Thursday, May 26, 2011

pop some popcorn & grab a tissue

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We'll be having an open house for Kristi (and the other graduating seniors in our ward) after her graduation ceremonies on Saturday, June 4th. Each graduate will have a table displaying some things about them. This slide show will be running on our laptop. If you decide to watch, you can click through them as fast as you want rather than watching it in real time. It's l-o-n-g, but I can't help such things. She's the only daughter I have . . .

Monday, May 16, 2011

nearing the end!

Once upon a time, I approached the end of a school year with 50% excitement and 50% jitters over how in the world my children and I would keep busy, happy and sane for three months with no school. My, how things have changed.

Now, around the time my kids go back to school after Christmas break, I start dreaming about summer vacation with 100% excitement and 0% jitters. Staying in bed past 5:00 a.m. tops the chart for me. You'll notice I said 'staying in bed' rather than 'sleeping in' because I love the luxury of the former even though I am generally unable to do the latter. I am very dutiful and completely reliable in my morning routine, and I even annoy the kids at times with my cheeriness, but I do not enjoy it. And by the end of the school year I am almost cursing it.

Because I work for the school district, I look forward to my own vacation - not just that of the kids. I enjoy my job, but I have found that the children are far more delightful in the beginning of the year than at the end. I love that summer means we all get enough sleep, we don't eat breakfast 'til 9:00, we stay up late watching movies, and generally try to be as lazy as we can stand. My kids would probably say I can't stand as much laziness as they can, but right now in May when things are still in full swing, I covet laziness and try to plan my summer around it as much as possible. It's nice to dream, right?

We spoke with Brennan on Mother's Day and it was wonderful! He sounded older and a bit more serious than we remember, but I guess that comes with the territory. He is doing great and working hard, and trying to stay solely focused on the work. He admitted that he was a little hesitant to talk to us because of that focus, but hopefully we didn't do too much damage! It was bittersweet by the time we had to say goodbye -- Austin and Dallin were particularly sad, and I had that feeling in the pit of my stomach again that I felt when he left in November. All of a sudden, instead of feeling amazed because he's already been out six months, I felt sad because he's only been out six months. Two years is a long time. But he is happy and healthy and doesn't want to be anywhere else.

On the fun side of life, Austin turned 15 recently, and for his "party" he wanted to take two close friends on the Ultimate Rush ride in Reno. They did it twice and had some good, scary fun.

And this weekend was Prom, and with Kristi being the VP of her senior class, she has had major responsibilities for it all year long. Budget constraints forced the prom to be held in the gym this year, which meant transforming the gym and the entrance foyer into their "midnight sky" theme. So. much. work. This past week we were all up at the school helping to lay flooring, hang lights, decorate tables, put bows on chairs, etc. etc. It turned out amazing. A cute boy from our ward who she has known most of her life (and who will be leaving on his mission in the fall) asked her to go with him. She was thrilled because she knew she would have fun with no stress whatsoever. She simply has no time in her life for boy stress. Anyway, they had a GREAT time.

That's Kristi in the middle on the floor, and Logan is the boy next to her on the left. This was somebody's birthday party probably about twelve years ago.

And here they are all grown up:

Hard to believe!!!!

Monday, May 2, 2011

great Monday reading

Here's this week's email from Brennan. He regularly reports that he's never been happier than he is now. He loves his mission!

Dear Shaffer Family!

Thanks again for your wonderful e-mail. I love hearing from you guys. Really quick before i forget, I will probably call in the evening sometime probably between 6-8 our time so get ready!! I also want to talk with Logan for like 5 min, and I'm not too sure if i'm really allowed to specifically call him, but if you could invite him over for me to talk to him real quick about his mission call I would love that.

This week has been a crazy week for sure. There has been a lot of weather around here. We have experienced over a FOOT of rain in just April alone!!! And i love it, its really different though - I'm not used to this at all. We've probably had 7-10 tornado warnings here, where the sirens go off and its pretty crazy. I still want to see one though. It’s also so so so green here. I cant really even explain how green it is here, it just blows my mind, and there are a ton of bugs. You guys all know how much I hate bugs. I've had the blessed opportunity to kill multiple cockroaches in our apartment which has been such a joy.

But now to the good stuff. This past weekend Colby Curtis WAS baptized, and I had the wonderful, wonderful opportunity of baptizing her. Nancy who you guys know was baptized a month ago gave the closing prayer and just started to cry. It was a very spiritual service and one that I'm so so grateful to be a part of. It took Nancy 4 months to get baptized, Colby 5 months, and Hopefully Darren will follow. I love that family with all my heart, I really couldn’t have asked for a better experience in my life than seeing this family change. It just wont be complete untill Nancy's husband Darren gets baptized. I love them so much. We saw them go from nothing, to walking Nancy down the aisle to get married, and the next day her being baptized and now Colby being baptized. Just amazing and my joy is truly full. I'm just so grateful that the lord has trusted me, and blessed me with the joy of seeing lives truly being changed by the gospel of Jesus Christ. Yesterday was fast sunday, and in Elders Quorum we had a testimony meeting, and I bore my testimony. Darren was there and i bore it on the conversion power of the holy ghost and really for the first time i felt the spirit just burn inside of me. I can’t even explain to you how amazing just that one little moment felt, truly the spirit of God like a fire is burning, and i just hope and pray Darren felt the spirit too.

I don’t really know what more to say to be honest, I'm doing great, I'm healthy. I'm lucky to be out here serving my mission. Oh yeah, we’re getting a new mission president in a month! His name is President Woodbury from salt lake and he is an attorney who graduated from Harvard and is a multi millionaire. So I look forward to getting to know him really well! Also what’s really cool is I haven’t been out that long but i really can’t imagine life back home. This is all I know and this is what I've slowly come to love. I am just so grateful to be on my mission and to serve.

I love you guys. I'll call you between 6-8 on Sunday (invite Logan). LOVE YOU ALL - you guys are great examples to me and push me every day to be better! Good job reading, Austin!

-Elder Shaffer

He's the cute one in the back:

He looks like a missionary, doesnt' he?

And this one is my favorite:

Have a great week and Happy Mother's Day a little early!!