Wednesday, June 21, 2017

To Chicago for a Wedding!!!

What happier thing than a wedding!  And what happier thing than a wedding in the Temple where two people who love each other are "sealed" together forever as they obediently live the teachings of Jesus Christ.

We were thrilled to have permission from President Msane, our mission president, and from President Hamilton, our Africa South East Area President, to leave our mission and travel to Chicago for 10 days for our daughter's wedding.  We were delighted to be there for a small family reunion and then the wedding in the Chicago LDS Temple.

We flew from Nairobi to Frankfurt to Rome to Chicago.  A round-about way but it worked.  I love looking out the window of the plane.  These are the gorgeous Alps.  When I was young I dreamed of piloting a plane.  I read fiction books about flying and about being a stewardess (now called a flight attendant) and I even read the encyclopedia to learn how to fly.  I knew all about the rudder and ailerons and lift.  My Dad started flying lessons when he was a newly-wed but my Mom made him give it up after LeRon's Aunt Barbara MacPhee's husband was killed in a light plane crash.  But we had an old war plane out back that my Dad purchased after the war and we kids loved to play in it.  How I dreamed of flying!!
We stayed with Heather in her lovely condo and on Sunday, Vince came over for Sunday dinner and to go to church with us.  We met Vince over a year ago during our short lay-over in the Chicago airport while on our way to our mission.  We liked him and hoped they would marry.

For Monday night Family Home Evening we went to see a windmill close to where Heather lives in Chicago.  Imagine that.  A real Dutch windmill in Chicago!  It was taken apart in Holland and brought in pieces to the US and put back together.  It functioned for several years.  We were excited to visit the Netherlands a couple of times and to see actual working windmills.  So impressive!

When Heather marries Vince on Saturday, she will also acquire two children -- Hanna and Joseph.  Vince's wife died of cancer a few years ago.  Hanna's shirt with a zebra on it made me feel right at home!

Our daughter Michelle rented a house with a private lake so we had a great family reunion with all of our children and grandchildren there.  Heather is rowing here with her Dad.  She first learned to row on our dugout when she would help her Dad change the filter on the intake.
The lake was surrounded with gorgeous trees and croaking bull frogs that sounded like grunting geese.  Not sure if that is a good description.  And yes, senior missionaries can boat and even swim (unlike junior missionaries who are not allowed in the water).

The lake came equipped with a row boat, an electric motor boat, a kayak, and other kinds of floaties.  Fun for everyone.

I even got into the act.  Here I am ready to push off.  I think Heather did most of the work.

Here's two of my grandchildren, Rachael and Alice with our son, Craig, ready to swing on the rope and go swimming.  Fun!
And it was fun to finally meet in person our latest new grandbabies -- Benny and Payton.  They were born in December and November.  We've seen them in pictures and videos but we finally got to meet them in person!!  Grandpa is enjoying some grandpa-time.
There was a beautiful park close to where Heather lives and we went to check it out.  Heather and Vince later had their wedding photos taken there.  Here's Eric, Craig, and Heather.  Our niece, Kinsey (Torrie) Holt flew from Alberta Canada to take the wedding pictures.  Kinsey is a professional wedding photographer.  You can see her work on <> and <>.  We were happy to hire Kinsey and have her come.  She and Eric are the same age and were close cousins all their growing up years.  
Here are Mom and Daughter on the morning of Heather's wedding.  She's wearing some Kazuri beads that I brought her from Nairobi.  The wedding was in the Chicago LDS Temple.  Only members in good standing can attend the temple and the sealing rooms are small so only close friends and family can attend the actual wedding.  The wedding reception was held the evening before so that all could attend.  There was a happy turnout of family and friends at the reception.  I wish I had pictures but I don't.  Heather made it really fun.  She had coloring for the little kids and games and Karaoke.  It was really a fun reception.  Ice cream and toppings and savory snacks.

Heather's good friend, Emily; Heather's cousin Tami Torrie; me; Heather; Heather's niece Alice.  We're all so happy for Heather!  But . . . as Heather points out . . . she's already had a very happy life.  She's been the kind of person who can be happy wherever she is.  But we are happy that she's found a very good man.

Sisters . . . Sisters . . . there were never such devoted sisters.  Tra-la-la.  Here are sisters Michelle and Heather, with Michelle's daughter Alice.

Here's our whole family -- Eric & Jocelyn with Payton; Craig Torrie; LeRon and me with Michelle's Benny; Heather & Vince; Andy & Michelle Robinson with Rachael, Matthew, Leon, Alice; Michael.  All here except for Vince's children who are now our grandchildren too.

Happy Dad and Mom with Heather and Vince.

The Chicago Temple is beautiful with lovely grounds.

Heather and Vince with our grandchildren.

Heather's new family!

Needed a picture to show that David & Tami Torrie (from Grassy Lake, Alberta, Canada) were here too.  They are our nephew and niece and cousins to Craig, Eric, and Michael and of course Heather and Michelle.

Elder & Sister Torrie at the Chicago Temple.  In a few years there will be a temple in Nairobi.  It will be a beautiful building (as all temples are) with lovely landscaping and it will be a blessing to Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Uganda, and other surrounding countries.  Maybe it will be like the East German Temple in Freiberg, Germany where many people, regardless of religion, go to have their wedding pictures taken on its grounds because of its beauty but also because of the good spirit that is there.


  1. Thanks for posting this! I have been waiting! What a fun family reunion! What great pictures! What a beautiful bride! Love Heather's dress! She has inherited some cute kids! So happy for all of you that you could be together for this great occasion!

  2. Thanks for sharing Heather and Vincent's wedding with us. Looks like it was a beautiful day and a beautiful bride. How fun to have your whole family together. What a great place to stay and have a lake and be able to spend time with your family. Hope you have recuperated from your trip.

  3. Building family memories while you attended Heather and Vince's wedding sounds and looks perfect! So happy you were all able to be together.

  4. That was so wonderful that you could take time off long enough to enjoy your beautiful family and make memories with the new grand children and son in law too. we wish we could have been there with all of you. Heather was a gorgeous bride and Vince such a handsome groom! love to all!