This past week I received notice that my Grandpa Lokken (My mom's dad) had died. I was sad to get the information on the first day back to school from the Christmas Break. After talking to the people at the school I found out that I was eligible for a 5-day bereavement leave. After talking to family and Stacy, we decided to take Monday off to travel and visit Disneyland. Tuesday we would be at the funeral in Yuma, AZ and then be back in Anaheim for a Wednesday afternoon visit at the magic kingdom. This would be a good opportunity to use our Christmas gift of Annual Disneyland passes.
The Saturday before was spent at the high school preparing for a three day substitute. Stacy brought the kids and they played on the whiteboard in the classroom. We cleaned my desk so that everything was as ready as we could make it. Monday morning came and we packed and jumped into the car. The girls and Troy were wonderful, as they usually are, for the long trip.
The girls were able to meet Cinderella, Pocahantes, and Jasmine along with Goofy. We took them on the "Pirates of the Carribean" ride and "It's a Small World." Abby did not enjoy Pirates.
Before we left for Yuma, Uncle Jud met us in Anaheim and hitched a ride with us. It was great to have him and he was a great help. Three kids are much easier to handle when there are three adults handling the rodeo. Ashlin feel asleep in her car seat with her can of Pringles. Both Abby and Ashlin love pringles. We arrived in Yuma after a long ride through the desert and went to visit Grandma Lokken and Grandma and Grandpa Clark. The kids were great inspite of the long day and the late hour. After a short visit we went to the hotel and got everyone ready for bed. While everyone else went to bed, I went to pick up Marge and Steve at the fabulous and exhotic "Yuma International Airport". I would say that it is a little bigger than a supermarket.
The next day we went to breakfast with the family at IHOP. It was fun to see cousins that we hadn't seen in a long time. We then traveled on to the church for the viewing and the funeral. Funerals are such that you, as a reader, don't get much pleasure out of reading about it so I would like to make it short and simple by saying that it was a nice service and very appropriate. I felt as though I had an opportunity to let my Grandpa go (even though as I write this I feel a little choked up). The City of Yuma gave us a nice police escort to the cemetary. At the burial, I participated as a Pal Bearer with seven other brothers, cousins and brothers-in-law. After that was over we went back to the church for a great lunch provided by the Relief Society from the Branch. Finally, we went to Grandma Lokken's to watch America's Funniest Home Videos. It was on mute and we all sat around talking and laughing at the show. Honestly, it was a nice ending to what could have been a very sad and depressing day. Grandpa was always a serious guy but I think that even he would have enjoyed the relaxing time. You can see in the picture that Grandma was smiling all day. She had a genuine smile the whole day. What a great blessing it is to know the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She got after me earlier in the day when she asked me how I was doing. I told her that I was happy but still a little sad. She simply said, "Don't be sad."
Wednesday morning we left about 9 am. We dropped Jud at his car in Anaheim at 2 pm or so and then went back to Disneyland. This is a picture of just how excited both Stacy and Troy were as they sat in line for the rides. ;) Just kidding of course. We had a fun time.
Well. I don't know what else to tell you all. The Clarks are doing just fine as the new week starts. We hope that all of you are doing well. We hope that you all don't have to resort to Funerals in order to take a family vacation. Make sure that the ones that you care about know that you care about them.