Thursday, December 30, 2010

Spain Trip 2010

My parents had their 20 year mission reunion in September. Since being mission presidents in the Spain Las Palmas Mission, they've held reunions with their missionaries every fall in Utah. A few of their missionaries decided that for the 20th reunion they should do it in Spain. Jeremy and I were lucky enough to get to tag along. What an amazing trip--once in a lifetime.

My sweet mother-in-law was the only way we could take this trip. She flew down to stay with our kids. They had a great time and I'm so glad they got to spend that week with her.

This is the view from the mission home, the home that I lived in from ages 11-14.

The Parkers are a missionary couple that now live in the mission home. They were so nice to let us stay with them there in the former mission home. It hadn't changed much from my childhood memories. There's no longer a mission president in The Canary Islands. They belong to the Madrid mission now--so sad. There's only a few missionaries on all of the islands now, and there were around 150 when we lived there.

This is the same chapel that we went to when we lived there. This lady holding the baby was my best friend when I lived there. I went and stayed with her family for a week or so in the summer on another island as a little girl and we had the best time.

We went to 2 branches on Sunday and this is the Telde branch. Although there are a lot less people attending church than there were 20 years ago, I was amazed to see how faithful those members are who hold the whole branch together and run everything by themselves. Good people.

This man was a counselor to my dad and an amazing leader in the church. He had gone inactive years ago and my dad was determined to search him out. No one knew anything about him. Not the members or the missionaries. We drove around on our last night there looking for his apartment. My dad remembered where it was... which was a miracle. It was up on this hill with dozens of other buildings and all narrow one way roads. We almost gave up, but we found this family. It was such an incredible thing to see how much it touched them that he took the time to search them out. He had tears in his eyes and immediately recognized my dad. This was the best part of the trip for me.

We also found the first mission home that we lived in for the first year or so of the mission. Lots of memories...

The lady standing in the back is Sister Caceres. She and her husband and kids were the first family we really met when we arrived in Spain 20 years ago. They were so sweet to us and just took care of everything that we needed. We played with their kids and she helped my mom cook for the missionaries. My parents had heard that her husband had been in an accident and was paralyzed and that they had gone inactive over the years. Then they had recently heard that Sister Caceres had passed away. Anyway, we asked lots of people about them and there was a new address for them on the church records, but no one had seen or heard from them in years. One morning we wrote down the address and headed out to look for their family. We had hardly any trouble finding the place, and as we drove up to it there was a lady sitting out on the porch. My dad and I both said that it looked just like Sister Caceres. We were confused because we had all heard that she had passed away. Well.. we were misinformed. It was her. It was so great to see her after all these years.

This sand sculpture, although inappropriate, was so amazing. The detail in it was incredible.
This is "Triana" and it's just a little boardwalk where we used to go get chocolate croissants and walk around. Hadn't changed much.
Christopher Columbus' home on Gran Canaria

more mission home photos

We were driving through this small town and saw all these men and boys racing down a hill on whatever contraption they could come up with. It was really cute to see how the whole town was out watching and so excited about it.

After they did a temple session the missionaries went next door to the MTC where we had a testimony meeting and a reunion.

in front of the Madrid temple

Jeremy and I rented a car in Madrid because we wanted to drive out to Toledo, the first capital of Spain. We hadn't slept in about 24 hours and driving in Madrid is one of the craziest experiences of my life. We'll definitely go with taxis next time.

Toledo was amazing though...I wish we would have had more time there. The cathedral was absolutely enormous.

Such an amazing trip... I'm so glad we were able to make it happen.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

What I would look like without a dentist...

During this pregnancy I had 2 teeth break within a few months of each other. They're baby teeth that didn't have any permanent ones to grow in. They've been loose for about 20 years and just couldn't hold on any longer. Anyway, I had to get a photo for your viewing pleasure. My kids thought this was the best thing ever and wanted me to incorporate it into a Halloween costume. Jeremy called me "Honky Tonk".

Back to School

Riggs started kindergarten this fall and has done pretty well so far--other than his streak of visits to the nurse's office. One of the first weeks of school, I was in helping out in Jackson's class and was in the office making copies. All of the sudden, I heard a scream down the hall and knew right away that it was Riggs. He and his teacher came around the corner and the side of his head was covered in blood. He wouldn't let anyone near him to clean him up or even look at it. I had to bring out the bribery big guns to finally calm him down. It wasn't too deep of a cut but man did it bleed. I still don't really know what the real story is of what happened. I've heard several different versions from different kids, and I'm pretty sure that they were all doing something they shouldn't have been and can't quite get their stories straight. Since then, he's figured out that he can go to the nurse whenever he wants to get out of something... I wish it would've at least taken him till first grade to figure that out.

Jackson's first day of 2nd grade. I hate how fast he's growing up.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Summer 2010

Hamblin Reunion at Sherwood Forest

Cousin Swap

One of our families' very favorite things about summer--corn on the cob and tomato sandwiches--the watermelon's not bad either.
Fun with our neighbor's boys
Girls Camp

At the lake for FHE

Nana's Camp

Father's DayAt a park in Utah with Steve and Shauna's family

At Park City, we rode up on the ski lift to do the Alpine slides. Jackson and Riggs were on the chair in front of us with Uncle Steve and Dalton. All of the sudden, we see one of Riggs' shoes fall off his foot. While we're yelling at Riggs that he lost a shoe, Crew proceeded to take one of his shoes off and throw it. So we ended up with 2 kids with one shoe each. Nice.

This summer was completely packed from start to finish--not that we have a very long summer break here... only about 2 months. It started off with having a cousin swap with Kristen's kids. Jackson went to St. Johns and Charlie and Briton came to Queen Creek. Kristen and I used to do the same things in the summers when we were kids. We swapped back the next week at the Hamblin Reunion at Sherwood Forest, which is always a great time. The kids love being with all of their cousins that they don't get to see very often.
The next week I headed off to girls camp with my young women, which is always an amazing experience. I love going to girls camp. It's always a lot of work and very little sleep, but the quality time I have to spend with the girls is so great.
After that we packed up and headed to Utah. We got to stay at Uncle Steve's new house in Pleasant Grove and spend a day with him and his new wife Shauna and their kids before heading up to Idaho to "Nana's Camp". Jeremy's mom had all of her grandkids at their cabin for a few days, and she had such fun things planned for each day. They went on hikes, made bird houses and all kinds of crafts, played tons of games, went swimming, and had a blast being together. She's such a fun grandma.
After that we decided to go up to St. Johns for the 24th celebration and Jeremy's birthday. He wanted to kill a few prairie dogs, and since it was his birthday, I couldn't say no. Plus, I really wanted to see Kristen and her kiddos.
Whew... that just made me tired.