Monday, July 26, 2010

Summer 2010

We've had a busy and wonderful summer.  Of course we have done all the usual summer things: basketball camps, scout camp, hikes, swimming lessons, family reunions.  But we've had some extra special fun.  Most importantly we added someone new to our family.  Daniel married Jen Sorpold on June 12, in the Manti Temple.  It was a strangely stormy day, but a beautiful day.  Everything was wonderful.  The boys are all excited to have a sister and Dan and Jen are enjoying their first months together as husband and wife.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Being a Mom

I read a blog today that really hit home.  I wish that I would have had all the resources that are available today twenty years ago as I was just starting a family and my grown kids were small!  I can't remember how many times people have supposed that I stayed home with my children because I didn't have any skills.  I could never understand why they didn't know that I chose to stay home because my kids need me and it is fun.  I could have done anything I wanted to do and I CHOSE to be a mom.  It would have been nice to know that there was someone then that felt the same way I did.   So here is the quote from the blog Latter-day homeschooling written by Courtney:

"I grew up hearing about how "women can have it all" only to hear as an
adult, that those who tried, found it was impossible.  I guess now the
new saying is that you can have it all, you just can't
have it all at the same time.  I must strongly disagree.  Women can have
it all, and at the same time.  I certainly do.  But it is because
I am a mother, not in spite of it.

Every time I read a book to my children, I am an actress.  Every
time I sing them to sleep, I'm a singer.  When I blast music while we
clean the house, we are all dancers!  I'm an artist every time I get out
the paints or crayons.  I'm the world's greatest doctor, who can heal
anything with a kiss and a hug.   I'm a therapist when they come to me
in tears.  I'm an accountant every time I balance the checkbook.  I'm a
chef when I'm in the kitchen.  I'm a maid, manager, technician and
computer geek.  Electrician, nutritionist, horticulturist, photographer,
movie screener and critic.  I'm a builder, economist, a politician, a
professional complement giver, the "it's not fair" police and a drill
sergeant.

Within my little family I have fulfilled every dream I
have ever had and more!  And since I have added homeschooling to my
list, I'm finding a whole new set of dreams that I am so excited to
follow with my kids.  I get to be a scientist, a mathematician,
theologian, botanist, zoologist, literacy specialist and historian.  I
get to read great literature with them and be a scholar.  With the help
of this blog, I'm now a writer.  I can do anything my heart desires because I am a mother!"

I hope I can always remember this and realize all the opportunities I have and not dwell on the things I can't or haven't done!  Being a mom is really the best and I wouldn't trade my life for any other life.  I am the most blessed person that I know.  I'm thankful for all of my blessings and my best blessing is my family and every person in it that I get to serve and help and love!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Elder Braden Barker

Braden seems to be doing well in Brazil.  Here is his latest email:

Family,
 
I am feeling better now.  I still have a little cough, but I am definitely better. I don´t  have a lot to say this week.

This week was so much fun, although by Sunday night I was exhausted.  We usually have lunch at a member´s house at 12 everyday.  That means we start working at 1.  This week we didn´t even take our hour for dinner.  We worked from 1 until 9 everyday.  It is so fun and I love it.  I don´t even get hungry.  I know the Lord blesses us when we are doing his work.  We taught so many lessons this week.  We doubled and tripled the amount of lessons that I was teaching with my trainer.  I am learning a lot from Elder McBride, he is helping me learn the lessons better and to speak Portuguese better.  This transfer is going to be a lot of fun.
 
The only new Elder in our apartment is my new companion.  The other two Elders didn´t get transferred.  They were pretty excited to stay, they have really turned their area around.  My Portuguese is still pretty rough.  I am understanding more and more every week, but I am still having a pretty hard time. Hopefully this transfer I can learn a lot.

I am only about in hour bus ride from Recife.  It is pretty hot and humid.  Elder McBride came from farther in Pernambuco, and he said it was 70 degrees or so.  It is consistently 85-90 degrees in my area. There are trees in my area, but its not like a jungle or anything.  I have had some glimpses of the beach, but only from out of the bus window.  I still haven´t played soccer yet.
 
Yesterday night we couldn´t do much work.  It was a big soccer game between two big teams that are here in Pernambuco.  Everyone was watching the game, and everyone was drunk.  It was pretty dangerous to be on the streets, so we returned to our house by about 6:30.
 
I want to keep working hard this transfer and learning a lot.  Hopefully by the end of the transfer I can understand and speak Portguese well.  I love you all.
 
Elder Braden Barker

Now if we can just get some pictures from him!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Braden entered the MTC

Wednesday was a day of miserable joy! We are so happy that Braden is serving the Lord and willing to be a missionary and we miss him so much!

After a beautiful father's blessing and a tearful prayer we left home about 7:15 a.m. The drive to Provo was pretty uneventful. We stopped for gas in Cedar City and at the Walmart in Payson. At Walmart we bought paper and envelopes and stamps so that Braden could send letters.

We arrived in Provo and met Daniel at a Wendy's. We ate lunch and surprisingly I think everyone was able to eat! Then we drove up by the Provo Temple to the same spot where we had taken some pictures with Daniel before we left him at the MTC.

We took some pictures, but it was so cold. I think it was only about 8 to 10 degrees (a real warm-up from Scipio which was -22 degrees when we drove through there.) Max told the boys that they better give Braden a hug so the little boys went first. They were very cute hugging him around the legs and waist. Then Jeremy hugged him and cried. Daniel hugged him next and then Nathan. Of course Nathan was pretty emotional. It was a beautiful thing to see my boys really hugging each other. Then I hugged him (a good long hug) and then Max gave him a hug. We were all pretty emotional at that point.

We drove slowly down to the MTC. There were missionaries lined up all along the sidewalk waiting for new missionaries to come. As we were driving along the boys saw Ryan Butler a missionary from Hurricane. He saw us too and came down the sidewalk to meet us. Max and I got out of the car and gave Braden one last hug. Elder Butler was Braden's host. Our last view of Braden was of him walking and pulling his luggage into the building with Elder Butler.

The drive home was pretty somber. I stopped crying about 25 times! Derek said, "Raise your hand if you miss Braden." I couple of times he just said, "I miss Braden!" I would look back and he had a tear running down his cheek. It was so sweet!

We really missed him the last few days! He was so cute and fun his last week at home and the little boys especially will have some good memories of that week.

I think we are all feeling better today!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fall 2009

What an amazing time we've had the last few months. So many changes have happened and we had some fun and some stress!
The most important and fun change we've had is Daniel coming home from his mission on September 1st. We were so excited to finally see him again. He was home for a few weeks before he went to Utah County to find a job and start working before beginning school in January at BYU. He is working at the Brick Oven in Provo. His hours aren't great and they are not flexible with his schedule, but it's a job! He doesn't work on Sunday which he is especially happy about!
Braden opened his mission call on August 5th. He opened it up at about 11:15 p.m. He was working that day and Max wasn't home in the morning. He was so excited and we could hardly believe it when he read Brazil Recife. Now we have three weeks until he leaves. He is excited and anxious to leave and admittedly nervous. I am excited for him and so sad that I won't see him for two years.
The other big event and the stress that we "enjoyed" was having an exchange student from Brazil come and stay with us. We chose a girl named Izabella. We communicated with her through email and felt like we got to know her and her family before she came. We were excited to have her come and met her at the airport with a big sign and balloons. Nathan introduced her to all his friends and took her to all her classes for 3 days. She was here for about 8 weeks and she left and is now in Arizona. She could have really fit into our family well, but she wanted a maid and special treatment. Well more special than what we were giving her. She mostly didn't want to have any rules or anyone telling her what she had to do or not do! In fact, she wanted to tell us what to do! It is very good that she is not here anymore because things are much more relaxed and pleasant here now. But what an interesting experience!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Braden was ordained an Elder by his dad! 

Monday, March 16, 2009

Two Moms and Dads

Derek has been asking why he doesn't have two moms and two dads like some of his cousins.  He really didn't think it was fair!  I tried to explain how lucky he is that he only has one mom and one dad and he finally seemed to accept it - until yesterday.  We were sitting at church waiting for stake conference to start and he suddenly said, "I do have two dads!"  I said, "You do?".  He said, "Heavenly Father and Dad"!  Sure enough!  He was pretty excited to realize that he wasn't being left out of the two Dad club.