Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Holiday blog - 2014

Nativity scene I took at our Ward Christmas party
It is hard to start a new blog. Evidently I haven't done enough musing since returning to Missouri. Or maybe I depended too much on Mongolia and our mission as easy and enjoyable subject matter. Doing a blog is hard work but so is writing a column. There is something about deadlines and obligations that motivates me. 

I realize that no news isn't exactly good either. So I've turning over a new leaf. 

This blog will be transferred to Musings in Missouri as soon as I get it designed and located on the Web. In the meantime, here it is. 

I will post our Thanksgiving photos, trip to NYC and Christmas photos to bring you up to date on our lives. 

But first - a status report. I had a health scare with a low heart rate. After wearing an EKG halter for 24 hours, upon viewing the results the cardiologist asked me, "Were you an athlete?" and practically kicked me out of his office with no return appointments. I don't remember being particularly athletic and my wife assured the doctor emphatically that I was not.  

I have a calling as a marriage and family relations teacher in our Sunday School and Darlene has a Family History Consultant calling. We have been called to serve as ordinance workers in the St. Louis temple. We will serve the morning shift during the 3rd week of every month. 

Darlene does a lot of work with food preservation, and emergency preparedness, Our home is back to the way we like it and I have run out of seasonal landscaping and gardening work to do.

Darlene helps out with our daughters who live by us in St. Louis, teaches piano to the grandchildren, travels to North Carolina and Pennsylvania to be with and assist two other daughters. Our St.Louis life is filled with grandchildren, church and home improvement activities.   

I will be doing some photography projects including a book on our mission in Mongolia. I will be looking into a writing a book on farm family business and personal communication. I have four speaking engagements in Iowa during January. I will also be signing up for a Russian language course at our local community college. 

Enough of that, here are some of our favorite pictures from our holiday and travel adventures. 
Gypsy couple with three grandchildren at Halloween 

Thanksgiving week. We went to Wilkes-Barre PA to visit our daughter Tally and her family.  Three other daughters and their children were able to come to Pennsylvania for a mini-reunion. 

A group of us went on to New York City for two days of touring. We headed back early to beat a winter snow storm moving through Pennsylvania. 
View from top of the Empire State Building 

The Statue of Liberty
Statue of Liberty from the shoreline 

World Trade Center number one 

Sept. 11 Memorial - waterfall where one building stood
Names of the victims surround the waterfall on all sides

Grand Central Station - our group is lined up in center
We went to Central Park and to the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Magnificent!

Plaza with sculptures 
Knights with armor and flags with coats of arms 

Washington crossing the Delaware

One of our favorite Marie Callas paintings
The New York street scene and Times Square was a highlight. Part of our group caught "Matilda", "Wicked" and "Beautiful" musicals one the two nights while we were there. 
Trevor and Alec Barney with street performers 

Statues of Liberty walking around on stilts 
Back to PA, We beat the snow storm back to Wilkes-Barre. It snowed a fluffy, soft eight inches and we we able to build an eight foot snow man. Also pictured is Tally and Eric's new home.Beautiful home in a picture perfect winter scene. 

Besides the great Thanksgiving meal, the cousins and Aunt Trista played games 
Christmas Eve Dinner. 

Christmas Eve Dinner with the St. Louis families and grandchildren at our home 

Our Mongolian and Hungarian nativities

Our grandchildren enact the nativity

Santa pays a visit

He attracted a lot of attention