September 2 Noah's Birthday
September 10 Roxana's Birthday
August Family Updates
Phil, Roxana & Brian
Hello from South Cackalacky,
Where the overall mood throughout the state is one a great mourning, the likes of which have not been seen since Sherman made his march and “forgot” to properly put out campfires along the way, for lo and behold, Gamecock country witnessed its pride and joy footballers get THUMPED in their season opener. To offer perspective as to how this affects the collective psyche of a people who live for football and boiled peanuts, flags have been lowered to half-staff and grief counselors sent to the public schools; our governor has even considered—EGAD, say it aint so!—applying to Mr. Obama for federal aid! (What will the others say?!) Times are dread, indeed.
Needless to say that the grandparents among us here would sure like to move near some grandbabies—just saying—so it would help if some families (looking right at you Cesar and Carlos!) could decide on some more permanent living arrangements (near each other!...hmmmmm…) so that we can get some address labels printed… (We gotta get out of here ‘cause I swear I saw Brian eyeballing a can of boiled peanuts at the store the other day and mom has been looking at wallpaper samples and Paula Deane recipes on Pinterest and our food storage seems to have an inordinate amount of grits and fatback and I seem to use the words “aint and ‘cause and gotta way too much!)
What a great month August turned out to be for everyone at 2218 Trail Point—mainly because we all had a chance to get out of here for a while! Brian and Pops concluded their AWESOME, WONDERFUL, FUN, EXHILERATING (but Old Faithful—not so much), RESTFUL, and all-in-all FANTASTIC trip to Vegas and Pocatello—the ying and yang, so to speak, of their travel destinations. Thank you again to Carlos and Lindsey and Helena for possibly the Greatest Vegas show not on the strip, and to Cesar and Jamie(hey Kathryn, you like how I spelled it right? Huh? Not so stupid is I after all…)and Noah and Marlie and Olive for providing some awesome adventures in the land that the natives named POCA (meaning little) Tello (meaning to do). But hey, you’re all that (index finger and thumb are an eighth of an inch apart) close to Chubbuck, so at least there’s that.
We decided to take a long weekend to Myrtle Beach and stayed at a hotel on the beach with a balcony overlooking the ocean. We remembered this same hotel from a visit we made last year much the same as Dad remembers himself in his youth—full hair, in shape, and splashed with Aqua Velva (don’t laugh, it landed Mom). Unfortunately, memories can be…what do the Greeks say?...oh yeah, faded and downright inaccurate. Thank goodness Mom didn’t have a blacklight! From the “bubbled” plaster ceiling to the dripping shower and 1-ply bath towels, we all wish we had had a bottle of Aqua Velva. We still managed to have a great time as only we know how when faced with such circumstances—we got out as much as we could. The weather was great, the tanning was good, and the water invigorating. Had a really scrumptious meal at a hoidy-toidy restaurant—even used our cloth napkins and inside voices (oh yeah, we were ALL THAT!). The girls (yes, Kathryn went—but we hesitate to mention her in this post as she has made it clear that she has her own post thank you very much so we don’t need to include her—well, I never…)anyway, Mom and the person of whom we are not to speak coerced Brian and Dad to endure a trek to the outlet mall—ugh! (Actually, Dad made out like a thief with lots of pants and shirts. Guess he can now start dressing like an adult after some 50 years in t-shirts—he still clings to his Cap’n Crunch with the bling and cash money—and pants with paint stains.)
Roxana and she of whom we must not speak went to DC and visited the Moses—Crabs, Crabs, everywhere! Mom was actually there for job training and the girl visited friends and was the perfect tourist—Metro and all!
Brian begins his senior year at South Aiken High and his last year of seminary. His streak of consecutive days at seminary remains unbroken with no absences! He is THIS close (index finger and thumb are one-sixteenth of an inch apart) to getting his driver’s license.
Mom ran a 5K in thirty-four minutes! She continues to great things at her job and—WOW! Where did that come from?—we now have new furniture! Seems like each time she pulls into the driveway she pulls another treasure from the trunk. Mom is excited to teach seminary and a typical morning includes going to the gym, heading over to seminary, and then off to work. Wow! Oh, Mom’s head is exploding now that she is part of the Excel Geek Club with Cesar after going to Athens (sorry, Georgia—not Greece) to get Geek training for her job.
Mom and Brian have talked for a while now about running a half marathon in two weeks, but are now expressing doubts—let’s all get on them to keep them on track!
Dad FINALLY got a “real” teaching position (because everyone knows that for the past six years he has been a “pretend” teacher). He loves this assignment and has even been given a tablet by the school. (Sadly, but not unpredictably, he got a large glass of water when he heard he was getting a tablet—thought it was to be ingested!) Now he can check baseball scores at any time! Woo-hoo!
As we contemplate the blessings we have received through all the challenges and struggles we have faced over the past months and even years, it is abundantly clear that we could never find ourselves in such a good place without the help and love of Heavenly Father. Had we not paid our tithes, tried to be diligent in our callings, and strived to do our best to honor our covenants, we would have endured even more heartache without the blessings of the comfort and love of our Heavenly Father. That we may always remember that as a family we are a source of strength to each other, able to lift each other through all times and situations, and receive abundantly of life’s joys is our prayer.
Cesar & Jamie
Well, after everyone left I was a little worried things would be boring around these parts, but they haven't been. Something about a family with 3 kids 4 and under that keeps it lively.
Cesar has been plugging along at school and much prefers his marketing classes this semester to the financial analysis of last. He thinks this could be his concentration but still hasn't officially declared one. He continues to work with the eleven year olds in Scouts and has class Tuesday and Thursday. His weeks are a blur of homework and studying.
Inspired by all of Papa Phil's home improvements, I've been hard at work white washing the fireplace, painting kitchen cabinets, ceilings (because if you'll remember- they were BLUE!) and working with the Relief Society in our church. This month I put on the Visiting Teaching Conference Luau. Basically it was a party with a few speakers to relax, eat and get to know other people in our ward, but it was a TON of work. I've never had to prepare food and organize an event for 50 people. Lucky for me, Noah and Marlie helped decorate and play with Olive and leis while it came together.
Noah has been getting ready for his birthday for weeks, asking each day, "Mom, what day is it today? My biiiirthday yet?" But he could be just as excited for school to start. While he won't be starting kindergarten this year, we've put him into a preschool 3 days a week. He's very interested in his new shark backpack (Thanks Grandma Marnie!), school supplies, and the idea of meeting so many new friends. (He'll find out about having to listen to Teacher and homework soon enough.)
Marlie is a busy body by nature and continues to dance, sing and be a sweet (albeit unpredictable) sister. Because of this, we signed her up for a beginner dance class. She is SO thrilled to get to romp around and listen to music. She could either be the next Gabby Douglas, or the kid who runs stark naked across the stage during the recital. Either way, I hope she enjoys this and it makes her feel special.
Olive is on a roll right now. She's got rolls upon rolls on her thighs and arms and continues to be a very happy baby. She can now roll over both ways whenever she feels like it and often rolls over only to get a better view of what everyone else is up to. You can tell she's itching for her turn to join the action.
Our big activity for the month was our trip to Mesquite and Las Vegas for my parents' sealing in the St. George temple. It was beautiful! Afterward there was a luncheon and it was the first time in years all of my siblings have been able to get together for a year or more. After this, we headed up to visit Carlos and Lindsey- and BABY HELENA in Las Vegas. We swam in the Orlean's pool and had a very nice (though action-packed) sushi dinner.
Hopefully with preschool and dance starting for the kids, we'll be able to fall in with a new routine and things will quiet down. Yeah. Right.
Love you all!
Cesar, Jamie, Noah, Mars & Olive
Carlos & Lindsey
With the exception of this last week, August has been a pretty quiet month for us (Lindsey, Carlos, Helena, Abbie and, of course, Nono). I (Lindsey) was asked to take on some additional responsibilities at work and have also taken on some pro-bono family law cases on a volunteer basis, which have taken up much of my spare time. Carlos, meanwhile, completed his job at the law school library but was quickly hired to assist a solo practitioner. Finally, Helena began to learn gymnastics at daycare and has quickly mastered the skills of jumping and almost standing on her head!
Currently, we are in Towson, MD visiting my family. It's been a fun, humid trip so far. We'll tell you all about it in more detail later, but the short version of our activities so far are: trip to the aquarium where Helena discovered her soul mate is a three legged sea turtle she saw being fed lettuce, a trip to the old Sirk/Morales family residences in and around College Park, an Orioles game, and (most importantly) Helena's first authentic Baltimore-style snowball!
August update! I've totally unpacked and have enjoyed living back in my room and having my car! I spent the first couple of weeks in august doing Nothing! And it was wonderful! Then I decided I should maybe start looking for a job. Blegh. I've just spent this month preparing for school and finding a job and going to institute every Tuesday night and FHE every Sunday night.
I finally got a part time job at Kroger in the gas station. Luckily the glass is bullet proof. Har har. But seriously.
And the first two days of classes were lame. One of the four got cancelled and the other three we just read the syllabus. Hello?! We are in college. Pretty sure we can read... Oh well.
Umm. I've sorta kinda started dating someone? Sorta? Mom and dad met him. He's nice. The end. (I feel pressure because the kids I teach in primary(ages 4) ask me every Sunday when I'm getting married) ...
This month has been grand and pretty lazy. Next month the craziness starts!!!!
Love you all and miss you like crazy!!!