Friday, September 23, 2011

{The fastest & lamest blog ever}

Oh, how I've missed my blog.  I don't even have time for it today.  I leave for the airport in 8 minutes.  I'm going to try to blog in record time!

So, what have we been up to?

I've been using my FitBit and having a great time.  I haven't had lots of time for exercise but I get on the treadmill in 10-15 minute increments and get quite a few miles in a day that way.

The boys are still up to their usual fun.  They went to get haircuts and Landon got comfortable while he was waiting his turn.  It seems as if they never stop growing!

We've also been SUPER busy getting everything ready for Nolan's homecoming!  I don't know what possessed me but I systematically unloaded all the bookshelves, dusted, and reorganized the books.  Might I say it feels like book heaven!  {I won't mention the desperate need for more bookshelves.}

 A SCARY before . . .
A few surprise pictures from my favorite missionary . . .

The  two year countdown calendar was a lovely gift from the dearest friend, Barb.  I haven't missed a day yet.  It looks like the camera slightly overexposed the picture but that's what I feel like inside - glowing and so excited!

 The beautiful India got braces . . .
 We've been making her lovely headboard . . . detailed post to come.

I have the BEST friend ever to help!!
She's amazingly darling and talented - just like India.
Not finished but you get the idea for now . . .
My eight minutes are up and I must depart.  Argentina bound with my dear Sir Thomas and the incredible Keaton.  We didn't feel good about taking everyone and I'm REALLY going to miss Landon and India.  This is hard part.  For some reason, this is just the right thing this time but we'll all be back together again soon.

If I'm lucky I'll be blogging from Buenos Aires.  If not, I'll be back soon!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

{22 years in the making & totally smitten}

22 years!  As anything other than a young age - it sounds like a L…O…N…G….T…I…M…E!

Friday, September 2nd was 22 years in the making.  We celebrated our 22nd anniversary!  I can tell you that it went by REALLY FAST!  I love Sir Thomas.  I'm so glad he's mine.

My day started off at 5:15 a.m. so I could get ready to go spend some  time with a wonderful bunch of sophomores for early morning seminary.

Little did I know that Sir Thomas had planned a wonderful surprise for me.  India is the sweetest girl in the world. She got up at 6:00 a.m. so she could help with the surprise!
Surprise!  Are you as shocked as I was??

Do you remember when I was {smitten with a lovely shade of blue} ?

I still can't believe he bought them.

Sir Thomas and India HANDWASHED all these dishes and set the table while the boys and I were at seminary.
This was a lovely thing to come home to . . .
Such a delightful breakfast! The dishes are Oh, So Lovely and my family is Divine!
{I haven't been as in love with the new paint in the dining room lately so I'm taking suggestions for another make-over.}
The rest of the day was equally marvelous.  I received a huge surprise in the mail that just made my day. In the evening he took me to dinner and then we had a nice little get-away {here}.  Thanks a million Kimberly!

I came home refreshed and ready to get to work.  Wow!  I had a lot to do today.  It's super late and I just got a chance to stop.  It was fun work though.  I cleaned out and washed the kitchen cabinets.  One particular cabinet turned out spectacular.  Sir Thomas was sweet to run all the errands in the wonderful rain.

I know you're drooling over the apron!  That was part of the surprise that came in the mail!  I also received the sweetest card and best cookbook imaginable from a dear friend.  She's one of my dear friends that I've never even met!

It is interesting that we can make wonderful friends that we've never met and still feel like we've known them forever.
Rae Ann is one of those special people that just loves everyone.  Her son is a missionary in our mission and her love is big enough to reach all the way down here in Texas.

I haven't been able to take this precious apron off! Now that the kitchen is clean, I'm ready for that cookbook!

Sir Thomas and I haven't ever taken pictures in one of those photo-booths that print little pictures of us making crazy faces.  Perhaps I should add that to my list of things to do in the next 22 years.

We probably don't need to! Sir Thomas is so talented and was able to hold the camera up for a few fun self-portraits. The next 22 years with this man is going to be fun and I wish they would go by a little slower than the first 22 years.

It's been 22 years in the making & I'm totally smitten!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

{THE Ever Amazing Elder Moore Part 2}

Nolan's life-long dream was to be a missionary.  He just loves life and loves to participate in every part of it.  I hope you enjoy a few more pictures today and a few more of my imagings.  I won't be imaging for too much longer!  

I've had the opportunity to have some contact with a few of the people that he knows and loves in Argentina.  They told me they call him "Elder Sonrisa" {Elder Smile} - obviously because he's always smiling.  
Guess you know that made me smile too.

After seeing these beautiful people and the places he has been - I know why he smiles.
This one is rather easy to imagine - the lovely family he baptized in July in Avellenada.

I imagine this is his kitchen.  I asked him if he had hot water this winter {southern hemisphere} and he said, "Yes!" . . . just no water pressure.  Oh well!
{I wonder if he's still dreaming of a microwave oven or has totally forgotten they can exsist in his world.}

???  His favorite store?  The neon heart is a novelty?
I actually imagine this is one of the shopping malls he mentioned.  He was overwhelmed with all of the shopping options when he arrived in Avellaneda because there weren't exactly lots of options in Fiorito.

I imagine this is not safe! haha  I think it is a service project requiring a rusty saw and an eager elder.
He loves climbing and service projects so I know he was begging for the chance.

I imagine he is saying, "Welcome to 'my' city" . . . he often commented on the culture shock when he arrived in Avellaneda.  Six months in an impoverished area caused him to forget what the modern world was like.
{I hope he approves of all my "imaginings"}

Possibly his current "pension" and I imagine that radiator warms about as well as the radiator we had in Peru.
Poor guy must stay cold!

Announcing the ward talent show.
{I did mention that he LOVES life and LOVES to participate.  The sweetest lady in Argentina, Jannet, posted pictures on her FaceBook and Elder Moore was definitely in the show.}

There's not much imaging here . . . that same "sweetest lady in Argentina" made him a cake for his birthday last week!

I imagine this is her daughter, Karen.

I imagine he saved some of the chopsticks from his Chinese out-to-eat birthday meal.  
{If interested, read more at the end of the post.}

Birthday celebration and I imagine that is the BEST candle ever!

"Their" version of the Washington monument and I haven't imagined enough to decide what it is a monument of in Argentina.  However, I seriously imagine it will be fun to visit this city.
{I even spy a McDonald's although I don't care to eat there.  This is a nice adjustment step back to "civilization" for him.}

In his last letter he wrote: "I tried speaking in English the other day. I've already forgotten how to speak. My speech is extremely slow and I always forget words."  He doesn't want us to expect too much when we arrive.
I imagine I'll be really good at smiling since I don't speak Spanish. =)

I'm so thankful that he has had this opportunity.  It's nice to love the world and find out there is so much to love!

Some people prefer looking at the pictures - they're my favorite too - but if you want to learn a little more about his adventures just keep reading . . .

Elder Moore has had an exciting mission and I think he likes it that way.  Perhaps the 13th Article of Faith: 
". . . if there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report we seek after these things" is interpreted differently by everyone. It depends on what things we think are "good"!  Apparently missionaries have some adventurous ideas.

At the beginning of his mission he was writing home about a lot of crazy situations like being robbed by a literal gang of 20 kids (14-20 year olds) on drugs: The situation he described sounded pretty scary to me.  He wasn't too worried. Not to mention, he thought everything at the police station went really well and he refused to accept the offers of bribery to convict some of the kids they found. Then, he stayed friends with the police.

Soon after, they accidentally walked into a gun fight to which he said, "But don't worry because they were running and started shooting the other way."  The adventuous stories continued. Then he told us, "My companion said nothing fun ever happened before I got here and now he's about to go home.  He doesn't think it's fair."

Those crazy situations have continued.  At one point, he got tired of being robbed 2-3 times a week and said it was just getting old.  Must have lost the adventuresome feel.  Fortuantely he hasn't been robbed 2-3 times a week for 2 years!  He said once every 4-6 weeks was about normal but he was in one area. . . . Not all areas have been as rough and I think by now he has a new take on being robbed.  

{I took the liberty of modernizing his letter into fluid, correctly spelled English.  He sounds like a native Spanish speaker writing in English and he now uses their spelling rules.  I love it!}

This is last week's version:
"It's been a pretty exciting week.  We went to eat Chinese food for my birthday.  That was pretty fun.  The day before my birthday I got robbed.  I doubt the kid will try anything of that sort ever again. I scared the crap out of that kid.  I smiled at him and asked him his name and believe it or not he almost told me! Until his friend yelled at him for being stupid.  The kid had a gun and his hand was trembling like a dead leaf.  The kids directed themselves to me and my companion was just there but the kids were so scared of me. I honestly don't know why. I think it had something to do with the fact that I was smiling and friendly to them."  How many kids?  Who knows so I've only imagined two.

Lest you think he shouldn't be sharing these "adventures" with me before he gets home please let me explain:  I'm really okay with it!  Well, I don't like these things happening - the gun stuff is NOT good - but I'm okay with him telling me. His not telling me doesn't change the truth or make it un-happen.  

He has been robbed, seriously had his life threathened and even been involved in a situation that is almost too hard to think about and I wonder how he'll get over it but through it all the Lord has kept him safe.  I know something could go wrong but I choose to live with faith.  Faith that whatever happens will be okay.  Faith that he is being obedient and will reap the blessings - whatever they are.  Faith that the Lord will get me through whatever may come.

It won't do me any good to pray that the Lord will keep him safe and then worry that He won't.  I've always told him, "It's the hard that makes it great!" and now he writes that home to me.  It is the hard that makes it great.  

He has also had so many wonderful, positive, and spiritual experiences - it's hard to imagine it could be any better!