Sunday, May 17, 2009


There really are not words to describe how wonderful it was to see my parents and visit England. I know this entry will be boring and long for many people... but it was so hard to choose pictures. And anyway, this is probably more for me than anyone that I can remember how amazing it was. I get emotional when I look at the pictures and am really grateful that we had this opportunity. It was a special trip for us!!

Here is Grandma Stock with the kids during our layover in Canada. The kids were really good even though travel is never easy. We did a lot of "hurry up and wait."

We got there safe and sound. This is my parent's back yard. The English call them back gardens. You can see why. If you click on the picture you can see the kids better. That hedge is so tall!!

This is a view of my parents house from the back. This is our first night there. We were exhausted from travel, but we found the energy to enjoy the landscape. My parents were in meetings with President Packer, Elder Ballard, and Elder Oakes so we were still waiting to see them.

The kids fell asleep before my parents got home. So did Sam. There was no way I could. I cried like a baby when I saw them. They kissed and hugged the kids even though they were sleeping. My mom couldn't help it, she woke a sleeping baby. Conner didn't mind. I didn't get pictures of the reunion...probably because I was too busy being emotional.

We rested for a few days (for those of you who have experienced that kind of time change you know why) and helped my mom as she was busy with the General Authorities. Then we were off to Durham by train. My mom had planned everything so carefully. She even went to the train station prior to us coming to make sure she could navigate around so that we would have a relaxing time. She packed us a delicious lunch.

My cousin, Paige, is living in Durham and getting her doctorate degree. She was our tour guide. Amazing. This is an open market where I was busy trying to find something to protect Conner from the rain. Everyone in England has this perfect plastic cover that goes over their strollers. Of course I couldn't find one...apparently you have to order them (England is so different from America in so many ways). That's okay though because I found an XL rain poncho and as you will see in pictures to worked perfect.

I took a lot of pictures like this because I was the last one of the bunch. We are entering a castle.

These are the steps to the watch tower of the Durham Cathedral.

370 some steps...quite the workout. Kinsee was scared out of her mind the whole time.

The view from the top of the watchtower.

Kinsee still freaking out. It was pretty high!

Sam at the top.

Tunnel in the cathedral.

Paige and Kinsee looking at a garlic plant.

Here is a picture of the rain poncho over Conner's stroller. He was warm and cozy and dry. Seems like a simple thing, but it sure made me feel better.

Such beautiful scenery everywhere.

So much history...buildings that were anywhere from 100-1000 years old.

Is is Robin Hood?

The kids sitting on a throne of gargoyles.

My mom sent us in this amazing bead shop. Kinsee and I could have stayed there forever!

My grandma had a hard time on this day so we decided to go to the train station and rest until our train came. It turns out that my grandma had a small stroke. She had to stay in England longer than planned, but she is home now and recovering well.

My dad loved to hug the kids.

Another old church. Beautiful.

It is a big deal to be buried by the church you are a member of in England. This is a grave site. The more money you have, the closer to the church you can be buried.

By the time we got home from our walk to that old church, the boys were out.

My dad has a bulletin board of all the missionaries in his home office. Of course, we all searched for Elder Shumway.

We got to have our picture taken with Brother and Sister Oakes before they left. They were so kind. It was nice to meet them.

I thought this sign was funny. It means there are no "rubbage bins" (garbages) and you have to take your trash with you.

Most of the houses in England do not have number addresses. Just names. Interesting finding your way around.

My mom fixed Kinsee an amazing birthday breakfast. These were hot chocolate sticks that you put in warm milk.

Pancakes with the kids initials.

I think Sammy was in heaven...I'm not sure what the look is.

Here is a random picture of one of the rooms in their house.

My mom and Conner at the Royal Armory.

We got to see a sword fight.

That night we had Kinsee's birthday party.

My mom had these presents that you pulled apart and a firecracker went off. They were a huge hit!!

This was this kids practicing their song for Kinsee's baptism.

The day of her baptism we visited The Harewood House. It is a manor owned by a Lord of England. It was breathtaking. Sam and I toured the house while my mom took the kids to the bird garden and park in the back.

Mikinsee fell asleep on her way to the baptism.

They didn't have a white suit big enough for Sam. i actually had a hard time looking at him without laughing. Too bad you can't get the full effect with this picture.

The baptism was so special. The church and font were so beautiful. The small chapel was full of people who love my parents and came to support Mikinsee. She was so kind to everyone.

Sam and Kinsee.

My mom and Kinsee. My dad is not in any pictures because he was not able to attend. This is the day my grandma had her stroke and he had no choice but to take her to the hospital. It broke all of our hearts, but we just got through it.

My parents needed to be with my grandma the morning after the baptism so we were brave and took the car. It was fun. We ate breakfast at McDonalds. I though this picture was interesting because they don't offer these things on the menu in America.

It was yummy!

We used our navigation system and found our way to a shopping center (driving is crazy!!). Daniel got the rugby ball he had wanted the whole trip so he was happy.

That afternoon we went to the ruins of an old abby. was so beautiful.

Kinsee almost got close enough to touch the little lambs.

The abby ruins.

They had this river you could cross. daniel started running and then Kinsee started running to keep up. She fell in twice.

You can't really tell how wet she got. She was trying to get back to the river bank without falling again.

I had one of those bad parenting moments when I made it all worse by getting mad. "Why did you think you should run across the river?" --I was worried about her being wet because it was pretty cold. She was a trooper.

More pictures of the abby.
This was what was left of one of the walls.

Baby Conner being a good boy.

Sam...driving. He did pretty good overall. A few close calls, but we are all still alive.

This was one of my favorite days. We went to York. We were walking a wall that was built in the 1500's and guarded the city from the Scottish.

Sam lifted the kids down into this field at one point.

This was a watch tower.

The kids loved this. It was a time machine that took you to a viking village.

This guy was actually using the potty. Nice, eh?

This was a restaurant in York where we ate fish-n-chips.

Delicious...except for the "mushy peas" (that's what they call them).

I couldn't get over this crooked building.

You wound your way down this street and then all of a sudden it opens up to the most beautiful site...

The York Minster.

That was our final day. That night (Friday) at midnight Sam drove us to London. We got on the airplane around 7:00 a.m. and arrived safe and sound in Cheyenne on Saturday evening. We were so exhausted. I cried when we left the mission home. Sometimes you just have to cry. I appreciate my mom so much for all of the time and love she put into our trip. I love my parents so I said...there really aren't words to describe this experience. Thanks for letting me share.