So, I have SO MUCH to share, but so-to-no time these days. Itʻs a common excuse around here, but itʻs the truth! In an effort to get things moving along, Iʻm sending you to see two other blogs. The first one is my sisterʻs birthday post…because I was a part of it and it was fun! You can see it here.The other is over to my mom and dadʻs little blog about their mission. They experienced a cow c-section. Since my last two babies were c-sections, I found this totally cool. Go here for that one.
Iʻm hoping to be back really soon!
My mom and dad are going on a mission for our church. Most of you are probably used to seeing two young boys in white shirts and ties. Well, we have lots of different missionaries out there. My parents are going on an Agriculture Service Mission. What is that?! Well, our church owns a lot of farms across the country. These farms are operating to supply the church’s large welfare program. Most of the jobs are run by volunteers.I decided to learn more about the welfare program since my parents were going to be leaving for about eight months to be a part of it. The welfare program was started during the depression of the 1930s. With no jobs, the government stepped in to alleviate this problem. The church feared that their methods promoted idleness because nothing was required in exchange for the help. In regards to setting up the welfare program as a response to government welfare, the president of our church at the time said this:
“Our primary purpose was to set up, in so far as it might be possible, a system under which the curse of idleness would be done away with, the evils of a dole abolished, and independence, industry, thrift and self-respect be once more established amongst our people. The aim of the Church is to help the people to help themselves. Work is to be re-enthroned as the ruling principle of the lives of our Church membership.” (In Conference Report, Oct. 1936, p. 3.)
Since then, it has grown tremendously and the help we are able to provide spans the globe. The Humanitarian Aid program provides medical supplies, they find water sources in third world countries, effective substance abuse programs and respond to natural disasters to name a few. One of the reasons I love this program so much is that there are no administrative costs. The work is volunteer.
The night before they left, we had Family Home Evening with the whole family.My parents talked to everyone about what they would be doing while they were gone and why they decided to do it. Each family came up with their own service goal to do as a family while my parents were gone. Their decision to serve has inspired all of us to serve more too.After that, the tweens and teens were fortunate enough to have a little extra
lecture inspirational talk from my dad about education. He made a deal with them..something about grades and money. I don’t remember earning much for my grades. They were so engrossed. They didn’t even seem to notice the dessert party we were having.Chocolate mousse, root beer floats, chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes, apple cobbler, banana lumpia. It was yummy. There was a lot! I ate a lot too.This picture is blurry, but I love the laughter on everyone’s face. I found this video while I was doing my research. It talks about the church’s response to Hurricane Katrina. I love that they had trucks on their way to Louisiana from various parts of the country before the storm even hit! It kind of gives you an idea of how they do things.So, we will miss my mom and dad a TON! But, we are all super excited for this adventure for them. What a great way to enjoy retirement. Live the simple life. Enjoy each others company while providing service.
Here’s a timeline of the church welfare program. It was a good little history lesson for me.
Gosh it’s taken me a long time to find the time to get to this post. And, to save time, this is mainly just going to be a post of pictures. There are soooo many. Please pardon the lack of order. WordPress is not the most user-friendly for inserting a lot of pictures, so it was taking too long to organize it. I really had to cut out a lot of good ones. I wish I could post pictures of everyone. I didn’t get any great ones of just my brother and his wife. There was an “official” photographer, so she took care of that.This is my oldest brother with my youngest brother. Both of their wives are natives of the Philippines.It was a LOVELY event. It was so elegant and so beautiful. We love love love our new sister-in-law! We are so happy for my brother. They make a beautiful couple.As for my kids and their wedding attire, I really wanted them to “coordinate.” The only way to do that I realized was to sew the clothes myself, so I sewed my daughters’ dresses. I was pretty excited about my older daughter’s dress because I “designed” that one in my head, then on paper and it came out as I imagined. My little one’s dress started off as a peasant dress, but it wasn’t happening…so I did a bunch of stuff to make it look the way it did and I was really happy with how it turned out.Everyone had a great time planning and putting things together. With my sister-in-law (who did the jewelry) as the coordinator, we were quite the wedding force. Everything was beautiful. All of the vases were re-used from past weddings in our family. The decor was so incredibly budget friendly. The reception was held at my brother’s home turned vacation rental. The setting was perfect.For the food, we all took care of a dish or two. Everyone kind of does at least one dish really well…so we stuck with that. The food was so amazing. Here’s my dad at the stove.The company was fabulous. It was a small-ish reception in that it was just the family. So, including my grandma (who is 90 years old and has more energy than me!), that makes 38 of us. My sister and her husband who currently (not permanently ) live in California, came so it was really nice having our whole family together in the temple.The bride’s sister flew in from the mainland and she has a cousin that lives here who was able to attend. My daughter and my niece are excited about their new aunty!That’s my Crafty SIL/Jewelry Store/Wedding Coordinator on the left…and one of my ultra fabulous baby-sitter nieces on the right. As you can see, height does not run in our family.
Here are a few candids…All the little ones loved walking through these crystal strands.My kids love all their older cousins.We got the idea for these monogram letters from Pinterest. My mom cut them out of pine wood and painted them. They were a really nice touch.We brought the letters inside to hang on the wall once the dinner started.My sister did the same thing under these plates that she did at the shower.Here she is with my oldest niece. Sometimes we suspect they were made from the same mold.I love this boy…and his smile.One of my super-dependable baby sitter nieces and my nephew…son of the groom.Strategizing the cake cutting.Daughter of the groom…she got him good!I love this shot my sister-in-law took. The sky is a perfect backdrop.Look how much spunk my grandma has. And that’s my “Martha Stewart Sister” who doubles as a pastry chef. Very handy to have around. I love that she lives about a minute away from my house.This is the sea-glass candy she made that I talked about at the end of this post.My daughter and my niece had fun with my camera for about 10 minutes….I have so many pictures of my sister here…she’s setting up something in almost every single one.Here’s my cute niece sneaking (getting caught) a plate of cake in a dark corner of the room.
And here’s my daughter…not so sneaky with her cake. It kept her busy while we were cleaning up.Boys Club.And more candids. Everyone loved the edible pearls.As you can see, it was a lovely event that we were all thrilled to be a part of. Congratulations to K & J and the beginning of their new life together.
After the fun we had at the jewelry party, it was time to focus on the shower. We had a “Tea Party” theme. The bride’s sister who lives thousands of miles away flew in the night before the shower.Everyone did their part to make things pretty.My little sister did all of the names on doilies by hand. It was a really elegant touch.My SIL used her handy-dandy cricut to cut out all those adorable boxes. To make it even better, they were filled with chocolate covered macadamia nut clusters smothered in caramel.We played some games and ate.Look at all these hand-made prizes! Lucky for us, even if we didn’t win, we still got a prize at the end.Fresh baked bread was filled with different sandwich fillings. We had three “flavors” to choose from. It was delish!This flavor of lemonade was new to all of us. It was a big hit.Spinach salad and these cream filled strawberries on the side completed the meal. It’s great having a pastry chef in the family! She stuffed them with a mix of cream cheese, powdered sugar and a little vanilla. They were topped with graham cracker crumbs.After we ate, it was time for gifts. The bride received a beautiful heirloom pearl necklace from her sister who had been keeping it safe for 14 years since her own wedding! It was a really sweet surprise.She also brought a gift from her son who used his own money to buy his favorite aunty some comfy PJs.We all chipped in while my SIL worked her magic and made this beautiful pearl set (She’s wearing all three pieces) for her. I wish I had a link to her online store, but IT’S NOT UP YET!!! (no pressure Ky…but HURRY UP!).My other sister found a great idea to make a basket of “Dates For A Year” since my brother and his bride lived in two separate countries and didn’t get to “go on dates” much. We thought it was a good idea from the beginning, but seeing everyone fill it up was so fun and creative! For January, they went box car racing. Other dates they will have to look forward to are driving around the island sight seeing with gift cards to various stops around the island. A day at the park with a frisbee and a Jamba Juice gift card. A hammock to take to a beach park and hang out.A DVD for “The Bucket List” with a “worksheet” to fill out their own bucket list.An envelope with two five dollar bills. They go to a mall or superstore and each spend five dollars on the other person that is an expression of love and creativity. I wish I could remember them all. She was really excited about it. I think we all were! My mom also gave her the beautiful simple frame.I almost forgot. My oldest sister made these refreshing fruit popscicles. She used an ice tray as a mold. They look so pretty too!It was a super fun day with the most important women in our life. We were so anxious for the big day!
That night, we packaged all this beautiful rock candy that my sister made to look like sea glass. So cool! Can’t wait for the wedding!!!