Sunday, July 29, 2012

Thanks to a raging flu bug, Max and I missed out on a great camping trip as well as the Deseret News 10K.  We were both pretty much incapacitated for a couple of days, then got serious again about mission preparations.  There are so many things to do.  Dit helped me pack my winter clothes suitcase, and we learned that the big suitcases hold more than 50#.  We are re-evaluating what size will best meet our needs.

Today was our "farewell" meeting, and it is a relief to have it over.  We felt loved and supported by many friends and family members.  It was hard, but we managed to keep our emotions pretty much in check, as we kept  telling each other to stick to the talks we had written.  The hardest thing for me was when Medium Max walked in, and I realized he will be on his mission before we get home.  Jeremy was the Youth Speaker and did an awesome job.  We are proud of him.

Shannon, Rachelle, Kristin, Kelli, and Tami prepared food for a delicious open house meal, including honey baked ham, fruit, salads, scalloped potatoes, rolls, and desserts, then managed setting everything up, serving, and cleaning up the mess.  The grand kids certainly got a sugar high from all the yummy cookies and brownies.  It was a great day, and we enjoyed visiting with friends, family, and neighbors.

We gave Kelli and Tyler, and Kristin and Dave a bit of  a run-down on home maintenance needs.  They made fun of us because we told them in the written instructions where to find light bulbs.  I guess they know their way to Home Depot.  We love watching the Olympics and cheering for USA, though we know our days in the USA are numbered.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Two weeks to go, and we both are sort of in a fog.  We didn't need the MMR immunizations after all...seems there was poor communication somewhere along the line.  We keep watching the weather in Melbourne, and it looks like it is pretty cool and raining almost every day.  Contrast that to the heat here, and I think we'll be in for a bit of a temperature shock.  We bought another suitcase and keep looking at the piles of stuff we hope to take with us.  It will cost $190 to take an additional suitcase, and it can weigh up to 50#, so we are considering that option.  I can't imagine early missionaries going without purse or script.

The top of Timp

Jeremy and his harem

The king of the mountain.

The snow field leading to Emerald Lake
We are trying to cram in all the activities we can before we leave.  One of the agenda items was to hike to the top of Mount Timpanogas.  It was a perfect day, and all the hikers who planned to hike to the top reached the summit.  Kam, Dave, Grace, Jens, Sam, and Jeremy slid down the snow field and said it was a great adventure.  The rest of us took the long way down.  Highlights were the big horn rams and the beautiful meadows of wild flowers.

Beautiful Granddaughters
Dawnika, Sarah, Lauren, Nathan, and Megan spent a few days with us, and it was really hard to kiss them good-bye this morning, knowing that we won't see them for a long time.  In the three days they were here, we shopped, had lunch, went to the splash pad, Handcart Days  Parade, fireworks, played night games, went to "Get Air," a trampoline park, and had a retirement party for Max.  There were cousin sleep-overs and lots of visiting.  The Blatters, Blanchards, and assorted cousins fit in our house just fine.  We feel badly that Nathan was a bit under the weather this morning when they left.  Hopefully they arrive home without incident.

Fun at the Splash Pad

After running the Deseret News 10K and spending a couple of days camping at Smith Morehouse with the family, we will get serious about wrapping up last minute details, packing up more things in the house, and preparing for our "farewell" which isn't supposed to happen.
It's 4 weeks from MTC D-Day.  The 4 month anticipation of this mission to Melbourne, Australia is  comparable to being 9 months pregnant for 4 months.  People keep asking when we are leaving, like they want to be rid of us, and I'm sure some do.  We might be delayed, since we learned yesterday that we are required to have MMR vaccinations, which we were told when we sent in our application weren't necessary for individuals born before 1955, which category we both fit.  We need two shots, 28 days apart.  Might be a good excuse to leave the MTC for a Bountiful break.  Purchasing items needed for the mission is progressing, much to the dismay of our bank accounts, but packing has yet to begin.  Probably we'll be able to take half the stuff back when we learn we can't cram everything into 2 50# maximum suitcases. 

We've gone on a couple of two day trips, and our sweet granddaughter, Alivia, is always so excited to see us come back and wonders if our mission is over.  She has a lot to learn, and I'm sure we do to.  However, we look forward to this adventure, and while we don't want to wish the next four weeks away, will be glad to finally be on our way.  (much like finally going into labor)