Wednesday, August 31, 2011

First Day at School

Noah on his first day in first grade
There are a lot of "firsts" we experience in life, and perhaps none so nerve-wracking as the first day of the school year in a new school.  My friend Noah, age 6, had his first day yesterday.  First day in First Grade.  First day at a new school. 

That's a lot of firsts for a 6 year-old.

I love the picture his mom took of him at his new desk at his new school.  His face just says it all, doesn't it? Will I like my teacher?  Will s/he like me? Will someone be my friend? Will I make it through the day?  How soon do we get lunch? (Okay, that was one of my concerns as a child!)

We've all been there, right?

Well, I'm happy to report that Noah likes his teacher and new school, was befriended by someone at lunchtime, and generally had a great day. 

Not bad for the first day.
Mom Barbara and Noah's brother Aaron
Noah's older brother Aaron also had his first day of school yesterday, as did children all over the country.

I don't know what it is about Fall, but each year as September looms into view (Egads! Tomorrow is already the first!) I get this overwhelming urge to go back to school.  I start reviewing school catalogs and thinking of courses I'd like to take.

What's up with that?  Is it just the conditioning of years and years of schooling?  Maybe.

Whatever it is, it doesn't take long before reality kicks in, the feeling leaves, and life goes back to normal.  But I remember those first days of school as a child, the smell of chalk and paste and #2 pencils. 

For Noah and Aaron, and all my friends who are going back to school this week, or went back last week, or are going back next week: have a great school year!

Make your moms and aunties proud.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Jack in the Box

Monsieur Jack and Mr. Kitty in the box

 I love my cat. 

He's funny and loving and very sweet.

Jack gnawing on his box "fort"
He also has an active imagination and this thing for boxes. 

He plays so much with the box his Turbo Track came in, that I finally just gave up and left it in the living room.
 It makes a REALLY COOL fort.
 Here is Mr. Kitty trapped in the fort.  Oh no!
Seeing Mr. Kitty leave the safety of the fort, Jack wrestles him into submission. 

Take that, Mr. Kitty!

Look at your cat.  Now look at me.  Look at your cat again.  Now look at me.

I am Jack.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Go Brownsburg Cheer!

Brownsburg High School Cheer, August 2011
The great thing about being an aunt, both real and honorary, is that I have lots and lots of wonderful kids to brag on.  This past week I received a post from my friend Scott with the news that Brownsburg High School Cheer squad won the Indiana State Fair competition!  He was very proud of his daughter Emma, who is on the squad, and I say he has every right to be.  I've seen the gymnastics involved in modern day cheer and am blown away by what these kids are capable of.  What an achievement!

According to Pappa Scott, the squad was on the Fox news affiliate following their win, and Emma got some good face time on TV!  Also fun! 

It's a great face, by the way.  I love that face.

Emma, taken in March on her California visit
 [In a side note, the competition is traditionally held at the Indiana State Fair Grandstand, but had to be moved this year to the Indiana Convention Center.  If you remember, the State Fair Grandstand was the stage area that collapsed on August 13th, killing seven people and injuring more than 40 others.  According to local news sources, much of the wreckage is still in place as investigators are looking into the cause of the accident.]

To Emma, and all the kids on the squad, congratulations!  To perform all the difficult stunts you do, and do it well, is hard enough.  To perform well under pressure is especially tough. 

Good for you.  Talk about having the right stuff. 

I'm such a proud Tante!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Fredrik Gustaf Turns 2!

Our Superstar Fredrik's Goo Ma (that's me, by the way, Grandfather's Sister) is a little late in celebrating Fred's 2nd birthday.  You'd think these pictures had to come via slow boat from China...  Okay, bad joke.

Looks like our little guy celebrated his "terrible twos" in grand style.

First, his mommy made some really cute invitations for all his little playmates:

She even decorated the apartment and made balloon animals!
 Lots of big folks showed up:
 ... and some little ones, too!
 This lovely cake was gi-normous!
 But it went pretty fast!

Looks like one happy two-year old to me!  Here Fredrik sits amongst the spoils.  Fred's new train set looks like a lot of fun.  Sure wish I could have been there.

Happy Birthday, little fellow. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Still Here

Still waiting for my ship to come in...
Oslo Harbor, 1992
Last week, I had one of those weeks - you know the ones, where nothing goes right and you just wonder what it's all about or if anything will ever get any better.  One challenge after another after another and you feel like saying, Hey, wait a minute! Time out! Just let me catch my breath! 

And then, of course, something  else happens. 

Last night my washing machine died.   It was a watery, sad death, but at least he went quietly, surrounded by his closest friends - my underwear.  May he rest in peace.

I came across a scripture yesterday that was very comforting.  I'd been reading in Alma, in the Book of Mormon, where Alma is couselling his sons and he says this:
...I would that ye should remember, that as much as ye shall put your trust in God even so much ye shall be delivered out of your trials, and your troubles, and your afflictions..                                                                                    Alma 38:5
Now, I ask you, isn't that a great promise?

It's hard to remember that, sometimes, when the world just doesn't seem to be going your way.  However, I'm thankful for the comfort that God can bring at times when things in my life seem hopelessly messed up. 

So, it's up and at 'em.  And maybe that ship will show up any day now!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

WCT's 90th Season Starts September 9th

Whittier Community Theatre begins its 90th season on Friday, September 9th with an opening night gala "meet and greet" with the cast of "Good News", the opening musical, and refreshments.  It's not too late to reserve a seat, or even purchase season tickets (see contact information below).

"Good News" is an exuberant musical set in the 1920s. It should be a lot of fun.  Cast members include:
Tom Marlowe -- Gabriel Borjon
Connie Lane -- Natalie Miller
Bobby Randall -- Jay Miramontes
Babe O'Day -- Heather Neinast
Prof. Kenyon -- Veronique Merrill Warner
Coach Johnson -- Greg Stokes
Pooch Kearney -- Jerry Marble
Pat Bingham -- Katherine Gutierrez
Sylvester -- Ben Otis
Millie -- Emily Turner
Flo -- Rebecca Schroeder
Lucy -- Jennifer Perez
Corda -- Jaimelynn Lake
Agatha -- Summer Shippy
Betty -- Samantha Salazar
Beef Saunders -- Landon Pikkel
Windy -- Mark Berglund
Slats -- Ruben Renteria
Lefty -- Ryan Miramontes
Grubs -- Robert Dominguez
Adult chorus -- John Francis, Pat Williams, Richard DeVicariis, Brigitta Weger, and John Warner Roberts

"Good News" will be playing September 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, September 18 at 2:30 p.m.

If you've never been to Whittier Community Theatre, you are missing out on one of the best bargains in local entertainment.  For a paltry $42 a season, you get 4 shows, and an excuse for a night out with your spouse, sweetheart, or your besties.  Such a deal!
I love community theatre - it gives ordinary folks a chance to develop and expand their talents, and have some fun, too.  I also happen to think that the WCT has some of the nicest folks in Whittier affiliated with it.  [Anyone can audition for a show, but they can always use volunteers in many different areas behind the scenes as well. ]
This up-coming season has some real gems.  In addition to "Good News", the WCT players will be delighting audiences with "A Nice Family Gathering", "Office Hours" and Noel Coward's unforgettable, "Blithe Spirit".
A Nice Family Gathering: It's Thanksgiving Day and the first family gathering at the Lundeen household since Dad died.  At the gathering, Dad comes back as a ghost with a mission: to tell his wife of 35 years that he loved her, soemthing he neglected to tell her while he was alive.  The problem is, she can't hear or see him.  The trouble begins when Mom invites a date for dinner.
Office Hours: Six different story lines connected by a few common events which has been described as a "laff-a-minit riot".
Blithe Spirit:  Well, if you don't know the plot to Blithe Spirit - you really need to come see it in person!  This is one of my absolute favorite plays!
Season tickets are $42.00.  Single tickets for Good News, the musical, are $18.  All other shows are $12.00 each.   These prices are such a bargain!
The Whittier Community Theatre has brought quality live theatre to our little community for 89 years. For tickets or questions, call (562) 696-0600.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Norwegian Bunads

Me and Solveig in our summer Bunads circa 1963
 Norwegians have unique costumes that are worn on special occasions called bunads (boo-nods).  There are elaborate formal versions of them, and simple "summer" versions of them, such as you see above, and the designs vary from region to region around Norway.

The two dresses shown above are different as Solveig's bunad is an "Oslo" bunad, while mine is from the area of northern Norway known as Trøndelag.  My mother had spent her summers up there, in a town called Levanger, when she was young.  I was lucky to have this bunad made for me by the same lady who had made my mother's bunad so many years before.  The Trønder bunad that I'm wearing has the traditional blue from the area.  The pewter clasp at the waist is also authentic. 

Although these dresses are usually worn with brooches, known as sølje, you will note that they are worn in different ways.  According to tradition, the Trønder bunad has the brooch placed at the top of the bodice, while the Oslo bunad has the brooch on the middle part of the bodice.

The shoes are pure 1960s, though! 

There was a recent study done in Norway that discovered a huge percentage of Norwegian women (more than 80 percent), owned a bunad and wore it on special occasions.  I think it's a fun tradition.

America has a similar tradition of dressing - but I think it's called tee-shirts and jeans.  We've become a nation of sloppy dressers, even, I've noticed lately, when attending church.

Here's a quote from Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:

We used to speak of “best dress” or “Sunday dress,” and maybe we should do so again. In any case, from ancient times to modern we have always been invited to present our best selves inside and out when entering the house of the Lord—and a dedicated LDS chapel is a “house of the Lord.” Our clothing or footwear need never be expensive, indeed should not be expensive, but neither should it appear that we are on our way to the beach. When we come to worship the God and Father of us all and to partake of the sacrament symbolizing the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we should be as comely and respectful, as dignified and appropriate as we can be. We should be recognizable in appearance as well as in behavior that we truly are disciples of Christ, that in a spirit of worship we are meek and lowly of heart, that we truly desire the Savior’s Spirit to be with us always.

A lot has changed in the world since the early 1960s, but standards of modesty and care in dressing shouldn't be among them.  Fashions may change, but let's hold on to the things that are good. 

Like those old-fashioned bunads, they can bring something of value into our lives.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Christian Lit

I have to preface this post by stating that I have a Kindle.  To be honest.  I never thought I'd get a Kindle.  But I did.
I have always been a voracious reader, since that day of epiphany in second grade when I realized I could read my Nancy Drew mysteries by myself.  In the past I've always thought my book addiction had something to do with the smell of paper and ink.

My mother bought me my first Nancy Drew mystery novel.  We were walking down a small street in Murfreesboro, Tennessee and passed a little bookshop called The Book Nook.  There in the window was a Nancy Drew Mystery.  I remember hearing my mother exclaim, "Frøken Detektiv!" and dash into the store.  It only took her a few moments to double check before she explained to me that these were books she had read as a child in her native Norwegian.  She read the first book to me, and I read the next 50-something myself.  That's how it goes when you are a bibliophile. 

Yup, the smell of paper and ink is beguiling.

So, I never thought I'd succumb to the delights of the digital book world, but I did, and I've thoroughly enjoyed it, in spite of the total lack of paper feel and ink smell.

That's the long way around for introducing a little book I discovered by chance one day in the Amazon Kindle bookstore.  [I love virtual stores.  You can shop to your heart's content and never have to worry about sore feet!]  The book was listed as "Christian".  Having never delved into the Christian genres of books before, I had no idea what to expect.  I mean, I am a Christian, but I wasn't sure what a Christian mystery was.  I remember downloading it out of curiosity and the low cost.  "What the heck," I told myself, seeing the price.  "I'll give it a try."
Author Lorena McCourtney
I'm positive that was way before Christmas, so it shows you how far down the priority list it went. However, the other day I was looking for something to read, and went through the list of unread books on my Kindle. There among the many titles I had carelessly downloaded was listed, "Invisible". At the time I didn't remember it as the Christian mystery book, I just started reading.

Well, to my delight, I really enjoyed this little book. 

Ivy Malone is a delightful heroine, who calls herself an LOL (a little old lady).  She is very engaging and fearless.  The most "Christian" part of the book is that the heroine attends church regularly, believes in God, and spends a lot of time convincing people they need to pray and read the scriptures and go to church themselves. 

In other words, she was pretty much like me, well, except for the hanging around cemeteries and investigating a murder part!

The Ivy Malone character, despite her age, also seems to share some Nancy Drew-like qualities.  Perhaps that's why I responded as I did to the story of her feisty sleuthing abilities.

Poking around on-line, I discovered that there are more of these books, featuring the Ivy Malone character, and felt the need to talk about it here.  It was so refreshing to find a non-LDS marketed book whose author shares my values.    "Invisible" was written with humor and a little splash of romance. This isn't great literature, but it was a fun read and I would heartily recommend it.

Ms. McCourtney, thanks!  You have a new fan.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Come Follow Me...

There's a hymn that begins:
"Come Follow Me," the Saviour said, then let us in His footsteps tread..

Sabrina with Elder Smith and Elder Stout, two of my favorite guys
A lovely young woman named Sabrina did exactly that - follow in Christ's footsteps - this evening.  She was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by someone who had the proper authority from God to do so.  It was a big step for this courageous and truly choice young woman.

I'm so glad I was there.   Many of our ward members, and a large group of our ward Young Women were there too.  The young women even sang a special number.
Bishop Rodriguez greets Sabrina's family

The Rosales family

An "action" shot of Sabrina and Sister Boren, the YW President

There were lots of big hugs

Sister Rex with Sabrina and her mother
I should have gotten a better picture of Sabrina with not just Sister Rex, but the whole Rex family.  Sabrina is a good friend of their daughter, and they are the ones who introduced her to the Gospel.  Brother Rex performed the baptism. 

I know I have said it before in this blog, but to me there are no sweeter words in the English language than these: Having been commissioned of Jesus Christ.. I've been to countless baptisms in my life and those words never fail to touch my heart.

Sabrina is truly loved by the young women of our ward. You could just see it in their faces as they took turns hugging her...

...and hugging her...

..and hugging her!  Even the Bishop's wife gave her a hug.
Welcome to our ward, Sabrina!  You have an exciting adventure ahead of you.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Happy 90th Gene!

Star Trek Creator, Eugene Wesley Roddenberry
When we were small, my brother served as the remote control of the TV set in our family living room.  That was in the days before such things were invented and as ubiquitous as they are now.  I got to see Star Trek a few times - first run - and I liked it, but it was usually my father who asked my brother to please change the channel - to a mystery show called Checkmate!, if I remember correctly, that warred for what was then, prime TV viewing time on Friday nights. 

At college, there was a group that religiously met in the TV room in the basement of our dorm to watch Star Trek, already in syndication.  I remember being in Scotland in the 70s, turning on a TV and seeing Star Trek reruns still happily airing in Edinburgh.

When the first Star Trek movie came out, one we were later to jokingly refer to as "Star Trek: The Motion Sickness", I remember waiting in line for hours to get into the old Cine-Capri theatre in Phoenix.  Accompanying me were a large group of my friends, mostly my own age, but including one 16 yr-old boy, and my dear friend Amy, who at that time was in her 70s.  We were all big fans, and joked about how fun Trek was, and how it had brought us all together.

Last night, many years later, as I sat watching the Vulcan, Mr. Spock, mind meld with a Horta, on late night TV, I contemplated the fact that Star Trek has been a part of my life for a very long while. 

And, despite its age, Star Trek is still a nice world that I enjoy spending time in.

So, I felt that it was only fitting that I pay a small tribute to Mr. Roddenberry, the show's creator, on his 90th birthday.  I think it's great that years after his death, he was one of the first humans to have his ashes sent into outer space.  And that the Star Trek franchise he started so many years ago is still going strong.

I asked some friends if they had anything to add to this little tribute, and here are a couple of responses:

Donna in Connecticut:
"..I loved that Gene was able to get his TV show on the air, a Scifi vehicle for discussing timely topics and the human condition in an intelligent and creative way.  I loved his casting savvy, and I loved that he fought to keep the character of Mr. Spock over that of his own wife [Majel Barrett, who appeared as Nurse Christine Chapel in the series]!  I loved how they created alien settings and costumes on a shoestring (often using nothing more than a shoestring!), and yet somehow everything came together in a way that it was easy to suspend disbelief and want to live in that universe."

Patricia in Washington:
"I greatly admire Gene Roddenberry for his message of hope for mankind's future when we needed it most during the Cold War and civil unrest. His optimistic future included true integration (rather than for political expediency) of human races and aliens, deliverance from nuclear devastation, and elimination of diseases and poverty. What a bright spot in the TV lineup in the 1960s!"

So, Happy Birthday to the Great Bird of the Galaxy!  And also to all those other great folks who share this day [including Jonathan Frakes, Commander William T. Riker of Star Trek: Next Gen], but especially to my dear friend Patricia, who lives way too far away from me. 

It makes me wish we really did have the technology to "beam up" .  Wouldn't that be great?

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Please Rain, the Car Needs Washing

Thunderboomers over Monterey Park
This is a photo I took on August 1st.  It was a beautiful day, but hot and humid.  The big fluffy clouds in the distance brought the promise of rain that never materialized anywhere close to me.  It rained plenty in the high desert, though, way out to the north and east of us.

The day after this picture was taken, it was as clear as it could be, yet I came out to my car after work and discovered it had rained just enough to muddy up the car completely.  There is no parking garage where I work, so the car is usually just dusty and covered in tree fronds.  The light sprinkling of rain made it look a mess.

Now, when I lived in Phoenix, you could count on August monsoon weather to wash the car.  I mean, first Mother Nature would get the dust storm whipping through the valley.  That would remove loose dirt and debris from the car.  Then would come the rain.  And not just a gentle rain.  It would drop like 13 inches of water in a half minute, and the car would be pretty spotlessly clean after that.

I miss that.

California weather isn't that cooperative, which means I actually have to pay to have the car washed or drive around in a dirt ball.  Currently I'm driving around in a dirt ball.  This morning the dirt ball suddenly shuddered and died on the way to work, leaving me stranded on a busy street in East Los Angeles.

Thank goodness for Triple A and nice people.

So, my little dirt ball of a car is at the car hospital getting emergency treatment as I write this.  Apparently the prognosis is good.  It will live.  But I have to admit, I blame the weather.  Yup.  I do.

Please rain!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Tummy for Tickles

Jack, my cuddle bunny
This is Jack.  He is my sweet cat kid.  He loves having his tummy tickled.  Can you tell?

Whenever I ask Jack to smile he does what he's doing in the photo above - he opens his mouth and totally looks like he's smiling.  I think he does this on purpose to prove all those folks who say animals can't smile wrong.

I think cats laugh too.  Seriously.  I catch him every now and then doing hippity hops around the living room.  I can almost hear the laughter.

He looks spoiled, doesn't he?

Not spoiled rotten... just spoiled.  A little.

I love tickling that little tummy. And I love those big feet with the white socks.  And those perky ears.  And that little tail.  And those big eyes... and did I mention that cute two-toned tummy?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Jesus Loves the Little Children

I love this photo.  Look at these beautiful, precious kids.  These are children of the coastal area of Honduras who just happened to be at the beach one day a week or so ago... and one little vivacious California girl, a cutie pie in pink.

When I saw this picture the strains of an old song I learned in my childhood came into my mind:

Jesus loves the little children
All the children of the world
Red and yellow, black and white,
All are precious in His sight,
Jesus loves the little children of the world.

Photo courtesy of E. Sorto

Monday, August 15, 2011

Vacation to Paradise

I don't know about you, but I'm not getting a vacation this year.  As a matter of fact, I can't remember the last time I had any real vacation at all!  So, when one of my co-workers took some time off to visit Honduras, I was (as Scarlet O'Hara would have said) pea green with envy.
When she returned from this Caribbean paradise, I asked if I could post some of her pictures.  They were just too beautiful not to be seen!
I wish I could just walk right into this picture and order up a virgin pina colada and a seafood salad.  Doesn't the water look inviting?  I love all that white sand and the clear ocean.
I didn't know Honduras was so lovely.  My friend said that cruise ships come through here every so often, but between cruises it's almost deserted.  I think it looks too perfect, as if it can't be real - like a movie set.  You almost expect a swashbuckling hero to appear with his pirate ship at any moment... or at least that guy on the horse from those commercials.  Yeah, you know the one.
This mini-vacation moment has been (sigh) brought to you by your favorite aunt.
Photos courtesy of E. Sorto

Friday, August 12, 2011

"Faith" Sold Out!

KSL's report on Faith, the Musical

Apparently, Faith, the Musical, is enjoying a great deal of success!  My sources say that tickets for the event sold out early.  Happy, but exhausted cast members are looking forward to the show's final curtain on Saturday.

Click on the link above for a nice news report on the musical, a glimpse of the show, and interviews with some of its soloists.

Sleepless in South Jordan
I was hoping to be able to post some "behind the scenes" pictures, but, alas, I don't have any yet.  I think my nephew Christian is most anxious for this show to be over.  With his mom and teenage brother not getting home until almost midnight each night, he's complained that the house is too quiet and he can't sleep!

In this link (below), you can actually see Kirsti playing the violin in one of the scenes.  Anders is in the back playing the clarinet.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Linnea made the SaltLake50!

SLUG Magazine's 3rd Annual Craft Lake City is an outdoor arts festival that will showcase 180 artists.  This year there will be two stages showcasing local music and dance troupes as well.  The project itself is supported in part by the Utah Divisions of Art & Museums, with funding from the State of Utah and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Craft Lake City is free and open to the public.  It will be held on Saturday, August 13, 2011 from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Gallivan Center (located in the middle of the block between 200 South and 300 South and State Street and Main in Salt Lake City.)
Our Talented Linnea
The show will feature the 25 best photographs submitted by local Utah photographers.  They were looking for people and places within an urban context.  A maximum of one photograph per photographer was selected for the show.  Linnea was one of the photographers lucky and talented enough to have one of her pictures shown this year.

Not only will her photo be matted and framed for exhibition, but it will be offered for sale for big bucks.  I think that's really exciting!

Congratulations, Linnea!  I wish I could be there on Saturday to see it and bask in your reflected glory!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Even Iversen's Family

Kjersti Madsdatter & Even Iversen, my great-great grandparents
Even Iversen and his wife show up in the 1865 Norwegian census with their family.  Even is listed as a husband and farmer with land, age 41, living in Ringsaker, Norway.  His wife was 49 at the time.  Their oldest daughter, Antonette, was 16 and living away from home as a servant.  Still at home were their children: Johannes (14), Nils (8), Edvard (5) and their daughter Marta (11).

Even and Kirsti were baptized into the LDS (Mormon) church in July of 1872. Persecution against the Mormons in those days was bitter.  They first moved their family to Oslo, then called Christiania, to escape it, but being in the big city didn't help much.  Eventually persecution got so bad, it drove Even, Antonette's husband Karelius Andreasen, and Even's sons to emigrate to the United States, where they worked at the smelter in Salt Lake City for a year in order to earn enough money to send for the women and children.

And so it was that Antonette, now a 34 year-old mother of three, came to America with her young children and her mother Kirsti, now 68.  Records show their destination listed as Salt Lake with the remarks column stating "Mormon".  They arrived in Salt Lake in April, 1885.

I am descended from Even and Kirsti's son Nils Evensen (literally, Even's son).  I have somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 first cousins.

Nils Evensen and his wife Margrethe
I'd love to see the statistics on how many descendants they have now.  I'm pretty sure all their 5 children had representatives at the reunion.

Even and Kjersti are buried at the Elysian Burial Gardens in Murray, Utah.  A marker was installed on August 21, 1993 on Even's birthday.  The money for the marker was donated by many Evensen descendants.

Even and Kjersti's daughter Antonetta Evensdatter Andreassen (Nettie Anderson), her husband and family are buried in West Jordan, (Salt Lake County, Utah) City Cemetery. Even and Kjersti's son Johannes Evensen with some of his family are also buried there.

Their daughter Martha Evensdatter Kemp is buried with her family at Portage Cemetery, Portage, Box Elder County, Utah where her brother Edvard and some of his family are buried.

My great-grandfather, their son Nils with his wife Margrethe and one of their daughters are buried at Kline Cemetery, Kline, Colorado.

I love hearing stories about these courageous people.  I wonder what it was like for them to be persecuted for their religious faith? What culture shock, too, to come from the verdant rolling countryside of Ringsaker - by the banks of the huge Mjøsa lake, to the bleak desert mountains of Utah.  I also wonder what it was like to sail to America in 1884 and 1885 not knowing the language! 

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Even Iversen's Family Reunion

Evensen Cousins Karen, Maribeth, Elaine and Jay
This past Saturday there was a family reunion held for all the descendants of Even Iversen, my great-great-grandfather who emigrated from Ringsaker, Norway, at the end of the 1800s.  I was unable to attend, as it was held in Utah, however, I had my intrepid reporters on the scene covering the event.

Everyone was given a nametag and told to put their own names and the name of Even's child that they had descended from.  My brother joked that if his son Nils had been there (that's the Nils who is currently serving a mission in Mexico), his tag would have said Nils Evensen twice.

My brother said it was interesting to see all the photos and things people had collected and to hear their stories.  He writes, "A woman asked me if I would translate a document she had.  It turned out to be the ordination certificate for Nils Evensen [our great grandfather] when he was made a priest on August 15, 1876.  I felt like it was such a privilege to be able to hold that piece of paper.  I thought of everything he had done with his priesthood, from going on missions [he served 2], to serving as a bishop, to raising a righteous family that has, for the most part, remained in the church now for generations.  It struck me that a righteous life can influence the lives of so many people."

Monday, August 8, 2011

Miss Livia, the Cutie Wootiest

Here's our sweet little girl, Livia.
Look at those chubby cheeks!

This is Livia with her grandmother, aka Farmor.  Look at that great smile!  (Wouldn't you just like to tickle that little tummy?  It begs for tickling.)
Here is Livia with her mommy.  Notice Livia's High Fashion Model pose.  We can't giggle all the time, can we?
Here is Livia with her mommy and her older brother Fred.  Fred is now 2 years old.  I think he's generously trying to give a cookie to the photographer, his talented Aunt Linnea.  He's a cute wootie, too.

This Cutie Wootie moment has been brought to you by Great Aunt Marianne!