Saturday, October 31, 2009

Josefa's last day

Sole's TB test was negative--which we KNEW already, but to celebrate since we were in Provo to pick up the test results we went to my favorite LA DULCE VIDA for lunch. TheTortellini alla Panna is one of the tastiest things on the planet a person could put in their mouth! Josefa agreed. Soledad had pizza and loved it. She is worn out from the hard concentrating on English. I watch her do what I do when I have had enough Spanish for the day in another country...I just ZONE...I tune it all out and get happy in my English thinking mind. At lunch Sole would come in and out of Josefa and I's conversation with jokes/riddles in Spanish and they were like ours where 100 people get on the bus and 3 get off and on and on with the numbers and then they want to know the color of the bus drivers eyes... it comforted me because then I knew she was having happy thoughts in her tired brain even though I knew she was so nervous to have her sister leaving her ALONE....with me. She is only 11 and can't begin to know how much I already love her or the care I will give her. I would be nervous too if I were her. It will just take time. Please pray that the English will come FAST to her understanding. Even if she doesn't speak it well for awhile, to understand is a huge comfort when everything else is so new. SO...everyone...again, PRAY that her mind will begin to understand the English SOON.
We did a final run to Walmart. At dinner Michael asked Sole to name some of her favorite things about America and the first thing she said was Walmart....we should do a commercial! After Don came home we took the girls to BYU campus where the sweet memories still make my heart beat fast. The smell of the Bookstore is the same even after 26 years...that candy counter must be the eternal spring of sweet smell....and all the new books...that new paper smell that sets my body tingling! How LUCKY was I that I got to work there??? All those dates picked up while "working" at my register....:)
It was so fun for them to see everyone wearing their Halloween the Univeristy, in cars driving, in Wal Mart---EVERYWHERE. I am so glad WE have Halloween! I am trying to convince Josefa to come her to finish her school. I will work on brainwashing Soledad while she is here as well.
Talk about an amazing EATING day! For dinner I had the Tai Crunch Salad at California Pizza kitchen (deliciousness)...Sole had pizza again and now I know how to make her happy! Michael and Josefa went to a costume dance and had a blast. Poor Josefa left this morning with no sleep.
Seeing her go was so hard. Sole is still teary which makes me teary...I am going to fill the day with FUN to help take her mind off it all. She is in the pantry crying out the hardness to her mother who is now probably crying because it is as hard on HER to have Sole gone as it is on Sole to be gone.....the things we do so that our children can be their best selves can many times break our hearts. LET ENGLISH and COMFORT COME QUICKLY TO SOLEDAD!!!!!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thursday 28 OCT 2009

Our day started in "Miss Harris' " class...made me laugh to hear them call Megs that!! Soledad and Josefa are going to think all we DO is pumpkins stuff in October!!! This morning Megan had her floral design class do arrangements in pumpkins and we made them too. Her students were adorable. Their arrangements were adorable...and MEGAN was adorable!! I want to take the boys and Don to see her in action. She has put her take charge personality to great use.
We went to both Mall's...YES...I DID...I went IN a MALL and there is a picture to prove it!(well, I went in ONE, the other I sat in the car and talked to GrandDad). Josefa found more amazing deals--here we are ending the season they are starting so it was perfect for her. I think her schooling maybe should have been in fashion, she really has an eye for putting things together. My heart sank as I looked around to see SO FEW people in the Mall...I was surprised at the parking lots of both Mall's, and then I went in...must be like Real Estate...the news keeps saying how much better things are getting, but just ask any realtor how its going...or go to the Mall!!! I found out Soledad LOVES Subway. We came home and the girlies showed up and as you can see, even though it was only 36 degrees out, they all had a soak...look at all that GIRL stuff (pinks and purples!!!) on MY back porch...yep...Heaven has come to me!!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

NO pumpkins in Chile!

We started the morning all excited to start school---we get there and the nurse said she had to wait until after her TB we went to Provo, got the TB Test and the results won't be back until FRIDAY so she can't start school until Monday and she will MISS all the Halloween party stuff!!! SOOoooo we will make up for it here at home. At WalMart she found a 50's poodle skirt costume (she looks adorable---Josefa has the pictures on her camera, but she and Michael are out at a Karioke place so I won't have them until tomorrow). The neighbor girls came again and FINALLY she got to meet Megan who will be in her class at school. I guess they don't have pumpkins in Chile so this was her first time carving pumpkins---she made an OWL and it is adorable...they were all so cute...check out Anna's darling wee pumpkin! THEN...they went to the Halloween Party at church---I missed it because I had to show houses to a client...but all were HAPPY when I picked them up--Josefa went too.
I may have met my match for the hot tub...we just got out and I had to ask HER if she was ready to get out. We were alone with no help for translating---we did GREAT if I do say so myself!!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

DAY 2...

One day I'll learn how to get my pictures in ORDER on this thing!
We had a GOOD GOOD GOOD second day with TONS of new words for both of us! Anna and Lauren Allphin and Hannah Sanders came to help us make the Halloween Dinner we served their families later that night...we taught Soledad the deliciousness of licking the bowl and the real reason whipped cream comes in a can :) !!!! Thanks to Lauren we now have a new pumkin face technique of scraping the rind gently off to make it look like it is glowing...see how cool?
Julie Sanders brought the darling skeleton veggie tray! We were so sad Jamie didn't make it due to work stuff. We have the BEST neighbors!!! We can't wait for Soledad to meet ALL of them...we are going to introduce her to a few at a time so as not to overwhelm her! We'll enroll her in school Wednesday when her body has recovered from the jet lag and gotten on our time.
Soledad LOVES animals and watched 2 movies--both with dogs in it.
Josefa went with Michael and his friends to a dinner and concert to benefit a Pleasant Grove girl with brain cancer. We want Josefa to stay TOO!
We ended our day my favorite way...with a soak in the hot tub!
I have to admit though, that the HILIGHT of my day was being able to LIVE CHAT with Josh!!! I about came out of my chair when I saw the little thing pop up while I was working!!! Good thing he couldn't see the tears! Not as good as holding him, but I was SO GRATEFUL to have him communicating with me at the SAME time. Think of how miraculous that in UTAH and him in Africa LIVE CHATTING! I love the world we live in!!! Although...He is still washing his clothes out of a bucket (wish we could modernize things for him there) and it is the rainy season so they are soaked ALOT of the time. They don't carry umbrellas because it is one of the few ways people will let them in--because they feel sorry for them.He sounded happy and busy. IT MADE MY WEEK!!!!

Letter from Josh 26 Oct 2009 ...picture 2007

Hey Family!

so we got transfer news and it is a bit crazy, for me anyways. they are splitting the area, and my companion is leaving. which means that i have to show my new comp the area as well as the other two that are coming to be in the other half. i don't know how it is going to work, and when i asked them how i was suppose to do that they just said " you will have to figure that out, you are the one that knows the area" so Elder Hansen takes off Wednesday the new guys will get here either Thursday or Friday and then the adventure begins. i figure i have two options, just tell two of them to go tract in a random place that they find, or we travel in a foursome for a few weeks until they know where to go. either way is very ineffective. and all of that is without mentioning that one of the three new elders coming to be with me is a greeny. so while i am not technically training again, i might as well be cause i will be showing him and his trainer around. this transfer isn't going to be much fun.
oh and the apartment that we found we are no longer getting. the owner said he is giving it to a relative instead, which is code for "i am a racist Muslim and don't want two christian American boys in a place that i own." so the four of us will be in our one tiny flat. i know i sound like i am discouraged and complaining. . . and i am, but i also know that things will work out, i don't know how, but somehow they will.
the rest of the week was decent. our teaching pool has been disapearing lately which isn't good especially since they are splitting the area. we had three baptisms yesterday, they are good people. are three were young kids whose parents were already members. but the members think that the missionary's are suppose o teach everyone so they dont baptise their children at eight. instead they wait until missionary's have to go and teach them. it makes me mad because then we have to take all sorts of time to go teach people that are already coming and have been coming and already know the commandments and so on. but occasionally we will get a referal from it so then it becomes worth it.
another slow week for the most part. a lot of tracting and finding and such. but i dont think i will be having a slow stress free week for a while so maybe it was good. It is the rainy season just before the ultra hot season, and i will probably be in Mombasa for all of it (rainy and hot) which is alright i guess but i don't like the heat or the humidity. i would much rather be in a cold place with snow if i could choose the weather conditions. but i cant, so i will endure.

i love you guys! have a great week! do something fun for me!

Elder Harris

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Hi Lovey...I am tired. But it has been a glorious week getting the kids and having Soledad and Josefa here. Everyone was home for dinner tonight and I missed you...its weird, I like it BEST when everyone is home, but that's when I miss you the most too!
The Fowler's from Boise came in for a mutual friend of Dad's funeral on Friday and they all came for dinner. Paul was able to come as well and it was good to see Dad relaxing and loved by his friends. I made the whole roast deal and pumkin bars. When I pulled the pumpkin bars out I was surprised how brown they were on top in such a short time. I cooled them, frosted them...and served them---half cooked!!! I haven't done something like that for YEARS! Paul was the hero for bringing pumpkin pies and saved the day!
The weather is nippy to stay. My runs are in the low 40's, will have to wear gloves before long. The apple tree in the side yard decided to go bonkers this year and it is covered with apples. I have been astonished at how many apples I keep picking--I didn't spray so some are wormy so that is why MARGE gets so many of them.
We are practicing the Primary Program and yea, pretty much the kids are melting my heart with every word and every song.
GrandDad got an electronic wrist device so that if he falls or needs help all he has to do is push the button and help will come and they will KNOW WHERE HE IS...I am SO COMFORTED by this. God hears and answers prayers.
Southard's found out they are having their 6th girl...and darling as their girls are, who could complain or be sad???
I could really use your Spanish right now with Soledad here. Already I am feeling much more comfortable about Josefa leaving now that I know her. She smiles all the time and really tries. With both of us trying we will do okay. And Dad can straighten out the stuff we can't figure out when he gets home.
I miss having Jeremy and Kori brought Preston and Jeremi here more too. I am just going to have to PLAN trips up there. So selfish of me to let them do it for years and then be a slacker when its my turn. But, it was strange not to have them come pick my pumpkins that I of course grew with them in mind!!!
You seemed a little discouraged to me last week. Been on my mind alot.
Do you want me to send you the Conference Issue of the Ensign?
Thought of anything for Christmas yet?
How's the companion?
Michael thinks he MIGHT like somebody. Spencer's got the "why do you have to go to college? blues". Sam is pulling out a rocking semester with all of his golf absences and then the cruise. Megan's floral class is making arrangements in pumpkins this week and she is stoked. I have Josefa and Sole and Dad gets to go to Colombia and some other places in November. SO...all is well on the homefront. Just loving YOU!!!!!!
Sending you a back scratch...
Your Momma!

SHE'S HERE!!!! THEY are here!!!

It took them 25 hours to get here from Santiago and they were SO TIRED !!! Josefa is as beautiful and angelic as ALWAYS...I LOVE HER!!!! And we are so EXCITED to have Soledad here! Sole is quiet which you would expect if you don't speak English and you are in a house full of talking, sports debating, LOUD boys!
I write our new words down in a spiral notebook and we keep saying them to each other---me in Spanish, Soledad in English. We have over 20 words for today. I am sure she feels overwhelmed!!! Josefa's English is PERFECT. We are going to wait until Wednesday to put her in school. We will let her body get on our time, and take her to her first american grocery store, Wal-mart, Mall, you name it!! Pretty sure she feels a bit overwhelmed right now.We want to squeeze in fun with Josefa while she is here. We'll go to Park City, Megan and Michael's apartments and Lagoon on Friday. Tonight Soledad made our rolls for dinner and I have visions of a side kick for dinner prep for awhile.
Carlos and Soledad...THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for letting me have will never know the JOY it is bringing me! I wish I could keep Josefa as well!!!

Soledad's room

So, Thursday morning I woke up and got Soledad's room together in the middle bedroom and it just didn't feel right. I've known she's coming for forever and toyed a few times with the idea of booting Dad out of his office (because I had JUST had those cute shelves added when we decided to put him in there, and Dad doesn't care about cute)...But I just couldn't work up the gumption. The longer I stood there trying to figure out what I was going to do to make her room more cozy, I knew I was going to move Dad out and over and want to paint her room green since she told me earlier her favorite color was green. At 10:27 am I decided. I wish I had taken before and after photos. I started with a frenzy moving all of Dad's stuff out which did include a huge couch I had to cut the leg off to get out. I had book group at 1pm, and the Stake Primary Meeting at 7pm....with the help of Megan who came home on her lunch to help me take Dad's desk apart and reassemble it in the other room (which she loved, just ask her) and Spencer who had a 1/2 hour between school and work....I was done painting by 10pm and Voila...but NO you cannot see what Dad's office looks like right now. And I thank him for the momentary inconvenience.
Its not so much an eleven year old girl room, but it FEELS better to me than the middle room for whatever reason.

FUN with Sam and Molly and Ben and Seth

I got to have a much needed kid vacation Friday and Saturday when Paul and Ali let me have Sam and Molly while Paul was in St. George for business. The photos speak for themselves. Although I wish I could have the kids here now to help me label them. Molly is SO her Daddy's girl. About 5 pm Saturday Molly looks at me and says "Natalie, you are starting to get a little bit boring". I laughed and said "what should we do?" She gets quiet and whispers in my ear "go get my Dad".
Molly was SERIOUS about her golf! We had about 15 or so balls on the green and she had to get them ALL in, and really in, not with ANY help!
Sam so wanted me to get an action shot of him on the sorry...I'll have Aunt Jeremi teach me how...
Ben (Winter's) the BESTEST Friend, is going to be Mr. Incredible for Halloween and I think he couldn't have picked a better HERO nor one more like himself. We got to know Seth for the first time and he is Mr. Incredible as well!
Peterson's pig is getting closer to her frezzer date. Remember how tiny and wiggly Marge was only a few months ago? Now Marge could bull doze down a grown man if he got in the way of my (Natalie's) apples. We take her the ones that have fallen off the tree and sat awhile. Her tail just tickles me.
The men had a late night soak but poor Molly just crashed. It was so fun to have them making their middle of the night noises in our room. I wish what Molly was saying had been understandable, cuz SOMEBODY was in trouble!
I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!!!!!!!! Can't wait to you come back!!!


I thought for SURE this would have been a TRIPLE yolker...but only a double. Not sure which one of my poor hens layed this, but she's got my sympathy. (If you remember, my Megan was 10 lbs. 10 oz...) I love to check the eggs. I love having chickens. I like being the food source that makes them all excited when I walk out the back door---they are always thrilled to see me!

Logan GOINGS on....

I guess Jeremy and Kori still feel good about taking those kids so far from me...looks like they are keeping them darn happy. How can I compete with apple picking with Aunt Jeremi, Uncle Preston, Drew and Laikyn or a NEW PUPPY for gosh sakes!??? Don't think I'll be winning the war to get them ALL down HERE anytime soon..maybe I should start looking up there?? This is Haven's new puppy. Jeremy says he IS adorable, but a bit much still for Havey when it comes to walking, etc... You can tell he and Graham are fast friends. The pictures are courtesy of Aunt Jeremi's blog :). Uncle Preston discovered he likes to play the tables in Las Vegas, a new challenge to conquer. Uncle Jeremy pushing through the swine flu craze and early morning baby arrivals. Aunt Jeremi still the salt AND sweetness of the earth trying to get in the groove of her new days with a first grader. Aunt Kori drinking in the view and the finally out of med school scene while being an amazing mom. The kids will be SO BIG when you get back buddy! It's incredible how much they've grown just since summer!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Letter from Josh 19 OCT 2009

Hello everyone,

I am so super jealous of the cruise it is not even funny! i dont care what mom or dad say about it not being that great, they are dead wrong. What could be better than a week of all you can eat food and no schedule and no cares and just partying all the time? i know that sam and mike and spencer and meg loved it, and i would have too. Mom, you dont have to come when i go if you dont want, but you at least have to send me with meg and spencer and sam so we can party like its 1999.

The week was rough. nothing was going our way. tuesday theer was some career workshop at the church that all of the investigators were at, i hate it when they have stuff like that. i mean its great that they can help people but it screws us over because everybody is there instead o with us. then wednesday there was a freak rain storm all afternoon that trapped us cause no matatoos were running so we couldnt get anywhere. thursday we were hoping to catch a break but they all bounced us. friday was my comps birthday, i got up early to make him pancakes and bacon and eggs (buying the bacon almost killed me, it was equal to 10 US dollars), but then i fell asleep at my study desk after and he didnt wake me up trying to be nice so i slept till 10, which in some ways was nice, but i felt guilty for leaving the house late. We got an apartment that afternoon (we went behind the presidents back and used an agent but we did have permission from the couple in charge of housing) so that was good, but it took the whole afternoon so that day was shot as well. saturday was our only normal day. then sunday there was another storm so nobody came to church, including the ones that were suppose to be baptised, but its all the same cause the pool we baptise at is outdoor and would have been closed.

so yea, not the best week. but this one will be better. we are going down to chyulu for exchanges, sould be fun, it will take tuesday wednesday and thursday out of our working area, but that should just help us to be more busy when we get back. We found this restoraunt that has mexican food and it rocked my socks off. i am sure compared to home it is nothing special but i was in heaven. we are going again tonight.

The hard weeks just make you apreciate the good ones more. i am sure there is something else i am suppose to learn too, like having a good attitude or something, but it hasnt hit me yet. Hopefully it does before i have to have another crappy week to learn it. Anyways, i love you guys! i got to though. have a great week!

Elder Josh Harris

Sunday, October 18, 2009


I'm not sure where to jump in and START...we went as far as Vegas the first day and stayed at that same hotel we stayed at when we all went down for your State Football Championships Josh in the 9th grade (8th?) where we had such a memorable THANKSGIVING that year! We indulged at the Cheesecake Factory on the strip...we drove the whole thing and the lights were mesmorizng as always. But when you look closely at the masses walking by, you can feel the emptiness of all the glitter. Donny and Marie have a show there...I can't figure out for the LIFE of me WHO would go see that?? It almost felt like the washed up stars go there to relive their glory days. I don't love Vegas as I know you remember, but I would like to go back and see the O shows and the Blue Man Group--I've still never seen them. We watched the movie MY SISTER'S KEEPER ( I bawled through the book AND the movie!)
We went the rest of the way the next morning...we were about an hour or so away from San Diego when Sam started "tooting". It was so bad I had to roll down the window and when I did the map quest sheet flew out the window...we were all laughing SO hard! Megan had ridden with Jake, Lad and Andy (no lie, she brought only guy friends!!!)--they had slept in longer so they were behind us and we called them and they directed us the rest of the way into the port.
I only got sick one night, but strangely my head is STILL moving around inside without me.
It was fun to have so many friends there. It rained most of the time so I didn't get to drown in the sun...and the patch made me a bit drowsy so I wasn't so up for the dancing liked I hoped--most it started after 11pm. Michael was chosen to be a contestant on the game show Jeopardy and WON!!! He got a genuine gold plastic ship on a stick! We were dang proud and hooted and hollered plenty for him. He also was chosen for the hypnotist show but didn't get hypnotized and wasn't sure what to do so he just stayed on stage and pretended. :)
The food was good but not great. The boys were in can see that Sam had a plate of fries before the ship even left the dock! Our first night Spencer and Sam disappeared and when we came back down to our room Spencer and Sam had taken the putters from the mini golf course and were punching the elevator button and seeing if they could get the ball in the elevator from the hallway before it closed its doors. They kept those putters the whole time instead of checking them in and out...the same with the ping pong paddles and balls. They make me laugh. The boys had great poker games each night in the dining room after everyone cleared out.
The ship had a great gym EXCEPT the treadmills faced the moving water and I was too tall to see the horizon so I battled motion sickness each morning for the first half hour until I could get my eyes set on just the monitor...which I normally cover up with a towel because it makes me crazy to watch the numbers tick off. There was a small track upstairs (11 times around was a mile) on which I decided not to torture myself. It was pretty much the same group of crazies each morning.
I read a whole book and did some of my favorite people watching. I was surprised at what average people were on the boat. Somehow my misguided head was expecting something else and I'm not even sure what or who. We pretty much kept to ourselves during the day and then met up at night for dinner and fun...ok, except for when we went in to Ensenada...all the families spend the day shopping together. Can't ever get enough of the Sanders! My preference is to not do a cruise again but to do the all inclusive deal on LAND in Cancun...but I'll keep my promise Buddy and do it one more time for you if you want.
If there were any secret romances or hook ups with your brothers or Megan I am clueless and pretty sure they will have me remain you will have to get the skinny from them. We did fall in love with all of Megan's friends and Andy even came for dinner tonight.
Week 50 Lovey!!! I love you. I missed you like crazy...I always miss you more when we are all together...its the MOM thing, I can just FEEL you missing. I just kept praying that you were having your favorite week of the mission and could feel wrapped in my love. Waiting for morning to read your thoughts and imagine your voice speaking to me.