Husband and Father

Husband and Father
July 15, 1958 ~ August 25, 2008

Friday, October 25, 2013

Last Day - Girl' s Trip - NYC 2013

Canal Street was our first stop this morning.  Canal Street is similar to the Flea Markets in Mexico, lots of bartering and bargains. The only difference between Mexico and Canal Street is the counterfeit goods at stands that are frequently raided by the police.  Doesn't everyone go to NY to purchase one, two, or maybe more of the counterfeit purses?

McDonald's was our go-to place to stop, get a drink, use the restroom, and rest our feet.  There are very few public restrooms in NYC.  After shopping Canal Street for quite some time, we made our usual stop at a McDonald's for a drink and to use the restroom.  As we were cleaning up, Lizzy threw her bag of goods in the trash.  The trash can was on the top level that had a shoot attached that emptied into a main dumpster outside.

The girls charmed a very kind young man (employee) to rummage through the trash to retrieve Lizzy's bag.  After finding her bag, he was even nice enough to wipe all the slosh and slime off before giving it to her.  Needless to say, we ditched the plastic bag, kept the contents, and teased Lizzy the rest of the trip.

We took the subway uptown for lunch.  We dined at the world famous Carnegie Deli.  It is a true NYC landmark.  Tour buses stopped, for tourist to take in this legendary deli. The line to dine was out the door and down the street. We were some of the lucky ones to get in.

Carnegie Deli is well know for it's pastrami, corn beef, and briskett sandwiches.  We chose the overstuffed turkey sandwich.  We happily shared our very generously  portioned sandwich.

Central Park was our next stop.  Central Park is located in the middle of Manhattan.  It is one of the most famous man made parks.  From roaming the grounds, to gazing at the fountains, admiring the bridges and arches, there is plenty to see. We rented bikes and took an hour and a half ride around the park.  We enjoyed the greenery, crisp leaves, lakes, and fresh air (or so it seemed).  It was a nice break from the hustle and bustle of the city. We took the "quick tour" rather than stopping at each venue.

Although we were surrounded by many renowned museums, we didn't have time for them.

We browsed through the busiest square in NYC -Time Square- on our way back to our hotel. Time Square is known for its many Broadway theaters, electronic billboards.  There is always something going on in Time Square.  Definitely, a place with a lot of action.

We stopped for dinner at Lombardi's Pizza. The lines are long, but usually long lines mean good food.  The pizza reminds me a lot of Settebellos, but maybe a little better.

And that's a wrap on our fabulous girl's trip to New York City! Loved spending time with my adorable girl's!  We sure missed Kate!  Maybe when she gets back from her missionary adventures, she will be brave enough to visit New York City.

Shopping on Canal Street

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Day Three - Girls Trip - NYC 2013

We started out the day at New York's tallest building, The Empire State Building.  Located in Midtown Manhattan, it is a 102-story skyscraper, with 86 stories accessible for tourists.  From the spectacular lobby to the majestic observatories, this is a must see tourist attraction.  The first elevators takes you up 80 floors, where you exit only to take another elevator 6 additional stories to the top observatory.  The panoramic views of Manhattan from the top are breath taking.

On our way down, the first elevator was unavailable (stuck), and we were asked to take the stairs down 6 stories.  Those who know my claustrophobic nature would be impressed by my calm and cool nature as we walked the stairs only to enter another elevator, packed in like sardines, to ride 80 more floors.

We met my cute niece Ashly for lunch.  She lives with her husband in Manhattan, where he is completing his MBA, and she is working.  Ashley recommended eating at the Food Fair across from Madison Square Gardens.  We enjoyed spending time with Ashley as we had a bite to eat.

The subway was our sole way of transportation around New York.  Since maps are a necessity for tourist using the subway, I delegated that job to Meagan and Sarah.  They were incredibly good at their job.  We were able to get everywhere we wanted to go.

Grand Central Terminal is one of the nations most historical landmarks.  It remains the busiest train station in the country.  We stopped by for a quick view of this beautiful terminal.

We popped into St. Patrick's Cathedral on our way to the Rockefeller Center.  It is under construction but was still open to the public.  It is a beautiful cathedral.  We sat on the pews, listened to organ music, and rested our weary feet.

Rockefeller Center is known for it's seasonal celebrations, ice skating, and concerts.  It has an observatory deck and tour.  We bypassed all of the above once I found what I was looking for.....Matt Lauer.  Yes, ladies and gentlemen the Rockefeller's most important function is that of housing the Today Show with Mr. Lauer.

We walked over to 5th Avenue, which is known for it's exquisite shopping.  We shopped and shopped until we (I) dropped.

We had an early dinner at Serendipity.  Several movies have been filmed in the restaurant.  The most notable was Serendipity itself in 2001.  It is a huge tourist attraction, and are known for their divine frozen hot chocolate.  Of course, we couldn't resist.

The Roosevelt tramway connects NYC with Roosevelt Island.  It transports people across the East River to their designation.  Since it was right across the street from the restaurant, we decided to take a ride. It provides beautiful views of the city. The tramway is at it's best during evening hours, when you can enjoy the lights of the city.

After a fun filled day, we made our way back to our hotel, not without stopping at the Magnolia Bakery for cupcakes.  Pumpkin cheese cake, vanilla bean, chocolate, and red velvet, were a few of the cupcakes we purchased.

Empire State Building without Meagan.  She chose to shop instead.
Ashly and the girl's at the Food Fair.
Grand Central Station
St. Patrick's Cathedral
My new boyfriend.
Rockefeller Center
5th Avenue Shopping
Roosevelt Tramway
Magnolia Bakery
The Subway

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Day Two - Girl's Trip - NYC 2013

The large building towering in the sky, is a physical landmark seen from afar marking The National September 11 Memorial & Museum.  The memorial and museum commemorate the September 11 attacks of 2001, where nearly 3,000 people perished   The memorial is located at the World Trade Center site, on the former location of the Twin Towers, which were destroyed during the attacks. The Museum is still in process.

The reflecting pools lie where the twin towers once stood.  Each person that died during the attacks is inscribed in bronze around the perimeter of the pools.  The soothing sound of the water, calms our souls as we remember those who lost their lives that day.

The Survivor Tree, sustained extensive damage during the terror attacks on the World Trade Center.  Although when it was discovered  it's limbs were tattered, and roots were broken, it was replanted at the Memorial. To me, it represented the thoughts of American people; we may have been severely hurt from this attack, but we will heal and prevail.

It was an emotional place for us to visit.  In many ways we can relate to the heart break and devastation of these families.  We are happy to see their loved ones remembered.

Century 21 Department Store is located in the Financial District of lower Manhattan.  It is a little overwhelming with 8 stories of designer men, women, and children's clothing and accessories.  It offers designer clothing at about 65% off of regular retail stores. If you know my girl's, they are always looking for a deal, and found shopping there very enjoyable.

The Financial District was next on our personal tour.  Towers of financial buildings line the streets of what is known as the Financial District of Lower Manhattan.  Included in the many prestigious financial institutions you will find the New York Stock Exchange and Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

We lined up among the impressive crowd of tourist, to take our turn photographing the iconic bull. The charging bull sculpture symbolizes the aggressive financial optimism and prosperity.   After the stock market crashed in 1987, a local artist sculpted this beast.

Next, we chose to take the free Staten Island Ferry to view the Statue of Liberty. It provides transportation from Manhattan to Staten Island. From the deck of the ferry we were able to have a perfect view of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  Lady Liberty was looking stellar!  On our return, we were able to view the skyscrapers and bridges of Lower Manhattan.

We were able to go back to the hotel and put our feet up for a moment, before we got ready for one of the most anticipated events of the trip.......WICKED! Sarah and Lizzy have never seen this musical.  They were so excited!

We took the subway, uptown to Time Square, got a bite to eat, and went to the Gershwin Theatre for the grand finale of the day! It did not disappoint, it was fabulous!

Reflecting Ponds
Survior Tree
Financial District
Statue of Liberty

Our Ferry Ride
Time Square

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Day One - Girl's Trip - NYC 2013

Manhattan is one of the most populous cities in the United States.  Crowds, long-lines, traffic, subways, and walking are a part of life.   There is no escaping the hustle and bustle when you visit New York City.  Grab a yellow taxi, or hop on a subway, or just start walking, and your sure to begin to understand what makes Manhattan, Manhattan.

After settling in our hotel, located in the lower part of Manhattan near the Financial District, the girl's and I began exploring.  We dined at The Merchants River House, which ended up being one of our favorite restaurants.  It is a casual, family friendly restaurant facing the Hudson River & Statue of Liberty.  We enjoyed watching people stroll along the river shore, and watched as the sun set over the Hudson River.

Once our appetites were satisfied, we began investigating our surroundings.  Battery Park City was one of our first stops. Battery Park City is located to the northwest of Battery Park.  It extends up the Hudson shoreline, with a bike trail,  intermingled with green spaces.  There are beautiful places to stop and view the Statue of Liberty and Staten Island. It was particularly stunning at night with the illumination of the Island and Lady Liberty.

We walked the streets, stopping in a local market for a sugary treat, before retiring for the evening.  We have big plans, and want to be up for the task for the next 3 days in New York City.   
Dinner at Merchant's River House.

The Shore Line.
Messing around.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Blessings of Missionaries

What a blessing it is to have 2 missionaries out in the mission field serving the Lord.  They both left July 3rd, and have been serving 3 months, but who's counting:).  You feel the spirit as they report the joy of bringing the gospel to others. Their letters emulate the spirit of missionary work, and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  As you read them you delight as they describe the happiness they feel in serving the Lord and others.  Their testimonies have been strengthened as the study and share the gospel each day.

Letters are received from my missionaries every P-Day.  I have been fortunate to hear from Elder Brown every Monday, except transfer days.  Sister Brown, I don't get to hear from as much.  She is serving on the remote Island of Tanna, the Whitesands area in Vanuatu.

Whitesands is beautiful, but does not have electricity or any other modern convinces.  In order to email home, Kate has to travel 2 hours to a small cafe in town.  Therefore, I hear from her every 2 to 3 weeks.      I know that Heavenly Father watches over the Missionaries, and they and their families are abundantly blessed.  However, it tugs on my heart strings a little when emails are less frequent. When I feel a little sad about it, I think of the other moms whose missionaries are serving on even more remote Islands that have no electricity on the Island, therefore, no emails.  What strong mom's and missionaries these must be.

In D&C 84 verse 88 it states: "And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face.  I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up."

I know that my missionaries have a special angel watching over them.  One who has a particular interest in them, one who loves them and wants what's best for them.  It warms my heart when I think of their dear Father having the ability to be there for them at times when I can't.  I hope they feel Him often.

Sometimes when I'm feeling sad, and missing them a lot, I'll make packages to send them.  Mike loves getting packages, and Kate's is sitting in the Mission Home on the Island of Port Vila waiting for her.
Homemade salsa and chocolate chip cookies for Mike.  Store bought peanut butter, and other staples for Kate.

Elder Brown - Anchorage Alaska Mission
First baptism.
Sister Brown, Vanuatu Port Vila Mission
Where she lives.
You can read more about my missionaries on their blogs: and

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Day Care

Scheduling Day Care appointments has become the new norm for me.  I thought after Ben started Kindergarten I was done.....not so.  My cute little grandson and I get to hang out 3 days a week, 30 hours a week.  Since I have been lectured by my Physical Therapist about knee rehabilitation, I have been frequenting the Bountiful City Recreation Center. I'm not a fan of early morning or late night workouts, so I've resorted to using the Day Care on days I watch Mason. Sometimes he is a willing, and sometimes a not-so-willing patron there.

One day, I was riding the stationary bike with my head-set on listening to a television program, when I heard over the loud speaker, "Will Mrs. Brown please report to the Day Care."  It took me by surprise, since it's been awhile since I've had a child in Day Care.  I stopped for a moment and said, "That's me," as if anyone around me really cared.

I thought perhaps Mase needed a diaper change, and quickly exited to the Day Care.  Upon my arrival, I saw that Mason was crying and very upset.  I asked what had happened and the Day Care Provider said, "Well, he wanted a little girl's snack and the kids aren't allowed to share."  I began to laugh and replied, "Well, we usually give him everything he wants, is that a problem."  She burst into a chuckle as she informed me that she knew 30 years old's that had the same problem.

I waited a week before we tried again.  This time, snack in hand.
After Day Care we watch the elderly swim.