Our Family

Our Family

Friday, December 31, 2010


This is not the  POOF from a fairy tale where something magical happens by the wave of a wand.  Oh, I wish it could have been that simple after this 'POOF' event!

We had our traditional crepes for Christmas Eve dinner with raspberry filling & powdered sugar all rolled up and topped with whipped cream with link sausages & bacon on the side.  (No such thing as gooseberries available in Florida.  Will have to have mom send me some in time for next year).  John and Parker favor putting the meat in the crepe.  Anyway you do it they are delicious and filling! 

Christmas Day morning after we saw what Santa brought and opened presents I decided to get the kitchen straightened up a bit.  First thing I did was grab the powdered sugar container off the counter to return it to the pantry.
Apparently the lid wasn't on tight.  The powdered sugar went POOF!  Everywhere, all over!

 All down the counter, around the corner and all over the floor!

 Even down inside the soda box all over the cans all the way to the bottom.

 All the way across the floor to the next wall.
 Into the pantry, inside buckets and onto every available surface.
Who knew powdered sugar could POOF so much but POOF it did.  This was not how I wanted to start my Christmas morning!  Macey, however, jumped right in and volunteered to help me clean it all up.  It wasn't nearly such an unpleasant task with her help. 
 The bright side of it all was that the pantry got a little makeover so it was a little neater when it was all said and done.  It just wasn't the funnest wiping off jars, jugs, boxes, plastic cups and shaking it off napkins in our 'paper products' bucket.  Oh, well.  It could have been worse.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A Wallet & A Prayer! (a little like a wing & a prayer)

On Sunday morning when I was helping to get John's bag ready for church - scriptures, notebook and the like I noticed his wallet wasn't in it.  My instant thought,"oh, mmm, it must be in the car."

On Monday night as John was getting ready to leave to go home teaching he asked if I had had a chance to look for his wallet.  Well, uh, no - cause I didn't really know it was lost.  A slight sense of concern started to creep in.  After he left I went out in the dark and tried to comb through the vehicles - glove box, pockets, floor, under the seats.  You know the drill.  Not there.

Tuesday morning I checked the car John was driving the night before.  Still no wallet.  Once we were up and going that morning we talked about when it was last in 'our' possession.  We had all gone last minute shopping together on Wednesday, Dec. 23rd.  John & Parker needed to stop at WalMart (shopping for me).  They got me some good stuff too - pedicure & nice shampoo!

Anyway, back to the wallet . . . John was sure he had given me his wallet to put in my purse or had actually left it in the car.  He thought he had only taken his credit card into the store (made more convincing on his part because he had asked me if stores asked for ID).  Parker, however, was certain he had his whole wallet in with him.   

We combed through the cars again just to be certain it really wasn't there.  After John left for work, the kids and I (mostly I) proceeded to go through the house piece by piece to try and find it.  Our biggest fear was that it really was lost or that it had gotten thrown out.  We thought maybe the wallet had been in the bag with the shampoo (last purchase) and had gotten pitched with the bag.  By this time the trash truck had already been to our house.  All the wrappings & remnants of Christmas were gone.

I looked and looked - for 3+hours - couch cushions, cleaned my craft room & garage (where Christmas had been hiding), looked in buckets, under beds, dressers, bookcases, couches, chairs.  Nothing, nada!

At some point during all this that morning I had asked Parker to say a prayer.  Since I'm in the middle of it all and frustrated and more - I thought their prayers might have a better chance of being heard since it is being delivered with a better spirit.  I do have faith though, right? or I wouldn't be thinking as a parent to stop and do this?

Ok - the wallet wasn't anywhere at home.  I had checked and there hadn't been any charges so that was a blessing.  Our last resort was to check back at WalMart.  I was going to take a shower and get ready for the day - nevermind, let's just go.  I told Macey to go choose me some clothes so I could at least be dressed.  Just before we pulled out of the driveway I suggested we say another prayer.  Macey asked if she could say it this time.  Bless her heart.

Off to WalMart we go.  We went first to the hair salon and asked there.  She said no wallet had been turned in but to check with customer service.  So I got in the 'return' line to wait while Parker & Macey headed back to look at the toys together.  As I was waiting I sort of decided which customer service person I was hoping I would get to help me.  Sometimes there is one that seems a little more competent than the others.  One that seems a little more proactive or seems to give more customer service.  She was the one closest to me.

I did get her.  I explained the situation.  She looked behind her on a shelf, not there.  She went in the back room behind the locked door.  When she came back I could tell it wasn't there without her saying anything.  I knew she didn't want to tell me that.  Then she bent down & looked below her register on the shelves that must be there. As she stood up guess what she had in her hand?!  My immediate response was, "that's it!" Tears came to my eyes.  She said I was really lucky.  It hadn't gotten logged into the lost and found binder and it wasn't where lost wallets were suppose to be put.

I should have told her we weren't just lucky - it was an answer to two young kids prayers!

Lost on Wednesday.  Found on Tuesday.  Miraculously everything was intact - nothing was missing.  I immediately went and called John.  He was grateful for our efforts and our prayers. 

(Note to husband:  Lost wallets and lost keys are usually not attributed to any fault or misplacement by the wife.  Rather the wife is the seeker & finder of said items!  Love you.)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas! From a Missionary Mom!

Christmas Tree 2010

I don't know that I've ever done a post without a picture.  I saw a friend do just that and thought why didn't I think of that.  It just seems like it takes so long sometimes to find the 'just right' picture.  Since this is sometimes, somewhat of a journal of sorts I think I should do just that - post with no pictures - just say a few words.

Funny thing is I just found a few perfect pictures - so pictures it is.
Stockings were hung all in a row with great care, in hopes that Saint Nicholas soon would be there.

We got to talk to our two missionary sons today.  Elder Austin Smith called at around noon.  It was so awesome to hear his voice.  We talked to him for almost an hour on the phone before Elder Riley Smith called via video skype from an internet cafe in Albania.  We were able to hold the cell phone close enough to the computer for the two Elders to converse with each other a little bit.  They were able to ask each other a few questions.  Skype is a little hard to hear at times and there is a little bit of a delay.

While talking to Austin in the beginning we were able to conference in his Grandma Swensen.  At the tail end of Riley's call we were able to get Grandma Lois on the phone and hold it up real close to say a quick hi and Merry Christmas.  The amazing marvels of technology!

There's so many things you want to say and then you can't remember what.  Through it all our greatest appreciation goes out to those in the areas where they serve that love and take care of them as their own.  We cannot express our appreciation and gratitude enough.  Tear fill my eyes and my heart swells with love for you and hope you know it.  I hope that blessings to you and yours will come full circle someday.

Elder Austin Smith has told us of fun families & their kids and many dinners - their latest meal included authentic Chinese food including duck & octupus and was really good.  In the last week he has reconnected/met two families that we knew when we lived in that area 14+ years ago. 

Elder Riley Smith was going to a members home tonight and he and the other 3 Elders had made dishes to contribute to the meal.  Riley had made homemade mashed potatoes and attempted to make stuffing.  He said he hadn't tasted it yet so he hoped it wasn't too bad. 

We are grateful for our sons, we miss them more than mere words can convey.  Our hearts are with them every moment, but we wouldn't want them to be anywhere else at this time in their lives.  We know that this experience will shape them and build them into greater men.  They will be blessed for their efforts to do good and to testify of Christ.

We wish all of you a very Merry Christmas!  May you keep the spirit of Christmas in your heart all year through.