Tuesday, July 31, 2012


Today is July 31, 2012.  It is the official end of our mission here in Georgia.  To celebrate E. Reese made the german chocolate cake that his mom mailed us at Christmas. (We were saving it for a special occasion!)  It was really good!  We have been here for 18 months!!!
Elder Reese licking out the frosting can - nothing goes to waste here!
Of course, we did extend for an extra 5 months - so we will not be going home till Christmas.  See you then!

Saturday, July 21, 2012


On Sunday the 15th, E Reese, Mzia and I went to Mtskheta to spend the evening with Gia - our favorite NGO.  We first met his family and had a small dinner with them at his apartment.  His wife was delightful and his daughter, a student at the medical university was lovely and his son was fun. They gave us a big jar of the sweetest honey.  Sadly I did not remember to take pictures of them!  After eating Gia took us up into the mountains to a little place called Zedazeni.  It was an old monastery surrounded by a rock wall and it was magical.  The area reminded us of the cabin.   

It had lovely rock walkways -

a cute bench made out of a log -
beautiful wild flowers growing -
a big old stately tree -
and the most amazing view - we could see for miles!
It was peaceful and calm - a truly beautiful place to be.  We had a hard time leaving!

Just a picture of the outside of our 'corpus' or apartment building.  I was taking a picture of the beautiful flowers.  We live on the left hand side - second floor.  This picture shows our bedroom balcony.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Remembering DAD

It is with great sadness that we announce that our Dad - Maurice Reese - passed away on July 14th.  His funeral is today in Utah.  We are especially sad that we were not able to attend the funeral but we know that we are well represented there by several of our children and grand children.  We are extremely grateful for the opportunity we had to go to Peter's Wedding in April where we were able to spend a week with Mom and Dad.  We feel the Lord is ever mindful of us and let us have this week with Dad.
 Checking out Peter and Ashlee's new apartment.
 Dinner the night before the wedding.
 Waiting outside the temple while pictures were being taken.
After the luncheon.

A Tribute to my Dad at his funeral

On the day that my Dad passed away I wrote the following feelings in my journal:

I can only think of the great joy he is experiencing as he is meeting his parents and his brothers and sister.  I’m sure he is having a great time talking to all of them.  He loved to visit and I can just see him visiting with everyone he knew who had passed on before him.  This past week he met a man in the hospital who looked exactly like his best friend growing up, Lynn Peacock who had died a number of years ago.  I can just see them up there slapping each other on the back and hugging.  I do not feel any sorrow at his leaving, yes I will miss him, but I am so happy he is in a much better place and his earth life trial is completed.  His legacy is the great example of his service he gave to others.  “And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.” (Mosiah 2:17)

President Thomas S. Monson quoted the following poem at President Hinckley’s funeral.*  I hope I’m ok in quoting it here today.  This was written by President Hinckley.

What Is This Thing That Men Call Death
By President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008)
What is this thing that men call death,
This quiet passing in the night?
’Tis not the end, but genesis
Of better worlds and greater light.
O God, touch Thou my aching heart,
And calm my troubled, haunting fears.
Let hope and faith, transcendent, pure,
Give strength and peace beyond my tears.
There is no death, but only change
With recompense for victory won;
The gift of Him who loved all men,
The Son of God, the Holy One.

Thanks Dad for the example you are.
Love your Son.

*“God be with you till we meet again” April 2008, Thomas S. Monson

E. Reese and I have been sharing our good memories of Dad - here are a few:
- After Sunday dinner, Dad and I would go to choir practice - we both loved singing in the choir.
- When any grand child got old enough to play in a band - Dad would get out his old cornet and the 2 of them would play their instruments together!
- He would laugh so hard at slap-stick funny movies - he was funnier to watch than the movie!  (It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World)
- Went pheasant hunting together and caught a lot of birds - then realized we had gone 1 week early!
- He was a crack up playing 'Old Man with a Stick and a Staff'!
- Before our wedding, I was trying on Mom's wedding dress that I was going to wear - Dad pulled out his old navy uniforms and he and Dave were trying them on.  Dad was pleased that he could still button them!
- He grew lots of good things in his garden - my favorite were the boysenberries.  He would pick lots of big bowlfuls and I would get some and make jam and pies - yummy!  He gave me starts and we have had them at all our homes.  Picking boysenberries will always remind me of Dad.

Before we left for our mission we were staying with Mom and Dad.  On the night before we checked into the MTC, Dad gave each of us a beautiful Father's Blessing.  We are grateful for the kind man he was - we will miss him and look forward to seeing him again someday.  We are so thankful that we understand our Heavenly Fathers plan for us.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The rest of the story...

Dr. Brinton left us some vision equipment to take to the Medical University.  On July 13th we were invited there for a hand over ceremony.  Prof. Dvali was very happy to get such great equipment for the students.
Here is the vision equipment and some of the students.
E. Reese giving his speech - he is really getting good at this - with Mzia our translator.
This is all the 'dignitaries'!!!

New Sky Tram

Every morning E. Reese takes a long walk up and around old Tbilisi.  Several months ago he started watching the progress of building what turned out to be a sky tram.  This month it was finally finished and we were able to ride up to the Mother of Georgia for only 1 lari! (about 65 cents - what a deal)
What a view!
And here's the other side!

Don't you love taking your own picture!
This is what the tram looked like.  It's not very big - holds maybe 6 people.  It really moves pretty fast and was a fun ride - great view. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Isabel from Austrailia

Several months ago I got a comment on one of my blog entries from Isabel.  She said she was coming to Georgia in July and in looking up information, she found this blog.  So we emailed back and  forth and on Sunday the 8th she made it to church and we had her come to dinner.  She is a return missionary - served in Anaheim CA!!!  She did not get to go to Disneyland, so she was leaving the next day to go to CA to visit friends and go to Disneyland.  She was so much fun to visit with, just a delightful girl.  She was here in Georgia for a school project doing a 'dig' in a little village.

Dahli (Dolly)

Dahli is a wonderful older lady who was baptized on July 6th.  She has 2 sweet grand daughters that she brings to church with her sometimes.  Here she is with E. Brantley, Steggell and Mejia.

Rustavi - beds for the Elderly

There is a wonderful home for the elderly in Rustavi.  There are 2 buildings - one is currently being used and houses about 30 people.  The other building was being remodeled and we were asked if we could furnish beds for the rooms.  We visited the home and were so impressed with the care that was being given to the elderly people.  We did donate 30 beds with mattress', sheets and a cover.  On July 6th we went to see the beds.
 The rooms were bright and cheery.  The beds were very nice.
(Camera man, Imedea  -government official - our champion, man who is head of the facility, Maya -head of social workers in Rustavi)
                           They also had a news crew there - E. Reese is becoming very famous!
When we were finished with the beds, we went to the city museum and had a tour.  Afterwards we walked to the old fortress - here is the remaining wall.  They are planning on turning the area into a family park.  We ended the day with lunch.  We really enjoy working with these leaders and being here in Rustavi.

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Miracle of Sound

We were able to be a part of a most amazing project.  The Women of Georgia in Kaheti asked for hearing aids for over 200 deaf people.  We asked them to pick out 15 people whose lives would be changed with a  hearing aid.  On July 5th we went to the clinic and met with the people selected.
  One was a Priest from the Georgian Orthodox Church - a very humble and grateful man.
We were able to be in the office as the doctor put the hearing aid into the ear.  It was amazing to be there to see and hear their reaction to being able to hear with the hearing aid.  All smiled with joy at the gift of sound.
This girl showed her appreciation with a kiss!
Her Aunt could not contain her happiness and shed tears of joy!
It was just heart warming to be a part of this project.  Above: social worker, Mom with deaf daughter, E/S Reese, Dr. Misha and Women of Georgia lady who organized the project.  This young girl was delightful - so happy and bubbly - she wants to be a beautician and they are going to look into getting her to school.  This project was so positive, we are going to meet with all these people again in a few months and see how the hearing aids are working out and what changes they've made in their lives.  We love this work!
E. Reese bought me flowers - just because - what a good husband!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Art work

Alex is an artist.  We asked him to paint a picture of Tbilisi for us and if you look closely - you can see us standing on the bridge! (ok - you may have to wait till we get home to see it up close)

Gori at last!

We have an NGO friend, Misha, that has been inviting us to go to Gori for almost a year now.  We had a day set for last November, when we had our early snow storm and I refused to go in the cold!  So finally on June 30th we took a day off and went!  Misha picked us up at 10 and it was a beautiful day.  We stopped at the Stalin Museum first.  Stalin was born is Gori and although he was not a great leader - the Georgians are very proud that he was born here.  The museum is huge and we had an English speaking guide who whisked us through the pictures and history.  Outside we saw the home he was born in and the famous train car that he traveled in.

That was all interesting - but now the real adventure begins.  We head out to see the ancient city carved out of the rocks that is located nearby.  They have dated this place to the 3rd century and we had fun exploring the area.

Just call us Elder and Sister Flintstone!

 These were found throughout the town - they are ovens used for making bread.
This was an amazing ceiling that had been carved in one of the bigger rooms.
It was a beautiful day and the views were gorgeous!
Queen for a day - these were the royal chambers.

We opted to not go with a guide here because we wanted to be able to explore on our own.  We had fun making up stories for the different things we saw and really enjoyed ourselves!  It was really an amazing place - hard to imagine all the work and effort that went into carving out each room.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

This is my desk in our study.  It is where I spend a lot of hours on the computer.  I just thought I would share!

It's the little things

Yes, it's a cucumber slice!  We were eating dinner one night when a slice of cucumber dropped off my fork and fell to the floor.  We both leaned over to look for it and it took us awhile to see where it had traveled - across the floor and leaning against the chair leg!  What are the chances of that!  E. Reese was so impressed that he took a picture.  It's the little things that entertain us and keep us going!