Brough Family Update 2022
Here we go again! And as always, the purpose of this is to document our family history since we are not journal writers. So, if you are one of the very few who take the time to read this, thank you for your interest in our life!
We will start with some updates on our sons and their families:
THE MESA HERD
Jordan works for Rocket Media as their digital sales coordinator. He also dabbles in real estate with a company called Gentry. He coached again this fall for the swim team at Gilbert Classical Academy. Along with Caleb he is one of our “chauffeurs” to and from the airport if we don’t Uber or park in long term parking. In the summer he took the girls one weekend on a 14 hour round trip road trip to visit Don’s parents in St. George. Casey is an amazing hair stylist and keeps us and many others perfectly coiffed. She is a darling mom to their three busy girls. She loves crafts and decorating. This year she decorated the girls’ bathroom and Jordan’s home office. She has been enjoying having Tuesdays to herself now that Blair has started all day pre school. In December she and Nancy took a cake decorating class by one of her neighbors. Lindy (8)is in 3rd grade. She played volleyball earlier this year and now she is doing gymnastics and did great in her recent showcase. She has a beautiful singing voice and is in the elementary school choir. She was baptized and confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by Jordan in May. She is learning how to sew (she, Jade and Dora took a sewing class in the summer). Jade (6) is in 1st grade. She is on swim team and loves it. She and Lindy both have lots of friends in their fun neighborhood. She is very creative and loves doing crafts and learning how to sew. Blair (3) is a spunky, endearing three year old. She started all day pre school this year. She takes dance and did well in her recent recital. She loves hanging out with her big sisters and all their neighborhood friends.
THE MAPLE VALLEY HERD
Zach manages a team of product managers at Amazon, mainly remotely from home but goes into the office every once in a while. He and Tara renovated the fireplace in their family room as well as other home improvement projects. He loves camping and other outdoor adventures with Porter and the young men in their ward in the beautiful state of Washington. Tara is a fun mom to their five kids. She has completed numerous home improvement projects. We love how when she decides to do a project she just dives in and gets it done. She puts on the most amazing Halloween displays in their front yard. She went on a fun girls’ trip to Park City this year, something she does every year with the wives of the MBA students Zach studied with at BYU. They have gone to Las Vegas, Charleston and other fun places through the years. Porter (10) is in 5thgrade. He loves playing on his soccer team. He and Zach have done numerous camping and outdoor adventures together. He started taking piano lessons online from Landon and Ashlin’s friend and former next door neighbor, Sydni. He enjoys Pokeman and playing video games with his friend, Cannon. He is the sweetest boy and has gone with us on some of our early morning walks when they were here in February and when we were with them in Hawaii in April. He also got up at 4:00 in the morning the last time we visited them to ride with us to the airport. Piper (8) is in 3rd grade. She loves art and drawing and has beautiful handwriting. She also loves to sing and has a beautiful voice. She takes ballet. She also started taking piano lessons this year. She was baptized and confirmed a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by Zachary in March. She has also gotten into Pokeman. She holds her own as the only girl in the family. Beau (5) is in Kindergarten. He is very smart and hilarious. He knows what he wants and knows a lot about a lot of things. He can be a pesty younger brother and does not want to be left out of what the big kids are doing. So, he is also into Pokeman. He loves playing games AND making up his own version of an existing game. Brady (3) is a smiley, happy little boy. He loves to dance and being involved with what the older kids are doing. His speech has really taken off this year. Carson (1) is also a super smiley guy. He reminds us of Zach as a baby. He has started walking a little but still prefers to crawl because he can get to where he wants to go faster. He is a speed crawler!
THE GILBERT (on Ryan) HERD (formally known as The Queen Creek Herd)
Landon and Ashlin have two big news items this year. On October 8th they welcomed Graham Anders to their family, our 16th grandchild! In November they bought an acre lot that they have lots of future plans for, including building their dream home, but in the meantime they have moved into the manufactured home that came with the lot. Unfortunately, the lot is unfenced at this time so they had to rehome their mini Australian shepherd, Squeegee. Their cats, Ruben and Maple are sweeties. Landon continues to practice as a veterinarian at Power Road Animal Hospital. He went on a bow hunting trip this year (his first hunting trip) during the off time at a continuing education conference in Colorado and got an elk so they now have a freezer full of elk meat and jerky. He and his father in law, Bruce, also went to another continuing education conference in Philadelphia in July/August and Ashlin and her mom, Cherryl, went with them. They got to tour the sites there during the off time as well. Don and Nancy, Caleb and Mollie and their next door neighbors, Steven and Sydni tagged team with the kids while they were gone. He has been doing lots of home improvement projects since they moved with the help of Caleb and family on Ashlin’s side of the family. Ashlin is a fun busy mom of four, one being a nursing newborn. She has been decorating their home in her fun colorful style. She wrote, illustrated and self-published her first children’s book, “What Will My Mom Do While I’m at School” (you can find it on Amazon and it is darling). She has designed several flyers and posters for Nancy this year for some Relief Society events. She loves to bake and has taken rice krispie treats to a new level. Dora (7) is in 2nd grade and is in the Spanish Dual Language Immersion program at their elementary school. She enjoys gymnastics and also started taking piano lessons from Sydni, their next door neighbor, who recently moved, so now Dora is taking her lessons online. She is the best big sister to baby Graham. She loves crafting and learning to sew. Theo (5) is in Kindergarten, also in the Spanish Dual Language Immersion program. He and Dora roll their “Rs” perfectly when they speak Spanish. He loves doing his own thing. He also enjoys gymnastics. Charlie (2) is such a sweet little boy. He loves hanging out with his mom, baby Graham and their cats, especially Ruben (bless Ruben’s sweet little feline heart), while the big kids are at school. Graham (2 months) has been a delight! He is adorable, scrumptious and all the wonderful adjectives you could think of for a warm, snuggly newborn. We can’t resist calling him Graham Cracker from time to time! He will be the “Baby Jesus” in our nativity reenactment this Christmas.
THE SARATOGA SPRINGS HERD (formally known as The Lehi Herd)
Dalton and Sarah also have two big news items this year! On July 6th they welcomed Russell Don to their family, our 15th grandchild! In August they sold their condo in Lehi and in September they moved into their new home in Saratoga Springs. Dalton loves being a new dad to baby Russell. He works for Neighbor (www.neighbor.com) which is a company similar to Airbnb but for the storage industry, as head of human resources. He completed his first marathon, the St. George marathon in October. Caleb, Mollie and boys came up in October to help them build shelves in the garage, mudroom and laundry room as well as some other random tasks. Sarah loves being a new mom to baby Russell and does it seamlessly. She has been enjoying furnishing and decorating their new home. She and Dalton are very deliberate parents and it is so sweet to witness them as new parents. Sarah works remotely from home for June Rings (www.junerings.com) designing custom rings. She and Dalton love to try new recipes and when we were there in November they made some killer nachos. Russell (5 months) has also been a delight! He is also adorable, scrumptious and all the wonderful adjectives you could think of for a warm, snuggly newborn. Some of his nicknames so far are Russ, Big Russ and Russet Potato. Nancy thought that she would want to call him Rusty but so far he hasn’t seemed like a Rusty to her. He is learning to roll over and gives out smiles for free. He will be a sheep/understudy for the “Baby Jesus” in our nativity reenactment.
THE TEMPORARILY DISPLACED HERD (soon to be The Queen Creek Herd)
Caleb works for Builders Flooring and Design (www.buildersflooringanddesign.com), his inlaws’ company in sales but also does quite a bit of hands on work. He has been busy this year working closely with his general contractor on their new home in Queen Creek which should be completed at the beginning of the new year. He enjoys mountain biking with a group of friends and sometimes they bring their oldest kids. As mentioned above he has helped Landon and Ashlin and Dalton and Sarah with some projects in their new homes. He is basically our family handyman. He also helps “chauffeur” Don and Nancy to and from PHX from time to time. Mollie works for Ridge Zeller Therapy as a speech language pathologist. Part of the week she can work remotely from home. She is a darling mom to their two boys AND she is due in May with their 3rd child, our 17th grandchild! She is an inspiration when it comes to eating healthy and it carries over to how well their boys eat. Bennett (3) is a happy, smiley, talkative little boy. He loves going to the John Deere store with his other grandpa, Nik, and dressed up as a John Deere tractor for Halloween. Preston (1) has the sweetest disposition and has always been pretty chill. Now he is walking and exploring his world and is pretty determined about it.
THE GILBERT (on SERENO) HERD (aka THE HEAD of the HERD)
Don is officially off the payroll at Wells Fargo as of the end of October. He and Nancy have enjoyed what we are calling our “gap year” by traveling to see family (details on that later) since we are preparing to hopefully serve a fulltime mission in the next year. We enjoy going to the temple every Tuesday, mostly the Gilbert and Mesa temples (we live smack dab between both of them) and if we are out of town and there is a temple we try to go there. Don loves to read and has read over 30 books this year. Even though Nancy also loves to read, the only thing she has read this year is The Book of Mormon which they both read every year and the Come Follow Me (our church’s Sunday School curriculum) lessons and the scriptures that go with them, which was most of the Old Testament since that was our course of study this year. Although the Old Testament is challenging and frustrating we did gain a deeper appreciation of it this year. Nancy finally finished Preston and Carson’s baby quilts barely before they turned one! Now she needs to hurry and get going on quilts for Russell, Graham and Caleb and the grandbaby due in May. Nancy has been doing Duolingo in Spanish for over 130 days. She’s always wanted to learn Spanish and even though it will be years (if ever) before she could actually speak it fluently, it has been a fun little hobby for her. Don is still the Stake Executive Secretary in our stake and Nancy is a counselor in our ward Relief Society Presidency. We enjoy the grandkids and even though we aren’t “day care” or regular babysitters for them we do enjoy watching them here and there when needed and we try to have “Brough Sunday” once a month with everyone here in AZ. However, there are so many of us now, our home is not very conducive to having everyone, so we may start doing a monthly rotation for “Brough Sunday” in the next year. We also try to go to their various games, recitals and other events. For Christmas last year Don gifted Nancy with a gift card for two dance classes at the Fred Astaire Dance Studio. We went to redeem it and of course ended up being coerced into more than a few more than two dance classes! However, not enough to get very proficient but we learned a little of the rumba, waltz and cha cha! And it was pretty fun although we think that might be where Don got Covid in July. Nancy is still a Covid “virgin” and the only one in our immediate family that hasn’t had it yet, at least that we know of. Her day will probably come at some point, though. We enjoyed another season of ASU Gammage plays with our friends, the Petersons, and this year we got to see The Band’s Visit (had never heard of it and it was slow and kind of weird), Tootsie, Hadestown (SO good and now one of our favorites), Come from Away (another new favorite!) and Oklahoma (it was a horrible version of it! People left before intermission and then after intermission tons more had left. We stuck it out but it was miserable!). For exercise, besides our elliptical machine we love to walk and something we started focusing on when we are in Utah is a goal to eventually walk the whole Jordan River Trail which is a 45 mile paved trail from Saratoga Springs to Salt Lake City (basically from Utah Lake to the Great Salt Lake). For several years when we’ve visited Dalton and Sarah we would do our morning walks on the trail and walked multiple times on the same segment of it because it’s always been near all the places they’ve lived. But then we decided we wanted to eventually walk all of it. Which means we now have to drive to the different trail heads to do so. We have been doing it in 1.5 to 2 mile segments (3 to 4 miles roundtrip) and have completed 25 miles of it now from Saratoga Springs to Midvale. This will be a goal that we won’t complete until we get back from our mission but it has been so fun! We had our pre Thanksgiving dinner on the Sunday before Thanksgiving with all our Arizona kids and then went to Utah to enjoy actual Thanksgiving with Don’s sister, Joye, and brother, Mark and their families. On the day after Thanksgiving we got to spend the day at Dalton and Sarah’s house with them and Zach and family who were in town from Washington to spend Thanksgiving with Tara’s family. The next day we got to meet up with Nancy’s brother, Eric, and sister in law, Alex, who were also in town from PA and Nancy’s nephew, Matt, his wife, Jessica and their daughter, Kamrynn for dinner. We had our 2nd annual progressive dinner with our Arizona kids earlier in December and are looking forward to Dalton, Sarah and Russell coming for Christmas this year!
Our portion of this update where we tell “where we roamed” (basically a travel log that only we care about!) is usually what we type up at this point but we decided we will start typing that up at the end now since we are the only ones who would even care about it.
OUR CHRISTMAS MESSAGE
We are so grateful for all our friends and family and are hoping that everyone is enjoying the holidays. As we celebrate the birth of our Savior we pray that all will be able to feel His spirit of peace this season and always. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
WHERE WE ROAMED (and who roamed to visit us)
We went on a quick road trip to St. George to see Don’s parents and drop off something for his dad’s belated birthday, then on to West Jordan, where we spent a few days with Don’s sister and brother in law and also got to see Dalton and Sarah and Don’s niece, Kenzee. Don was able to go to one of Kenzee’s fiance’s (Peyton’s) basketball games. At the end of the month…
…through the beginning of February, Nancy’s brother, Eric, and sister in law, Alex, came for a visit! It was the first time they had come to stay with us and it was a great time! Right after Eric and Alex left we had a quick turnaround and Dalton and Sarah came with some dear friends of theirs, Seth and MJ Townsend! It was so fun to get to know the Townsends and Dalton had fun showing them G-Town! Then in the middle of the month our Washington kids came for nine days during the kids’ mid winter break. Lots of guest bedding got washed during February! Also, at the end of the month, we got to go one Saturday to see Don’s nephew, Adler, who was here with his soccer team from St. George playing in a soccer tournament in Queen Creek!
At the beginning of the month Don’s brother, Mark, and sister in law, June, came for a short visit. They had tickets to go see Bob Dylan in Phoenix and then spent the rest of time hanging around with us. We went with them on a drive to Tucson to see the Pima Air and Space Museum, Davis Monthan AFB Boneyard and the Tucson temple and grounds. We also showed them the Mesa temple grounds. It was so great to have them! Next, we flew to Seattle and met up with Dalton and Sarah to be there for Piper’s baptism. We did a whirlwind Seattle day with Dalton and Sarah at a lot of the iconic places and some of our favorite places and later that day met up with Zach and family at Discovery Park. The rest of the time was spent in Maple Valley at their home celebrating Piper. Next, we were off to Atlanta to visit with Nancy’s brother, Kirby, who lives in a nearby suburb, Acworth. We spent the rest of the time seeing the sights of Atlanta before driving to Hilton Head (and side trips to Beaufort, Charleston, Summerville and some cute backwood towns) so Nancy could get her SC fix for the year. If Nancy had it her way, we’d go there every year and better yet, get some kind of property there! We drove back to Atlanta, stopping in Savannah for a whirlwind morning tour on the way to catching our plane home.
Zach and Tara had planned a trip to Hawaii on the island of Oahu for their family and asked if we would like to join them at their Airbnb. They needed us to watch the kids a couple of times so they could do a few adventures while there. Don had never been to Hawaii and I hadn’t been back since I went to BYU-Hawaii for a semester back in the winter of 1979! I have a two to three week itinerary planned for the future for Don and I to go to several islands and was kind of scared to say yes to Zach’s offer in fear that I would never get Don to go again with me for my planned trip because he might say, “Oh, I’ve already been to Hawaii”, but then I thought that was stupid because if anything, once he saw how wonderful it is he would want to go back for more! Surprisingly, he actually didn’t love it as much as I do but said he would still go again someday. Anyway, it was a wonderful trip and brought back so many memories for me as we went to all my old haunts. The Airbnb was right across the street from the Polynesian Cultural Center in Laie. We went on our morning walks all over Nancy’s old stomping grounds including the PCC, BYU-Hawaii campus, where we found her old dorm, and the Laie Temple Grounds and Visitor Center. The temple was still not open to anyone other than the locals in that temple district so we didn’t get to go inside but the grounds and temple are breathtaking. Don was awed by it. We got to Oahu a few days before and left a day after them so we spent a few days in Honolulu on the front and back end of the trip. The rest of the time was on the North Shore. It was so fun to show Don around and to also experience it with their family.
The boys planned a fun trip over Memorial Day weekend to San Francisco with all the couples, to celebrate Don’s retirement. Unfortunately, less than a week before we were scheduled to go, Sarah got Covid so they didn’t get to come. Dalton also ended up getting it while the rest of us were in SF. We also had Preston on the trip with us because he won’t take a bottle but he was a dream. We stayed in one of our favorite hotels, the Omni, in the financial district, which the boys all have memories of staying at when we took them all once while Don was on a business trip for a week. We hit ALL our favorite places and restaurants and Don showed them all the Wells Fargo buildings he worked in through the years. After going to SF multiple times through the years it had been a long time since we’d been there. We love that city so much. We fit a lot in in the short time we got to be there and it was a wonderful trip! We just wish Dalton and Sarah could have been there with us.
At the beginning of the month we took off on a kind of crazy road trip to Utah so we could hit several family events starting with a wedding shower for Don’s niece, Kenzee, in Santa Clara (near St. George). Don hung out with his brother, Brian, while I was at the shower. We then headed to West Jordan to spend some time with Don’s sister, Joye, brother in law, Kim, and their grandson, Noa. We went on a fun Sunday drive with them to drive by all the temples under construction down that way. We saw the Taylorsville, Orem and Saratoga Springs temples. We also drove out to Goshen, where some segments of the show, The Chosen, was filmed. The set is owned by our church and it is where The Book of Mormon films are filmed as well. We couldn’t actually see the set but we drove through the cutie little towns of Goshen, Santaquin and Elberta (where there is a church dairy farm). I had no idea that any of those towns existed till then! We’ve driven down I-15 for years and I never knew they were out there west of the freeway. We saw where Sarah works and Dalton was working remotely that day from her office so we had a nice little visit with them. We went to the Oquirrh Mountain temple for our first temple Tuesday while there. We checked out a deli in SLC, Feldman’s Deli, and it was delicious and of course I had to hit Orson Gygi while there. We happened to be in town for a few days the same time as Nancy’s brother, Eric, and his family and it just so happened that our nephew, Matthew’s, daughter, Kamrynn, was celebrating her birthday at a bowling alley while we were all in town so we all got to attend the celebration. We also tried a new restaurant, Edna’s, with Dalton and Sarah and then started staying with them that night. The next event we went up for was a baby shower for Sarah at her brother and sister in law’s house in SLC. So, Nancy went to that and then we headed straight to Cedar City to attend the temple when Kenzee received her endowment. Then we headed straight back north and stayed with Dalton and Sarah the next week. They both worked during the weekdays so we just relaxed or ran errands during the days and hung out with them in the evenings. We walked more segments of the Jordan River Trail in the mornings. We got to go see the progress of their new home in Saratoga Springs. One night, Don and Nancy went up to Bountiful to meet up with some of Don’s cousins and Mark and June on his mom’s side at El Matador for dinner. We went to the Jordan River Temple for temple Tuesday that week. We ate at another yummy restaurant, the new Gourmandise in American Fork, with Dalton and Sarah. For our last event we headed back to southern Utah (stopping at The Creamery in Beaver for lunch, another one of our favorites) to an Airbnb that Dalton and Caleb had found in Washington and met Dalton and Sarah and Caleb and Mollie there so we would all be there for Kenzee and Peyton’s wedding and reception the next day. The wedding was at the Cedar City temple and the reception was back in St. George. We also got to see the Red Cliffs Temple under construction in Washington. The next day we headed back home.
The daughter of our dear friends, the Steinackers, is the executive director of a drum and bugle corps called The Battallion. They had just finished up a two week training in Winslow to prepare for their inaugural performance and the world championships in Indiana last summer. They ended their training with a performance in Winslow so we decided to for a quick overnight trip to Winslow, which we had never been to before. The performance was great and it was fun to be “standing on the corner in Winslow, Arizona”! It was a fun little jaunt. The next trip we had planned was to be going to see new baby Russell on the 18th but on the 13th Don tested positive for Covid so we had to postpone that trip to August.
August into September
At the beginning of the month we headed back on another crazy trip to Utah to attend several events, the most important one being finally getting to meet baby Russell! We are so in love! Nancy got to have several “sleepovers” with him in the living room so Dalton and Sarah could get a little extra sleep. We all went to dinner one night at a blast from the past for us, Log Haven in Millcreek Canyon. We stayed home with Russell one night while Dalton and Sarah went out for dinner for their anniversary. We knocked off a few more segments of the Jordan River Trail and actually have finally walked from the beginning of it at Saratoga Springs to Camp Williams. We got to eat Utah peaches and I made homemade cheezits with my sourdough discard while we were there (I brought my sourdough starters on this trip because we were gone from home almost a month). We also all went to a wedding and reception of one of Dalton’s good friends, Taylor Tenney and his bride, Melanie, in Provo. Don and I hit the Mount Timpanogas temple that week for Temple Tuesday. Don did some “Daddy do” list things and we helped them a little to start packing up some stuff for their upcoming move. We flew from SLC to Seattle in the middle of the month to spend a little time with our Washington crew in Maple Valley and to go on an excursion in the Puget Sound with our dear friends, Eric and Diana Hakes. We spent a few days hanging out with Zach and family and got to be there for Brady’s third birthday. Then we met up with the Hakes at their Meridian “mini yacht” at Lake Union in Seattle and they took us out into the sound for a few days and nights. We went to Kingston on the Kitsap Peninsula the first night and Langley on Whidby Island the second night. We got to see salmon running while we were waiting to go through the Ballard Locks on our way out into the sound as well as a gray whale when we were docked at Langley and also the dorsal fins of some killer whales as we were out in the sound. We both got to give paddle boarding a try but Nancy only sat on hers because she didn’t want to fall into the cold water. But instead she crashed into a wall, the Hakes’ boat and the boat docked next to us. She had never done any water sport involving oars and had no idea how to use them. No boats were harmed. Only Nancy’s ego. She is determined to get a paddle board and practice in our warm pool in the summer. We ate at some yummy places, played games, just visited and had a great time with our wonderful hosts. After we got back to Lake Union where they moor the boat we stayed one more night on the boat before going back to the Maple Valley crew for another day and night. We had Sunday dinner with them and Zach and Nancy experimented with making churros with a recipe from someone they both follow on Instagram. We headed back to Utah and stayed one night with Joye and Kim and then headed to St. George to see David Archuleta as Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Tuacahn. We got to have dinner with Don’s brother, Brian, and sister in law, Kim before the show. We headed back north the next day and stayed the rest of the time with Joye and Kim. We went to the Jordan River temple with them one day, got to attend two of our great nephew, Cameron’s, high school football games and our other great nephew Noa’s little league football games. We went to Brigham City and Utah peaches were still going strong so we were able to grab a bushel of those. We visited Mark and June in Clarkston and got a tour of a small museum in town that is in an old original tithing grainery. We went with them to a nearby town, Richmond, to have dinner at an old school diner, LDs Café and then to go see the Casper Ice Cream Factory, where our nephew, Cannon, works and is the home of the Fat Boy ice cream treat. Side note: While we were in northern Utah was when Jordan was in St. George visiting Don’s parents. The rest of the time we were in mostly in West Jordan and we were able to knock off some more segments of the Jordan River Trail. One of the reasons we stayed up there so long on this trip (besides getting out of the stupid Arizona heat) was that Russell’s baby blessing was on September 4th. He was given a sweet blessing by Dalton and we enjoyed being with Sarah’s family, the Cummings at a little shindig afterwards at their community clubhouse. A dear friend, Sylvia Tennison, who used to be in our ward but now lives near Dalton joined us for Russell’s special day. The next day, we met the Cummings family at Ruth’s Diner for breakfast. We headed home later that week, stopping in St. George to visit Don’s parents for a little bit and give his mom an early birthday treat and met Brian and Kim for dinner. The next day we finally got back home to hot Arizona.
In the middle of the month we flew back up to Utah to be with Joye while Kim took Noa elk hunting. And Noa got a big elk! We also came up to see Dalton and Sarah’s new home. Caleb and Mollie and boys were there so Caleb could help with some projects. Don helped hang up their TV in their basement. While there we walked quite a few more segments of The Jordan River Trail. Don set up a giant skeleton for Joye in their front yard. We had the cutest little rental Fiat on this trip.
We initially planned this next trip to visit some extended family and see fall foliage. Well they had an early fall this year so we missed the fall foliage, dang it! We flew into Philadelphia and spent one and a half days seeing as many sites as we could. On the way from the airport to our hotel we drove by the Citizens Bank Park, home of the Phillies and Lincoln Financial Field, home of the Eagles. Don dropped Nancy off and drove around the block while she got pictures of both because they are across the street from each other. The Phillies were playing in a World Series game that night, actually. The next day we went on a whirlwind walking tour to lots of sites. We went to the LOVE sign, Independence Hall, Liberty Bell, Benjamin Franklin’s grave, the Betsy Ross House and Elfreth’s Alley. Then we drove to the Eastern States Penitentiary, recommended by Landon, and it was the coolest. Maybe even cooler than Alcatraz. Nancy has decided that she loves to visit old prisons! Then we drove to the Rocky steps at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and ran up them (slowly). Then it was off to Pat’s for Philly cheesesteaks. Then back to the hotel to freshen up before we walked to the Walnut Street Theater, supposedly America’s oldest theater, to see Rocky, the Musical. It was short lived on actual broadway but this local cast did a great job! The next morning we went to the gorgeous Philadelphia temple which is right downtown, actually within walking distance from our hotel, but we drove because we had to leave right after to make it to our next destination, the Priesthood Restoration Site, one of our church’s historic sites, in Susquehana, which was about three hours north of Philly. From there we drove to Pittsburgh and our GPS took us through a bazillion backwoods towns to get there! We just stayed overnight in Pittsburgh and then headed to our next destination of Cincinnati but made a few stops on the way. The first one was in Athens to pick up my cousin’s daughter, Meredith, from Ohio University, where she gave us a tour of the campus. Meredith’s mom and dad (my cousin, Amy and her husband, Scott) met when they were at Ohio University. Meredith showed us her sorority house, Amy’s sorority house and Scott’s fraternity house. It is a really cute campus and a cute college town. We love small college towns! We took Meredith to lunch and then headed to Chillicothe, where Amy’s grandparents were from and I have a brief memory of going there when I was young. We went to the cemetery there, where they and Amy’s mom, my Aunt Ginny are buried. I was the flower girl when my Uncle Dick (my dad’s only sibling) and Aunt Ginny got married and I always loved Aunt Ginny. There is a grave marker for my Uncle Dick there as well. (they scattered some of his ashes there as well as some favorite locations of his). We then headed to Cincinnati and got to spend what was supposed to be four days but ended up being five days because a few days in we got a call from Alex and Eric (who were to be our next leg of this journey) and Alex had just tested positive for Covid. So we extended our stay in Cincinnati one more day and made some revisions on the rest of the trip. While in Cincinnati we had a wonderful time with the Darrahs ( Nancy’s cousin, Amy, her husband, Scott and their kids, Meredith and Will. They recently sold their house which was in the same subdivision as her parents. Since Uncle Dick’s passing and his wife, Jane, going into assisted living they have now moved into their house and have renovated it and it is beautiful. Amy is an amazing decorator and cook. She made us delicious food. We hit some of our favorite places including Findlay Market and Montgomery Inn. Scott is a docent for a really cool cemetery, Spring Grove Cemetery and gave us a tour of it. We went to the Krohn Conservatory, where I had been to before with Amy but Don had never been. We got to see their annual Christmas village display which is a miniature village of all the famous buildings and neighborhoods in Cincinnati and it was so cool. Don and I attended church at the Montgomery Ward at the Latter-day Saint meetinghouse that is right by Amy’s subdivision and just down the street from our hotel. We had such a great time visiting with Amy in her beautiful home and watched the mid election results roll in while there. As mentioned earlier our original plan was to go to Slippery Rock, PA to spend several days with Eric and Alex but now we needed to make some other plans so we stopped in Columbus and met Don’s nephew, Bob and his wife, Emily, for breakfast. Then we decided to check out Cleveland and stayed overnight one night there. We went to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and had looked up other stuff we could see in a hurry and was planning on going to the A Christmas Story house but totally forgot about doing that! We stayed in a really cool historic hotel, The Tudor Arms Hotel, which is now a Doubletree by Hilton, that was close to a really pretty park surrounded by a lot of old cool buildings so that’s where we walked for our morning walk that day. We then headed to Kirtland, another historic site for our church, which we had been to before but since it was so close and on our way to Slippery Rock to visit Eric and Alex from a distance, we had to stop by again. We hadn’t realized how close it was to Cleveland because the other time we came we came from the other direction. There was one part of it we didn’t get a chance to see the last time so we hit that and also got to see a new part of it that is still under construction. We got to Slippery Rock that afternoon and had a nice visit with Alex outside in their beautiful backyard. She was feeling much better at this point. We went to dinner with Eric at our favorite place there, North Country Brewery, where we ate outside and we also got to see Eric’s ex-wife, Maryclare, who works there. We stayed overnight at a hotel and the next morning got to go hear Alex’s son, Anderson, sing the National Anthem at the Veterans of Slippery Rock Bridge Dedication Ceremony. It was Veteran’s Day and it was such a touching ceremony and we were so glad we got to be there for it and also so glad that we could at least see Eric and Alex briefly. After we left Slippery Rock we headed to see the consruction of the Pittsburgh temple, which is actually in the town of Cranberry, another bedroom community of Pittsburgh and super close to Slippery Rock. We went into the trailer on the site and the most darling senior sister missionary gave us a lot of fun information about the temple the mission she and her husband are serving for our church. The temple is going to be beautiful and I’m so glad that Eric and Alex will have one close by them. The temple district they are in right now is the one in Columbus. We headed east after that and stayed overnight in a small town called Somerset so the next morning we could go to the nearby town of Shanksville to the Flight 93 National Memorial. It was a cold super foggy morning so that just added to the somberness and sacredness of this location and event. We got back to Philadelphia in time to drive around a little bit in Valley Forge before heading to the airport. It is so huge we didn’t have time to take it all in but we will hit it on another trip. We got home and then it was time to get ready for our pre-Thanksgiving dinner on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. Then we took off for Utah, flying again this time, to have another Thanksgiving dinner with Joye and Mark and their families on actual Thanksgiving day as well as getting to spend time with Dalton and Sarah and Zach and his family, since they were in Utah for Thanksgiving with Tara’s family. Eric and Alex were also in town so we got to meet up with them as well as Matthew, Jessica and Kamrynn. This concludes all our trips for the year. There are absolutely no trips planned yet for 2023. I’m sure we will probably try to go to Utah and Washington before leaving for our mission which we hope will be in the Spring!