We have been called to serve a CES (Church Education System) mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the England Birmingham Mission. Our assignment is to work with the Young Single Adults - ages 18 to 30 years - teaching religion classes, supporting their activities, assisting in the day to day running of the institute, and anything else as directed by our Mission President. Our 18 month mission begins on December 27, 2010.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

JOURNAL - May 2 - 8


Spring break is over and the kids are back! Yippee! We had 17 at FHE tonight - so good to see them. We played a really fun game called "Fruit Salad." I can hardly wait to play the games I've learned from the YSA with my grand kids...so much fun!


Slower day today. Did some housecleaning and made a batch of oatmeal raisin cookies. Our oven here is awful. The recipe said to bake the cookies at 190 degrees C. for 10 minutes. Well, by the last tray of cookies I figured out that 100 degrees C. for 10 minutes was the best - otherwise they got crispy on the outside and were still raw in the middle.

This evening we did an in-service training for two new Ward YSA Reps. While we were in the meeting we got a text from Brad that Jenna was in labor. We rushed home and gave them a call. Then a couple hours later we Skyped with them - Jenna had her epidural and was comfortable so we could talk. Technology and medicine are both amazing. After our visit we left our computer on with Facebook up and watched as Brad posted updates on Jenna's labor progress.

About 11:40 p.m. we got a call from Brad over Skype. When we answered, Jenna's mom, Joanne, was there telling us that the baby was almost here. In about 2 minutes the room was filled with Jenna's doctors and nurses who confirmed it was time. Joanne was amazing as she sat at the computer in Jenna's labor room and gave us a "play by play" description as to what was going on and how Jenna was doing.

 Here we are on Skype with Joanne. Jenna's dad, Terry, was on speaker phone.

At 4:57 p.m. Utah time (11:57 p.m. England time) Joanne exclaimed, "She's here!" and in just a minute or so we heard wonderful newborn baby cries. Sweet little Gracelyn Ann weighed in at 7 pounds 3 ounces, and 19 inches long. She has lots of dark hair and is adorable!!! They held the computer camera up so we could see her and Jenna over Skype. 

Words can't express how grateful we were to share in this special experience. Thank you Jenna and Brad for letting us join you through Skype. Gracelyn (Gracie) is our 16th grandchild - 10 girls and 6 boys. This is the first time we've been "in the delivery room" and what a wonderful experience!!! The Dr. told Jenna that Gracelyn was a "miracle baby." Jenna had a partial abruption and there was a true knot in the cord - problems I am very familiar with. Gratefully both Jenna and Gracelyn are doing great! Our only problem now will be trying to sleep after all the excitement!

Wednesday, May 4

Busy day. We went to our first Zone Conference and it was great. It is always fun to be with the young missionaries. President Ogden is a great mission president and very loved by all the missionaries. He spoke and we had training from Elder and Sister Kearons - area authorities. It was a good, inspirational day. We left as soon as it was over to go get things set up for Institute at Birmingham. I taught D&C Section 135. The Institute Choir is learning "Break Forth Into Joy" - a favorite song my friends from the Leona Valley Women's Ensemble sang. The choir director wasn't sure about it at first as it has only two parts, but after getting into it she and the rest of our small choir LOVE it!!! Yea! I love playing it!

After Institute we came home and Skyped Jenna and Brad. Everyone is doing great and Gracelyn is even cuter today - I know...hard to believe! Allison and Devon are both thrilled with their new little sister. While we were on Skype with them, Lori, Emily, Marianne, and Lori's three little girls came to visit Jenna and the baby in the hospital. It was great to see them all, and be in the room through Skype while they were visiting. Love Skype! Other than not actually holding Gracelyn, I don't feel like we are missing out on anything.

Thursday, May 5

Had a restful morning. Was so tired (probably from all the new baby excitement) I even took a nap. Also made cinnamon rolls to take to our Lichfield kids tonight. They were only fair - let them raise too long - but the kids "wolfed" them right up. Devon taught tonight. I got to sit and listen - wonderful! I really do love Lichfield!

Friday, May 6

Busy day of errands. We made copies of info for the Ward Reps, picked up the refreshments for the upcoming CES Fireside, picked up Devon's prescription refills, went to the post office and the bank, and we both got haircuts. I'm trying to let my hair grow out (ugh), a miserable process. I mentioned something about my bangs to, Teresa, my hairdresser. She looked at me with a puzzled look then said, "Oh, you mean the fringe." We both had a good laugh. Fringe/bangs - same thing apparently!

Saturday, May 7

We planned to go to the Black Country Living Museum today, but woke up to heavy rain. Checked the weather forecast on the internet and it predicted rain all day, so we decided to wait for better weather to go to an outside venue. Instead we caught the bus and went to city center to see a movie - "Water for Elephants" - actually enjoyed it.

When we arrived home we were greeted by our downstairs neighbor who said she had some flowers for me and produced a beautiful bouquet that was delivered while we were gone. Seems our wonderful kids got together to send me flowers for Mother's Day, which is tomorrow. What a wonderful surprise!!! With the flowers was a very sweet note - made my cry...not tears of homesickness, just tears of joy at being loved so much!
Sunday, May 8 - HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY

Enjoyed Sacrament Meeting at Stourbridge Ward - a very nice, small ward about 30 minutes from our flat. On the way home we stopped for dinner at a nice pub/restaurant close to Harborne Ward - pretty good meal for 5 pounds ($8) each. We attended the CES Fireside at Harborne Ward. Had a good turn out for the fireside and enjoyed visiting with the kids. We enjoyed Skype conversations with most of our kids and got another look at our adorable new grand daughter, Gracie. It was a very good Mother's Day!!!