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 email@example.com
Giving Tree 2013
Wonderful to hear from you all; you are so good about keeping in touch, and while we may not say it nearly enough, it means so much to all of your Engel family back east. (Not to mention the really cool kangaroo/boomer Christmas ornament!!)
My love and thoughts are with you all.
Cuz Joe (McDermott)
Thank you! Thank you!
Thank you for sharing your family updates, talents, and Christmas cheer with us! We miss you all dearly!
Love, the Cluffs