Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Fun in the Emerald City

To ease the emotional pain of my youngest brother leaving for his mission, I drove over to Seattle to spend some time with my family and friends.  
My oldest brother, Bryan and his wife and kids live just south of Seattle.  They were kind enough to let me crash their weekend for some crazy aunt time.  Amazingly enough I had never been to Snoqualmie Falls, so we drove the kids up to North Bend where Bryan was waiting for us.
The hike down to the base of the waterfall was closed, but we were able to walk along the observation deck up top.

The Falls were gorgeous; I wish the pictures did it justice.

I absolutely love my nieces and nephews!  Max is finishing up fourth grade, Natalie is finishing kindergarten, Katrina started preschool, and little Sadie joined us in December.  Their house is a house full of princesses and pink ponies...poor Max :)
I just wish we lived closer!

The Happy Family

             Max is so grown up!                 Doesn't get much cuter than this smile!

I couldn't get a good picture of Katrina and I, she was a little tired after waking up from her nap early.  I did however get a magical moment with Sadie, before she started crying again...just enough time for a cute picture!

While I was in Seattle I met up with one of my close friends that I lived with in New Zealand, Lisa Holman.  She came and visited me in the Fall and it was so fun to catch up with her again!
Lisa is one of those girls that everyone who meets her absolutely adores her.  I truly feel blessed to have had her as my close friend for over seven years now!
I love you, girl!

Thanks everyone for making my weekend so much fun!  I am so blessed to have such amazing family and friends!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Elder Adams

At the end of April I flew back home to Washington for my youngest brother's mission farewell.  Bradley has been called to the Fortaleza, Brazil mission and reported to the Brazil MTC (missionary training center) on April 28th.  I still can't believe he's old enough to go on a mission!

There is an 11 year gap between Bradley and I in age, so most of my experiences with him at home were when he was a youngster.  Being the only girl out of six kids, I found Bradley to be my little alli.  True looking back I probably scarred him a bit by making him play barbies with me, but he turned out pretty darn well so I'm not too sorry for that!
I remember singing him and my other younger brother, Stuart, to sleep at night or reading them stories.  I would even pay him a quarter to sit and brush my hair as I watched movies...ok he really was a saint for putting up with me!
Basically, I can't believe he is old enough to spend two years teaching the gospel in Brazil!
That makes me feel so old...

After church we had a few people over so everyone could say goodbye to Bradley before leaving.  My oldest brother, Bryan, and his family drove over from Seattle for the weekend.  They were kind enough to pick me up from the airport and allow me to watch Barbie movies in their van with my nieces while driving over to Ephrata.  Lots of fun!
I love any chance I can get to see them, since we live so far away.  Their girls are true girls, pink clothes, princesses, and ponies through and through.  My kind of fun :)  Max on the other hand, had quite the hero complex with Bradley, following him around as much as possible.  Only 9 years til he'll leave!


We were able to spend some quality time with our favorite adopted grandparents, Grandpa Bill and Grandma Doris.  Grandpa promised he'd hold on til Bradley got back from his mission, so he better keep his word!

The next morning Dad, Mom, and I drove Bradley over to Spokane to catch his flight.  In the past missionaries have reported to the MTC in Utah, but with the growing missionaries in Brazil they opened a training center in Sao Palo.  

Checking in with all he'll need for two years...perfectly packed with care by mother.

It was really hard on mom and dad to just put him on a plane and send him straight to Brazil.  Ok, I guess we were all kind of a mess...


While he was going through security, the TSA checker turned out to be a member of our church and congratulated Bradley on his journey.

We had arrived to the airport two hours before it was to depart to make sure everything went smoothly.  After Bradley checked his luggage he decided it was better to go through security and wait by the gate instead of weeping openly with his emotional family on the other side of the glass.  After watching him disappear through the traffic of flights, we went back to the car in the parking garage to wait.  Yes, dad and mom refused to leave the airport until his plane took off.  So there we sat on the top floor of the parking garage watching his luggage board, then the plane taxi out to the run way, and finally the take off.  As you can tell from the pictures, my parents were a tad weepy!



He made it safely to Sao Palo and has been training for almost three weeks now, only 93 more to go!

Blue Eyed Birthday Boy

It doesn't get much cuter than those blue eyes!!
Before leaving for Washington, my little nephew Will turned 1.  I was so glad that I was around for the festivities.  I know I am totally biased being his aunt and all, but I can't get enough of him.  He is constantly smiling, laughing, wanting to be held, etc.  He's quite the flirt as well, batting his eyes and laying his head on your leg.  
I think the thing I love the most is how much his siblings adore him.  It is a common occurance for Will to wake up from a nap and within minutes be surrounded by three equally adorable faces smuthering him with excited kisses.  Will is quite the trooper through it all, which makes him even more lovable. 

For his birthday Heather made him his very own cake.  He was a little nervous at first so she let Lincoln, Rulon, and Ellis dive into the cake with their hands to show him how it's done.  Needless to say he caught on and within a few minutes nearly slipped into a sugar coma!  

I'm just so grateful that Dallas and I are here with family.  I've always loved the bay area and have loved all the adventures we've had here, but it wouldn't be the same without family so close!

Happy Birthday little Will!  We love you so much and are so grateful you joined our family!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Upcoming Events...

So one of the beautiful things about being unemployed is that I don't have a set schedule to hinder me from activities...namely helping out my family.  I was able to travel to my hometown, Ephrata, the past couple weeks to spend some time with my family.  My youngest brother, Bradley, left on his mission to Brazil and I wanted to make sure that I could spend some time with him before leaving.  I also knew that I'd need to take care of my emotionally charged parents...Bradley is the baby of the family after all.  Their final boy to leave on his mission!  I will further document the activities of this week later...
On Monday, my mom and I drove from Washington down to California, spending a night in some random Oregon town along the way.  We are going to be spending the next two weeks babysitting my older brother's four children.  They live in Concord (only 15 minutes away from Dallas and I) and are celebrating their 10 year anniversary by traveling to Brazil.  Erik and Heather have never left their children before, so it's going to be a fun two weeks!  
So for the next few days, I'll get to babysit the four most adorably crazy nephews and niece with my incredible mom.  In other words...I may not be blogging for the next few days!

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