Sunday, June 17, 2018

Father's Day - The 2018 Version

Happy Father's Day!

Traditions are great. Sometimes it's nice not having to think, but to just do. While each year will be unique, many traditions stay the same and I love it. I think Wayne does, too. After all, if he didn't, we'd probably make some changes!

Breakfast is always Eggs Benedict, although this year, because of another routine/tradition, we added Mini Peanut Butter Muffins to the menu.

That's followed by opening presents. This year, in honor of his six children, there were six gifts to unwrap. One of them contained the traditional pistachio nuts. Another of them has a humorous Amazon story to go with it, but we'll save that for another day.

This year a kazoo was on his list. Isn't it nice when little things bring such great joy?

Since Father's Day is always on Sunday, another tradition is to go to church. This year we took along the baskets of cookies that were the ward's gift to the men.

The afternoon is filled with family phone calls. That's actually a weekly tradition, but on Father's Day we wait for our kids to call us instead of us calling them. They did not disappoint. It was fun to hear some of the "About My Daddy" worksheet answers that are a typical Primary activity on Father's Day. It brings us great joy to know that our grandchildren love and appreciate their fathers.

The traditional Father's Day dinner includes steak. This year, as in the past few years, it also included lobster. I think maybe I'm acquiring a taste for that crustacean, so maybe we'll have it more often than once a year. I know Wayne would like that.

So, those are our traditions for Father's Day. What are yours?

My Dad

Looking at past posts, it seems I do fairly well at remembering Mother's Day, but Father's Day is another story. I did write something last year, but that was geared more towards my sons as fathers. This year it's time to honor my own father. Last month I mentioned three lessons I learned from my mother; here are three I've learned from my father.

#1 - The Importance of Unconditional Love

I'm not sure I have a specific example for this; it seems like I've just always known that my father truly loves everyone. Because of that I never had any trouble believing that Heavenly Father loves me as well. As a child, my favorite Primary song was "My Heavenly Father Loves Me" and it was never difficult for me to imagine my Heavenly Father being just like my earthly father. I've since learned that not everyone feels that way, so I appreciate my father's example even more.

A Christmas surprise for my dad in 1977.
In fact, I guess I do have a specific example. My father has always shown extra special love for my mother - his wife and sweetheart. The one time I remember my dad raising his voice was when one of my foster brothers was being disrespectful to Mom. Several years ago Mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer's and is now no longer able to do many of the things she's always done, like drive and cook. So, Dad has taken over errands along with meal planning and preparation. That wouldn't be his first choice for a daily activity, but because of his unconditional love for her, he does it. Developing Christlike love starts at home, and then can grow to include others.

#2 - The Importance of Developing Individual Spirituality

I'm so grateful that before I left home, I knew how the Holy Ghost spoke to me*, and most of that can be traced to my dad's example of reading scriptures (see how this impacted our own family scripture study here), attending church, serving in callings, having family prayer and family home evening, and following the prophet.

We don't take pictures in church, but these represent a sample of just a few of his many church callings.
Decades before it was given, Dad was living these sentences from the Family Proclamation:

Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ. Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities. By divine design, fathers are to preside over their families in love and righteousness and are responsible to provide the necessities of life and protection for their families.

Our "wholesome recreation" including hiking and backpacking!

#3 - The Importance of Genealogy, Family History and Temple Work

One of those many callings was to serve, with my mom, as Area Family History Consultants (in fact, there were just released this month after many, many years of service), but even before that official calling, I knew that genealogy and temple work were important to Dad.

Doesn't it look like they're reading a giant book of family history? Dad and his parents and brothers in 1959.
One of my earliest memories is of a Judy coming over on Friday nights to babysit while Mom and Dad went to the temple. It must have been a regular occurrence for me to remember. Once I was old enough, it became my responsibility to babysit for their temple trips.

The night Holly (front and center) was sealed to our family in the temple.

In addition, we were fortunate to live in the same city as both sets of my grandparents (at least while I was in grade school) and I remember lots of visits to their homes where we loved creating traditions and hearing their stories. Many of our vacations were to family reunions or included visits to great-grandparents and great-aunts and great-uncles. That's family history with living relatives; we also had plenty of experiences researching and learning about those who had gone on before. Journals are wonderful things, and Dad taught me the importance of keeping one myself.

I just had to include this picture because, although it may be a bit rare, Dad does have a silly side.

 Happy Father's Day to You, Dad! 

Thank you for teaching and leading by example.

1986 - Mom & Dad - Although without his glasses on he looks quite a bit different.
Another one of the things I learned from Dad was a love for music. Stories about that will have to wait for another day, but I just have to include this recently discovered picture now.

* Julie B. Beck: "The ability to qualify for, receive, and act on personal revelation is the single most important skill that can be acquired in this life." That's a pretty bold statement, yet I know it's true. Having that ability makes it possible to do everything else we need to do.

Extra links for your reading pleasure - a post from a few years ago, and a conference talk a few year's before that.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Three in a Row

It must be because the youth camps are scheduled for June, but there haven't been any Saturday church activities on our calendar this month, even the youth temple trip is on Mutual night this time around. So, while each one is taking less time, we had another stay-cation this weekend. We're so grateful to live in this beautiful part of our wonderful world.

Beach Access #41

Unlike our outing in November, which was just before the end of daylight savings so we didn't have to wake up super early, this week we're near the longest day of the year. That meant an early alarm, but it was worth it.

Normally we have the beach to ourselves. This time, though, there was a small group of teenagers who had dug a hole and were taking pictures. It looked like they were creating and filming a movie scene. They picked a beautiful day to do so.

We think this might have been the prettiest sunrise yet!

It was a super calm day. That meant there were a few no-see-ums around (not a big deal because we remembered to take bug spray), but it also meant the ocean was very smooth. Warm water, warm air, beautiful day, super relaxing!

We even had front row seats to our own personal one-entry parade.

As I mentioned last week, it's not a true vacation unless a restaurant meal is involved, so before driving home we stopped for breakfast at our favorite beach cafe, where no one is allowed to be crabby!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Last Weekend's Staycation

For almost two years we've been trying to find a date to visit the pool at Glades Pioneer Park. It's been difficult because it wasn't open on Saturdays, and our summer holidays (Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day) are usually spent out of town. Finally, on Friday Wayne took a half-day off of work and we headed out to Belle Glade.

It was raining buckets at home, but the weather was nice an hour away. Unfortunately, lots of other people (mainly summer day camps) had the same idea and the pool reached its capacity before we arrived.

We set up our camp chairs, did some reading, and waited a bit to see if circumstances changed, but before the kids dispersed, the afternoon thunderstorms arrived, and the pool was closed. Disappointedly we had to leave. However, we did learn that the website was incorrect, and that the pool was actually open on Saturdays. I wonder if it was open on Saturdays last summer, or if that's new for this year, but no one seemed to know the answer.

Anyway, Saturday, bright and early, we headed back. Success! No day camps and plenty of room, along with plenty of sunshine.

The umbrella reminded us of Jeff's Eagle project!

Now Glades Pioneer Park has been duly and completely "explored" and we can move on to the next county park.

  • First visit - July 2016 - hiking trails and picnic
  • Second visit - September 2016 - tennis
  • Third visit - June 2018 - pool

To make it a real staycation, we stopped at Burger King for lunch on the way home -

Tried a new recipe for an afternoon snack -

And went out for ice cream for dinner.

Yes, our lives revolve around food! At least eating out is what makes an ordinary Saturday turn into a vacation! Hope you all enjoyed your weekend as well.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

This Weekend's Staycation

We were fortunate to celebrate the start of summer (or, to be more precise, June) by taking a little staycation. It's really nice that the days and days and weeks and weeks of rain stopped, at least until we were on our way home again!

First order of business was to check into our hotel. We appreciated the free upgrade to a suite, which turned out to be one of the more spacious hotel rooms we've had.

Dinner was at Three Forks, and it lived up to its reputation - delicious and expensive. Our choices included the ahi tuna appetizer, wedge salad, lobster bisque, filet mignon with creamed corn, and flat iron steak with mashed potatoes.

Next morning's breakfast at the hotel wasn't quite as fancy, being typical hotel buffet fare, but it was enjoyable and a good start for the day.

Then we headed over to MacArthur Beach State Park. I was surprised it wasn't very crowded, although more people did arrive later.

Now it's time to let the pictures speak for themselves. Don't you agree that it was a gorgeous day?


 I've never heard of a crocodilian before, have you?

When the gray clouds started building up we decided it was time to call it a day, and left the beach. However, our little vacation wasn't quite over; first we stopped for lunch at Johnny Longboat's. This time we selected fish tacos and a grouper sandwich. Guess who picked which?

We left the restaurant just as it started raining, and someone had a great time driving through all the puddles on the way home!