The purpose of the Dwight and Velna Blood family blog is to provide a gathering place to collect family history, photos, family news, memorabilia, and whatever else we can think of. Let's all see where we can take it.
We had a large group of grandkids and college friends at the BYU-Northern Iowa game on Saturday. Unfortunately, my camera battery died before I could take many pictures, but here are a few I did manage to get.
Courtney (third from left) and friends. Do all BYU girls look alike?
Jim called today to tell us Caleb has been assigned to Ann Arbor Michigan, where his apartment is two blocks east of the UM campus. This news brings many pangs of nostalgia and reflection about the day 52 years ago when Velna and I and Russell and three-weeks old Ronald arrived in Ann Arbor, with no place to live, practically no money, and the faith and hope that we could work things out and get through a Ph.D. program in economics. We are happy for Caleb for this assignment and it gives Velna and me a great sense of satisfaction to know that our grandson is there on the same ground we were on a half century ago. What an exciting moment.
We often tend to think of family history as the events of yesteryear, of people and places and times from years gone by. But then I got to thinking about all the history being made by so many people in our family and how important these events are to all of us. Jake just back from his mission to San Antonio, barely in time to see brother Caleb for a few fleeting hours before Caleb leaves for Detroit for his two-year stint there. Megan beginning her dual role as wife and eighth-grade English teacher. New husband Allan filming spots for the BYU football games. Michelle back from her tour of the east following her year as a real-estate appraiser, in turn following her college degree in psychology, now entering the BYU MBA program this fall. Jake and Monica and Courtney back in school at BYU. Stephen starting school at Utah Valley U. Amanda back at Weber State. Tyler in school at Blinn (spelling?) in College Station, TX. Daniel ready for another year of BYU women's basketball. Carly, with her new Master of Public Administration degree, sifting job possibilities. Lori and Chad with a new baby and a new house. Stacey whose appliances and garage door all stop working on schedule while her five kids provide daily blog material. Melanie and Nat and Kate and Hayden and Aaron and Whitney all back in school. Cliff about to retire from the Air Force. Sharman running her Excel spread sheets to perfection to run the Blood household, with a laundry basket under one arm and the car keys in the other hand. Tom continuing to convert the nation to toll roads, which may happen sooner rather than later since gas taxes are drying up. Kim running her day care with proficiency and great skill. Susan is the only family member who knows how to run the TiVo.
Carolyn a brand new Relief Society President. Ron a recently new Ward clerk in a BYU student ward. Russell a new high council member. Jim continuing to teach seminary. Lani persisting in taking courses, fearful of flunking each one, wailing and moaning, then getting straight A's. She'll soon get her degree. Grandpa and Grandma have no idea how many houses they own or even in which house they currently reside. After a moment of unavoidable rudeness this morning, I asked Grandma if she was going to kick me out. She said, no, I can't afford to hire a housekeeper to replace you. Imagine.
As we think about each of our children and their families, we think about the family and personal history each of you is writing each day with your actions and accomplishments. We hope everyone has a great school year, that you learn lots of multi-syllabic words, that you study hard, and that, in between, you enjoy life as you get ready for the long family years that are ahead of you. You have so much talent and so much ability and you can use these talents and abilities to accomplish so much and help so many other people along the way. Well, I don't usually preach much, but, as my mother used to say, "for heaven's sake just mind your p's and q's." We didn't have to ask what p's and q's were. We knew. And we knew we darn well better mind them and live up to expectations.
We just returned form our weeklong vacation to the west coast. We had a great time (other than one really rainy day) traveling up the Coast from Eureka, California to a little past Newport, Oregon. We got to see the giant redwoods in northern California, tour a couple of lighthouses in Oregon, saw whales at Depoe Bay, seals at the Yaquina Head tide pools, deserted beaches at The Lost Coast south of Eureka and north of Brooking Harbor, and lots more in between. And we ate some great seafood along the way. We really loved the Oregon coast and plan to look for a condo to rent in a coming summer where we can just hang out and take a little more leisurely time to enjoy the beaches and the scenery. It really was spectacular. (Note to blog experts: If you can tell me how to label the individual pictures, I'll label them so you'll know what they were pictures of.)
We were really excited to see Jake arrive today as he came home from his mission to San Antonio. Two years. Sharman, Kate, Nat and I met him at the San Jose airport, with a big 'Welcome Home Jake' sign. Like the hat? He also had on a big belt buckle and a tie with 'Texas' written on it. He wasn't saying y'all, however. First stop: In-n-Out Burger where he ordered a 4x4 with fries, 'animal style.' He showed that he still has it. We drove into San Francisco where he met with the Stake President and was officially released. It's so great to have him home, although he'll be here for just six days, and then I'll drive him out to BYU so he can get right into school. Perspective means everything. Two years can seem like such a long time, but now that Jake looks back on it, it doesn't seem so long after all. Caleb is at the front end of this (he leaves the MTC for Detroit on Monday), and to him, two years seems like forever. But I'm sure that when he is all done, he'll look back, as Jake now does, and have a great sense of accomplishment and contentment with a job well done, with worn out shoes and a beat-up backpack, symbols of hard work and a great effort to do good. But now, we celebrate Jake's homecoming, and as you can see below, he didn't waste any time getting right into the Rock Band video game with Nat. Wasn't he a missionary just a few hours ago? Welcome home.
Mama Care is technologically challenged, so she asked that I post the link to our precious little Round Rock being named no. 7 on Money.com's best places to live list. This is to encourage all of you to stop the mass Blood family exodus to Utah, and instead, change paths to Texas. Not that we are obnoxious Texans or anything.....
Once merely a bedroom community of Austin, Round Rock today is very much its own city thanks largely to three things: affordable housing, excellent schools and computer maker Dell, which has established its headquarters here. Read the rest here.
Has it really been two years since Caleb's brother Jake was standing in the exact same place in our home after feeding him blueberry pancakes on his way to the MTC? The two brothers were able to meet just briefly in Texas, by special dispensation of Jake's mission president, so that four years would not elapse without them seeing each other. Now Jake is soon headed home and back to BYU where, hopefully, he can readjust to regular life with girls, something besides tacos and burritos to eat, tailgate parties, and BYU football. We'll all miss Caleb, and we will welcome back Jake. Someone did something right to produce these two outstanding young men.
We fed Caleb blueberry pancakes on his way to Provo to the MTC. As you can see, he is extremely tired. I told him to just tell the people at the MTC when he got there that he had been having too many late nights and that he needed a couple of days to rest up before they got started and that I was sure they would understand. But what a good looking, great young man, headed for two years in Detroit, a tough mission, but close to Ann Arbor where we spent three years in grad school.
No...this isn't the official missionary photo...just a really cool shot!!! We just want to let you know that our thoughts and prayers will be with you. We are proud of you and know you will use all your amazing talents to serve.
Hopefully you will send missionary photos to your mom and dad so that you can still appear on the blog!!! (It's all about the blog, right Caleb?)