Sunday, August 17, 2008

It has been quite a week!!

It has really been an amazing week.
To begin we dropped Russell off at the MTC on Wednesday August 13th. We said our goodbyes the night before and in the morning prior to arriving. That was smart! It was pretty much exactly as I remembered it when we left Ron and Ken there over 25 years ago! We sat in the chapel with many other families watched a movie, sang called to serve, had a closing prayer, then missionaries went through one door and parents go through another and that's it!! I didn't get emotional, but like I said we had said our goodbyes privately and it was pretty hard to let go then. Russell will be a great missionary. He has a testimony that will be fed and nurtured while he is out in the field. He is such a hard worker, and I know that will be a huge blessing to him over the next two years. He is eager to do the Lords work and I am so happy that he wants to be a part of this great work. Our whole family will miss him, but we are also eager to support him by being good missionaries and sending him lots of encouraging mail!!
Wednesday night Mark and I took my brother Trevor and his wife Jeannie and my sister Suzanne out to eat. They recommended Stone Ground and it was great. Mark being the food snob that he is was most impressed, so you can trust that it was a good meal!! It was fun to see Trevor, Jeannie and Suzanne.
We did manage to sneak a bit of shopping in at Gateway, but it was so hot (35+) and we were both so emotionally drained, that it didn't have the same appeal as it usually does. We did manage to find a few sweet items at anthropologie!! We also ventured over to a fabulous home decorating store called Tai Pan. I could have spent a ton of time and money if I had been in the Yukon and not trying to shove things into an all ready full suitcase. Next trip to Utah will definitely be a road trip!!
We got out to the airport at about 3:00 Thursday afternoon. Our flight was suppose to leave at 4:45. We returned our rental car and went to check in only to discover that our flight had been cancelled and that we had been rescheduled to fly out at 8:00 p.m. So with no rental car we had a 5 hour wait. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. We ate supper and slept and wrote another letter to Russ. I was so tired that i slept most of the way home. Maryn and Julie came out and picked us up, we got home by about 11:30.
Friday we got up and packed everyone (except Maryn) up and headed down to Grandma and Grandpa D's house. We took our time getting there and stopped at Fort McLeod to pick up my race package. We had a short visit with G and G, then we all went to bed early. Saturday morning Mark and I got up at about 6:30, I ate breakfast then we drove to Fort Mcleod where I did my first olympic distance triathlon!! My heat started at 9:00, which was a blessing, because 3 hours later when I finished it was 33 degrees!! The race went well, my actual time was 3:16. My swim was slower than usual, but I kind of took it easy there hoping to have something left at the end. The run was by far the hardest. I was so hot and out of gas. I am happy to be done and feel good about how it went. I am motivated to do another one, and will do more training in preparation for it. We drove home right after the race, as Mark needed to get back to be ready for meetings on Sunday. i was so glad that my family came to watch me, It was great to have a cheering section, and I don't know how I would have done the drive by myself. G and G Lowry also came out to cheer me on. Thanks Mom and Dad!! Your support really meant a lot!
So, after a whirl wind of a week I am sitting here reading over my post thinking how blessed I have been to have these awesome experiences. I have a son on a mission, a wonderful family and a healthy body. I couldn't ask for more. Until next time...

Monday, August 11, 2008

what a day!!

It has been a real busy couple of days. Sunday was Russell's "non farewell" it was an excellent meeting. Quite a few of Russell's non member friends came. Jamie Seniuk, who has been Russ's friend since grade two was there. He is also good friends with Jordan and attended his farewell too. He is a good guy and maybe one who would listen to the missionaries some day.
We all came home after Sacrament meeting and Brenda made a wonderful meal for us. It was a delicious meal like only Brenda can do! Jacqui's Mom also made two huge fruit platters, one for the open house on Saturday night and one for Sunday. They were both put together so beautifully. She is clearly a very talented lady! 
We had to rush through the meal as Russell's setting apart was at 4:30. President Rolfson did the setting apart, I have to admit it was hard to focus on all that was being said with Sam on my lap!
But... the spirit was there and after, a few of us had an opportunity to bear our testimonies. It was a wonderful chance to let Russell know how we feel about him and the gospel. I have to say that our own little gathering back at our house with just our family after everyone was gone, was about as close to how it must feel to be together forever someday as we can experience outside of the temple. We all hugged Russell and the kids were all so sad to have to "let go " of their big brother for two years. Jacqui was there with us, and it was hard to see them struggle through their own farewell. We will all miss him so much, but know that he doing the best possible thing for himself  and the Lord, by going out to serve a mission.
So tonight Mark Russ and I are here in Salt Lake in our hotel room. We got all the shopping done that we had left to do. Tomorrow morning we are going to go to the temple, I am excited to go as I have never been to the Salt Lake temple. We will probably spend some time on Temple Square after, then Wednesday we will take Russ to the MTC!!
THIS IS WAY TOO LONG!!! ...and really, I've left out all the details!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

It's late, but I just wanted to put a few thoughts down before I hit the sack.
Tonight we had a little open house for friends to come wish Russell well. It was really nice and what made it all worth it was when everyone was gone Russ gave me a big hug and said "Thanks for doing that Mom, it was really nice of you" I know that might not seem like much, but it was more the way he said it than what he said. I love that kid sooo much. 
Tomorrow is the "non farewell" farewell. Missionary farewells are a lot different now than when my brothers went out. It was really just a big family program at sacrament meeting. Both parents talked, siblings or other family members did a musical number, and then of course the missionary spoke last. It's not like that anymore. They really just want the missionary to give a talk on a specific topic and try to keep the focus on the real purpose of the meeting which is to partake of the sacrament and have doctrine taught. I prefer it this way, and hey, I am more than happy about not having to talk!!
Grandpa and Grandma "L" arrived today, G and G "D" and The Fairbank's will come tomorrow in time for church. Brenda has kindly offered to feed us all here after the meeting. Then we will all go back to the church to the setting apart. Russell will be a full time missionary tomorrow!!
Monday morning our flight leaves for Salt Lake at 6:00 a.m. I am so happy that Russ has made the decision to serve a mission. It will be the best two years "For" his life!!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Feeling a bit out of control

Last night I had so much on the brain that I couldn't even sleep. A part of me just wants Russell to be gone so that the stress of getting him ready will be over. Then I stop and think about him being gone for two years and I honestly just wish it was over. I really will miss him. His laugh, his silly singing, his help with so many things around here. I won't miss his dirty socks and the mud all over the front steps!!
I am beginning to see how fast life really does pass by and quite frankly, I wish it would slow down. We took all our kids to Hawaii last october. We had a great time and if we are ever lucky enough to do it again, I'm sure it won't be just the nine of us. I love my family so much and I treasure the times that we are all together. I know the Lord will watch over Russell while he serves and I look forward to when we will all be together again.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

a great day

It has been a fairly productive day. When Mark and Max were at young mens camp, Russ and I started tearing out the grass on the east side of the driveway. I have done bits here and there since then, but it has progressed slowly until today!! Russ and Tim dumped rocks and bark down on the driveway a week ago, then yesterday they brought in boulders. I went and got plants this morning, while Russell evened everything out and put the fabric down. We planted all the plants then put the rocks and bark down. It looks really great, and Russell has been so good to do this for me on top of the work he does with Tim everyday. When I figure out how to add photos, I will put one up of the side yard. I am so glad that we were able to get most of it done today. I will think of Russell every time I pull into the driveway!!
Mark and I biked 30K and ran 5k. Jim Sutherland came with us. He rode a heavy mountain bike and kept up pretty well. What a trooper!!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Time flies by

Wow it's already the first of August. The summer goes by so fast.
 Russell will be in the MTC in less than two weeks. I have so much to do and not nearly enough time to get it all done. I am so excited for him to begin his mission. I will miss him like crazy, but can't think of a better thing for him to be doing.
Maryn is working at Laugh and Learn. It's a cute little toy store in riverbend. I think she likes it. Most days she comes home with a good story to tell
Max did summer school at Ainlay. He took CALM. I am glad that he got that course out of the way, and it is nice that he has spent a few weeks there getting used to being at High School.
Julie has mostly just been hangin out at home. She has done some babysitting. Right now Julie and Maryn are reading the 4th book of the ? series. I have forgotten the name of it, but it is very popular, and they both tell me I should read it.
Shaina did swimming lessons at the Y. She did really good, didn't quite finish her swimmer 1. None of my kids have loved swimming the way I did. That's O.K though. They have all learned to swim enough to be safe and comfortable in the water.
Dallin and Sam have been doing a lot of playing outdoors and even more watching T.V and playing Wii. Great!! I know, that is nothing to be proud of.
Mark has just been working. He has been fairly busy. It seems like we all get to play and have fun while he spends most of his time at work. I am so grateful for all he does for us. I have the best husband in the world!
I continue to train for the Ft Mcleod triathlon. I have been having a good time doing a bitof all three sports. I like the cross training. You don't get bored and burned out as easily. Today I swam 1 mile at the Y.

It's taken me a whole day, but I think I am starting to figure out this whole blog thing!!