Friday, December 21, 2012

Merry Christmas!

 Our Christmas letter for 2012. I'm sure I missed a few loved ones when I mailed them out, so here it is for everyone. We love you all.

Merry Christmas!

It’s true that our Christmas letter has been on vacation for a few years, so consider this one a catch up issue. (There is a post on our blog with lots of pictures from the past few years, please visit at

Family Highlights, since last time
* Scott and Donna bought a house in New Meadows
* Carter was chosen to be Chief for a Day in Clark Co Washington
Trip to the USS Iowa, Karie’s family traveled to the Long Beach area together                  to see the battleship where her dad served during World War II.
* Family visits ~ from everyone over the past few years, we love it. 
* Vienna was born Dec 6 2010, so she just turned 2.
* neighborhood flag night ~ to honor a fallen Border Patrol agent related to our
     neighbor, we all lined the street holding our flags when they returned home
     from the airport with his was very touching.
* Steve and Krista bought a house in Provo
* Green smoothies ~ Dave makes them for us every morning
* We painted our walls, no more white ~ come see!

Our family by the numbers
60...pounds of strawberries from our garden each spring and summer
100s...people who saw Rick land the Life Flight helicopter on the football field
14...the age of our oldest grandchild
15...years we have been in Utah
37...years we have been married; who knew we would ever get so old?
over 5000...miles to Robin and Dennison’s new, temporary home we bought to plant in our yard last summer, we had all volunteers
4...the stage of Christmas we are in

We love to hear...
“I love you the mostest” ~ from Jonas & Bryar
      whenever we tell them we love them
“I’m going to be a big brother’ ~ from Cache last summer
‘Do you have any gum in your purse?’ ~ from Ike when he calls me from Idaho
‘Do you want to Skype?’ ~ from Robin
‘We’re coming to see you’ ~ from anyone whenever you can come

Much has happened in our family during the past few years.
We have learned more about the love and mercy of our Heavenly Father. We have experienced the power of combined faith and prayers, and thank you for those prayers and your concern and kindness. We have had joyous times with our wonderful family. We have had tasted the sweetness of service in our Savior’s name and come to love others as never before. We have learned more than we ever cared to know about Leukemia and seen love in action as friends, family, and strangers have supported our little Carter. We have seen prayers answered and amazing growth in family members.
We share with you, those we love, our witness that Jesus is our Savior. He loves us more than we can imagine and gives strength, comfort and joy as we meet the challenges and opportunities of life. We love Him and wish you the happiest of Christmases as we all celebrate His birth, life and miraculous love for us.

        with much love,
            Dave and Karie

The Four Stages of Christmas
1 ~ Believing in Santa
2 ~ Not believing in Santa
3 ~ Being Santa
4 ~ Looking like Santa

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Christmas letter pictures

our family by family:
Rachel and Dave ~ Ani, Liam, Kier, and Ike
Scott and Donna ~ Jonas and Bryar
Robin and Dennison ~ Carter, Jude and Vienna
Steve and Krista ~ Cache

And since we're playing catch-up, here are some pictures from the past few years...

we love picking strawberries from the garden,
we get about 50 pounds each year

Dave, Rachel and family made a quick trip last March

Scott and Donna bought a house in New Meadows

Jonas loves to ski almost as much as his dad does

Rick vacationing in Hawaii

I got to spend lots of time with the Harris family, this was in Sep 2012.

Carter was sworn in as Chief for a Day in Clark Co. Washington

Steve and Krista bought a house in Provo

We are getting another granddaughter in February!
(That will bring the total to 8 grandsons and 3 granddaughters)

 Carter had a 'stomp on my dragon' celebration

Cache and I love to make cookies together

Dave and Rachel's Kier 

Scott and Donna on their visit a couple years ago
Vienna loves Uncle Rick, last year at Christmas

Jude with Granpa
Dave built an arbor in the backyard, now we have Clematis growing on it.

My dad on our trip to see the Iowa this past July

Painting the house a year ago

This is how it looks now

Robin and Dennison's new home, starting in just a few weeks,
it's Nice, France!
Grampa, Carter, and Jude had a slumber party in the basement last Christmas Eve.

Jude aka Woody

Carter sitting on the deck with Grampa last New Year's Day

Cache and Carter

the USS Iowa where my dad served during World War II

 Cache and Dave love to have squirt gun fights

 coloring Easter Eggs at Rachel's house with all our Idaho grandchildren

 Scott and his boys Jonas and Bryar

 Scott and Jonas at the hill

 Carter stared Kindergarten this fall

We continue to love serving in the YSA ward! 
the Bishop and some of the ward members

 Buddy the Elf made and appearance at one of the YSA ward Halloween parties

one of several ward dinners in our backyard

Monday, July 9, 2012

USS Iowa

our first look at the USS Iowa
I was privileged to attend the recommissioning ceremony for the USS Iowa last week, on July 4 to be exact. It was an emotional day. I was there with 5 of my brothers and sisters and my parents, and we went because my dad served on the Iowa in the Pacific during World War 2. He was a very young sailor, joining the Navy at 17, who called the battleship home for 3 1/2 years. His assignment was to fire one of the many 40mm anti-aircraft weapons on the deck when they were under attack.

I found this picture of the 40mm Bofur, I think this is the type of gun my dad shot.
another picture of the Iowa in the 40's
one more from back in the day       
 Several years ago, a young college student interviewed my dad about his experiences during the war. Here are some excerpts from that interview (with some very minor editing by me):
[My dad] boarded the ship when it was brand new and had just come back from its shakedown cruise. 
As part of the 3rd Pacific Fleet, led by the hard-nosed and infamous Admiral Bull Halsey, the USS Iowa departed for the Pacific theater of operations on January 2, 1944 as the flagship of the 7th Battleship Division. Remaining in the Pacific until the end of World War II, returning only once to Bremerton, Washington for repairs, the Iowa valiantly supported hundreds of air strikes against its formidable foes of the Rising Sun, the Japanese. [My dad] remembers the voyage well as they embarked from Norfolk, Virginia and headed down through the Panama Canal. He recalls how the ship was only a few feet smaller than the channel locks and barely managed to squeeze through them. They then headed for Hawaii to upload supplies and ammo for the inevitable battles ahead.
The first battle came just weeks later on January 29, 1944 in the Marshall Islands. Then in February they were in the Carolina Islands, and Saipan, Tinian, Rota, and Guam in the Marianas. Missions continued as the Iowa supported air raids in Hollandis, Aitape, and Wake Islands to support Army forces on Aitape, Tanahmnerah Bay, and Humboldt Bay in New Guinea. During one of those battles he was credited with shooting down a Japanese torpedo bomber, an aircraft that flew in low and dropped torpedoes in an attempt to hit and sink the aircraft carriers. Through heavy smoke, he shot his 'Heavy 14" 40mm anti-aircraft gun. He heard the fire control tower announce over the loud speakers, "Nice shooting Heavy 14." After taking control of an island, they would often go ashore to resupply the Army troops on land. On one particular occasion, he remembers the sobering task of fishing the bodies of dead American soldiers afloat in the waters and removing their dog tags. "It was a putrid smell, the human flesh smell." He recalls it as a very distressing moment for him because their families would never know what truly happened to their soldier. While on the island, he remembers trying to crawl through the buffalo grass, afraid to move one blade in fear that a Japanese sniper might pick him off at the sight of moving grass.
He was aboard as the Iowa assisted in the invasion of the Philippines, saw action in Okinawa, and participated in strikes on the Japanese homeland. 
On August 29th the Iowa, accompanied by the entire Task Force entered Yokohama Naval Base in Tokyo Bay. The Iowa anchored only 300 yards from USS Missouri where [my dad] witnessed the entire ceremony of the signing of the peace through the binoculars mounted on his "Heavy 14" gun mount.
With these thoughts in mind, and in the presence of so many other former sailors, tears came easily.
 We met wonderful people, dad was interviewed by reporters, and finally we got to go aboard the
"Big Stick", as the USS Iowa was called.

looking back from the front end of the ship
looking forward from the rear of the ship
dad says he could often find a quiet place to be alone here in the rear

We were all terribly disappointed to learn that no wheelchairs were allowed on board. We spoke to anyone and everyone we felt might be able to bend the rules, all to no avail. When the crowd thinned out, dad agreed to let Gene and Greg help him walk on.

he got to 'man the rail' once again
back on deck so many years later
That was the best part of the day, seeing my dad back aboard the USS Iowa.
A few more pictures of the USS Iowa

Thank you dad, and to all who have served the cause of freedom and liberty as part of the United States military. We owe much to each of you.