Wednesday, July 28, 2010

40 years ago...

A quick trip down memory lane... Donna, Lynette and David on a walk in the quaking aspens east of the Bedford house. Do their kids look like them?

Saturday, July 24, 2010

24th of July Celebration

Oops, forgot to load them backwards....Had a great 24th.

Blaine and Angie and Andrea and Jerame spent the night.

Congratulations to Collette, Blaine and Mike for doing a team triathlon. Blaine biked, Mike swam and Collette ran. Blaine also ran with her just for fun. The rest of us rooted from the sidelines.

The Parade was full of great floats, politicians and fire trucks. It lasted 55 minutes! The kids got the hang of harvesting candy. We were also right in front of the bakery - so great smells and a goodie too.

The kids made "bobs" for lunch - delicious - and a little drum music to boot!

We ran back to Lyman and the boys helped us take down the art exhibit before they left for home themselves.

Thanks Everyone!

While you were at Camp Mom...

A few quick shots to show their mother what they were up to while she was at girls camp: lots of jumping in the crib, playing outside with rockets and bubbles and sprinklers, and when it was too hot outside there were movies, stickers, naps and reading story books.

By my calculations, Reagan nibbled on one moth, two flies, several pine cones and what ever paper she could get her hands on. She'd see me coming, wrinkle up her nose, wad the paper and take a bite, then hold it up to me at arm's length with a resigned look.

Corbin became the puzzle master - putting it together about 20 times each day - focusing so hard and trying to keep his sister from gnawing on the pieces. He also loved peeling foam stickers and making pictures. What a cutie.

I believe I could hold my own on the volleyball court thanks to Bridger. He found a beach ball and we practiced and practiced. The rug was our court, he's quite the dedicated server. I thank him for all the coaching he gave me. At least he chased all the out of bounders...

They were all excited to see their Dad and take a birthday cake up to their mother. Happy Birthday Collette!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Summer yard

The yard has been beautiful despite a cool start to the summer. We're still waiting for the first radish and lettuce - veggies seem a little slow. But the flowers have been wonderful. Mike put a fence up on the west and I think it made a difference for the front garden. It's the best it's been in years. It's also the first year we haven't been hauling brick or dirt and sawdust. I'm sure he's enjoying his vacation.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Archibald McPhail and Rock Creek

July brings our thoughts to our country and the Mormon Pioneers. Here's a little genealogy tidbit: We stopped up at Rock Creek (on South Pass near Atlantic City) on our way home from Riverton last week.

Grandma Kennington's great grandfather, Archibald McPhail, a shoe maker from Scotland, was with the Willie Handcart Company back in October of 1856. He was responsible for some older ladies in the group. The handcart company became stranded on Rock Creek by an early blizzard in late October. The country is high desert plains with occasional ravines where the streamlets flow.

As the story goes, Archibald discovered one of his little ladies was missing when they finally pitched camp off the ridge in a sheltered area where Rock Creek has cut a little canyon. He went back up the hill through the blizzard and found her somewhere on the other side of the stream farther east. Sounds like at the crossing they made at mid-day. She was despondent, weak and refused to go another step. He was forced to carried her across the frozen stream. But they fell through the ice at this crossing. The story says he was wet to his chest. Now the stream crossing looks pretty shallow and the slope is gradual, so I wonder if he didn't pitch forward when the ice broke which soaked him to the waist or chest.

They managed to slosh back to camp, (7 miles if it's to the official camp site at Rock Creek) probably chilled to the bone in the wet clothing. One account says his clothing was frozen by then. That's entirely possible if they were trudging 7 miles to the west against the blizzard.

Back at camp, the company was too weak to have much of a fire, so Archibald had no means of drying off. Everyone else was huddled in tents trying to find protection against the wind and snow. Archibald settled the little lady in a tent, then found there was no spot for him. So he pulled a handcart over himself and spent a cold night with the blizzard howling. In the morning they had to use a butcher knife to free him from the frozen ground. He was suffering from hypothermia (obviously) by morning with chills and fever.

He survived to the Bear River crossing south of Evanston a few days later but was too sick to walk. From the Willie Company Log: "1856 6 Nov. Archibald McPheil, from Greenock, Argyleshire, Scotland, died about 2 a.m, aged 40 years. Much snow on the ground this morning and still falling. Go down Echo Canyon, roads very bad at the crossing of streams; forded Weber River and camped on its banks. It snowed most of the day. The camping ground presented a most dismal appearance, as we rolled on to it there being much snow on the ground and it being late at night..." Willie Company Log, William Woodward, Clerk. Published in the booklet, "Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God" found in the Riverton Stake Second Rescue Collection, Riverton, Wyoming.

His grave site is just to the south of the pioneer marker overlooking the Bear River Crossing. We know that because his widow took historian Andrew Jensen to that location before her death.

The guides at Rock Creek all knew the story of Archibald. One fellow was quite emotional and said Archibald was his hero for that act of compassion. They were fairly confident they knew the location of the rescue from journal accounts and the Willie Company log.

If you drive up there, the location is 7 miles farther east of the official Rock Creek camp area with the large grave of the 13 who perished that same night. (see marker photo) That would mean he walked 7 miles to find her and 7 miles back to the camp in soaked clothing.

Now, in July, the stream is low, and the shallow crossing and meadow is welcome after miles of dry plain. It has probably been altered by the mining operations in the area since the 1860's. These photos give you a peaceful and warm view of where a pivotal event took place in the life of Archibald McPhail on that cold October night so long ago.

I picture him as a man of humble circumstances who found great resolve to be a faithful steward in difficult circumstances on that October night. This one single experience in his mortal life has probably born a stronger testimony to his posterity than anything he could have done. I believe he is my hero too.

Lynn & Nikki Visit

My brother Lynn and his family stopped by for lunch a few weeks ago. Our nephew Mike and Collette's family came to visit too. The kids sure look big when you haven't seen them for a year.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Cousins' Camp

June brought Cousin's Camp.

Everyone was old enough to come except for little Reagan.

There was the painting the hats - never can have enough hats with all those fair skinned kids.

Then a little tetherball, sand pile, pouring and decorating the garden steps, naps, eating, movie nights with glow bracelets, breakfast on the desert, shooting, fossil hunting, crafts with sticky foam, printing, hand prints in the patio and the fish pond (great job Braden) to celebrate everyones birthday.

We had a guest appearance by the youngest cousin. She loved all the attention. We loved it and look forward to next year!

Closing a Chapter: Moving Grandpa and Grandma

Like a reading book, we have chapters in life. We were all a bit sad to see the Green River chapter close, but knew it was the best. The Boise chapter has been good for all concerned.

We marvel at the wonderful home Grandpa and Grandma made in Green River. It was gracious, clean, organized, and a treat to visit.

Here are a few pictures to remember their move. We are very grateful to Bob, their next door neighbor. He graciously watched over the house and yard all winter long and took care of the watering and mowing in the spring. Whenever we were there cleaning or packing or just wondering what to do next, he was there to help or visit a little. We should all be so luck to have a neighbor like that once in our lives.