Another year has rolled around incredibly quickly. I can’t believe that it is already time to write our Christmas letter. We love sharing our year with you and look forward to your cards and letters also. We have been well blessed and have had a good year all in all.
I asked Larry to help me with things that we had done this year and after some thought realized we’d done more than we thought we had. We made a trip to Las Vegas the first of April to see Nathan and Stephanie and our new granddaughter, Avonlea. We also made a last minute day trip to Idaho to help Marla decorate graves on Memorial Day. While there we celebrated a bit with my Father’s last living sister, Aunt June. She was 90 years old that day. We’ve been working on the basement of the cabin. We’ve put up the drywall and have been working on the unpleasant task of taping and mudding. Still much work to do there. With trees to cut down and a cabin to finish, it seems like it is always a work in progress, but we enjoy our time there. We’ve been to Idaho for my family reunion in June, hosted the Millett reunion at our cabin in July and were back up to Idaho for our niece, Emily’s, wedding the first of August. So I guess we’ve done a bit this year and enjoyed our family immensely.
Larry and I are still working at our same places of employment. Larry is still the financial clerk at church and I’m still serving as the secretary in the Relief Society Presidency. Brandi and Sadie, our two kids, (I mean labs) still bring us a lot of joy and companionship. They also both enjoy terrorizing our cat, Tabby, and they love being up at the cabin digging for whatever small animal they can hear under the ground.
Our children and grandchildren have such a special place in our hearts and we love spending time with them whenever we can.
Shannon, Chris, and Jennsen have made a move from Tooele to Grantsville. They wanted to have a little more land to have their horse Sue at their place. Well….to say the least their" little more land" has grown into a small little ranch. They now have 3 horses, 2 goats, along with their 2 dogs and 2 cats they already had. They love their new family members and are enjoying a lot of family time with them. We are so happy for them. Jennsen is a senior and will be graduating this year.
Jamie and Bruce are happy and well. Starley graduated this past year. Zac just turned 16 in November and Trevor will turn 16 in January. They are both sophomores and enjoying playing sports. Dallin is 9 and trying to keep up with his big brothers and is also enjoying raising a few chickens in their back yard.
Devin, Charity, and Kylee love spending time in the mountains at their cabin as a family. They love fishing and hunting together. Charity got her first deer this year. Kylee is now 10 and in 4th grade and growing so tall.
As I said above, Nate and Steph have added a new member to their family this year. February 23rd our cute little Avonlea joined the Walker family. She’s a doll and also growing like crazy. We’ve enjoyed watching text and face book videos that they send to us and hopefully we will get a chance to go down to Vegas and see them again soon.
At this time of year we are so grateful for the Savior’s birth and the blessing his life and atonement has brought to our lives. May this season bring you and your families love and happiness, and may the coming year be bright. We love you all and think of you often. Have a Merry Christmas and the happiest of New Years.
We headed up to Idaho this year for the annual Willard Reunion. It was June 21st through the 23rd. Marla was in charge and did a fantastic job. The site was a beautiful one with lots to enjoy. It was about an hour North of Mountain Home, Idaho in the Boise National Forest, just outside Pine, Idaho. Larry and I took off Thursday morning after getting our two girls into the kennel. We actually met Roberta and Keith and Bonnie and Randy, along with 3 of their grandchildren (Kraig's kids) at the rest stop just south of Brigham City, UT. So we traveled together. Georgia and Richard, Jennie and John (Pace) were just behind us about an hour. We arrived about 3:00 on the 21st and got our tent set up. We then just enjoyed visiting and waited for the Milletts to arrive. After they got there and got their tents all set up we started dinner. We roasted hotdogs and had salads and made smores which was fun. Marla had assigned each sibling an animal, we were the Bears. We of course each had a family jingle that we shared and then posted our flags. The Kopps were the Racoons, the Stowes were Porcupines, the Hegerhorsts were the Skunks, Milletts were the Beaver, Cliff's family flag had the Moose (we missed them this year) My Uncle Lee Bird also came up to spend some time with us. He was, of course a bird, the Owl. I don't know why I missed Roberta's flag. I think it was just because she was first and it took me a minute to think "Oh yeah, how about taking some pictures...". The remainder of the evening we just socialized, played games etc. After a good nights rest we arose to a delicious breakfast of pancakes and the works. The men all pitched in and helped with the cooking. I love that part!! It was a bit of a cooler morning and the plan was to go down to the river and float on tubes or play....but it was decided to do the crafts first and let the day warm up. Marla had planned something for the kids, ladies and the men. Mark had everything ready for the men to make marshmallow blow guns and then after they finished they had a little war out in the trees..kinda like paint ball. I was busy doing my craft and didn't even think to take any pictures, which makes me mad, because it was so great and everyone of them were out hiding and shooting and having so much fun! The kids painted their own frisbee's and beach balls. They had a lot of fun doing that also. The ladies all made a journal with a composition book and scrapbook papers and some vinyl. We really enjoyed making that and I even brought some extra stuff home to make a few more for the girls in my family. After having lunch we got ready to head down to the river. There were some hot pots along the river, I thought it would be fun to sit in them and we also took our tubes down in case we decided to float down the river. When we got there the hot pots were really just that, HOT! I couldn't believe how hot they were...and the river...it was COLD! I didn't take my camera down to take any pictures so again..nothing to show for it. Larry, Richard and Ben (Emily's fiance') decided to take the plunge and head down the river on some tubes. They were pretty successful, although Larry kinda got put on the side of the river where he didn't really have a place to get out. He ended up climbing up a pretty steep mountain side to get to a road to walk back. I found a spot to sit along the bank where it was sometimes warm and sometimes cold...it was weird. The kids all had fun playing in the water and Jennie and Emily also got brave enough to try tubing the river. The afternoon was very enjoyable. That evening we had a yummy dutch oven dinner of chicken and potatos. And on the schedule that evening was a dutch oven dessert cook off from the men of our families. Each had brought their own recipe of a delicious dessert. (I'm sure the wives all helped, I know I helped Larry) While those were baking we had our annual raffle. This year I made 4 sets of 6 homemade cards. There were a lot of other fun things there too. I was fairly lucky and ended up with Bonnie's quilt, Roberta's table runner, a hair band that Becky had sent, a menu board made by Georgia and also a cool apron for Larry to use when he is grilling. After the raffle it was time to try out all the desserts....YUMMMY! The rest of the night was spent around the fire, playing games, visiting ect. The next morning we had breakfast in a bag for breakfast. Fun to make and delicious to eat. We then had our family meeting and talked about our families and things that had happen over the past year. I love this time of hearing about my sisters families and my nieces and nephews and how they are doing. My family is so important to me and I want to know about how they are all doing and what is happening in their lives. After the meeting we had some down time until lunch so most of us finished up getting our camps cleaned up. We had all done some of that earlier in the morning when it was cooler. After lunch we helped Marla and Mark and the girls finish up cleaning up our area and then got packed up. Roberta and Keith and my Uncle Lee, who had left earlier that morning, headed home. The rest of us went on over to the Hegorhorst Farm and finished the weekend there. Thanks Hegerhorst and all your work. We had a great time at the reunion this year!!
I've had the opportunity to spend time with both my father's and mother's last living siblings lately. The last of my aunts and uncles, the thought makes you see life in a whole new light. It seems odd to see yourself as the older generation, I surely don't feel like I am. Don't worry it will happen to all of you. My mother was the youngest in her family until she turned 18 and then a baby brother was born in her family. My Uncle LeRoy (he prefers to go by Lee) was born not too far before my oldest sisters, so he actually seems to be more like a nephew on the family tree than the Uncle. Since I am sooooooooooooooooooo much younger however he is much more an uncle to me. :) While we were out to Vernal for Garrett's wedding I had the opportunity to spend the day with him. He has always been so supportive of our family and is good to come to anything he possibly can. I hope that he will be able to attend our Willard Family Reunion this month. I know he will be there if he can. On the side note, Larry and I usually get season tickets to the play at Pioneer Theater in Salt Lake City, and to make a long story short, Uncle Lee and Aunt Kathy have decided to join us this year. I look forward to spending a monthly date with him this Fall and Winter. Love you Uncle Lee
My Uncle Lee and all my sisters
This past Memorial Day Larry and I made a spur of momment decision and went to Idaho to decorate the graves. What a long day, but that's a whole different story. Anyway, my father's sister that is just about an year and a half older than he was was turning 90 years old. I had sent her a card because I didn't think I'd see her. She had a big birthday party that her kids did for her the week before, but her actual birthday was on Memorial Day this year. Anyway, after we decorated graves in Wendell, Aunt June arrived to decorate her family graves. We told her we would help her, but she said "I don't know if I will be here next year and I want to decorate all my famiies graves myself." All but one of her siblings are buried there in the Wendell Cememtary,that would be 8 of them, along with her parents and grandparents. Her sister Beauton is in Twin Falls and actually Aunt June will be buried in Shoshone next to her husband. After we finished at the cemetary went back to my niece Katie's house. Some of the family like to have a little potluck and it became a little birthday party for my Aunt June. She looked very good and was still getting around very well. Still glad to have her around. Love you too Aunt June.
Marla and I with Aunt June on her 90th birthday
Here's just a few other pictures of Memorial Day in Wendell
Mom and Dad's grave Grandma and Grandpa Willard and Andersen's graves
Emily and her fiance', Ben
On May 11th a dear nephew was married in the Vernal Temple. Garrett chose a cute and wonderful girl from Vernal, Kaitlynn Winn. The funnny thing is that I've known her since she was born also. I lived right around the corner from her parents and we were in the same ward in Vernal. Anyway, she's a very cute girl with a wonderful family. I was so happy for him and it was so evident by the smile on his face that he was an extremely happy young man that day. Amazingly they also had the opportunity to buy home before they were married.
Not many young couples are able to do that. It's also fun that he is living in Kaitlyn's and my old ward. I've got spies that can keep an eye on him.
Garrett is a special nephew as I was also able to be his 2nd grade teacher, so I spent a lot of time with him. He called me Miss Willard at school and sometimes when I was over at their house I had to tell him he could call me Aunt Patsy and that we were off the clock. I don't know it really mattered what he called me, the class all knew he was my nephew.
I really don't have favorites when it comes to my 28 nieces and nephews, I love them all very much. (Don't want any of the others to think I have favorites.) I've had a lot of time to spend with them all and they are all a special part of my life. However, I did have opportunity to be even a bigger part of Garrett's life and I'm happy that he has been successful so far and hope for great things for him in his and his new family's lives. Best of luck to Garrett and Kaitlynn!! May you cherish each other and always remember this special day and how much you love each other. Love to you from me.
On a side note, all my sisters were there and so we had to take a few pictures together and so I wanted to add some of those to this post. It is always good to be with my family. I'm grateful that we try to stay in touch and are there to support each other and our families. Love you sisters and hubbies!!
Well....so it has been a few months since I have put my fingers to the keyboard and added anything to this blog, but I'm no longer teaching and this is my first week out of school and I decided it is time to put something down. I know that it doesn't work too well to try and go back to all the things you've missed posting, but I just have to put some of these things down as I like to use this as a bit of a journal.
I'm going to go clear back to December of 2011. We were all so excited as a family to have Nate and Steph come up. They had moved to Las Vegas from Georgia and we hadn't been able to get together as a whole family since they moved. Steph was pregnant with their first and was due the first week of March.
With her family in Georgia we wanted Steph to have a baby shower, so we decided while they were here we would have a baby shower. Shannon, as always, went way overboard and planned the whole thing.
We also enjoyed Christmas Eve together as a family. Nate and Steph needed to leave Christmas Day, so we felt Christmas Eve would work best. I asked the girls to each make a soup and then I ordered bread bowls and also made a soup. Along with a few other things added to our meal, we really enjoyed our evening with visiting and having fun together. As you can see I must have been very busy just enjoying the family, because the only picuter I got was this one of Chris a little out of it.
(Not really, we were just having a bit of fun.) The next morning Larry and I opened our gifts together and made phone calls to the kids. And this is the problem with not writing it down right away, but I believe it was the next day that we went to the cabin to spend the rest of the Christmas Vacation. There was hardly any snow as you will see in the pics. We did do a little snowmobiling, but stayed totally on the roads. I read a lot and enjoyed just being a bum and relaxing.
Well...even though Nate and Steph's baby was due the first week of March she ended up coming on February 23, 2012. Avonlea Mary-Hazel Walker was born at 9:42PM Pacific Time. We would have liked to go down right away, but didn't quite work into our schedule. Although the best Aunt and Uncle, Shannon and Chris, went down the week after she was born. Spring Break was coming up the first week of April so decided to wait until then.
We thought it would be fun to make it a family affair, so Larry and I went down in Jamie's Burb, along with Jamie,of course,Dallin, Zac and Shannon went back down with us. Jamie and us stayed at a hotel and Shannon stayed at Nate and Steph's. We were there about 3 days and just enjoyed playing with Avonlea and doing a little shopping, of course out to eat and visiting. I just have to share a "few" pics. :)
Avonlea is now 3 months old and getting cuter everyday. I thought I'd also through in some of her professional pics that make her look even cuter.
In May a previous student and my nephew, Garrett got married. I am excited for him as he seems so HAPPY, but I think I will actually do a small post on that seperately after this one is finished or else this will be very long. Just to bring us up to date now. Last Thursday our eldest granddaughter, Starley Polei graduated from Tooele High School. It was the day before school got out for me and it was in Salt Lake City at the Huntsman Center at 4:00pm.
Larry and I both wanted to be there and so I found someone at school that could watch my class for the last 1 1/2 hours of the day so I could get away and make it in there for it. Jamie and Bruce volunteered to pick me up that way I could just meet Larry in there. So I hurried home and got ready.
It was suppose to be best dressed, which I thankful that they did. On a side note, I'm glad that they wanted to make this a true Pomp and Circumstance affair, and not have people coming in just whatever they wanted. Although there was a few there in whatever, most were well dressed.
Anyway off my soap box....it was a nice evening and I liked that the kids did most of the whole thing themselves. The only speakers were from their class and a couple of muical numbers also from the class. It was really nice, and as always we only got a few pictures after as she was flitting here and there to see friends. She went out to dinner afterwards with her mother and Trevor and so we went out with Bruce and Jamie and Dallin.
It was a very pleasant evening. We have Jennsen graduating next year so I thought that it would be like this year and that Stansbury High would graduate after Tooele again and that way graduation wouldn't be until 7:00pm....but after looking at the district's calendar for next year they are flip flopping, so looks like I'll be finding someone to watch my class again next year. Oh well!!!
Well, this isn't super detailed but it is long enough and it has basically caught me up on the main events since I wrote last. Life is good and family is all important. I'm grateful for Larry's kids and being able to be a part of their families. It's been a good year thus far and I'm sure there are many more good things to come in 2012.
Thought it would be fun to keep a little journal this way, and I have to get up to speed with my nieces who are blogging. I'm a 4th grade teacher and have enjoyed teaching for 29 years. I'm married to the most wonderful man and have a step family that I love and have become just as much mine as they are Larry's. We have 4 children and 6 terrific grandchildren and there will be 7 in March. By the way...the baby with me in the picture is my beautiful niece Cortni LaDawn. She has my middle name.