Friday, May 18, 2012


A couple of exciting things have been happening in my family lately, along with the regular everyday stuff.  Easter weekend my parents finally received their mission call!  My parents each served a mission when they were younger to Mexico.  Funny enough they were in the same mission but never met until they were both back at BYU.  (Not sure if my dad was enrolled at BYU at the time or not, just to be technical...) My mom actually served a two-year mission, and per tradition of young men, my dad served two years also.  While growing up we kids would often hear them talk about going on a mission someday after we were all out of the house.  My youngest sibling, Sheldon, came home from his mission last year and my parents decided it was time to go!

We (10 kids plus families) were all connected through google+ or phone all throughout the USA.  Everyone was present (as far as I know) except for Lee when my parents opened the big white envelope.  Sorry Lee.  (I was selfish and didn't want to wait till he got home from work.)  It was so fun hearing them read their mission call.  They are going to the Texas McAllen Mission!  They will be helping at the employment center along with teaching addiction recovery programs, and other instruction classes. 


As you can see they won't even be deep in the heart of Texas.  They'll be further south than that! They have been set apart as missionaries and will enter the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah soon.  They'll be there for a few days before heading to Texas.  The past few weeks they have been doing some Spanish training via Skype.  I chuckled at that because they've kept up on their Spanish very well I think.  Through the years they've translated at church, home/visit taught Hispanic members and I remember my dad reading the Book of Mormon out loud in Spanish from time to time. I guess they received some vocabulary training.

The next exciting news is that my oldest brother received his PhD! He successfully defended his dissertation and will be starting his new job this fall. He and his family will be moving A LOT closer to us and I am so excited!  I need to get picture of him being hooded, but in the meantime, here he is receiving an award at his school's Graduate Programs Award Ceremony.  Congrats Darrell!  His school showed the commencement live on the internet but we weren't home and missed it.  The school will eventually post it online.  I am excited to see him be hooded, even if it already happened live.

I mentioned this in an earlier post, but I can't believe that Shanna and Haley are going to kindergarten this fall!  I need to work with one of the girls on a couple of things before school starts in August, but other than that, they are both ready and excited to go.  I am sad!  I have really appreciated my friend Kelly's advice about splitting up her twin girls for school.  I am going to do the same and have them be in separate classes.  When we first moved here, the school really wanted them to go to their pre-K program, but I didn't want to put them in.  It's been so fun having them home.  Last school year we did a "mom" pre-school and they would go to various friends' houses twice a week.  They loved that.  Other than that they haven't done preschool, per se. 

What is weird is that I'll go from three kids at home to one.  Ever since Cal was born I've had two or more with me, so for about seven years.  It was funny because I was talking about this with Lois and we figured out that my mom had two or more kids at home for about 18 years or so.  Makes my seven seem so short! It will be fun hanging out with Elden, but I am going to miss my girls!  Another weird thing is that Elden will start kindergarten in 2014....leaving no kids at home.  

Once our kids are all done with high school, Lee and I will be 46 and 47 respectively, with no kids at home. Lee and I are both used to our parents being older when their last kid left home.  A couple months ago I was talking to one of my friends here and she said she had so many goals and such that she would like to do.  I do set goals, but in general I didn't have any long term goals.  The seemingly big ones have already happened...having kids, Lee graduating from optometry school, and eventually starting his own practice.  I hadn't thought a whole lot into the future except that I want to serve missions with Lee when we're old and the kids are grown.  Well, since then I have thought of some things that I want to accomplish. Hopefully working on those things will help ease the transition of my kids being gone from the house! 

If things had gone smoothly with Elden's pregnancy, I would have two sets of twins right now (Elden was a twin...the twin stopped developing early on. And as crazy as it sounds I wanted to have two sets!  I got my wish in the beginning, anyway...).  And if my sanity level would have stayed the same I would have a 1-year-old baby at this moment AND be expecting my 8th child this coming summer/fall. It's interesting how life changes and goes a different direction.  Just to be clear, I am very content with how the whole child thing has turned out.  It's nice knowing the exact number of children that will be attending college, the number of sons serving missions, etc.  And it's nice knowing that Elden is the youngest and our family is complete. But with him recently turning three and the girls going off to school soon leaving Elden and I at home, I've been thinking lately about what life "might" have been like--it was interesting thinking I would have seven kids right now! Sometimes things that Heavenly Father has had Lee and I experience like this I handle well.  And then other things, not so much!

The kids are doing well.  This has been a challenging/difficult move for all of us--things have been good too!  Even with starting the very first day of 3rd here, Clark still hasn't found very many good friends. In general he likes it as he comes home from school happy and doesn't complain about going in the morning.  But when he tells me about playing alone at lunch sometimes, it makes me very sad. Hopefully it just happens occasionally. But he does seem to enjoy school overall and he LOVES scouts.  There is a great group of boys at church. Several weeks ago I posted on my blog that Elden was all done being toilet trained.  HA!  He threw me for a loop!  For a few days he had something going on--a power issue maybe?  He would not go to the bathroom for me and had a couple accidents.  Thankfully (and ironically) we went away for the weekend to Lois' and he would go to the bathroom for her and Jeff.  After we got home he did fairly well, with minimal accidents during the day, but was constantly wetting his bed at night.  It has worked that I have never had to buy pull-ups for my kids.  I wasn't going to start buying them for the youngest either.  Elden had slept through the night many times and not wet his bed, so I knew his body could do it.  Finally I started waking him up around 5am or so, and taking him to the bathroom.  He still had a couple accidents after that, but I think that did the trick.  He now will wake up in the middle of the night-dry-and I'll take him to the bathroom.  So here's hoping he's good to go....

Lately we have been looking at houses (okay, when have we not looked?!) and thinking about where we want to live specifically.  Do we want to live close to the church?  Part way to the church?  Out in the country?  In town?  I grew up living a 1/2 hour from the church and it never bothered me.  When we moved here I figured that it wouldn't bother me just like before.  But wow.  Thirty minutes to church-one way-can be a long ways!  I know lots of people go even further, but we could live closer if we wanted to.  But then again that would mean switching schools AGAIN, which I REALLY don't want to do.  I have also been thinking more about building a house.  I have never wanted to build until recently.  It is just gorgeous out here and I would love to buy a piece of land with amazing views and have a house built that way we want! I have looked a tiny bit into different builders and how a construction loan might work.  Lee would rather just buy a house I think.  We'll see.  When I first moved here I was in no rush to buy/build at all.  But after being in a rental house with some problems I really want to buy now!  Of course something called money is holding us back AND we don't know exactly where we want to buy either.  Even though I will have to wait to buy a house, I wish we could do it at the end of the summer. 

There was a cute little brick house I saw just yesterday close to where we currently live.  It was very cheap and very small.  It would have been fun though to pay it off really fast and then keep it as a rental.  Lee said he wouldn't mind living in a small space--under 1000 square feet, and I know we could make it work.  Also a mortgage payment a couple hundred less than our rent payment sure is motivating too! Sadly it's under contract.  I have been looking at homes over $200,000 lately, but now I am going to look out for those small houses here in town! When Merck came to town in the 50s they apparently built LOTS of small homes.

Life is wonderful even with the twists and turns. We truly have been blessed.  I was commenting to Lee today about the timing of Lee's work.  I was hesitant to have Lee do contract work elsewhere because he should be at his practice as much as possible. Last fall about the time our savings were getting low he found that contract work at Wal-mart.  Then again this spring he was given a change to work at another Wal-mart but we were hesitant.  The dr. went on vacation and Lee covered him a couple of days. Lee was able to work there and see what it would be like at a different location.  A short while thereafter he committed to work one day a week there every other week. The timing of him starting work at the second Wal-mart was a big blessing because work has been slow (and thus the pay low) at the other Wal-mart.  Plus, he still has a good amount of time at his personal practice.  Even if things seem meager at times we've been blessed to have our needs and wants met! 

1 comment:

Christi said...

Hey guys! Nathan's parents are serving in the McAllen Texas mission, and they love it. Small world, huh? Miss you guys!