Happy Holidays and our Year in a Nut-Shell

Happy Holidays to you all and Merry Christmas.  This has been quite an eventful year for us.  Faythe has turned 10, Inez and the kids celebrated with a trip to Lagoon.  He got to take a trip to California with his Grandpa this past Summer and enjoyed his time there.  Faythe started the 5th grade this past Fall and is doing good in school.  Esperanza turned 8 and was baptized.  She is in the 2nd grade and also is doing good.  She makes it a goal to be in the homework club each month.  Jerel graduated with his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Utah Valley University this past Summer.  His last class was spent in Italy doing an Art History study abroad.  It was an amazing trip, 2 weeks in Rome, 2 weeks in Florence, and 1 week in Venice.  He made many good friends while there and was able to see many great works of art.  Pictures from the trip can be seen at Jerel and Inez’s Art BLOG Grey Forest Studio.  On the way home Jerel was able to stop in London and visit with his longtime friend Clara Wessinger, her Husband Eric and their 2 children.  They graciously opened their home to him for a week while they showed him the sights and helped him to navigate the metro system in London.  It was great to see them and spend time with their wonderful family.  Jerel came back excited to see the family and to get working on his art.  This past Fall he began attending classes at BYU and is completing his application for their Masters of Fine Arts in Studio Arts program, to start Fall 2011.  Inez is working very hard in school and is doing great.  She applied and was accepted for the Art and Visual Communications department trip to New York in the Spring.  They will be there for a week attending Museums and visiting Artist’s Studios.  It is a wonderful opportunity for her.  She was awarded a work study grant this past semester and has been working in the Financial Aid call center.  It has been wonderful to see the growth in our Family throughout this past year.  We have been to amazing places and seen wonderful things.  It has been a great blessing to be in school.  We would like to say thank you to all of our family and friends who have been such a great support to us in our endeavors over this past year.  We could not make it without your loving support!  We hope you have a wonderful Christmas.

We love you all,

— Jerel, Inez and the Kids

The New Year is a’ Comming.

[Photo: Christmas Lights at Temple Square]Wow, that was quick. It is hard to believe that Christmas is almost a week past us. We had a great time with my parents. Their train arrived the morning of Saturday December 22nd. While they were here it snowed on and off most of the time and the temperature dropped to a daytime high of 25 deg. Fahrenheit and the night time low was 10 deg. Fahrenheit. Needless to say Mom and Dad Harwood froze their tushes off.

Despite the cold weather we took a trip up to temple square in Salt Lake City to see the Christmas lights. That was a good experience and will become a yearly ritual for our family, as it is for so many other families that live here. Speaking of family rituals, one of our neighbors keyed us to one of the local hot spots for sledding here in the Orem – Provo area. They called it “The Bowl”, apparently the City of Provo had a small reservoir by the Provo Temple and for one reason or another they drained the water out and have never filled it back in. The sloped banks of the reservoir make for perfect sledding. Inez and I took the kids up there while my parents went to visit with Fred and Susie Myers. We had a good time, as did my parents.

[Photo: Faythe and Terry play with Legos]Our Christmas was great, we had a wonderful time Christmas morning. Santa Clause, Inez and I gave Faythe a good start on his Lego collection. He has been playing with them and his marble-works non-stop since he got them. I want to say Thank you to all of you for helping us make this a great Christmas for my family and I. We really appreciate you all.

My Parents boarded the train Friday morning for their ride home. I now understand everyone’s jabs at Amtrak, and why it is said that they are reliably unreliable. Their train got into Provo two hours late on their trip here, and the train that took them home was almost eight hours late. They did make it home safe and from what they told me they had a pretty good time riding the train.

[Photo: Pat and Jack - Franks Pizza]Some of you may know my affinity for a good pizza, and will mourn with me when I share with you the news that my parents gave me while they were here. It was told to me that Franks Pizza Pan will be closing today, December 30th. Pat and Jack gave our family many years of friendship and great pizza, I am very sad to hear that it will no longer be there when we go back to visit Grass Valley. Heck, if it were not for Franks, it is possible that I wouldn’t even be here to write this. My parents were introduced to each other by a mutual friend at Franks Pizza.

I hate to end on a sad note like that, so I’m trying to think of what else to say. Ahh, here you go, since we were just talking about Grass Valley “icons”, while we were visiting Inez’s Aunt and Uncle, Jan and Dave, their daughter sent them a like to a blog that had been set up on behalf of Jonsey, with the intent for people to share their stories about him, and linking from that site is another blog set up for Kenny Bond. If you are not from Nevada County, or if you didn’t get out much while you lived there, you probably have no idea who those people are/were.

— Jerel