Saturday, August 16, 2008

Happy 90th Birthday Grandpa Hallstrom!

I know this posting is after the fact...since Grandpa's 90th birthday was on July 18th, but I thought I would post some pictures and memories from the evening for those of you who weren't there.
Grandpa Hallstrom was completely surprised with his birthday party on Sunday night. Jim and Kathie had fixed one of his favorite meals, Kalbi ribs, and that was the perfect beginning for his special day! After the meal was done, the family had all prepared a short tribute for Grandpa and put them in a book for him to have as a memento from the evening. However, what he didn't know was that Lorraine and Carl Kawakami had asked his old members of the University Student Branch where Grandpa had served as Branch President for 5 years, to write a tribute to him for his service during those years. It was simply wonderful! Grandpa kept asking, "Who are they talking about?" and everyone would say..."You, Grandpa!" All this was done with a modest smile of appreciation from the birthday boy!

Carl explaining to Grandpa who the tributes were from.
Grandpa listening attentively to each and every tribute!

He seemed to remember every person that wrote something to him, and he couldn't believe that so many would take the time to wish him a Happy Birthday. The memories from the branch reminded the family of the countless acts of kindness that he and grandma have done for so many. Some examples are: helping young people on missions or with difficult financial troubles; countless phone calls to those in need; the many temple trips taken together as a branch, and eating the fabulous dinner afterwards that had been lovely prepared and packed by Grandma-- in the trunk of the car!
Cute Kara!

Bri and attentive!

There's a new chip off the old block! Too cute for words!
Darling twosome!
The grandchildren that were there each took turns expressing their love for him and a special memory of him from their childhood! There were tears shed and love was felt by everyone. What a sweet way to celebrate the magnificent life of of a strong and steadfast man of 90 years!
Of course, it didn't end with the memory sharing; as there was a song to be sung, and a big cake to be eaten!

He can still 'wipe-out' the candles--with a little help!

What's a birthday without presents?

Of course, not everyone was as fully engaged at the end as we were...Can you tell that Ryan is ready for bed?

And this is how happy he was after I snapped the picture! Must be the jet lag!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Good Times!

It has been well over a month since my last post...however, my excuse is that I was on vacation! And what a vacation it was! I arrived in Salt Lake on Wednesday, June 25, and the very next morning we were off to Canada to visit Grandpa and Grandma Clifton! Thankfully, Brett, Julianne and the children wanted to tag along, which meant that Brett did all of the driving and I did all of the backseat driving...which seemed like a fair exchange to me! (Just don't ask Brett for his opinion!)

Emma, Ellie and Ryan are the best little travelers! The trip from Salt Lake to Taber, Alberta, Canada took 12 hours and I cannot imagine making the trip strapped in a car seat for all that time! They simply are the best! Here are some fun pics of them passing away the time.
Sweet dreams Ry-Guy!

The Belle--sleeping chic-fully! Who knew that seat belts are also used for keeping noses safe?

Of, course, our family trip to Hawaii that began on July 18th, was magical. Jim and Kathie were the perfect hosts...graciously letting us stay in their beautiful home (while they stayed in the cottage at Kahawai Street) so that we could all be together under one roof. Thank you, Jim and Kathie! We began our stay with cocoa puffs from Liliha Bakery, (thanks to Brett)--burgers from Ku`u Aina, Chantilly cake for the July Birthdays and the list goes on and on. We had good times eating together!

Poor Adam. From the moment we landed in Hawaii, he was bombarded, (mostly by me) to look here, and look there, and what did he think of this and of that? Of course, being the astute man that he is...he was in constant admiration of everything that was pointed out!

That first night in Hawaii was pool time. In fact, it was pool time in the morning, in the afternoon and in the evening or whenever we were home. Emma and Ellie always looked tres chic in and around the pool--with Ellie also taking some serious pre-cautionary water measures!

Here are some pictures of three amazing daughters performing their exceptional skills for their admiring audience. Note the hair...the girls were most particular about their style!

Yes, they can do more than pose...

Of course, we hardly ever saw Bri's head above water, cause she was always doing this...

And this!

Not to be outdone...Emma, Ellie and Ryan were always apart of the fun!

Adam is wishing that he was in the pool with Bri, and Ryan is wishing he wasn't!

I wish that I had my camera with me when we were watching movies in the most amazing Movie room that Jim had designed. The seats were so comfortable, the viewing and sound was amazing! However, the reason as to why I should have had my camera is that within minutes of the movie starting, everyone fell asleep. Just pretend that Bri is in the movie room...add 10 more just like her--and you get the picture!

Sad to say, this posting has come to an end...but no worries, there is still more to come!