Thursday, December 13, 2012

Six months already or that's all?

It's funny having served a mission I thought sending my son off on his own mission wouldn't tug on my heartstrings like it does.  I was super happy and excited the whole while getting him ready to go.  I actually didn't have that much trauma dropping him off at the MTC.  The hardest part of all the good-byes was the kids, his siblings saying good-bye was very hard for them and hard to watch as a mom.  But once that was done I was fine.  But when he called from the airport and it was the lamest call ever, we weren't prepared so we didn't say much or talk much it was rather disappointing.  I was in a funk for a couple of days after and realized I was actually starting the 'mourning' process of saying good-bye for awhile.  Anticipating the hard times he would inevitably face, the loneliness of not knowing a soul or understanding anyone but also the deeper sense of purpose in relying on God because there is no one else to really trust.  I think unconsciously you realize the magnitude of the change to you and him.  You also experience a deeper trust in God to watch over and care for this child you have nurtured and cared over for the last 19 years.  All the while days seem to drag, and then it seems like he's been gone forever but he's only been gone 6 months?  And then other days, wow, it's time to write him again...these weeks fly by!  It's just amazing the range of emotions you can feel but at this point I mostly feel happy.  I am so happy he has had many amazing experiences that have helped him become a better person.  He has faced many challenges with faith and hope.  He is receiving many blessings and noticing the compensation during these hard times.  I am so happy he is faithful and loves the people he is serving.  I am grateful I know that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior.  I know that as my son shares the message of Jesus Christ with others they will be blessed forever and that brings me great joy.  I pray for and think of those he is teaching.  I care about them too.  It is a huge blessing.  Another heart enlarging experience for sure.  I would post a photo but I need to clean out my web albums because I am out of free space for photos!  Crazy, huh.  Here is a link to his blog that has some photos:

Sunday, December 2, 2012

2012 Year in Review

2012 Year In Review
Taran: Finished off his first year at BYU with all As and only one A-! (For some this may not seem like a big deal but I may have gotten an A- my first year and that was my only A) His 'band' appeared in BYUs got Talent and they were easily the 3rd best group overall—there were some amazing groups. He had a great college experience at BYU. He made great friends and had great roommates. In February he received his mission call to serve in Guadalajara Mexico. So once the winter semester was over he worked and prepared to leave for 2 years. He was able to go camping with some of his college friends before some of the them went into the Missionary Training Center (MTC). He went to a lot of farewells on Sundays. We did a mini family vacation to Park City before he left. He went into the MTC June 13th and has been in Mexico since mid- August. He has already had a lot of amazing experiences. We look forward to Mondays when we get an e-mail from him. We were able to meet his first companion who returned home in November. That was a fun experience.  Here is a link to his blog with his letters and pictures.
Timo: Is in the middle of his Senior year at Lone Peak high school. He works part-time as a custodian at a local elementary school. He is involved in A Capella choir which was invited to Carnegie Hall to sing in February. Last year he got to go to Disneyland & Universal Studios for A Capella Choir tour in California which is where they won nearly all the choir awards. He is part of our Youth City Council, a service organization. They are currently raising money for their Santa's Workshop—needy families from our community can come and choose gifts for their children for free. He was able to go to NYC with some friends and help with the Sandy clean up through Mormon Helping Hands over the Thanksgiving Break. It was one of the highlights of his life. He has been serving as First Assistant in the Priest Quorum and looks forward to serving a mission once he graduates from high school. He just finished applying to BYU and BYU Hawaii even though he will defer until after his mission. He has the lightest load he's had since 8th grade. AP Calc and AP Spanish are his hard classes, he has ProStart (foods), Sports Sewing for fun besides choir and seminary. He recently received his Eagle Scout Award. He is glad that is over! He has enjoyed a lot of great scout experiences this year. We are grateful for all his great scout leaders! He enjoyed flag football this fall, their team went to the championship but didn't win. It was still fun. He has started Jr Jazz basketball and so far they have won.
Emily: Was able to go to Cedar City with her Granny Louw and see Les Mis and The Merry Wives of Windsor.  They had a great time and enjoyed exploring the local shops and cafes.  She has been serving as Student Body Vice President this school year at the Jr high. She loves being involved. She is still in drama and musical theater. She is going to be Peter Pan in January and she is also helping with the school play with directing. She enjoys attending local musicals and plays and her junior high sporting events. She has discovered the joy of photography and saved to buy a nice, used camera to learn and experiment. She continues to serve at the Alzheimer/Dementia center near our house. She visits there once a week singing to the residents. She is taking care of Taran's guitar while he is gone. She still plays the piano and sings in Concert Singers at the Junior High. She is serving as a counselor in Mia Maids. She always has something going on!
Izak: Started Junior high this year and seems to be enjoying it and adjusting to 8 classes. He is in a Mens Hip Hop class which he enjoys. His soccer team continues to do well. They won their second championship in the spring. They almost went AAA but had a few players leave so they decided to stay AA. They will play indoor after the Christmas break. He became a deacon in the Spring when he turned 12. He broke his toes last spring just before soccer season. Luckily he was back in time to play during tournament time. He enjoyed scout camp except for having to say good-bye to Taran on Monday before he left instead of Wednesday like the rest of us. He enjoys reading, playing ping pong, playing most sports and hanging with friends in his spare time. He is taking care of Taran's bass and cell phone while he is gone and still takes piano. He is star rank in scouts and has made it a goal to be an eagle scout before Taran returns.
Micah: Is in 5th grade. He is enjoying his teacher a lot. His soccer team also won the championship this past spring. They continue to do well this fall. He has started running with friends. He looks forward to Jr Jazz basketball over the winter. He loves drawing sports figures and creating sports logos and jerseys. He is a great student and is progressing in piano.
Zane: Is in 3rd grade. He is super responsible and also does well in school. He enjoyed flag football this fall and looks forward to Jr Jazz basketball. He is also progressing in piano. He is what people might call a fanatical BYU fan. Especially football! He loves Superhero Legos and riding his bike.
Gwen: Started kindergarten this year. She enjoyed preschool and was ready to move on. Her reading skills have taken off. She loves to read, draw and create. She loves Irish dance and is really good at it. She is super sweet and less outgoing than some of the others. She learned to really swim and ride her bike this year! She loves her friends and family.
Rachelle: Besides trying to manage all our schedules and sometimes missing some things—oops! I keep busy with PTA as Secretary, helping in Zane and Micah's classes, high school Choir Board member and Young Womans Secretary in church. I enjoyed going to Girls Camp for the first time since I was a teen! I also get to watch my niece Anna's daughter (17 months) June once week so she can have a little break. And I spend a few hours a week with my dad so my mom can have a break too. My dad struggles with Alzheimer's and was recently put on hospice. As sad as that reality is for us the knowledge that he will soon be free from this disease is comforting. He has been blessed to still know us yet struggles to remember day-to-day or hour-to-hour happenings and barely eats, mostly sleeps and stays in his room most of the time. It has been a huge blessing to be able to spend time with him. He still has great thoughts and carries on great conversation. This is the way I want to remember him. I have enjoyed sending packages to Taran on his mission--so far he has gotten all of them. I am missing keeping up on my blog--maybe next year.
Tim: Keeps busy with helping get people places as well! He had been playing tennis at lunch even through our mild winter with his good friend Ryan. Ryan works for Adobe and they have recently moved into their new building far from Tim's work so they will have to figure something else out. He has played church softball, flag football and now basketball will start. He works on various home improvement projects and helping our parents with the various things they need. We are glad to be near enough to be somewhat helpful at times even though probably not enough. He continues to work for Family Search but he has no control over the site and the bugs there so don't complain to him:) He enjoys going to BYU Football games, and other BYU sporting events as well Jazz NBA games.

We had a fun summer going to Seven Peaks Waterslide Park both in Provo and Salt Lake City. We enjoyed Trafalga, Owlz games and such. We also visited Thanksgiving Point a lot, and local canyons and beauties. We also got a zoo pass and have enjoyed more visits there as well. We are grateful we can enjoy these things and for all the many blessings we have. We live near so many family members that we enjoy their company on most holidays! We are blessed with great friends and neighbors. We are grateful for our many blessings throughout the year! Life is not always easy or maybe should I say life is rarely easy but it is not without meaning, happiness and hope because of Jesus Christ. This holiday season brings the spirit of His life and mission: love, service and mercy. May you and your family feel His love in your life this season and coming year! Love, The Pews