Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Smile...You're on GRANDAD'S camera

This is Samantha (Nicole Pickering). She is Rebecca's eldest daughter. Dad took this picture at Princes Quay (Shopping Mall in Hull).

Dad never really enjoyed shopping. Whilst the girls were in the stores, he would often sit on a bench and entertain himself. You could guarantee when you came out of a store, you would find him chatting to someone. Didn't matter who they were or where they came from, he could strike up a conversation with anyone. The conversation mainly consisted of jokes, Hull KR, church and more jokes.

He is very proud of this picture. I believe it is his favorite of Samantha. She is posing, he took the picture and loved it. Being a scrapbooker, the first thing I noticed was Samantha's shoe lace was untied. That would bother me scrapbooking :) Not Dad , things like this didn't ever bother him.

More pictures of Grandchildren to come. He has always been such a wonderful 'Grandad'.....I am heartbroken he will never be able to see any of them get married, or serve missions or have children of their own. Well actually, he will, we just won't be able to see him. :)

Monday, September 29, 2008

Everything I do.....I do it for YOU!

I couldn't say anything better than these words just now......My Mother and niece, Samantha are beautiful but just look at my Dad....What a great picture. This song could have easily been written for his family.....There is NOTHING he would not do for any one of us. As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we believe not only in a life after this one, but in a life before. Dad has always taught us we chose our families, and what a choice I made. I couldn't have picked a better Father. We also believe that we knew what trials we would face in this life. I can't imagine for one minute I would agree to my Dad suffering, so I think he had a quiet word when I wasn't looking :)

Anyways, Bryan Adams is one of my favorite singers.
This is dedicated to my DAD. I believe these words are about his family and his church! (I changed the word 'lie' for 'cry'. He would cry for us, but would never lie. :)

Look into my eyes You will see, what you mean to me
Search your heart , search your soul
And when you find me there, you'll search no more
Don't tell me it's not worth trying for
You can't tell me it's not worth dying for
You know it's true, everything I do, I do it for you
Look into your heart , you will find
There's nothing there to hide so, take me as I am, take my life
I would give it all, I would sacrifice
Don't tell me it's not worth fightin for I can't help it,
There's nothin I want more
You know it's true, everything I do, I do it for you
Ohhhh There's no love, like your love
And no other, could give more love
There's nowhere, unless you're there, All the time, all the way
Look into your heart,
Ohh, you can't tell me it's not worth tryin for, I can't help it, there's nothin I want more...
Yea, I'd fight for you, I'd cry for you....Walk the wire for you, yeah I'd die for you...
You know it's true.......Everything I doooooh,I do it for you

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Tree of LIFE

I just LOVE this picture....and sure do LOVE these people. Look to the right (Picture of their wedding day.........They are still as beautiful all these years later and still very much in love.)

This picture was taken outside the Las Vegas Temple. They have always held on to the 'Tree of Life".

Today has been a very emotional day for me. Some days I cope pretty well and others I am an emotional wreck and wonder if I have any more tears left. Amazing how these tear ducts work isn't it? Sunday is the hardest day for me!

My daily phone call today was a real struggle. Dad is getting so weak and can barely say more than two sentences to me anymore. He didn't get to church and I seriously doubt he will ever be able to go again. He has been so faithful all his church life and has not missed church ever, unless it was due to illness..........and I mean real illness. The same with Home Teaching.

My Mom...........what an angel! So often, we feel for the person who is ill and in this case dying. I don't think the person who is the caregiver gets enough respect and praise. Please remember to keep my Mom in your prayers. How heart wrenching to see the one you have known and loved for the past 50 years be in a state like this. I plan on devoting an entire post to my angel Mother.

Today we were talking about the funeral. When someone is in a state like my Dad is, you know there is no chance of them ever getting well. These things have to be spoken about, as hard as it is. Dad has asked that I play the piano at his funeral........I asked my Mom if a piano worked under water due to all the tears that will be flowing. :)

We talked about hymns. I requested we sing page 113 in the hymn book. (LDS) "Our Savior's Love". This was the hymn Rebecca and Gary chose for their wedding. The words are very special.

"Our Savior's Love, Shines like the sun with perfect light,
As from above It breaks through clouds of strife.
Lighting our way, It leads us back into his sight,
Where we may stay, To share Eternal Life."

There won't be a dry eye in the church xxxxxx

I know I will have to memorize the whole thing if I do play as I won't be able to read the music.

Knowledge - What a wonderful thing! :)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Daddy's taking us to the zoo tomorrow!

Really wish he was! :)
I believe this picture was taken in Paris....ok upon looking closer, I KNOW it was, due to the French language on this poster. My Parents went to Paris to celebrate their 25th Wedding Anniversary in 1987. I was 19 at the time. The very next day after they left, I went to work in Minehead, Somerset at Somerwest World (formely known as Butlin's). It was a fun place to go on holiday. In fact, Alan, who I posted comments from yesterday came for a holiday with his lovely wife Gina and their then small children. It was so fun to see them.
Well 21 years have passed since then and my parents are still as beautiful and loving. Their next and final visit to Paris was with Lance and I in 2002. We went for New Year's and boy was that an experience. Post to follow about that memory. ;)
Today we actually went to the Zoo. Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City, UT. We were celebrating John's 5th birthday (tomorrow). We had so much fun looking at the animals, taking a ride on the train, watching a bird show and just being together as a family. It is a tradition for us. We have been to the zoo every year to celebrate John's birthday. I will post some pictures soon.
I was thinking of my Dad as I always do and every time I saw an older man today, I just kept thinking "My Dad will never reach that age". I choked up a few times and had to pull myself together.
I know I am going to feel his spirit, his presence, for the rest of my life. :)

Friday, September 26, 2008

A tribute to a friend from a friend!

This is a picture of Alan Tong and his nephew, Sam. Thanks for the clarification Alan. (I thought it was his son Neal.) Great shirt Alan. Up the ROBINS! :)

Alan is a very good friend of the family. Alan posted a comment on my post from yesterday. It was so nice I just had to post it here as the daily posting.

Thank you Alan for your most kind and gracious words. We love you!


Maxine, I was a young lad when I first met your mum and dad.

They have always been rocks to me.Your dad has had many nicknames over the years. I recall how your dad as a younger man always seemed to have food in his hand, but never put on an ounce. As a result he was known at various times as "Nosher Sims," "The Human Gannet," etc.

There will be many things I remember about your dad. Perhaps the most memorable will be his total and utter loyalty. When you get Johnnie Sims as a friend, he is a friend for life. No-one will ever bad mouth his friends in his presence. Friendship with your dad is total, and never changes. Does that mean he will never tell you when you are wrong?

That's another thing I love about him. He tells things as they are. There are no frills, no pussyfooting around. You know exactly where you stand with him. I love a statement attributed to J Edgar Hoover. Someone once said to J Edgar Hoover, "You really give people hell, don't you?" J Edgar is reported as replying, "No. I tell them the truth, and they think it's hell." That is your dad all over. He is honest to the ninth degree.

I have always admired the relationship between your mum and dad. You can spend five minutes in their presence, and know they are totally devoted. I have been a beneficiary of their example for forty years. I have tried to take that example into my own marriage, and Gina and I have been blessed beyond measure.

Your Dad is a totally dedicated man, and has always been totally reliable in all he does. When John Fountain, Neilson Forsberg and I were full-time missionaries, we got quite a few letters at first from various people in the ward. After a few months we got letters from only girlfriends and our Bishop. Our Bishop was your dad. He must have been so busy with a wife he loves,a young family, work, a busy ward, etc. He still somehow found time every week to write those three young missionaries. (Not a copy from a word processor. These were originals, handwritten by a caring man.) I know that I have never forgotten that, and never will.

When first home from my Mission I received a calling in the Ward, where I was required to attend the Ward Council Meeting each month. A brother in the ward put the blame on me for something that he said I should have done, but had not. I knew that I had not ever been asked to do it, but did not want to add problems on a busy Bishop. I therefore took it on the chin, and just said that I was sorry, and would do it before Sunday. I got a fair few "tuts," and disapproving looks from several people in that meeting. There was one man in that meeting that was listening to the Spirit though. That was your dad, my beloved Bishop. After the meeting, he came to me, and simply said, "You were never asked to do that, were you?" I replied honestly that I had not been asked. He simply put his hand on my shoulder, and said, "Thanks for not bringing a spirit of contention into the meeting." I didn't care who had felt badly about me at that moment. My Bishop, my friend, knew the truth, and he had taken a moment at an important time to let me know. His approbation was all I needed.

I love the study habits that your dad has. He is like a sponge, and just wants to soak every bit of knowledge in. It was after watching your dad show his great knowledge that I wanted to study in a similar way. As a result, I memorised a scripture every day of my Mission. The amazing thing is that I can still remember almost all of them. Without your dad's example, i would never have done that, and my life would not have been enriched in the way that it has.I love how your dad loves the Prophet Joseph Smith. To my mind, he must be one of the foremost scholars of the life of Joseph Smith that I have ever met. It has so influenced his life for the good.

Another great thing about your dad is his total satisfaction with what the Lord has given him. I don't mean anything bad when I say that your dad has never been blessed with riches as far as monetary terms go. He is a very rich man though. His riches lie in his family. He has total satisfaction in his riches. The Lord said, "And in nothing doth man offend God, or against none is his wrath kindled, save those who confess not his hand in all things, and obey not his commandments." (D & C 59:21.)Your dad has always given all credit to the Lord for all good things that have come his way.

You made me smile about the "ten pound you owe me." He got me so often with that one. I love his humour. Do you remember his, "How do you get down off an elephant" joke? It is my favourite ever from your dad. The answer was, "You don't get down off an elephant. You get down off a duck." (Think about it!! Eiderdown.) Even though your dad would joke about owing him money, many have felt his generosity. I believe he would willingly give anyone his last penny. He is a totally generous man.

I guess that you can realise from this that I am proud to have your dad as a friend. He is truly one of two in a million. The other one in a million is your mum. All that your dad is can be made possible only by the total devotion of a very special lady. I know that you realise that you have been greatly blessed to have such parents.
Best regards,
Alan Tong.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

It's the eye of the Tiger!

Rocky! Rocky!

My Dad is famously known as Rocky! Many missionaries lovingly remember him as Rocky Sims. He may be short but he has always been a toughie !

A memory that comes to mind is when Dad was the Branch President of the Hull North Branch. There were two missionaries, Elders Parker and Nelson. They did a wonderful job of hosting "This is your Life" for my Dad. I do remember one of the missionaries running on the stage sporting a Hull Kingston Rovers shirt and carrying a rugby ball. It was so much fun.

One of the things my Dad has always wished for in life was that he was taller. We would always remind him that it didn't matter how 'tall' he was. I am surprised his spirit and heart fit in his body as they are so big!

I showed a friend a picture of Dad with John Fountain, our dear friend who recently passed away. My friend thought John was my Dad's body guard. I am happy when I think John is getting the red and white carpet laid out for my Dad.

Rocky Sims! We love you! xxx

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I'm the King of the Castle!

In May 2006, we celebrated Mom's birthday in Las Vegas. (See post #3). We went to "Red Rock". What a great view. It was such a hot day. We have lots of memories of Las Vegas.
On this trip, we walked through a Casino to go to lunch and I saw my Dad by a slot machine. As my Dad does not gamble, I wondered what he was doing. I walked over to him as he was chatting with someone (that was no surpise)....as he loved to chat with anyone. As he was walking through the casino, he saw somebody sitting at a slot machine that he thought was me. (Big sigh!)
He tried to take a Credit Card out of the machine when he realized it was not me. I am really glad the woman had a good sense of humor as it would not have looked good if the headlines read "British tourist caught trying to steal a credit card in a casino."
I would gamble everything I own and max out every credit card to have my Dad well again. :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Gimme the Queen's Head!

For those of you know my Dad really well............."Have you got that tenner you owe him?"
One of Dad's many famous lines is "You got that tenner you owe me?" Of course he was joking, but it was funny to see people's faces as they had to think for a minute as to whether they owed him it or not.
I was chatting with a family friend, Alan Turner and I told him about Dad's illness. He responded "Your Dad's a great man. I will always remember him for asking if we've got that tenner we owe him".
I believe if everyone he has asked over the years actually gave him a tenner, he would be a VERY VERY rich man. Furthermore, I believe that all the people he has asked are 'richer' for knowing my Dad. :)

Monday, September 22, 2008

A lesson in spelling!

Dad was getting gas (petrol). After I picked myself up off the floor after fainting when seeing that gas was ONE POUND TWELVE PENCE a LITER (litre). I couldn't resist getting a picture of this whilst I was in England in May. This was taken in Hull, Southcoates Lane. We were going to Beverley for the afternoon.

This picture was taken at Beverley Westwood. We were hoping to have ice-cream but the only food vendor there was 'Roy'. We were sat in the car just chatting when Dad and I spotted this spelling error and chuckled. I always joke around that the Americans can't spell. I told Dad to go stand by the 'error' so I could get a picture.

I kept a look out for 'Roy' just in case he decided to come out of his van to see what we were doing. :)

Americans spell many words minus the 'u'. Color/Colour, Favorite/Favourite. In the Bible, Saviour is spelt with a 'U'. There is NO Saviour without 'U'.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

When they fell in love! It would be FOREVER!

Everyday I think about how blessed I am to have such wonderful parents. Some may say I am lucky. Luck doesn't have anything to do with it. I thank God daily for these two wonderful people. (Just for the record, YES I am crying as I type! :)

Talk about 'inseperable'. Barely if ever will you have seen one without the other. They have been a great example to their children of companionship. They have barely spent time apart.

Here are a few examples of when they have:

Our son was born in 2003. My parents had already been to visit us in March of that year. Dad decided he didn't want to come back in September for the birth as he had already been that year. He also knew that with me having a baby, I would be out of commission for a while and thought it would be nice to have Mom come here by herself to help out.
BIG MISTAKE. The minute the plane took off, he was regretting it and worrying how on earth he would cope for SIX weeks without her. (Please note that 6 weeks to my Dad in this case was like leaving a loved one of yours for six YEARS.)

They spoke on the phone everyday. (Thank goodness for great phone plans.) Dad walked around the streets of Hull looking like a lost soul. Many people were worried about him. He was frantic without 'his Val' by his side.

When Mom got back to England, he vowed that would never happen again and it hasn't! When our next and final baby was born, you bet Dad came with her. I think he was quite relieved when we announced Olivia was our last baby.

Another occasion was when I lived in England. I lived in the next street (just minutes away from their house.) That was good planning on my behalf ;) Dad came over one morning as he normally did and asked if he could use my phone. I thought that was kinda odd as he didn't need to ask. I asked who he was calling and he said "Your Mom." I thought that was even more odd as he had just come over from their house. So I told him. "Dad why do you want to call Mom, you just left her." His response: "BECAUSE I HAVEN'T SEEN HER FOR FIVE MINUTES AND I MISS HER."

And finally, on their last visit here, Mom and I went to the nail salon. We got in the car and Dad jumped in. I told him we would be back soon and he said, "Oh that's ok, I want to come too." He walked around the grocery store (Supermarket) next to the nail salon for .....well I don't know but it was quite some time. He did stop in a couple of times to 'check to see if we were alright'.

What a man! I cannot even begin to tell the many stories, the many times I have seen his love in action for my Mother. I always joke around with him and tell him if my Mom had to have gone in hospital, he would have hid under the bed before he left her there to go home by himself.

They adore each other! It's not even a 'TRADE SECRET' either. Everyone knows.

Like I said, it is not luck! It is a blessing to have such wonderful parents.

(Pictures taken in York, May 2008)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

One of John's favorite past times!

One of the many things Dad really looked forward to and enjoyed going to was 'CAR BOOT'. If you look closely, you will see the back of Dad in the very middle of the picture (Pale green shirt and black trousers (pants).

Every Saturday morning he would go to Craven Park (Homeground of his beloved 'Hull Kingston Rovers') and every Wednesday morning to Walton Street. (Homeground of the famous 'Hull Fair.') This picture was taken at the latter.

Dad enjoyed going for the walk around. He especially liked seeing his friends there. He had a certain route that he would take so he got to see every table that was there. Not everybody used the car 'boot'. (known as trunk to my American friends) Many set up their items on tables. Dad always loved a bargain, much to my Mom's dismay. She always wondered what he would bring home with him.

Whilst I was visiting England this past May, I went to both of these venues. Gary, my brother in law came with us (or rather I went with them :) to the Walton Street car boot.

We walked by a few tables that had hundreds of DVD's, games etc. laid out on the tables. (I later realized the DVD's and games were not in the 'empty' packets.)

Gary said to me "Oh Max, you want to see them move when the Police show up." (They were 'dodgy' dealers, basically pirating.) Not a minute passed when black bags came from nowhere and the dodgy dealers started throwing all their 'gear' into them as fast as lightnin'. (This is when I realized they were empty cases/packets). The DVD's and games were all in the truck so the 'dodgy dealers' could 'ensure' a quick getaway.

Just as Gary had told me, here came the Cops! We heard one of them say "These guys think we were born yesterday."

We looked at each other with raised eyebrows and burst out laughing.

My famous saying to Dad everytime I went with him was "Oh Dad, I wouldn't even steal anything from this lot, never mind pay for it." :)

Friday, September 19, 2008

The DARK game!

It's amazing what you remember when you think about things. One thing I will always remember and I know Michael, Rebecca and Jared will too is when we used to play games. Our all time favorite was the 'dark' game.

Obviously we don't have any pictures of the dark game but many memories. It was a very cheap game, probably the cheapest as we didn't even use any electricity. All the lights were turned out, we all had to go and hide. Often we would hide behind the couch but Dad was onto that real quick......we would lay down or crouch in the corner. We would keep still in anticipation. Often we would hold our breath. Other times we would hold our noses to stop us laughing.

Dad would then proceed to find us. We wondered who would be 'caught' first. As soon as he got hold of you he would tickle you.........he would tickle you until you could laugh or scream no more.
I remember on one occasion, to avoid being caught I would leave the room as soon as he started to tickle one of my siblings. Nobody heard me leave as there was so much laughing and screaming :)

To me this was one of the best games we ever played. Dad didn't really enjoy playing BORED games as he called them.

We will get to his favorite game in another post "Chess". When I was a child I used to think there could be no other game as boring as that one. It was a game you could take a nap during the middle of it and wake up and the other person was still wondering where to move his piece.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Ding Dong! AND it's not the Avon lady!

Yesterday, I mentioned how my family and I went to England in July 2007 to surprise my Dad. He had absolutely no idea we were going as you can tell by his face in these pictures. After he had stopped saying "Look who's here Val, I can't believe it!" AND "Are you going to stay?" (No Dad, we just flew 5,000 miles to come and say hello....:) all he kept saying was "Oh I would have shaved today had I known you were coming.

Honestly! Like we worried about what he looked like! He could have looked like Tom Hanks in Castaway or Forrest Gump for all I cared. It was just so wonderful to see him. He said the only good thing about chemotherapy was the fact that he didn't have to shave.

It was so great to be there. My Mom and my sister knew we were coming but the rest of the family had no idea.

Whilst we were unpacking, he went upstairs to shave.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Oh we do like to be beside the seaside!

In July 2007, my family (Lance, Natalie, Kayleigh, John and Olivia) and I made a surpise visit to England. We had known since February that Dad's surgery was unsuccessful (to remove the cancerous tumor) and we just 'showed up at my Parent's house. The look on my Dad's face was worth a thousand words. We have a wonderful time.

Amongst many things we did whilst we were over there, we went to the beach and had lots of fun.

One thing I have always loved about my Dad is the fact he has always wanted to do things with his family....( strangling his oldest daughter's neck must have come to his mind once or twice when she was a teenager! :)

He never liked to go anywhere without them. If Mom wasn't with him, he missed her. This will be for another post but when our son was born, Mom came here on her own and Dad walked around for 6 weeks like it was the end of the world.

He was a Father that always wanted to be with his children. This is something that even now has never changed. Family came first....no matter what!

When we went to the beach, or to the shops (stores), basically anywhere, we all would go together. As I mentioned in a previous post, we didn't have a car when we were younger and we walked all over the place. I remember many walks and bike rides.

How great to have so many wonderful childhood memories :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

John and John!

John Sims, Grandfather and John Conrad, Grandson.

Lance and I could not carry on the 'Sims' name but we did something just as good. We named our first and only son, John. This picture was taken in May 2006 and boy was it a HOT day. The picture will tell that story. I took the picture by the water as it helped cool us down.

John (Dale) is a special spirit. I have to share a special moment here. In 1995, my Dad gave me a Father's blessing and told me that a baby boy was waiting to come into my life. When I found out I was pregant in 2003, I knew this was the baby boy my Dad had told me about in this blessing. I went for a scan and I told the Ultrasound Technician that I knew the baby was a boy. Sure enough! Brad told me "Your parents are going to have a grandson at long last". They had waited a long time to have a (blood) grandson. All their grandchildren then and since have been girls.

I looked at Lance and asked if we could call him John. Lance's middle name, and his Father Clif , have the middle name of Dale, so we instantly chose John (Dale).

On the many occasions that my Dad has had to visit us here in UT, he has spent hours at the Temple (LDS). We would drop him off and pick him up very regularly and as we drove by the Temple one day after my Parents had gone back to England, my son said, "Mom! Look! There is Grandad's house!"

This is the example, the legacy that my Father has been to my children. I hope my son grows up to be the example my Dad has always been.

The name John is of Hebrew origin and means 'God is gracious'.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Costa Del Brid

Ask any of John's kids what their favorite memories are and each one would tell you our "Summer Holidays" and days out at the beach. We can remember them back way back when!

This picture is Dad and Rebecca. A trip to the beach was not complete without a ride on a donkey. We laugh at the short ride you seem to get on one these days. Not that we have gone on a donkey ride lately :) but simply observing or by putting our own children on them.

Our holidays were for the most part in Bridlington on the East Coast. My friends would often tell me at school were they were going and they all seemed so much more exotic than Brid. The older I got, the more I realized how much fun we really had. We used to spend a week, sometimes two in a caravan. We always had lots of fun and really looked forward to going. We enjoyed eating fish and chips, knickerbocker glory's, playing with the sand, building sandcastles, burying each other and watching my Dad just run out into the sea and dive right in. At the time we went into the sea, my Mom could not be seen. I don't think I ever saw her go in the sea. Maybe to 'dip her feet in' , but that would be it. The nearest she would ever get to a fish would be the one that got battered and ended up on a plate with some chips!
I really miss those days.

Our Parents didn't have a lot of money but you could guarantee we always got to go on holiday (aka vacation.) We will always be grateful for those holidays, the fun times we had and the memories we now have!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Jared - Our Fortune!

33 years ago today, John's last child and second son, Jared (Spencer) was born.

Dad woke us in the morning to let us know we had a new baby brother. (Actually, I think we woke him up to ask if we had a brother or sister.) I am sure Michael was particularly pleased to hear the news. In my first post, I mentioned how the only FORTUNE that came to us whilst living in Fortune Close was Jared. I really was not kidding. That story is for another posting.

One particular memory I have of this event was going with my Dad, Michael and Rebecca to the hospital to see baby Jared. My Mom, unfortunately was not well and we were not able to go in the room but what I do remember was my Mom at the window holding up Jared so we could see him. As she was not on ground level , it was hard to see even a glimpse but no matter, we still saw a baby. My Mom threw chocolate bars to us from the window. Even to this day, I remember the Crunchie bar was for me. (Now you know why I posted the pic of a Crunchie bar.) Living in the States, it is not often I come across a Crunchie, but when I do, I cannot help but think of this wonderful memory.

Today was Stake Conference here in Riverton, UTAH. (Coincidentally, it was Stake Conference 33 years ago too, held in York, England. Bless my Mom for going when that very day she went into labor).

President Henry B. Eyring spoke to us and what a pleasure it was to be able to listen to his words. I was feeling very emotional and decided not to go when I heard my Dad's voice, "Go to church", so I got ready and went. Boy was I glad I did.

President Eyring spoke of how at 7 years old, he had 2 crooked teeth. He prayed that night that God would straighten his teeth (afterall he knew he could perform miracles..:) The next morning when he awoke, he decided he should not look in his mouth as that would seem as if he was doubting God. He got ready for school and went into the bathroom and there was a MIRROR! He saw his teeth and of course they were still crooked, just as they were the night before. He explained how he knew God loved him just the same.

Believe me I have gone to bed many nights, praying for a miracle for my Dad. Praying he would be healed having a full and true faith that God could and would perform that miracle.

President Eyring then went on to say that we should always say "Thy will be done". Another thing he said which impressed me was that just before our Savior was crucified, whilst suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane, he asked his Father to take the 'cup' away from him and said "Not my will but thine be done." Just as our Savior had angels bear him up, we too can feel the presence of angels during our trials.

Now instead of praying for a miracle for my Dad to be healed, I pray that he will feel the presence of angels during his trials.

Here is a picture of Dad and Jared

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Dad's coming to America!

I love the song by Neil Diamond 'Coming to America.'

In 1975, whilst Dad was serving as Bishop of the Hull 2nd Ward, he had the opportunity to go to General Conference in Salt Lake City, UT, USA. He traveled with Ian Swanney who was the Stake President of the Hull England Stake. Dad has told us many wonderful things that happened during his visit. One was having his picture taken with President Hinckley (who was Elder Hinckley at the time) and Elder Neal A. Maxwell. Another was having a personal interview with Marvin J. Ashton and Mark E. Petersen. He stayed with a wonderful family the "YOUNG" family in Salt Lake City. Tom and Duane's son was serving a mission in England. Duane was the Relief Society General President at the time. Just like Jerry Bott, (the missionary who baptized my Dad) he has kept in touch with the Youngs and has enjoyed several visits with them since first meeting them.

I don't remember much with regards Dad being gone, (I had just barely turned 7 years old) but I do remember very clearly the day he came home and the taxi pulled up outside of our home in Anson Road.

Dad brought us all gifts from the great country, America! He bought me a globe which I absolutely loved. I used to look at where England was and then the United States and didn't quite comprehend just how far apart these Countries were. (After many flights to and from England, I now comprehend very well how far apart they are :)
Another gift was a bat and ball. I loved that and played with that many times in our garden.

Dad, was it '75 you went to Salt Lake City? :)

Dad has shared his experiences with so many people that he jokingly asks us what year it was he went.

How did he cope without his precious wife Val for a week?

Friday, September 12, 2008

The tale of the Yorkshire Pudding!

This will be the 'best' picture of me you will ever see! ;)

I believe Dad stopped someone to ask if they would take a picture of us and obviously, the guy was no David Bailey. (Famous photographer).

I remember as a young girl, I spent so much time with my Dad. Wherever he went, I wanted to go with him. On this occasion we are waiting for the bus to take us to the City Center.

Dad was serving on the High Council at the time and we were going to Beverley.

David Fenwick's parents invited us to dinner. His Mother made us a wonderful meal. I still remember it. She brought in a plate of Yorkshire Pudding and Gravy. I looked at my Dad and quietly asked "Is this all we are eating?" Dad told me there would be more to come. This was the way Yorkshire Pudding is traditionally served. It was a very big piece. Next we were served, Roast Beef, Roast Potatoes and vegetables. Boy was Dad right, there really was more. Followed by a dessert. We had a nap in the afternoon and went back to church in the evening. I loved spending time with Dad. We didn't have a car and spent a lot of time sitting on a bus or walking places. Treasured memories!

This is copied and pasted from a Website:

The Yorkshire pudding is a staple of the British Sunday dinner and in some cases is eaten as a separate course prior to the main meat dish.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Up the Robins!

For those who know my Dad well, will know his love and passion (apart from his family and his church) is Rugby League.
Dad used to play for Hull Kingston Rovers and was so very proud of the Robins. (Still is). This picture isn't of the greatest quality but it was taken 50 years ago, so I think it has done considerably well due to the fact that it is a paper clipping. I remember when I was in Junior High when Rovers beat Hull FC at Wembley. What a day that was. Red and White (10) v Black and White (5).
The one injury that I think of often (and it happened before I was born) was when he was taken to the hospital with his ear hanging off....YUCK. I think the medics did an awesome job as my Dad has always had good hearing. :)
Even today, Dad is a proud supporter of the 'Robins'. Many Missionaries remember his famous saying "Up the Robins".

What a handsome man! No wonder Mom fell in love with him :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

In memory of a good family friend - John Fountain

Mom called me today to let me know that our very good friend, John Fountain had passed away. John had been suffering with cancer too.
John was our Bishop in the 80's and that is when my brother, Michael received his mission call. I have many fond memories of John. He was a wonderful person and it is a great feeling to know where he has gone. Free from suffering, he is now with his Father, Fred and indeed his Heavenly Father.
The picture here was taken this past May when I went to England to spend time with my parents.
John is here with Matthew (handsome lad) and Ellie. Isn't she cute? John has two other children, Daniel and Laura. Jane (John's wife) is such a sweet lady and unfortunately has suffered for years with her health. I am just so thankful she has wonderful children who will help bear her up at this time.
What a blessing it has been to know John and on a very personal level too.
Til' we meet again!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

What happens in Vegas....stays in Vegas!

Well not ALL the time ;)

In May of 2006, Mom and Dad were here in the States visiting as we celebrated the birth of our youngest daughter (and last child) Olivia. We went to Las Vegas as Lance and I own a time share there and we celebrated my Mom's birthday. I believe she was 21 again! ;)

We spent a lot of time sightseeing and by the pool and one day we decided we would to go to Las Vegas Boulevard.
We parked the van and decided to go to the M&M Factory. As we were crossing the road, we realized Dad wasn't with us. We didn't really think too much of it as we saw him sitting on a bench on the other side of the road. He often liked to sit down and those of you who know him well will know he loves the sun.

We went into the Factory and came out a short while later to find the bench empty. We knew he couldn't have gone far so waited around for him. After 30 minutes of being in the hot desert sun, we started looking for him. He was nowhere to be seen and with literally thousands of people around, we knew it was like looking for a needle in a haystack.

SIX hours later, having looked all over for him and even splitting up to find him, we saw him walking by the 'New York, New York' Hotel. At this point we didn't know whether we should wrap our arms around him or give him a good telling off for wandering away from the bench. (I believe he got the latter!) :)

He told us how he had called the Police and told them he had lost his family. The police said that was typical in Vegas due to the gambling. My Dad said , 'No' I mean I can't find them.

Dad called his good friend, Mike Young in Utah to ask if he knew my cell phone number. Mike didn't, as we always communicate through e-mail.

I asked my Dad to hand me his wallet. He looked at me like I was questioning him for maybe gambling and wanting to check to see if he had any money left.

I opened his wallet and handed Dad my business card and pointed to my my cell phone # right there on the card. So for six long and lonely hours he had wandered around all the time having my cell phone # on him. :)

Monday, September 8, 2008

A visit to Castle Dale, Utah

Last year, my Mom & Dad came to visit us for Thanksgiving & Christmas. Dad's birthday fell during the Thanksgiving Holiday and what a lot we had to be thankful for.
Lance took them to Castle Dale, Utah, to visit Jerry and Jeffrey Bott. Yes they look alike, they are twins. Dad is standing next to Jerry. Mom & Dad are standing on a step so Jerry and Jeffrey did not look too out of place, being tall. :)

Both Jerry and Jeffrey served missions for the LDS Church in England. Jeffrey was in the South and Jerry was in the North. Being that they are twins, they were privileged to serve missions at the same time.

One particular wintry evening (which is every evening except for July and August in England LOL) "Elder" Bott (Jerry) and "Elder" Tolley (Ben) were knocking on doors in my Parents' neighborhood. They knocked on their door and my Mom answered. She told them my Dad was not at home and could they call back another time. They arranged to come over another evening. Mom mentioned to Dad that two Americans had been by earlier. (YIKES, one was a Canadian, but she didn't know that at the time...) Dad asked, "What were they selling?" Mom said they weren't selling anything and that she had invited them to come back.

There was a knock on the door and the two missionaries looked embarrassed as they realized it was the same house they had knocked on earlier that evening. (The neighborhood really was a maze so it was understandable). They were invited in and that was the beginning of the next 40 years and indeed the rest of their lives. (And the next)

Jerry and Dad have kept in touch with each other all these years later. Jerry has a rock in his front yard that Dad gave him to remember him by, on one of his visits.