Merry Christmas 2016

img_1533Merry Christmas to you all! We hope you are enjoying the season and had a great Thanksgiving. We are on our way home from a fun Thanksgiving weekend in St. George with our extended Brough family and thought this would be a good time to knock out this update of what has been going on with our family this year and we look forward to hearing what has been going on with all of you!

Caleb and Mollie got married in May in the Gilbert Temple and had a beautiful reception in Mollie’s parents’ gorgeous backyard. We are so excited to have Mollie in our family. We have loved her for years and always hoped for this! After a cruise to Baja California for their honeymoon they went back to Provo for work and school. Caleb was working for Frontier Communications and Mollie is continuing her education majoring in Communication Disorders at Brigham Young University and will be graduating this coming spring. Shortly after they returned to Provo Caleb got a new job at Wells Fargo Bank as a personal banker at the branch in the BYU Bookstore. This works out perfectly for them because they can ride to campus together everyday. Caleb has also started online classes at Rio Salado. Caleb and Mollie are learning how to research family history since they have been called to help other people in their ward in researching theirs!

Dalton continues to work at Pay Pal while attending Chandler Gilbert Community College. In December he completed his Associates of Arts Degree. He will be transferring to Arizona State University in the fall majoring in Human Resources. In between school and work Dalton found some time to travel.   In April he went to New York City with one of his best friends. While there he saw Hamilton with the original cast. He recently went to Hawaii where he was able to spend some time with one of his former mission companions. While there they did many hikes and also a cageless shark dive! Dalton loves his Young Single Adult ward and the activities it provides including a hike to Havasupai in the Grand Canyon in May. After serving in the elders quorum for two years he is now serving as a Gospel Doctrine teacher which he really enjoys.

Landon and Ashlin live nearby in another ward in our stake. Landon is finishing up his undergraduate degree with a B.S. in Applied Biological Sciences at Arizona State University and will be graduating in the spring. He has been accepted to vet school at Washington State University and Oregon State University and will be visiting both schools in early 2017 before making his decision. At any rate they will be going to vet school next fall! We will certainly miss them but are so excited that something he has worked so hard for is coming to fruition.   Landon also works at his father in law’s vet clinic and pet store, Market Street Pet Depot.   Ashlin works from home at Info Track Services and also has an Etsy shop called Popsicle Paint where she sells her darling handpainted watercolor products. But she is mainly a devoted mom to our aDORAble Dora (1), who loves her kitties, Ruben and Maple, and will be a big sister to a baby brother this coming May! Landon serves with the Young Men in their ward and Ashlin teaches the 11 and 12 year olds in Primary.

Zach and Tara moved to Provo in August. Zach was accepted to the MBA program at Brigham Young University so he left his job at Burns and McDonnell and they sold their home in Gilbert. We were sad to see them go but now that we have two of our kids in Provo we have more reasons to go visit! And we have quite a few times this year!  They live in a cute neighborhood with lots of other MBA students. The program keeps Zach busy not just with classes but also with efforts to secure an internship for next summer. He has traveled to New Orleans and Chicago for job fairs and interviews. Meanwhile, Tara is involved with the MBA Spouse Association along with posting videos every weekday on her YouTube channel, “Broughington”. One of her videos has received over a million views and another video at almost a million. She is such a fun mom to Porter (4) and Piper (2) who are often featured in her videos and are the cutest little siblings. And they will be getting a little brother soon because Tara is due in January with baby number three! Zach and Tara teach the 15/16 year olds in Sunday School.

Jordan and Casey will be our only married kids that haven’t deserted us come August! Jordan is still working for GoDaddy and loves his job. In the fall he also coached the girls swim team at Gilbert Classical Academy. Casey works a couple days a week at Blossom Salon and Boutique as a hair stylist and she has also started a new business called AZ Bridal Hair. Lindy (2) got a little sister in January when Jade was born! They are darling little girls and we are so glad that they will be sticking around because they will be our only nearby grandkids once Landon and Ashlin move. Jordan is a ward missionary and Casey serves in the Relief Society presidency.

Don and Nancy are just growing old together now that everyone has flown the coop except Dalton and even though he still lives at home he isn’t home all that much.   Don continues to work hard for us at Wells Fargo Bank (for almost 34 years now). Even though the bank has gone through a rough patch this year and has had a lot of bad publicity they have a long history of being a great company and of service in the community. We are proud to be associated with Wells Fargo! He has traveled a little bit on business this year to Portland and Salem, OR – Nashville, TN – Birmingham, AL – Charlotte, NC and San Francisco, CA twice.   Nancy was able to go with him on all of them except Oregon. While on the Charlotte trip they stayed in the south for a weekend and went to Columbia and Charleston, SC where Nancy got to wax nostalgic since she lived in the Charleston area (Mt. Pleasant) while her dad taught at the Citadel. Don ran in three 5K races this year, one in Chandler with Zach (Ostrich Festival) and two in West Jordan. One was with his sister and brother in law to benefit a charity for a friend of theirs whose granddaughter has a brain tumor. The other one was to benefit a non-profit that his sister started called Joyful Welcome which provides layettes for babies in need. There was a lot of Brough extended family participation in this one including Caleb and his whole team from the Wells Fargo BYU Bookstore Branch. Nancy walked in the two West Jordan ones and is a little bit bitter that her running days are most likely over. Don and the rest of us enjoyed going to Diamondback games this year although they did not have a good season. Don serves as the Executive Secretary in our Stake’s presidency.

Nancy loves going to the temple every week and goes to both the Mesa and Gilbert temples alternately. She refers to herself as a” temple junkie”. On their trips this year she and Don were able to see LDS temples in Birmingham, Nashville, Columbia and went to the new Provo City Center Temple for the open house in March with Caleb and Mollie. She and one of her dearest friends went to the Houston temple while there for the Houston Quilt Festival in November. They also took a little road trip to Waco to see all the Fixer Upper craziness and it was a blast! Speaking of which, she loves HGTV and binge watching shows on Netflix and Hulu. She hosted book club a couple of times this year although she has not been a super active participant. Once again she is making a new year’s resolution to get back into it. She has loved her 9/10 year old Primary class this year and sharing her testimony of the Book of Mormon with them. Most of them memorized Moroni 10:4 and 5, which tells us how we can gain our own testimony of the book. She will miss her class and being in Primary as she has a new calling in the Young Women’s organization which she is looking forward to.

As a family we went to our favorite beach town of Hermosa Beach, CA in August for several days and stayed in the newly renovated Hotel Hermosa, our digs when we are there. In addition to our other previously mentioned jaunts to Utah we also helped Caleb and Mollie move into their newlywed apartment in June. In July we went to St. George for the return of one nephew from his mission to Mexico, the departure of his brother to his mission in California and their youngest brother’s ordination to the Aaronic Priesthood. Then most recently to St. George again for the above mentioned Thanksgiving weekend where a bunch of us hiked Angel’s Landing in Zion’s National Park on Thanksgiving day followed by a quick amateur photo shoot in St. George for the picture on our card taken with Dalton’s iPhone 7. On the day after Thanksgiving we had our Brough extended family dinner at the historical St. George Social Hall. Almost everyone was able to attend.

We were blessed to have Don’s parents come visit us in January to celebrate his dad’s 81st birthday complete with a cake with 81 candles that he blew out with no problem! Lighting them was a little tricky though! Several extended family members were able to join us for Caleb and Mollie’s wedding festivities and just recently we were so excited to get to have a visit from one of Don’s darling nieces for the weekend. Don’s parents are doing well and looking forward to his sister moving nearby them in January. They have been fortunate to also have his younger brother living nearby as well. Nancy’s dad, who is 88 years old is now in the VA Nursing Facility in Payson, UT due to some dementia and some recent falls. His wife has taken very good care of him for a long time but he along with the rest of us realize this is the best thing for him. It’s been hard for Nancy living so far away and she has always dreaded this day when they moved from Arizona years ago. Don and Nancy are planning a visit in January and we are glad that Zach and Caleb and their families at least live nearby.

We love this time of year as we celebrate the birth of our Savior. We have enjoyed our church’s Christmas campaign this year, “Light the World” and how it has helped us to remember each day in December the ways in which we can be a light in this world for good. We hope we can do these things not just at Christmas but always. We appreciate your love and friendship, hope you are enjoying the holidays and wish you a very happy 2017!

Love,

The Broughs

brough7@q.com

Instagram accounts:   herdofbroughalo and herdofbroughaloroams (be sure to read our warnings in our profiles)

A “GRAND” Christmas 2015

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Brough Family Update 2015

Here we are again scrambling to get our card and this update out to all of you, hopefully before Christmas! We want you all to know how much you mean to us, not only this time of year, but always! Here is a recap of this past year for the Brough family:

Caleb returned home from his mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in July. He served in the Vanuatu Port Vila Mission and in March, category five Cyclone Pam hit Vanuatu. There was devastating damage to the island of Tanna (where he had served previously) and significant damage to the island of Efate where he was serving at the time of the cyclone. Fortunately there were not very many deaths but there was a lot of rebuilding to do, which he and the other missionaries were able to help with for several weeks. After the cyclone all the missionaries that were serving on the island of Tanna were brought back to Efate but that caused a lack of housing for the missionaries so it was decided that most of the missionaries that were due to go home within the next few months would be reassigned to missions in their home countries. Caleb was reassigned to finish the last three months of his mission in the Hawaii Honolulu Mission. It was heartbreaking for him to abruptly have to leave Vanuatu and the people he had grown to love so much, especially at such a devastating time for them but he ended up enjoying his experience in Hawaii where he actually served in a couple of Samoan wards in the Honolulu area. At the end of July, Don and Nancy took him back to Vanuatu VIA Fiji for our last “post mission” trip. We’ve loved visiting all of our boys’ missions but we would have to say that this was by far the most eye opening, adventurous one of all! We fell in love with the beautiful and sweet people and their amazing hospitality.   For a few days we even stayed in an authentic village with Caleb’s Ni-Van (native people of Vanuatu) “family” on the island of Malakula. We also visited the islands of Santo, Tanna and the main island of Efate. While on Tanna we got to be up close and personal with an erupting volcano, Mt. Yasir!  We could see some of the damage from the cyclone but for the most part they had recovered and rebuilt by the time we went which was only a little over four months later. However, they have been in a drought ever since the cyclone and can still use prayers! Caleb is now living in Provo, Utah and working at Frontier Financial and is recently engaged to Mollie McCurdy, a darling girl who he has known since junior high. Mollie is attending BYU and majoring in Communications Disorders. We are all looking forward to their wedding in May!

Dalton continues to work full time at Pay Pal and attends school full time at Chandler Gilbert Community College and Rio Salado College. He will be transferring to Arizona State University next fall to major in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. He loves the young single adult ward he attends and keeps busy with his calling in the Elders Quorum. He went to Victoria and Vancouver, Canada in June for one of his mission companion’s wedding and loved it there.  He joined the East Valley Millennial Choir Organization because he said he missed singing in a choir. They put on an amazing concert at the beginning of December. We love having Dalton living at home with us although he isn’t home a lot!

Landon and Ashlin blessed us with a new granddaughter, Dora Capri (bottom right), in May, who has delighted us all. We surprised Caleb with her at the airport when he returned home from his mission. He knew that he would be getting to meet his other two nieces who were born while he was gone but we never even told him that Ashlin was pregnant or that Dora was born six weeks before he came home!   Landon and Ashlin live in a condo in another ward in our stake with Dora’s feline siblings, Ruben and Maple. Dora loves her kitties! Ashlin’s dad opened a new veterinarian hospital and Pet Depot in October at which time Landon quit his job at Pay Pal and is now employed in the family business. This will be great training, as he will be applying to vet school in the near future. He just finished another semester at Arizona State University. Ashlin enjoys being a stay at home mom and is also fortunate to be able to work from home for Fast Track Legal. She is the oldest of six children, and her youngest sibling is only six, so she is a natural at being a mom to little Dora.  Landon serves in the Young Men organization and Ashlin serves in Primary.

Zach and Tara keep busy with their little family. Porter (top left) is three and goes to pre-school two times a week. He loves robots and garbage trucks. Piper (top right) will be two in March and enjoys being entertained by Porter and loves to line up her toys. Zach continues to work as an engineer at Burns and McDonnell in Phoenix. He travels quite often to California on business. He took the GMAT this year and is now starting the application process for graduate school. So who knows where they will be this time next year. Zach ran the Phoenix half marathon in February. Zach enjoys his calling in the Young Men’s organization and Tara is an Activity Days leader and was also involved with their stake’s Young Women’s Camp last summer. Tara is a fun stay at home mom. She also teaches voice lessons and enjoys the world of mommy blogging!

Jordan and Casey are also busy with work and being parents to Lindy (bottom left), who will be two in April. Jordan’s new schedule at GoDaddy also allowed him to be a part time swim coach at Gilbert Classical Academy in the fall, which he really enjoys. Casey continues to cut hair at Blossom Salon and Boutique and is the sweetest mom to Lindy. Jordan is a ward missionary and Casey has recently been called to serve in the Relief Society. In July, when we were gathered at the house on Caleb’s homecoming weekend, Jordan, Casey and Lindy came into the house and Lindy handed Nana a paper which was actually an ultrasound picture of her sibling due to be born in January! They later found out that it will be a little sister for Lindy! We are all so excited for her arrival at the beginning of 2016!

Don and Nancy love being grandparents and almost empty nesters!! Don has worked for Wells Fargo for almost 33 years now of which we are very grateful. He didn’t have to travel on business as much this year as he has in the past. He did travel to Charlotte, NC and while there also visited a facility in Columbia, SC where he was able to visit Nancy’s niece. Nancy did get to go to San Francisco with him in July on one of his few trips there. Don and the boys are Arizona Diamondback fans and we all enjoyed another year of taking turns getting to go to their home games a couple times a week.   Both Don and Nancy had a few health “events” this past year. Don had his gall bladder removed about a year ago and Nancy recently had her thyroid removed. We can’t complain, though, because we have both enjoyed over 50 years of life without having to be on any medication. Now we are getting used to our new normal of getting old, dang it!  We both work out at a local gym four to five times a week. Hopefully the upcoming nuptials of Caleb and Mollie in May, will be incentive for us to get in shape! Due to our almost three week trip to Vanuatu and Nancy’s surgery, she quit her volunteer temple shift in the baptistry, which she had done for over five years. She misses it but still enjoys attending the temple once a week and hopes to be a temple worker again in the future. We enjoyed having extended family visit when Caleb returned from his mission and also went on several road trips to Utah to visit Don’s parents and brother in St. George, Don’s sister in West Jordan, Nancy’s Dad in Lehi and Caleb in Provo. Don keeps really busy with his calling as the stake executive secretary. Nancy was released a year ago after serving three years in the Relief Society. She was then called as the ward camp director and had a fun time with the young women in our ward in early June at a three day “glamping” retreat. She was recently called to assist with our stake’s girls camp next summer and will also be teaching the eight and nine year olds in Primary starting next year. Don and Nancy are on Facebook but are only “friends” with family members and currently serving missionaries. We are also on Instagram (herdofbroughalo), though, and our account is private but if any of you request to follow us we will accept. However, you need to be warned that Nancy is known to severely “overpost” especially when we go on a trip. Good friends have even unfollowed us because of this!

We are so grateful for our associations with all of you. We are especially grateful for this time of year as we celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

 

 

 

 

 

Hapi Krismas 2014

Caleb in VanauatuIn April of 2013 our son, Caleb, opened his mission call to serve a two year mission for our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He was called to serve in the Vanuatu Port Vila Mission. When he read where he was going most of us said, “Where’s that?” However, there were a few people that were somewhat familiar with it. Landon had heard of it from serving in Australia, where a lot of the missionaries that served in his mission were from various islands in the South Pacific, including Vanuatu. Zach had heard of it because he had a friend that had served in the Fiji Suva Mission years ago at which time Vanuatu was a part of that mission and his friend had spent his whole mission serving in Vanuatu. (Apparently, less than a year before Caleb received his call, Vanuatu was moved out of the Fiji Suva Mission and was made its own mission.) Our neighbor informed us that there was a recent episode of House Hunters International about a family that was relocating from Brisbane, Australia to Vanuatu and there were several people who remembered that the 9th Season of Survivor was filmed in Vanuatu.

photo-2 Other than that, the rest of us had never heard of it. So, of course we started looking up information online about Vanuatu. Here is a little bit of what we found in our search: Vanuatu is an island nation in the Oceanic South Pacific. It is located east of the northeast coast of Australia and west of Fiji.  Included in Caleb’s mission boundaries are the Solomon Islands which are northwest of Vanuatu and New Caledonia to the southwest. Vanuatu is part of Melanesia.

Map of Vanuatu and Australia

Caleb has served in the main city of Port Vila on the island of Efate, several areas on the island of Tanna and several areas on the island of Malakula.  On some of the islands, including the island of Tanna, are active volcanos which Caleb felt erupt on a regular basis.

vanuatu Caleb was called to be English speaking but was informed that he would be learning a native language, Bislama, once he got to Vanuatu. It is an interesting “pidgin” English language and Caleb speaks it fluently and has also picked up some other island dialects as well. The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ,  has been translated into Bislama.

photo-3 For this year’s ornament I wanted to represent the Vanuatu flag in the design because I really like the description of what the colors and emblems on the flag symbolize: The black represents the Melanesian people that make up the majority of Vanuatu’s population. The red represents the country’s unity through blood. Green represents the land and its agriculture. The yellow Y-shape represents the light of the gospel going through the pattern of the islands in the South Pacific (approximately 83% of the people profess Christianity). The yellow emblem in the black is a boar’s tusk – the symbol of prosperity worn as a pendant on the islands – along with two leaves of the local namele fern. The leaves are supposed to be a token of peace and their 39 fronds represent the 39 members of the Parliament of Vanuatu.

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Brough Family Update 2014

Merry Christmas! We enjoy the cards, photos and letters we receive from you this time of year. Here is a recap of what has gone on in our family this past year:

Don and Nancy started out this year having the opportunity to serve as ushers during the open house for the new Gilbert Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.   This was such a great opportunity to invite those not of our faith to see the inside of one of our beautiful temples. In addition to a weekly shift as ushers we went through the tour several times with different friends and neighbors. It was dedicated in March and it is such a blessing to have this beautiful temple in our own town in which to worship.

Jordan and Casey were blessed with the birth of baby Lindy Nicole on April 10th! She is such a beautiful and sweet little girl and has truly healed our hearts since the loss of Elliot last year. Jordan changed jobs and is now working at Go Daddy and really enjoys it.  He is a huge ASU fan and has season football tickets and loves going to the games even when it is over 100 degrees outside.  Casey continues to cut hair several days a week at Blossom Salon and Boutique in Mesa, has a jewelry business called “A Little Bit of Princess” (www.alittlebitofprincess.com) and is the sweetest mom to little Lindy. They recently bought their first home about eight miles from us and have been busy getting settled in and seem to like their new ward.

Zach and Tara welcomed little Piper Amanda to their family on March 7th! She is a little brunette beauty. Porter turned two in February and continues to delight us all.  Zach continues to work as an engineer at Burns and McDonnell. He has traveled quite a bit on business to California and had a trip recently to Wisconsin as well. He just ran the Gilbert Days 5K in November and is training for a half marathon in February. Tara is busy being the mom of two and does such a great job. She has a business making videos called “Shorts for Life” (www.shortsforlife.wordpress.com) and also teaches voice lessons in her home. Zach is serving with the Young Men of their ward and Tara is an Activity Day leader.

Landon and Ashlin were married in the new Gilbert Temple on May 16th and we are so grateful to have another beautiful daughter in law join our family!  It was so nice to have lots of extended family in town for the wedding and while here they were also able to attend the baby blessings of Piper and Lindy. Landon is finishing up his classes at Chandler Gilbert Community College and will begin classes at Arizona State University in January. He is majoring in applied biological sciences (pre-veterinary medicine). He also works full time at Pay Pal. He has been working out with a trainer and is planning on doing a mini triathlon in the new year. Ashlin is working at Zerorez, where Jordan used to work. They are busy newlyweds and the proud parents of two kitties (our grandkitties?), Maple and Ruben. They’ve enjoyed serving as ward missionaries in their ward.

Dalton returned home from his mission in the Australia Adelaide Mission in March and then a week later Don and Nancy flew back with him for his post mission trip. It was so great to be able to see the areas that he served in and meet the people that meant so much to him on his mission. We got to see the Adelaide area, Alice Springs (with a day trip to Uluru) and Darwin. On the way to Adelaide we stayed in Sydney for a day so Dalton could see some of Landon’s mission and it just so happened that when we were there we were able to go to the season opening game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the LA Dodgers at the Sydney Cricket Field.  Dalton is working full time at Pay Pal and attends Chandler Gilbert Community College. He enjoys the YSA (Young Single Adult) ward and stake he belongs to and serves in the elders quorum.

Caleb loves serving in the Vanuatu Port Vila Mission. After serving on the islands of Tanna and Malekula for most of the year he is back in the main city of Port Vila. He was able to wear sandals (even flip flops sometimes) when he was in the outer islands but now that he is back in the “big city” he has to wear his dress shoes again. We also had to send him some new white shirts because his were all yellow from having to wash them by hand. He loves the people of Vanuatu so much and loves sharing the gospel message with them and has been fortunate to see them accept it. We have really noticed through his emails a big change in Caleb. We miss him so much but are so grateful he is having this wonderful experience. We are still looking forward to June 30, 2015 for his return, though!!

Don continues to work for Wells Fargo Bank of which we are so grateful. He has traveled quite a bit this year for work and Nancy got to go with him on several of his trips to San Francisco. On one of his trips to Charlotte, NC he also visited a facility in Columbia, SC and was able to visit our niece, Katie. He’s also traveled to Birmingham, AL and Boise, ID. Don has always loved to read but this year he has started reading a lot of books electronically. He also enjoys going to Diamondback games even though they didn’t do so great this year. He is enjoying serving in the High Priest Group in our ward. We are so grateful for Don and the great husband, dad and papa he is!

Nancy loves volunteering in the baptistry of the Gilbert Temple on Tuesdays, traveling with Don on business (and also pleasure) trips and stays busy with her calling in the Relief Society (women’s auxiliary).  She made some baby quilts for the new granddaughters and has discovered that she really enjoys piecing quilts. Lately she has been busy making ornaments to represent Caleb’s mission.   In September she went on a quick trip with a dear friend to St. George, UT to see the plays at Tuacahn as well as a “girls” trip to Chicago with some of her sisters in law and nieces. She (Nana) has been watching Lindy on Mondays for a few months to “pay it forward” for Don’s mom watching Jordan when he was a baby!

As mentioned earlier we were blessed to have extended family here for the wedding weekend in May as well as some family that came in March for Dalton’s return home from his mission. We were also so happy to have a visit from Don’s sister in September for a few days.

Don and Nancy also went to visit Nancy’s dad in June while Don worked at a bank facility in Salt Lake City for a week. He turned 86 in September and then a few weeks later had open heart surgery in October.   Nancy is grateful that she was able to visit him for a few days in November.  It makes her sad that he lives so far away but she is grateful that she got to spend some time talking to him when there and expressing her love and gratitude to him for the loving way in which he and her mom raised her and her brothers. She is blessed to have had parents who loved each other and made sure that we kids knew they loved us. And that they made it possible for us to learn about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

In October Don and Nancy went on a trip to visit Nancy’s brother and nephew in the Pittsburgh area as well as some of Nancy’s and Don’s family in Ohio. While back east they also went to Niagara Falls and visited the LDS church historic sights in the Palmyra, NY area. It was such a blessing to feel the spirit as we sat in the Sacred Grove where the simple ernest prayer of a young farm boy was answered and the restoration of the gospel began.

When we returned from that trip we were able to attend the open house and dedication of yet another beautiful temple in Phoenix. We are so blessed to have so many temples in our midst!

Don’s parents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in November at a Thanksgiving gathering in St. George, UT.   Most everyone was able to make it and it was great being together to honor this wonderful couple.  One of Don’s sisters and niece asked Tara to put together a video which we surprised them with at the gathering.  She did an awesome job!

We are so grateful for all of you and wish you all a “Hapi Krismas” and all the best in the coming year!

The Brough Family (brough7@q.com)

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Giving Tree 2014

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Kangaroo Christmas 2013

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While our third son, Landon, was serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Australia Sydney North Mission, our fourth son, Dalton (who is currently serving his mission in the Australia Adelaide Mission) and I came across this cute and cheesy Australian Christmas song.  We both got a kick out of it (especially the part where the artist, Rolf Harris, says, “Mummy, where’s my mummy?  They’ve taken her away.”).  As per my tradition of making Christmas ornaments that represent the country where our boys have served I knew when Dalton received his mission call that his ornament would be a white boomer.  As I was trying to figure out how to share this song with the recipients of my ornaments, my eldest son, Jordan, came to my rescue and set up this blog for me.  I hope you will enjoy listening to “Six White Boomers” by Rolf Harris.

Brough Family Update 2013

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you!   We love receiving your cards, photos and updates this time of year.  Here is what has been going on with our family this past year:

Jordan and Casey :  Sweet baby Elliot Robert was born on March 7th and after being given a name and a blessing by his father,  peacefully passed away.  This was a very tender time for our family and we want to thank you for all of your thoughts and prayers.  They truly helped to sustain us all.  On a happier note…Casey is pregnant again with a healthy baby GIRL!  She is due in April.  Jordan graduated from ASU in Public Relations in May and is working at Zerorez Arizona as their digital marketing coordinator.  Casey continues to work at Blossom Salon and Boutique and at her parent’s home décor store, Rodworks.  She has been extra busy lately because they just opened a second store in north Phoenix.  They still live in our stake so it is nice to have them nearby.

Zach, Tara and Porter:  Zach graduated from BYU in April.  We packed them up the weekend of graduation and they are now back in Arizona.  In May he started his job at Burns and McDonnell, an engineering consulting firm, and they just bought their first home not too far away from us.   They have been busy painting walls and cabinets and getting settled in.  Zach and Tara both participated in a choir called East Valley Millennial Organization.   Porter is a delight to us all.  Tara is a darling mom and Porter is definitely a mama’s boy.  He only likes us if Tara isn’t around! Oh, and by the way, Porter will soon be a big brother to a little SISTER!  Yes, Tara is due in March!

Landon:  He moved out in May with a couple of friends.   It has been a good thing for him and he has enjoyed it and the singles ward he attends.  He is still working at Pay Pal and attending Chandler Gilbert Community College.  He has one more year there and then will transfer to Arizona State University majoring in Agribusiness.  He loves playing his guitar and writing songs and on Thursday nights he sometimes performs at an open mike night at a local coffee shop.  He has been volunteering at a veterinarian’s office on Mondays and the temple on Friday nights.   He has also planted a small garden in what is left of our yard around the perimeter of the pool.

Dalton:  He is still serving as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Australia Adelaide Mission.  This year he has served in Darwin and several different areas in the greater Adelaide area.  He is currently in the Klemzig area of Adelaide and loves it.  He has had some great experiences and it is going to truly be bittersweet for him to finish his mission in March. But we are not going to lie…we can hardly wait!

Caleb:  This has been a whirlwind year for Caleb!  He finished his senior year and graduated in May from Mesquite High School, but not before receiving his mission call in April to the Vanuatu Port Vila Mission!   I’m sure that the majority of you are saying what we said: “Where’s that?”  Vanuatu is an island chain in the South Pacific south of the Solomon Islands, north of New Caledonia, east of Australia and west of Fiji.   It was actually part of the Fiji Suva Mission up until about 18 months ago when it became it’s own mission so that is why not very many of us have ever heard of anyone getting called to serve there. Apparently, one of the seasons of the television reality show, Survivor, was filmed there, called Vanuatu: Islands of Fire.  Yes, there are live volcanoes on some of the islands!  He reported to the Provo MTC on July 3rd and after his two week training went to the Maryland Baltimore Mission with five other missionaries assigned to Vanuatu to wait for their visas.  Upon his arrival in Baltimore he had an appendicitis attack and had an emergency appendectomy the next night.   At this point we were feeling grateful that they had to wait for their visas because if they had gone to Vanuatu as planned he probably would have started having his attack mid flight and who knows what the medical conditions would have been like in Vanuatu!  He healed quickly from the appendectomy and loved the time he spent in Baltimore.  The visas came the end of August and they finally got to go to Vanuatu.  After serving in a pretty remote area for awhile he is now in the main city of Port Vila.  He truly loves the people and is pretty confident speaking the local language, Bislama.  We miss him terribly and of course Nancy will always worry about his living conditions (some places don’t have running water and limited electricity), but we know he is where he is supposed to be and wouldn’t want him anywhere else at this time.

Don has traveled a little bit more on business with Wells Fargo Bank this year and Nancy has had the opportunity to go with him on a few of these trips especially since they have become temporary “empty nesters”.  Nancy loves going with him when he goes to Charlotte and San Francisco.   On one of the trips to Charlotte Don also needed to visit some of the bank’s facilities in Columbia, SC, Roanoke and Richmond, VA .  So it ended up being a business “road trip” and while in Columbia we were able to see Nancy’s niece and also made a stop in Greensboro, NC to see Don’s nephew and family.  Don enjoys his calling in the High Priest Group and Nancy keeps busy serving in the Relief Society.  Nancy has loved volunteering at the Mesa Temple baptistry for over three years now.  Don and the boys enjoy going to Diamondback games during the summer.

We enjoyed a couple of trips to San Diego, once with Caleb on Memorial Day weekend so he could go to the San Diego temple with a good friend and his family and again in September with the rest of the family to go to a D-back/Padre game and the San Diego Zoo.  In the fall Don and Nancy went on a trip to Pennsylvania to visit Nancy’s brother and then to Ohio to see some church historical sites and visit relatives on both sides of our family.

We are excited about our new Gilbert Temple that will be dedicated in March.  Before the dedication there will be an open house for all to attend.  It is from January 18th thru February 15th and will be a great opportunity for those not of our faith to see the inside of one of our beautiful temples.  We have been assigned to be on the usher committee every Thursday night during the open house.   For information about the Gilbert Temple visit www.gilbertmormontemple.org.   Beginning on December 30th there will be information on how to acquire free tickets for the open house.

We are so grateful for our many blessings this time of year.  We know that we have a loving Heavenly Father that hears and answers our prayers and helps to sustain us through the trials of this life.  We are blessed to have all of you in our life and want you to know that we love you all and wish you a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful new year!

The Brough Family                                                                                           brough7@q.com

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Giving Tree 2013

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