Friday, June 26, 2009

Father's Day Weekend

Beginning of our Family Bike Ride near Ventura Pier
Rest stop overlooking Emma Wood State BeachJohn riding along beautiful coastline toward Ventura
Bike Riding break to watch the Kite surfers at the Point
Breakfast in bed tradition

John visiting on the phone with kids from out of town with Kirsten and Scotty looking on

Charlotte and her mommy, Else

Isaac, Wyatt and Uncle Hans watching the croquet game

Ditte, Tyson, Jeremy, Mette, Haans, Jonathan playing croquet

Atalie and Addie

Audrey and Cozette

Mette and Haans "eyeing" this great shot Jonathan is setting up for!

You can hardly see John back there....he is surrounded by love!
Happy Father's Day! June 2009

Our Father's Day Weekend was full of family time and John..... several times..... got a lump in his throat and would say to me, "I sure feel blessed!" We spent part of our Saturday with our kids and grandkids that could join us, on a bicycle ride from the Ventura Pier, north along surfers point and fairgrounds up to Emma Wood State Beach. It was such a lovely outing. The little kids were great at not giving up and trying so hard to peddle up some of those hills on the bike path going toward the ridge over Emma Wood where we paused for a snack and water break.

Sunday morning Mette, Hans and I enjoyed fixing John breakfast in bed...our long standing tradition!
And then, after our church meetings, some of the kids and grandkids again gathered at our home for a nice dinner, game of croquet and just hanging out together.
John got to talk on the phone or by skyping with Trine and Larry and family in Utah, Erik and Cristin and family in Tehachapi and Christian and Emily and family in San Francisco. He got a very nice card from Steffen on his mission in the DC area, too.

All in was a nice weekend and we are so thankful as a family for our wonderful "dad", "gramps", "sweetheart" and "patriarch" of our family.

Monday night after Father's Day, John and Hans and I took a drive in our convertible for Family Night to watch the sun set at Pt. Mugu rock along the Pacific Coast Highway. We listened to some of our favorite soundtracks from John Williams....Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Superman and we drove with the wind in our hair. Nice ending to a good weekend!
Waves near Pt. Mugu Rock

Hans and John watching sun go down Southern California style!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Working in the yard....

Springtime is a wonderful time to work in the yard and to get the whole family involved (when you can)! The last two Saturdays, John and I worked a good part of the days trying to clean up weeds, fix the fountain, trim bushes and plant some flowers.
This last Saturday, a palm tree needed to be removed that has grown too big for our little backyard and was also blocking a sprinkler head so some of the lawn was not getting watered.

So....John started digging around the roots with a shovel and pick. I took a few shovel fulls of mud and dirt out myself. He was working so hard at the ball of tightly grown roots that he had to stop now and then to get his breath. Then..... he called for reinforcements.....our "little" but strong Mette came out to help and Hans did his share of what he could do, too.

After more digging and back breaking pushing and shoving, John tied a big yellow towing strap with a cinching devise to an apricot tree across from this palm tree. When he cinched it tight,we all grabbed onto the strap and pulled it sideways, toward and away from our bodies to get the most leverage and after a few attempts, cinched it again and repeated the process until roots finally gave way and the thing really moved. My husband is soooo smart!

The next challenge was to get the heavy, mud filled root ball out of the hole onto our little red wagon, which we finally managed to do but broke a wheel in the attempt. Time to get a big, hefty yard wagon anyway!

The Palm Tree now has a new home at Kirsten's and Jonathan house and has much more room to grow there!

I love family yard reminds me of working in the yard with my dad and mom when I was growing up. We did that a lot and I'm so grateful I learned to work hard. I would much rather work pulling weeds for hours than be in the house all day, but when I spend all day outside, I come inside and and see all the mess that didn't get cleaned up in there and I get a little grumpy! Oh well...I'll take these family yard work days when I can get them!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Hans and his new upcoming summer hobby

Hans picked out this board because it had a "sword" in the design....of course!

Camarillo Parks and Recreation has a skateboard park that reopened today after it had been shut down for a few months for improvements. I noticed that the district was offering skateboarding lessons for kids Hans' age, so I signed him up and got him some equipment and we are ready for a summer of a new outdoor hobby!

So...... today at 4:00pm, they were having a grand re-opening party at the skate park and Hans wanted to go. He took his board and his safety gear in his backpack and we drove over there to check it out....
it was interesting....

The skaters who used to normally hang out there for free and without many rules or regulations for the park, were pretty upset. The district, for liability purposes, now has everyone under 18, fill out a waiver with parents signatures and you must wear at least a helmet to skate or bike inside the park. (Hans has elbow, wrist and knee pads, too, which are required for taking the classes).

I walked up to the sign-in table with this little 9 year old boy of mine, noticing that there aren't very many attending this "party". Hans is all ready to try his first day at the skate park with his new stuff and there are cookies and drinks and it was supposed to be a nice grand opening and all. Just before we arrived, however, we found out that some of the skaters had cut the electrical wires for the music and started boycotting the park and yelling at anyone coming up to the table to not support these new rules. It was a little uncomfortable, I have to tell you!
So, Hans still wanted to try it out and he and one other older teenager who had his helmet on, enjoyed this brand new skate park all by themselves for about 15 minutes with about 30 skaters hanging on the outside bars of the fence, taunting them and making fun. After a few minutes, about 3 young men over 18 years, took turns using someones helmet and came in to check out the changes to the park. They seemed to really like it.
I am sitting in one of the chairs watching all of this and all of a sudden, about 15-20 or so of those skaters decide to "storm" the gate and push past about 6 adults who were set up to guard against this. They rode freely in the park for just a few minutes to get it out of their system, while the district employees made phone calls for backup.
I had Hans come sit down by me until the "revolution" was over and these skaters left before the police arrived. Then Hans went back to what he was doing, practicing dropping down into the bowls and trying to skate up some ramps. He and the one teenager just had a great time for about an hour. The older boy(who had one whole side of his face covered in a wine-stain birthmark and was obviously acquainted with being made fun of ) even showed Hans some tips and encouraged him as he got over some of his fears of dropping down some steep places. I was so grateful for his kindness. Hans fell down a few times, brushed himself off and tried again. You should have seen the smile on his face when he tipped the skateboard over the ledge and dropped down without falling! It was worth it all.
I talked with the district people about what was going on and they said they really expected some rebellion but they didn't know how bad it would be so they were somewhat prepared, but they are hoping that all these kids will get over it, except the changes and rules and put a helmet on and adhere to the new things set up for the good of everyone. There are new hours for skaters and bikers separately, there are days and hours set up for 12 and under only as well as 18 and older only...things like that. Once they have their parents (if they are under 18) sign the paperwork, they are able to buy an annual pass with their photo on it to the park for $20.00 a year or pay $5.00 each use....the pass is such a deal, but they were protesting that too, of course, since they have had it free all these years.
Another dad came with his 10 year old son while I was watching Hans and he said he never liked the influence there before for his children with all the cussing and the smoking, etc. He was hopeful, with these changes, it will be a fun place for all kids who want to enjoy the sport but not have to deal with those negative things.
Just as it was time to leave to come home...the boys outside the fence, started throwing handfuls of hotdogs and liters of soda bottles filled with barbecue sauce and ketchup over the fence into the park. Hans picked up some of the hotdogs and threw them back over !!! The district employees went and gathered the items and put them in the trash and just laughed at the immaturity of these youth. As we walked back to our car Hans said, "mom, I promise you I will never be mean like those boys when I get older." (I've put it in writing for all of you to see).
I'm sure the majority of those boys were nice boys....I told Hans that it only takes a few to be a bad influence on others. I think it was a good learning experience for him. He's so excited to go back again soon and especially to attend his first lesson next Tuesday night at that park!
I'm hoping I've done a good thing as a mother in exposing him to this activity....we'll see!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Where Did the Month of May go????

On May 5th, John and I flew to Copenhagen Denmark, traveled by train with our Eurorail Passes south to Frankfurt, Germany and down through Bavaria to Southern Germany where we toured medieval towns such as Rothenburg and into Schwangau where we toured the famous castles of Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein. We next crossed the border into Austria where we visited Salzburg and Vienna...two very beautiful, historical cities that we enjoyed very much. Then we turned around and went north again to visit his sister, Anna and take a cruise on the Rhine River for a day before traveling by train again up through Denmark. We visited his cousin Freddie and his family in Aalborg, the city where he was born. Freddie took us north to his summerhouse in Skagen for a night and then we went south again to Odense, Denmark where we visited several days with our dear friends, Finn and Inge Kreiberg. We ended our trip by going back to Copenhagen and enjoyed attending the temple there with Finn and Inge before we flew home again on May 21st.

(I only have 950 pictures to share, so be grateful I'm only putting up a few here on the blog!)

I had to get my photo with the famous "Little Mermaid" We enjoyed a sightseeing tour of Copenhagen the first day we arrived.

Happy husband on the train as we traveled into his beloved Denmark

Day Cruise north on the Rhine River with Anna

Anna met us twice at the Frankfurt Train Station, showed us how to use the Frankfurt subway system, fed us delicious meals, gave as a nice place to sleep, shower and do some laundry. We loved our visit with her and we were so glad she got off work one day to go on the Rhine River Cruise with us just an hour train ride from Frankfurt.

City of Aalborg, where John was born and where his parents heard the missionaries and the message of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ over 60 years ago!

John's cousin, Freddie Larsen and his sweet wife, Jette

They had their whole family gathered for a delicious and fun family dinner the night we arrived in Aalborg. We enjoyed staying with them and meeting their children Kristina and Morton again with their families. Kristina even gave birth to her 2nd baby daughter while we were there!

Freddie, Kristina and baby Marie born in Aalborg Hospital

Bicyling through Skagen with John's cousin Freddie. He treated us to a barbeque and a lovely nights stay in their summerhouse on Skagen.
Then, onto Odense...

Finn and Inge Kreiberg's home in Odense

(notice the Red '67 Mustang in the carport? Finn bought it from us a couple years ago and had it shipped over and he started it right up for us....he seems to enjoy it!)

Finn, Inge and John in front of Odense Ward Building where he served as a missionary for 6 months and had the opportunity of meeting the Kreiberg family and teaching them the gospel 40 years ago. They had him and his companions over for dinner once a week while he was there. We enjoyed getting to spend some time with their children and grandchildren, too, and it brought such joy to our hearts to be with this great family and to have the privilage of knowing and loving them.
Finn showed us the inside cover of a Book of Mormon John had written his testimony in and given them those many years ago.
They are talented gardeners and have a beautiful garden that we loved sitting and relaxing in!

They also took us to visit some beautiful sites around their area, including an Old Town and also Vladamirs Slot (castle).

Our first view of the Copenhagen Temple dedicated in 2004

We enjoyed attending the temple with Finn and Inge, the night before we came home and stayed in the temple apartments across the street with them.

Mette picked us up from LAX airport and our sweet family was waiting for us when we arrived home with a nice dinner prepared for two weary travelers, banner on the garage door and lots of hugs and kisses! We loved going but we also love coming home! There's truly no place like Home!

The day after we came home from Europe, before the jet lag was out of our systems, all our children and grandchildren began arriving and all my siblings on the Beecroft side gathered for the Memorial Day Weekend for our first Carl and Rita Beecroft Family Reunion since both my parents passed away. We attended my niece, Rebecca Beecroft's baptism in Ventura, went to the beach, played games, sang songs, ate meals together, witnessed Christian bless their new son, Leif in our Camarillo 2nd ward, ran in the 29th annual Beecroft 5K Run on Monday morning, went to the beach again, swam at Peter and Gayle's pool (all 76 or so of us), and on Tuesday, many of us went to Disneyland all day. It was a wonderful reunion!!! Let's do it again in a couple years!
My sisters...Julie, Lisa, Pam, Jackie, myself and baby brother, Jon!

Thank you, Peter and Gayle for letting all of us come swim in your pool!

John and Debi Lassen clan....all but our missionary, the Beecroft 5K run

Gramma Debi pushing Luke and Charlie in the Run

Gramps pushing Leif and Grace in the run
We were so happy to have finished the race!

All 14 of our grandchildren were here for the reunion are the 5 born this last year,

Charlie, Leif, Charlotte, Kayla and Scotty


after the dust settled from all that.......

I chaperoned a field trip that all the 4th and 5th graders at Hans' school got to take on Friday, May 29th. We boarded a bus at the school at 4:30 am, got on a Southwest flight in Burbank and flew to Sacramento, CA. We toured the Capitol building, drove an hour up the American Fork River to pan for gold at Sutter's Mill and eat lunch, drove back to Sacramento to tour Sutter's Fort before going back to the airport and flying home to Burbank. We arrived home at 9:30 pm very, very tired but had a great day!

Gabriel Martin and Hans panning for gold near Sutter's Mill on the South Fork of the American River

Hans and Gabe getting on the airplane...with over 100 other 4th and 5th graders! Have you ever gone through airport security with 100 children??? Fun!!!

We ended the month with John doing a dutch oven demonstration most of Saturday, May 30th for a Stake Emergency Preparedness Fair and then attending a Piano Recital for Hans and other students of Marty Florence, held in the beautiful home of the Trouts here in Camarillo.

That is where our month of May a "nutshell"

Bring on June and hopefully some lazy days of summer!!!