Sunday, August 31, 2008

Wow! We Have a 15 Year Old Grandson!

Today was Gunnar's birthday. Hard to believe it was 15 years ago we were in Provo UT waiting at the hospital for him to come. He has been a delight to watch grow in to a great young man. We are going to miss watching him in all his activities these next 18 months.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Zek's Night to Shine

Lisa, David, Gunnar, Zek, Amanda, Eileen and I all went to the Minnesota State Fair Friday for Zek to play Memories in the state wide talent competition. He won the preteen division for our county giving him the opportunity to perform at the State Fair. While our county only allows you to win once in a division most of the competition last night had performed many times at the state level. The talent was amazing yet Zek held his own and he has only had two years of training and is only 9 years of age. He played his piece absolutely beautifully and even without my prejudice better than the 12 year old that won 2nd place. The picture was taken by a recycle group that was promoting reusable grocery bags which they gave to everyone who would have their picture taken. So we have a picture of all of us at the fair. The crowds were horrendous and the cost of everything was too. Now I know why this was our first time at the Minnesota State Fair. The only thing that will induce us back is another performance of one of our many talented grandchildren - that makes it worth it.

Just a few more pictures!

The first picture is where we spent our week. The second is a little north of where we stayed and the last was taken from our condo. We love the Oregon coast as there is just so much beauty to enjoy rain or shine.

Friday, August 22, 2008

We are finishing up a great week on the beach at Otter Rock Oregon. We joked about the first several days being just for us to get us ready for Iceland - cool and rainy. The real benefit though has been the time spent working on our Icelandic skills. I didn't say learning because I am not sure how much we are learning but we have definitely been working on our skills. At home Eileen is always so busy doing other things so this has been a great time for her. She has really improved this week and with the extra understanding I am sure she will continue to learn and improve at a much greater pace.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Great News

Elder Wohlgemuth (the senior missionary in Iceland) just notified us that a letter from the Immigration Office arrived today, saying all is in order for us to come to Iceland. Of course, when we arrive, we must get our pictures taken at the Immigration Office -- those pictures go on our residency permit cards. We must also "sign in" at the National Registry office after we arrive. Elder Wohlgemuth also sent a pdf of the letter for our language studies - yea like we can read an official Icelandic letter at this time. Next our passports go to the Denmark Embassy in Washington DC for our visa stamps. Luckily we still have 5+ weeks to get that accomplished so it looks like a go for getting on the plane to Iceland on September 29.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Our New Car

We are being spoiled by the great missionary couple in Iceland - the Wohlgemuth's. The Church put them to work to get us a car and apartment. We now have a brand new Skoda Fabia Combi - pretty sharp looking isn't it? There is even a set of mounted studded tires for winter driving - November thru April. They are also looking for an apartment for us in the city of Selfoss - a town of about 6600. I think the car is for two reasons - we will cover a large area of country and two it rains most of the time.
Today we went to Church in the Newport Oregon Ward and the speakers were from another ward reporting on their mission. As soon as they started talking we knew they served with our good friends now President and Sister Boggess of the Nigeria Enugu Mission. When we talked to them we also found our their daughter and son-in-law just finished 3 years in Iceland with the US government. They said Iceland has a great need for senior couples so that must be why we are going there.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Saying Good Bye

We left home August 7 to say good bye to our family in Arizona, California and Oregon. We had a great visit with Heidi, Doug and Martin along with Doug's family. While there Heidi had a 3D ultrasound and there is no question she is having a girl - of course while we are in Iceland just like Martin while we were in Romania. We flew to California August 11 for a nice visit with Eileen's folks and sister and family in Gilroy. Next we are going to Oregon to see my Mom and brother and spend our first summer week at our beach time share. This wasn't expected as we thought we would be on our next mission before this week so we are looking forward to a summer week on the beach.

Great picture of Eileen and Martin

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Great Anniversary

Last night we went to Steven and Micah’s for a dinner we thought was Paige’s going away party as she leaves for law school on Friday. She drug her feet leaving the house and we almost left without her. She was stalling to make sure all the family made it to the house before us as it was a surprise 40th Anniversary Party for us. Food was great including a cake in the shape of the world with places we have lived marked including Iceland along with flags of each country in frosting too, Then Gunnar, Ezekiel and Qatar played piano solos, and Steven’s family sang "I am a Child of God" in Japanese. Next we watched a DVD of our life from beginning until now. Amanda found pictures I don’t even remember and put it all together with music and titles and it was fantastic. Amanda said she was disappointed because Mom didn't cry but we both had tears of joy in our eyes as it was so much fun to see how our lives have progressed and the great results. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is what has made this family what it is today and we are so grateful to the Lord for all the wonderful blessings he has showered down upon us. Then each of the kids told of one or two of their favorite memories. David even wanted to share one. It was a great evening that will long be remembered.