Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Two weeks and counting down!

Things I will miss....hummm, did I mention wearing cute shoes with heels? This week I have been thinking about the things that I might miss. Kind of like , these are a few of my favorite things, I will miss my cell phone, my car, my amazing sewing room and sewing machine, my own bed. I really love, love , love my bed! I will miss my ward, where I'm finally starting to really know people. I will miss Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, Mothers Day, birthdays, baptisms, babies being born and hopefully not a wedding! I will miss Sunday dinners with my family and sewing with my sisters. I will miss seeing my grand children grow. I will miss my darling children. I will miss not one but two college graduations. I should put it all to some catchy whiny music, do you think? Am I getting cold feet? Nope! not at all.

We are very excited! The bedroom has suitcases, partially filled , stacked in a corner. We have finished buying every thing on the list. The medical list was interesting... we feel like hypochondriacs with all the vitamins, antibiotics and other stuff that is recommended. I like this part the best, "Unfortunately many missionaries eat a less than adequate diet. " Thus needing a supply of iron and vitamin D and multivitamins. Is there hope that I might loose some weight? I would not mind that so much!

We are so grateful for this opportunity. Don't get me wrong. but as the time shortens to just a few weeks our thoughts are naturally of those we love and are leaving behind. Our excitement is tempered by that reality.

We will be set apart by the Stake President on Sunday the 15th of August. In the "Preach my Gospel" book it talks of being set apart. President Kimball said:"the setting apart may be taken literally; it is a setting apart from sin, apart from the carnal, apart from everything which is crude, low, vicious, cheap, or vulgar; set apart from the world to a higher plane of thought and activity." What a great blessing it will be to be , "set apart" on that Sunday. Just one of the many things we are looking forward to.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Missionary Preprations and Uncles

Two Months before we go into the MTC. This week has been a busy one, we have been trying to tick off one or two things every day. But I must confess that there are days that I feel so overwhelmed with it all the I get almost nothing done!

Monday found us at the Weber Morgan Health Department getting shots. Hepatitis A&B- check, Typhoid-check, H1N1-check, seasonal flu-check, TDAP-check. We escaped getting the Meningitis one because we are a married couple.

We also talked to the couple missionaries that we are replacing on Monday and found out many helpful and interesting things. We know now what to bring a little better and also that we will definitely have internet access. So I really need to learn how to blog!

Tuesday we got travel instructions in the mail. Now have a new list of things to do. Visa applications need to been done ASAP. I also helped a dear friend make Indian princess dresses out of beautiful pendleton wool blankets. Oh my! I wish I would have gotten a couple of pictures. Her daughters were just gorgeous in them!

Weds. my sisters came over and I got to play barbie doll as we spread out my clothes all over the bed and put some outfits together. It was so nice to have fashion coordinators at my beck and call. I tried things on and they gave me thumbs up or down! We went to lunch together and then went and bought me a new pair of shoes. Sensible, navy blue with no heels and comfortable. I know I will be grateful for them later. But really! I love wearing heels and feeling like a big girl. And on the sly, I really love, love , love toe cleavage! So no more cute shoes for me! I'm already feeling withdrawal. Do I really have to be sensible? What was Jim doing during all this time? He keeps busy helping me baby-sit our grandson Lincoln, he got a hair cut, and went to pick up official marriage certificates for us at the court house. We decided after all these years of marriage, we had never seen the real one. We needed two for visa applications.

Thurs, Jim spent time filling out paperwork and then we went to S.L. to get finger printed at the State of Utah Criminal Clearance place. We went to McDonalds after to get a drink and I left my purse there! On the way out of the place, Jim casually asked me when my drivers licence expired! I went to look in my purse and Yikes! No purse! So we did a quick turn around and they had it in their safe! I am not a responsible human being! After that adventure we went to the distribution center and bought some necessities there.
Friday, my daughter in-law, Tiffany, came over and we worked on Regans quilt. Another couple of days and we might have it ready to go into the quilters. We also went up and visited my sister-in-law, Dorothy. We went to dinner together, laughed, and just had a great time. After we dropped her off. We both just looked at each other and said, "why don't we do that more often?" we always enjoy being with her so much! We will miss doing little things like that while we are gone, maybe we will be better when we get home. I hope so. Jim got our criminal background papers sent to the capital building for their official stamp and we went and got visa pictures taken to send in with all the paperwork. As soon as those papers get sent back we will have done our part! Yeah!
And that brings us to Sat. here I sit..blogging instead of doing all sorts of things that I should be doing! We are making progress though, don't you think?

We wanted to get together as a family for a family reunion before we left. Russell and Tiff graciously planned and executed an amazing adventure to Lake Powell. We left on the Sat. before Memorial Day and stayed a week on a house boat. So much fun! I took tons of pictures and hope to figure out how to download them somewhere like Picasso, but I'm going to post a few of them here. I was touched by the young men in my family who so tenderly saw to it that our two little guys..(Preston and Ian, who were there with out their daddy), never missed out on a thing! There was always an uncle present, doing for them, teaching them, playing with them and showing love to them! I know they had a great time! As time fades, they might not remember the exact acts of kindness to them but they will always love their uncles and look up to them. Whats more, I will never think of this trip with out feeling great pride in my sons..they are all great dads and uncles....Happy Fathers Day boys! I love you!
Thank-you Russ and Tiff for a great reunion. You worked so hard to put it all together and it was terrific! A memory never to forget

I took this picture of Blake and his children the day before he left for his deployment in Bahrain
Preston, Blake holding Izzy, and Ian . We didn't bring Izzy, fearing that she was too little to really enjoy the trip .

John, Preston and Ian. All the Uncles took turns giving the boys rides on both the boat and the water craft. Wish I had been in the boat when Corey was trying to teach Preston how to water ski. That would have been a great picture!
Russ was like the pied piper. Teaching little ones to fish! Parker, Regan and Preston all caught their first fish on this trip. Barkers fish farm excluded. This was REAL fishing!

Preston was a little hesitant to trust his life jacket in deep water. You can only imagine how big that lake seemed to all our little ones. James most patiently and lovingly worked with him to help him understand that the life jacket would indeed hold him out of the water. James wasn't there all week. Just the last two days. But he somehow figured out what none of us had realized, Preston, never went in the deep water and why! It was so fun for grandma to see the smile on this little guys face! And to witness the kindness that precipitated it!

Those two little dots are Isaac an Preston. This is a big deal. The day we were getting ready to pack things up and leave, Isaac realized that Preston had not caught a fish! Not for a lack of trying mind you, but no fish. Isaac gathered him up early that morning and took him a ways away from the noise of the boat and they didn't come back until the deed was done! Smiles were huge on both of them as the paraded back to camp. But it didn't stop there. Isaac taught him how to hold the squiggly thing, how to clean it, and then they wrapped it in foil after seasoning it. Cooked it on the grill and then I wish you could have overheard what I did. Isaac,"okay Preston, now this is how you eat it! Be careful of the bones, this is how you get them out," he showed him
how to do it. From beginning to end...Preston got the fishing experience thanks to an Uncle!

Isaac teaching Preston how to hold the fish! Yuck!

There was always some one to help the boys get food, ride the wave runners or sunscreen them. Daniel was there with his friend Suzie. He had his own children to worry about, but so very often I would see him with Preson or Ian on a wave runner or making sure that they were being watched on the beach. Every night it was Dans self appointed job to wash off the back of the boat, pick up all the sand toys and organized the water shoes and life jackets. It made everything so much nicer to have this done every night!

Grandpa Erickson..made sure all his grand babies were safe! If he caught a kid without a life jacket, both parents and kids heard about it! A little mother hen! This picture is on the way down to St. George. He made sure there were plenty of treats for the boys, and potty stops!
Or was that for Grandma?

Ian..all hooked up!

Preston ready to get going!

The fireman's net. It was amazing to me the trust all of the kids had in the big people in their lives! We had so much fun with this. Preston is the one in the air.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

We Got Our Call-Croatia/Slovenia Mission!

Yesterday was just an amazing day! After waiting for what seemed like forever.. We finally got our call. The kids, (all the ones that could be here) gathered for pizza and ice-cream sundies and then we got down to business. Phone connections were made to St.George, Philadelphia, Bahrain, and Riverdale Walmart and then we opened the letter. I guess the first thing I need to do is learn how to pronounce "Slovenia."

It was pretty much bedlam for the next couple of hours, making more phone calls, looking at maps, deciding on weather conditions in Croatia, and figuring out how we are going to get stuff done by the 16th of August!

But after all the children and grandchildren left, the house was quiet, and we had a minute to sit and read all the paperwork..I think it really sunk in. We are going half way around the world!

Grandchildren will grow up, kids will move on, and we will not be here to be a part of it or see it happen. As we contemplate that reality, we are reminded by the spirit that The Lord is in charge and He will watch over all that is precious to us and lead, guide, protect and watch over them in our absence. As excited as we are to go serve a mission...bittersweet feelings are beginning to surface as our life long goal begins to materialize.

Here are a few answers to questions we have been getting: We leave on August 16th, a little more than two months. I'm not sure how long we will be in the M.T.C. We don't need to learn a language, at least the paper work didn't mention that. We will be gone for 23 months. Our youngest daughter, Crystal wants to come with , but is going to live in our house instead. Croatia has four seasons, is located between Bosnia and the Adriatic Sea. Italy is across that Sea. If you look at a globe it is about the same distance north as Idaho. The first thing I thought of when we opened the letter was, "That's where that really cute E.R. Doctor was from on E.R." Way too much T.V.! It is a Welfare/Humanitarian Mission. Oh and the last question that we have had, When will you speak in your ward? That I don't know. I'll have to get back to you on that one.

We are feeling very blessed and humbled to have this amazing opportunity. We are sure that we will learn to love and appreciate the people in this area of the world. We look forward to serving and are thrilled to be doing so and honored be official representatives of the Church. We also feel so blessed to have the love and support of our family and friends. It will be hard to leave you all. But I am reminded by my children...we are going on a mission, and it's not forever!