Sunday, August 24, 2008

Welcome 2 New Nieces

Dallis and Sal welcomed
Ruby Kathrine
to their family on August 19th.

Ande and her husband (So Sorry, I can't remember his name, but I've heard he's wonderful!!) welcomed
Lillian Jennifer
to their sweet family today, August 24th.

Congratulations to them all and especially to Grandpa David and Grandma Jenny.

We can't wait for some pictures!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Kyiv Temple, Ukraine

Chad wrote a few weeks ago wondering my opinion on his asking for an extension. Of course I want him to come home on time, but I told him whatever the Lord wants for Chad is fine with me. I know the reason Chad wants to stay is because the new Kyiv Temple is due to be operating in September 2010. He wants to attend at least once before he returns home, I don't blame him at all. I happened upon this link through another blog (Kinghorn's Called to Serve). I thought it would be nice to add the same link. The members in Ukraine have to travel to Germany to attend the temple. What a sacrifice they make to obey the word of God. We are so fortunate to have so many temples here in the United States. We truly are a blessed people. Go ahead and look at the new temple under construction.

Kyiv Temple, Ukraine

A Sad Diagnosis

I have just received some sad, sad news. A very close family friend has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Unfortunately, pancreatic cancer is one of those that by the time it is discovered, it has already spread. This is the case with my long time friend. The doctors have given her about 3 months to live. What do you say to that? How do you offer words of support? Are there any words at all?
I grew up with this family. Their son, Frankie (Frank now),  is only a few months older than me. We spent a lot of time together playing and swimming.  I remember this one particular time when I was at their house playing. Lynn had some chocolate diet candy and Frankie and me wanted some. We didn't care if it was diet or not. So while I stood watch, Frankie climbed up on the counter and found the candy hidden behind some other things. He jumped down and we scarffed down that chocolate before we could be found out. That was the best chocolate!!
I continue to pray for them. I pray for God's strenghth and comfort to be with them all as they face these very challenging last days. I hope they all know just how special they are to me.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Alligator Hunt

I never did finish telling about our trip through Tennesse, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas this summer.  We stopped at a  US Fish and Wildlife Preserve in Louisiana. Sam really wanted to see an alligator, me . . . not so sure.
Our first sighting was not exactly what Sam had hoped for, but it was just about right for me.  I got to thinking if they have to put a sign up to warn people about alligator crossings, then . . . there must be (at least occasionally) alligator crossings. Just thinking about the possibility and enormous bugs (no, we were not in TX yet) dive bombing my head, I decided I'd had enough. I went back to the van and Sam finished his stroll alone.                                        
It wasn't until we got home and started looking at the photos that Sam remembered this one.
I wonder who sighted who first??

Stormy Night

A week or so back we had some storm clouds move in. We stopped on the way home to get this picture.


I started having headaches again. I had one last Friday that was bearable, but it stayed all day Saturday and it wasn't. I keep trying new things to help control the pain, but nothing works. Sunday morning I woke up and it was completely gone. Yeah!! Of course I was counting my chickens a little too soon. Sunday night it came back with a vengeance. I went to work Monday with a slight headache. By 11:00 it was becoming too much. I got someone to cover my class so I could lie down in hopes that would help, no such luck. By 11:30 I was sick to my stomach and couldn't manage anything, much less 28 students. I called Sam to come get me. I left my car at work and Sam took me home.
Thanks to Sam, I got an appointment with a chiropractor (member of our ward). Sam is convinced my previous trips to a chiropractor cured past headaches. I'm not 100% sure, but they hurt so bad I'll try anything. So . . . I went and he realigned my neck. I really hate that!!! However, my headache did go away.
So, here I am not fully convinced about chiropractors, yet I already have another appointment next week. Let me know if you've had any experiences with chiropractors.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Kyle's First Day of Jr. High

Can you believe it. My baby has started Jr. High. Friday was the first day. It was for 7th graders only. The 8th and 9th graders go on Monday, then everyone starts on Tuesday. He gets home from school before I get home from work. I called after work to see how his first day was. He said it was great and that he had made 7 new friends. I asked who they were. The first two names were girls names and I thought uh-oh. Then boys names started to come. He went through each class and told me who he already knew and if the teacher "rocked" or not. Overall, his first day was a success. He found out how fast his lunch time goes. He said he spent most of the time standing in line with little time left to actually eat. While he was standing in line, he got a little nervous. His friend had brought money for lunch and he knew he didn't have any. Of course he didn't remember me giving a lunch money check to the lady in the office a few days before so he was concerned he had no money for lunch. He told the lunch lady his name, didn't know his number, and she smiled and said go on. Kyle was relieved to have lunch on the first day. He walks to school with two friends that live on our cul-de-sac. He laughed when he told me about how  "bad " their moms were Friday morning with their cameras. I laughed and said I'd have to get copies. So . . . as soon as I can get a copy of his first day at Jr. High, I'll add it to the post.

1 Week Old

We went over to visit Jake, Jen and AJ. He's still beautiful and so tiny. Everyone is doing well. Jen looked great today and is a great mom. Jake also looks good, he was visiting with Nathan on the phone when we got there. Sam and Jake are hoping for another good day to go windsurfing.  Anyway, I thought I 'd add a few most recent (about 2 hours ago) pics of Ashton.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Elder Christensen

After watching and reading about Russian troops moving into Georgia and Ukraine's position, I was starting to get a little worried. Then when I didn't get my weekly email from Chad yesterday, my worry increased a little more. Thank goodness I got an email this morning from him. They had zone conference yesterday. He is doing fine and did not mention the conflict at all. I know he has asked in the past to keep him informed on current events since they don't get the news, but I thought he would have known about Georgia being so close.   Either way, I was relieved to hear from him and that things are going well there. They have set a baptism date for September 14th. He is excited and is still working hard. Here is a piece of today's letter.
We did do some signboarding. We have some great pictures and new boards. I wll send a picture sometime. It works well, at the right time of day. It's really fun and we will do it again. It's kinda funny, people will go out of their way to see the sign, but don't want to talk. We do hand out pamphletes and invitations to church and English class. The sign has a picture of Christ with the children. The other is a picture of the Bible on one side of the world and the Book of Mormon on the other side. It looks really good. It asks the question What is the Book of Mormon and we do our best at answering this question. We were able to hand out one book, but the rest of the hour not so well. We did meet up with some of our members as well.
We have a new missionary, and he is doing great. It was funny because at the end of the meeting we did the one minute testimonies, and when it came to Elder Ray's turn, he asked in Russian or in English? It was kind of funny. I remember doing that.
With Love, Elder Christensen

Monday, August 11, 2008

Fighting in Georgia

I've had several people ask about Chad and how close he is to the fighting that's going on in Georgia. Chad is near Dnipropetrovsk and I have a nephew in Donetsk. The Russians have moved into the southern part of Georgia. As of now things are okay. Here is the latest I can find on Ukraine's involvement. If I hear any news from Chad or from the mission home, I will be sure to let you know. Thank you for your continuous prayers for Chad and all the missionaries. 
The most categorical statement to date has come from Ukraine, a strong Georgian ally. On August 10, Ukraine warned that Russia’s actions could draw it into the fray. Ukraine may bar Russian navy ships deployed from the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Sevastapol from reentering the port, an August 10 statement on the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry’s web site reads.
Georgia claims that Russian ships from Sevastapol have landed some 4,000 troops at Ochamchira, a coastal town in Abkhazia, in a bid to open a second front in the conflict.
The government also claims that Russian ships are preventing other vessels bearing grain supplies from docking at Georgian ports. Lomaia estimates that Georgia has a 30-day supply in reserve.
"In order to prevent the circumstances in which Ukraine could be drawn into a military conflict ... Ukraine reserves the right to bar ships which may take part in these actions from returning to the Ukrainian territory until the conflict is solved," the statement affirmed. Ukraine, like Georgia, seeks entrance into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, a move which Russia fiercely opposes.
Elizabeth Owen and Giorgi Lomsadze 8/10/08

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Introducing AJ Miller

Ashton Jacob Miller  was born this morning to the proud parents Jake and Jen Miller. He was 6 lbs 10 oz. and 20 inches long. Sam always has to ask "What bait did they use?" He says we talk about babies like men talk about fish. Ha Ha. He's absolutely beautiful and perfect. Jen is doing quite well as she was up and moving around when we got there. Jake looks somewhere between giddy and shellshocked.

Letter from the Senior Couple

Elder  Carter, senior missionary couple serving in Chad's area, emailed me this morning on behalf of Chad. He was letting me know Chad had received his new debit card and would I activate it. Here is the remainder of his letter and a new picture of Chad and his companion, Elder Wagner.

I want to also let you know how close we have become with Elder Christensen. He calls me most every evening to see how our day was and tell us about his. He has become a trusted friend to us. He has always treated us with kind respect and is considerate and helpful. The work here is difficult and it takes courage and stamina to go out on the streets every day but he does it. I've listened to him bear testimony in Russian and it is genuine and heartfelt. In fact, we are teaching our most promising investigator with him and Elder Wagner and love both of them. We always look forward to being with them and since we see most all of our 10 missionaries 2-3 times every week I can tell you that we are keeping a good eye on him for his Mother.
He's grown a lot. He's a missionary you can be proud of!
Elder Carter

Friday, August 8, 2008

A Blast from the Past

I know the kids are just going to love it when they check mom's blog and see a ton of old pictures. Espcially when they see it's them. (Katy, this is for you.) Someone mentioned I had not posted anything new, well . . .

I've been scanning all the kids old pictures onto the computer. I've found some great ones that bring back such good memories. It's funny how you don't always realize how great the moment is until it's long past and all you can do is remember it. I'm nearing the end of my rearing children "season" of life. Most of the kids have moved out and many have families of their own. We only have one left at home now and he's barely under 5'11", not such a baby anymore. I find myself wishing for days gone by on one hand and counting down on the other.

Every generation says it, but until it's you, you just don't realize how fast time really does go by. I love my kids and I cherish the time I have with them. So in honor of my kids, my friends, here is a little blast from the past.

Robert, Chad, and Tyler
Chad, Katy, Sarah, Kyle, and Tyler
Katy and Nicole (friend)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Top of Timp.

Kyle enjoyed his first midnight hike to the top of Timp. The group left at 2:00 A.M. and headed up the canyon. It's a 9 mile hike from the parking lot. He said they made it there around 7:00 A.M. There were only 2 deacons on this trip, but some of the young women went also. I asked him if he had fun, he said "ya." He did also mention that it was a once in a life time event, I told him no, he could do it again next year. I think he was hoping it would only be a once in a life time event. LOL. Chad hike Timp twice that I can remember and Tyler did it once. Even Sam has hiked to the top, but not me. I'm thinking we should try it a little later this year. What do you think?? Anyway, Kyle is safe at home and desparately wanting to go back to bed.

Did He Really Say That??

Barack Obama Said That To Save On Energy Americans Can Inflate Their Tires.

 BARACK OBAMA: "There are things that you can do individually though to save energy; making sure your tires are properly inflated, simple thing, but we could save all the oil that they're talking about getting off drilling, if everybody was just inflating their tires and getting regular tune-ups. You could actually save just as much." (Barack Obama, Springfield, MO, 7/30/08)

Once again, I was shown the way

I have a friend at work, Julie, who've I've enjoyed knowing for several years. My oldest boy is the same age as her oldest girl. It's been fun watching how they've grown and the roads they have chosen. Just a few days ago, I asked her for her email so I could share my blog with her. I'm always trying to find new readers. Anyway, the conversation lead to a friend of hers, Laurel Christensen. Julie had nothing but praise for this woman. Julie let me know that Laurel has her own blog with inspiring comments. You know the kind . . . When things aren't just right and your looking for something, even when you don't know what you're looking for. That's when you happen to read something and it all falls in to place. So, since I'm always looking for uplifting people and stories, I read her blog (and added her link to my blog) and found another article she wrote for the Time Out For Women (TOFW) website. This one really hit me and I wanted to share it with you. I've included the link, go ahead and read the article and you'll see what I mean.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Elder Christensen Reaches Hump Day!!

Can you believe it? Chad has reached his one year mark today. It is all down hill from here.

This is the most recent picture I have. Every six weeks the mission president and his wife visit with each area and they have a zone conference. Lucky for me, they also take a new picture and send it to all the parents. Can you find Chad? He's on the back row, last one on the right. He looks good.