Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Time Flies...and "I Love the Mountains"

Happy 2017!  
Greetings for the first time in a wonderful new year!
So I started a new "home" blog:  

Here is a drawing created by our returned missonary niece Becca, partly in Romanian,
and a thought by Michael Altshuler for our skilled family members.

I need a new title and a new blog. We are home from Coban, so our Capers are not Coban Capers, they are more like Kaysville Capers.

But that is Mom's song.   I tried Home again, home again, jiggity jig!  But it doesn't translate.   So, how about "I love the mountains!?" 

On our way over hill and plain from New Hampshire to Wyoming and Idaho in the summers, in our Rambler station wagon, and in our flowered minivan, we would sing. 

"Sing, sing, sing.  I like to sing.  I like to sing a song, sing, sing sing!"

And "I love the mountains, I love the rolling hills.   
(This is from our September 2016 trip celebrating 100 years of National Parks--truly Zion!)
(Another kind of mountain and fountain, is the mountain of the Lord--We are enjoying a call to prepare outgoing missionaries to attend the temple!)
(And we enjoyed viewing a drier, rocker type of mountain a bit further south on our way to our house this November.)
I love the fountains

I love the daffodils

(This is from a September invitation to Redwood territory to see Point Arena lighthouse with Val's sister and husband)

  I love the fireflies, when all the lights are low.  "Boom dee ahda,  boom dee ahda,  boom dee ahda, boom dee ay.  Boom dee ahda,  boom dee ahda,  boom dee ahda, boom dee ay.  

We do not travel from New Hampshire to Wyoming in the summers any more, but we do have time in the car with children and grandchildren.  And to keep from poking each other, it is good to have a distraction.

Our latest song,  has been "The Family is of God."  We learned it last Tuesday at Great Grandma Starkey's breakfast table at  and practiced it in the car and at lunch. I have not told my mother that we are consistently breaking the age old rule NOT to sing at the table. 

Because yesterday marks four years since we sent Dad on a  long-term mission with limited communication...
we are walking together, and "extended [family can] lend support when needed."  (see Proclamation on the Family) 
(more of  St. George--yes, getting together as families is "out of this world!")

I hope someday to narrate our anniversary excursion overseas.  Meanwhile, more family gatherings over the holidays included 
gifts and games and comings and goings...

(Here is our "Mary", examining the gifts to the king, and Zach and Maria learning that time has a way of showing us the things that really matter!)
(For Maria's dad, a prize came in Maria's remembering Val's appreciation of black licorice during her European escapades.  For Laurene, it was Kristen finding a way to help everyone look forward and smile, even if they were missing from our party!)
Everyone seemed to like remembering "the old world" with scarves from Athens and wood from Bethlehem.
 And Kevin simply loves to laugh.  If you laugh, he'll laugh, even if the joke is a little over his head. 
"Me, too!" says Becca, who has come alive upon turning one.
We gathered for Christmas   
and again for New Year's with a celebration marking fifty years for my brother Steven.
Fifty means "WOW" in sign language!

The party was filled with charades and fun visits from nieces from near and far.  
Not long after, came a celebration for a 87 year old Grandma
and her one-year-old great granddaughter

And later, looking through old photos and drawings, we find another pattern--like mother like daughter, only a few decades difference!  

 (Kristen has ever liked to celebrate and bake...
she still loves both!)
So our eyes have been open to watch grandchildren grow. 
Will has joined a host of cousins in the race of school.
His sisters and brother (and cousins) don't lag much behind in willingness to try new things 
Our last week's adventure carried over from summer's ring around the rosy in Washington 
to invite four cousins to play for four days.
A five foot break in a kitchen drain pipe gave incentive to clean a little...
and then they came! 

With museum time, 

Great Grandma's famous whole wheat waffles, 
with fresh eggs
from free range chickens
that have a good life, greens included;
with snow adventures
(our neighbor suggested an igloo--begun by a civil engineer, continued by a retired and budding is doomed to melt, but we may still have the largest fort in the culdesac!)
and creating angels with newfound cousins,
 tasty food and mind-stretching games,
letters for a faraway cousin,

memory after memory, 
Mommy and Daddy finally returned

to welcome a loving Great Grandma airport visit,
then scooped them up
and leapt into their wild blue yonder.

 Maria has a "yonder" ahead...with a job interview out of state later this month.  
Winter remains, with slopes and eager mittens
We are working to "see afar off,"
 to lend a hand
(Saturday, the nearby high school hosted a community event to prepare hygiene kits for young women in Africa and elsewhere.  What can be more fulfilling than to put a shoulder to the wheel, with friends from at least three states, to send a caring gesture to friends far away.)

And because our second to last daughter has announced an upcoming marked growth of our family,
"Coming July 2017:  Two little Galli girls! 
Watch out world!"
("Two, two, two mints in one!")
A great harvest!
True pioneers.
Our plans are to be part of a main event. 
 How lucky can we be??

("Boom, boom, boom!")
Blessings to you each.  Please let us hear of your rolling hills, daffodils, 
and boom-de-ah-das.  
We love you!
Laurene and Val