Sunday, December 23, 2012

Temple Day

Caleb went to the temple today for his first time.  He is getting ready to leave on his mission to New Mexico next month.  Also Kim went to the temple for her first time.  She is getting ready for her wedding to Isaac.  A lot of us went up to Seattle with them so it made the occasion really special.
This is the Seattle Temple.  It was a sacred occasion and we were happy to be able to share it with them.

This is the angel Moroni who's statue stands atop the temple.  He is blowing his trumpet inviting people to come unto Jesus Christ and accept the gospel.  Visit the church website for more information:

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Spokane Again

We made another trip up to Spokane.  We were picking up Caleb who finished his first semester at BYU Idaho and is coming home to get ready for his mission.  We had a fun visit, we got Caleb okay, and there was snow.

 This is our grandson Ashton who likes to dress up to play in the snow.

 This tree in the front yard was beautiful with the white and the red.

 Evan and Molly in front of the Christmas tree.

 James and Molly.

The one bad thing was the toilet.  I tried to fix the handle and change the interior for them and ended up causing a leak which we could not get stopped.  We left with the toilet broken and leaking water.  Sorry.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Ancestor Stories #3 Einion of Harlech Castle

One of our ancestors was the Constable of Harlech Castle in Wales.  His name was Einion and he was born in Carniarth, Wales in the early 1400's.  Einion of Carniarth is my 18th great-grandfather (back 20 generations).

 Harlech Castle in Wales.

Front entrance to Harlech Castle.

Entrance to the inner castle.

 A view of some towers.

 Up on top of the walls.

 A view of the interior courtyard between the inner and outer walls.

 A sketch of the castle.  Note the inner and outer set of walls forming a castle within a castle.

The grounds and some outer perimeter walls.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thanksgiving at Nathanael's house

We had Thanksgiving this year at Nathanael and Mary-Anne's house in Lehi, Utah.  It was a long drive but well worth the trip.  We had a lot of fun and it was great to visit with everyone.

Here's Nathanael carving the turkey.  Mary-Anne did an outstanding job preparing the Thanksgiving dinner and it was so good.  We ate so much the whole time, it was so delicious.

Here's little Jacob, our cute little grandson.

I tried to get a closeup with Jacob but it looks like I scared him a little.  He's very friendly and loves to play.

Isaac and his fiance Kim got to join us, although most of the time they were mostly paying attention to each other.  They are getting married in less than a month.

Our grandson Dallen came with us.  He kept us company on the long drive out from Spokane and it was nice to have him along.

 On Thanksgiving morning Nathanael wanted to go play football. 

 Dallen and I were watching while Nathanael and Caleb played.  Caleb is in the blue shorts.

Unfortunately it didn't end well as we had to make a trip to the hospital.  Nathanael got hurt real bad and actually broke five ribs.  It's going to take about 6 weeks to totally heal.  I felt real bad for him.

 Jacob's favorite pastime seemed to be playing with cars.  He rolls them all around. 

One day we went out to BYU Provo and Isaac showed us around.  We also saw the apartment where he and Kim are going to be living.  It's unfurnished so if anyone has extra furniture they need things.

We also stopped at BYU Idaho and Caleb showed us around and we saw his room in the dorms.  I don't have any pictures but we got to stop by Tianna's house and visit twice on the trips out and back and went to church with them.

Thanks Nathanael and Mary-Anne, we really appreciate you opening your house up to us and being such great hosts during Thanksgiving.  We had a wonderful time.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Caleb's Mission Call

Caleb received his mission call from President Monson to serve a mission in the New Mexico Farmington Mission.
He will be going on a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints for two years to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ
The boundaries of the New Mexico Farmington Mission cover parts of four states - New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and Utah.  It covers a lot of land.

Most of the mission is Native American reservations.  It's a new mission just formed two years ago and the church news report said it was formed with the intent to put renewed emphasis on Native Americans.  Here you can see some of the reservations that are in the mission.  The biggest is the Navajo Nation.

Caleb will report to the MTC on January 16th.  Congratulations Caleb, we are very happy for you and proud of you.

Monday, November 19, 2012


We got a new squirrel feeder from Mom and Dad.

 Our big gray squirrels are so large they can hardly get inside.

On Sunday I counted seven squirrels in the backyard.  They've been very busy collecting and hiding food and we see them digging around in the yard all the time.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Museum of Flight

Jacquelyn and I went to the Museum of Flight to see the Space Shuttle display.  It's so close to where I work that I walked over there and met her during my lunch break.

We had a good time together.  This is a picture from inside the Shuttle Bay looking up at an Inertial Upper Stage (IUS) booster just coming out of the shuttle into space.  The IUS is built by Boeing and was used to take satellites up to higher orbits.  I worked on that program for 5 years back in the early 90's and got to be in a Mission Control station down at Kennedy Space Center for a Space Shuttle launch.

 Here's my beautiful wife next to an astronaut suit.

 We also took of tour of an Eisenhower/Kennedy era Air Force One.

 The Presidential Conference room inside.

Also saw a large number of airplane displays.  Jacquelyn got to sit in the cockpit of an SR=71 Blackbird spy plane.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Veteran's Day

We celebrate all the veterans today.  Jacquelyn and I are both veterans.  We were in the U.S. Air Force.
We were both stationed at SAMSO (Space and Missile Systems Organization) at Los Angeles Air Force Station.  That's were we met each other and got married.  Lt. Swift and Lt. Swift.

 This is my senior picture from the Air Force Academy.

Here's Lt. Swift hard at work at her desk working for DARPA as a Cost Analysis for the Air Force on new technology development programs.  This is a picture of girl I met and started dating and fell in love with.

This is Jacquelyn as a Captain. 

Here we are in our formal Mess Dress at a big Military-Industrial Conference called WINCON that Jacquelyn was in charge of organizing.

Then I got out of the Air Force and Jacquelyn took a transfer to McConnell AFB in Wichita, Kansas where she stayed in the Air Force for several more years.

We were lucky not to have had to experience any wars while we were in.  I was an Astronautical Engineer and worked on the first experimental GPS satellites.  Here's a picture of one in the factory.  So every time you use a GPS, now so common, remember I helped make it possible.

I got to take part in four different launches of the satellites on Atlas F rockets from Vandenberg AFB and was a mission controller at Sunnyvale deploying the satellites up into orbit and getting them activated.

We can't forget another veteran.  My dad was a veteran during the Korean War when his guard unit got activated.  He was a bombardier on the B-36 Bombers.  When they got over the targets he took control of the aircraft, scoped out the targets, and let the bombs fly.  The B-36s were part of America's nuclear arsenal and were stationed on the Atlantic Coast full of atomic bombs.

Their mission was to attack Russia with nuclear bombs in case the Korean War got too far out of control and world war broke out.  They had to have a lot of dedication too.  The thing was, the B-36 couldn't carry enough fuel to hit targets in Russia and make it back home.  So the plan was to fly their mission, destroy the assigned target, and then get as far back as they could before ditching the airplane and bailing out.  Depending on the target that would put them in eastern Russia or Communist East European countries.  Then they would have to evade capture and try to escape for home on foot.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Visiting Mom and Dad in Arizona

I got to spend a few days down in Mesa visiting with Mom and Dad.  The weather was beautiful every day and we had a great time.

 This is the front entrance to their house in Mesa, Arizona.
Here's Dad in front of one of their trees in the front yard.  Is it still called a yard when you have rocks in place of grass?
 Here's Mom by the front gate.
This is a side view of the house.  The oranges were still green but getting plump, and you can see the giant 20-30 foot cactus in their yard.
 Driveway and car.
 Picture of their house from the corner.
 They live in Leisure World which is a retirement community.
The clock tower.
 Lots of beautiful streams and ponds and water fountains.
 The central courtyard.
 Two 18 holes golf courses which makes for lots of beautiful walking paths.
It's so much fun just walking around it's so beautiful.
Shuffleboard courts.  They also have tennis courts and a large gym and they're putting in several pickleball courts, which is the new rage among the retirement community.
 Another beautiful walking paths, this one along the way from their house to the recreation center.
 A favorite of mine, one of the two jacuzzis.
 Rec. Center #1 swimming pool.
We went out to dinner twice, the first time to China City, a buffet just outside the South Entrance.  Tons and tons of good food.  I ate so much shrimp it was unbelievable.
The second time out to Texas Roadhouse.  Good steak char-grilled to perfection and a fun western atmosphere.
We did do some work.  Once a year the palm trees have to be trimmed.  Dad let me help him with one of them but he wanted to save the others for later.  He's always liked working in the yard.  We've only got about 6 limbs trimmed off so far.
 Here's all the damage.
 The finished product, a neatly trimmed palm.
 It was Halloween and some people decorate, desert style.
You wouldn't think pumpkins and cactus would mix, but they look good here.
 We got to go on some fun walks all around.
 I couldn't resist photographing some of the wildlife.  This is a heron.
 Another type of heron and some other squat birds watching for fish.
Just some plain old mallard ducks, but it's always impressed me the way they pair up and stick together as couples.  I've heard ducks will sometimes stay together for life.  How do they keep track of each other and not get lost from each other?
 A third type of heron.
 The heron in flight, not an easy picture to get.
 Quail all over the place.
The famous leisure world vultures.  For some reason they seem to like it here too.  They're always watching.
 I must of taken 100 pictures trying to get one in flight.
On the last day there it was sunny and beautiful as always so we decided to go to the swimming pool.
This is Rec. Center #2 swimming pool.  Dad and I went in the hot tub while mom enjoyed a good book.
It was a great trip to Arizona.  Mom and Dad are doing good and we had a lot of fun together.