We are on the road for some Stucki family time this week. We have been in Yakima, WA with Brian's brother's family and are heading up close to Seattle today. Our lovely sister-in-law needed some photos for work. Since Brian did not love having the neighbor's garage in the top photo, he added a lovely little orchard. I love having access to his photoshop skills! We will post more best of photos later, and need to get more family shots.
On a recent irrigation day I had baby Jane asleep in a baby carrier and followed Colin around the yard with the camera to try and photograph how he experiences his yard. He loves being outside so much that he is very efficient about escaping from the house. We are going to get a chain for the front door soon and need to find better ways to secure the sliding doors. I should have Brian write more about the irrigation since he has worked hard to get it working well again. It is great because the water system was built by my grandpa more than 40 years ago and still works really well. The garden is going crazy and we will soon have more produce than we will know what to do with. We currently have a tree of ripe apricots if anyone need some. Sue Anne, will you be here in time for apricot pie? (we should have some ready for you when you come. We cannot wait to see Bloomington friends.)
We have been neglecting our photo duties of little Jane. One of the problems is Colin's obsession with the camera and partially to avoid a tantrum I avoid getting the camera out around him. We need to do better as she gets more and more cute.
She is getting quite smiley and has longer, happy alert time, but still prefers to spend most of her time nursing.
We recently turned the first two years of our blog into a book via blurb.com. I have made several other on-line books but nothing compares to blurb. The quality is great (and I am picky about photo quality) and for a book of nearly 200 pages, it was about $50! I plan to make one a year. They have a feature where you can "slurp" your blog into book form but I did not like the way mine transferred and individually did each page. It took a long time but was a fun little project. I only wish I had time to start my next book.
Just a few shots from recent visits with family. Colin very much enjoyed his cousin Mikey. Mikey has said Colin is the coolest baby he knows.
A small family meal with about twenty+ people. (It was hard to really ever know how many people were running around). In town for the funeral were all my six siblings, six spouses, and nineteen grandchildren.
My brother Pat's family recently bought this huge van that Colin called a school bus. Pat took the kids for a drive in the canyon after this photo was taken.
We spent a lot of the week sitting in a circle outside in a ritual we creatively called "circle time". It was nice for everyone to just have time together.
Fifty years ago last March
Our family has been very well attended to in our grief. Thank you for all the support and love. I spoke at the funeral and here are my notes.
As I was looking back through old photos this week, I came across a little column called Faith Profile where Dad was once featured when he was a Bishop in Minnesota. The feature was in a question and answer format, and when asked what his goal in life was Dad responded “To become a real Christian”. Many, many aspects of Dad’s life reflect this goal, and many people have benefited through his Christian living. Dad taught me that the gospel is inclusive and that there is room for everyone in the gospel of Jesus Christ. In the same article when asked what his faith means to him, he responded “ It explains the purpose of life and helps me to understand the ups and downs of existence” I am so grateful to have such wonderful parents who have taught me about faith so we have a source of comfort when confronted with hard times such as loosing Dad. His faith has taught me that he is not lost.
He was incredibly patient and saw so much potential and good in the people around him. I remember him very level-headed and slow to anger, even when his newly driving daughter crashed his beloved car. I am grateful he loved me more than the car, but he did love that car.
My little family and I are grateful for the time we have recently been able to spend with my parents. We are fortunate to have lived with my parent for the last year. I know Dad took great joy in his grandchildren. It has been so wonderful to see the special relationship Dad and my two year old developed this last year. They were great little friends and spent a lot of happy time together. It was very hard yesterday to see our toddler try to understand death since he told his grandpa to wake up at the funeral home last night, but our boy knows Papa has gone with Jesus. Dad really lit up around his grandchildren and they brought him great joy, especially in these last five years when he struggled with the effects of cancer. We are sad to not have Dad as a direct influence in our children’s lives, but his influence will be felt through his teachings and good example. My mom shares in this good example and we all are so grateful for the selfless service she gave to Dad to keep him comfortable and at home in his last days.
Dad also instilled in me a love and appreciation for classical music, which has come in handy since I married a classical musician. I know my dad appreciated hearing my husband practice in the house this past year. One of my father’s favorite operas was La Boheme, which explains why an excerpt from the opera is next on the program. Che gelida manina may not be the most typical funeral song, but Dad would be pleased. I know both of my sisters have memories of Dad listening to La Boheme and being very moved by the emotion of the piece. Soon after the surgery that took my Dad’s voice, I played a recording of Brian singing the following aria, which brought a big smile to my Dad’s face and tears to his eyes.
We are sad at the loss of my father this week, but we are relieved he does not need to suffer anymore. He battled cancer for more than five years, but we are grateful for his fight and the extra time we all enjoyed with him. Here is his obituary:
Michael Richards Hinckley, age 72, passed away on Monday, July 7, 2008 at his home in Holladay after a long battle with cancer. He was born December 21, 1935, in Salt Lake City to Frederick R. Hinckley and Lois Richards Hinckley. He attended Granite High School and was in the first graduating class of Olympus High School. He went to BYU, graduated from the U of U and received his MBA from Harvard Business School in 1962. He married Jean Folsom March 20, 1958, in the Salt Lake Temple. He was a missionary in England from 1956-1958. He returned to England as Mission President of the England Birmingham Mission from 1999-2002. He served as Bishop in Rochester, MN. He loved the outdoors, hunting, and guns and had special friends who shared this love. He loved sports, especially football. He was High School All-American at Olympus, played for BYU and was forever a fan. After his MBA, he joined his father’s business at American Paper and Supply in Salt Lake. He became the Head of Strategic Planning for Saxon Industries. He moved to Chicago to become Treasurer of Americana Hotels and worked for Kahler Hotels as Head of Marketing in Rochester, MN. Mike and wife Jean celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this year. Mike is survived by his wife Jean and their children: M. Russell (Susan), Apple Valley, MN, Mary Thatcher (Blake), Lake Forest, IL, Stephen, Sandy, UT, Ted (Libbie), South Jordan, UT, Jeanie Rennie (Paul), Issaquah, WA, Patrick (April), Manchester, CT, Ann Stucki (Brian), Holladay, UT, brother Frederick R. Hinckley, Kaysville, UT and 24 grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his parents and two grandchildren. Services will be Saturday July 12 at 1pm at the Holladay 18th and 28th Wards, 2625 E Milo Way in Holladay, UT. The family will receive friends Friday, July 11 at Wasatch Lawn, 3401 S Highland Drive from 6pm-8pm and beginning at 11:30 on Saturday at the Ward. Internment will be at Wasatch Lawn. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Bennion Center at the U of U or the Edwin Smith Hinckley Scholarship at BYU. Many thanks for the services of the wonderful doctors and staff at Huntsman Cancer Institute and the Millcreek Home Health Care and Hospice.
When Dad was 3, his tricycle had been stolen, not once but twice and his parents were not able to replace it again. This photo appeared in the paper with the caption "Michael Hinckley contemplates his sorrow".
We have had lots of family in town recently. Above are Minnesota Hinckleys along with Utah Hinckleys. Colin took a great liking to his Uncle Russ, as seen in the photo. Everyone has come around because my Dad's cancer has gotten a great deal worse recently. We were supposed to be at our family cabin in Wisconsin this week for a family reunion celebrating my parent's 50th wedding anniversary but since Dad cannot travel and is in poor health, everyone switched their plans. Dad's health has declined very quickly and we are just grateful for all the family support and the time we have.
Here are a couple of Seattle cousins who were here recently. Colin loved having them around. Unfortunately I only got photos of 2 of the 4 cousins who were visiting. We now have cousins here from Connecticut and Colin is happy to have built-in playmates. It is very nice everyone has been able to come home.
Here is Colin and my Dad from February. Colin carries 2/3 of my Dad's name since Colin's middle name is Michael Hinckley. Colin enjoys spending time with his Papa. He has been know to sneak out of his bed at night to cuddle with Papa and knows where my Dad keeps the M&M's in his room. A few months ago Dad set the DVR to record Curious George and Colin has spent a lot of happy time watching PBS Kids with his Papa.
Jane was officially one month old today. I know, I know- one month and she's just getting her first bath?! What can we say? It takes more advance planning when you've got a little guy like Colin constantly enacting his plans of destruction. We did give her little sponge downs, but this was her first real bath and she loved it. She was a little bit fussy before she went in, but as soon as she hit the water, she was totally mellow.