Monday, December 21, 2015

Merry Christmas 2015


December 20, 2015

Dear Family and Friends, 

We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! It is always a challenge to distill a year of living down to a page, or even a couple of pages of highlights. Briefly here are some family highlights:
  • Daniel and Ashley are in Provo where Dan is finishing up his schooling. Their three boys and two girls keep them busy. Dan works for Vivint, Ash keeps the home fires burning and wrangles their active kids.
  • Julie and Chandler live in Sandy. They have a girl and a boy.  Chandler travels a lot and saved up his travel miles and they were able to travel to Spain this summer and see some of the places where Chandler served his mission. Julie also works in mother/baby delivery.
  • Katie and Conor moved to Vancouver Washington this summer! It all happened very quickly as pieces fell into place.  Their Denver home sold before they had time to drive to Washington.  Katie is a pediatric nurse, Conor is starting his law practice.
  •  Travis and Becky live in Salt Lake City.  Travis got a promotion this year that has him working graveyards (he is the Hero - and I have worked them, so I know) and allowed Becky to be a mom-at-home. She is expecting a little boy this spring.
  •  Andrew and Caren live near Vancouver WA.  Andrew and Caren have a graphic design business that keeps them busy when they aren't wrangling kids.  
  • Mike and Jenny bought a house that is a good rock throw from Andrew and Caren's home!  So there will be a lot of cousin activities.  Jenny is expecting a little boy this spring as well.
We have been blessed, and they have been blessed.  And we all still struggle with the ups and downs of living in this old world.  Both of our mothers are still living, and that is a great blessing.  Anita's mom is 94, and my mom will turn 93 at the end of this year.  On a sad note, Scott Muhn (Janet's husband) passed away this summer.  We miss his testimony, his dry humor, and his ability to fix just about any mechanical or electrical device.  Scott blessed all of our lives.
Tonight we closed the curtains on the dark outside and turned to the light in our home. It is the 2nd longest night of the year, and seems more than a little symbolic of the darkness that seems to be creeping over the world. To endure the dark times in our lives, in our world we only have to turn to the light of the Gospel to find respite. A good part of that hope came when a baby was born in a stable. The King of Kings. 
We have a lot of nativity scenes that make the stable look quaint and kind of comfy with lots of nice clean straw.  I don't think it was like that at all.  Probably a lot more manure and flies.  I'm sure that Joseph did what he could do to make it comfortable, but for the ladies that say that camping to them is a Holiday Inn...well, this was probably not even a Motel 6.  But Mary and Joseph were true and faithful. They protected and nurtured him in very humble conditions.  Joseph had the faith to listen to his dream, and Mary had the faith to pick up in the middle of the night and follow her husband into a foreign country.   Because of these faith filled actions, and many others Jesus was able to live and to thrive, and to finally conquer death.  He brings light and hope into each of our lives, and that hope comes from the Atonement.  Without that hope our lives would truly be dark and sad.  With that hope we can rejoice with the shepherds and know that the dark parts in our lives, whether sickness or death, or any of the sad or scary parts of this life will not prevail in the eternities.  We are our Father's children, and through the Atonement, we can be healed, made clean, and come to live with him.

We wish you all the best.  Health, happiness, and all the blessings that a loving Heavenly Father has reserved for you. 

Merry Christmas from the Hahns

Sunday, November 15, 2015

The Forge: the Parable of the Marshmallow Roaster




YW was a field trip to President Wadsworth's forge. All the Young Women  made marshmallow roasters out of 1/4" square key stock.

This forge is fired with propane, so there isn't any smoke, and the forge comes up to temperature quickly.  The stock was inserted into the heat and hammered to form a point, cooled and the other end was heated several times and the handle was formed. Another heat and a decorative twist was made, another heat and it was straightened and peened with a wooden mallet to soften any sharp edges...

I don't know how meany heats it took to transform the plain piece of steel into a beautiful and useful tool, but President Wadsworth made it into a parable of sorts for the girls.

He told us all that the heating and pounding couldn't have been pleasant, if the steel could feel, but it was necessary to effect the transformation from plain stock to useful tool. 

In much the same way life's fires and pounding change and purify us, and help us to be changed into something beautiful and useful as well.

Blacberries

This was actually in 2014....I have to clear up the old drafts:

The blackberries are getting ripe.  This is a fun and novel state of affairs for me.  I know that is it silly in a way, and that possibly in a few years that blackberries will be as exciting as oatmeal and all that I will see is a thorny invasive weed.  

I know that his is likely to happen, but in the mean time I am enjoying having a hardy and natural growing berry patch.  It is human nature for the newness to wear out, but it hasn't happened yet.

Today Annie popped out of bed like toast and put on her walking shoes and out we went into the cool morning.  We had a nice walk, and towards the end as we were walking back we passed as scroungy patch of berries.  We walked on 




Pounding Iron



     Anvil and railroad car spring 


    Air powered trip hammer 


   Multitude of tongs and tools 




These pictures are almost a year old, and I have been both busy and remiss in getting anything posted, but this was a nice experience, and it should be shared.

This is Scott Wadsworth's shop. Annie and I went up to Roseburg last June and he gave us the two dollar tour.  This collection was what was once a railroad roundhouse blacksmith shop and forge. It is super well supplied with all kinds of tools.

One of the most impressive is the trip hammer.  Normally when you think of a blacksmith working, you think of a single guy with a 3 pound single jack.  But that wasn't the norm.  Most smithy's had at least two guys, one for the hammer and anvil, and once for the bellows and blower. When you attempt to forge weld a piece of iron, you have to bring it to a white, sparking heat - almost melted, then you smack it against the anvil to know of the slag and flux, place the pieces in position and smack them with the hammer.  This has to be done in about 3 seconds - literally, or the iron cools to bright yellow and it won't weld.  So it was really handy to have an extra person there to hold the pieces in alignment while the other guy smacks them.  The trip hammer is even better as it can strike harder and longer than the strongest guy.  

The roots on the Starck side go back to a blacksmith shop in Berthoud, Colorado.  Great Grandpa
Starck was able to keep the family afloat with farming and working beets, but Dad said that the basis for their success was the blacksmith shop.  I think it was Uncle Ted that was working at one for several years and came home one day to reveal that it was for sale.  Great Grandpa bought it and several of the boys went to work in it.

I thought you might be interested in it