My nephew Jeremy with his 14-month-old daughter Makayla. His wife Cami is seated in the background.
On the weekend before Thanksgiving, we made a quick trip to Mesa to take care of some shopping for Jacob's missionary needs. It turned out to be a fun weekend filled with family activities. Unfortunately, Sarah had to work over the weekend and was unable to travel with us.
Jeremy and Cami's two older children, 4-year-old Analyce and 2-year-old Jaren, just after they woke up Saturday morning.
My oldest nephew, Jeremy, and His wife Cami invited us to stay at their nice new home in Santan Valley. It was fun to have the extra time to visit with them. They recently moved back to the Mesa area when Jeremy found a piloting job closer to family there. He flies air-evac helicopters.
20 Nov 2010: Ed and Jacob in front of the Mesa Temple.
On Saturday morning we went to the temple in Mesa with my sister Karla and her daughter Genevieve. After our session we enjoyed lunch in the temple cafeteria. This was Ed's third temple session and Jacob's second, and for both it was the first time to attend a temple other than the one near us in Snowflake.
I have special memories of the Mesa Temple due to serving there as an ordinance worker from November 1983 to December 1985. The best two years of my life!
Jacob with his benefactor, Lorin Hatch.
While in Mesa, Jacob met with a man who collects donated missionary clothing as a hobby, then provides it to missionaries free of charge! We met him at his home and he took us to a large closet literally overflowing with suits and other missionary clothing staples. He gave Jacob two nice suits, two white shirts, and a pair of hardy shoes. We can't begin to express our gratitude for his generosity.
Blue Ridge versus Florence High School.
After meeting with Brother Hatch, we headed into Phoenix for the semi-final game of the high school football playoffs. Blue Ridge dominated!
Jacob, cousin Julien, and Dylan at the game.
We invited my nephew Julien to watch the game with us, and the boys had a good time. While there, we ran into my brother Jeff, his wife Dana, and their kids, who were waiting for the Show Low game to begin after ours ended. We all filled up on the kettle corn that little Callie generously insisted we share with her!
20 Nov 2010: Jacob and Dylan spend a few hours with their dad, Mark.
After the game, we drove back to Mesa and dropped Jacob and Dylan off at their great grandma Helen's house so they could spend a few hours with their dad. They always see him when they can, but this visit was extra special because Jacob won't get to see his dad again for the next two years.
After we dropped off the boys, Ed and I headed over to Organ Stop Pizza for some ice cream. We had just realized that the next day, November 21st, would be our 6-month anniversary!
Ed protects his ice cream from my niece, Celesta!
It just so happens that my nieces and nephews have been working at Organ Stop Pizza for many years, with the younger ones replacing the older ones as they grew up and moved on to bigger and better things. We got to spend some time visiting with my niece Celesta while there.
My niece Brianna with her friend Bryce at Organ Stop.
We also ran into my niece Brianna just as she was leaving at the end of her shift. She was the last of Karla's daughters that Ed had yet to meet, so it was a fortuitous meeting. (He still hasn't met my nephew Josh yet.)
We visited at Karla's house for the rest of the evening before picking up the boys from their visit with their dad. Then on Sunday morning we attended church at Karla's ward, after which we returned to Jeremy and Cami's house, where everyone gathered for a delicious luncheon featuring Mexican chicken casserole.
Scott takes a dive into frigid November waters.
While we were there, Genevieve's husband Scott decided to do a polar bear plunge into the pool. We all agreed he was nuts! It may be warmer in Mesa than most places this time of year, but that water was still very cold!
Dylan goes for a cannonball approach to his soak.
I didn't think Dylan would do it, but he borrowed a swimsuit from Jeremy and followed Scott in! I'm sure I don't know what those two were thinking!
Karla with her grandbaby Makayla (and Jacob in the background).
Makayla with her mommy, Cami.
Ed tended to our 8-month-old great-nephew Max while lunch was being prepared.
Max's older sisters, 5-year-old Brooke (left) and 3-year-old Jaycee.
Genevieve and Scott, proud parents of Brooke, Jaycee, and Max. (And Karla hamming it up in the background...)
We enjoyed a great visit with everyone, and after the meal we packed up and headed home with mixed feelings. We always look forward to sleeping in our own beds again, but we're also sad to say good-bye to loved ones. I'm so glad that families are forever!