December 2010

December 2010

Sunday, January 29, 2012

You Are Hereby Called to Serve...

Derek received his mission call letter this week! It came to our house on Thursday and I hurried it to the post office to Express Mail it to him. The post office wouldn't guarantee next day in rural Rexburg, Idaho, so I went over to Postal Annex and paid the big bucks to have FedEx handle it. They guaranteed it would be there. And it arrived on time!

Derek had class and tests until after 7:00 p.m., and Caitlin and Billy needed time to get there all the way from Provo, so we were finally able to all get together on Skype about 7:45 p.m. Friday night! Gene and Michele happened to be in Rexburg visiting Travis and Tyler, so they got to participate, too!

Technology expert Cami making sure all the TV's and cameras were working. This is a picture of our computer screen.
We were anxiously waiting at home...
Waiting for Cait and Bill to arrive. He looks a little nervous. But I love that smile!
Tyler arrived!
Caitlin and Billy arrived!!
Yay! So excited they're there!
Here goes...
I love how Caitlin and Billy are looking at each other :).

This is the booklet that gives details about his missionary service, what to bring, etc.
  Oops, this isn't where it says where he has been called to serve.
Ah, here it is...
Derek reading the letter -

Dear Elder Sutherland:

You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the Missouri Independence Mission. It is anticipated that you will serve for a period of 24 months.

You should report to the Provo Missionary Training Center on Wednesday, June 13th, 2012. You will prepare to preach the gospel in the English language. Your assignment may be modified according to the needs of the mission president.

You have been recommended as one worthy to represent the Lord as a minister of the restored gospel. You will be an official representative of the church. As such, you will be expected to maintain the highest standards of conduct and appearance by keeping the commandments, living mission rules, and following the counsel of your mission president. As you devote your time and attention to serving the Lord, leaving behind all other personal affairs, the Lord will bless you with increased knowledge and testimony of the restoration and of the truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Your purpose will be to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. As you serve with all your heart , might, and strength, the Lord will lead you to those who are prepared to be baptized.

The Lord will reward you for the goodness of your life. Greater blessings and more happiness than you have ever experienced await you as you humbly and prayerfully serve the Lord in this labor of love among his children. We place our confidence in you and pray that the Lord will help you become an effective missionary.

You will be set apart as a missionary by your stake president. Please send you written acceptance promptly, endorsed by your bishop.


Thomas S. Monson

The whole crew! Except Cami isn't in there, or Gene or Michele...bummer!

Derek will be an amazing missionary! We are so very excited and proud of him. There is a ton of church history in that part of the country. The early church members received incredible persecution until they were literally expelled from the state. He will learn so much as he walks where they walked and feels of the sacrifices made before him. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

A Banner Week!

Seriously! We've had a very normal week - school, work, laundry, broken dishwasher, more school - but we've had some very exciting things happen that need to be recorded!

First of all, Derek submitted his mission papers! This is what the status said on Tuesday -
And as of Friday, the status of his papers say, "Assignment Made," which I think means he has a call, it just has to get mailed to us!

So, we're thinking it will be this week, we'll know where this handsome kid is going to serve the Lord for the next two years! See, he even has his missionary badge on!

Another wonderful event this week, my niece, Hayley, got engaged!! We love Dan, and we especially love her! She is best friend cousins with all of my kids! And our families are very close! We are so excited!!

And the week rounded off with Cody winning a gold medal at his wrestling tournament yesterday. Three matches, three pins, three wins = gold medal!

Last week we had a tough dual match against our rival school, Mt. Carmel. We won almost every match! Our varsity was awesome! And, Cody won!

Jayce insisted I include this picture of the monster bubble he made. I think it fits in our awesome week!

I have pondered on spiritual lessons this week - Do you know how long I have hoped and prayed that we would have a missionary from our family? I mean, I do have four sons! When they were little I sang to them, "I Hope They Call me on a Mission." And, do you know how long I have prayed for and put Hayley's name in the temple? The Lord hears and answers prayers, and it's often in the "waiting upon the Lord" we find ourselves closer to Him. As many sadnesses as we have had in years past, this joy surpasses it.

Last night I thanked Cody for being such a good kid. I think he thought that was a weird thing for me to say. I told him how fun it was to have him around, fun to talk to, fun to goof around with, and how fun it is to cheer him on in life. This has been a good week because more than anything, I am recognizing how very blessed I am. And it's the people in my life, my family, that are my greatest blessings.

Monday, January 9, 2012

LSU vs Alabama

You may or may not know, LSU is part of our family, it literally runs in our veins. My Dad and most of my siblings were born in Louisiana. I have tons of LSU alums in my family. For as long as I can remember, LSU has been in the top 10 in the nation in college football. And for probably 100 years, LSU and Alabama have been bitter rivals. This year they have similar records, and they play tonight for the National Championship. I don't have a lot of time to follow any sports, but I will watch this game. 

My brother, Mike, gave Cody a shirt and told him to wear it. We gotta spread the tiger spirit all the way to the west coast! Cody is wearing it with pride! I can't wait to ask him what comments he got at school today when he comes home.

GEAUX TIGERS!! (Interpretation=GO TIGERS!)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Pinned in the Second Period!

Cody's wrestling season has begun in earnest. Before the Christmas break he had a couple of dual matches, one he lost, and one he didn't wrestle. There was a tournament where he won one match and lost two. It hasn't been a banner season...yet.

On Thursday I drove up to San Marcos to Mission Hills High School to watch him wrestle. I have to pay $9 to go in, $5 for me and $4 for Jayce. I think that is way too much money. It would cost more than $200 for Mark, Jayce, and me to attend all his matches, but I digress.

I got there just in time. I saw one match and then Cody was up.

 The first period...

The struggle...

The PIN!

 Whew! Wrestling is SO hard for a mom to watch. I tell ya!

P.S. For those of you wondering why the pictures are so far away...see, I had Mark's serious camera, and I don't know how to change the lens to the telephoto one. So, this is what I got. Oh well, next time!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Just us Girls!

Well, almost. Billy was there, too.

I have always dreamed of spending a few days up in Utah with Caitlin, and my dream came true! We had kind of planned to go up to Utah as a family after Christmas because Billy and Caitlin had to go back up for work, but we decided to just send me instead. It was a blast!

To get a cheap flight (relatively), I flew to Denver, had a three hour layover, and then flew to Salt Lake. It always bothers me to fly past a destination before actually going there. And, the turbulence was absolutely the worst I've ever felt (do you think it was because it was a cheap flight?). Anyway, I arrived late on Wednesday night. Thursday morning, we went for a long walk (both of us are fighting colds, so no running) and then we showered and got ready for the day. Then we made a grocery list for all the recipes we wanted to try while I was in town. Next on the agenda was Caitlin getting her hair cut. She cut off eight inches!! (Insert picture here, that I didn't take). The stylist also took time to curl her whole hair. It was so pretty! (Again, insert picture here.) We ran to the store to get just the things we needed to make sweet & sour meatballs in the crock pot, then we ran home to put it all together before heading for the mall.

We went to gap and found some great deals and decided to not return the jeans she got for Christmas. Then we went to Banana Republic and she found an adorable coat that was on sale for $99, but she didn't get it (and later lamented). We had to hustle home to finish dinner and eat before heading up to the Draper temple to attend Abbie's own endowment session! The Hepworth's were there, and Charlotte and Danielle, and the Dunn's, of course! Abbie was one of my Mia Maids almost 10 years ago!

After the temple, we met Billy at JCW's for milkshakes. (I really wanted chocolate cake from The Chocolate, but they were closed :(. )

On Friday, we opted to not exercise and go out to breakfast at Magelby's. Oh my! Best pancakes I've ever had! They looked kind of like this, but not exactly. But, oh, so good!

Billy had to go to work, so we had to go play. We went to the mall to try to find the aforementioned coat, and it wasn't there! They checked other stores and found it, and Caitlin took back a shirt I had gotten her, and the coat was on sale for $79, so she ended up paying like $25 for a $200 coat that is so cute! Then we went to a shoe store to look for boots, but ended up trying on a ton of shoes, but getting irritated by the experience. She ended up with two pair of shoes, and I got one. Then we headed back to Nordstrom to the Clinique counter to find some make up. It was way fun to get Caitlin color matched and find just the perfect stuff! By now we were kind of over shopping (believe it or not) and we needed to go home to cook some more yummy stuff.

We made baked creamy chicken taquitos and creamy lime-cilantro dressing. We got it all ready to take some to Billy on his short break at work. Oh, we made chocolate zucchini bread, too!

After that we went back to her place and watch The Help. I had read the book, and wanted to see the movie. It was way good! Except Billy came home at the very, very end, like the emotional part, so he had to pretend he wasn't home yet so we could experience the end. Haha.

On Saturday we woke up and did the walk up and around the Provo temple. Again, we should've been running, but neither of us felt up to it. Then we came back home to make some yummy breakfast. We made apple cinnamon roll thingys and little smokies wrapped in bacon. It took forever, but was worth it. Then we showered and got ready to hit the town.

We headed up to a mall where they had Crate and Barrel (we love that store, and to visit Abbie) and another store H&M. It was headache-status-crowded so we got out of H&M as fast as we could. We also were in charge of dessert, so we got a cheesecake and the Cheesecake Factory to take to dinner at John and Barbara's house that night. Little did we know that everyone in Utah decided to shop at that mall and at the Cheesecake Factory that day!

We went home, got ready for dinner, and headed over the John and Barbara's for dinner. We got to meet Dan, Hayley's boyfriend. He's super awesome! And he handled my interrogation questions pretty well. I may be banned from the family, now, though.

Then, back to Caitlin and Billy's to play some games and welcome in the new year!

It was a super fun trip, one I've always dreamed to take. I wish we could've cooked more. I really want to make bread and homemade cinnamon rolls, but that will be after she gets a Bosch! The trip was just too short, even though we had three whole days to ourselves to just play! And, the BYU Bookstore was closed so we couldn't get cherry sours, which is a highlight of a trip to Utah. Also, I didn't get Cafe Rio. What was I thinking?

Thanks for having me, Cait and Bill! What a treat!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Sutherland Christmas Day in OC

Every year we Grandma and Grandpa pick a day and have all of us over for dinner and presents. It's usually a day or two after Christmas. We bring our gifts to them, and they give their gifts to us. And it's a fun time to see most all of the family. This year was particularly great because John and Barbara and their family came from Utah.

We gave G&G a gift certificate to the Orange County performing arts center. Big hug for that!
Jayce got a dinosaur model. He gave hugs of thanks to G&G. (He was grateful, but when he heard all the other kids get money, he really wanted money. Maybe next year...)

 Some of the shots around the room...

And, the star of every show is Olivia Yo Yo! These little ones are going to be what we look forward to seeing from now on! I'm glad Kim and Adam made the drive down from Utah.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 2011

We had the Taylor-Jensen's over for Christmas Eve dinner and our little program. We love them!
After the evening festivities, Cody finished the second puzzle of the season.
 Cookies and milk for Santa!
Cinnamon rolls rising for Christmas morning.
Our family routine is the kids have to wait on my bed until everyone has assembled before they can come down to see what Santa brought.

 Santa brought a trampoline!
And another nerf gun! This one shoots discs!
 Christmas Breakfast! Our favorite!

 Pennie got a bone...she was busy with it all day. And if we tried to take it, well, she got grumpy!

 No holiday is complete without tons of dishes, haha!

 Jayce made this for Cody!
 Pennie helping Derek with his present...

This holiday season was wonderful, just way too busy! I want to try to slow it down a bit and I will make every effort to next year. The reunion and wedding were wonderful! But Christmas came and went too quickly! I am so very grateful for time...time with family. I love my family so much! And we get to spend more time together over the holiday...we play, do puzzles, watch movies, go for runs, shop, cook, and eat. We are so blessed!