Aubrey gave us all things from her mission for Christmas. What a joy. She gave me scripture covers!! That's what I was hoping for. She chose the pictures to be put on them. On the Bible is a very favorite picture of mine. Awhile ago David took our family to the Carl Block (?) art exhibit at BYU. The picture there of Jairus' daughter being raised from the dead truly touched my heart, so of course love love love this story and this picture.
The back cover on my Book of Mormon is what she called "your temple" meaning where David and I got married. I asked for covers for my seminary scriptures-- yes the books from 1981. I love those books cause I have and can mark them up. AND cause I knew I'd get 4 pictures instead of only 2! AND because I have a very cute (kitty print fabric inside) scripture carrier for my big scriptures. Love them all so much.
The one on the left is a picture from a scene in the Book of Mormon when Jesus Christ comes to the temple. Such a tender moment. I love that picture.
The cover on the right is for my bible. On the back is a picture of Esther. I though this was such a great inspiration. A few months ago, when I gave a little missionary report on Aubrey in church, I used a scripture from Esther. " .... born for such a time as this" So awesome that Aubrey chose such a dear picture.
What a great week at the Pixton home. Dave got home from Germany, and Laura and littles came in also. Everyone got to be at the airport when Aubrey came in. We ran late and the flight was just a little early, but we made it in time. I started to get anxious more and more through the morning-- it's a weird feeling. Not nervous scared-- just anxious and a little absent minded. As we made our way to the baggage area, we saw a huge crowd. 22 missionaries were returning on Aubrey's flight. We got my phone hooked up with Laurie's phone. She was with mom and dad in Provo. They could see somewhat the action of the arrival. When I saw my girl and got her in my arms all the worry and questions of her being so far away, the awe I felt at her accomplishment, my hope for her to be happy being home... All sorts of thoughts flooded over me. I couldn't let her go.
I was holding Jack at the time which was weird but like I said I was kind of beside my self with anticipation. Aubrey had lots of love and hugs to welcome her home. All my kids, and my husband, are with me. I can't begin to describe how much that means to me. I am so thankful.
A while ago I saw an idea on Pinterest for blessing bags. We put a few together for home evening. In each big ziplock bag we put in a bottle of water and some gloves and some snacks. This is what we will give people asking for money at intersections. We've had them about 2 weeks and just this weekend Dave gave away one and I gave away another. The fella i gave it to told me -thank you sweetheart! -
It was a good thing.
Growing up I was always scared of men with facial hair. My dad was always clean shaved so that, plus the scary factor, always kept me away from the bearded kind of guys.
You can imagine my shock an dismay when my own sons chose the prickly hairy look. They knew my feelings about facial hair but they chose to let the whiskers grow. I know shaving is hard on some skin, and I am empathetic about that -- anyway, I was surprised and delighted when this smooth handsome face greeted me in Saturday!! Yay! Hope it stays around!
Yep-- the time has come. A package usually takes 3 weeks to get to Argentina. I sent this package yesterday, with just less than 4 weeks with Aubrey there. I did address it to her two companions in the case Aubrey comes home before it is delivered. She is companions with two ladies that are native Spanish speakers. They both wanted an English hymn books.
Tuesday morning I got this email!! :) :)!
Wow! It's official. My AJ will be coming home December 12! I got the email as I was waiting to vote.
I was actually very optimistic all day about the election but my hopes were dashed as the night wore on. When there was just too much cheering for the "leader" I have no trust in, Dave and I turned to a good distraction. We've been watching "Heartland".
It's a good show.
Imagine my surprise and delight when I saw a familiar face as a guest star! Anne!! With an e!!
It was a great surprise!!
Later as we prayed and turned out the lights our hearts were heavy. I do have faith that our Father in heaven is in charge and over all. I also know He respects free agency and allows hard, even evil things to happen.
Today I had the song from How the Grinch Stole Christmas. The song at the end when after someone has tried to take all the happiness from who ville- the little whooooooos are still happy and thankful.
Those words made me so so happy and lifted my heart.
May our Father in heaven help us through the tough times ahead!
I spent my birthday in Houston with David. He had obligations there-- we had such a nice time. While he was in meetings I read and watched modern marvels. It was a really different birthday but it was still good. I missed being with my parents and sibs and kids-- and my wonderful girl friends.
Here's some pictures of the adventure
The hotel we stayed in was 10 stories tall. It had 5 elevators. Two were facing the inner courtyard (?) lobby of the hotel. The other elevators were just like the Charlie and the chocolate factory glass elevators. Kinda cool-- a tiny bit dizzy-ing
I finished reading "Let It Go" by Chris Williams. The book is a recounting of his experience of an accident his family was in in 2008. They were hit by a drunk teenager and four members of his family were killed. It is an amazing story of humility and forgiveness. It was a beautiful message and gift to read it.
I've been asked to see or repair lots of different things. Baby blankets, costumes, hem pants, fix rips, baby blessing gown, quilts, matching dresses for my three little girls, and a Christmas tree storage bag. Yesterday I was asked to repair a prison inmates jumper. I'm hoping its the last one I encounter. Actually this ones nor so bad. It's a costume, not a daily worn outfit. Jacob is using it for his job at corn bellies. I'm not thrilled with this job-- I'm not thrilled with Halloween... But he likes it and it will be over on Tuesday! For the job Jacob also has colored contacts which are too weird. Sometimes when he comes in at night I can't even look at him. He gets his face painted and I can't even recognize my own kid.
Time is slipping away we have Halloween, then a short trip to Houston with David. My birthday :) then the election.... Yikes ... Then Jacobs show, thanksgiving, another trip for David to Germany-- then... Then... Yep. AJ gets back!! We may have a missionary leave in there too!!
So we have a lot going on to be sure.
A few days before we went to Cali Brother Gardner called and asked if I would give a little report on Aubrey. I thought it would be just a casual little talk before most of the meeting got started. I had seen other missionary moms give a little talk like that too. So I pulled together some thoughts, but I wasn't too worried or stressed about it. I was kind of scattered (imagine that) between traveling and such, plus a primary lesson to prepare for. I was so scattered I forgot some essential packing items--- lets just say I was rinsing out a few items every night, and sleeping in my husbands jammies--- silly connie. Anyway when I got to church yesterday, my name was between the youth speakers and the last speaker! They all thought I was a real speaker--- oy. oh well.... the last speaker is an awesome SS teacher so I knew he could clean up any mess or use any time I left for him.
Here's my talk
Some of you have never met my missionary daughter. When we moved into the ward about 2 years ago, she was going to the singles ward. She then moved to an apartment in Provo where she studied Theater at uvu. Aubrey is our third child, our third daughter and our first missionary. She was very much into musical theater in high school and she didn't know any foreign language. She didn't talk about a mission until 2009, about 1 1/2 years before she was eligible.
She has been serving in the Bahia Blanca Argentina mission. She went into the mtc may 25, 2011. That's 508 days. This is equal to exactly 1 year, 4 months, and 19 days.
Her official 18 months date is November 25, but we expect her back around December 12.
She has met and served with the Hendershotts granddaughter Hermana Baker
She is experiencing spring time there now and in December will be flying home from an Argentinian summer to a Utah winter.
Some of my favorite quotes from her letters home
"oh dear, if there's one thing I have a much bigger testimony of from the mission its going to church. We need to study the scriptures, pray always and go to church. That's part of the enduring to the end bit of the plan. Go to church! Like really!"
"The ward mission leader told us to prepare a musical number the day before. We ended up singing come thou fount in English and Spanish and I was elected to sing the first verse solo and the last line of the song too. Yeah, but it was good and I got a lot of members shocked faces telling me how good I sounded and they didn't know i could sing like that. It was a good feeling"
"After we got to the house that night, we got a text from her saying thank you for the peace we brought. We decided that in this work we don't do anything. Its all the Lord and we just open our mouths and walk and stuff like that"
"I keep working and praying and walking and talking and hope I can be a tool somehow in the hands of God. He really does guide this work and we are nothing without Him. Look to me in every thought, doubt not fear not. This is so great a work and if the gospel wasn't true the missionaries would have messed it up a long time ago. I love this so much."
"Yes, I am very happy right now, which is super weird because we didn't have a lot of exito this week. We were pretty much trying to find the ground beneath our feet, only to discover that we were waling on water out to Christ. Yea, that was a bit scary and I felt like I was sinking for about a day, then I realized that all I need to do is ask for help, c all out and ask for help, and straightway the Savior reached out and pulled me from the water. I am so thankful for that right now. I have a testimony of the power and reality of the Gospel. People may think that we're disillusioned, (Like this lady at the beginning of this week) but its so reassuring to have that testimony of Christ, to know that at the base of all our beliefs is Jesus Christ. Wow. Yah, I'm feeling good and I'm not dis animated. I've been feeling the forces of satan working on me this week, it was intense. Satan used all he can to cause us to fear or to lose faith. Be we know that God gives love and power and a sound mind. its when we adjust our focus that we, o por la menos mi see that if we give our burden to Christ, He will carry it for us, His yoke is light and His burden easy. He loves me and I know that my Father in Heaven is mindful of everything that happens on this planet If I share the Gospel with someone who maybe isnt ready for it right now, I know that God doesn't forget them This is a huge comfort to my heart."
I asked my family to tell me how Aubrey's mission has blessed their life. I wont identify the sources, but you can probably tell who said what.
"she has let me think from a different stand point. It really gives me a perspective on how i should live my life now so i can prepare that much more for my mission coming up in a few months. It really helps me live a preparatory life"
"Having Aubrey on her mission has given me the unlikely opportunity to have one of my siblings to look up to in regards to serving a mission. I did not expect anyone would be a missionary until me, and I know I am struggling to go on mine, but just the thought of her being the excellent missionary she is gives me hope. She has also expressed her pride and confidence in me."
"She always says things that help me feel like I can accomplish whatever I set out to do, especially when i'm discouraged. In vermont, she was a strength to me and helped reinforce that God uses each one of to make a difference in others lives even if it may seem insignificant to us"
"Aubrey being on a mission has blessed my and my families life. It strengthens my testimony to hear of the spiritual experiences she and those she serves receive. She also is a great example to my little boy who is just starting to understand what missionaries are and do."
"It's quite evident that she is much more spiritually mature and she freely speaks of her Heavenly Fathers goodness. And bears her testimony by speaking of her father in heaven in these ways. It builds faith within our family. Her serving has blessed my life by blessing my family's life's. she's steady she's positive."
"For me, her serving has blessed me personally in my faith. Sometimes my faith is really strong, and other times I wonder if I really was born for such a time as this, if I can truly endure. Unforeseen waves have hit our family this year. Aubrey's faith and service and happiness have often been a very gentle and a very soft comfort to my worried heart."
For a couple of reasons we decided to make the quick trip to Disneyland for the UEA break. It just happened to be during a time that sil Steve would be traveling so that meant that Laura and her littles could join us. We also were honored to have Kim's friend Aaron join us. He hasn't been since he was really little. We really wanted to help him have a good time. We all laughed a lot and made some great memories. Dave and I spent most of our time with Laura and company while the other 4 ran around at their own silly pace. The World of Color was so beautiful and rather nostalgic.
I realized the reason I like color is because there are so many colors. Pink wouldn't be so awesome by itself- its because there is green and yellow and orange and red and all the other colors as well. I don't know if I said that right. But it was great. I honestly don't know if I could do this quick 4 day trip many more times. I certainly feel my age when I'm on my feet for two days straight. Kaylee and Jack made the experience really awesome. Both littles danced all the way through Small World. It was awesome.
David took such good care of us all and arranged great accommodations. Now it's time to be home and rest up for a bit. Laura will be here awhile longer then Dave will be traveling for work. October is going to slip right through my hands. In some ways that's ok. :)
I switched on the tv just in time to see the end of Apollo 13.
I heard a line I'd heard and liked before, but this time- amid some personal worries it really brought the tears-
"with all due respect sir, I believe this to be our finest hour"
May it be so!
Our Father in heaven has sustained me and my loved ones my whole life. I am so thankful for that
She wrote of several things that "I probably have too many of.." The list included
glasses and mugs
grooming and cleaning products
reusable shopping bags- ya know, the ones with a handle
travel sized soaps, lotions, shampoo...
though I am guilty only on 4 or 5 of these things, books are certainly an addiction of mine. (DI/Books is like a liquor store/alcohol.)
Maybe it started when i was 5 and "rewarded" in going to school happily with a new book. I like them a lot! And to add to the madness, I have the kindle application and have gone too crazy on there too. There are too many free or less expensive kindle books!
These books were just the ones under my bed that I just pulled out to organize. I'm not sure why I do this-- there are worse things.....
I've seen the mixer way to shred chicken on pinterest so today I decided to try it. We're having Pixtons, all kinds, over for dinner tomorrow. I slow cooked chicken until it hit 165 degrees, then cooled it a bit. I broke it up a bit and put 3 pieces in at a time. I used the whipping blade, not the bread Kneaders one. It worked like a charm. The shredded chicken is now snuggled in BBQ sauce in the fridge. I'm glad I know this trick. Wonder if it would work with pork. We love to serve the cafe rio pork burritos when we have folks over ad well. I'll let ya know when I find out.
Awhile ago I set something up that compared Jacob to prince Harry. Several strangers have commented on Jacob looking like him. Now it comes out that Harry has been misbehaving. My little something will be posted here in the next few weeks, and I'm bummed that the England Harry hasn't been a good boy. Hope this something doesn't turn into something negative for my kid. We'll see...
After a week of being virtually beat up for some of the political things I've posted on fb, Dave took me out for a very nice evening. We went to see the Piano Guys at Thanksgiving point. The concert was outdoors, and the sky was cloudy and dark- and it rained on us, and it was awesome. David had set us up with a tarp and some blankets and a poncho so we stayed pretty dry. The piano guys are so talented and though we couldn't see their hands they sounded great. It was a greak little get away.
What a doll!! Love this boy. Laura, wisely, has been keeping Jack from his nap so he will go to bed easier. That makes between 3-6 very dangerous, we called it the bewitching hours. No Nap Zone! My favorite gramma trick was to take him out back to water the plants. He'd skinny down ago his diaper and have a great time.
Stephanie married Spencer, and oddly enough we don't see them much anymore. Kim moved back to Provo, so we only see her and Aaron on the weekends. Laura went back home, Joseph enrolled in a few institute classes, (which is so good!!) and Jacob is now in school. It's really different around here. It's good and sad too. It was so great to have a houseful for a little bit. I love love love my family and am so thankful that David still is home!!
A few days ago we were told that a dear member of the cedar hollow ward had passed away. David and each of the boys had home taught them the whole time they were in the ward. Brother Fred Pola is a kind quiet wonderful gentleman and blessed our family in such a loving way. As things went the family was in need of two eagle scouts to stand with the military 21 gun salute. Sister Pola asked if Jacob could help, and when I offered Joseph's serve as well she was very happy and relieved to have the two scouts she needed. Joseph and Jacob were flag bearers of the US and the Utah state flags. They looked so great and did a great respectful job. It was such a great funeral. It was full of love and tears. Neither of my sons had been to a funeral before. We hoped it wouldn't be too different for them. They both had such a great experience and felt a great reverent sacred spirit. I'm so thankful for this great service to my boys that Fred Pola gave to us. He is certainly a hero to us.
Last spring I heard about a woman's retreat that was going to be near my house. It was going to be held at the end of July which seemed so far away. I have been out I my groove for awhile and I hoped this might help me out. So I went and it was great.
I wasn't there 30 minutes before two ladies in my group told me they had been in abusive marriages. I heard women speak of their addictions, as well as the plague of porn and the wake it leaves. "my problems we quickly put into perspective. One night we had a fireside with Kenneth Cope. He sang the whole time and I was close (with in a few yards) so I could watch his hands while he played the guitar. It was great in so many ways. There was such beautiful spirit there. Went I got in my car to leave the news was on the radio, I felt the world come back into my life. It wasn't good.
After months of being a little lost, somewhat apathetic, I came away from this retreat with motivation and focus and a determination to be happy-- really happy. I've made goals having to do with my attitude and my relationship to my Father in heaven. My heart has been softened-- humbled, all in a positive loving way. It's hard to describe. I'm so thankful I went, and though they might say some of the same things next year- id sure like to go again. The last day was salon day and this picture is a few of us when we got back to the retreat.
I know you are dying to know what's been going on with this group. We've been pretty busy and mostly really happy with all we've been up to since our vacation. Here's a few or a lot of pictures so you can be caught up quickly. Btw, the facial hair is not mother approved, but I pick my battles.
We got home from vacation on a Monday, and the next day was girls camp. Things were such that I was only up for the afternoons and part of the evenings. We have such!!! Great!!! Young women!!! Another sweet slice of summer.
One evening while Steve was in China and Laura was putting the baby down, Jack came out while Dave and I were working on the yard. This little guy does like to skinny off his clothes and on a hot June night this grandma saw nothing wrong with that idea. He found a pair of garden gloves and put them on his feet. I wanted to snap a picture so I told him to smile- so he did. This picture makes me so happy!
Our niece Stephanie has been staying with us while she has a job, and a b-o-y-f-r-i-e-n-d in Utah county. Sooo! We got to be a tiny bit in the know for the official proposal. It was sooo cool!! Spencer will be a great addition to the big family
Fires have been crazy this summer. Earlier in June there was a fire across the valley from us, but right before the 4th we had one by us. It was really fast and people up in Alpine had to evacuate. Everything turned out ok- (after many prayers) (infact at stadium of fire, the prayer offered there was humble and submissive and very much pleading for help-- the next few days it rained and helped the fire situation. AWESOME!!!)