Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Early Christmas Celebration

We had an early Christmas celebration this last weekend when several of the children and their family could all get together with us in Puyallup.

 We had Caleb, Doranda, Bob, Tucker, Penelope, Scarlett, Leon, Malachi, Layne, Andrew, Mallory, Talitha, David, Tianna, Jim, Evan, Ashton, and James.

 Everyone was here at the house so we decided to open some Christmas presents.

 We had a good time taking turns giving gifts.  The children especially had so much fun.

 Malachi and Jim and Andrew and Ashton.

 Doranda with her girls and also you can see Malachi's two.

 Talitha and David.

 We had lots of snacks and we had some nice desserts.

 Here's a closeup which looks a little more appetizing.

 Tianna's dog Molly had some new puppies which she brought along because they were too young to leave at home.

 Then we went to a Ward Christmas party at Malachi's ward in Lakewood.

 Layne was in charge of putting it all together and it was really good.  Beautiful decorations, great food, and a nice program.  She worked so hard.

 On Sunday we saw Dallen perform with his choir on a choir trip across the mountains to Lynwood for a Christmas performance.

 There was so much going on this week.  Malachi and Layne have a tradition for Christmas they help the children decorate cookies for Malachi to take into work.

Every cookie is different.  The fun was in making the different designs.

Saturday, November 30, 2013


We had three of our children and their families up for Thanksgiving Dinner - Caleb, Doranda, and Talitha.

 David cooked the turkey.  He smoked it first and then finished it in the oven.  It was very very moist and had a strong smokey taste that was delicious.

 We filled our plates up in the kitchen and then moved into the dining room.

 Talitha and David.

 Bob holding Leon, next to Penelope.

 Tucker, Scarlett, Caleb, and a cousin of Bob's that joined us for Thanksgiving.  We all fit around the table and didn't even have to get out a small table for the children.

 A raspberry chocolate cheesecake.

 Apple crumb cake.

 While everyone was visiting and between shopping trips for Black Friday we had plenty of time to play card and board games.

 Caleb was promoting the ward Turkey Bowl and even talked me into going.  I wasn't just the photographer, I played.

 Caleb in the photo above with Doranda and Bob in the photo below.

We had a fun Thanksgiving holiday and hope everyone else did too.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Ancestor Stories #5 Civil War

For Veterans Day it seemed appropriate to tell the story of one of our ancestors that fought in the Civil War - Lyman W. Swift.

 Lyman was in the Union Army and fought in the battle of Marks' Mill in Arkansas.  This is from the History of Washington County Ohio, published by H.Z. Williams & Bro. in 1881.  

"Roll of Honor - war of 1861 to 1865.  The following is a list of volunteers in the service of the United States during the war of the Rebellion. ... The roll is as full and accurate as it can be made with out great expense and trouble.  It will prove a source of just pride to the people of the county, generally, as well as to the descendants and friends of those whose names are here recorded, an will be a standing challenge to the patriotism of the future to emulate the example of the volunteers of 1861-5."

"Swift, Jr., Lyman W., age 24, volunteer, December 4, 1861, three years, Seventy-seventh regiment, company F, private, served four years and four months, mustered out March 8, 1866, captured at Mark's Mills, and in prison nine months."

The only photo I have of Lyman is this one with his wife Margaret in their old age.

Here's a memorial at Mark's Mills Battleground State Park in Arkansas.  It says - "The battle of Marks Mill fought here on April 25, 1864 was a complete confederate victory.  General James F. Fagans division of confederate cavalry surprised and captured a Union supply train of 2000 men and 240 wagonloads of supplies.  General Powell Clayton, Union Commander, narrowly escaped capture by flight with small detachment."  Here's a website you can go to if you want to read more:   Marks' Mills Battlegrund State Park

   Here's a link to the Veteran's Day post I did last year which has info on Mom and I and Grandpa Swift   Swift Veterans


Halloween is so much fun for everyone dressing up in costumes.  I've collected pictures of all the younger grandchildren in their Halloween costumes.    Some of the adults had great costumes too but I'm only showing the children here.  

 Cowboy (Leon)

 Ladybug (Hannah) and Lion (Jacob)

 Spanish knight (Christian) and mouse (Elliott)

 Two trolls (Penelope and Scarlett)

 Superhero (James)

Yoshi (Andrew) and Princess Peach (Mallory).  They came over to our house and were the only ones we got to see in person.  Notice in the background their parents were Mario and Luigi.

 Karate Kids (Julia and Ethan).  Dressed warm for trick-or-treating in Alaska.

 Soldier Toy (Tucker)

 Superman (Ashton)

Mime (Evan)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Tucker Soccer Game

We went and watched Tucker play soccer.

He seemed to be having a lot of fun playing soccer on a team.

 We actually got to see him score his first goal of the season.

 Tucker running hard.

 Fan club.

 Scarlett enjoying a hot chocolate Talitha brought for the kids.

 Leon on his Grandma's lap.

Even Sam had a good time.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

General Conference

This weekend we had General Conference.

This is the Prophet and President of the Church, Thomas S. Monson.  They broadcast from Salt Lake City and we watch talks from the prophet and from apostles and other general authorities of the church.

 We set up both monitors on the computer so we could see it from anywhere in the kitchen or family room.

 One good thing about watching from home, you don't have to get dressed up and you can sit in really comfortable chairs and relax and really concentrate on what's being said.

 After a few sessions we came up with some games to help the children pay attention.  Here's Ashton playing M&M Bingo and he only has one square to go.  Can't get his last word, "Trials".

 And of course we had the family tradition, which Mary-Anne started for us, of waffles with ice cream and toppings.
It was great to have Tianna and her family with us to watch conference.  Their family is smaller now with Jarom and Amery both off to college but they still keep us busy whenever they come to visit.  Never a dull moment.