Sunday, May 30, 2010

Trip to Dallas

Legends of History Aviation Museum at Love Field

Ellie, Natalie, Keith and Aiden Jeffery Fenstermacher
NOTE Aiden's middle name

Eagle Scout and Scoutmaster

Now that I'm serving on the Nevada Area Council Board for the BSA, I was asked to attend this year's Annual BSA Meeting in Dallas. Marla and I flew there on Thursday. Friday we attended a "Duty to God" Breakfast where Dr. William H. Willimon spoke of the United Methodist Church. David L Beck the LDS church General Young Men's President conducted. Dr. Willimon told a great story about how as a scoutmaster a young scout came up to him on a campout and was in tears because someone had taken his pocket knife that was given to him by his grandfather. They were staying in a cabin and Dr. Willimon lectured the boys about how a scout needs to be honest and trustworthy. He turned the lights out and said that whoever had taken something could return it to the middle of the room and that would be the end of it. Sure enough, after a few seconds he heard a plop in the middle of the room, only to be followed by plop, plop, plop, plop. When he turned on the lights, there was the pocket knife to be sure, but there were a couple of other knives, a Playboy, and some brass knuckles. Afterwards he was talking with the SPL and telling him he could not believe he had such boys in the troop. How could they possibly call themselves scouts. To this the SPL replied, "Why the hell do you think we are in scouts? If we could make ourselves better by ourselves we wouldn't need scouting." A great story and a great lesson. After the breakfast I attended the general business session and a couple of classes. One on BSA insurance ( I fell asleep) and one class on the 2011 World Jamboree in Sweden. How I would love to be a Scoutmaster for that. (Don't think that will happen.) That night we went to a very nice dinner with the other members there from our Council. At a reception prior to dinner we met Steve Holcomb, the Captain of the 2010 Gold Medal Olympic bobsled team. I talked to him for a little while. He let me hold his medal. (Very Heavy!)

Friday was the American Experience Breakfast and Ralph de la Vega ( current CEO of ATT Mobil ) spoke. He is of Cuba descent and came to the USA when he was 10 years old. After the communist took over Cuba. His family was planning to come to the US togeth, however there paperwork got messed up and at the airport they were told the five words that completely changed Ralph's world. "Only the boy can go". They decided to send the boy ahead thinking they would follow in a few days. It took them three years to immigrate to the USA. In the mean time Ralph lived with friends and relatives. His story was very inspiring.

Friday Night was the Silver Buffalo Awards. We saw Rex Tillerson the CEO of ATT, and the CEO of Exxon. We also saw President Thomas S Monson, the YM and Primary Presidencies at a special LDS reception. For the first time in my life I got to shake the hand of the Prophet.

Saturday Marla and I had a play day in Dallas. We went to the Air Museum at Love Field, and the Dallas Museum of Art. I bought some Luchesse cowboy boots. We had dinner with one of my first scouts 28 years ago, Keith Fenstermacher. He saw Marla's facebook page that we were in Dallas ( he lives by Plano a half hour away) and he contacted Marla through facebook and we arranged to meet. It was good to see he is continuing the Scouting tradition. He is getting ready to take a group of scouts to Philmont this summer.

After dinner we went to see a Broadway play. I had arranged to get ticket to Avenue Q. It thought it would be like Sesame Street because of the puppets. Boy was I wrong. It was an R rated version of the muppets doing La Bohem. I can not recommend it.

All in all a great trip. Met lots of great people. Got to see the BSA on the national scale. Had fun with Marla.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Jared and Erin in Los Angeles

I had a week of work in Southern California and was was able to spend some time with Jared and Erin. They live in Los Angeles near the Hancock Park area ( very exclusive) but where they live it is Korea Town. Jared told me it is the third most densely populated area in the country. I believe it. Every available space has someone living in it. Their house was neat and clean and nicely decorated. (Erin to be sure) Since Jared is studying Horticulture at Pearce College there were plants everywhere. They even have a yard, it is immaculately trimmed with lots of flowers in boom and lots of trees. They are all trimmed so as to not take up much space and are around the edges but they have a lot of citrus and an avocado tree. Jared is busy with school, doing some landscaping work and learning how to surf. Erin works for an Artist and is working to promote his work. They seem to enjoy the big city life and the many different people. It was good to see them. I hadn't seen them since December.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

My Favorite Gal

With Jesse in Michigan, Christmas 2008

Trying out a segway in Vienna

Overcoming fear of hieghts on the Vienna ferris wheel

Mingling with the locals in Prague

With Sister Cyndie at childhood home

Favorite place in the world. San Antonio and the Alamo

We Jeff on the Mississippi, Navou Illinois

Easter 2010 with the grandkids, Grace and Grant

Feb. 2010 ski week in Tahoe Condo, Grace and Grant

Thanksgiving 2009 with mom, Sara and Thea

All gussied up for Genoa Cowboy Poetry and Music Festival 2010

Today is Mother's Day and I've been meaning to do this since her birthday. (this is third attempt due to computer issues) Today's blog is dedicated to my favorite gal , Marla.

Here are the things that make her happiest:
Time with grandchild, nothing puts a smile on her face more than this; anything Texas, and especially San Antonio; her 1967 restored Ford Mustang, teaching Seminar, even if just as a substitute, puppies, dogs, (but not the Horses, she threatens them with the glue factory); favorite food : hamburgers; favorite treat: a Dr. Pepper; favorite date: dinner and a movie; favorite place (besides Texas); London; favorite movies: British; favorite TV shows: Victorian English Period Pieces, usually on BBC America. She thinks she really should have been born in Victorian England, but only as Royalty. She loves sewing cloths for the grandkids, that is of course after she completed 90 pieces of clothing for the Douglas High School Madrigals costumes, worked on a few prom dresses and temple dresses for some of her Young Women from when she was YW President (5 years) or sewing up cloths for the missionaries or sisters in the Spanish Branch. She loves church service. Usually she will spend hours and hours on any calling she has, even the ones she doesn't like. Broadway and old musicals are another favorite. She is a big fan of the Aces AAA baseball team in Reno. She is also quite fond of our new 16 foot little Airstream travel trailer ( much to the kids disgust, she calls it the Sugar Shack) We have many places yet to see in it.

Here are things she does not like.
Bad knees due to arthritis, cooking except for the fact that we have to eat, running out of Dr. Pepper, ( she keeps a secret stash in the sewing room ), yard work, however she has become rather proficient in canning and storing the garden produce. While she is devoted to serving in her callings, she is not fond of hours to time on the phone it takes to organize church choirs in her calling as Stake Music Director. (She'd rather teach early morning seminary), doesn't like too cold or too hot. (She says she suffers from a perennially cold nose. I'm sure there are many things I do that tic her off, but the main ones I hear about are falling asleep on the sofa with the TV on and trying to sneak wearing the same shirt two days in a row. (She may not like to cook, but I always have a supply of clean, pressed shirts.) I've never heard her complain about any of the kids. Worry but never complain. She's the one they go to when they need to talk.

We've been best friends for 34 years, married for 30, through good times and bad, traveled the world together, worked in the church apart and together, (I was YM President for a while while she was YW President) and now we are able to do some things together. ( We were ticket takers at the Cowboy Poetry Festival and we are going to the Boy Scout National 100 anniversary in Dallas together.) She's a fine companion, a supportive wife, a good mother, an excellent grandmother, a faithful and devoted member of the church and my favorite gal.

Happy Mother's Day

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Easter in Illinois

We had a lovely week over Easter with Jesse and her family. The best account of the Easter activities is on Jesse's site. But here are a few pics of the activities. Swim lessons, lots of ball playing and bike riding, great cooking, general conference, easter egg coloring and hunting, lots of book reading, and a trip to the Science museum in Rockport.

One more Transfer

We have seen one more of our sisters transfered. Sister Kamisa Knuteson had been with us since September, quite a long time for one transfer. She was our first sister missionary to arrive here so it will seem a little strange not to have her around. She was a good hard working missionary. She came from a small town in Montana. We wish her the best.