27 July 2008

Alpine 4H Camp Memories

Dearest Graham Clan

Carolyn and I just returned from what has been a wonderful weekend at the Alpine 4H Camp. Some of you know that when we were first married, and looking at family pictures, I saw a picture of the Alpine girls camp and thought we were looking at my pictures.

As it turns out, it was Carolyn's pictures. Her family, the Robinson Clan (through her mother Jean) settled Afton and Freedom, and had yearly reunions at the 4H Camp the week before the Armstrong reunion....for years!!! Neither of us have been back since we were teenagers.

This year, we had committed to attend the John Robinson Anne Gregson Reunion. The Root of the Robinson family that joined the church. John Robinson was our pioneer. It was a wonderful experience for Carolyn and I to take our own kids to the place where we had so many wonderful memories. A few things have changed, but mostly, it was just like stepping back in time.

One of the great surpises was to see our cousin, David Bednar!!!! He married into the Robinson Clan like I did. We walked in the old hall, and I said to Abby, "Hey, there is Elder Bednar!!!" We literally sat at his feet. We were on the front row, next to the SAME OLD PIANO!!!!!----and Elder Bednar was our closing speaker at the program on Friday night. He was nearly standing on Sunee's toes!

There was a hush as he spoke. I felt like I should take off my hat in that spot. He said some profound things. Speaking about the John Robinson Family History, entitled " A Legacy of Honor", he asked us a simple question " Are you bringing Honor to their Legacy?" He spoke of this for a time and then stated something very profound. I will try to remember it.

He said "It is my witness that all the keys of this dispensation are on earth. I witness that the hearts of the Children are turned to the Fathers, and the hearts of the Fathers are turned to the Children. I am a witness of the keys to the sealing power. I do not know if all the keys to this dispensation have ever been present at this place, but I bear witness to you tonight that all the keys to this dispensation are present in this room, right now. I hold them, and I bear witness they are real...."

After the meeting, Carolyn and I, Abby and some of the other kids got to talk to him for a bit. This picture is obviously special to us.

Looking forward to seeing you all on Tuesday.

Brad and Carolyn

23 July 2008

Pursuit of Happyness

I just wanted everyone to check out this pic I got at my company's tradeshow last week in Las Vegas. Chris Gardner, the man on whom the movie" The Pursuit of Happyness" was our keynote speaker and I got to meet him personally and discuss his life story...quite simply, an amazing person who gave a great message to people. It was essentially this: All the material gains he has had, the triumphs and defeats in his life, nothing was more important to him than breaking the cycle of absentee fathers in his family....nothing is more important than his son, and knowing who his father was.....basically told everyone that nothing else will matter if you have failed in your home"...he got a standing ovation for that one. After we spoke, he told me to "show him the love, brotha"....and he gave me a big bear hug....

16 July 2008

Reunion 2008 UPDATED

Estee -Jake

Lee - Shelby

Graham -  Abby (Graham as in Estee's baby)

Austin -  James

Garrett -  Nelson

Kayla -  Dallin

Bo -  Tommy

Emma -  Ethan

James -  Landon

Dane -  Austin

Grace -  Sasha

Gabe -  Sunee

Tommy -  Scarlett

Landon -  Grace

Abby -  Whit

Gretchen -  Gabe

Cozy -  Emma

Sunee -  Nelson

Dallin -  Garrett

Netty -  Graham

Ethan -  Cozy

Sasha -  Dane

Scarlett - Estee

Teage -  Lucy

Shelby -  Kayla

Mady -  Netty

Savannah - Gretchen

Caroline -  Ruby

Annabelle - Bo

Amelia -  Ryan

Lilly - Lee

Whit -  Annabelle

Ryan -  Caroline

Eliza - Mady

Dallas - Lilly

Jake - Savannah

Myles - Will

Lucy - Mary

Ruby - Teage

Will - Dallas

Mary - Amelia

Nelson - Myles

Sorry for the mistakes! I think that is correct. If you see a kink, contact me or my mother.

14 July 2008

A Texas Fourth

To start off the day, Lee, Garrett, Bo, and a couple gentlemen from the wArd went mountain biking....oh yeah, and I went too. The Maiden Voyage as it were for me and all my spandex. It was a blast actually, and I did better then I was anticipating. When super-biker-Lee comes back with gashes galore and bruises beyond I was preparing for battle wounds to show off to our fourth guests later that day. In this, I was disappointed because these pretties didn't bloom till the next day....and they have only increased in their brilliant color!

Later, we were further entertained by some Amazing Acrobatics demonstrated by various members of the family.
Dad steps up to the plate...


Then Kayla cheats.

Bo winds up,

and pulls a mulan kung-fu kick...cool.

What do you think is Angie doing?

She looks so tough.

Garret looks like some huge kind of bird with his big hands and feet.

And Whit soars

Who knows what happened here, but garrett is getting a kick out of it!

Go Lee!

Then the boys start getting fancy on us.

too athletic for me.

10 July 2008

The Doll Party

What can i say---it left me speechless!

From the backyard, painted signs, each post so beautiful, the costumes, the nursing kits, getting certified as a nurse, the party was amazing--hot and amazing! I'll do it again in a heart beat--wish you all could have been here!

Changes in Reunion 2008 Christmas in July


So . . . 

Abby -- Lee
Scarlett -- Estee
Lee --  Shelby
Estee -- Whit

If this doesn't work then I'll have to make some more changes!!

07 July 2008

Happy Birthday to Dad

I just wanted to take a few minutes to tell all of you how much I love your Dad. As you all know, he had a birthday on Sunday. We gathered all the locals here on Friday, July 4th to celebrate the holiday and also Dad and Joni's birthdays. Then on Sunday Doug and Jodi invited us to their house for a birthday dinner for Dad. Knowing how much he loves tacos, Jodi had prepared an array of Mexican food fit for our King. It was a feast and a half. Dallas was there too. Anyway, your Father felt he had been very much honored on his birthday with all of your calls and expressions of love. I had wanted to have a few minutes to pay tribute to him with all of you there, but the time just never was appropriate. So I will take a minute, and hope some of you check this great blog occasionally, and tell you how much I love and adore your Father. He is truly the hero of our family. I have always leaned heavily on him for the answer to any problem and question, knowing that his wisdom would make everything OK. He has been a remarkable patriarch in our home and I will always be so very grateful for that. He walks the walk of a noble bearer of the Priesthood of God. He has always been the spiritual leader in our home. How grateful I have been all of our lives to be able to feel so secure with his great knowledge and understanding of the gospel and his ability to express so well the gospel truths. He has always been my favorite teacher. I have learned so much from him. He has been so influential in others lives not only through his chosen profession, but through his Church callings and interest in others. He has been able to counsel and guide and help those who are in need of help and advice. I have loved watching him as a brand new Daddy to Scott and continuing on with the same tender and affectionate concerns for each of you down to Joni. I think he has been a remarkable Father. He has provided for us and allowed us so many privileges and such a full and happy life. I have been so grateful for his ambition and desire to rise to the top in his profession. I have always had the thrill of seeing him being honored with the top awards and the admiration and respect of his business associates. This is because of his desire to be the best educated in his business. He is a sponge for knowlege and has an incredible ability to remember and absorb. I have always admired his love to read and study. He has an amazing memory and can quote scripture, find it by chapter and verse, remember who said what and on what occasion. He can quote the brethren at any given moment on any given topic. I just love being able to turn to him for understanding of gospel principles. I consider myself very lucky and very blessed to have been his companion all these years. I love him with all my heart and will ever be grateful to the Lord that he saw to it that we are eternal companions and sweethearts. Each of you are the product of our love and devotion to each other. Each of you are so important and dear to us. You have blessed our lives immeasurably and continue to do so. My prayer and my desire is that you will be like your Dad. Follow his example in every way. Look and seek him for counsel and advice and then take his advice. Be honest, true, faithful, honorable, loyal, kind, wise, humble, generous, patient, loving, humorous, tender, hard-working, studious, devoted to the Lord and the gospel, well dressed, sensitive,use appropriate language, deserving of respect - - I could go on and on. He does know the meaning of propriety! All these things are character traits of your wonderful Father. I love him with all my heart and just want each of you to know that. Love, Mom

EFY Nauvoo!!

Hey everyone! I just got back from an amazing time at EFY...in Nauvoo with my bestest friend. It was freaking amazing! There is just an increadible spirit there that you can't feel anywhere else. We walked past the temple every day and did scripture study on the grounds everyday. We even got to do baptisms. There was only about 150 people all together so it was just way fun. I recommend it highly. I sang a song a wrote in the tallent show...haha and got to do the music program. Met so many amazing people and friends that I hope will keep in thouch. I had such a blast. Anyways loves to you all and looking forward to seeing you at the reunion!!-abby

06 July 2008

More Wasatch Back Pics

Van 2 at our first major exchange = six fresh runners

Jones bounding off on her first leg...

Sun was setting on Jesse's first leg...it was beautiful.

Chris wondering why he just ran his first leg so hard.

Skip ahead 10 hours (pics were hard to see in the dark)...we're feeling pretty tired at this point...

Yeah Chrissy...finishing up his second run....

Nat taking off on her second leg

This is what she was chasing. The human block was faster than he looks....

Jones finishing her last leg...she was awesome!

Will thinking he can do it....

Starting the ascent....

Continuing the ascent....

Always loved to see this sign...

2 brothers, 7.6 miles, 3100 ft up
we started in the valley just to the left of my head...

nat and chris bringing it in at the end

they even gave us medals....

04 July 2008

Elder Graham

hey guys...
here is james and his new companion