Monday, September 28, 2009

"fall" in texas

Hi everybody!!!!
my life has slowed down a little & I'm feeling guilty for taking so long to write but here I am :)
primary has kept me a little busy--we had a Great 2 B 8! party last Sunday for the kids who are turning 8 before the end of the year (an hour after a lady I visit teach was baptized) & then we took the primary to the temple (dallas) on Sat. afternoon (a couple of hours before the Gen. Relief Society meeting). all activities were very cool & I enjoyed them very much. I love working with the primary. children are the best!!! and the lady who was baptized is wonderful. she has been looking & preparing for all of her life & she is so happy. she lives just down the street from us & has no car, so we get to transport her various places & have a good time.
In between all that we picked Camille up from the airport Fri. nite & took her to see Will etc. for a few minutes & then to her hotel in Arlington. She's here for the Cowboy's game tonite & will go back home on Friday. Will's boys are so cute. Jake is talking in full sentences & being a big brother (a little bossy). they have a little black kitten that he plays with--he has a little fishing pole with a fish that he dangles for the cat & she plays with it. so cute. Blaze is walking & says "kank you". he has hair like his dad's, only black--which means that it looks like he has little feathers sticking up on top of his head. very thick & fine. he's a lover & has the longest eyelashes known to man (or woman).
Sat. morning Kevin & I went for a nice bike ride (about 9 or 10 miles) & had a great time. the weather has been milder lately & I really enjoy being able to be outside without suffering from either the heat or the humidity. So I'll enjoy this while it lasts. today I have the windows open & the air conditioner off. yay!!! I have a little herb garden on my patio & I really enjoy sitting out there. the green is nice.
the swine flu seems to be over at our house. Rachel is back at school & seminary & Bekah is out of bed today--dressed & functioning. not 100% but probably 75% or so. good times.
Rachel has now turned down her first date invite since we moved (as far as I know). she was asked to homecoming, but refused since she was just getting back from the flu. homecoming here is a big deal. the kids got out of school at 1:30, there was a parade at 4, a football game (all on Fri.) & then a dance on Sat. nite. . . where I grew up we had alll of the above & each class made a float for the parade. so did seminary. it was fun. I'm sorry Rachel missed it, but if we're here next year she can indulge then :)
we went on a bike ride a couple of weeks ago & rode around whiterock lake (about 10 miles) with the girls & the dog. the dog made it a couple of miles before she started riding (she was tired). it was a little on the warm side, but we had a lot of fun. we rode around the lake & then ate a picnic lunch. I took a couple of pictures, but I'll do better next time. I forgot to take the camera on the ride, so next time I'll get one of the dog riding. it's too funny. I'm trying to get so I can ride at least 20 miles w/o saddness to my body. we are still planning on the bike trip next summer. . .so all who want to go, prepare.
hugs to everybody. mom :)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Cannon loves to splash!
And walk! All of the great things that you've heard about are finally officially documented.
hope you enjoy them as much as we enjoy taking them. Oh, and you might want to turn the volume a little bit down for the walking one... Leah was a little bit closer to the mic than I think that she thought.

Yeah, the splashing video really doesn't do it justice. I was serious when I said that half of the water was gone. I think we have Butterfly in our future.
Oh, and by the way, Cannon walked all the way home after that second video. That's like 4 blocks. He's such a stud!

So, now for the boring part: news from me (Joe). I just got back from Baylor, and my interviews there seemed to go very well. One in particular went so well that I had to do a full arm-pumping "Yesssss!" as soon as the door was shut (or at least I thought it was...). For my part, I was very impressed with Baylor. I was absolutely blown away by the medical complex there. I believe that Baylor has access to 6000 beds. Most large universities might have 600. And each hospital was ranked first in something nationwide; best cancer center, best trauma center, etc. I left feeling like it would be hard to even consider buying a plane ticket to anywhere else for interviews if I receive an offer of acceptance from Baylor, especially since it would be much closer to family :) I was put up with a former BYU student who is now a fourth-year medical student at Baylor. His name is Shane, and he is going into Emergency medicine. I got the low-down from him about how family-friendly Baylor is, and how to work the system properly. I also got to see David, Jasmine, and Ben Hall, my siblings (in law), and their little boy is absolutely adorable. Picture a slightly darker Cannon + afro. Seriously cute kid. In all, it was a phenomenal trip, but it's good to be home to help take care of Cannon. Apparently he had a very rough night last night and is now on antibiotics trying to get over whatever has been in his system for the past few weeks. Anyway, I love you guys! Hope you're all having a great day, and we'll do our best to start using that video camera more :)
Love ya,

Sorry it's a little blurry. But there is my ever expanding belly of little Caleb. Not the prettiest but it is there so that you can all see. I didn't know how much bigger I had gotten until I compared the two pictures. I have been craving something sweet everyday. So last week, I bought some rocky road ice cream and have had a bowl or two everyday. Today, we are painting the baby's room. Or rather Steve is painting the baby's room. He says that I can't share pictures of the baby's room until it is completely finished. Which is supposed to give me an incentive to get it done faster. HEHEHEHEHE.... little does he know. I am so excited to finally have the nursery all done. I am 31 weeks along, which means that in 6 weeks the baby can come and not be premature at all! AHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! I have so much to do. Putting off doing stuff gets you nowhere. UGHHH! Thanks for the package mom! It was great! We loved everything in it. The surprise that you sent, good thinking! I love that stuff! But it isn't gone yet, which totally rocks! How is life going out there? How is life in Texas? Utah? Elsewhere? Well, I wish I could see you guys, but November isn't so far away and I'm not really supposed to travel so... I love you and miss you all! Have a great week!
Sara and Steve

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

post from John!

hey everybody!
this is John, sorry it's taken me so long to write in here again, but i've had alot of trouble getting signed in and our internet speed here is not quite blazing, so it's been an exercise of patience, but i'm finally here, so here's an update on my life.
I've had a double ear infection for about a week, but i'm finally starting to feel a bit better today, which is good because our commander promised the governor that we could deliver Humanitarian Assistance for 600 people by tomorrow morning, which has led to a scrambled and eventful evening, but we got everything ready to go in the morning, and hopefully we can get there and get it handed out without any major problems.
we continue to work hard, and if you guys are interested, the PRT has recently made a blog and facebook page where the public relations guys are posting stories about what we're doing, and pictures of our missions, i just found out about it today, and it looks pretty cool, so feel free to check it out at!
to those of you i havent talked to lately, let me say how happy i was to receive the package from home with all the letters from Mom, Dad, Bex and Rach. they were the highlight of my week, actually, pretty much the highlight of my entire 2 and a half months here, so thank you very much. also, i would like to apologize for not being able to call home as much as i would like--it's been a very busy couple of weeks, and very active for the Taliban/Insurgents in the area, and whenever someone is seriously hurt or killed they shut down all outside communications, and, well, we've spent more time with comms shut down these past few weeks than before.
well, i dont know what else to say, but i love you all, please dont stop praying for me--i need all the prayers i can get!
ps--i think i mentioned a few weeks/months ago that i might get promoted, but then totally forgot to say if it happened or not. well, it did, i am now a Specialist, promoted 6 months early for exceptional service!

Monday, September 14, 2009


So Leah and I both caught the flu from cannon. bummer.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

update #2

CANNON JUST STOOD UP WITHOUT ASSISTANCE. He was up for about 10 seconds. holy cow.


Okay so being managers isn't ALWAYS what its cracked up to be. I love doing most of it, but there are times when I really don't like being the bad guy. Steve has officially decided that I am the bad cop and he is the good cop. I don't like that. I would rather they hate Steve rather than me. But life isn't fair and anyone who tells you otherwise, is selling something. The Davenport's, the owners, seem to really like us and the job that we are doing. So that is a good thing. Usually I will get up and straighten the house a little bit before people come over and start asking questions or paying for something. Then, if I get around to it, I will water the lawn for a couple hours to keep the property looking nice. I have to clean the laundry room and the lounge everyday. Which includes taking out the trash and moving the couches back to where they need to be. I also have to feed the fish and take care of the pond, making sure that it is full and the fish don't die. All good things. Doing the paperwork I don't really mind, but I really don't like having to go door to door collecting rent from people and being the bad guy. I think I will have Steve put up our privacy windows in the house so that we can have the windows open to let some light in, but people can't see in. One of those magical things... Our office hours are from 10am to 5pm, but that doesn't seem to register with some of the students. We have had people stopping by at like 9pm! What the heck?! That is my bedtime. Why?! That is the frustrating part. We are having a mandatory meeting this Wednesday about Crestwood and the rules and stuff and that is something that we are going to go over so that Steve and I can still have "OUR" time.
News about our little baby Caleb...

I went to the doctor the other day and they told me that I have an excessive amount of amniotic fluid. Which can mean some pretty bad things can happen. The placenta can detach early, which is no good. And other things that I still need to get clarified on. The doctor said that this only happens to 1% of women, so lucky me. He also said that the things that can cause it is that the baby or I can have gestational diabetes or like a cleft palate or lip. I don't remember which. I'm not too worried about it though. These things can be fixed. He wants me to have a no-stress screening test done every week though just to watch things and make sure everything is still going okay. From what I understand, they just hook you up to a monitor machine thingy and monitor the baby's heart beat and how much amniotic fluid is in there and making sure you're not having contractions. So, it is going okay right now. I haven't had any tests yet, so no update there. I'm excited to see everyone and to steal mom away for Thanksgiving. HEHEHEHEHEHE... that will be fun! I am now about 29 or 30 weeks along, depending on which doctor you go by. So we only have about 10 or 11 weeks left! How exciting! My project this month is to get the baby's room ready. And by that I mean painted and everything put together. And set up. I need more diapers still and to figure out how to put that darn carseat in the car. I have no clue how it goes in there. Some help from those past mothers and fathers out there that know how to set it all up?
Steve has started school again finally. He is taking Accounting, a Business class, Family Religion, Economics, and something else. He is liking them so far, which is good. He comes home to stop and get something to eat everyday which is awesome. All but one of his classes is right across the street so he doesn't have to walk or ride his bike very far. It is already starting to get a little chilly here somedays. Hopefully, we won't have snow until at least October this year. Well life is good. I hope you like my house!
The Living Room/Office
The Kitchen
The Bathroom
The Hallway
The Nursery
Sara and Steve

Finally, a post from Joe!

Hi guys!
OK, so here's an update on Joe, Leah, Cannon, and the little brother in the tummy. Since I guess I haven't ever posted, I have to start pretty early... I'm mostly done applying to medical schools, I think that I'm going to stop at one or two more secondaries. I have an interview on Sept. 25 at Baylor, (Houston), so I'll be spending some quality time with David and Jasmine Hall (Leah's sister's family), which I'm excited about because their baby Ben is about the cutest little kid I've ever seen in a YouTube video, so I'm excited to see him in person. I also have an interview at UT Southwestern on October 10th, (which I just found out is the same weekend as my mission reunion in Utah, but what can you do?), so I'm planning on a couple of days with the family, and might even bring Cannon with me to give Leah a weekend off. Still not sure on that one, I need to find out if I can change my airplane ticket to Adult + toddler. So that will be fun. As far as med school interviews, there are thusfar no other bites yet, but my line is in the water until February, so I'm not too worried. I'm taking 18 credit hours this semester, I'm taking mostly upper division physics classes along with Biochemistry and (yawn) general college chemistry. So far, I'm having a great time being back in the swing of things with school. I really enjoy school, which is good, because I'm not going to be out of it for a long time...
Leah just got her hair cut super short like it was at our wedding. It looks good, and it's nice to have a change every now and then. She is taking a class at BYU this semester, Western Humanities, so when she's done with that she'll know how to be a human. Our plan is to go back to DFW (that's Dallas-Ft Worth for the Texas-illiterate out there) next summer after I graduate and Leah will finish the four last classes she needs for her Associates of Arts degree over the summer before I start medical school, wherever that is. If it's Southwestern, then we'll probably start looking for a permanent place to stay throughout the summer and stay with Leah's parents until then (they have extra room and it's free).
Cannon has six pearly whites to date, 4 on top and 2 on bottom. Right now he seems to be (finally!) taking a break from teething. Unfortunately, the last couple days he has come down with a stomach flu, and is not feeling too good. Today he seems a bit better (he hasn't thrown up all day), so we're hoping that it is close to being done, and that we won't be getting it either. We'll see. He is saying "mom" and "daddy" all the time now; whether that means that he understand what he is saying is yet to be conclusively demonstrated, but it seems like he does. We don't really know which one was first, so we officially tied for favorite status.
The unborn baby in our family seems to be doing fine, Leah is doing very well with this pregnancy. We're excited for two boys, it'll be so much easier since we already have everything we need basically. We've joked about naming this one Joseph so that we'll have a John and Joe, we'll see if that happens. I've been reading in the Old Testament and when I read about the sons of Jacob, I really liked what was written about the name Asher. So right now, I'm partial to that one, but if by a freak accident we have a premature baby that's born before Sara's, we might just use Caleb. I hope that doesn't happen, but you might want to make a contingency plan just in case, Gwee. Just kidding. Leah and I are amazed at how fast this pregnancy is going by. We're over halfway now, and it seems like that due date will be here before we can say "man-to-man defense." (or "finals week," for that matter-- he's due on the day after finals end, so we're hoping he comes pretty early or a bit late).
In other news, Leah's dad came up for about a week, and we went up to Monticello lake to go camping and fishing. We had little luck for most of the day, then saw an old-timer drive up, and pull fish out of the water every other cast. While I was digging for worms with a very enthusiastic 4-year-old, Leah went over and asked him what his secret was. When we learned the right way to do things, we caught 7 fish in about an hour and a half. It was really fun. They were all rainbow trout, and were very tasty.
In short, life is good. We are doing well, and are happy in our tiny little apartment. Hope this finds all of you well, we love you.

Hi Family

Hello, this is Dad.
I just wanted to write to thank everyone for writing, this can be a fun way to keep up with each other.
Our life seems to be very busy, I have lots of church work going on, I just finished redoing all the home teaching assingments, and I ended up with a huge list of personal families to home teach. We had a stake leadership meeting last week, and the stake president said that for the second quarter the stake averaged 48% home teaching. Unfortunately, our high priests group didn't do anything to help that number!
Our ward has not had home teaching PPI's for at least decades, so I have started doing mine, but my assistants have yet to catch the vision. No one in our ward even remembers what they are, so they are having a hard time being motivated to do them. I decided this morning that I needed to teach the brethren what home teaching is, I think the whole thing has become lost somehow. We haven't been home taught once since we moved into the ward the end of February. I emailed the Bishop this morning and asked if I could take a whole lesson time with all the priesthood (Aaronic included) and go teach them about home teaching. It will be interesting if he gives me that opportunity.
I have been having some really great experiences lately. I have been focusing on the gift of charity a lot in my personal life and prayers. I see this as the single most important thing that I need in my life. As some of you may know, when Mom went to pick up Bex from Idaho this summer she stopped at the distribution center and called and asked if I needed anything. What I had her get me was a stack of pass-along-cards. So I have started to try to hand out this cards to all that I can, and I was averaging about 4 per week, but this week has been a big zero! I'm bummed about that. But what does that have to do with charity you might ask? To me it's easy, if my charity for a person is bigger than my fear, I will be willing and able to give them a pass-along-card, if on the other hand, my fear is bigger I won't. Pretty much it is as simple as that, the only reason why doing missionary work is considered "hard" is our charity is too low. So, rather than having talks about missionary work, we could just get to the core of the problem and talk about charity. The real thing, I have been intregued lately with Elder Oak's talk called "The Challenge to Become", which in my opinion is perhaps one of the most doctrinally amazing talks I have heard in along time. Anyway, in that talk Elder Oaks says that charity isn't something you do, but rather it is what you are. Pure charity is a description of what the Savior is. I have always thought of it as something that someone posessed, but not as what they are. So it has been interesting to think about this.
Well, this has already been too long - I look forward to hearing from everyone. Things are going well at work, we have had two companies come to visit us, one from California, and one from The Netherlands. Both of those companies want to pay us for doing some development work for them as a proof that we can do what we say. So, life is very good, and it is exciting to have some companies interested. I hope that things all work out well, we are certainly trying hard.
Yesterday was my annual lecture at Texas A&M university, so I spent the day in College Station, and on the way home there was a really bizzare rain storm that resulted in bad accident on the freeway, which brought it to a total stop in south Dallas. So I figured I could bail from the freeway and find my way home. Really bad idea - I got totally lost! Thankfully Bex had google maps up and could guide me home! I would have been lost without google and Bex!
Well got to run to take Rach to volleyball!
Love ya!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Life.... =)

Okay, so here goes: someone other than Sara/Rachel is posting something!
Okay, so looking for a job is sucky and hard. And I still don't have one. It sucks. I know I already used that adjective, but I thought it was true enough to say twice. I can't think of anywhere else to apply. I feel like I've applied to like 1000 different places! It seems like everywhere I go to apply they tell me to apply online, so I'm spending most of my time online looking for a job. *sigh* Also, I did the math and I need to earn at the bare minimum $8/hr. But the longer I'm out of work, the more I need to make. Being a grownup isn't all that easy.
For those of you who didn't know: I may have a potential stalker. This is everything I know about him: his name is Mark, he's divorced and has a daughter, and he doesn't go to singles ward. That's it. He called up and talked to me, and tried to ask me out. I was like "Wow look at the time. I've gotta go, sorry."
Then there are the normal boys: Jason, Jeff, and Benjamin. Oh, and David, Blake, and Brandon. I'm not sure if David technically counts, but I'm adding him anyway. Isn't life grand?
This Saturday night I'm planning on having a girl's night with Cate and Sarah, from my ward. I'm looking forward to it, I think it'll be fun.
I feel kinda overwhelmed with everything, so I've started doing sun salutations every morning. Okay, today was the first morning, but still. I have plans. Oh, and I'm planning on starting doing water aerobics at the apartment pool in the mornings, because of my bursitis it's really hard for me to do more traditional forms of exercise like walking, running, bike riding, etc.
Oh, and labor day was this weekend. Why hasn't anyone posted about that? Anyway, what we did down here in Texas is we went on a family bike ride around White Rock Lake. The scenery was beautiful and it was about a 9-mile ride. It was nice. We took a lunch and had a picnic in the grass. Mom made a delicious chicken salad for us. There was this HUGE black dragonfly that I was watching because it wasn't moving. It was just sitting on this twig-thing and when we got close it tried to scare us away, it looked like one of those dive bombers. No joke. I got a pic of the dragonfly, but not of it trying to scare us away. Mom was supposed to upload those pics and write about our fun morning together, but she hasn't been able to yet.
Wow I've written a lot, but I thought coming into this I had nothing to say. I guess the joke's on me! Well, I love y'all!

Bekah :p

Sunday, September 6, 2009

school sucks, man.

ok so this is only the second week of school n i already have so much hw its ridiculous. so i had 3-4 hours of history yesterday n all day tomorrow for history. last week i had 6-7 hours of history, so i guess im getting better at that particular thing of hw. ok im getting a little tired of only me n sara writing on the blog. where r the people that i dont speak to every day? i know ur busy so sorry for kind of yelling at u. ok well i will talk to u guys later when im not bogged down with hw. :) haha just kidding.