We received exciting news, Shawn asked Tess to marry him yesterday at Disneyland. I understand he asked her in front of the "Where Memories Begin" exhibit. Like a gentleman, he called home and asked Wayne his permission to marry Tess prior to the proposal.
The date for the wedding is April 27th, 2012 in the Seattle Temple. Congratulations, Tess and Shawn!
The summer is nearly gone! We had two adventures this summer. The first was girls camp, uplifting and enjoyable. The second was Trek. Six of our kids attended the 4 day re-enactment of the sacrifice the Mormon pioneers made as they traveled across the country to settle the Salt Lake valley. Wayne and I were fortunate enough to be asked to be a Ma and Pa. The experience was uplifting and testimony building.
Tess came home for a quick visit before going to Idaho and Utah to visit her special friend's family. She is now currently in California working at Disneyland in their college internship program. She will return home January 2nd before heading off to BYU-Hawaii.
Jessica leaves for BYU-Provo on Tuesday. Amanda, Evan, and I are going to take her down and stay for several days while she gets settled in to college life. Go Cougars!
Ethan has enjoyed a pretty relaxed summer. In fact, he's posted on facebook that he is BORED. At this point in my life I wonder...is that a bad thing to have nothing to do?
Amanda has been busy. Trips to Utah, Girls Camp, Trek, Winthrop, and back to Utah have kept her busy. Too bad Ethan couldn't have tagged along with her on some of those trips. Both Ethan and Amanda are excited for their SENIOR year in high school. Amanda plans to join Travis, Seth and Jessica at BYU-Provo. Ethan plans to go to Green River CC to finish his associates degree prior to leaving on his mission.
Aarun has spent a lot of time with friends this summer. He has participated in Summer League basketball and done some training for Cross Country. We are looking forward to have four children on the cross country team this coming fall.
Evan and Alyssa are both preparing for their freshman year in high school. Hard to believe these two are in high school. They each took two summer school classes to help give them a head start in high school. They earned A's and are ready to begin the year in the "big house". Luckily, Wayne is still teaching at the high school our last five kids are attending.
Seth is coming home from his mission on November 6th. Travis on November 11th. It goes without saying that we are VERY excited to have them home. We will have them back through early January, at which time they will go to BYU-Provo.
I was able to find a photo of Travis at his most recent zone leader conference.
I also came across these gradation photos as I was organizing pictures. Congratulations, Seth, Travis, Tess, and Jessica.
It's hard to believe that it is nearly May! Where has the time gone? For the semi-avid blog reader that I am, it is quite hypocritical that I have let posting on my own blog go for a while. Perhaps because I wonder if anyone reads this blog, or perhaps I've just been so busy with life and I have let this go.
Either way, here is an update. Seth and Travis are down to less than 6 months remaining on their missions. Travis experienced (from a great distance) the earthquake in Japan. Both boys have become fluent in their respective languages. Their testimonies have grown and they are truly becoming men. We have been greatly blessed by their service and are thankful that they have chosen to serve valiantly. Travis is set to come home in October, Seth in November.
Tess came home for Spring break from BYU-H. Ironically, she left the sunny weather in Hawaii to enjoy ten days of drizzle and cold weather here in Seattle. Oh well, she's lived here all her life, she knows what to expect. It was great to have her home. She seemed just the same as when she left. I have noticed that I expect my children to suddenly change when they leave home, but to my surprise they seem to linger in the state they left in. I enjoy it quite a bit. Tess is back in Hawaii through July. The unfair parents that we are...we are asking her to stay for summer quarter since she has a good job and could take a class to get ahead for next year. She will be in Disneyland fall quarter, as she acquired the Disney Internship. She will live on the Disneyland campus, work retail full time, while taking online classes. College kids these days think this type of thing is quite appealing. I guess one should "go for it" when they are young, right? Great Job, Tess! We are proud of you!
Jessica is graduating in just over one month! I cannot believe it! She is already 18 and will be attending BYU-Provo in the fall. She will be joined winter semester by Seth and Travis. She is such a smart, sweet, hardworking girl. She graduates June 18th. I'll post photos here. Speaking of photos, here is her senior picture. I must admit, that I was so happy with how it turned out...especially since I had the pleasure of taking her photos this year.
Amanda and Ethan are both juniors. This time next year, we will be graduating two more seniors and believe it or not will only have 3 children at home. We plan on spoiling Aarun, Evan and Alyssa as much as possible. Poor things have lived their lives in hand-me-downs and the smallest portions of dessert. We are thinking of going out to dinner from time to time and taking some fun vacations. It will be fun to create family memories with the youngest three kids! Amanda has become quite an accomplished water polo player (so has Jessica). Here is a photo of her doing her thing!
Ethan is doing well in track, getting better every season and looking forward to going as far as he can in the post season. He recently ran at an invitational in Oregon and did very well. He placed 5th in his event. Wayne is one of the coaches and was able to travel with the team and enjoyed watching Ethan as well.
Aarun is doing great, he is a sophomore and plays basketball and runs track. He is working on excelling in the classroom to the same degree that he excels in athletics. Living with two educators can be such a curse! We remind him that he is a student-athlete. Overall, he does great in school. We are proud of his accomplishments and his desire to be an award-winning runner. He will go far as he sticks to his goals.
Evan and Alyssa are finishing up 8th grade. It is hard to believe that they will start HIGH SCHOOL next fall. I remember them as three year olds, and then as kindergartners in the same class. They have been together all through school and complement each other well. Alyssa is organized while Evan...is not! Evan loves math, while Alyssa...does not. They both like to read, enjoy track, and have many friends. One would not know they have not been together their entire lives. Well, they've been siblings since they were three, so they have grown up together for a good portion of their lives.
Wayne and I are still plugging along. Wayne is teaching math and history at the school the kids go to. He is coaching, has just joined the bishopric, and is busy with graduate school. I have acclimated to my new job as a high school assistant principal and am hoping to survive budget cuts. I am also in graduate school, and hoping to become a principal soon. Life keeps us busy (too busy to blog) but we are very happy.
We had a wonderful Thanksgiving in Moses Lake where we enjoyed good food and a lot of snow! Prior to us leaving for Moses Lake, Auburn got several inches of snow as well. Here are some photos of the much anticipated snowfall.
Tess has come home from BYU-Hawaii to enjoy her Christmas break here on the mainland. She had a good first semester at college, learning to being away from home (very far away from home) and taking care of herself. She had a visit from my parents last semester, as they were on a trip to Hawaii. It was nice to exchange pictures and text messages with the Grandparents and Tess. They took her out to eat as she gave them a tour of campus. We appreciate them checking in on Tess for us.
Seth has had a couple of transfers on his mission. He feels that he has a good grasp of the Spanish language. He admits that this was not easy for him, but the Lord has blessed him greatly and he is very appreciative. We don't get a lot of photos from Seth, he is not permitted to take many (mission rules) but he has experienced the blessings of obedience as he focuses on the work of teaching and baptizing. Here are Seth's most recent words home:
Well, the transfer came to an end last Saturday, and so yesterday we recieved transfer calls. I was told that I am going to leave Cambita and that I am heading to Padre Las Casas which is in the zone of Azua. I have mixed feelings about this. Padre Las Casas from what I've seen and heard is a really cool area. Literally "cool". It lies in the mountains so it is one of the colder areas in the mission and it has had fairly good success recently. For that reason I am pretty excited to go there. But I am also kind of bumbed out about leaving Cambita because I have really loved it here. Even though the work was difficult and at times mentally straining, I felt like Elder Romero and I were really starting to get things going. We are still teaching Estefani who is progressing pretty well. Her baptism date was Christmas weekend but we decided to change it to January 9th becasue Christmas and New Years are huge here and so we didnt want any conflicts with that. This will also allow us to help her stregthen her testimony especially in the Book of Mormon. We are also starting to teacher her friend Karla which I think will help her also. We also started teaching a family in the last week and a half. The parents names are Cesar and Norkis and for the very first time we taught them together as a family. We've primarily been teaching Cesar and at times his wife. They both realize the importance of Prophets (which is really important here in the DR) and I think that after the lesson we had last night with the whole family that they realize how the gospel is going to bless their family. So I feel like I am leaving a lot behind her in Cambita but I am looking forward to the opportunity to work in Padre Las Casas.
Travis has had many adventures in Japan! He had his first (and hopefully last) bike accident. He broke his hand! His comments were, "I was riding my bike, wind in my hair, all at ease...when before I knew it I was tangled under my bike!" This is classic Travis...always making a joke and looking for the bright side of a situation. His hand was casted and he was "off" his bike for several weeks. He has been transfered and is now back to riding...hopefully he will stay on his bike this transfer. Travis reports:
Well, I said good bye to tanabe and elder chappell :( and now Im in Tsuyama! Its a slightly bigger city than tanabe, and WAY colder. Apparently we could be getting some snow here pretty soon. I dont know if I would like that.... Its soooo coooold!
My hand still has a few more weeks to go, but Im back on my bike! Ive figured out a way to support my left hand on the handle w/o touching it with my thumb, or half of the palm of my hand thats over the broken bone. Everything is very spread out and far away! Church and train station are both about 25-30 minutes away by bike.
My new companion is elder Suzuki - Hes Japanese! We are co-seniors. This will be a good oportunity so improve my language skills! So far ive been pretty pleased to find that we can talk normally, with only occasional need for a dictionary ( Ive learned Jissen - to put into practice and shouryaku - to abbreviate) Hes full of energy and we're going to get some good work done this transfer.
We had a Christmas party with lots of delicious Nabe! Nabe is basically just japanese stew,but you can throw all kinds of stuff in as you go along. Its pretty good! try to look it up if you can! I dressed up as a donkey, suzuki dressed up as a sheep.
As far as investigators go, We found one in tanabe the day before I left, and we have another with christmas baptismal date here in Tsuyama! I wonder what christmas in japan will be like?
This weeks spiritual message is a christmas message! In the book of mormon, Nephi sees mary and the birth of Christ in vision, and understands more fully the Love of God. We can read this in 1st Nephi 11:13-23
When we look at all the things of christmas, the trees, the presents, the food, the parties, do we remember what it all means? Christ was prepared from before the foundation of the world to be our savior! If we remember and follow him, we can always feel his love. Lets remeber to share the love of God with everyone around us this holiday season!
I love you all! Thanks for all your support!
We will be adding some photos and videos later this week. We have a lot to show of Travis, and a few pictures of Seth. Both boys are doing well, and we are thrilled to be able to talk to them in just a few days! I am the most excited of all.
Jessica and Amanda celebrated the school's homecoming this year as they dressed up and went on a double date. The girls (and boys) had a fun time at dinner, pictures and the dance. It is hard to believe that another fall has come and is nearly gone. With the boys half way through their missions and another senior (class of 2011) it is hard to believe how quickly time flies.
Ethan and Aarun are enjoying cross country, they are doing well and hope to compete in the state meet in a couple of weeks. Jessica and diving and is also hoping to dive in the state meet next month. It looks like she will meet this goal. Amanda is still swimming strong, she hopes to end the season with a showing at state too. Evan and Alyssa are not in fall sports at the middle school,they will be involved in basketballand gymnastics soon, though!
Well, I haven't blogged in a while. A new job, getting a daughter ready for college, and two boys in the mission field who are reaching their half-way point AND are turning 20 has kept me busy. Tess left on Thursday for BYU-Hawaii. She made it safely there and has done all of the freshman activities. She starts class this week and is excited. She was surprised by the small size of her dorm room...aren't we all?
I am sure that she will adjust just fine. Her first task is to find a part-time job to help with the costs of college. She is hoping to work at the Cultural Center nearby. We have suggested that she take whatever job she can find.
Seth and Travis both turn 20 over the next two weeks. They are also close to their half-way point...so hard to believe. Travis is half-way on October 21st and Seth is half-way on November 4th. It is hard to believe that they are nearing half-way!
Summer is wrapping up and fall is setting in and we look forward to cross country, swim & dive, and pumpkins.
Can you find Elder Nuttall? This photograph was taken at a conference when the Japan Hiroshima mission was closed and consolidated into the Kobe Mission. In case you need help, look about six rows up from the floor and about six Elders in from the left. Travis' mission president keeps a mission blog and this photo was posted on it.
The boys are doing well, in October and November they will each have reached their 1/2 way point. They do not want me to remind them that they are nearing that point, they only want to focus on being in the field and working hard.
We have had some fun family adventures recently, and I will post photos of them when I get a chance. For now, happy summer!