Monday, December 31, 2007

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Its such a busy, fun time of year! We'll have pictures soon, and might even get around to sending that family Christmas letter I typed up a few weeks ago and still haven't printed, but for now, this blog is our way of saying hi. We love you all, and hope you had a good holiday. Between planning our move, buying a home, Christian's trip to India, hosting family for Christmas, and family sickness, we've had a few things to keep us busy, but we feel blessed all the same.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Road to Taj Mahal











After spending two long days at the supplier in Delhi, India, we took a break to give them time to complete a few action items. During our day off, we drove down to Agra to visit the Taj Mahal. Alvin and I have decide that anyone cited for road rage should be sentenced to driving in India for a week. It is crazy. No one stays in their lane, cows (and people) wander freely across the roads, and our driver has to dodge all of the slow moving traffic (horse, cow, camel, elephant, bicycle, weird three wheeled vehicles, people jaywalking) in addition to on coming vehicles that decide they ought to drive on our side of the road. The 175 km (110 mile) trip took us 5 hours each way.



It was worth it - the Taj Mahal is by far the most exquisite structure I have ever seen. Nothing even comes close. Every building in the entire compound could be considered a masterpiece. The Taj Mahal itself is white marble with semi-precious stone inlays (onyx, jade, lapis lazuli, carnelion, etc.), the other buildings in the compound are sandstone and white marble with semi-precious stone inlays. It took 20,000 workers 22 years to complete. Just an amazing place.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Happy Anniversary!

We're celebrating our 6th anniversary today--Six years, and so much to celebrate! Christian is my best friend, and I love the fun we have together and the great family we have together. Hannah likes to say in her prayers, "Please bless Mother and Daddy to love each other," and I'm happy to tell her that her prayers are definitely answered. In six years we've lived in three homes and three states (soon to be four), had four kids, one kid has had four operations, served in lots of different church callings, and thankfully spent a lot of time with friends and family. Our favorite thing about moving so often is making new friends and seeing new places (like an extended vacation). So I guess we'll keep on going... :)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Road to Taj Mahal










After spending two long days at the supplier in Delhi, India, we took a break to give them time to complete a few action items. During our day off, we drove down to Agra to visit the Taj Mahal. Alvin and I have decide that anyone cited for road rage should be sentenced to driving in India for a week. It is crazy. No one stays in their lane, cows (and people) wander freely across the roads, and our driver has to dodge all of the slow moving traffic (horse, cow, camel, elephant, bicycle, weird three wheeled vehicles, people jaywalking) in addition to on coming vehicles that decide they ought to drive on our side of the road. The 175 km (110 mile) trip took us 5 hours each way.



It was worth it - the Taj Mahal is by far the most exquisite structure I have ever seen. Nothing even comes close. Every building in the entire compound could be considered a masterpiece. The Taj Mahal itself is white marble with semi-precious stone inlays (onyx, jade, lapis lazuli, carnelion, etc.), the other buildings in the compound are sandstone and white marble with semi-precious stone inlays. It took 20,000 workers 22 years to complete. Just an amazing place.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Its beginning to feel a lot like Springtime

The tree is decorate (and un-decorate, then re-decorated, courtesy of the kids), there is a collection of Christmas presents hidden from the kids, we've made travel plans for family coming to visit, and its nearly 80 degrees outside. Something isn't quite right.... Christian leaves next week for India, so I'm trying to get as much ready for Christmas as possible so I don't have to worry next week when I'm on my own. I realized that it just doesn't feel like Christmas until I do a secret santa project, so I'm working on that today. Tonight the Young Women are assembling gift baskets for some older members of our ward (and the missionaries), so that'll help the feeling. I'm enjoying the constant Christmas music playing on the radio and trying to really get excited for the season, but with the move to Michigan hanging over my head, I can't quite feel ready.
Its the time of year I love getting Christmas cards from friends and family all over the country (and begin to feel badly that I haven't sent mine out) and love to check up on families we haven't seen in years. Last Sunday our YW lesson was on optimism, and the teacher, one of my counselors, asked me how I felt about moving so often. Its hard to move before really putting down roots in any one place, but I'm really grateful for all the people I've met because we were willing to take a chance on a big move. From our Provo friends and the group of kids born within a week of Hannah, to our Maryland friends, our family in Utah, Idaho, Washington, Massachussets, and Georgia, to college friends and high school friends, and now our friends here in the South, its nice to have this time of year to feel close to people again.
Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Something to share

E. T. Sullivan once wrote these interesting words: “When God wants a great work done in the world or a great wrong righted, he goes about it in a very unusual way. He doesn’t stir up his earthquakes or send forth his thunderbolts. Instead, he has a helpless baby born, perhaps in a simple home and of some obscure mother. And then God puts the idea into the mother’s heart, and she puts it into the baby’s mind. And then God waits. The greatest forces in the world are not the earthquakes and the thunderbolts. The greatest forces in the world are babies.”1

I read this quote in a talk by President Hinckley and it helped me remember the value of good motherhood. I've had a challenging time with my kids over the last few weeks and this helps. Just wanted to share...

Friday, December 7, 2007

Good news

Rachel is doing really well! I took her up to Chapel Hill on Wednesday for more programming and testing for her implant. The specialists there showed me how to keep the ear piece to actually stay on her ear. Rachel wore the implant all afternoon, and even slept with it. She told me that afternoon that she likes to hear. I feel like we are making real progress. She is responding to more sounds, making more sounds, and being much more cooperative. Her audiogram shows that she is hearing some speech sounds, but is still missing some frequencies. We still have a long way to go to teach her and find out what she can really hear, but I'm so pleased that the people we are working with now are so helpful. Thanks goodness for technology!
Otherwise, we're busy getting ready to move and trying to fit in some Christmas activities. Our ward Christmas party is tonight and we hope to get our tree this weekend. We've all been pretty sick, so that's slowed us down quite a bit. I'm on antibiotics for a persistent cough. Nathan has croup, bronchitis, and an ear infection and the girls are catching the cough. We've spent a lot of time at the doctor's office lately.
We're looking forward to Christmas. My Mom and sister will come for a week or so, and Jonathan and his family will come for New Years. Christian will spend the week before Christmas (including our 6th anniversary) on a business trip in India, but thankfully my Mom and sister will be here for part of that time, so I won't be alone again.
Take care, and happy holidays!