Monday, August 31, 2015

Mission Monday

I haven't done a Mission Monday for a while, but my boys are still doing well.  Alec has been transferred to Queenstown.  It's north-east of where he was in Port Alfred, and the first time he has been inland, instead of on the coast.  I hope this is a great place for him.

Ben still lives in paradise.  Can you believe how gorgeous this is??  I'm just glad they are both alive and well.  Hopefully they can each find happiness where they are.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Family Reunions at the Temple

The whole reason we were able to pull in 6 families from more than 3,000 miles is this.

The first grandchild was getting married, and he and his wife-to-be decided to get married here, in the temple.  We believe that there is a scared sealing power in the temple that can tie a family together for eternity.  It just doesn't make sense that something you worked so hard on for your whole life would just be gone when you die.  We believe that families are forever.

One of the things we did at the reunion (or rather, as we were traveling to it) was to take pictures of your family in front of any temple you passed. 


All together, I think we got pictures of  14 different temples.

 It was fun to see the different families as they sent in their pictures.  We went out of our way to be at the temples, but it wasn't a trouble.

 Because really, this is all worth it.

For more information about forever families, click here.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Family Reunion Shirts, Part II

And here is the result of our family reunion shirt-making that we started back here

These are the grandchildren in this family, minus Alec and Ben of course, and one other  granddaughter who just graduated from college.  They are all numbered in age order, and it's fun to see them all lined up like this!

This is the family of Jay, my first husband.  There were five children in his family, and he was the second.

I like how the colors show when Jays' siblings started their families.  The older sister's family is the bright green.  I'm sorry that they were not fond of their color, but we will give them a different one if we ever do this again.  She was married first, and had two children before Jay and I were married.  Alec and Ben are numbers five and six, and other missing grandchild is number three, so there that bright green chunk at the beginning is a little misleading.  My kids pull the #5, 6, 8, 12, 14, 18, 21, and 22 spots.  Our family has the aqua shirts, and the next brother's family is in the darker green shirts.  Child #4 brought a husband and a daughter in the family at the same time, and you'll just have to imagine that cute girl in baby blue at the #3 spot.  The baby of the family is sporting dark blue, and you can see his cute little redheads at the end of the line.

What a bunch of wonderful people we have!  Thanks, Jeanne and Dallas, for the love and support you've given all of us over the years.  Look what you started!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

More Family Reunion

The reunion turned out really well, all things considered.  These are great people, and I was happy to be able to spend a few days with them.

We got together for a barbecue at a cousin's house and played minute to win it games.  It was fun to see the cousins all working together.  They also loved rowing in the pond and just sitting around gabbing.  That was me, catching up with 4 of my sisters-in-law who I don't get to see often enough.


I loved seeing the "teenager team" celebrate after wining a victory.  Shall I mention the loophole Chris cleverly found in the rules that allowed their early and easy win?  They make me laugh.

Here's our angel playing a tossing game to her daddy.  She was throwing two things at once, and he had to be careful to catch them both.  He did, and I love how worried she looks about it.  Trent is such a stellar dad - the kids and I are so lucky to have him!

 We made happy faces on yellow paper plates and got our portraits taken.  I wasn't the designated photographer of the reunion, so I only got a few pictures of my family.  Everyone's personalities were evident in the artwork, the pose, and the willingness to do it in the first place.


Here we are, watching a film at a museum.  I think the kids were interested in the exhibits for... about the first half hour.  This sums up my feeling after an hour perfectly!


We went on tours and no one got lost.  Except me.  We were a large group and didn't fit into one elevator going up - or even two. While waiting for the elevator, I saw the door to the stairs and thought I'd just run up a flight instead of standing and waiting.  I didn't realize that the door at the top would be locked.  Eddie had come with me, so we just laughed at ourselves and ran back down the stairs, only to find that door locked as well.  We had inadvertently locked ourselves in the stairwell!  Fortunately, the tour guide of the next group let us out and took us up the elevator with her group.  Next time, I'll stay with the tour guide, promise!

Freddie started not feeling well while on the tour, and so did another teenaged cousin.  I think it was just too hot in the middle of the day and we all needed a break - and some water.  In spite of all that, it was fun to be together.  I don't know when this family will be able to get together again, but I sure enjoyed being a part of everything.  I'm glad the Lord made us in families - what a blessing they are to us!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Family Reunion Shirts

We have a family reunion coming up for Jay's side of the family.  It's a little bit unexpected, but since the first grandchild is getting married, everyone is coming in town.  We don't get together very often, so as long as we are all in the same state, we might as well get together.  We'd love to party more,  but we are spread out across thousands of miles and several states.  That makes it hard.  In fact, I figured we will be logging over 27,000 combined miles during this trip!

 I'm the local-est one, because I'm only 40 miles away from the bride's home.  That means I'm the de facto party planner and event coordinator.  It's been a bit of a challenge to put all the details together on such short notice, but we've done it.  I'm so grateful that I have such a fun husband to work with - he's made things so much easier for me.


I just finished the reunion t shirts today.  We didn't have time to get them professionally printed, so we made up an easy iron-on instead.  Each family has a different color, and each grandchild sports their own number.  It was fun to do the legwork to order all 23 grandkids and see which ones are older.  We don't think of grandkid pecking order very often since we don't see each other much, but the shirts turned out well!

 (edit)  Here are all the kids (minus three who were out of state) in their shirts.  So fun!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Summer Rain

Oh, how I love a summer rain!  I love watching the clouds pile up and the wind whip in.  I love the power of the lightning and the roar of the thunder.  Living in a mountain valley, it is magnificent to hear the thunder roll across the sky, crash into the mountains and come booming back.  Sometimes you can hear an especially rowdy thunder ricochet off the mountains several times.  Awesome.

And then the rain comes.  Big pelting drops pummel the ground and wisp up in steam.  Soon the puddles collect and the air freshens.  The cool rain refreshes, but the air is still warm enough to not cause a chill.  The children collect jackets and umbrellas and explode outside to dance in the warm summer rain.

It's one of my favorite times of the year.