Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Here we go again

One of the many things that we need to do before we leave for our mission, is rent (or if persuaded for the right price) sell our home.  To do this, we obviously must show our home to those interested, even if it means last minute.  The great thing about this, is that we get a really clean and tidy house!  Again, as stated in an earlier posting, it was so nice to think that the cleaning and organizing for the house was done for the week, allowing us to concentrate on other things on our "to do" list...Or so Kim thought.....similar to an earlier post, she cleaned most of the day on Monday for the home to be shown, but then early the next morning, after dropping Jacob off at school came home to this....again.....

And then she remembers....the walls are being painted today, tomorrow and the next day.  Its about now that she remembers that she gets to attend a much needed "Time out for Women" conference with her sweet sister-in-law Sarah and friends from church.

(this is the only picture we took of us, maybe because we were in "time out")??

Sunday, April 28, 2013

40 days and 40 nights

We have 40 days and 40 nights until we leave Missouri....and the forecast is predicting nice weather ahead!  It helps that our second son, Isaac (Elder Ames) will be coming home in 10 days after not seeing him for 2 years!  He has been serving a mission in Chile, and from his e-mails, loving every minute of it....even despite the fleas the size of a thumbnail, hernias, pin worms, couple earthquakes among other adventures!  He now speaks Spanish fluently, has a deep love for Chile and the people there, and with him as a traveling assistant these past few weeks, he can now sleep easily on a bus or floor.  Hmmm...wish we would have known that before we set his bed back up. :-)
We can't believe how fast 2 years has gone! He'll be coming home and speaking in church on Mother's Day.  We'll be leaving and speaking in church two weeks later.

Pictured above is just one of the many Concepcion Chile mission zones.  The one smiling really big would be our Elder Ames, or is it the one in the nice dark suit? Or the one 2 back and to the right from the sister in the yellow sweater? And that would be his Mission President and wife sitting in front on the right.   Its so nice to see how happy they are, and they don't look tired, nope not one bit!

To those who are not members of our faith:
What are Zones??-Every part of the world is assigned to be within a mission of the church, whether or not LDS missionaries are active in the area.  A mission president presides over the missionaries in the mission.  

Most missions are divided into several zones, a zone being a geographical area specified by the mission president (though these are often the same area as the LDS ecclesiastical unit known as a "Stake") Each Zone encompasses several missionaries, and each mission encompasses several zones.  In Texas there are 13 zones and total as of now 275 missionaries.  

What does it mean to "give a talk"?- During worship services on Sundays, members of the congregation are selected in advance to give a "talk" (the LDS equivalent of a "sermon") on a particular gospel principle or topic.  Often the congregation will hear from one or two youth speakers and one or two adult speakers during these meetings.  

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Jumping for joy

Our last day in the basement was spent listening to the 183rd LDS General Conference.  And did we ever jump for joy!
Not only because we were able to walk on our just sanded and stained hardwood floors.....finally! And not only because we were able to cook again in a real kitchen (equipped with sink, oven, stove top, microwave, etc.)...finally!  But mainly because we LOVE to spend the weekend watching Conference together.  The Conference actually begins Saturday morning and ends Sunday evening, with a total of six two-hour sessions,  (and an additional Priesthood session for priesthood holders)  Conference always inspires, encourages, invites, and motivates us to want to be better.... and the morning Sunday session, always comes with our traditional conference crepes.

These same pictures were texted to Alex and Chelsea (who live in Provo, Utah) to remind them what they have to look forward to, the next time we're all able to watch Conference together......they misunderstood our intent and assumed that we were actually trying to torture them. Okay....maybe we were just a tiny smidgen?  But you have to love their comeback...
Needless to say, it worked.  We were all craving ring pops by the second talk.  
Every now and then we get the opportunity to attend Conference at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City, where the music and feeling experienced is beyond description.  Alex and Chelsea were able to attend on Saturday.  We tried to pick them out, but found it difficult with over 34,000 people to choose from.
Meanwhile......back at home down in the basement.....
During the Conference, Church leaders speak on a variety of spiritual topics.  The talks vary in length from about 5-20 min.  Topics are not assigned and each speaker chooses his or her own subject matter. The topics address significant issues of current events, with speakers encouraging individuals and families.  
 This Conference was especially special because it was Jacob's first Priesthood session.   
And its usually during this time that the girls will have a "girls night out".... and the girls did just that. 
Overall it was a great Conference and and it seemed as if we were listening with different ears this time around, with our mission just around the corner.  In addition to always giving us new goals to commit to, Conference always seems to bring life back into view as it should be...as President Hinkley put it so perfectly, "In all of living, have much fun and laughter....life is meant to be enjoyed, not just endured"!

    Note to those who are not members of our Faith:

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Down in the basement, to do list and all

Just to quickly recap...the rental company that we hired to rent out our house for the 3 years that we will be gone, suggested that in order to be able to rent for the higher bracket, we needed to refinish our floors, replace our sink and put a fresh coat of paint on the walls.  So in order to do the floors, we have lived in our basement for the past 3 days.  Other than having to eat out of the storage room, its actually been a fun experience!  What more does one need than a toaster, bread and water, nutella, peanut butter and thrive canned goods!

 Okay we did order in some dinners at least, and glad that we did because this was Kim and Jessica's fortune found in a fortune cookie that we were splitting, when we ordered Chinese food.....we thought it was very appropriate  with us leaving in 57 days...but who's counting?!
We were finding that our "to do" list of things to do before leaving was scattered around on sticky notes, notebooks, ipads, etc. so to try and make it easier, we created a "Master List" of things that needed to be done in the next 57 days, along with forms that needed to be filled out, etc.  That too went down in the basement with us and down in the basement, it just may stay, at least for a few more days.
But even with so much that needs to be done, in a small amount of time....we always take time to enjoy what we love most about Missouri....

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

House for rent

So yesterday, the rental company (that we are having rent out our home while we are gone) came to take pictures of what it felt like every nook and cranny of our home.  This of course meant cleaning, cleaning, and even more cleaning!  Kim ran Jacob to school, then went back home and is pretty sure she just cleaned for four straight hours.  She was feeling the pressure of everything looking "just right"....because after all, these are the pictures that will be shown to interested, potential renters.  Kim- "I think I can honestly say that my house was pretty close the cleanest I have had it in a long time"!  The company came and went, but not without putting the lease sign in our yard first (sniff) it was a surreal moment, that we were really leaving for three years.

It didn't help to see Jessica and Jacob playing and frolicking through the yard, playing basketball AND to have one of the prettiest sunsets of the year.  Okay, realistically, we get one of these gorgeous Missouri sunsets at least once a week.  Its one of our most favorite things about Missouri and where our home is located.
Kim had an appt she needed to get to after dropping Jessica and Jacob off at home and couldn't help but think as she was driving away..."I sure hope the house will still be that clean when I get home".  It didn't take her long to realize once she walked in the door, that things just weren't where they belonged.... in that living room chairs were replaced with the fridge and the couch was replaced with, pretty sure a part from the bathroom? And there's the table from the kitchen.

My once organized house was organized no more..................
Pretty sure that is a toilet brush laying on plastic in the just cleaned living room...along with the flour, sugar, goldfish box among other random items, in the just cleaned and organized laundry room...replacing the beach towels, now covering items in the pantry of course.

And then Kim remembers as Jacob is helping Rodney pull trim off the kitchen floor, that the floors are getting sanded and stained the next morning...and THEN she remembers that they are staying downstairs and off the main level where the kitchen, laundry room and master bedroom are for the three days that the floor is being worked on....  And all Kim wants to do is curl up next to her kitty, who seems to have the right idea..