Corbin Turns 15!!! Parties, Goodbyes, Special Mother’s Day Gifts and Family!!!

My little boys!  :)
My little boys! 🙂

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Me and my wonderful girls!  :)
Me and my wonderful girls! 🙂
These are my guys!
These are my guys!

Whew….. I never thought I would make it to the other side of all these events, but here I am.  The last week has been calm and private for our family.  I have hardly written any notes down for the blog, as all effort had left me.  It felt really good to just be….  Crossing over from our first born leaving the nest and adjusting to things without him has been an amazing journey.  I love experiencing new things and this is high on the list of new feelings for me.  One minute I am elated and the next I am shedding joyful tears.  I love focusing on our little family of seven kids now.  It’s amazing how much one child leaving affects everything.  We are able to get to bed earlier, and there seems to be more hours in the day.  After dropping Bryson off last Wednesday, May 15th, we didn’t hear from him until Monday.  That was torture!  But now, we have received three letters and two e-mails!  I CAN NOT express the feelings we felt as we read his first big e-mail.  The entire family happen to be home when we got it and we read it out loud, through tears of joy.  Wow!  We are all doing really well now and the spirit is like a sweet blanket over our home.  Life couldn’t be better, all is well…..  You can check out all his letters (now and in the future) at  https://kkjonesfam.wordpress.com/category/brysons-mission/

THINGS THAT DIDN’T WORK:

After reading the last blog post, Addy, Corbin, Kevin and Bryson all said, at different times “What, that happened?”

Tessa’s special Mother’s Day gift!  We are still laughing about it!  She was so sweet to take the time to get me her own present.  She was in a rush and didn’t take the time to thoroughly read ALL the words.  Ha! I’ve always wanted to be like a good bra!  🙂  I’m putting it up in my bathroom, so I can giggle every morning.

Love it!
Love it!

Josiah, one of Bryson’s friends, helping me to see that Bryson’s friendship’s are not over, just on “pause”.  Love this guy.

Royce kept saying “Bryson is going to be gone for 31 miles”.  Bryson’s last moments with his little brothers, who will probably not remember him, were very touching.  He laid in bed with Dixon while singing to him and shed many tears.  When Royce said good bye the next day, he just went back to washing the car and playing with his bucket.  He had no idea… 😦

Kids saying goodbye at home.  We decided it would be best to leave them at home rather than having them walk away from us crying at the airport.  It worked out better, but was heart-wrenching.  😦

Bryson and Addy saying goodbye.  Bryson had to put on a leather jacket so she wouldn't get make-up on his white shirt.  :)
Bryson and Addy saying goodbye. Bryson had to put on a leather jacket so she wouldn’t get make-up on his white shirt. 🙂

Matt (Bryson’s friend) coming over for the first time after we got home from dropping Bryson off.  😦  He gave me a big hug and I shed some tender tears.  He stayed, ate dinner and played with the kids.  He was pretty exhausted, so he may never come back….

Hadley wearing Bryson’s hat for five days after he left.  She was really missing him.

Going late to Emily Ray’s Graduation Party, but not realizing it until we got there!  Uggghh!  My brain is not quite working yet.  Hopefully, I’ll get back to normal soon…..

THINGS THAT WORKED:

Bryson’s Mother’s Day gift!  He recorded his arrangement of “Joseph Smith’s First Prayer” for me.  It brings tears to my eyes every time.  I can feel his testimony shining through his playing.

Click here to listen to it.

Bryson spending quality time with everyone.  🙂  He played on the trampoline with the three girls, then took them out for Frosty’s.  He took Corbin to the guitar store multiple times and then helped him buy his first guitar.

Bryson’s going away party with friends.  It was a great group of youth!  We are really going to miss all of them.  972001_10200766293747433_1153077011_n

Finding one of my “Mothers” CD’s.  The songs make me really appreciate being a mom.  One of the songs titled “I’ve Waited All My Life For This” is so great!  I realized that many things I have waited all my life for, are being fulfilled.  I’m so thankful!

Family pictures!  I have a love/hate relationship with this!  I HATE getting the family ready for the pictures, but I love having the pictures after we are done.  We all argued and changed our outfits three times before we compromised on what we would all wear.  Uggghhh!  Jenny Horrock was so sweet to do the pictures for us.  Thank you Jenny!

Bryson getting to go “Mudding” in Matt’s Jeep!  Also, getting to go boating at the lake.  He squeezed every last second out of his time before he left…..  400595_508860872495962_627668120_n

Corbin getting a letter from my Uncle John Chapman.  He wrote a wonderful, long letter about being an Eagle Scout.  Wow!  Thanks Uncle John!

All the wonderful support we have been given during all these events.  The outpouring of love is indescribable.  Thank you to each person that had such wonderful timing and lifted my spirits at the right time.  A big thanks to Megan for taking the kids swimming while we were gone and Natalie for taking them to the park.  You broke up the monotony so well!  Love you all!

Bryson’s setting apart as a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints!  Pres. Vaughan was wonderful and the spirit was so strong.  Nothing like that moment.  BJ-Mission

Watching Kevin be Bryson’s missionary companion from Sunday to Wednesday.  It was precious and wonderful!  The bond between father and son is so special!  486884_10151908919929418_1152061688_n

Soaking up Bryson’s last night with the family.  Playing the guitar with Corbin, family scriptures and prayer, Bryson bearing his testimony, packing, playing the piano while the family sings “God Be With You ‘Til We Meet Again”, and a lot of hugs.

  

The Ray’s dropping us off at the airport.  Sad, but so nice of them.  Andrew showed up to say goodbye too.   After we walked away from them, Bryson said “I am going to make this the best two years, so it is worth leaving them!”.

Bryson loves his Mrs. Ray!  She loves him like a son. :(
Bryson loves his Mrs. Ray! She loves him like a son. 😦
Elder Jones, Andrew, Matt and Emily Ray at the airport.
Elder Jones, Andrew, Matt and Emily Ray at the airport.

Flying to Utah with Bryson!  It was so fun to go somewhere new and watch Bryson’s reactions.  He loves to analyze everything and check it all out.  We felt like country folk in a big city.  We had a lot of good laughs at the “Mormon Experiences” we had.  We love our Southern Experiences, but these were unexpected.  It was perfect to get three days of only Kevin, Bryson and I.

Going to the Salt Lake Temple!  Greatest experience!  We toured Temple Square and loved it.  379741_539618449413666_546100570_n

Bryson in front of the Christus, on Temple Square.  Love my missionary!
Bryson in front of the Christus, on Temple Square. Love my missionary!
Kevin and Bryson outside the Salt Lake Temple.  Love my guys!
Kevin and Bryson outside the Salt Lake Temple. Love my guys!

Visiting Nana and Papa Buzz (Kevin’s parents), Grant and Gavin!  It was great to see their home and spend time with them.  Also, going to the Thomason’s home.  We got to see Kevin’s cousins, their kids and  his Aunt and Uncle.  It was a wonderful day, full of tons of love.

Kevin giving Bryson a Father’s Blessing.  Then, Bryson giving me and Kevin a blessing.  This was very special for all of us.  I don’t have adequate words to describe it.  🙂

Touring BYU-Provo, where Bryson plans on attending college when he gets off his mission.  It was awesome!  We met other families that were dropping off their missionaries too.  At Subway, we said hello to one of them and the Mom burst out crying.  So sweet!  Thankfully, I was doing well at that point….

Dropping Bryson off at the MTC.  We took pictures across the street at the temple and then dropped him off, as if it was the airport.  They give you five minutes to say goodbye.  After we hugged.  Bryson picked his luggage up turned around and said “Let’s do this!”.  That’s my Bryson!  🙂  Love him!  944329_10151916286259418_1143940195_n

Just before dropping him off at the MTC.
Just before dropping him off at the MTC.

Getting home from dropping Bryson off and resetting the house.  It felt so good to eat home cooked meals, do family scriptures and prayers and be with the kids.  Addy took a three hour nap after we got back!  🙂  Great job Addy!  You and Corbin rocked the world as you took care of everything!  Addy said “Mom’s are around for good reasons”.

Corbin’s 15th birthday!  We had yummy ice cream pies and loved him up.  He’s going for his driver’s permit on Thursday, so drivers beware!  He’s now also on Facebook.  Love you, Corbin!

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Royce:  “Sometimes I cry during movies or good songs.”  Me:  “Why, because they scare you?”  Royce:  “No, because they are so sweet.”

Addy and I accidentally wearing the same outfit to church!  We didn’t notice until we were about to go and we were both too stubborn to change.  🙂   She said, “Mom, I had it on first.” 249107_333939680042246_1703355963_n

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