Sunday, January 25, 2009

Elder Jordan Ritter

We've had such wonderful events happening around our home lately, and I wish I would have been better about my blogging. Last Sunday was Jordan's farewell talk and goodbye get together at our home. His talk was excellent, on the scripture, "Be thou an example of the believers." He was very well prepared. At the get together, we had close to 80 family and close friends, but everything went smoothly. The pictures we took are on Jordan's camera, so none to post here! Thanks to all who came and supported Jordan. I was a little stressed about feeding and hosting that many people, but everyone was so supportive and helpful. It was a wonderful day.

Tuesday, January 20 Jordan was set apart as a full-time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I realized late Tuesday night that we had missed Jordan's appointment for his last set of shots. So Wed. morning early he and Nicia (he needed a companion) went to get his shots. It turns out that in November they actually gave him the wrong shots (how can that happen???) so he will still have to go in for one more set of shots before leaving for Mexico in March.
Wednesday, January 21, was the big day Jordan had been waiting for for 4 months, the day he would enter the Missionary Training Center and begin his mission in full-time service to the Lord. Late that morning we continued our tradition of having lunch beforehand at Magleby's Restaurant. We got camera happy, so here are a few pictures of the crew at lunch:

Elder Jordan Ritter

Smiles from Nicia & Andrew

A proud Mom

Another proud parent

Alyssa chowing down on the breadsticks (they're to die for)

little sister, big brother

Jordan, Justin, and Grandpa Bascom enjoying the moment

Then it was off to the Missionary Training Center in Provo where Elder Ritter will spend 2 months learning Spanish and preparing to teach the gospel in Mexico.

Elder Ritter and Justin
Elder Ritter and Andrew
Elder Ritter with Grandma & Grandpa Bascom

Jordan takes care of the administration stuff at the entrance of the MTC, and we all go into a large meeting room filled with families and missionaries, several hundred people. They hold a short meeting with the MTC president and his wife, and everyone sings "Called To Serve", which is just an awesome experience. We're advised to use the "taking off a band-aid" method in saying goodbye, the quicker, the better. We all give Jordan hugs and kisses, and a few tears are shed as it will be the last time we see him for 2 years. It's an emotional, but joyous time. Jordan leaves through one door, and we leave through another. I peek out the door Jordan has left through and watch my child who is grown up now, walk down the hallway and around the corner. A young man prepared and ready to embark on a wonderful journey as he serves the Lord. My heart is full as I leave the MTC, and I feel such a gratitude for all my blessings, especially the blessing of my children serving full-time missions for the Lord.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Christmas 2008

We had a wonderful Christmas Eve, with Grandma & Grandpa Bascom, Aunt Karen and Uncle Bill joining our family. We enjoyed our traditional semi-formal Christmas Eve ham dinner with a place setting for our Savior, followed by reading the Christmas Nativity Story (Luke 2) where we all took turns reading a verse, and talked about gifts we could give to Christ.

followed by singing Christmas carols together

with Bill and Karen serenading us with "Our Christmas Tree"

After company left, we opened the traditional Christmas Eve present of "p.j.'s". Emily had plenty of nighties so she got a new purple robe. I really like the way we celebrate on Christmas Eve, a little more reverence and remembrance of our Savior.
Christmas Day brought EXCITEMENT for gifts received:

Even though Emily had asked for nothing, Santa brought Emily a scooter and a special music box with a letter inside from Santa! He let her know how proud he was of her for being such a giving person and not wanting anything for herself, and that he wanted to give something to her anyway. She immediately started dancing and twirling. It was darling.
Christmas Day brought: A PHONE CALL WITH CAITLIN!

Some of the gang around the phone
We have speakerphone, so we were all able to hear Caitlin talking and took turns talking with her. Definitely one of the highlights of my day, and it's awesome to think that in 2 1/2 months we'll be seeing her in person!! She sounded great, in good spirits, and her Spanish sounds like a native!
Christmas Day brought BIG THANKS for gifts received:
Andrew thanks Emily for her gift - a Wendy's coupon

Joe thanks Emily for her gift - rocket balloons!

Emily was excited about everyone receiving their gifts from her.

Christmas Day brought SMILES:

Uncle Justin & Alyssa

Christmas Day brought LAUGHTER:

I can't remember what was said, but everyone was laughing pretty hard!
Christmas Day brought: RELAXING

Alyssa "chillaxing" in the doll's cradle

Christmas Day brought PUZZLES:

We always get a new puzzle for Christmas. This is a very cool puzzle of New York City, NY, that glows in the dark. Jordan and Justin did most of the work on it.

Christmas Day brought: NAPS

Emily and Chipper on Christmas Day in one of their usual nap spots

The other nap spot - Chipper's pillow

Christmas Day brought FAMILY ACTIVITIES:

Caitlin had sent us something to do as family. There were Argentine treats, each with a picture of her and a scripture on the back, addressed to one of us. We took turns looking up the scripture that was for ourself, and read it out loud. It was really neat because the scripture and picture related to us individually. A lot of thought and work went into it. Anyway, it was fun to do this together - THANK YOU, CAITLIN!

Another Christmas has come and gone - it was small in quantity of goods, but big with traditions, music, love, family, and remembrance of Christ, which truly are the most important.