Friday, December 21, 2007

Dear Family and Friends,
Merry Christmas to you and we hope you also have a happy new year. This blog entry will substitute for our Christmas Card this year since this is easier than printing all those envelopes and sticking stamps on them. I will miss the peppermint gum on the back of the stamps though. That was always good for a few days of fresh breath.

Here is what was printed on the back of the card:

Merry Christmas! We hope this greeting finds you well and happy. It’s hard to believe that another year has come and gone, but we have been blessed in many ways and have much to be grateful for.

This picture was taken in November in Island Park, Idaho where we all gathered for Thanksgiving. We rented a cabin there and were able to enjoy the clean, crisp air and the first snowfall of the season. We had a wonderful time and the trip was one of the high-lights of our year.

Our children are doing well. Brandon, 24, is entering his Senior year at BYU-I, majoring in Construction Management. Whitney, 21, is also attending college there and is majoring in Communications. McKenzie, 17, is a Senior at Todd Beamer High School and will spend the next 4 months preparing for state dance competition. Last March, her team took 1st at State and they are hoping for a repeat again this year. She was recently accepted into BYU-Utah where she plans to major in Photography. She will fly the coupe in the Fall of 2008 and Steve and I will officially be “Empty Nesters.”

Steve is in his 6th year working for the Tesoro Refining and Marketing Company and is a Seminary teacher for our church, instructing McKenzie’s age group of youth at 5:45am each week day! Melanie is in her 18th year of working 2 days a week in the Birth Center at St. Francis Hospital. At the moment, she is serving as the Enrichment Counselor in the women’s organization of our church. On December 19th we will celebrate our 26th wedding anniversary. Time flies when you’re having fun!

Well, that’s a quick synopsis of our year. Many behind the scenes events have influenced our lives and strengthened our relationships, and as we ponder the birth of our Savior, we realize that our most precious gifts in life are dear friends and family. Have a wonderful holiday season!

Steve, Melanie,
Brandon, Whitney & McKenzie

Friday, November 30, 2007

November 2007

Hello family. We hope you are all well and had a good Thanksgiving. Thanks especially for those of you who updated your blogs the past few weeks. It was good to see what is going on in your lives.
Plus, you all really made this Family Newsletter a lot easier to publish. And don't you like the freedom and control you have over your own content. I always hated when the editor would mess with the copy, twisting it into HER own distorted mindset. Disturbing.

Our Thanksgiving took us to Island Park to meet up with Brandon and Whitney.
Henry's fork is beautiful this time of year. We pulled into IP on Monday evening. It snowed that night and never melted, staying in the -2 to 15 degree range all week. It didn't start to thaw until we got back to Boise.

Here is a shot of us at the top of Coffee Pot Rapids. After the river silently flows through the valley, it suddenly changes characteristics and rushes through a cut in the rocks, creating a plunging rapid. Evidently, a hundred and fifty years ago, a trapper was placidly paddling his canoe down the river looking for a pelt palace to set his traps. When he was unexpectedly sucked into the rapids, he lost all his equipage, except.....yes, you guessed it, his coffee pot.

After hiking in 2 miles, we came to the rapids and took this photo. You can see Whitney's pants are wet up to her knees. It didn't take her long to jump into the river. We keep her around for comic relief. She has been working at it long enough now that she is quite good at it.
Whitney and Brandon are still going to school at BYU-I. Brandon is looking for an internship for January through April of next year and will graduate in December 2008. Whitney is planning on a 2009 graduation. I think they are both getting tired of school. They love the social life, but not the studying and not having any money. Little do they know what "real life" is like or they wouldn't be so anxious to meet it.

AKG and A Come Calling

Somehow we conned Alecia and her girls into spending a few days with us in Island Park. Here they are on one of our day-trips to Mesa Falls. This picture was taken just a few minutes before they held a contest to see who could spit out to the water from the observation deck. Kayla won, by the way. She had been practicing in her Health Sciences class at Utah State University. State schools, pschdt!

Anyway, we had a great time with them and enjoyed their company. And, they aren't lacking in the personality department either. They will be fine and I have a lot of confidence in Alecia. Thanks to them for making a couple good memories.

The Clock Has Expired

As a senior, McKenzie played here last volleyball game. Their team wasn't that strong this year but she had a good time.
At the end of each season, all the coaches in the league get together and nominate players for awards. McKenzie was voted (by the 10 coaches)an All-League Honorable Mention for her competitiveness and level of play. That was quite rewarding to be recognized for her contribution, especially since her team was at the bottom of the stack.

Aberdeen and Lorenzo

While we were in Eastern Idaho, we drove through Melanie's hometown of Aberdeen. We went by her house, which looks much smaller now than it did when we were younger. We went to the "beach" not far from her house where she swam in the American Falls Reservoir as a kid. Melanie entered nostalgiaville when we drove by her high school - her glory days returned. McKenzie drew the line though, when Melanie wanted to walk through the hallways.
Coming back from Island Park, we stopped in Lorenzo to get a picture of Grandma and Grandpa Goff' s place, the house where dad grew up. It looks a lot smaller now too.
This photo was taken over the 8 foot fence which garrisons the property. Several years ago it was purchased by an artisan of some sort who promptly built a castle behind the house and to the west. Dad's house was turned into a studio. You can see how much has changed. There is a sun room added to the living room. A metal roof was put on and the driveway was plowed under and planted with grass and a row of trees. Being here brought back good memories. One of these days Melanie and I will have to take a trip to take pictures of all the places our families have lived. It will have to be when all our kids are gone because they wouldn't see the point - until much later in their lives.

A Little Family History

While looking around on the internet, I randomly (yea...) stumbled across a few pictures. Here is one from a hundred years ago. Anyone care to guess where is was taken?

This is an unknown street in a place called Long Whatton, England. Then, I came across these next 2 photos...

Isaac Goff and his wife...

...Mary Naylor.

These two people lived in Long Whatton in the early 1800's. At the ages of 35 and 32 respectively, this young couple heard the message of the Mormon missionaries and were baptized. Over the next several years they saved up and immigrated to America, crossed the plains to Utah and joined Zion.

Look at a picture of Grandpa Goff. Do you see any similarities? Notice the lips and cheeks, especially between Grandpa Goff and Mary. Since Mary is his grandmother, there would naturally be some resemblance. Never again should we wonder where our hair line came from - look at Mary's.

And look at dad. The noses on everyone are almost identical.

I haven't found a picture of Grandpa Goff's father and mother but will keep looking.

Signing Off

It has taken a couple hours to get this posted, so I better get off and do something else. Oh, wait a minute. I almost forgot - guess who the next Goff Family Cougar is going to be?

That's right, McKenzie went and got herself accepted at BYU beginning September 2008. I don't know who is more excited, mom or Cub Cougar. Rise and shout!!

Everyone have a terrific Christmas and we will catch you up after the first of the year.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Todo el sombrero, ningunos ganados
From last Christmas, here are a few shots of our trip to the Yucatan. Top photos are from Chichen Itza's pyramid and planetarium.

And Half Moon Bay where we snorkelled and ate lunch at La Buena da Vida cantina. I think I could live like this.

Brandon, Whitney and Teague celebrate our country's birthday at LaVell Edwards Stadium. It was an independence celebration of sorts since Whitney would shortly be independent of Teague.

The Goff Brothers - ca. 1945. Left to right is Grange, Roland and Ray.