Grandma & Grandpa

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(Late) Vacation Pictures

We spent a great week with the Frees hiking, swimming at the Panaca Pond, geocaching, riding four-wheelers, picnicking at Yankee Meadows, riding bikes, eating from the garden, attending the St. George Temple, shooting Grandpa's new pistol, chopping a bow from just the right kind of stick, and plain ol' hanging around.

In case you don't have Facebook, here is a link to some pictures from our week with Grandpa and Grandma back in July.

Paragonah Pinyon Jay

Paragonah Pinyon Jay

Here is a nice picture of a pinyon jay taken from our back window. I like it because it shows his eyes, The eyes always have it when you take bird pictures. Perhaps in sharing it on the blog all of my family will see that I love beautiful wildlife and that we can share pictures when we get them.

Manoel in the news

In case you did not see it, Manoel was quoted in the Daily Herald on Saturday talking about the Brazilian bicycle rider that he had met in Paragonah at Grandpa's house. Here is the text of the article with a link to full thing.

Brazilian biker shares his love of nature
Joe Pyrah - Daily Herald

He doesn't have corporate sponsors. He's not protesting a war. He doesn't have cancer.

What Renato Campinho does have is a bike and a love of nature that has driven him tens of thousands of miles from his home in Sao Raimundo Nonato, Brazil.

"For some people, this sounds crazy," Campinho said through an interpreter. "But it's not."

A wiry 5-foot 7-inches, the Brazilian is lighter than his old Italian 5-gear bicycle loaded down with gear. Newspaper clippings sheathed in plastic about his journey through South and Central America cover the tarp that now shrouds his bike. It was installed by well-wishers in Arizona.

Leaving home with little money, he has made his way mostly by the kindness of strangers to spread a message about preserving the environment. After getting a six-month visa to enter the country, he has been through Arizona and is now making his way through Utah. In Provo, the Silvas have taken him in.

The Brazilian family heard about Campinho when a nephew, Manoel, met him pedaling through Paragonah in southern Utah. Manoel told him to stop by in Provo when he came through. While here he's received free bike service (thousands of miles means hundreds of tires) and will be getting his rear brake pads replaced.

"Everybody helps him," says Rosana Silva. "It doesn't matter if he speaks the language or not."

The air-conditioned Silva home, with its big-screen TV and pool in the backyard, is a far cry from the rocky overhangs where Campinho has spent nights in a tent. Pictures and choppy video on a donated digital camera show country after country and hill after hill. One video shows the bike speeding down a steep decline.

It's on the upswing that the traveler has had problems. Though he's so far avoided traffic accidents, the weight of the bike has brought him over backward several times when a hill gets too steep.

He doesn't have what would be considered an education in this country. He can read Portuguese, but can't write it very well and was a beekeeper in Brazil. While he doesn't have a family of his own, he is one of 16 siblings.

"He's very humble. Very humble," said Rosana Silva, who doubled as a translator on Thursday.

How does he keep the legs pumping over the long miles? A large bowl of rolled oats (oatmeal) every morning and a lot of fruits and vegetables. He won't drink soda or alcohol.

He doesn't have a specific itinerary to follow, only hoping to now get to Canada, Alaska and then to Russia, Japan and beyond. Brushing off the heat or nights asleep on the ground, his hardest times have been the "crazy winds" of Arizona, he said.

"He's a very little guy and he goes with the wind," said Silva with a laugh. Did You Know:

• Renato Campinho has biked through every country in South and Central America and is now in the United States.

• Days on the road: 484

• Age: 37

Adam's Baptism, Andrew's Birthday, Havasupai, Girl's Camp and Melinda in the MTC...whew what a busy time...

Adam's Baptism, Andrew's Birthday, Havasupai, Girl's Camp and Melinda in the MTC...whew what a busy time...

Lot's has happened recently and I haven't been good about putting any images up here. So here are just a few showing all of these events.

If you want to write to Melinda in the MTC here is here address:

Sister Melinda Free
MTC Mailbox #115
Baltic 0806
2005 N. 900 E.
Provo, Ut 84604-1793

(If you want to type it on your computer and have it printed and delivered to her mail box just log on to It is free while they are in the MTC.)

Sister Melinda Kay Free is headed to Europe!

I opened my mission call tonight amid many friends and family members. I have been called to serve as a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and I have been assigned to labor in the Baltic Mission. I will prepare to preach the gospel in the Lithuanian language, and I report to the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah on June 4, 2008! I am so excited, and I love you all!!!!


P.S. The Baltic mission includes Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. So...Holly wins the guess on where, because she guessed I was going to Latvia! Yeah, Holly!!!

click to see slideshow->

Maddie on a Two Wheeler

Maddie has been wheeling around for several months now on her bike with training wheels. On Saturday we decided it was time to try it without the training wheels. She took right off and never looked back. At four and a half years old, only Jake did it younger... Feeling a little old as my last child pedals off without training wheels. Do you think she had enough coaches telling her what to do?

Brett Arrives in Phoenix!

Brett made it safely to Phoenix. In addition to all of us--that we know he was dying to see--Aisling surprised him. See if you can figure out who he was more excited to see...

Some pictures from Brazil

Most of you got these emailed to you. But I thought it would be nice to have a them online as well.

Here ya go... (by the way, we are looking for more!)

click to see slideshow->

Colorado trip, Utah visitors and Sisters

Colorado trip, Utah visitors and Sisters

Here are some pictures Dad took. He promises to put some descriptions with them. They come from a visit to Jean and Evan and Reid and Rebecca in Colorado, Dave's family trip up to the cabin and Mom's sisters.

Grand Canyon, Grand Vistas, Grandchildren, oh my...

Grand Canyon, Grand Vistas, Grandchildren, oh my...

Here are some pictures from Grandpa over the last little while.
I don't have a description of the first several but starting with the Grand Canyon we have:
"The first 2 are on the North rim as we came down to see you.
The second 6 are of a trip to Kent's Lake and several of nearby Anderson Meadow lake with fish jumping all on Beaver Mountain and hour and a half from Paragonah.
The last six are of the Rexburg Temple, Moose creek where we camped for several days and went to Church at the chapel near Mac's Inn and Mesa Falls on Henry's fork of the snake river."



Here are a bunch of photos of the last few days before Mike entered the MTC. It was great getting together with so many to wish this wonderful missionary the best. The drop off at the MTC was awesome - I'm green with envy that he gets to stay there!

Anyway, here they are for all to enjoy.

Pre-MTC Party for Justin

Pre-MTC Party for Justin

Here are a few pictures of all those who have good wishes and admiration for Justin as he enters the MTC.
We had a lovely family Home evening in Rosanna and Pedro's house. Marilee and her girls sang "Sweet is the work" with their beautiful voices blending wonderfully. That set me up to teach the lesson on fear faith and the spirit. Justy is such a good example of humility, like Mike, that it was easy to show how being filled with charity will make them fearless as he enters into the unknown, possibly fearful, work of teaching the gospel. It was also easy to show by his example that remission of sins brings the gift of the Holy Ghost which in turns gives the gift of charity. In that audience it was natural to testify of the invitation of the the savior for all, no matter their transgressions, to come to him and become clean. We had a nice outpouring of the spirit.
Amazingly the member of the Mission Presidency who came to set Justy apart was our Mission President when we were in the Rochester Mission. That made his setting apart very special. Interesting how the Lord blesses us continually.

A Yankee Meadows Picnic

A Yankee Meadows Picnic

Here are some pictures of a picnic at Yankee Meadows. I can almost smell the smoke of the fire and hear the running stream, the wind through the trees and the playful romping of the dogs. I can almost see Brandon looking for the mud to jump into! There is even a snowman!

Tokyo travelers take time to make mountains of memories!

Tokyo travelers take time to make mountains of memories!

Here are some pictures taken of Matt and Chiaki's gang as they visited with family and made memories. I'm not sure all that happened so I will post the pictures and encourage them to provide comments on the pictures.