Wednesday, December 21, 2011

It's Thanksgiving wherever we are

I think there is some unwritten blog code that stipulates that you must post about one holiday before being able to post about the next. Hence-a Thanksgiving post the day before Christmas.
Thanksgiving was a little unconventional this year as we left the comforts of home for the comforts of meeting Kelli and her family in St. George. We couldn't have asked for more beautiful weather-of which we took great advantage.

Brittney and her Aunt Jodi
These girls adore their father. They love his goofy-ness and use it as ammo to tease him constantly.

They also use his penchant for "sitting" to snuggle up to him on a regular basis.
Unfortunately, the warm(er) weather was not enough to put any real sort of color in our faces. We all look like we're from the artic-or Northern Utah- with our sickly, pale faces.
This is a constant scene. Jordan regularly becomes my 5th child. Christian's younger brother. They poke and trip and twist and attempt to injure each other constantly. And someone usually ends up crying. Someone I happen to be married to.
The "fake engagements" starring Jodi's gorgeous wedding ring. I am only too aware that someday there will be nothing "fake" about these girls posing for engagemtent pictures.

How does anyone make it through life without a sister? Whose clothes would you borrow (steal)?
Caleb, Miles, and Gabe itching for a turn.
Maddi entertained herself for most of the weekend with the headphones and a playlist created especially for her by Jodi. I love how the position of her headphones allow her to be "partially present in both worlds."
Moving that mass takes some effort..
None required to move this...
Time for our Thanksgiving feast...At mom and dad's St. George getaway place. Christian and Maddie catch up over text. At least they have parents that can unplug.
Jodi and Miles
See..there really was food. And dang good food too. Costco does a fine job.
Second year as college roommates. And they're still not sick of each other.
Erick found a lovely little youtube video that involved popping a giant cyst. Not the best "after dinner mint." Erick's sadistically entertained, however.
They did all the dishes. They are lovely.
Nothing like Psyche to bring cousins together.
I love watching how families "gather." How comfortable they are with each other. How they melt into each other and how their faces become a picture of warmth, contentment and amusement.
It makes me think of a quote by Elder Marlin K. Jensen: "Sometimes after an enjoyable family home evening, during a fervent family prayer, or when our entire family is at the dinner table on Sunday evening eating waffles and engaging in a session of lively, good-natured conversation, I quietly say to myself, “If heaven is nothing more than this, it will be good enough for me!”

Friday, November 4, 2011

Called to Serve

It was Thursday morning. Mom had just landed in California to visit Kelli when her phone rang. It was Dad. "It's here," he said. "It just arrived."
We had all cleared our calendars to be at mom and dad's the night before in anticipation of receiving and opening their mission call. Calls most typically arrive on Wednesday, we were told. When the envelope from church headquarters was not found admist the gas bill and grocery store circulars on Wednesday, we all assumed that mom would be back in plenty of time to open it when it arrived the following week.
So now what? For both parents, waiting for 4 days to open it together was not an option. Dad suggested he open it right then and read it to mom over the phone. Thankfully, he was able to contain his excitement long enough to hatch a better plan. One that we could all be a part of. They would open it Sunday night-together-over skype. Dad took the call to his Bishop who opened it, faxed a copy to Kelli's husband, Brandt, in California and both promptly placed the unread calls back in envelopes.
I arrived 5 minutes later than the arranged time that next Sunday. Never have I been so sorry to be late. It was clear that that envelpe was begging to be opened and dad was oh so anxious to oblige!

Not only did we have Mom on skype, but Kelli and her excited family and Hailee and Kate at their apartment in Provo.

Jodi acted as scribe, recording everyone's "guesses" as to where they would be called. Because of their military service all across the world-including the Orient and the deep south-"Japan" and "Georgia" were guessed more than once.
(Dad begins tearing open the envelope..)
Unable to hold him off one second longer he begins to read: "Dear Elder Plummer....
Mom joined in in California: "Dear Sister Plummer..... are hereby called to serve... the Washington D.C. South mission...
...Your primary assignment will be to serve on the Quantico Marine Base as military specialists."
Privately mom and dad had shared their impressions and thoughts with each other prior to opening their call. Both knew that this was where the Lord wanted them to serve.
My parents depart for the MTC tomorrow morning. Living away from my parents is not new to me. Much of my early married life was spent thousands of miles apart. But it is new to me right now-at this stage of my life. I am experiencing a large range of emotion as they prepare to depart. But overriding all is my gratitude for their faith and example.
Christian is always on hand to make sure things don't get too sappy. He has Jilly in California check to see if he has any cavities.
What began as a dissapointment that the call arrived after mom's departure to be with Kelli became a "tender mercy." How grateful I am for the blessing of technology and mission calls to unite this family.

Every WITCH way!

WoW! It certainly feels like that is the general direction we have been moving lately. Not a straight path but every which way...
We flew in (and not by broom as some may think) the night before Halloween. Canceling the annual family get together was NOT an option. I just love it too much. Besides...I needed an excuse to get the crew together. Lucky for me, Caleb and Sophie still think it's cool to go to Aunt Lori's. Every year I think, "Is this the year they decide it would be more fun to trick-or-treat with friends?"

Sophie is a bat. Bats fly.
Prettiest bat I've ever seen.

Even Jodi got in on the act this year. Firewoman? I think she said something about how Pat always wanted to be a fireman?

I just love Caleb's poses.
DoNut you know that donuts and cider go beautifully together?
It's possible that making donuts was a very bad idea. Most of us went to bed feeling very sick. Not from too much candy but way too many donuts.
Christian's friend "Manny" (short for Mannequin), posed with the girls before they wisked him away to their college apartment to hide him behind a shower curtain.
Yep. Those are my kinfolk.
Brittney's never had a problem dressing up. It's just the make-up part that she struggles with. Jodi has a talent in that department and stepped in with her handy dandy sephora make up collection.
It feels good to be home. It feels good to be surrounded by family. And it feels good to eat a mini Almond Joy every now and then. Life is good.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sunday entertainment with a 17 year old

Christian had just washed his car the day before and was admiring how clean and shiny it was. So shiny, that he could see his reflection in the door panel.

C: "Come here mom and look at how short I am."
C: "Ha,ha,ha,ha. Look at how short and fat YOU are.!"
C: "Take a picture!"
So I did, of course. Who wouldn't want a picture like this for their posterity?

(I truely believe that the Lord gave us children to keep us humble)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

We have ourselves an Eagle.

An Eagle Scout, that is. And I'm related. Which is kind of saying something because Christian is the first scout to earn the rank of "Eagle" in our family. Apparently, that is a rank only 2% of scouters actually earn. And believe me when I tell you that I know why that percentage seems so low. Earning your "Eagle" is no easy task.

Most Eagle Scouts will tell you that they owed that achievement to the constant perseverance of their parents (i.e. mother). Not so, in Christian's case. Supportive and encouraging maybe, but this boy had scout and young men leaders that mentored him every step of the way and he followed it through to the end.

Unfortunately he didn't get to keep this eagle:

("impressive number of merit badges he has" the eagle seems to be thinking...)
"Impressive eagle," Christian and Erick seem to be thinking... (by the way...that screen at the front of the stage was where they showed the impressive slide show presentation put together by Christian's impressively talented sister, Hailee)
Christian, Scott, Nick and Nick supported each other....

Dick Pollei, scouter extraordinaire, presents the boys with the tradtional engraved pocket knife. "I can't wait until Dick demonstates how sharp this knife is by shaving a patch on his arm," Christian seems to be thinking...
Gabe is ready to start on his eagle project. We just have to figure out what that is exactly.
I love a boy in a uniform.
The cheering section...
Robert Gardiner will go straight to heaven for his service and sacrifice and goodness and perserverence on behalf of all of these boys.

I could not have asked for a better "villiage" -of which Robert was a large part-to help raise my children.
Savannah was one of Christian's favorite supporters.
And Henry... who raised 10 children of his own. I can't believe he came and sat in that HOT gym for an hour and a half to show his support to these neighborhood boys. Bless you, Henry.
"Impressive ice cream cups brought by Christian's impressive mother," these two seem to be thinking...
"I'm so glad I finished my eagle project so I could get my driver's liscense and not have to ride around on this scooter forever," Christian seems to be thinking... (Haha....)