Husband and Father

Husband and Father
July 15, 1958 ~ August 25, 2008

Thursday, January 23, 2014

MLK Weekend

With Martin Luther King Day on Monday, and Teacher Prep Day on Tuesday, the kids had a nice long weekend.  The theme of this holiday seemed to be Frozen.  

Monday the kids and I saw the movie Frozen. This is an animated Disney movie about two orphaned princesses named Elsa and Anna.  Elsa has magical powers that are easily triggered.  She traps the kingdom in eternal winter, so Anna meets up with Kristoff, a handsome and rugged mountain main, on the journey to find the Snow Queen, Elsa, and remove the icy spell.  Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom from destruction. 

This musical/comedy, captures your attention with characters such as Olaf, who is a helpful snowman. A fun family friendly movie!  
The Midway Ice Castles were our source of entertainment for day two.  The Castles are built by hand and made from more than 20,000,000 pounds of ice.  We enjoyed exploring with the Geurts', the glacial formations, archways, tunnels, and caverns.  We were so happy to find Olaf along our travels.

Liz, and Cassedee

Cassedee, Liz, Mason, Ben, and Chloe

Olaf and the kids.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

MPJ Cheer

A kind cheer-mom took pictures of the Muller Park Junior High School cheer team.
She did a great job!

Jacqueline, Adrienne, Bailey, Maddie, Jenna, Avery
Morgan, Natalie, Baylee, Liz, Ally, Marijke

Grateful For Blessings

The first letter from the New Year from Sister Brown was this:

It looks as all of you have had a great new year! New year is a great time to of rededicate yourself and re evaluate what you want to make of this new year that you have been blessed with.  New Year is a big holiday here and it was interesting to spend it in the city! That's right..manbush Sista Brown has been transferred! I realized this past week that I have completely forgotten how to live in city life. This past week has been absolutely crazy!  

Last Friday my companion and I were making a treat for our neighbors  (we were still in White Sands). To make the treat, you boil sugar with coconut milk, to make a caramel like substance. After, you put it over breadfruit.  Okay, so you know how impatient I am; I had been stirring for 45 minutes and I was so sick of it,  my companion went outside and so I decided to try to test the caramel to see if it was poison of course ;) haha. Well I had been stirring with a long piece of bamboo, so when I tried to test the caramel a big drop of it fell onto my foot.  It burned like crazy at first and so I tried to wipe it off.  It was sticky so I did not able to get all of it off.  After we finished making the treat, I cleaned out my burn and everything looked completely normal.  I put a plaster on it and let it go. The next two days it was fine. On Sunday, I felt that my foot was very very sore to walk on.  I noticed that my foot started changing to a ripe pink color and that's when I knew something was wrong.  I didn't want it to ruin our plans to proselyte,  so I just limped around Sunday and Monday.  Tuesday we flew out to Vila for our transfer and I noticed my entire leg was swollen.  It was painful to even bend my knee.  On Tuesday night, when we got back to our place, I took off the plaster and it smelt like something had died in my foot.  I saw that now I did not have a burn in my foot, but one bigfala infection.  The next morning I decided I needed to go to the mission office to try to find an antibiotic.  When I went into the mission office and President saw my foot he handed me a phone to ring the mission nurse. I rang the mission nurse and she told me that nothing was open because of New Year, but that she would get an appointment for the next day (Thursday).  

Thursday we caught a bus to the mission office and went to the France doctor. When the doctor took one look at my foot he said, "Sister, you know you are extremely lucky that you are here and not on Tanna.  If you were on Tanna and you got this infection you would not have a foot anymore. They would just take off your foot.  Count your blessings."  When he said that my thoughts quickly changed from "I am in so much pain" to "Thank you Heavenly Father."  He took off the plasters and explained that he was going to have to cut the green flesh out of the infection or we were going to have a big problem.  The greenish flesh was about 2 inches long.  My entire leg was so sore to touch that when he said he was going to have to cut I about cried.  He told me to lie down and he got a little scaple thing out and started to scrape and cut out some of the infection on the edges.  I tried so hard not to cry. I tried to look away and sing to make me forget about what he was doing, but that was not working.  When he first started cutting, I grabbed my foot back and said, "That is not going to be happen.." He laughed and told me to sit still.  He worked on my foot for a little while and stopped because he saw that the infected tissue was too strong/hard to try to take it all out in one day.  He finished, cleaned it up, and told me that he would continue to cut out the infection on Saturday.  He gave me an antibiotic to help with the infection and sent me on my way.  I took the antibiotic 2 times but on Friday night I felt my skin just itching and burning too bad.  I went to go take a shower and saw that my entire torso was covered with a bad rash.  It burned so bad.  I couldnt find an allergy pill and so I just went and sat down in the shower.  

Saturday morning the rash was done and we went back to the doctor.  He did the same thing that he did on Thursday but this time it hurt sooooooooo much worse than last time.  He cut and scraped about 1 inch out and then looked at me and said, "This is a lot deeper than I thought." Oh great doctor, way to make your patient feel great... haha.  He told me to cover it and that he would repeat the procedure on Monday. He told me that on Monday he would try to numb my foot so I wouldn't feel so much pain. (why didn't you do that the first time?? haha) Saturday night the rash was back, I would sweat and sweat all night every night so I didn't sleep.   Sunday I was determined to go to church for our first time in our new area and so I limped to church.  We went to our area church.  We got back from church around 9. My foot hurt bad.  I mean bad. When we got back to our house there was a note on our door from a mission couple that works in the office, telling me I needed to urgent ring them.  I rang and they told me that President Brewer called and told them that he wanted the AP's to come give me a Priesthood Blessing.  A little bit later the APs and a senior couple came and gave me a priesthood blessing. The rash came back that night and my foot was more swollen than it had been before.  

Monday morning President rang and told me that him and Sister Brewer did not feel good about this infection and that they would be sending all my records to a doctor in New Zealand.  I knew what that meant.  If this infection did not get under control it would mean I would probably be going home.  At the end of our phone call, President gave me direct orders to stay in our apartment.  (He knows patience is not a virtue of mine) A few hours later a couple came to take me to the doctor.  When we got to the doctor he took off all the bandages  and I could not believe what I saw.  The infection had gone down a lot.  He went to clean it, and all of the green tissue he needed to remove rubbed right off.  We all looked at each other and I was so happy.  He told me to keep the bandages clean and call if anything changed.  When I came back to the mission office Sister Brewer sat me down and explained to me how if the infection  had not gotten better it could have been the end of my mission.  I knew that I had experienced an absolute miracle. 

 Needless to say, I know that Priesthood power is the power of God.  I have never experienced such a miracle as this before in my entire life. I can testify that I have seen firsthand the power of Papa God.  He loves us.  He will protect us, and heal us as we have faith in His healing power.  I am so grateful for the power that we have in this church.  I know it is real.  I know that there are unseen helping hands on the other side of the veil that help protect and comfort missionaries.  It was different being sick this time because I was never scared.  You know me that I been one to worry every time, but this time I was never scared.  I knew who I was serving, and I knew the power that He had.  I know that God's power is greater than any infection or sickness or pain, and that according to the faith of us He can heal us.  

Anyway, other than that minor set back,  things are great!! Loving the work!!!  Learning a lot every day!! 


Sister Brown

I was in contact with the Mission Office.  They were sending me up-dates on her condition, especially since she has had MRSA before (while at home).  She still has a rash, and the infection seems to be subsiding.  The Area Medical Advisor in New Zealand as well as the France doctor on Port Vila are taking good care of her.

What a blessing it was that she got transferred to Port Vila where the conditions are more modern and sanitary, and that she had a doctor capable of handling this problem.

The Priesthood Blessing that she received brought forth a wonderful miracle, and to that we are grateful.  In her Mission President's email to me he states, "The infection has subsided remarkably, and we all have experienced a strengthening of our faith because of the priesthood blessing she received."

She is still confined to her apartment.  The Mission President wrote, "Sister Brown has been very good to stay quiet and not be out working, although this is very hard for her.  She loves missionary work!"

Bless her heart!  It is hard for her to stay down, she loves serving the Lord.  We are praying that she will continue to improve, and be back working hard again.

Happy New Year

New Year's Eve Lizzy and I went to an early movie, Saving Mr. Banks. I thought it was a fabulous movie, Lizzy….not so much.  Finally, a movie that you could highly recommend to friends and family without worrying about inappropriate language or behavior.

Meg, Quinn, Mase, Lizzy, Ben and I went to an early dinner at Macaroni Grill. When we arrived home, we had a visit from a couple of our Texan relatives.  Lindsey, Brandon, and Charlie, came for a visit.  What a cute family! Charlie is adorable, and got along very well with Ben.  Ben loves little kids!

When Meg and Quinn got home from their party, we rang in the New Year with pots and pans.  Mason was not a fan of the noise.
Happy New Year! 

Liz, Brandon, Lyndsey, Charlie, and Ben.
Ringing in the New Year.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Christmas Day 2013

Christmas morning, excitement was abounding!  Probably not for the reason you would think.  We were all so excited to hear from our two missionaries!  That definitely was the highlight of the day.

Santa brought lots of wonderful toys, and clothing for Ben and Lizzy.  Toys are definitely more exciting to give than clothes and shoes. Ben's favorites were his John Stockton jersey and Red Rider B    B Gun (hope he doesn't shoot his eye out).  Lizzy's favorite was her boots.

Santa must have been a little distracted when he left a candy cane full of Reese Peanut Butter Cups, and miniature snicker bars for Lizzy.  I thought he knew she was allergic to peanuts! Oh, dear Santa!

After Ben and Lizzy opened their presents, I told Ben to go get me something out of Katelyn's room.  He was very excited to see this:
It's every boys dream, and even fun for the older kids and their mom:).  It can become a little addicting.

Brunch was served at a fairly fast pace.  We were all anticipating our calls/skye with the missionaries.  We called Sister Brown first, and what a fun time that was.  It was hard to understand her due to her new found Bislama language.  She is hilarious!  She loves Tanna, wants to stay there her whole mission, and extend her mission until February 2015.  She absolutely loves the people there.  I asked her about some clothing I had seen her wear in a photo that didn't look familiar.  She told me nothing belongs to anyone, whatever you want you take (with permission I hope). She is the happiest she has ever been (direct quote from her).

Thanks to modern technology we were able to Skpe with Elder Brown.  We all gathered around the computer, talking, laughing, and trying to find out as much as we could about his time in Alaska.  The kids (not me) may have shown him the last second of the Auburn verses Alabama football game.  He is so happy, loves his companion, and loves serving the people of Bethel.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Christmas Eve with the Browns' 2013

Let's get the party started! We arrive shortly after dinner at Grandma and Grandpa Brown's house, to begin our Christmas Eve celebrations.  Grandpa found the perfect little Christmas tree to dance around, singing Christmas carols, with the grand finale of O Jul Med Din Glede.

The kids were so excited to open their presents, and spend the rest of the evening playing with their treasures, spending time with family, and eating homemade candy.

The perfect tree.

Dancing around the Christmas tree.

Cousin time.

Opening Christmas presents.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Christmas Eve 2013 - Wagstaff Style

Christmas Eve is an anticipated event.  Two parties in one night - wowza!  Dinner, gifts, and of course the famous family calendar are among the happenings at the Wagstaff's.  It is a time to reacquaint with cousins, aunts, and uncles, and remember the importance of family.  We are always grateful for are fabulous hosts, Scott, and Connie.  

Holidays Are Hard

Still Miss Him!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Good Friends, Good Food, and Good Times

"Good friends, good food, good times." I'm not sure who authored this quote, but I couldn't agree more.  In fact I would probably change the word good, and replace it with great, fabulous or another word that is a little more dynamic. Great friends are such an important part of me and my family's life.

The Jacobsen's hosted a fabulous get-together with the Barton's, Cowley's and us.  We all have boys (and some of us girls) serving missions.  Shawn, Mikey, Mike, and Brady, have been long time friends.  They played basketball together for years, and remained friends even though Mike was the odd-man-out, and went to Bountiful High School rather than Woods Cross.

We were able to share stories/letters from each missionary.  They are serving in Africa, Mexico, Alaska, and the Czech Republic.  The sister missionaries are serving in Arizona, and Vanuatu.  It warmed my heart to listen to the testimony of each missionary.  They are such strong and faithful young men and women serving the Lord.  We are grateful to have our children serving.


Friday, January 17, 2014

Sarah's Birthday

I am sure I have posted these pictures of my Christmas baby before, but it best describes the choicest Christmas present I ever received.  This girl is full of spunk and personality. She can charm you with her quick whit, and fun-loving nature; but deep down is a loyal, sensitive, and caring young lady.

We celebrated at the Market Street Broiler.  Sarah and I came for the fish, and Jordan found a tasty alternative.

Happy 24th to my beautiful girl!  I love you!

December 20, 1989
Happy 24th!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Fall Basketball 2013

The Bountiful Braves formed a 5th grade comp basketball team this year. The team is coached by  Jordan and Johnny Maxwell.  It is every boy's hope and desire to play for their dad, Coach Maxwell at Bountiful High School some day.
New teams always have their ups and downs.  It takes time for them to acclimate, and unite together.  Over time, they become stronger as a team.  The coaches teach them plays and skills to help them become better players, and teammates.
Our team struggled during the regular season, and barley made it to the play-offs ranked as 7th seed.  Since our team was the lowest seed, our first game was against the top ranked team in the bracket.  After an intense game, we won the top seed team and moved on in the bracket.  We won again, leaving us to play in the finals for the championship.  We lost in the finals, but couldn't be prouder of our team for taking second place in the South Davis Youth Competition League.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Gingerbread Men 2013

Costco's giant gingerbread men were the rage for this year's Christmas activities.  Instagram and Facebook lit up with photos of families decorating these cute cookies.  For the small price of $8.99, and zero effort, you really can't go wrong.  These kits came complete with frosting and candies.  My older kids may have cheered a little when they saw the gingerbread men instead of gingerbread houses.  Yes, we have had our troubles with houses collapsing and impatient builders.

Mason enjoyed sampling the candy, and placing sucked-on-half-eaten pieces on the gingerbread.  The other's had fun using their creativity skills and trying to out-do their competitors.  Three teams, three winners, we all had a great time.