Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Fun in Utah, new baby and back to Arizona; Merry Christmas!

We spent a couple of weeks in Utah visiting with friends and family.  We had a great time getting to know Sister Smith's mother, Marjorie and her husband Drew.

Grandma Anderson took us to her club party.  Sister Hallam plays the accordion!

Most of the Utah Andersons were able to get together to celebrate Grandma's birthday.

We even got to hear Elder and Sister Taylor speak in their ward about their mission in Sendai.  Some of our favorite missionaries were there too!

The Provo Temple is almost ready for the open house.

Beautiful Temple Square

We were also able to attend the wedding reception for President and Sister Smith's daughter.  We loved seeing some Sendai missionaries and Sister Smith who was able to come from Japan for a few days.  Seth met us in Salt Lake and traveled to Arizona with us.

Our newest grandson arrived too!  Little Darren Liam Innes is here.  His name gives a nod to his great Uncle Warren and Great Grandpa and Uncle William.  

On our way back to Arizona to meet him, we stopped for a short visit with our friend Peggy that we met in Kazakhstan.  Lots of fun memories.

Chelsea's other boys taking a spin around the parking lot!

It's always a great time at the Duron Christmas Party!

Some wise guys

Amber was a cute little lamb.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Busy Two Weeks

This is the view of our Rancho Del Lago in Vail as we approach our neighborhood.  It's such a beautiful place to call home!

We had the services for our brother, Warren on Tuesday after we returned home.  It was in Phoenix.  It was a special blessing to be with our family to remember his life of service to others and his love for family and the gospel.

He will be sorely missed.  The services were beautiful.  Warren's children and grandchildren gave fine tribute to their father.

Here are Barbara and their children, Duncan, Tina and Rick.

This is Barbara and the four remaining Allens, Karine, Portia, Rebecca and I.  Our sister-in-law Kathy left before we took the photo.

We had a large turnout from our family.  Afterwards, we went to Heather's house before returning to Tucson.

The next day, Will & Sandy's kids had a Thanksgiving party at school.  I tagged along.

We had a great time celebrating Thanksgiving.

 Since our Idaho kids were in town, we decided to do the kids' gift exchange while we were together.

The Chewbacca PJs were a hit!  They made it a few rounds of trades.

Saturday afternoon we went to Saguaro Monument to take some family photos.  Even though we're missing two (in Brazil) we figured it would be some time before we got this many of us together again.  We'll have to post some photos soon.  This is some of us waiting to get started.

Then Sunday came along and we spoke in our Vail Ward.  It was so nice of the Rasmussens to come.  Also, Elder Hamilton's family drove down from Mesa.  We had lots of Sendai things to talk about!  Then a couple of days later, we met with the Rasmussens again over sushi.  It was great to reconnect!

And all of my sisters were able to come.  Portia left for California the next day.  Thanks to the Duron's for hosting us!

Then we drove up to Utah on Wednesday.  We loved seeing the beauties of the desert!

Aunt Vonda let us stay with her, even though Alan had on the wrong kind of shirt!

The grave side services were very touching.

Warren is laid to rest in beautiful Cache Valley near our dear parents.

The Navy flag was in a position of honor.

We were grateful that so many loved ones came to support the family.

Aunt Vonda hosted a luncheon afterwards.

And some of us still felt compelled to get some Aggie Ice Cream!  Isn't it against the law to go to Logan and not eat ice cream?

By Saturday evening, we had made our way to Idaho Falls to spend some time with Nolan & Keree's family.  We lucked in to their ward Christmas Party.

Today, we heard the news that a new stake has been formed in Tucson and we are now part of the Tucson South Stake.  Zion is growing!

Tonight we watched the Christmas Devotional and rejoice even more for the gift of the Savior and his plan that we know we will see our loved ones again.

It has been a very busy, emotional, happy, sad, beautiful couple of weeks!

Families are Forever!

Monday, November 23, 2015

We made it!

There has been some changes made at the mission home recently.  The garden is looking beautiful.

A new window has been installed for the master bathroom.

We had lots of good byes to say to our sweet friends.

Our friend Yasuki from Walbro invited us to dinner.

We went to our Indo Curry place one last time.  BTW, our friend, the owner finally got his driver's license!

Some of our sweet little sisters surprised us with matching hats.

And our dear Sister Furukawa came by to tell us good bye and send us off with a sack lunch!

Then that last ride to the airport when it was our turn to leave instead of sending someone else off.  They say that when you go home, you will cry all the way to the airport, but you will not miss that plane!

All our connections were on time, without much to spare, so we were happy everything went OK, except when Alan had to remove his belt & suspenders to get through security.  Well, he's lost a few pounds!

Two of my sisters were able to meet us in Phoenix, along with Seth and Heather and her girls.  (Abby had made a pilgrim hat at school.)  Then, Nolan and his family, William, Chelsea & her boys and Sunny and her children met Alan at the Tucson airport.  It was a more emotional reunion than most since we heard the news of losing our dear brother.

On Saturday, they all worked at the aid station for El Tour de Tucson, an old family tradition.  We started doing this for a mutual activity with our old ward and just kept going and going.

Harmony & Kanela got to help former congress woman Gabi Gifford

Seth & I got there at the end of the day

Grandma hug attack!

Grandpa telling stories about Japan.  How did we end up with so many little kids?

Today we got to enjoy the primary program.  And it was a real treat to hear our Jacob bless the sacrament (in English!) and Michael helped pass.  We love our family!