Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Where in the World is Tara Going?

Tara officially sent in her missionary papers this past Wednesday. In our front entry hall we have set up some maps and anyone who comes to the house (UPS man/wrong address/neighbors/salesmen) have to make a guess as to where she is going. If you can't make it by the house just send me a message of where you think she will go and we will put a flag up for you!

A USA Map!

A World Map!

We have Great prizes for the winners! We have stationary to write Tara letters on, colorful pens to write her colorful letters, birthday, Halloween, & Christmas cards to send her when she is gone. As well as the Grand Prize of......books of stamps to use to send her letters!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Welcome Home Jordan!

We went to pick up Jordan, in Paris, on July 21st. Brad had a work issue that kept him from coming until the next day, so Jordan and I spent that first day just walking around her neighborhood in Paris.

Here is Jordan in front of her favorite garden!

Every time we have gone to Paris, it has either been for work or with our kids as tourists. This was our first time to just get to mosey around the city, sit in the gardens and have absolutely nothing to do or see. It was so fun.

Jordan's apartment was only a few blocks from Notre Dame.

This is where you exit on the Bastille metro stop. It is where Jordan lived. If you turned the camera around her apartment is right behind us.

Sitting on the Seine!

We were able to visit all of Jordan's favorite gardens!

On Sunday we went to church. It was fun to meet Jordan's district and watch her at work. We were able to attend a baptism of a man that Jordan had been teaching on Saturday and watch him get confirmed on Sunday.

Jordan saying good-bye to her companion! She had trained Sister Smith so it was like watching them cut the umbilical cord.

Then we rented the smallest car ever and drove up to Normandy.

Along the way we stopped and had lunch in this town called Rouen. Whenever I have watched Beauty and the Beast, I always thought it was weird that Belle was in France because it just did not seem like the France I knew. But after going to Rouen, I know where Belle lived. I kept expecting a little baker to step out of his shop and say, "Bon Jour!"

The buildings were all so colorful. The whole time I was there I felt like we were at Disneyland in a little French Village.

After we left Rouen, we went up to another little town called Caen. This was where Jordan lived for 4 months.

This is a view of the city from William the Conqueror's Chateau.

Another picture of this cute City!

The front of William's little chateau

I don't know if you will remember in Jordan's letters when she talked about getting pooped on by pigeons EVERYDAY walking under a bridge on her way to the church. Well funny thing is, she forgot to mention it was a 1,000 year old bridge that was the entrance to William the Conqueror's Chateau. I think when you live in places like this, you forget that us Americans think stuff like that is totally cool! I think she should have felt honored to be pooped on by those pigeons.

Here is the entrance to her apartment.

Caen was just as cute as Rouen, and I could not stop taking pictures. This is the street where Jordan lived. The whole middle of the town was filled with bright buildings and cobble stone streets that were only open for walking.

Still walking around Caen.

After leaving Caen we drove up to the World War 2 sights. Here is one of the guns on Omaha Beach.

Here is a map of the beaches and you can see Omaha Beach in the background.

Walking down to Omaha Beach!

On the beach

After we walked down to Omaha Beach we went and visited the American Cemetery.

It was amazing. That's really all I can say. I think you would have to go there to believe it.

After we left the cemetery, we went and visited more of the beaches. Here is Brad in a crater made from a bomb hitting the ground. The entire area for miles was just like swiss cheese with these craters.

You can see on the left another big gun and Brad and Jordan walking down to the edge of the cliff. This is the cliff where the Americans came and climbed up on ropes to the top of the cliff to overtake the Germans.

The thing that was most amazing to me, is that this entire area is one of the most beautiful and peaceful places I have ever visited in my entire life. It was hard to even picture the fighting and loss of life that took place here.

And the highlight of the trip was going to visit with Marie Laure and her kids in Caen. This a lady that Jordan and her companion started talking to on a bus one day. Marie Laure told the girls that she thought they "glowed" when she saw them and wanted to visit with them. Marie Laure was baptized this past spring. Here is Brad looking at a picture book of Jesus with Gabrielle.

Here is Jordan with Rapael, Marie Laure and Gabrielle. It was amazing to watch Jordan and this little family sit on the floor together and chat like they had been best friends forever. Even though Brad and I couldn't understand a word that was said, it was easy to see how much Jordan loved this family and how much they had meant to her and vice versa. Marie Laure asked me how could I have ever let Jordan go out on a mission and leave us for a year and a half. After sitting in this little family room and watching them all together, I had an easy answer. I told her that I could let her go for a year and a half, so that she could come and help families like hers find the gospel so they could be together forever too!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Stephanie's Wedding

My niece, Stephanie, got married in July.

Here are Tara, Steph & Halle at the Mt. Timpanogas Temple

Halle took her job as a flower girl seriously and did her best not to let Steph's dress drag on the ground!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Utah State Gymnastics Championships!

Halle competed in the Utah State Gymnastics Championships in June. The season begins in Feb and there are 6 meets over the next 4 months. The scores at all of the meets are added up and the top 25 girls come to Salt Lake City in June for the State Championships.

I didn't want the suspense to get to you, so I started with a picture of Halle and her medals.

Halle scored,

9.575 on vault - 2nd Place
9.475 on bars - 1st Place
9.325 on beam - 3rd Place
9.3 on floor - 3rd Place

37.575 - 1st Place All Around

Halle was the Utah State Level 4 All-Around Gymnastics Champion!