Welcome to my blog!

I invite you to share your thoughts, but I do ask you to keep your comments appropriate. I won't feel badly about removing comments that are offensive. That doesn't mean you can't be honest—I want honest feedback—but I also like to fill my life with positive people and positive things. I guess that means if you have to say something negative, say it nicely! :-)

More than anything, I want you to leave here feeling inspired and valued—and like we've had a fun chat!



Birthday Trio

When we haven't been busy learning our new responsiblities or getting settled into our apartment, I've been trying to catch up on birthdays. I'm embarrassed to say that I've never been so far behind! Here are the three latest birthday cards for the most recent employee birthdays. Hopefully people will still feel celebrated...even if it's been months since their special day!


Our Baby's Birthday

I’ve been thinking about our baby today. Shanna’s the youngest of our five girls, and it’s her birthday, so that's the reason. Actually, I’ve thought a lot about her since we’ve been on our mission.

I remember when she went on her mission to Madrid, Spain. As a mother, I tried to understand what it felt like to learn a new language, to live away from home, family, and friends, to live with different companions…well, to do hard things.

I’ve tried to compare some of what we’re experiencing to what she may have experienced, and there is no comparison! My heart is filled with gratitude for her example of strength, determination, and testimony. I admire her even more than I already did and feel blessed to be her mom.

I thought I’d share with you the gift box we sent her for her birthday. Maybe it will inspire your own creation.

Happy birthday, Baby!


Two Old Dogs

We arrived on Monday afternoon with little sleep from the night before, toured the mission office, had a lovely meal with our mission president and his wife, grabbed a few things from the store, and fell into bed exhausted.

The rest of the week was spent catching up and getting settled, along with training from the couple we’re replacing in the mission office (below). Our heads were usually mush by the end of the day from trying to learn our new tasks and responsibilities. It puts a whole new meaning to the common adage, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks!”

Today we were grateful to attend our ward and meet such warm and friendly people. We’re also glad to rest from the stress of the week.

Best wishes to all for a wonderful week ahead! Please pray for the “old dogs” as we move forward (without trainers) in faith.



Group Hug


After a busy day speaking at church and finishing last-minute projects, our family (all except the Bridegans, of course) showed up with traditional Hawaiian fare, delicious sides, and two desserts for our farewell dinner. It was nice not to worry about a thing...except pack and get ready to leave for a year!

After dinner, Jason taught all of us how to "hang" Hawaiian style, and Jon snapped a couple of group hug shots with the help of the self timer. I'm counting on this special group hug to tide us over for the next twelve months until we're together again!

We'll miss our entire family, but we know we're doing the right thing. And we also know they'll be praying for us (and us for them!) and holding down the fort while we're gone. We wouldn't be able to serve on a mission without their love and support!

Love and lots of hugs to our wonderful family!


Bravo Set Sampler

As promised, here's the set sampler I mentioned last week...some fun samples using the Bravo Photopolymer Stamp Set. Enjoy!