Wednesday, November 11, 2015

We're Terminating this Parkinson Family Blog

Well, after a bit over 7 years, we are ending this family blog. We have decided to capture our family doings in photos and verbiage and put them into Publisher documents from which we'll then create books. We're gradually consolidating and converting past blog postings into books too. We recognize that very few folks have been following our blog over the last several years anyway, and we have really been using the postings more as journal entries for ourselves. So this is it. Thanks for following us over the years.
Spencer and Gayle

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Late Summer 2015

Alicia and Mike successfully organized and managed their second annual First Dam Pancake Run. It was a fun event and well attended. And fortunately, the weather was great and by starting an hour later the wind was not a factor as it was last year.

The event organizers smiling after a lot of hard work.
 Gayle actually started jogging weeks before and was able to do the 5K run. I again did the 10K run. 
IHOP Pancake man with the runners at starting line just before race.
 And we're off! Mike started us with the megaphone off to the right. Gayle and I are left of center in the shot.
 Jared was once again one of the volunteers.
 I was able to finish while still smiling. I opted out of the colored powder throw though.
 Arleen was able to come after her shift at work. She's a trooper!
 And even Stephen and Susan, on a visit from California, dropped by to see the festivities.

 Two irmãos (Portuguese equivalent of hermanos in Spanish) with mom and Gayle.

 Steve and the ladies.

 Gayle, about to leave on a workout.
 On a visit to Logan, Avril and McKel were able to attend our stake Primary Carnival. They had a blast!
 They got to ride on a train in Lundstrom Park.
 They also got to help the train "engineer" on one of the rides.
Dressed for a run, and standing next to our berm.
A beautiful lady!

 Once I took the sisters on the Logan River Trail for a walk up to the Stokes Nature Center.

 Nancee Large and Gayle at this year's BYU Education Week. These two are BFF dating back to our days in Saugus, CA.
 Sometimes we pick up Avril from school, like when we take her to ballet class. At Indian Hills Elementary the kids each have their own locker.
 Gayle took some shots to show how the house currently looks (or did a few weeks ago). Here's the front flower bed.
 Looking toward the deer at the side of the house.
 Berm. Still in need of improvements.
 Front planters.
 Another angle of the front.
 Lamp post planter.
 From the street.
 Different angle.
 From in front of the berm toward the house.
 Seiko is the returned Japanese sister missionary in the center. The others are Chinese students who just arrived to finish their last two years' undergrad work at USU - after completing their first two years in China. Gayle met most of them on a shuttle up from Provo (they got on in SLC). We took them on a tour of the temple grounds, tabernacle, Family History Center, and First Dam. All are great young people. Seiko is the only member.
 With us.
 I again did Lotoja with Brent Mortensen's family. Here I am after just riding the Montpelier, ID to Afton, WY leg (47 miles with two mountain passes) in a relatively good time of 2:31.
 Four out of our five riders. Melissa, David's wife, rode the Logan to Preston segment, but then returned home to Logan in one of the vehicles. This shot is in Alpine Junction as Brent is about to head up the Snake River canyon en route to Teton Village near Jackson Hole, WY.
 McKel is taking a gymnastics class. Here's a shot of the class and its two instructors.
 She's even learning about parallel bars. Avril continues her ballet class. McKel also is on a T-ball team, and both are in another dance class held at McKel's day care center. Avril continues to take piano lessons as well. Boy, life is busy!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Mid-Summer Events/Carlsbad/Tour of Utah

 Mom's uncle Ted, her mother's youngest brother, passed away down in New Mexico. The service was held for Ted Larsen up in Preston, ID. This is a shot of his kids and most of the spouses up at the Preston cemetery.  His children were around my age and younger, so I mainly knew Barry (now goes by Ted), and Kent (the two men standing at the left in the group).
 David, mom, and Elmo next to their parents' headstone.
My great-grandparents' headstone. These were mom's maternal grandparents, and parents of Ted Larsen. I knew them both, and had fun playing pool at their house in Preston, growing up.

 We enjoyed watching Alicia's girls off and on over this period.  Here they are with Debbie Kent's girls (Nikki, Audrey, and Ella).
Nothing more fun than a sleepover! Here they test out some new foam pads we got just for this purpose.
We also got to have Trish and the guys over for a visit. Here George and Parker go on a deer ride.
 Avril has fun swinging while McKel helps Edison swing.
 McKel seemed to become attached to Edison during this visit. Here she helps him play on our front yard.
Members of Gayle's Sunday School class wearing hats as a part of a lesson.
 The two cute sisters at their East Village University apartment.
 Relaxing while getting ready for a Spanish Camp class.  The other girls are daughters of the teacher, who is a nice young mom from Mendoza, Argentina who now lives in SLC.
 While visiting Ali and the girls we got to take them to a water activity, which included Otter Pops and a slip n' slide.
 Enjoying the shade on a hot day.
 There was a line for the slip n' slide, but the wait was worth it! This line gives a peak at the diversity in the housing area. Asians, Hispanics, and not shown are mid-easterners, Africans, etc.
 The girls also attended art classes. Avril is pasting fun items onto this piece.
 I'm helping McKel get a glue container to work right.
 We did fun self-portraits. See if you can tell who's is who's (Gayle and I participated).
 This busy day included the water activity, the art class, and now a concert (with Ali now joined in) at the Red Butte Garden. This featured a rock band and a ballet company. We enjoyed it, other than the sun in our eyes.
We ate our dinner on the grass while watching the concert.
 After the concert we walked the garden. The girls especially liked the children's garden.
 At the koi fish pool.
The girls wanted to live at the garden!
 Back at the apartment, Avril and McKel prepared a pretend cookout one afternoon.

Mom taught Jared how to sew some material for curtains for his home. Jared has begun the process of furthering his education in the field of Computer Science.
 Testing out the fishing game Gayle used in her Sunday School class.
 Avid bike riders with proper helmets in place.
 Kicking back at Nana's and Papa's.
 When we and some other girls visiting the neighborhood first saw these on the berm while it was being sprinkled, we thought they had fallen out of a nest in a tree. However, after drying and warming them up, I figured out (with help from Google) that they were, in fact, baby quail - of which there are many in the neighborhood. Not sure how they got left on our berm.
 The girls loved the little chicks and constantly were holding them and trying to help them.
 We couldn't see if they were eating any of the crushed seeds and water we left for them. Eventually we left them in the Kents' fenced-in backyard where the quail families apparently live.
 Eating lunch outside is always fun.
 We visited Great Harvest for a snack one day. Pumpkin bread is just too tempting.
We went to the Logan City Library for an activity about the old west. Howdy folks!

Working on a craft at the Library.
Gayle and I drove to Carlsbad, CA the last week of July. En route we stayed at the Tropicana in Vegas and caught the Cirque du Soleil show "One" (Michael Jackson music). We were able to visit with President and Sister Walker (my former mission president) in Henderson. In Carlsbad we stayed with our good friends the Willardsons (Tom was a contemporary missionary in Mexico with me). One day we went to the Gliderport in La Jolla to watch the paragliders up close. This shot is from near the bluffs above Black's Beach and just south of Torrey Pines Golf Course.
Lots of the riders went in tandem, meaning it was a pilot taking a passenger for a ride (for a fee, of course). Here two are about to be fully airborne. There were easily more than a dozen gliders in the sky.
 Looking south to the La Jolla Cove area. You can just make out the Scripps Pier also.
 A poster at the gliderport.
 Lifeguards over Black's Beach. Obviously they would have to call/radio a colleague to rescue anyone, since they are high above the beach.
 Magnolia Elementary in Carlsbad, where I played lots of Four Square and Tether-ball, and attended 5th and 6th grades. The whole area, including the school, has changed dramatically since we lived here '61 to '64.
 The side of the school with which I was more familiar, since both my classrooms had been on this, the west, side.
 I literally had to check the number on the mail box to ensure this was our former residence. It now has a pool, a smaller backyard (part sold to another development behind this lot), a driveway down the right side, an office where our garage had been, two stories for part of the house, a back addition that is a split level, etc. The new owners (as of a year ago), are from Georgia originally and are a young family. We were told (by Tim Houts) the house sold for $1.5 million. We also met the family living in what was the Johnson's house (Lance, Carol, and Keith). The Houts' house is now occupied by none other than Tim Houts, one of the two boys living there when we were the neighbors. We had a long visit with Tim, his wife, and their 18 yr. old son.
Tom and I enjoyed a few moments of guitar jamming, although I was pretty rusty. I played his Martin while he played his Taylor, both premier guitars.
 We drove to El Cajon to take the very popular Taylor Guitar factory tour. You can play the guitars in the showroom.
 Gayle with some of the showroom models.
Couldn't be in Carlsbad without at least one wave-catching session at Tamarack.
 The Willardsons were such gracious hosts. They even took us sailing (they're in a club) out of a marina just across the street from the Del Coronado Hotel.
 We went under the Coronado Bridge.
I managed the jib while Tom took the rudder.
The Monday we were back was the first stage of the Tour of Utah, a 7 stage international professional bike race that started this year in Logan. Here is a shot looking toward the finish line (150 meters away) on 100 East in Logan, before the peloton and breakaway group got there for the 2 lap circuit loop before the finish. The ladies did what is called a Criterium race this day also in Logan. The men's stage went up Logan Canyon, around Bear Lake, back down the canyon, and then another 4 miles on this circuit, for a total of 134 miles, at a blistering pace, and in the rain most of the time. Gayle and I watched them head up Logan Canyon, and later I went downtown to watch the fanfare at the finish. This brief video clip shows the winners passing by on the way to the finish line, with the rest of the group following. It was an exciting event.