Sunday, July 19, 2015

Jesse enters the MTC!

The week before Jesse left for the MTC, Joseph was able to come back from school for the 4th of July weekend.  This was great because Joseph was able to be here for the 4th of July celebrations, and he was also able to stand in the circle on Sunday morning when Jesse was set apart to be a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  Our Stake President set her apart, with Joseph and Bruce in the circle (meaning - they laid their hands on her head, along with President, but our Stake President was the voice of the prayer).  It was a beautiful blessing - everything I could have wanted for her.  In the four days before this, she had bees really sick with a high fever, due to immunizations.  It was questionable whether she would be well enough by the next Wednesday to enter the MTC.  President Evans even asked us if we wanted to delay the entry date. As we thought about it, we agreed that the blessing he would give her would make a big difference, so we went ahead with it.  And we were right.

At Church after her setting apart, we took this picture of Joseph and Jesse, the last time these two will see each other for 18 months.  But they were happy when they said good-bye.  They both know the purpose of it all.  I know I'm a biased mother, but isn't this just the happiest picture of Joseph and Jesse?

And here is a happy picture too.  I had to go in the Church right after this and teach Gospel Doctrine. I held it together!

We packed all her suitcases on Sunday night.  Monday we went up to a Reservoir for one last mountain retreat.  Todd and Kristie and family were there, along with Greg and Rachelle and family.  This is the group right when we said goodbye.  You can see Jesse's big smile right in the middle.  

Jesse and Mary say good-bye!

On Tuesday morning, after some repairs to the Dodge pickup we own, we headed out of town.  Last picture at home for 18 months!  (Sorry - you'll get sick of me saying that...)  Mary is not in this picture because she stayed home, having to work at her new job.

In Utah we met up with cousins Lindsey and Adam, and Darcy, and also Jesse's boyfriend Stephen and her best friend and roommate Jane.  In-n-Out Burgers was Jesse's restaurant of choice.

After that we went up to Shawn and Janel's house (Bruce's brother), and Jesse played some Josh Groban (When You Say You Love Me) while Stephen sang.  It was beautiful.

Jesse with Uncle Shawn and Aunt Janel.  Janel took the opportunity to tell Jesse how much she loved her and what a great missionary she would be.  I didn't hold it together during that.  I cried.  :)

On Monday morning we went to IHOP and met up with my brother Conal and his six children.  It was so fun to have them be with us for Jesse's last breakfast with the family.

We met up with Stephen right below the Temple in Provo.  As we were driving into the parking lot, we saw all these families saying good-bye to their missionary, and in true Jesse form, she said, "There's too much love going on here.  This sickens me!"  Ha ha ha  That's Jesse!  

Stephen has been a dear friend to Jesse since last October when they got to be friends/more than friends in music classes in the BYU School of Music.  These two will miss each other, but will grow during the next 18 months.  No commitments are in place other than keeping in touch, but they are both very grateful for their relationship.

Family picture!

Jesse, Peter and Libby

Bruce said the real test is if she can pick up both her suit cases.  Not one to shrink from a challenge, she passed the test!

Two proud parents with a beautiful missionary daughter!

After quick hugs at the MTC, she is ready to wave good-bye.

There is no doubt about the importance of the work of sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ, and it is especially poignant at the moment you wave good-bye to your daughter for 18 months.  As I said before, we didn't cry, because we know she is doing the best work in all the world.  I'm so happy for her!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Family of Eight - Together Again!

Lots of pictures and few words - to try to make up for 6 weeks of no blogging!

Ballroom Dance Recital

The Dancers: Kevin, Libby, Mary, Peter, Kevin
Joshua and Jesse were home for the break so they got to see the recital.

Probably texting Amber and Stephen...

Mall Hunt:  Bruce and I dressed up and hung out in the Mall and the mutual kids (the youth group at Church) had to come and find us!  Bruce looked so scary.

Christmas Eve

After the Pozole dinner, we re-enact the Nativity Story.  Guess who is always "Mary"?  The last two years, Peter had to take over for Joseph.
 Pajamas Picture!

Christmas Day
The famous picture before they go down to see what Santa Clause brought.

Josh is stylin'.
 Ready for a pack trip!
This is Jesse's idea of a dream day.  Let me read my book and no one talk to me or bother me.
 Libby has a camera!
 Mary reading the letter from Chet that came with his Christmas present.

Peter got a "Slackline" for Christmas.  It's like a tight rope, only it's more flexible, so when you get good enough, you can do tricks on it.  It's a lot harder than it looks!

Introducing the latest animals on the farm, our Nubian goats Duke and Daisy!

Actually, those are just pictures of Daisy.  But Duke is just as cute!

Joseph was an invited over to the Funes family residence for an "asado".

These are the last pictures he sent home from Argentina!

Libby and I played "The Seven Wonders of DRUSA", a game she invented using some of our board games that we love to play.  She won!

Mary and Libby - Sunday afternoon nap on the massage table in the sun.

And FINALLY, after two years, the day came for Joseph to come home from his mission!  I tracked his plane's progress through the night and the next day.  I had to take a screen shot as he was flying over "mi patria Bolivia", where I served my mission.

Uncle Cedric got up early and met Joseph in the Atlanta Airport!
And here we are waiting at the Airport.

 And the plane finally arrived!  They waited forever to walk down through the gates, but he soon came walking through the doors!  Oh, HAPPY DAY!!

Two years is a long time to be away from your best friend, but it was all worth it.

With both serving missions, it was three years for these two.

Welcome home, Joseph!!

The very next morning, Joseph and Mary took off on a road trip to take Jesse and Josh back to college.  To see these four together made me so happy!
Joseph, Mary, and Joshua got to drive by and see Grandma and Grandpa! Joseph played "Allá en el Rancho Grande" on the piano and they sang together.

Grandma called me the next day and couldn't get over how fun it was to have them visit.  Joseph got to see Angie and her family, and Craig and his family too.  I guess Jenette has been showing the children a video of Joseph singing Happy Birthday to Hannah, so when Joseph came through the door, Hannah said, "Joseph! Joseph!  We find him! We find him!"  That has just warmed my heart for days, just thinking about it.  We find him!

And the day after that road trip, Joseph wasted no time getting up on the mountain with Peter to go snowboarding.

That afternoon, Libby, and Mary had a dance performance, and Libby and Kevin (Justin & Aubrey's son), her partner for this dance, rocked it on the cha-cha!  (Peter is on their dance team also, but he is also on the ski & snowboarding team at his school, so he "had to" go do a race).

 Mary looking gorgeous for the Tip-Off Dance with Kendall.

We are so happy to have Joseph home and happy to be done with January!  Wahoo!