Wednesday, September 3, 2014


Dear Family,

Natalie came home from her mission to Lisbon, Portugal.  It hardly seems like 18 months have passed.  She arrived late at night but here is the group waiting to welcome her home; Suz, Oma, Madeline, Zandy, Juju, Caroline, Josh, John, Emily and Joseph holding the sign.


We anxiously awaited her appearance as most of the passengers walked by and then Emily spotted Natalie.  You can see the anticipation building in her face; this was such a sweet moment.
Hugs were given all around. Emily was so thrilled to have Natalie home again and Natalie was glad to see her Mom and all that were there.  Next came Dad John, then the brothers and sisters, her cousin Madeline, and cousins Zandy and Juju, and then to Oma and Opa.  I must admit that I choked a little as the happiness of the moment sunk in.

It was so cool to see these cousins together, both returned sister missionaries; they have much to talk about.  There was such joy in the air. Natalie and Madeline make a pretty pair of young ladies.

So here is the entire group for the final photo.  Just as we were about to leave, Joseph said to Natalie,"You have a farmer's tan on your feet!"  Natalie returned from sunny Portugal and lastly from the island of Madeira  and one could see the tan lines from the shoes she wore. I looked at her feet and this scripture came to mind:

Mosiah 15:16
  • 16 And again, how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those that are still publishing peace!
    17 And again, how beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those who shall hereafter publish peace, yea, from this time henceforth and forever!
    Those were the feet of someone who did publish peace and hope and how beautiful they were.  Welcome home Natalie, we love you
    Oma and Opa

Sunday, August 31, 2014


Dear Family,

The next day after Jeff's road trip was  a drive up to lake Ponderay  and Sand-point Idaho for a fishing experience.  This is a wonderfully large and very deep lake.  In fact there is a Naval Station there where they test submarines and related submarine stuff.  We have fished it before two years ago and caught three large trout.

Before we fished, we went to this restaurant in Sand-pointe for lunch. Julius ordered the special hamburger and I believe it was the single paddy one loaded with everything on the menu.  You almost have to dislocate your jaw to get around this but he managed to put it away.  Great eating spot!

I thought we would be going after lake trout but this particular boat captain showed up with a smaller boat and he planned a pan fishing expedition.  The trick was he knew where the fish hang out.  Rob, Jeff, Julius, Anna, Luke and Opa were on board.  Here is Rob with his ever growing beard, Luke and Anna. Jeff and Julius were fore.

We got underway and Luke went spazz over the fish finder shouting every time they recorded a fish.  We sped down the lie to where the Kokanee hang out.  They are a variety of small landlocked salmon and are hard to catch.

They have a "soft mouth" and easily get off the hook.  We must have had 15 hooked but only brought in aa few.  It was hard and Luke got a little discouraged.  He said his cousin Leo made the best decision to stay home.  That al; changed when Luke got a bite and managed to bring this Kokanee into the boat.  It changed to the best day of his life.  He was thrilled and excited.  Anna and Julius caught fish and I caught a fat perch.  Jeff was an observer on this one but had fun.

Rob caught the biggest fish and I forget what it was but it was not good to eat so back he went.  We had these smaller pan fish that fit in a ziplock and we headed back at dark.

When we got back to Jeff and Tammy, Rob fried all the fish and it was excellent.  The best were those Kokanee's which had red meat and were delicious.

It was a great trip on a beautiful day with perfect sorroundings. I have come to love northern Idaho.

Love,  Dad

Saturday, August 30, 2014


Dear Family,

We had another great visit in Spokane.  I go there so Rob can inject my right eeye and the vision is holding up.

When we got to the airport there was this great welcoming committee of Tammy, Eva and all the kids.  I felt like we just got back from our missions.  Anna made this great banner and we felt welcomed.

We had another feast that night with flown in Maine Lobsters.  Tammy is getting really good at cooking these little critters,

The next day, Jeff and Tammy took us all on a 400 mile road trip.  Here we all are lined up with Jeff's new 12 passenger van.  Eva came with her children too. Couple of the kids double buckled since there were 14 in the car.  I must say that they were the most well behaved kids on any road trip I have been on.

We headed first to Levenworth, WA which is a town built after the manner of a Bavarian village and looks more authentic that Frankenmuth in Michigan.

It definitely had a German flavor with tons of shops and bistros.  The kids and gals all went to various shops to look around.  Jeff took me to the Australian shop where we did a little damage.  I was waited on by a lady originally from Wurzburg and I surprised her when I mentioned a few streets.  Jeff and I went to a restaurant that was pretty good with Jaegerschnitzel, Rotkohl. Spaetzeli and Strudel...really fun.

The kids swarmed me when they got back from the toy and candy shops.  Jeff bought me a little yodeling mouse which we are playing with.

That was fun and I would definitely visit it again.  We then got into the van and drove to the Grand Couley Dam.

The dam was impressive.  This is the largest concrete structure in North America and the largest hydroelectric plant in North America.  It was big.  We toured the visitors center, it got dark and then back to Spokane.

We drove through miles of fruit orchards,  A lot of apples etc, comes out of Washington.  The picking had begun.  We thanked Jeff and Tammy.for that great road trip.

Love, Dad and Mom


Dear Family,

We had James and William come back from their farm in Munith for  a week.  They rode the train back with the Fredenberg grandparents and they stayed with us for a while.

First thing we did was to convene a meeting of the "Seafood Lovers Club"  When they lived here, we formed a club of the kids who really loved seafood and for treat we used to go down to Mc Grath's for a treat.

When they came this time, we headed to Mc Grath's in Sandy and the boys ordered a fisherman's platter that you see in front of them.  There is William and James who have just finished off some steamed clams before the main dish.  It was so much fun.

We took them to the Ogden Temple open house  and the tour was impressive. Here is the Opa with the boys; Nate, Spence, Tom-Tom, William and James. We went there with Cathy and her kids as well.

We then visited the Browning Arms museum in Ogden and here is the entire group with Cathy and her kids.

William and James visited everywhere  and stopped in Bountiful for Cathy and gang, they stayed over at Doug's and played games till four in the morning.  They visited Mike and Emily in Mapleton and James went with Emily  to BYU for education week. with Emily.

I took them to Windgo where we stocked up on five pounds of licorice.

The Fredenberg's came to pick them up and it was a road trip and then the train back to Michigan.  It was a fun time and they saw a lot of cousins again.

Love, Mom and Dad


Dear Family,

Well it finally happened, Kaley gave birth to a little girl, Julie Iris Wirthlin. This is their third child, first girl and our 82nd grandchild.  The last boy, Garrett was a natural childbirth; this one was in the hospital with help.  Mom and baby did well.

Before the birth, Kaley was so ready!.  John and Kaley took us to Market Street Grill for a last supper and here they are. Maybe a good old fashion seafood dinner would start the process,  It was during the next week when the action occurred.

John snapped this picture of Kaley when the labor started.  Everyone was yelling at her to "push" so she had John bring in his shooting ear muffs to enjoy a bit of quiet during the process,  Delivery was uneventful and they got this cute little baby girl. They named her Julie after John's twin sister who passed away at age 18 and Iris after her maternal great grandmother.  Baby is really cute.

Here is Grandma Williams, John, little Julie and Oma Wirthlin all so very happy with this new addition.  That is one cute little girl!

To complicate their lives a little more, John accepted a position with the law firm in Tamp;a that he left.  They called and said there was a position opening which was a step up from what he left and paid a bit more.  There was a clearer path to partner than the firm he was with in Salt Lake so they decided to move and will leave this weekend.  We wish him the best in this venture.  It is a bit unusual to return to a law firm you once left but they liked him so a second shot.

We will miss them all but wish them good luck and heavens blessings

Love, Dad and Mom


Dear Family,

This is one of our trips toBear  Lake this summer,  We joined Doug's family around the 24th of July.

Here is a picture of all on the couches with feet up on the little bear footstools watching another episode of Mr. Bean.  There is Doug, Nate, Izzie, Tom Tom, Rebecca, Catherine and Ellen.  Spence was down the street at scout camp.

There were beach activities, four wheeling and trips with therock climber, The Induna.  Doug is a great explorer especially when running all over St, Charles.

Doug also hosted the ward scouts and leaders at the farm.  We left before that one but Doug puts on a great meal for all scouts and leaders.  He does ribs in dutch ovens and here he is seasoning 144 ribs for the scouts.  The scouts came over for an afternoon of fun, games and good eats.

We managed to do some shooting in the backyard and during this event, Doug noticed a large animal on the roof of one of the sheds.  This was 150 yards off and Doug bagged this with an offhand shot with the 17 HMR.  This was a huge woodchuck even bigger than the ones we had in Michigan.  Good shot Doug.

We headed back to Salt Lake for Doctors appointments and other family members traveling through.

We had  a fun time with Doug and his family.

Love to all,

Mom and Dad


Dear Family,

The summer has been so busy that I am way behind on blog posts.  It has been full time living the summer and little time to write about it so we will catch up.

On one of our trips to St. Charles to our place on Bear Lake, Suz, Becca Mom and I looked over a spot for the 2015 reunion.

This will be the year of my 80th birthday as well.  Do not know how many more of these mega reunions we will be able to hold but we have one planned for next summer!

We found this facility in Garden City, down the road a few miles from our little farm.  It is called The Sunrise Resort at Harbor Village in Garden City right across from the large Marina there.  We all went together and checked it out.  It is fabulous and a great place for a large family reunion.  They call it a multi-generational reunion spot.  It is a modernized old lighthouse.  It has 19 bedrooms
and sleeps 90 easily.  There is a massive dining room with multiple kitchens that will seat as manny as well. We currently have 116 un the immediate family but some of the grandchildren will be away on missions

The bedrooms are great with individual showers and bath, a wall Apple TV in each room.  There is a theater in the basement with leather seats that hold about 40.  We decided that his would be great and I put down a huge partial payment to hold it for July 2nd, 3rd and 4th.  The fourth is on  Saturday. We check out on the 5th in time for church in St. Charles.

We hope you all can come as I am not sure of how many more reunions we will be able to organize in the future.  There is plenty of space so we can all be together.  We can plan all sorts of activities such as golfing, boating, family programs in the evening etc.  Mom is thinking about this everyday and we will probably form committees for planning. We are excited about this and it should be great.  Contact Mom with plans and ideas.

Mark your calendars.  We chose the 4th as it is usually a time when all are to of school, church summer activities are fewer and all usually get off work.

Excited about this,

Love you all, Mom and Dad