Wednesday, November 13, 2013

An update on us

I haven't written on my blog in some time.  So, just a quick catch up of what is going on.  I began working as a every kitchen worker at Hazeldale School in September.  I had been subbing through out the District and didn't really mind that.  I must admit though, now that I have a regular school, it's close to home, and all of my kids attended grade school there, I am liking it.  I began cooking about 2 weeks ago.  I have never had to cook for SO many kids.  I would be lying if I didn't say I was overwhelmed some.  But, I am taking it day by day and enjoy working at a Grade school with young kids. 

Robbie and Tessa will soon have their baby boy.  He is due on December 7th. They are going to name him Duke Alan Whitnah.  I bet he'll be such a handsome little guy.  With both Tessa and Robbie's dark brown eyes and their great smiles, I  just know he'll be a cutie.  It will be nice having another grand baby, and one that lives closer to us. 

We are heading to Utah for Thanksgiving.  It will be the first trip to Utah since we picked up Bethany from LDSBC in April.  We will be staying with Shelly and Don Whitnah in their new home in Highland Utah.  It's fairly close to Lehi and American Fork, Utah.  I'm excited to venture down to Utah and spend time with them as well as with my grandson Ryan and Becky and Jeff and well as spend time with Emma, Wes' Mom and with Sean.  Sean will celebrate his 24th birthday the day after Thanksgiving.  It should be fun to spend that day with him. 

Bethany has been on her mission for 6+ months already!  I can't get over how FAST the months have flown by.  She is our 4th missionary to serve a mission and I don't remember the months going by as quickly before with our other 3 who served.  If anything, the first 6 months seemed to go slower.  Before I know it, she'll be home. 

Bryan has had a fun time this year so far.  He took part in Aloha HS's XC sport.  He had fun running and practicing running each day.  He also was accepted into Concert Choir.  THAT is his favorite class of the day!  He just loves to sing and learn new music.  In October the Choirs had their Fall choir concert.  Bryan did a great job and he especially loved dressing up in a tux and all.  He looked pretty sharp!

I will try and post of few photos of Bryan from XC and Choir.  This first photo is with Bryan after his XC meet at Aloha.  Steve Ryan, a good friend and Bryan's speech therapist came to watch him race.  It was a great day for that.  They hadn't seen each other since July. 
 Here is a photo of Bryan after his first Choir Concert.  He was one happy guy, that's for sure!

Friday, August 2, 2013

Sisters, Sisters

Sisters, Sisters, there were never such devoted Sisters.   Born in the midst of the Great Depression, Aunt Barb in 1931 and my Mom, Joan, in 1934.  Not only are they sisters, but best friends.  Growing up I  remember each summer spending a week at the Carlson home and one of my cousins would go to my house. We would spend a whole week at Aunt Barb and Uncle Ken's home and my cousin, who ever it was that went, would spend a week at our place with my Mom and Dad.  I always felt I could go to Aunt Barb and tell her anything I needed to say or if I needed help with something, just as I could my Mom.  I know if you were to ask my cousins, they would feel the same about my Mom, their Aunt Joanie.  Mom and Aunt Barb set an example for me on how to treat family, especially my own brother and sisters.  I have admired these two special ladies.  They are strong and have great faith.  They both have been through a great deal and yet they have a great sense of humor and are able to take all that has come there way and find the good in everything that could be wrong.   I love them and appreciate their example to me. 

Monday, July 1, 2013

Happy 20th Birthday to my littlest Angel

Bethany was supposed to be heading to Brazil today BUT, since she
would have had to travel on her own the Church decided to keep her in Pocatello for a complete transfer. (6 weeks).  I am TOTALLY okay with that!  I know she will do fine once she gets to Brazil, but there is something about having one of my children out of the country and farther away from me
.  Don’t get me wrong, I love that she is going to Brazil and I know she will do great, but I would be lying if I didn’t say how much I miss my baby girl.

It has been really nice for Bethany to spend time in Pocatello.  We know SO many people who are either from there or who live there now.  The Bangerters, good friends of ours who lived in our Ward for a LONG time, moved to Pocatello about 6 years ago.  Bethany is serving in their Ward!  That has been a tender mercy and Tracy and Bart have made sure to do extra special things for her, especially today, with it being Bethany’s birthday.  On Saturday evening they invited Bethany and her companions to their place.   Their whole family and their band were there  to wish Bethany a happy birthday.  Tracy made cupcakes and decorated for her and even bought her a little gift.  Truly a tender mercy.  Bethany will never forget this.  Nor will I.  True friends are great blessings.

I can’t believe Bethany is 20! I am so pleased with her and her decisions she is making in her life.  She is one of the younger missionaries serving.  She put her papers in last October, just 3 months after her 19th birthday and got her call in November.  Brazilian missions require visas so she had to wait 5 months to enter the MTC.  Her visa never came so she went to the Provo MTC for 6 weeks. By the time she does leave for Brazil she will have already been on her mission 3 months!  Crazy or what?!  She will have 15 months in Brazil.  It doesn’t sound like much time and I am sure she will wish, just as her sister and brothers did, that she could stay there a little longer. 

I am thankful for her this day, remembering 20 years ago at the hospital and giving birth to her.  Not knowing then, who she would become, just knowing how beautiful she was and how happy we were to have another little girl.  She has grown into a beautiful woman and one who can be looked to with respect because of the good choices she has made and continues to make.  Happy Birthday sugar!  I love you SO very much J



Thursday, June 27, 2013

Bethany's 20th Birthday Gift...She flies to Brazil!

Bethany's visa has arrived and she is heading to Brazil!  YAY!  I know she is super excited.  She will fly out on July 1st, her 20th birthday.  It will be a LONG day for her.  She leaves Pocatello Idaho via bus at 7am.  She then flies out of the Salt Lake with a direct flight to Atlanta Georgia.  She'll have a layover there for a few hours.  By the time her plane takes off and when she gets to Sao Paulo, Brazil it will be the morning of July 2nd.   She then will take a bus to Campinas and meet her mission President and his wife.  She will be one tired chicka :)

She had hoped to be able to go directly to Brazil from the beginning but I know she wouldn't have had it any other way now.  She loved her stay at the Provo MTC and the friends she made there.  Plus she was able to see her brother who works there and have lunch with him nearly every week.  In Idaho, she was able to see good friends and make many new friends.  It was a good experience for her.  I am glad she didn't stay too long.  She was worrying about losing the Portuguese she had gained while at the MTC.  Not too many people speak Portuguese in Idaho :)

I'm so proud of her and her decision to serve a mission.  It was by no means a easy decision, but, she did as she felt prompted and I admire her for it.  I do know she will be greatly blessed.  I also know that she will have many hard times as a missionary.  With all of it, she will grow in so many ways.  I hope and pray that her companions that she serves with all get along with her and she with them.  That is huge in missionary work! 

Bethany would often say as  "I can't wait for this.. it's going to be the best ever"  Well Bethany, aka Sister have waited and YOU are going to make it the BEST ever!  I love you SO much and am so proud of you.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Asics: The shoes that will make Bryan Fast!

School has been out a week now.  Bryan is doing pretty good so far, not too bored.  I know it must be so hard for him being the only child at home now.  Today he went and got new running shoes for cross country this Fall.  He is super excited.  We found a pair of Asics.  They are black with a bright blue color and lime green.  As he put the shoes on he said "these shoes are going to make me FAST!"  Practices for cross country begin next Monday, that will help keep him busy and give him something to do as well as time to associate with kids his age.

Here you go, the shoes that will make Bryan fly! 

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Bethany's first area: POCATELLO IDAHO, Where in Brazil is that? :)

So much has happened in this past year and yet I haven't been great at keeping a journal as well as I should.  Hence, the reason I started this blog nearly 6+ years ago.  My hope is to be better with it this year and years to come so that I might be better able to write about our family.

Bethany has been in the Provo MTC since April 24th 2013.  She is a full time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Sister missionaries serve for 18 months and Elders serve for 24 months.  Bethany is the 4th of our children to serve.  She was called in November to the Brazil Campinas Mission.  She was supposed to go to the Brazilian MTC, however her visa never came. 
I am glad in many ways.  First off, Sean works at the MTC and she was able to see him nearly everyday since she has been there.  Plus she has had lunch with him once a week.  That has made me feel good to know that she has this "inside" connection while she has been there.  She was supposed to leave for Brazil on Monday, June 3rd, had her visa come.  It didn't come.  SO, Instead of heading to Brazil  she is going to.....drum roll....POCATELLO, IDAHO!  I don't know how many Brazilians live in Idaho and I don't know how much chance she'll get to use the Portuguese she is learning, but she is being sent here for a reason.  She called and had 5 minutes to tell me yesterday, we both laughed when she said Pocatello. The great part is that good friends, the Bangerters live in Pokey.  Bethany is hoping to see them.  So until her visa arrives she will live in Spud Country

She has had a wonderful time in the MTC, the 6 weeks have flown, here are just a few of some of the pictures she sent over the 6 weeks she was there.  I know she has grown so much already and I know the next 16 and 1/2 months she will grow in SO many ways.  Yet,  I would be lying if I didn't say how much I miss her and how much harder it has been sending her off than it has been sending off Becky, Robbie or Sean.  I don't know if it's because she's 19 or if it's because she's my baby girl, but I miss her terribly.  I am so proud of her though.  I know how difficult coming to the decision to serve a mission was for her.  Many don't know what she had to go though to reach this point.  She amazes me.  I look at pictures of her and think, who is this amazing young woman that I get to call my daughter?  I am thankful to be her Mom. 

I love this photo of her.  She looks so happy and confident! 
This is her first companion.  Sister Loefke.  Sister Loefke is a "kindred spirit" to Bethany.  They have grown so close.
This photo she sent just this past week.  This is her District that is heading to Campinas (eventually) as well as Bela Horizonte.  Look at all of those Sister Missionaries!  So cool, normally there would not be so many Sisters, but with the age being lowered, there are tons more Sisters serving now.  As a matter of fact, the week before Bethany entered the MTC, Provo had more Sisters enter the MTC then Elders!
Here is the infamous map in the MTC.  Every missionary that goes to this MTC, stands here for a photo opt.  Bethany made sure to get this her first week in.  This was taken just after her District had gone to the Temple. 

"Thou she be little, she be fierce."  I see her standing among most of the Sisters and Elders and she looks so tiny.  Yet, I know, just as this quotes states, she is fierce!  Over the next year and half she will have a great impact on the lives of so many.  Those she teaches and those she serves with.  She will NEVER regret sacrificing 18 months of her time to give to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.  She will be PROFOUNDLY blessed!  :) 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

I feel as if I have been on a emotional rollercoaster for the last few weeks. Wes and I, along with Bryan drove to Logan Utah on the 10th of April. We had a wonderful time there visiting with our daughter Becky and her husband Jeff and our sweet grandson Ryan. Ryan was doing SO much better since he had tubes put in his ears. It was obvious he was trying to talk more and he didn't seem quite so frustrated. I'm so glad the surgery has gone well for him. We had a chance to visit with him on the 10th and again when we were making our way back to Oregon. We stayed with Becky and Jeff Saturday evening until we left on Monday morning. It was a good visit. I made sure to bring Ryan Trader Joe's cheese puffs, He knows that Gramma Whitnah brings these :) He sure loved them! The week went by fast, we headed to Salt Lake and then moved Bethany out of her place. She wrapped up two semesters at LDS Business. Thankfully this girl didn't have a ton of stuff and we were able to fit nearly all of the things in our van. We headed from there to Orem where we spent the night having dinner with family at a Brazilian-like restaurant. It was also my nephew Zac's birthday, so a good time to celebrate. after dinner we headed to Don and Shelly's house where we all sang happy birthday to Zac. . It was good to spend time with family and especially nice for Bethany to see her brother Sean who she wouldn't see for another 18 months. We had dinner on Friday at Texas road house with Bethany's friend Spencer. Here is a photo I took of the 2 of them later that night at the hotel we were staying in. The next day, Wes, Bethany and I attended a session at the Draper Temple. A Temple that Bethany had wanted to attend the whole time she had been in Utah. She loved it. It really is a beautiful Temple. Then we finished some last minute shopping for missionary clothes that Bethany would need, stopped at Deseret Book one more time and then headed up to Logan. We had a great, whirlwind trip. Bethany is now in the MTC. She left this past Wednesday. I KNOW she got hardly any sleep the night before. She was set apart as a missionary on April 21st, the same day she gave her farewell talk. Here are some pictures of after she was set apart. This last photo was taken EARLY in the morning at the Portland airport. There were several missionaries on Bethany's plane to Salt Lake. One young man we saw was also headed to Brazil. We remember meeting him in the Portland Temple in December.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Bethany Whitnah is going on a mission

In less that 26 days our daughter Bethany will head off to the MTC(Missionary Training Center) as she embarks on a 18 month mission to Campinas Brazil. She had not always planned or even wanted to serve a mission, BUT, in October of 2012, when General Conference was held and President Monson announced that the age for sister missionaries to serve was being lowered from 21 to 19, Bethany received a huge prompting to go. She fought it for the first week and half, but by the 21st of October, she phoned us to let us know of her intent. She was attending LDS Business school in Salt Lake City, Utah and had different plans up until this moment. To see the fire that was lit under her as she worked on getting her mission papers done and all her doctor visits taken care of as well as passport and the like, it was obvious to see that she was determined and her mind was set on what she needed to do. While she was home at Christmas we finished up last minute things to help get her visa processed for Brazil, she went through the Temple, and enjoyed having a nice Christmas her at home. The next Christmas she'll have here will be in December of 2014. Gee, that sounds like a long way off, yet I know her time serving will go fast!