Sunday, March 29, 2009

Faith is but a little seed... if planted it will grow...

On our drive home from Utah I had lots of time to reflect on things. My thoughts wandered in my head over various subjects and experiences until they rested on one particular story...
August 2006.

Tyler and I had been married 3 months. Life was good as newlyweds. We lived in a cute duplex in North Boise. We had our own little yard and garden. We went out to eat quite frequently because I told Tyler after working 8 1/2 hour shifts in 120* on my feet... I didn't want to come home to cook in the hot kitchen.
We were both completing our summer internships for college. I worked as a florist just about 2 miles form our home and Tyler worked for a company called Assist 2 Sell. He even drove around this new scion with Assist 2 Sell advertisements printed all over it. We didn't mind the colorful images plastered all over the car... it was free for us to use and the company payed for gas. They specifically told Tyler to drive it everywhere... after all it was advertisement for them, right?
At the time Tyler had a 1995 Grand Jeep Cherokee. It was one of those silver/ beige colors which looked different depending on how the light hit it. We liked the jeep. It was practical in the winter because it had four wheel drive for snowy weather and also useful in the summer because it had a sun roof. It was also paid for in full. (Oh, the days of not having a car payment.) The only complaint we... errrr I should say I.... ever had were the leather seats. They were freezing cold in the winter and scalding hot in the summer. Life with our jeep was great.
My family rarely takes vacations... however, this particular summer they decided to vacation in a little resort east of Ogden, UT. The resort was called Wolf Creek. Because Tyler had to work a few more hours to get in his internship quota we told my family we would meet them there a few days later.
Two days before we left for Utah I was leaving work. I hopped in the jeep and turned the key. It made a little noise but didn't turn over. I tried several times, but to no avail. The jeep would not start. I had to call Tyler... who in turn called a friend to help out. Later that day after taking certain parts in and out of the engine it was fixed. Or so we thought.
Finally the day to leave for Utah came. We were both excited because it had been a long summer full of lots of work for the both of us. We drove down to Utah easily and met up with my family. We ate tons of food, went swimming, went on walks, played games, watched movies, and did the usual vacation things.

We took these picture in the back of the rental car my parents were driving. We were just being silly. The vacation this far was nothing but good times and great laughs.

Saturday night rolled around and our vacation was coming to a close. My parents had decided to leave early Sunday morning to get their long 13 hour trip back to Washington over with sooner. We decided to stay a little later because checkout time for the resort wasn't until 11:00AM.
I had packed all our bags the night before and everything was pretty much ready to be thrown in the car the following morning. When Sunday morning arrived we packed our things into the jeep. We said a prayer and stuck the key in the ignition.
Tyler turned the key and we both stared at each other as we heard the sound of................ nothing...................... There was no grumble, no roar, no splat, no gurgle.................. just the solemn sound of silence. We tried over and over again. Tyler lifted the hood of the jeep trying to see what was wrong. We thought it might be the battery. Eventually a nice family drove by in their car and offered to help. (Keep in mind we hadn't even left the resort... which was 30 miles east of Ogden.) The couple was nice and tried their hardest... but no one knew the answer as to why our jeep was lifeless.
This is the part where our care free vacation started to take a turn for the worse.
After contimplating our situation we finally concluded it needed to be towed. Luckily, we had insurance for roadside assistance. However, getting a tow truck there on a Sunday was near impossible. There was ONE tow truck company that was actually open on Sunday.
We opted for them.
We waited an hour before they finally arrived... giving ourselves lots of time to think. Thinking... for me at least... is the last thing I needed to do when we were in a jam like we were then. The tow truck guys arrived, hooked up our motionless jeep and then we drove back to Ogden to the only shop that was open. When we finally arrived we explained that we were from out of town and needed to get back to Idaho as soon as possible.
The men in the auto shop were kind, but explained that there were numerous other customers that had scheduled appointments that day also. They encouraged us by saying, "We'll get so and so to run some tests to let you know what we can though."
At this point I was constantly reminding myself that I needed to take deep, long, breaths so as to not start hyperventilating, becoming hysterical, or breaking down in sobs. Tyler was great at reassuring me during this time.
We walked down the street from the Auto shop... only to see that most of the shops were closed. We finally decided that we were hungary and that we would go Panda Express, lucky for us, they were open. They were open alright. Open to ordering take out, the resturant itself was closed. So we sat outside of Panda Express eating our stir fry noodle concoxtions on the hard cement sidewalk. I think I had to choke a few lumps in my throat down with my noodles.
After a few hours we went back to the shop only to hear bad news. They had run some tests and determined the problem was in the computer part of our jeep. And to top it off, the only technician they had wouldn't be in until Monday morning. They told us we would get priority over other people, but what kind of reassurance was that?
We didn't have a car, money, or a place to stay.
By this time I was feeling quite distraught to say the least.
We walked down the street and I saw a church building. We were in our street clothes. In fact we hadn't packed church clothes because we hadn't intended on going to church. I thought we should go and see if there was a church meeting held... we needed all the inspiration we could get. Tyler felt funny about going into the chapel in our shorts and T-shirts so we sat outside the chapel in the foyer.
I think we sat on that couch for the entire duration of sacrament meeting and dozens of people passed by us. They glanced our way and continued to walk by. It reminded me of the story about the good samaritan. I wondered if anyone would notice the tears on my face, or our casual clothes, and stop to talk with us. No body stopped, no body talked, everyone was busy with their own worries. Our worries seemed overwhelming. I couldn't bare to lift my head and meet anyone else in the eyes. I quietly stared at the floor, focusing on nothing in particular while I let out silent sobs. I'm sure people saw, but I didn't care. I was scared and worried.
What was going to happen to us?
Then I saw a pair of mens shoes through my blurry tear filled eyes. He asked gently if we were new and introduced himself as one of the members of the bishopric. I tried desperately to collect myself while Tyler explained we weren't from around here. He asked what brought us to visit, at which point I choked back yet another lump in my throat. Tyler calmly explained our situation. The counselor showed concern for us and offered to help. He said we were welcome to go home with him, though he had some meetings with a few members first. He told us he would call his wife to be sure, but that it was probably alright if we stayed at his home for the night.
Never had we been the recipiants of such kindness and service. We ended up staying in their home that night. They fed us dinner, played games with us, talked with us, and opened up their hearts to us. Before long I started to feel a sense of peace and comfort as my faith in Heavenly Father increased. Tyler and I knew that the Lord cared about us and was taking care of our needs through the generosity of some of his members.
The next day we returned to the Auto Shop to find that our jeep was revived from the dead. We thanked the man profously and waved goodbye.
24 hours later we were on our way back to Idaho. I think I said many silent prayers of gratitude to my Heavenly Father for taking such good care of us. This was one of the first experiences I had with exercising faith. I have to admit I wasn't very good at it, but have since learned that there are going to be some instances where I will be forced to rely on the Lord.

I am so thankful for the Gospel it has truly blessed me with peace and comfort in times of trial and trouble.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Welcome Baby Jakoby!

We now have yet another cousin addition.....

This time he arrived from Tyler's side of the family.

Jakoby Vinton Hess was born Wednesday March 18, 2009 at 9:56Am. He was a whopping 6 lbs. 11 oz and a whole 18 inches long.

We were all so excited to meet him.

We decided to head down to Utah for the weekend to see the Hess family and their new little addition. Quincy couldn't wait. He decided that he would pack himself in the suitcase to speed things up.

Oh, I know this picture looks funny. Quincy always loves to wear our shoes around the house. It doesn't matter what they look like, or who's they are, or even what size they are compared to his little feet. Quincy also has had this sort of obsession with us lighting matches. He found a bobby pin while I was packing and was pretending it was a match as he was 'lighting it' on his football. What a creative little boy. I'm okay with the pretend matches... just as long as they stay bobby pins.

The drive down to Provo is about 6 hours. Yeah, six hours of trying to entertain this little boy. He finally fell asleep on the way down just before Burley, where we got gas and lunch. We let him get out there to stretch his legs for a minute or two.

He did pretty well.

You can tell he was sleeping by his little red cheeks. It was really nice weather on our drive down. I think that day it ended up being around 70*! It hasn't been that hot since last year. We were all pretty warm in the car and even managed to turn on the AC to stay cool just before we got to the hospital.

After driving.....

And driving.........

and Driving.....

and driving some more..........

We were finally able to meet Jakoby. He was smaller than ever and had a FULL head of hair! There wasn't anything particularly exciting about him, as most newborns don't DO much. However in Jakoby's defense, newborns sleep about 20+ hours a day. Needless to say Quincy wasn't extremely impressed at first. It was cute that Quincy can say his name. He calls him bebe` Kobee. It's pretty close. He eventually warmed up to Jokoby though.

Heather looked great. In fact I think Trevor looked more exhausted than Heather did-- probably because he was sleeping on that hospital chair. Both were excited to finally meet their little boy... we all were. I know they will be great parents.

It was funny to see Tyler holding a newborn baby again. He's not much of a baby kind of guy, with the exception of our own. He did, however, look pretty comfortable holding Jakoby.

After the second day Quincy had warmed up to the idea of holding Jakoby. I had to help a little, but I think this picture says it all. Quincy was fascinated with him..... someday he'll be a great big brother.

It's amazing how we all couldn't take our eyes of baby Jakoby. There's something about newborn babies that is just mesmerizing. Perhaps the fact that they were so close to the other world. And the fact that we are able to bring them to this world.... I dunno.

It's truly a miracle!

By the third day-- the day Trevor, Heather, and Jakoby came home-- Quincy was a pro at holding his new baby cousin, with lots of supervision of course. I love this picture of them. Quincy looks so proud and happy, and little Jakoby is sleeping, peacefully oblivious to all the cameras.

Quincy is so smart, here he was telling everyone to be quiet so Jakoby could sleep.

SSSSsssssssHHHHHhhhh everyone!

It was even more funny when Heather took Jakoby off Quincy's lap when we had finished taking pictures. Quincy looked upset and held out his arms. We all laughed because it seemed he had become attached to holding his new little cousin.

So of course, we let him hold him again.

No body could get enough of holding Jakoby.... of course Aunt Kelly was number one on that list.

Sunday morning we went to Trevor and Heather's ward. They have 9:00Am church... same as ours. We only managed to make it for sacrament meeting, but I'm glad we did. The couple who spoke talked on things that totally related to our lives right now.I think we were supposed to hear that counsel.

All in all it was a long trip, packed with lots of Jakoby time.
We're all excited that we get to see the Hess family in May for Kelly's wedding!

Thank you Heather, Trevor, and Jakoby for letting us visit you guys. We hope to be seeing more of you all!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Our "big" boy

It's hard to believe that Quincy is now 19 months. Soon we will be celebrating his 2nd Birthday in August. It seems like we were just bringing him home from the hospital not long ago, and here he is today walking, talking and learning new things each day. For the last month and a half he has been very sociable. He talks a lot... and to everyone we see.
He loves to perform and get praise. Whenever we have guests in our home he is quick to pull out all the stops for a good laugh. We are proud of Quincy. It has been slightly difficult at times during these last two months to reason with him, but we are pleased with how smart he is. He now knows and can say almost all his colors, animal sounds, and even recognizes letters. He has learned to say please when asking for things, and we're in the process of working on saying thank you.
We are so happy to have him as part of our family. I can hardly remember what it was like to not have him with us.

Look what Happens when I'm out of town...

When I was in Washington Tyler worked a few days in Fruitland. While he was there he decided to visit the parents of an old friend. As he was leaving, their dog got a little too excited and attacked his leg while he was walking out to his car. The dog tore his pants and left a nice little scar on his calf.
This was the damage. The scar on his leg wasn't as bloody and by the time I took this picture it was mostly just bruised. The parents of his old friend were really apologetic and gave him some money to buy some new pants.

And here are the new pants! I didn't really care for the old pants anyway... so I wasn't too sad to see them go. Hopefully the next time I leave he won't be shot, cut, bitten, or abused in any other way.

As cookie monster would say...


Before we left for Washington I had Quincy help me make some sugar cookies. He LOVED helping me. He tried really hard to make perfect circles and everything.

We tried to save some cookies for everybody... but unfortunately the cookie monster ate all of them. :o)

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Families are Forever:

While we've been here Quincy's had some sort of obsession with saying Karter's name. He calls him Uncle Kar Kar. I thought I'd post this picture of Kar Kar. Obviously he was tired from staying up until 2:00AM to watch the championship HS basketball game, Columbia River vs. Franklin.

Today we all went to church together. It is always fun to go to church with the whole family.... we take up a whole row. Of course we took a picture afterwards, like we always do after church -- it's kind of sad for me since Tyler's hardly ever able to come here with us, he misses out on doing things with my family. I'll just pretend that he's next to me in the picture. --

Church was the usual. Quincy was having a difficult time since my parent's ward starts at 1:00PM. It's right at the time when he's usually taking a nap. Although church with Quincy started something like this, sweet and innocent:

It ended up like this, tantrums and meltdowns:

This is after he calmed down from the melt down.

These are my parents:

Quincy fell asleep for like 20 minutes during sacrament meeting... he got woke up prematurely, which is why we had the melt downs, but shortly he forgot all about being woken up and started posing for the camera.
Johnothon and I give a quick smile for the camera:

And more smiling for the camera with Great Grandma Rena.

I love my Family! We will miss them so much when we leave tomorrow.

Fun at Grammie and Grandpa's House

Quincy and I have been having all sorts of fun.
He's been playing the piano...... the little maestro that he is:
I have been shopping.... and doing lots of it. It's amazing how much shopping my brother's and I did on Saturday. I only paid an average of $7.50 a shirt... pretty sweet huh?
I have also been tanning... can you tell? Probably not. I started on thursday.... I forgot how nice it feels to lay in that warm bed. Oh, and I highlighted my hair. It looks nice.
Quincy's been having lots of fun making messes with all the new toys here:
All of this was accomplished in only a few minutes... it looks like the Tasmanian devil came through:
"Uh oh.... did I make all that noise?"

Here Quincy is adding his own rendition to Uncle Scotty's music.
Doesn't that face look so sweet and innocent?
Quincy loves to pretend text on his calculator with Uncle Spencer and read the morning paper:

Quincy definitely loved watching his great grandma Rena make bread.
Here is Quincy's classic 'cheese' face. Every time the camera comes out Quincy makes this facing while sweetly saying 'cheese'. He's a pro now....
I think that Quincy was fascinated by this whole bread making process. It's funny how much he's always loved helping out in the kitchen. Maybe he'll become a famous chef or baker when he grows up.
So much FUN, Fun, FUN!

A day of Work:

Well, we're arrived in Washington and everything has been a blur. Thursday after arriving in Portland we went to lunch at Quiznos and I had a retainer check up in the afternoon. We pretty much just hung out for the rest of the day and visited.

Friday my brothers and I went to help work as servers for the Dr. Croft doctor appreciation party. My mom had to be there to help so we all agreed we'd help out.... not mention we would get paid. I thought, hey why not?

The party turned out well. The only disappointment was that the number of people who actually came wasn't as many as they had hoped would come. We didn't have to work terribly hard and it was fun being there with my mom and brothers. This picture was taken after we had finished cleaning.

Left to Right: Spencer (21), Scott (18), Me (23), Karter (16), and our Mom (you get the idea).

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Farewell Elder Russell

Last night my Aunt, Uncle and cousins, Sarah and Logan, came to stay the night at our house. My cousin Logan is leaving for the MTC today. He was called to serve a 2 year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Russia. I'm bad with names... so I can't remember the name of the city he'll be serving in, but it is the south eastern part of the county.

He said that the area is large.... 1300 miles east to west and 1000 miles north to south. The best part is that the winters are below -30* without windchill, and summers are somewhere around 103* with high humidity....and if all that wasn't enough did I mention they don't have bikes or cars? Looks like Logan will be getting in great shape. Hopefully he's able to keep some meat on his bones, since he's not too big of a boy in the first place!

We are so proud of the decision Logan has made to serve a mission. He has made one of the most difficult choices to put forth his heart, might, mind and strength to spread the gospel to people who deserve to hear it. He is a great example for his family and for my family as well. His influence for others has been tremendous. I know he will make a wonderful missionary.

We wish him the best of luck!

Farewell Elder Russell we will miss you!

Our (little) G. Q.

Kelly's wedding is May 1st and we just happened to get a steal of a deal on this little boys tuxedo. Quincy wore the jacket and pants to church, like a little suit. Everyone gave lots of compliments on his outfit. He did look pretty studly! Check him out.

He wasn't to thrilled about having to wear the jacket, but eventually warmed up to the idea of an extra article of clothing on his body.

He thinks it's pretty funny when we say 'cheese' to make this face.

Don't you just love his teeth? How he is still missing the bottom ones. Uggg.... he's been working for the past few weeks on getting the rest of his teeth to fill in his bottom half, but STILL hasn't had any come through. It's been a painful experience for us and him.