Sunday, May 25, 2008

Arimo, Idaho

Home to the Garden Creek Gap bicycle race. Don't tell me you've never heard of Arimo, Idaho - it's about eight miles south of Inkom (see previous blog). I can tell some of you need to get out more...

Above is the "gap"in the mountains. It may look level  from this vantage point but don't be fooled, it's anything but level. The cyclists ride from a gas station eight miles away, through the gap and to the top of a hill.  From here they ride a loop around the mountain to the left and back through the gap. The number of times they go around depends on the category they ride in. Mark rode with the Masters 35's so he rode through the gap four times for a total of 83 miles! He loves this race because it has an uphill finish - his speciality. This is a challenging course on a clear day but as the group turned to ride towards the gap the third time there was a fierce head wind and it began to rain. I rode wheel support and they were only able to go about 6 mph. It seemed as if they would come to a stop at times the wind was blowing so hard. Over the hill and down the back side there was some respite from the rain but as they came around the wind was in their faces again and it began to pour. Some of the riders went back to the start line instead of the finish line, they had enough.

This is  Mark just before he crossed the finish line a few feet behind the winner. (That's me and Jenn driving support right behind him.) He was soaked, freezing and exhausted but he finished second. We were very proud of him. If you want to see a few more pictures Christian took (He was soaked and freezing too as he waited at the top in to rain to take pictures) check out his blog.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Elder Rob 5.21.08

OK so maybe this is a "duhhh" but being new to the blogger thing it just occurred to me that I ought to use this great medium to update people on how Elder Rob is doing. 

Today we go the most wonderful email from him. Here is an excerpt:

E aí minha otimo familia!? 
(what's up my awesome family!?)

     I'm doing awesome! Things are the same; wake up at 6:15 shower, study, eat breakfast, class with Irmão(brother) Olivera, eat lunch, class with Irmã Ericka, eat dinner, MDST (Missionary directed study time), plan and sleep. That is my typical day. Pretty intense, tell me about it. But Sunday's and Wendnesday's are awesome here! The weeks have really been flying by lately! 
   Last week we were planning our lessons for the plan of salvation and I was really intrigued by the relationship between opposition and agency. It has been on my mind a lot lately and I would like to give you my little spiel:
    After Adam and Eve partook of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil; God gave them, for their profit and learning, opposition. To give them opposition the eath needed to contain good with the bad. I was struggling with the concept of why, if we are doing everything we can to serve the Lord, we need to struggle. Then I was put in my place. In a Large Group meeting the instructor explained to us that the atonement was never easy. The savior was innocent and because of us he suffered all of our oppositions and transgressions. He took upon himself the total opposition of all the world and he was perfect. I was given a feeling of guilt for being so nieve that I thought it should be easy for me when it was never easy for our savior, Jesus Crist. I discussed this alittle with my old companion, Elder Cusworth and we decided that this makes sense. Everything in this world that is worth anything, is not something that is just given to you. Your going to have to work for it! I am working harder than I have ever worked in my life and I know it is the most difficult thing I have ever done, but it is also the most rewarding. But it really think the defenition of irony is opposition. That through the roughest of times we can have the best of times. So I am very greatful for opposition in my life. But, don't get my wronge, I wouldn't recomend anyone to pray for opposition. Just be thankfull that you have the knowledge that it is only through that opposition that we can grow. 

He also had a wonderful experience with Elder Bednar who was there this week. What a great blessing missions are. We appreciate your thoughts and prayers in his behalf. The prayers are definitely being answered!

We are also pleased that he is writing in English with translations for his Portuguese.

leaving comments

I didn't find out until I was in a class at BYU a couple of years ago that I'm  dyslexic. (I have to laugh because I typed it in dylsexic.) I don't have it very bad and it's never bothered me much because I guess I've adapted - but after discovering it a lot of things made sense. I struggle when reading words I am not familiar with - especially names. When Jessica's dad was running for city council I thought his last name was Sumison. Looking at the word I couldn't figure out how to say it until some told me it was Sumsion, after that I didn't have a problem. Sometimes if I spell an unfamiliar word out loud it deciphers it for me (but it's embarrassing if I'm not alone). 

For the most part it hasn't bothered me until now! I have the hardest time leaving comments on people's blogs because I have to type in those stupid tweaked random letters! Sometimes it takes me three (or four) tries to get it right - and it doesn't spell anything which makes it harder. I look carefully, I say the letters out loud, I double check them and still get them wrong. AAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGGGGG!!! I don't get it. Are they prejudice against dyslexic people? 

So..... sorry if I don't leave many comments, I love your blogs but many times three strikes and I'm outta here!

thanks for listening.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Family Picture Results

We got our pictures back from the photographer and we are really happy with them. It had snowed off and on that day but it was clear and even a little sunny so we decided to go with our original plan and take them outside. We started out with great weather but it soon got cold and then colder, the wind began to blow and soon there were snowflakes flying everywhere! You can see them in the last picture of the boys if you look closely and in the girls hair. Fife Photography is owned by a cute couple that are attending BYU. They are actually moving to Norman, OK to attend OU sometime this summer. Kind of fun since we moved here from Norman! They were awesome. They got great pictures of everyone. I will post individual pictures one at a time and tell you a little about the person or family as we go along. Here are some other fun shots she took. 
Isn't she gorgeous!

Both  of them

All three actually.

Good looking guys!
Our more natural state! 

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

One more thing


Ok, so I figured out another thing about myself from my mother's day talk. Mom's know that much of what we do is repetitive - washing the same clothes, the same dishes, cooking the same meals just to get up and do it again the next day... It's hard to see the progress. I think that's why I do Projects! I can begin it, work on it, see the progress as it moves along and then finally I have a finished product - proof that I've accomplished something - like my closet for example. (I would have taken before pictures but I was way too embarrassed (the sigh of relief you heard was from my sweet patient hubby - it was mostly my mess))
Taadaaaaa! finished project - mission accomplished! On to the next project.

Last fall, after our sweet dog Thunder died, we decided it was time to begin the backyard remodel we had been planning so we removed the deck we never used except as a very large dog house. This is the view from the eating area. Bushes have been cut down and footings still in the ground - 9 footings to be exact.
Things are moving along but I feel a little like our backyard is a war zone. Two of the three vegetable garden boxes are 2/3's of the way built... I think we have enough dirt for the water feature Christian, Jen and I are planning to make....

I am thankful to be married to a wonderful husband that is not only patient but very wise.

We are meeting with a landscaper to help me with my current project so I will have time to wash those clothes, those dishes, cook those meals and hopefully, before the first snow flies, we will be able to play badminton in our back yard after a nice meal that includes fresh tomatoes and grilled summer squash and then sit back and enjoy the sound of the stream trickling through the yard as we roast marshmallows in our fire pit..... Ok, Ok, Ok, I'll take the badminton and the squash and be satisfied! (although I can see the stream thing happening)

Is there a cure for this? My name is Karen and I have a project problem...

And another thing

Mothers Day

A few weeks ago the bishop asked me if I would speak on Mother's Day. Ever since the past bishop's wife spoke on Mother's Day I figured my time would come. I had so many thoughts that I struggled right up until Sacrament meeting trying to get them together. I have often struggled with Mother's day - feeling like I never measured up. So I made this my topic - how, when we are doing all we can, the grace and mercy of the Savior through His atonement can strengthen us and make up for our weaknesses. I will share one story with you that I used to illustrate this. I remember as a child my mother sitting in the hall and singing to us at night. Looking back I realize that it was most likely on the nights that us kids were wild and not settling down. My mom worked full time and was probably very tired. My mom would sing quietly so we would have to be very quiet to hear her. I'm not sure if she sat on the floor of the hall with the intent of teaching us about the atonement but as I heard her singing the words of "There is a Green Hill Far Away" and "I Stand All Amazed" that was exactly what she was doing. When she sang, "I tremble to know that for me He was crucified, that for me a sinner He suffered, He bled and died...Oh it is wonderful, wonderful to me." I knew that what she was singing was true and that she knew it was true also. My mom was doing all she could and the songs that most likely brought peace to her soul and to our home also sparked my testimony. Mothers don't have to be perfect - just working at it. 

How fun to be able to celebrate Amy's first mother's day too! It was a good day.

It's been a while

It's not that nothing's been happening in my life - it's actually been quite the opposite. 

A Little Tender Mercy
A week ago Sunday - I think it was the 4th - we sere sitting around the table eating Sunday dinner when Christian gets this funny look on his face, like he's concentrating on something out the window. Without saying a thing he walks out. We heard the door to the garage open, some things banging around and then the door close again. He walks to the entry closet door and gets a tennis racquet to go with the large yellow container retrieved from the garage and goes out onto the front porch. By now the rest of us have gathered at the front window one by one to see what's going on. Christian is using his arsenal to catch not one but two huge snakes from the top of the bushes in the front yard (OK, for the record they were just your typical foot long garden variety but in my opinion any snake is too big). Once he successfully gets them in the yellow container he puts the tennis racquet on top and starts walking quickly towards the river. We hear, "AAHHH" and he begins to jog disappearing behind the bushes that line the walkway to the river. (The river is where all snakes that visit my yard end up - snakes are very good swimmers and they are much safer down stream - or is it I'm safer from them - anyway we are both happier). When he gets back we ask if they were safely deposited in the river and he said they started climbing out through the tennis racquet before he got there and ended up in the neighbors yard - I'm sure the Gregory's 5 boys will appreciate some snakes to play with - sorry Abbie. 

It wasn't till it was all over that Christian quietly said, "I hate snakes". 

That's love!

Monday, May 5, 2008

A Strange Quiet

The house was strangely quiet today - and a good part of yesterday for that matter. After Robbie left we took down his posters and realized the easiest way to fill all the holes was just to texture and repaint! When it was done Aaron and Celisa moved down there. Saturday, they moved the last of their things out of the "basement suite" and the "yellow room" where they had been stored and into their apartment. Christian spent the rest of Saturday afternoon moving his stuff out of his room upstairs (at least the stuff he wanted) and into the newly redecorated basement bedroom - also the guest room.  Christian choose the colors and has decided to keep the bed king sized for now (It's actually two twins pushed together). I'm not sure what to do with the yellow room... except clean the carpets...  
We just have two kids home now. Each has their own bathroom. It's weird. 
I'm excited about less people to pick up after and I am fairly sure the case of Gatorade I bought today for Christian's lunches will last until school's out... 
but it is very very quiet.... 
it feels a little empty....