We spent the afternoon reminiscing  and getting to know Jess a little better. And then they were off again to the airport. It was an extremely quick trip but we are oh so glad they made it!

 Thanks Sam and Jess!

You certainly helped us go our way rejoicing!

(and thanks to them and everyone else for indulging the Mom in me who takes a bazillion photos of her cute kids :)


  1. How fun! I can't wait to meet Jess! We can't wait until it's our turn to come!

  2. wonderful post! so happy you are back at it again!

    first of all, your pictures have always been amazing, but they get better and better every time! you have photography skills and i love all the angles you get. :)

    so happy you had a wonderful weekend with sam and jess! i can't wait to meet her either. she's adorable! all that greenery in the pictures is killing me...gorgeous! that pic with the hammock by the water? i want to be there, taking a nice long nap.


  3. I am glad you are back to blogging. You have become a wonderful photographer/ What camera do you have?
    It is great your district is having so many baptisms.
    I am glad Sam and Jess came for a visit. Fast but great.