Our Family

Our Family

Monday, December 7, 2009

Backup, Reverse! November!

After getting Austin to college and then Riley on his mission I seemed to miss a step or two. I continued to take a few pictures here and there but just didn't seem to make anything happen beyond that. Perhaps it was because I knew my heart and emotions were a little too tender to be browsing through old photos when our big boys bodies, minds and spirits weren't filling our hallways or bedrooms but off on adventures of their own. Can be a little hard for a mom to adjust and get used to. Good thing my baby girl won't leave home for another ten years.

So here goes ...

Thanksgiving - we had invited the missionaries but they had two invites already. We invited another family but we were a little slow again. Our friends across the lake had family in town and so it was just us - John & I, Austin home from BYU, Parker and Macey. It was a little quiet but it actually felt really good to just be together.

Oh, and I tried two new dishes this year - Sweet Potatoe Souffle & Cranberry Heavenly Hash. Recipes compliments of my friend, Dana Shaw.

John, Austin and Parker went to the Turkey Bowl (multi-ward football game)at 7am. They ended up having (7) teams or more going. They came home a wet, muddy, mess because it had been raining for a couple days. Austin brought a couple friends home to hang out for awhile before everyone's family feast's. They were all good about getting showered and cleaned up before heading to the bonus room for some video games. I had the forthought to send towels and they actually used them. I thought I had a picture of all their shoes in the bed of the truck but guess not. That was Austin's friend, Trevor's idea. Thank you Trevor!

Parker was in heaven to be able to play big boy video games with Austin - he was asking constantly for Austin to play with him.

We all worked together to get the feast prepared and everyone stayed in the kitchen until the last dish was washed and leftover food put away. Thanks guys for being such great sports and amazing helpers. It's nice not to be the lone one left in the kitchen to do the cleanup.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Kicked to the Curb? or Kissed at the Curb?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I am a novice at this slideshow/video creation. I couldn't figure out how to add music to this slideshow. If anyone can enlighten me I would appreciate it. So for now it is soundless!

Riley on his way! Albania - Almost!

It is hard to believe that it has been six weeks since we dropped our oldest son, Riley, off at the curb and said our goodbyes for two whole years. He will be serving a mission for our church in Tirana Albania.

I am grateful that he has a testimony of his Savior, Jesus Christ. I am grateful that he is willing and eager to spend two years of his life to share that belief with others. I am grateful for the man this firstborn son has become. My heart is so full or gratitude for all the blessings the Lord has given me. It is amazing to look back on life's experiences and see His hand as He has guided us along this path of life with its myriad of decisions we must continually make.

The night before Riley entered the MTC - Missionary Training Center we were able to have dinner with two cousins (our nephews) - Ben and Daniel & his wife, Diana Smith. I had gotten to see Daniel more recently but we decided it had been about (8) years since John had seen him.

The word around town was that IHOP served missionaries a free breakfast on the morning they were headed to the MTC. We thought we'd find out - the rumor was true. How cool is that! It was fun to see all these other families with their sons and daughters doing the same thing we were.

Ready . . .

Set . . .


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Fun Times w/Grandma's

It was fun to have (2) Grandmas in Florida at the same time. What a treat! Thank you Grandma Smith and Grandma Swensen for taking a little bit of your time to spend it with us. We love you.

Then we were able to take a detour to Washington before our final destination of Provo, UT. We were able to spend some time there with Grandma Lois and other family. Thanks for coming to see us. Who was it that got 'the last word' anyway?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I'm Thankful . . . Austin's home for Thanksgiving!

We are thankful to have Austin home for Thanksgiving! It has been great to get those big bear hugs again!

Macey wrote in her letter to Riley this week, "Austin came home he's leaving to go back to Utah on Friday just to tell you Riley, Austin is stronger than ever after prayer a couple day ago Austin gave me such a big hug that it felt like he broke my rib but my rib cage is fine."

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sunburned? Really?

After living in Florida for (9) years you would think we knew a thing or two about the sun and a thing called sunscreen!

When we did our impromptu vacation to Georgia in August we got out on Lake Lanier with the boat and jet skis. Before we knew it we had been out a few hours. Didn't think much about it but before we knew it we had been out all day. Riley and Austin spent most the time on jet skis. It was the law to have to wear life jackets (not that it's a bad idea).

We all got quite sunburned but Riley's gave us the best picture! Obviously he spent most his time working this summer not hanging out at the beach in Florida!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Catching Up IS Hard To Do!

There just never seems to be enough hours in the day to do all we want to do and get done. I can't believe it's been 3 months since I have posted on our blog. I was doing so good there for awhile. I still have a lot of catching up to do but I wanted to update a few things so none of you would give up on me. I kept thinking I'd have a day where I could just spend it updating the blog. Hasn't happened. So tonight when I couldn't sleep I decided I'd better just make a stab at it. Maybe I'm slow (or my computer is), but I've already spent a couple hours and hardly made a dent. See what I mean - so much to do (or wanna do) and so little time.

We've had a lot going on just not enough time to tell all about it. Our spur-of-the-moment vacation to Georgia, Parker & Macey starting school (they missed the 1st day), going to Provo, UT to get Austin settled out at BYU and then back home to get Riley ready to leave on his mission to Albania. We got to have Grandma Swensen and Grandma Smith come for a visit and then John & I went with Riley to Washington to see Grandma Lois and all our family there. Then on to Provo, UT again to 'literally' drop Riley off at the MTC (Missionary Training Center). It is like the car line at the elementary school. You pull up, unload and drive away.

It's hard to believe Riley has been a missionary for almost a month now. He is doing great! He's the district leader. He's positive, enthused and teaching us a few words in Albanian each week.

Georgia On 'Our' Minds!

We had a lot going on this summer and at the same time - not a lot. We didn't plan any big trips for starters. John and the boys had scout camp, John was working on a couple different business plans, Riley & Austin both had jobs and before we knew it the summer was almost over. We wanted one last chance to spend a little bit of time together as a family before things started to change - which is what happens as our kids grow up and venture off on paths of their own. So at the last minute - we got in the car and headed to our old stomping grounds in Georgia.

We rented a little townhouse on Lake Lanier for a couple of days. It was nice to get out in the 'woods' again. Parker & Macey had a blast 'exploring' the great outdoors.

We rented a boat for the day and Riley rented jet skis. We had a great time exploring the lake, tubing, getting wet, feeling the sun and the wind in our hair and on our faces.

Our longtime friends, the Depews, came to join us for the day - back where it all started in Cumming, GA all those 9 years ago. Can it really have been that long ago?! They stayed the night close by and we all got to go to church together the next day.

Craig & Jennifer's oldest son, 'little' Craig is on a mission so we had to give her a big boy fix and a couple of hugs.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Eagle Scout #2

Oh, the drawbacks on being the 2nd child. Austin had to wait until Riley was finished with his Eagle project before he could get going on his (because his mother's sanity hinged on one-at-a-time). Then when it was all said and done he had to wait on his mom again to pull the Eagle Court of Honor together just before he headed off to college. Good thing for deadlines!

For his project he helped make some improvements to the church building that the Immokalee Spanish Branch was renting for church. You did a great job. We are proud of your dedication and discipline.