Week 44 and 45, Elder Jones

Week 44

Hey y’all!

The temp here was awesome this week. A little hot to be tracting in but we did it anyways. It was in the hundreds all week. At night it would be pitch black out and 85 degrees. It felt so good to be out there during that. Man am I glad I like the heat. It’s going to be tough to come back home to the cold.

Is Haley Dewey serving a mission? I was looking up names for Camas and Washougal on Mormon.org and she popped up and her bio said she is going to Bismark North Dakota. I had no idea. Good for her.

So we were having lunch after district meeting like we do every week and two missionaries had gone out to the parking lot to get something and they came back in saying there was a guy in the parking lot that was asking for me. It was really weird of them because they were saying something about Steve Jones and Kevin Jones and so I didn’t believe that there was anyone out there and though it was a joke. Finally they got me to go out there and I saw a Silverado and there was a lot of glare from the sun on the windshield but it looked like Steve Jones but I knew it couldn’t have been. Turns out it’s Dad’s Uncle Harry Jones. So my great uncle. Or uncle once removed. Whoever you want to call it. Apparently he caught wind that I was coming to the mission and heard that I ended up in Chico and has been kinda trying to track me down for a while. He knew I was in Citrus Heights last but he finally actually found me in Yuba City because he lives up in Loma Rica, which is not far from here. It’s in our zone or stake. So it was really cool to see him and I couldn’t believe it.  Especially since he took the time to find me. So he knows people in our ward and stuff. I gave him my number and hopefully we will do something soon. Then I found out yesterday that his son is Dad’s cousin and is married the daughter of the high priest group leader in my ward. On the 16th I am going over to their house and Harry will be there. After sacrament, I met your cousin, Ryan. I’m sure you saw the pictures in Facebook. They aren’t in my ward but were visiting.  But still, I’m related to some people in my ward.  

I loved the video y’all sent me for my birthday that I got this week of the girls and boys singing happy birthday. Thank you!

Cherries are blooming and we have raided so many cherry trees we have red fingers. I’ve had so many cherries I’m going to bulge.

So we had a ton of stuff scheduled for this week. Our week was pretty much full with things to do, a lot of them teaching appointments. We had a ton of lessons planned but, only two of them didn’t cancel. They are recent converts. Dang it. Yea, lots of potential investigators that we had planned to meet with.  Well, they aren’t going to get rid of me that easily.

Yesterday was cool. Last Sunday I told all the Priesthood that I would bring pass along cards the next day so they needed to start praying who to give it to. I brought them yesterday and half of the people asked for two cards. Yes! Then I gave a spontaneous lesson in Priest’s Quorum in missionary work and how the boys can be missionaries. I loved it. I’m glad teaching has become really easy for me now that I will randomly volunteer without people asking.

At someone else’s baptism this week, Elder Dean, my last zone leader, was there for his comp. I talked with him and he told me who to visit and gave me enough info in them that we might be able to get somewhere. So that’s good.

Transfers are tomorrow. Elder Gardner is staying as expected. We are able to get along pretty well.

I wish I could have been there for Hadley’s first temple trip. But, I give up some things like that to be out here. Congrats Hadley. Sounds like y’all had a good time and that it was very spiritual.

Anyways, that’s my week. We will keep working hard whether or not people listen.

Luva!

Week 45 -Stake Conference, Transfers and That’s About It

Hey y’all!

An friend of Kevin’s saw Corbin singing in the choir at Stake Conference. So cool!

Dad, I loved that little email about Royce and fasting. Thanks Royce!

I need it!

Wow, so I really don’t have much to talk about this week. Transfers were good. It’s awesome to have Elder Haddock in my district again.  Now p-days might not be so boring for me. But the zone is a whole lot different because half the people in the zone left. We have a new zone leader. The one that left was so awesome. But the knew that came in………not so much.  But I’ll support them because I should. 

We had a lot of appointments set up again this week.  Same thing happened, the people wouldn’t answer or said to come back another time etc. So lots and lots of that.  We did have a little success. I guess. The little success we had is short term. We knocked on a less actives door and got in and at first he was very hostile towards us but when Gardner and him started talking about video games he became very comfortable and opened up and it went great from then on out. Everything before that was not going very well because if a lot of reasons but that changed things and his son is not a member and so we picked up a new investigator from it. But, they are moving soon. Of course. The other thing that happened is that this guy that we have been knocking on his door for he entire time I’ve been here, finally opened his door last week and said that his Spanish was better than English. He had been avoiding us for a while but we got that info and sent his investigator records over to the Spanish sisters. They stopped by a few nights ago and of course (because why would anything good happen to us) they had a great lesson with him and it went really well and they are teaching him. I’m glad that he is investigating but man, can’t we get a little bit of success?

Saturday was crazy. We went to an appointment that cancelled on us then went to a baptism. The sisters and another set of elders were hungry and wanted to eat some food somewhere so we drove them to Costa Vida because they are on bikes and elders and sisters can’t eat together just them(double dates). So we were their chaperones. We weren’t going to get anything encaustic we spent too much money on food last month. So they get their food. Then a worker came up and said that we needed to get in line because someone was going to pay for our lunch. That was an awesome blessing. So we got a nice big Costa Vida lunch. Then our dinner appointment changed our dinner to a lunch so about a half hour later we went to In-N-Out, and I stuffed myself even more. I was about to pop. Then we went to the Chilson’s and he wanted to get us drinks and my body wouldn’t handle that, but I had to, so I did. I skipped three meals straight because I didn’t want dinner and fast Sunday was the next day. I was going to just start my fast before dinner but the elders at the Yuba mansion had ice cream. Great. I felt so fat that day.

So a member that we love is starting up a business for archery tag. I remember seeing a cool Devin Supertramp video or something similar on it. It’s basso ally mixing paintball and dodgeball together but using bows and arrows.  He is bringing it to the stake center for us to play today. I’m so excited. It’ll be great.

Stake conference was this week. Sister Marston gave the most amazing talk in the adult session. My favorite quote: “If 18-21 year old boys and girls can talk to complete strangers about the gospel, how much easier should it be for members with much more experience to talk to their friends about the gospel.” That was awesome and I have used it since then. I got to sing in the stake choir so that was cool as well.

Well, thats about it for my week. Luva!

Week 43 – Elder Jones

Hey y’all!

Great blog as usual.  What was that escape room thing? It seems super cool. Is it just a maze or a VR thing?  I really liked that picture of the YSA because I actually know some of the people.   Is Mica pregnant? Her stomach looks disproportionate from the rest of her body.

Riding around the Buttes was awesome. A 40 miles bike ride. Not too many hills. Mostly flat. But we always had the buttes in sight. There was one persons bike that was horrible so we all took turns riding it five miles. It was horrible when I was on it the two times. Whenever I got back on my bike, I felt like I was riding on air. Surprisingly I wasn’t very tired the whole time. I wasn’t tired afterwards either. I wanted to play sports at the church after. I felt normal and I wasn’t sore at all from then on. Even he next day I was fine. Blessings. But it was a blast. 

So I just found out about fidget spinners this week. Apparently it’s been a thing for a little bit now but I just found out about them. Then, I actually got one for my birthday. They are way too entertaining. I couldn’t go to bed the night I got it cause I was so distracted by it. I couldn’t stop spinning it. Now half the zone has one. And everyone is always spinning them.

Zone conference was awesome. President Marston doesn’t have time to spare so he did half mission zone conferences. Which means I got to see half of the people I know. All my past comps were there, including my MTC comp, but Nielsen wasn’t there. So many people I haven’t seen in forever were there. It was also in Chico. It was weird. It was like I kinda got off my mission and returned home. I recognized every place I crashed, knocked, got shut down. All the peoples houses. It was like I got to visit home for a day. The. We went to the Salsi’s for dinner (a member in my Chico ward) with Elder Duseigneur. Then we stopped by Kayla for a few minutes then we went to see Grandma in Paradise. It was an awesome day with being able to see so many people I love.

Thank you for the gifts! The cereal worked out perfectly because I had finished a box of cereal the day before and hadn’t opened another one yet. So that worked out well. It was great to have “Daddy cereal” on my birthday. Normally I would ask for honey bunches of oats for my birthday but I have that every day now. So I’m glad I got another kind. Thank you! And thank you for the watch. I’ve missed it because that watch is awesome. And it even has the same band as before. Now I can wear it and love it. Thank you for taking the time to get that for me. And of course the fruit snacks. I love fruit snacks. Hehehe. I ate them too quickly.

On Saturday we went to the town of Robbins. The sign said it has a population of 100 but I think it’s grown a little and has about 200 people. Anyways, we tracked half of the town in one afternoon. It was crazy. We almost got killed by a dog. We knocked on a door and a lady opened it and after she said hi, this massive German shepherd bolted through the door and she caught it by the collar with one finger. She was almost falling over and I have no idea how she held on. But this thing was snapping at us and was being held back by the owner but it was inches away from us and we couldn’t do anything. It was all in he lady’s hands. If the let go, we would have been eaten. But somehow she held on with one finger and we lived. The thing tried to kill us. The craziest part is that both Elder Gardner and I were completely calm. We should not have been. We both knew how much danger we were in, but we were calm for some reason.  But somehow we didn’t get attacked and she got the door closed and we left.

So someone broke into our car. It was car fast in my birthday so we didn’t use the car at all. We walked everywhere. But the car was sitting there all day and when we got in it the next day I noticed a ton of things were missing. Gardner smelled cigarettes. So someone broke in and stole stuff. I have no idea how because it was locked. The weird part is that none of Elder Gardner’s stuff got stolen. For some reason the only things that were missing were mine. It put me in a little bit of a bad mood. But oh well. Nothing that expensive was stolen.

So that’s most of my week. I have so many pictures I won’t be able to send the. All. I also have a lot of videos. I’ll get them, to you when I have better connection though.

Luva!

Forest Rump, Lampshades, Mommy Fails, Mother’s Day, Kevin Has Hair and Tess’ Party, Josiah is Here!!!

The main reason I write this not so perfect blog is for our family, we share it because people have asked us to.  Kevin decided to do a video version and I love to see his talents and the kids:

THINGS THAT DIDN’T WORK:

Tess saying “We should watch ‘What About Bob’ or ‘Forrest Rump’ or whatever it’s called….”

Worrying about if people would be offended by Dixon’s glove picture when he accidentally was giving the bird.  Tess reassured me by saying “People will understand, it’s you Mom.”  I didn’t take that as a compliment….

Bryson reenacting how I used to and still do freak out about the kids hitting my lampshades with their hands or moving objects.  Whenever the boys would stretch out their long arms and hit the lampshades it would break the shade off the metal part.  I was so thankful to get decent lamps from my Mom that I was VERY protective of them.  Watching him explain that he can’t even stretch in a chair in any house without hearing my voice in his head, made me realize that I went to far with it.  I’m sure there is a long list of things they will report that they are scarred from.  😦

Tessa’s first week of work (it actually worked, but there were a few experiences that were hilarious).  One was a take-out bag labeled “White Mitsubishi”.  Tess has never cared about cars and doesn’t really know what all the different types are.  She now has to figure out what the bag says (it’s scribbled and abbreviated and has a line through it), plus get it out there quickly.  She misread the bag and thought they were playing a racist joke on her about Asians.  When she tells the story she is traumatized by it, but we can’t stop laughing.  This week has gone a lot better for her.  Her ice cream cones are even getting straighter.  😉 

Mommy Fail on Mother’s Day!  Dixon walked out of Sacrament Meeting and went up to another mom and told her about her son’s behavior in class.  He thought he was helping, but he definitely wasn’t.  We had a big talk after church about what he did.  He’s six and still trying figure out how to socially handle classroom situations.  I don’t think telling another parent, from a six years old point of view, was the best way (the other Mom surely didn’t think it was).

Dixon explaining how amazing and cool he thought it was that my fat roll goes all the way around my back.  He was sitting on my lap at church and noticed it.  Oh, the honesty of a young child.  He made me laugh pretty hard and Kevin couldn’t hold it in either.  Must be why he thinks he can bluntly tell other adults what he thinks.  I’m sure he’ll be out of this stage soon enough.

Cleaning up the huge piles of Legos because the sun finally came out and I wanted them to play outside.  Dixon was so sad he cried and moaned on the ground.  It probably was the part were I was breaking apart all his creations and he kept saying how he has to build them again.

Hadley contracting Poison Oak.  

Going to an “Escape Room” with some friends.  I didn’t want to go, but I knew Kevin did.  I kinda feel like my life is already full of trying to “escape” situations all the time.  So why would I pay to go have this feeling?  I was wrong!  It was a blast.  So worth the money (if you get the Groupon price).  Just the right balance of everything.  

 

THINGS THAT WORKED:

Ordering Hadley caterpillars for her birthday.  They went through metamorphosis.  We got to watch them hatch and let the butterflies go today.  The kids loved it.  We did this when the older kids were little but had to have a second round.  *Check out some of Kevin’s footage for the Chrysalis birth.  So cool!

Isn’t he so cute?! 🙂

 

Kevin growing his hair back out.  This is working for us but freaking other people out.  The comments have been hilarious.  “Did you color your hair or something?”, “What’s going on up there?”, “Weird, just too weird.”, “You look so much younger.”, “I thought you were bald because you had no choice.” “Wow, I just can’t stop staring at you.”, “What, Kevin has hair?”.  Tessa’s was super funny:  “It’s like the cool Dad I always wanted.”  I think it’s more shocking to people here, because Kevin started shaving his head right before we moved here.  They have never seen or considered him with hair.  

Kevin, Bryson, Hadley and Royce getting to play Ultimate Frisbee on Saturday mornings with a great group of people.  They had so much fun!

Taking advantage of my beautiful swing at the top of the yard.  After my run, I jog up there and get to look out over our land and the valley.  It’s so peaceful and the birds are happy as can be.

Well attended Young Single Adult World Wide Devotional at the Richardson’s home.  We provided dinner and dessert.  We were so happy that a large group showed up.  Kevin and I love the YSA!  

Fun End of the Year CC Challenge B party.  The family that hosted lives on an grass airstrip as their backyard. Their plane sits right out there and they just fly out when they need to.  The party was great and the weather was perfect.  The kids had fun playing Ultimate too.

River days.  🙂  

Kevin and I squeezing in the temple Saturday morning, then getting to go to a great YSA meeting.  In between those to wonderful things we heard about David’s brother dying.  We cried and hurt so much for Addy and David.  As a Mom, I really want to protect them from hard things, but alas, that is not what always happens.  With Kevin having lost two of his brothers, it really hit home for us.  We then headed out to a Mother’s Day lunch with the extended family at Skamania Lodge.  The food was fabulous and we had a lot of laughs.  Love my family!  

Tess’ 16th birthday party.  We did “The Great Cooking Race”.  We had five different appetizers to be made by five teams.  The kids were so creative and the food was really good!  They were rated on a lot of things, like teamwork, presentation of the food, taste etc.  It was super fun with all those awesome youth.  

GETTING TO TALK TO ELDER CORBIN JONES ON MOTHER’S DAY!  For all the fails of the day, there were so many amazing moments.  I guess that sums up motherhood for me.  Corbin was so beautiful to me.  He’s grown up tremendously and I just kept touching his face.  When we hung up I really didn’t like saying goodbye again, so I had a little ugly cry.  Then promptly moved on the making sure dinner was working as the missionaries were about to show up.  The kids and Kevin did so many cute things for me all day.  Bryson and Hadley even sang one of my favorite songs.  It felt good to get to talk to Addisen and David for awhile too.  Love Kevin and my kiddies sooooo much!  

Josiah arriving for the summer!  He’s one of Bryson’s friends from Alabama, but we claim him too.  He’s here to work with Bryson and enjoy the wonderful summer weather.  Love having him here.  🙂  

Getting to go to the temple alone this week.  The temple is the best reset for me.  Friday was so beautiful!  There were a couple families taking pictures after their Sealings in the temple.  I ran in to a friend there that I run into often at the temple, she always brightens my day.  We happen to be on the same schedule a lot. 

Going to “Dozer Days”.  It was fun to see everything and thankfully it wasn’t hot.  The sad part was the hour and a half wait to get to use the Dozers (Just Royce and Dixon, they had a different area for 12 year olds and up).  We didn’t have that much time.  😦 

Our wonderful Mica coming to teach our girls some make-up tips (since I am not talented in this arena).  It was so wonderful to have her over and she was fabulous with the girls (and the two boys for their charcoal masks).

I can’t get over the view of the valley on a beautiful day.

Hammock fun with a wonderful breeze.  What better way to rest on the Sabbath?  🙂 

Spontaneously climbing Beacon Rock after dinner one night.  It was perfect and beautiful.  I love the Columbia River Gorge!  

 

 

Week 41 and 42- Elder Jones

Sick, Workout and Road Tripping – Week 41

Hey y’all!  Yeah the Elder from the MTC came out. He’s in the auburn zone.  So once again(Third Ward and still the same) I have 9:00 church. So we get done around twelve. We don’t have ward council afterwards, it’s before, so we will probably eat lunch then go to a McBeers house with wifi because ours is terrible.  Anywhere probably between 12:30 and 1:30? That’s my best guess for a good time we can talk. But I’ll just text Dad and let him know where I’m at time-wise.  

Such an amazing blog. It’s kinda sad for me to see everyone grow up without me. I knew my life was fun back home. But now I realize how fun it was. I can’t wait to get back and have that again with y’all. But I’m having a blast out here and love it. I’m enjoying it a lot and two years will be the perfect amount before I’m ready to be done.

I liked the Studio C reference in that letter to Royce. Oh Mormons.  Loved Gerald the duck. We have the same thing here except it’s a cat. We call it Ninja because it’s black. I don’t like cats and it tried to run in the house to I try to be kinda mean to it so it won’t like me and won’t come in the house. But no matter how many times I push it around it still likes me. It’s horrible.

I know how ya feel about running mom. I had only worked out once since I got here so this week I started working out.  Our ward feeds us so well, and we get so much free food and so many things, I am starting to find little fat rolls. It’s actually kinda scaring me. I’m not anorexic or anything, in fact, I can’t control my appetite and what I eat. But I started a new work out and started getting healthier food because I’ve always been super skinny and now I’m starting not to be.  I need to not have stomach fat. So I am doing all I can. My new work out is 100 pull ups (two different kinds, 50 of each) and 100 push ups (50 of each kind) it’s killer. I want to die by the end of it.  But my arms will finally get big and I’ll lose some stomach fat along with eating better. Sometimes I do it twice a day if I have time.

I like how Tessa got to drive to Chick-fil-a. Is that now a tradition?  I also see she has taken over my perch. Well, it looks like I’m finally going to have to let my perch go😢. At least until I get home😈.  What job did she get again?

I loved that picture of Dad and Royce on that tree at conference.  Did y’all officially really get Pursuing Happiness running? Could y’all send me some of the stuff that y’all have on there?

Elder Goodman last p-day made me do this cross fit workout because he’s into that stuff. I did it because p-days here are lame so most of the day we do nothing. But I did the 100 reps and I hurt for days. I could hardly walk across the street. This lasted three days. The worst part is that I went in exchanges the next day. Into a biking area. That was horrible because I could hardly use my legs and we biked a lot. But that exchange was fun. We rode all over the place and it was fun to be on a bike again. I had to use Elder Young’s bike and it was the weirdest feeling bike ever. I could hardly tun on it because the balance was so off. But the exchanges were fun. It was nice outside. High 90’s. It felt good though. Too much sitting in a freezing apartment and it’s always so cold outside on a bike lately. So it was great. It was in the 90’s all week. Still is around that. It’s so great to drive with the windows down again. Haven’t done that in 9 months. 

This one is called the “Lewis and Clarke” because it looks like the
highway signs in Washougal (on purpose of course) 🙂

Ya know, that’s really all I have to say about this week. Because on Wednesday Elder Gardner got super sick. So we stayed at home for four days straight and I went insane. I spent one day listening to Christmas music and drawing random things. On Thursday I literally spent the entire day trying to find out if there was a way to improve the wifi(We use Xfinity from a member and the connection here sucks)  This included turning the wifi on and off a hundred times, watching some random videos to see how well they would play (I got kinda distracted in that one, you’ll see the pictures), while walking around the house and sitting in corners and random places like that to see what spot has the best connection. Things like that. That’s literally what I did all day. I got so bored. I don’t even remember Friday. I think I did a workout at some point and looked at some names on area book and stuff. I don’t really remember. I think my mind just kinda shut down by that point. On Saturday Gardner was better.   We got out and did some service and then we tried contacting this part member family atthe bottom of our area. Almost out of the mission. They weren’t home (we had tried calling and stuff so this was a last resort) so our hour or so drive was in vain. So we took the long way home along the Sac river and got up real close with the Sutter Buttes. It was a really fun road trip.

So that was my whole week. I’ll send the  pictures in a different email when I get connection later when I get to the mansion.

Luva!

Success, tracting and getting chased by a dog- Week 42

Hey y’all!

So I had to wipe my iPad and put it all back on itself again and when I restored it, it got rid of my drafts. I actually had a lot down. At least twice as much this week as I normally do. Looks like I’ll have to sum up.

Yeah, I realized I hadn’t sent you a picture of my comp. I’ll try to get ahold of one. In the panda picture that’s Elder Young next to me. Elder Gardner is across from me.  

I won’t have much time to do touch ups on this email either because we are biking around the Sutter Buttes today. It’s about 40 miles. This will be a lot of fun but I’m going to be dead after it. So I hope I am able to get you pictures.

Our work finally took off again. We taught two lessons (first two in this area) on Wednesday on exchanges and picked up a new investigator.  It’s a family that loves family in another mission. There’s a lot of potential there. Exchanges were great. So fun. I was with the trainer of my last comp so we swapped stories of Elder Nielsen and had a blast. I got to drive all day so that was great.

On Thursday I found something interesting. I like tracting. This is weird because when I was trained I hated it because my trainer made it so every door I had to do something different and there’s not much more to do after the fifth door. But now that I know how to talk really well, it’s not a problem. But I like it and we got another new investigators and taught a lesson from the tracting. He should be at the church for p-day.

My grammar should be really bad in this email because I wiped my iPad a few days ago so auto correct isn’t used to me or mission slang. Could I get the Darby’s email please? They sent me a birthday card and I’d like to write them back. So you said to open the Amazon package on Thursday or the other package that came from you?

Of course, I got chased by another dog while tracting. There’s this cool little miniseries on LDS.org that is called two brothers two and in several of the episodes it goes through some of their missions and gives a really good perspective on what missions are actually like. It shows how you come to love the people and stuff like that. It’s cool.

K, I have to get ready. We are leaving as soon as we can for the bike ride.

Luva!

Week 40 – Elder Jones

Fat, Ping Pong and Work

Hey y’all.

I loved the winning catch from Hadley. I love ultimate. When Elder Clarke and I would play in the same team we are unstoppable. This zone is going to be hard to get to play it.

Does Tessa not have access to photoshare? No wifi I’m guessing? I’m glad she almost only crashed once. Haha. And who was her first date with?

I think one of the coolest things from this week is something I heard. You know that Elder that I really liked in the MTC and he was supposed to come out a few months ago? He didn’t make it out because to his papers were not making it through very well.  He emailed us last pday and told us he is coming out tomorrow! I’m so happy for him! I hope he comes up here and is in my zone. Pres. Marston actually called me about him and asked about how he got along with people from out MTC district. I talked to him about him and stuff. He was trying to find out where to put him. So I’m excited for that. Funny thing, kinda unrelated, but the first thing he asked was how the work in my area is going and I told him good. Then he asked if I was cleaning up the area book.  I told him that I had pretty much already gone through and cleaned up most of it. He knows that I do well with that. I’ll send you a picture of what the area book was like before and and after I got here. The spots where it says “doing nothing” are where he drives us home and goes and does nothing. But it’s a major change.

So our ward feeds us way too well. We get the best of the best here when it comes to food. I think everyone try’s to outdo each other. Sometimes they even ask what someone else has made for us. On Sunday and Monday last week we had Tri Tip and mashed potatoes from different members. Then on Thursday we had Tri Tip and mashed potatoes again, but with chicken and Tilapia and bacon wrapped asparagus. Then we had BBQ ribs on Saturday, every night is just so good. Those are just some of the best ones. And there is always an amazing dessert. I’m so fat now. And no biking to work it off. Luckily we play soccer twice a week with members in the morning for work out. I’m getting pretty good at soccer.

So we set up everything the we did with my last ward mission leader, but in this ward.  We have some new things now so we are doing those as well. We are doing a ton of things that all pull together so perfectly and the work is going to take off. One of the key things is that we are putting our faith to the test and getting the whole ward to pray to have a baptism by May 27. We are going to work super hard and do all we can and lead the rest to the Lord. So could y’all please join in and pray for our ward to have a convert baptism by that date please? And anyone and everyone that is reading this, please, pray for that? I know that if we have enough faith and enough hard work and prayers that we can have that goal by that date, even though it’s super soon. 

They got rid of zone meetings completely. I think they’ll pretty much just do it at Zone Conference.

I loved that quote that Dad posted last week in his weekly email about how if we something isn’t working, ask God if we should do it differently. I have been trying to come up with different ways to do things. I liked that so much that I posted it on my quote wall.

There are a million super nice cars here. So many of these nice cars with a ton of work done on them all over the place.

Back in C-Hieghts I was able to get one of those ping pong sets that turn any table into a ping pong table. The net is retractable and hooks onto any table in a few seconds and it works so good. So I pushed our table up against the wall and put a mirror on the wall so it made it look like the table is twice as long. And I play ping pong……against myself. It actually works because I know where I need to hit the ball cause I can see where the table would extend. The only problem is that I also have to return it to myself. So I’m learning how to play at double speed. I’ve learned how to go so fast. So by the time I get back, I should be able to still be pretty good still.

So Saturday night was prom. We were driving and we saw someone in a truck next to us and I looked and realized they were going to prom. So I pointed it out to Elder Gardner. Then it hit me. We are in California. I realized they probably though Elder Gardner and I were going to prom with each other. So I stuck my name tag against the window. Not even kidding. Then we walked into a gas station and there were more people going to prom. So I made my tag as prominent as possible. 

Elder Gardner and I have worked harder this week than even we did last week. He’s coming along a lot easier and allowing us to work for longer now. It’s been two weeks and I still haven’t taught a lesson yet. All we do all day is contact. Pretty soon we will have contacted all the names in the areabook. The only thing is is that we have gotten nothing from it. So this sucks. I’m working harder than I have in my entire mission and nothing is happening at all. I’ve had dry seasons but nothing like this. Especially when I’m pushing through so much and working harder. I still haven’t taught a lesson the entire time I’ve been here. Could y’all please pray for us to start seeing just a few results please? We have found a few people that we may see some stuff happen with. But it’s hard getting things set up.

Besides that, I have been loving it here. A lot. So glad I came here. I love this place. Small city. Maybe the size of Camas. Just a lot flatter. And there’s a city across the river. Even smaller than this. You can look it up on google. But you probably already have.

It reached the 90’s this week. But I didn’t notice because I was in a car. So it was a hard week but I’m loving it here. The missionaries and members are all great.

Luva!

ADDISEN is Going to Have a BABY! Utah Trip, Hadley, Bryson and Tessa’s Birthdays!!! Bryson’s Home, Driving, Soap!

OUR FAMILY!!!  🙂 *Minus Dixon…. Whoops, I forgot he wasn’t in this picture.  He wasn’t old enough for General conference. 🙂  Obviously, Corbin on his mission too.  🙂

Oh my goodness, it’s been six weeks since I posted! So much has happened!  I finally gave up on trying to keep track of what we were doing because we were running around too much.  Kids in sports kill my time.  I LOVE watching them play though!  Sports end Monday and Tess has her license, so things are looking good.  🙂  After writing this, I am realizing just how much we did in the last six weeks.  No wonder I tell Kevin every night that I didn’t seem to get anything done that I planned on.  I usually follow that comment with explaining everything I plan on getting done the next day.  🙂   Seven hours later, this blog post is done!

THINGS THAT DIDN’T WORK:

Merritt starting to get migraines.  Most of our kids get them while they are teenagers and then outgrow them.  It’s so sad to have them hit at the weirdest times.  😦

Reading a cute Winnie the Pooh book (the real story) and Tess commenting that the standing up bear looked naked.  Royce then said to her “Tessa, you see everything naked.”  Hmmmm, not sure if this is good…..

Royce:  “Mom, what is a proglue and epiglue?”  I was thinking he was asking about something to do with Pinewood Derby.  Me:  “I don’t know, we’ll look it up.”  RJ:  “I see it in the beginning and end of my books.”  Ha, ha, epilogue and prologue.  So glad he asked.  🙂

Dixon calling our “Harry Potter Closet”, “The Hairy Potty Closet”.  He was clueless, while we laughed so hard.

Bryson getting to go to Auburn, Alabama to visit friends.  While he was there he and his friends were riding in the back of a truck (which is legal in Alabama) while an accident occurred.  We don’t know how the three of them, in the open bed of the truck were ok and not thrown.  We are soooo thankful everyone is ok.  Bryson did such a good job texting us first, saying everything was ok, but an accident had happened.  Then he said he’d call as soon as he had a chance.  We sent our thankful prayers right up and waited for the call.

Getting released from our callings!  In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, we have different “callings” at different times.  Everyone rotates around and serves in different capacities for a bit (without getting paid).  Sometimes I am excited to move on and feel it coming.  This time, Kevin and I were teaching Institute and NEVER wanted it to end.  We LOVED working with the Young Single Adults each week.  The Spirit was so strong and we learned so much from the lessons and the students.  None the less, we were called to be Stake YSA Advisors.  Which also released us from our Ward Missionary and Ward YSA Advisors callings.  That’s a huge change for our schedules and hearts.  Thankfully, we still get to work with the YSA, but it’s on a more administration level (working with the adults), not hands on with the YSA as much.  😦  I might have even been mad and cried and mourned for a couple weeks.  Thankfully, the wonderful Richardsons are teaching, so the YSA are in great hands.

Dixon showing me a trick with his gloves.  He had no idea.  I couldn’t stop laughing….  Sorry if this offends you…. 😉

Running again!  I took my first six month break in 15 years (minus three weeks after my babies were born).  I was injured and really had to stop.  Surprisingly, I loved it.  I didn’t miss running at all!  I have never really liked running as I prefer to play soccer or basketball (but I don’t have time for that).  The deep, dark rainy Winter embraced my lack of exercise.  But, Spring has sprung and this big ol’body needed to get moving again.  IT HAS BEEN HORRIBLE!  Four weeks later, I can make it two miles and I’m not dying anymore.  Sorry for admitting how bad it is, but maybe it’ll give someone hope that they too can get back out there.  I’m now looking forward to it four times a week.  I’ll slowly add more mileage to it, but I’m not in a rush.  The river is soooo beautiful to run along.

Hadley developing a sassy mouth.  I tried everything for weeks, but had to finally resort to the dreaded soap!  It seems to have worked….  

The Holocaust Museum.

Expecting Kevin home after a long couple of weeks (Utah trip, etc).  We were both so excited for Thursday night when he would get home for a great weekend.  He ended up getting stuck in Washington DC UNTIL SUNDAY morning!!!!  A three day storm had caused a back up in flights.  We were so sad, but survived.  Misplaced expectations can cause sadness.  We flipped our attitudes around and Kevin enjoyed visiting great places in DC and I can’t even remember my weekend, but I’m sure it was great….. 😉

My teenage girls using my good lipstick.  At first, it was cute, then it was bothersome, then I went back to it being special, realizing that I will miss it in a five years.  That would just about sum up my thought process in life right now…… 😉

Tess deciding to not attend Mormon Prom because it was two days before her 16th birthday.  You’re supposed to be 16, but the Stake Leaders said she could go.  It was a really tough, long, thought out decision on her part.  In the end, she felt she should not go.  Melanie Kessinger gave her this wonderful jar on the night of the dance.  So sweet and thoughtful.  It made Tess’ night.  Thankfully, she had a party to go to that night.  🙂

Having to retrain Dixon to look both ways before crossing in parking lots. I think we have all been carrying him or walking right with him because he is the youngest, so he doesn’t remember learning it when he was little.  He is now confidently taking off ahead of us and not looking.  We’re working on it…..

Gerald the Duck!  Gerald started showing up in our pond.  He was cute at first.  Then Gerald started perching on our deck.  Still neat for the kids, even though Gerald was acting more like a dog at this point.  Then Gerald started showing up at 6:00 am ON MY DECK outside MY WINDOW.  Ok, still kinda of cute….  UNTIL…. he started pecking on the window and wanted to come in.  Gerald might get shot….  Luckily Gerald has good intuition and stopped showing up.  The kids were worried I was serious and made a sign for me.  🙂

 

THINGS THAT WORKED:

Get it? Small Frey?

ADDISEN AND DAVID ARE HAVING A BABY!!!  We are so happy for them!  I may have hyperventilated at the thought of being “GRANDMA”, but we are super excited for them!  They were so cute as they told us all about it over the phone in March.  They sent a package through a friend that had a tiny hat and mittens in it.  So cute!!!  When I read the words “GRANDPARENTS” I freaked a little, but then they were just so cute.  Addy was pretty sick for the first trimester, but is feeling a lot better now.  She is 16 weeks and baby is the size of an avocado.  This has brought so many new feelings.  Congratulations Addy and David!  

Pinewood Derby!  Royce had so much fun making his car with his Dad and racing it.  Our ward does a fantastic job making it a fun night.

Royce carving soap to pass off a requirement.

Tess starting track, then switching to tennis a week later.  She started on C Team, but challenged her way up to First JV Doubles.  It was so fun to watch her play!  I’m sad to see it end.

Watching Tess play!

Merritt starting track.  She ran the 100 meter Hurdles, 4×100 m Relay and Long Jump.  She had some long, cold, rainy meets, but endured it well.  Loved getting to watch her run.  🙂

Tess, Merritt and Hadley working to make money for Girl’s Camp.  Our ward has people sign up for jobs the girls can do.  It was a bit crazy driving them around for weeks to each job and picking them up, but they earned all their money (with some extra babysitting jobs on the side).  I’m so thankful for all the great people that let them work for them and paid them generously.

Getting to see “Beauty and the Beast” and then going to dinner at the Grant House with Nana and Boppa.  We LOVED the movie, dinner and my parents.  🙂

Younger kids on a horse kick (this was actually last month, now they are onto butterflies).  It all started with a horse gift my Mom gave them.  Then the books, movies and videos.  Hadley topped it off with riding horses this week.  It’s been so fun to learn little details about horses.  We are dreaming of having a one some day.

Tess passing her drivers license test!  She got to take it a couple weeks before she turned 16.

It was pretty scary.  The guys who administer the tests are all ex-cops.  Tess said she got the scariest, meanest “The Rock” type guy.  It was pretty intense.  When she came back in from the test, she fell into my arms and started crying as she said she passed.  I was so confused.  None the less, Tess turned 16 on April 23rd and we have a teenage driver again!  I’M SO HAPPY AND THANKFUL!  Great job Tess!!!  She said she kept giggling as she drove down the road for the first time alone.  She is loving it.  🙂  A friend brought her balloons, chocolate milk and donuts to Seminary.  So cute!  Another friend made her gluten-free cupcakes that were delicious and beautiful!

Hadley turning 12 on April 13th!  Our wonderful Hadley can’t be in Young Women’s!  She warms our heart with her smile and is such a wonderful, beautiful, mischievous girl.  We’re so thankful she is our little girl.  We had a fun Hadley Day to celebrate her wonderful life.

Bryson turning 22 on April 14th!!!  Yes, Spring is the time for Jones birthdays.  Three birthdays in a week and a half.  Here is what I wrote to Bryson on his birthday “My Bubba Boy will always be my first in so many ways! First to make me a Mom, first boy, first to drive me crazy, first to make my Momma’s heart melt, first to laugh so hard and find the joy that only children can create in your life. Some of my fondest memories in this life come from this fabulous son of mine. Happy 22nd birthday Bryson Jones!!! You’ve had my heart from the first moment I knew I was pregnant. You still have it and you know it! Thank you for the many years of love, memories, fun and craziness. I’m sure this summer will go down in the books with Josiah Scott as your partner in crime. I love who you’ve become and I’m so proud of you! “I love you forever, I’ll like you for always, as long as I’m living my baby you’ll be.” 

Cutest letter to Royce from a good friend.

Our fabulous trip to Utah for General Conference!  We got to visit Addisen and David in Rexburg, Idaho. Swimming at the hotel was blast too!  I actually got to read a book while they swam!!!   We toured BYU-I and got to see their cute apartment.  They will head to BYU-Provo in August for David’s work on his Doctorate in Psychology.  Then we headed to Utah.  The five kids and I drove there and back without Kevin.  He flew into Salt Lake to meet up with us.  Staying at the Cheney’s was a blast!  Still not enough time with my Pam, but will it ever be enough?  😉  They were so good to us and we are soooo thankful!  We got to watch General Conference with them during the morning sessions and then we attended the real Conference https://www.lds.org/general-conference?lang=eng .  It was so fun!  Lots of beautiful people everywhere.  It happen to be sunny.  We ran into the wonderful Jones family from our Washougal River Ward.  Which made for lots of Jones in one place.  🙂 So fun!  We spent Sunday visiting Kevin’s family.  Dixon was working his magic as he tried to talk them into giving him one of their drones, so it could pull his loose tooth out.  He was successful!  🙂  Yummy stroganoff dinner and great dog tricks were to be had.  On Monday, we got to visit Bryson in Provo.  It was so fun to see BYU’s campus and where Bryson lived.  Bryson joined us through out our entire trip.  It was so fun to have him with us so much.  Driving home went really well and the kids were great!  We love trips, but we also love getting home to our beds, my Hawaiian shower and sleep!  The fabulous Bradley’s “dog sat” Bentley and we were so thankful.

Royce moaning on our drive to Utah.  I thought it was because it was going so slowly, but it was because it was killing him to not ride his bike down the huge hills that were surrounding him.  So funny!

Getting to have deep conversations with the kids as we drove to Utah and listened to Les Miserables.  The girls kept asking good questions about what the songs were about.  There are so many incredible messages in the music.

Getting to visit with Tiffany Fox.  We were like ships passing in the night.  She moved to Utah last summer.  We were finally going to get to see her when were down there, but she came here for her first grandchild’s birth.  We still squeezed a quick visit in.  Lucky me!  

Some good candy negotiations happening here. 🙂

Easter!  We had fun at the Washougal Eggstravaganza!  Love our sleepy little town. We also got to go to an amazing ward Easter Celebration. Our fabulous Alabama neighbors sent each of the kids Easter bags with candy, gifts, cookies and fun.   The kids felt so loved.  Kevin and I got a wonderful picture they had taken on our Alabama front porch.  Love our Besty and Russ Rollins!  Sunday, we went to my parents house.  We loved our egg hunt there, incredible food and family.  I’m so thankful for Spring time, family and Christ’s Resurrection.

Hadley finishing her Classical Conversation’s school year with Faces of History.  She was Catherine the Great!  She had make-up on and looked all grown up.  I was not ok with that!  She did a great job!

Royce and Hadley passing off their Memory Master’s!  They pass off over 500 facts about History, Geography, Latin, Grammar, Math, Timeline and Science word for word.  This was Royce’s first year, great job Royce! Hadley has done it for four years (there is a three year rotation of new facts) and will move onto the Classical Conversations Challenge Program next year.  

Addisen and David flying to Maryland to visit David’s family over Spring Break.  They then drove a car back to Rexburg.  They love having a car now!  They had a great visit with his family.  Funny part was that they had to visit Kevin in DC while they were there, since he wasn’t with us when we visited them in Rexburg.

Getting to go to the airport for Carter McEntee’s arrival home from his mission in Guatemala.  It was so amazing to film and photograph it with Kevin.  The McEntee’s are our dear friends and we loved getting to watch this special experience.  There is nothing like a missionary coming home after two years away from their family.  It made me really think about why these young men sacrifice two years away from family and friends, paying for it themselves.  It’s all for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, so others can have the opportunity to learn about Christ.

Hadley singing in Sacrament Meeting “I Wonder When He Comes Again” while Kevin accompanied her.  I cried….  So spiritual and wanting her to stay my little girl. It was beautiful!

Tess getting braces!  She looks beautiful as the bands match her eyes.

Getting to go to Sean and Taylor Dalton’s reception. It was at the beautiful Jenkin’s Estate.  We had so much fun as a family all together (well, five of the local kids).  We met my parents for dinner first to celebrate Tess’ birthday.  Two of Sean’s friends drove from Provo and stayed at our house.  They were so great!  They even watched a movie with us Saturday night and went to church with us before heading back.  Love all these great young people.  

Tess getting to go on her first date.  She had a blast!  Of course, Kevin had to have the “You’re taking my daughter out” talk with the young man before they went.  It was a little stressful to fit it in because of Kevin’s traveling and everyone’s busy schedule, but so good in the end.  The young man was awesome about it too.  🙂

Merritt doing Mock Trial.  It was great to see these great youth using their skills.  Merritt played the role of a rock star singer who was driving ran a bike rider over.

Beautiful sunshine! FINALLY!  We had two hot, humid days and it was glorious!  

Kevin getting to cut down some trees.  It was a great Friday morning for him.  Royce got to help. (See Pursuing Happiness video) Dixon and Royce loved watching the trees fall.  Now to cut them all up and get them seasoning during the summer.

Kevin making a new “Pursuing Happiness” family video format.

Bryson getting home!  It was a beautiful, sunny day welcoming him home. It feels so good to have him here.  He fills our house up.  🙂

Tess getting a job!  Having to pay for car insurance, a phone and some gas is going to be expensive.  She started looking for a job a couple weeks ago and it seemed like there was no hope.  Everyone was either not hiring or told her to look on-line.  Finally, she got hired, she was chosen out of a lot of applicants.  I’m sure her school schedule helped.  Go Tess!  She was so nervous for her interview, but did great!

End of the year party for Classical Conversations!  Erin Johansen and I were in charge of putting on the celebration.  We loved getting to see the kids perform.  I love the way we educate.  There is no perfect way to educate in school or out, everything has holes, but each year, I love it more for us.  Maybe that’s because I have less children at home. 😉  We are finished with the organized part and now we get to work on other things to learn.  I love having the pressure off.  Now onto the love of learning and flexibility.  🙂

Arriving home from a Saturday run and spontaneously grabbing the kids and Kevin from their chores.   I promised them it would be quick before they had to run off to other places.  We ran down to the river and skipped rocks.  There happen to be people on rafts going down the rapids right then.  So amazing that we live on this river (it was sunny and sparkly when I was running).