Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Celebration is Ending

Today marks the end of the two week celebration on The Family: A Proclamation to the World.  In case you can't tell, I love my family.  As I thought of which pictures and which statements I could use to portray that this year, I decided that I would dedicate these to our grandson.  It may be a few years before he's old enough to really understand, but as the oldest of our next generation, he has a great responsibility,'s never too early to start learning.  So, Wyatt, know that you are greatly loved.  We trust that you'll share that knowledge and love with your younger cousins and soon-to-be-born baby brother.

We solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God.

All human beings are created in the image of God and have a divine nature and destiny.

In the premortal realm, we accepted God's divine plan of happiness.

God's commandment for His children to multiply and replenish the earth remains in force.

We affirm the sanctity of life.

Husband and wife have a solemn responsibility to love and care for each other and for their children.

Happiness can be found in family life.

Extended families should lend support when needed.

Individuals who fail to fulfill family responsibilities will one day stand accountable before God.

We call upon responsible citizens everywhere to promote those measures designed to strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.

Don't forget to spend some time reading the wonderful thoughts and essays found on the following blogs:

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Burt Reynolds Park

The River Center - a mini museum (only took an hour or so to read everything!) with information on the Loxahatchee River and environs.
Even on a rainy day, the park, which is on an island in the Intracoastal Waterway, was beautiful.
We decided to downsize to save on charcoal.  The packaging said it would fit eight burgers, but I think two (maybe three) is really the limit.  Nevertheless, it worked and lunch was delicious.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Labor Day is a Family Day

Family Proclamation
The 3rd Annual Celebration of The Family: A Proclamation to the World started this week.  I thought it was neat that it coincided with the actual day (when our "baby" turned 18) that we started a new phase of our life.  Family is still important, whether you're living in the same house or not.  And we're going to keep doing all those little things we tried to do when the kids were at home with just the two of us.  In addition, I imagine we'll come up with some fun things for our new roles as grandparents and parents-in-law.  Stay tuned to see what happens!

Each day for two weeks there will be posts on the Proclamation at the following blogs.  
Be sure to check them out, because they're wonderful.  There will also be a few blog-hops.  Feel free to join the dialogue.  The first one is to share a craft, creation, or FHE lesson inspired by The Family Proclamation.  

Since I hadn't gotten around to posting about our Labor Day activities yet, I figured I'd share that as part of this celebration.  It goes right along with the phrase "Successful marriages and families are established and maintained on principles of faith, prayer, repentance, forgiveness, respect, love, compassion, work, and wholesome recreational activities." 

Over the years we've taken advantage of Monday holidays and turned our Family Home Evenings into Family Days.  This year was no different.  We started with a trip to the beach at Dubois Park.  The last time that was on our agenda we arrived around 11 AM and the parking lot was already full.  This time we got there closer to 9:30 AM.  There was still parking available, but all the picnic tables and grills were taken; it's a good thing we weren't planning on using them.  It's a wonderful family park, and it's going on the list of places to consider when the grandchildren visit.  Anyway, we set up our chairs on the beach and relaxed and read and watched all the happy families enjoying their day.
When lunchtime came, we went to a little restaurant (Guanabana's) on the intracoastal waterway and let someone else do the cooking, while we enjoyed each other's company and admired the view.

Finally, after our "wholesome recreational activities," we went home and did some "work."  But even washing and vacuuming cars can be fun when you do it together!

Here are the links to past holidays where Family Home Evening has lasted all day long, and sometimes even all weekend long.  Wonderful, wonderful memories and we're glad we're not done creating new ones.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Now She's Legal!

What a treat it was to welcome Michelle into our family 18 years ago!
I'm so grateful her big brothers still love and adore her.
Our pretty little princess grew into a beautiful young woman, yet she'll always be a pretty princess.
With pigtails or without.

One who always knew she wanted to attend Brigham Young University.  Now she's there!  Have a wonderful year.  We know it will be just as awesome as you are.
Happy, Happy Birthday to You!!!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Mozambique Maputo Mission Blog

No pictures for this post, but we received an email from President Kretly today that had a link to a blog they've set up to chronicle their mission experiences.  It's in Portuguese (they're Brazilian), but there are lots of pictures.  And, hey, Cody can read it.  Here you go -

Mozambique Maputo Mission Blog

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Rest of the Trip

Two down, one to go - at least for this trip.  This was actually the first time I got to help one of the boys move into their apartment; every other year we've sent them off on their own.  It's nice to have an idea of where Jeff will be living for the next eight months.
And I got to see where Brad works as well.
Once everyone was settled, it was time for some final good-bye photos, at least for Provo.
We wish our houses were just a bit closer to each other!
Enjoy your semester!!!
It was nice to be able to spend just a bit more time with the non-students, but even that had to come to an end eventually.  We can hardly wait until the next visit!
Flying may be just as tedious and tiring as driving, but at least it's a bit quicker, even with storm delays.  
And now that all our wonderful children are launched out into the world, it's time to start some new adventures of our own.  We're looking forward to it!!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

And Another Adventure Begins Too!

Things change as the years go by.  For our first three sons I was able to fly to Utah with them and say goodbye after the meeting inside the MTC in Provo.  Then Jeff was sent to the MTC in Argentina, so we said goodbye to him at the airport.  This time there were several more family members around, and our goodbyes were said across the street from the MTC.  It was still a marvelous experience, and I'm glad that there are unique memories for each missionary.
Lots of smiles!  It helps when someone is just super excited to serve, and anxious to get going on his "new normal."  Besides, we want to leave him with happy memories.

 Good-bye Elder!  See you in two years!!

Friday, September 7, 2012

The Adventure Starts!

What do I say?  Someone was more than ready to move into her college dorm!
We're grateful for all the help; the job was done quickly!  Or maybe we've just trained her well to not need a lot of things.

 Then it was time to check out the bookstore and Cougareat, where it was nice to run into an old friend.
Our little family miracle was that Steven's MTC entry date turned out to be the same day Michelle could move into her dorm.  That meant I could actually be involved in both events.  What a blessing!
 And thanks to Brooke (and her mommy) there was a yummy celebration cake at the end of our special day!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Trip West

Here's the last picture we took of Elder Whitaker before he got on the airplane; not the best, but we weren't there when he left for the airport.  Besides, this is a typical Sunday afternoon "Mom, why do you have the camera out?" pose.
The camera was out so that it would be ready to document our drive across the country!
After 40+ hours of highways, driving, and rest areas (with a little detour to see what Highland, Illinois looked like - that's where Wayne's Hug ancestors settled), we arrived at Weston's new house - 
where we got to get reacquainted with this cutie!
 Going to the park helped.
Michelle was glad she didn't have to wait any longer to finally meet her newest niece.  Brooke was happy too.
 Elder Steven did a good job of not getting his suit dirty.
Isn't it nice when you ask your kids what they want to do and the answer is "go to the temple"?  We had a great experience together.
 It didn't hurt that the evening ended with brownies and ice cream and a baby's smiles.
The only thing that could have made the day better was to have the missing family members there too.