Friday, May 18, 2012

Grandchildren are GREAT!

A grandchild fills a space in your heart 
that you never knew was empty. 
-Author Unknown

Josh Glazier - cheerful, smiley, curious . . . 

Emily Fresh - cute, independent, determined . . . 

Jacob Fresh - energetic, curious, smart . . . 

 Noah Glazier - athletic, inquisitive, creative . . . 

Kate Glazier - sweet, helpful, artistic . . . 

Thank you for filling our hearts
with lots and lots of love!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day Weekend

I spent this Mother's Day weekend with Sherry, Kate, Noah, and Josh while Bryon was on his BYU MBA International Business Experience in Europe. It was fun to spend time with them and a highlight was going to the "Green Gators" soccer game on Saturday. Here are two of the cutest "Green Gators" on the team eating their snack at halftime . . .

Noah has a great understanding of the game of soccer and is now able to turn the ball as he dribbles down the field. He has scored many goals this season. Kate is a fast runner and always knows where the ball is. She is great at kicking the ball out of the group so that it can be dribbled down field. It was a great season and I am happy I was able to share a bit of it with them. Sherry is a great mother and has a great spirit in her home!

I also had the opportunity to take Josh to his first day in nursery at church. He did very well . . . no tears at all! He loved the trucks, cars, and balls. Sounds like he is all boy. By the end he was very tired, but he did great for his first week!

On Mother's Day we went to Mom and Dad's  house for dinner and all of my siblings that live in Utah were there. It was special to be with my own Mother, and pay tribute to her and the wonderful mother that she is! She has always been an example of selfless service and devotion to her family and the community she lives in. I have learned much as I have watched her throughout the years. Much of what I am I owe to her influence. This is a picture of the mothers who were with us for dinner . . .

They are Ashley Jensen, Linda Oler, Mom, Me, and Sherry.

When I arrived home on Monday night I found a nice surprise awaited me - finger paintings done by Jacob and Emily. I appreciate being able to see their artwork and having something to hang on my fridge. They are active, energetic, and independent children who are interested in everything around. Brooke does a great job as a mother as she gives them many opportunities to learn and have new experiences. 

A special thanks to all of my children for the nice Mother's Day cards, kind words, and thoughtful gifts. I appreciate the opportunity to be your mother and the things I have learned so far through that experience. I remember vividly the first time I looked in each of your eyes and the love that filled my heart. I have felt that love returned from you many times through the years. I am grateful that the ties that bind us as family continue throughout the eternities. I love you all . . .

A mother's heart is a  patchwork of love.  
-Author Unknown

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Panama Paradise - Day 7

Our* last excursion before we flew back to Los Angeles on Monday evening was to the Gamboa Rain Forest in the Parque Nacional Soberania (or the Soberania National Park).

This was our guide before we left for the tour and in the national park. It was humid the entire time we were in Panama, but seemed especially so as we visited the rain forest. Maybe it was the dense foliage that kept the moisture in and the movement of air out.

We saw an abundance of both animal and plant life.
Here are a few examples:

An ant hill and tropical fruit hanging from a branch.

The anthill is not where the ants have their home, but somewhat
like an old fashioned out house. It is the place where the ant 
goes to the bathroom!  There were trails of ants climbing up the
back of the anthill. They would "do their duty" and then go down
the back again. They did not like to be near the anthill except
when they had to. Their aversion to their waste is so great that
some Panamanians put it around their homes as a way to deter
ants from entering.

A termite nest hanging from the tree.

A very interesting birds nest hanging from a branch . . .
possible an Oropendola nest.

Three views of a Howler Monkey. He was very agile and
obviously comfortable moving around the branches.

An animal sleeping on a branch . . . possibly a Howler Monkey.

Tarzan ready to swing on the vines through the forest!

One of many butterflies which flew around the rain forest.

Look closely and you can see a bird among the tree branches.

Our guide said the white "foam" is actually frog eggs.

Colorful flowers amid the green foliage.

Views of the canopy of the rain forest . . . in some areas it was hard for the sun to reach the ground the foliage was so thick. The tree in the center picture is an Umbrella Tree.

Us in front of a Panamanian Ficus Tree.

* Allyn and Dad as told to Debby

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Panama Paradise - Day 6

One of the highlights of any trip we* take is going to church in the area we are visiting. There was meetinghouse nearby and we attended the Cardenas Ward in Panama City. This is the church building from the side. The next photo shows two missionaries who are serving in Panama. The family of the tallest one is moving to Pleasant Grove in the near future.

This man is Todd Kirby's father and the boy is his brother.
(Someone who Dad and Mom know)

Returning to our hotel after church.

This building serves as an apartment for the temple president, a hotel for people who come and visit the temple and need a place to stay (at a cost of $5 per night), and a distribution center.

A view of the street approaching the temple. You can see the church in the foreground and the temple in the back ground.

The temple was beautiful, as they all are, and there was a very good spirit as we walked on the grounds.

This was a nice relaxing day and we enjoyed it! We have one more excursion tomorrow as we venture into the rain forest.  Sunday afternoon we took a nature walk saw some beautiful butterflies and flowers on the hotel grounds. We also saw the golf course with the rain forest in the background from our hotel balcony.

We hope these are a prelude to what we will see tomorrow in the Gamboa Rainforest!

* Allyn and Dad as told to Debby

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Panama Paradise - Day 5

On Saturday we* had the opportunity to take a boat excursion on the Panama Canal and see firsthand how the locks work. There are three sets of locks in the canal. A two-step flight at Miraflores, and a single flight at Pedro Miguel, lift ships from the Pacific Ocean up to Lake Gatun; then a triple flight at Gatun lowers them to the Atlantic Ocean side of Panama. All three sets of locks are paired; that is, there are two parallel flights of locks at each of the three lock sites. This, in principle, allows ships to pass in opposite directions simultaneously; however, large ships cannot cross safely at speed in the Gaillard Cut, so in practice ships pass in one direction for a time, then in the other, using both "lanes" of the locks in one direction at a time. This is Allyn waiting for our boat to arrive.

This is Dad with the Bridge of America, 
an arch bridge, in the background.

"We're ready to go . . . Where's the Boat?"

These next two photos are a close up version of a lock which is in 
the process of closing; and then when it is actually closed. 
You can see people walking across when it is totally closed.

These next photos shows a more distant view
of the Pedro Miguel Locks closing; 
and then when they are totally closed. 

This is each of us with the pilot of our boat. An official pilot was required on our boat and one or more pilots are required to be on other boats, depending on their size. The pilot is responsible for safe passage of the boat through the locks.

We saw many interesting things as our boat took us up the Panama Canal. These pelicans were just sitting on the side of the canal.

Cargo boat carrying many containers 
filled with a variety of things.

Flag on the highest hill in Panama.

Ship from Norweigen Cruise Lines named the Norweigen Jewel.

The boat we rode on.

The two of us after the cruise was over. It was interesting and informative to not only learn about the locks on the Panama Canal, but to also travel on them.

After the excursion we returned to the hotel and Allyn enjoyed swimming in the pool. Our room was on the 6th floor of the hotel and we had this view of the Centennial Bridge from our balcony.

We had a very nice dinner aLa Jacana the restaurant in the hotel. Allyn ordered chicken and Dad got lamb chops. Both of them were delicious! You can tell this is fine dining by the way they drizzled the sauces so artistically over the food!

 A brownie sundae for dessert . . . looks great!

Our meal was a great end to a great day!

*Allyn and Dad as told to Debby