Happy 100th Birthday Arizona!!

>> Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Eli had his 3rd grade music program today. It was called "Arizona Centennial Celebration". 

Apologies for the poor photos..I took them on my video camera. :P

The 3rd graders performed music all about Arizona and her history. They had a guest speaker, Gilbert's former Mayor Dale Hollack, who spoke to the children about the history of the town they live in and had a slide show of Gilbert "Then" and "Now". The kids went crazy over seeing the changes our town has gone through over the years. It was pretty neat! :) 

Not only did Eli get to perform, Walker was asked to be apart of the band that accompanied the program. He was on percussion, playing some mad cow bell action!! :D 

Since it was like a family affair, I thought I'd throw in a picture of Alayna too! :P

Happy Valentine's Day and Happy Birthday Arizona! 


Uncle Barton Merrill Smith

>> Monday, February 13, 2012

My Great Uncle Bart passed away. He had had a heart attack on December 10th, 2011, just after giving away my cousin Kerry McCarthy at her wedding. They performed a triple by-pass on him the following day, and he progressed to the point of being able to be transferred to a rehabilitation center. However, he had an up hill battle before him. He smoked and drank most of his life and this complicated his recovery. He suffered through withdrawls and he came down with pneumonia. His lungs were so compromised they had to put in a tracheotomy tube to assist his breathing. Since the tube was in his airway he wasn't able to speak. This also prevented him from being able to eat solid food, so he had to use a feeding tube as well.  

He struggled with his recovery and even though the medical staff was optimistic, on the morning of February 2nd, 2012, he had another heart attack and they were unable to revive him. This came as a shock to our family as you can imagine. To complicate matters he didn't leave a will or power of attorney, and it sort of fell to my parents and my family to sort out his affairs. The past week has felt like a marathon preparing for the funeral, sorting out his belongings, and trying to find his two daughters since they are the "next of kin".

Thankfully, we were able to find one of his daughters Carri Anne (Smith) Darland. Her and her husband Mike live back east in Indiana, and they were able to fly out for the funeral. It was so wonderful to get to meet them both. However, I wish it were under better circumstances. I know they felt so overwhelmed with the news of the loss of her dad as well as all the information we were throwing at them. She said they spoke every so often by email or phone, but hadn't actually seen one another since she was a little girl.

We held the funeral at our ward building and I can't express my gratitude enough to everyone that helped us put the service together. The Relief Society sisters are wonderful women that are always willing to pitch in in the time of need. I love the women in my ward and their generosity and willingness to serve me and my family.

I wanted to keep a record of everything from the past weekend and so this post is helping me to do that.



Below are pictures from the luncheon:

In the center is my Aunt Toni (Delta Lee (Smith) McCarthy) Wilson with two of her 11 children. Shawn McCarthy is on the left and Kevin McCarthy is on the right. Aunt Toni is Uncle Bart's sister. Her and her brother Jay are the last of the 6 brothers and sisters still living. 

These two women were friends of my Grandmother Donher (Smith) Bernal. They took her to the hospital several times after she had accidents on her motorcycle. They even drove her to the hospital when she delivered my Mom. :)

The cousins...Dylan Mullins, Eli and Walker Kitch. 

This is the Merrill side of the family. I need to get with my mom to record who everyone is...:S

Center is Mike and Carri Anne Darland. Uncle Bart's daughter and son in law.

More cousins..Alayna Kitch, Hollie Mullins, and Isaak Morrison.

My brother Robert K. Morrison III.

Center/left is Patty (McCarthy)...Aunt Toni's daughter & her husband Jay. On the right is her daughter Toni Luevano. 

Center is Logan McCarthy his dad is Shawn on the right.

Rhetta McCarthy another one of Aunt Toni's daughters. My dad Robert K. Morrison III and my mom Martha Lynn (McClendon/Bernal) Morrison.

My mom's 1/2 sister Mona (Bernal) Pruett on the right. Two of her daughters Renae Foster (left) Monica Smith (center).

Monica (Pruett) Smith's daughters. Brisa (left) Rayna (right).

Rhetta and her granddaughter. Joann Mendez's daughter.

Joann Mendez and family. Rhetta's daughter.  

Bill and Bonna Smith. Bill is Uncle Ben's son. Tammy McCarthy, Kevin McCarthy's wife on the right.

Kim (Smith) Riggs with her mom Dorothy Smith. She was married to my Uncle Ben until he passed away in 2007. He was Uncle Bart's brother.

Front Row: Dylan Mullins, Walker Kitch, Eli Kitch, Mendez, Mendez, Rayna Smith, Brisa Smith, Isaak Morrison, Alyana Kitch, Alex Morrison.
2nd Row: Vanessa Kitch, Mona Pruett, Toni Wilson, ?, Carri Anne Darland, Elizabeth (Merrill), Darla (Merrill), Louise (Merrill), Renae Foster, Martha Morrison.
3rd Row: Jared Kitch, Joanne Mendez, Baby Mendez, Rhetta McCarthy, ?, ?, ?, Shawn McCarthy, ?, Hollie Mullins, Monica Pruett Smith, Amber Morrison.
Back Row: Mr. Mendez, Bill Smith, Bonna Smith, Mike Darland, Logan McCarthy, Robert Morrison III, Robert K. Morrison II, Robin Mullins.
This is wonderful group shot of 'most' everyone that attended the funeral. Unfortunately, several families had already left before we took this picture.

Sunday we got together with Mike and Carri Anne before they headed back home.

It has been such a blessing to be able to connect with family I didn't even know about. It's amazing how you can feel close to someone you don't even know. Carri Anne and Mike said they are going to try to make it out to the Smith Family Reunion this June with their children. I can't wait to meet the rest of their family. This time under happier circumstances. 


Rome 'Was' Built in a Day!!

>> Friday, February 10, 2012

Walker has been studying Rome in school and they had a big final project due this week. They were given a list of buildings they could make and he chose The Circus Maximus! 

I admit this week was really crazy and we unfortunately procrastinated. We were up late finishing this the night before it was due. I do NOT recommend trying to build Rome in a day..but just know that it can be done! LOL!!

For each structure the students made, there was a list of things that had to be included for their grade. The center barrier or spina had pillars at each end around which charioteers had to maneuver around carefully. The pillars or spires towards the Arch of Titus were called Meta Prima. The ones near the Starting Gate were called Meta Secunda.

Chariot Racer.
Although most Roman charioteers (called aurigae or agitatores) began their careers as slaves, those who were successful soon accumulated enough money to buy their freedom.

Egg Lap Marker.
This was used to keep track of the laps the racers completed. As they finished each lap an egg would drop down. 

 On the other end of the track they had dolphin markers count the laps as well. The dolphins would tilt forward as each lap was completed.


The Royal Seating....pretty self explanatory. :P

The Arch of Titus.

The Starting Gates.

Another part of the requirement was to make the building curved and to show the bleacher seating used in the original structure.

Outside of the Circus Maximus.

One kid happy to have it finished on time!!! :P LOL!


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