Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Fun at String Lake

We met some new friends at String Lake in the Tetons last week. One of them had a GoPro camera and he put this sweet video together for us! The water was a bit chilly, as you can see from the looks on our faces after we jumped in.

Thursday, June 12, 2014


So what do you do when you have a porch that looks like this?

Most contractors said to tear it out and start over from scratch, but Grandpa E. believed it could be repaired.

The first thing Grandpa did was give it a lot of thought over a period of many months. He spoke with a lot of knowledgeable people about it, and asked them about their thoughts and opinions. He watched a lot of YouTube videos, and researched concrete products. He would not have done all this unless he believed it could be repaired.

Eventually, we set up a date to attempt the repair. Since Grandpa lives several hours away, he had us take pictures and send measurements so he could begin preparing the forms for the concrete. He bought some special cement - the kind they use for airport runways.

When Grandpa arrived, he went straight to work. And we helped him. Forming, reinforcing, mixing, pouring, and finishing cement is not easy work, especially when it sets up so quickly. We worked hard for several days.
When we first took the forms off after the concrete had set up, it didn't look so pretty. But we kept working at it. We mixed up more cement and filled in the voids. Then we mixed up more concrete with a special polymer bonder and painted it over the surfaces to make them appear uniform.

The finished result looks amazing!
See that wood trim? Grandpa thought of that even before he came down to make the repair.

I think this is a good example of faith.
  • First, Grandpa believed it was possible to repair the porch.
  • Next, Grandpa did a lot of pondering, research, and homework to see how the repair could be made. During this process, he came to have a vision of how the finished result might look.
  • Then Grandpa prepared everything he needed and set a date to make the repair. He was not entirely sure how it would turn out, but he had hope enough to make the attempt.
  • Grandpa worked really hard on the project for several days. He didn't give up when he was tired, or his muscles ached, or when things weren't looking so good.
  • We seemed to be blessed with 'Help from Above', such as good weather, and being able to purchase just the right amount of material.
Thanks Grandpa!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Delicate Arch - Family Pilgrimage

A photo of our family hike to Delicate Arch in 2013:

And here's our photo from today a year later:

Monday, April 7, 2014

Grandpa Loveridge

I said good bye to my Grandpa today.  There have been a handful of times that I thought l was seeing him for the last time and then he rallied.  This time though…  Three weeks ago he was knocked over by the wind as he went to get the garbage can.  (The same wind that knocked down my basketball stand 300 miles away.) He was taken to the hospital and when he was stable enough they moved him to a skilled nursing center near his home.  Friday he pulled out his feeding tube for the 3rd time.  He is not able to swallow and none of the care takers believe that his throat muscles will ever get strong enough to swallow on his own.  He has a Do Not Resuscitate order and after heart wrenching talks my Grandma, mom and uncles decided not to put the tube back in.  So today, when I left his bedside, it will likely be the last time I see him alive.  He’s 90.  He has had a good life.  A very good life.

Grandpa was passionate about a few things.  One was THE war.  And by THE war, I mean WWII.  It’s always been a bit of a family joke.  DON’T ask grandpa about the war.  Especially if you are about to leave and need to be somewhere soon.  I believe there is something in every person’s life that impacts them so much that it sets the stage for the rest of their life.  I believe THE war was that thing for grandpa.  He arrived in Hawaii shortly after Pearl Harbor.  He worked in the office so he had a unique perspective about everything that happened.  Grandpa wouldn’t hesitate to tell you his perspective.  In lengthy detail.  He loved and respected everyone that he met there.  They became a family.  Grandpa would attend almost all of their reunions, and the way he talked about the people he met left no doubt that he considered them his brothers. Yesterday when I visited him with my sisters he was talking about a soldier friend he knew in the war.  Even now THE war is with him.

Because of his close connection to THE war, Grandpa became passionate about Hawaii too.  He is not in love with the sandy beaches that promise relaxation and tropical paradise like most of us are. He loves Hawaii, the place, the people, the culture, the flowers, the food.  Growing up I loved eating macadamia nuts at grandpa’s house.  They are salty and a little bit soft, and not as nutty tasting as other nuts.  When they were covered in chocolate, well, needless to say us kids had to be restrained from too many of those!  We listened to the ukulele and grandpa’s house.  And we all learned to pluck out Aloha Oh!  On the organ in the “home teachers room” using the color coded music books.  Hawaii was as much a part of Grandpa as if he had grown up there.  Which in many ways, he probably did.

The only other place that Grandpa would visit that might have come close to Hawaii for Grandpa was Disneyland.  Long before Disneyland was a world wide entertainment giant, long before Disney was even a Florida sensation, Grandpa was there.  I’ve seen pictures of my mom and her brothers as kids there.  I’ve heard the stories of them driving out  to California to go to Disneyland.  Grandma and Grandpa even took me and my older brother there when we were in our early teens.  They were taking a group of high school seniors on their senior class trip and we got to tag along.  They have shared their love of Disneyland with all of us grand kids.

A passion for the gospel of Jesus Christ has always been a part of Grandpa’s life.  I think though that one of the highlights of his life was when the Mt. Timpanogas temple was built.  Grandpa worked there for 17 years!  (I think that is the right number.)  He went twice a week until just a while ago.  A few years ago when Grandpa was in the hospital with cancer, he was worried, and mad because he was missing his shifts at the temple!  It frustrated everyone that he was more worried about getting back to the temple than he was about the little things like eating and working on walking!  Even today I was told that he was trying to get out of bed to say his prayers.  Grandpa knows what he believes.  He believes in the gospel of Jesus Christ!

More than Hawaii, or Disneyland or THE war even, Grandpa has a passion for Grandma.  I remember Grandma telling me that Grandpa planted all of the rose bushes at their house so that he could bring her roses every day.  Their house always had a vase of fresh roses.  It smelled so good!  Grandma and Grandpa have been married for 67 years!! (Pretty sure that’s right too.)  In so many ways their marriage has been an amazing example.  Not because it was the perfect marriage where they got along perfectly all the time, but because even through their struggles and imperfections they chose to stay together and they chose to love each other.  When they got married all those years ago Grandpa was on a short leave from the war and he had to go back.  He had to leave her home and go finish out his service.  It’s hard to think of Grandma without Grandpa.  But I think that in the same way that they started their life together, they will start the next chapter of their eternal life together.  He is going to go ahead and plant some roses so that when it’s her turn to come she will have the ever familiar scent of fresh home grown roses to welcome her home.

Saturday, April 5, 2014