Friday, April 24, 2009

Marshall...a Tribute to My Soon-to-be Missionary!

Years ago, when Marshall was in Kindergarten, he went on a field trip over to a local community college close to his elementary school. If I remember correctly, the purpose of the field trip was to open the student's eyes to the endless possibilities of what they could be/do when they grew up. They all came home with various signs hung around their necks explaining their choices. This was Marshall's! Marshall has grown up knowing that his future aspirations included serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints one day. Last night, after MUCH anticipation, he opened his call, which had finally come in the mail that day. Marshall will be serving in the Brazil Porto Alegre North Mission. He could have gone anywhere in the world! There is a very large Missionary Training Center in Provo, UT (which is where Marshall has been washing dishes for the last 6 months!) and that is where most missionaries go before they leave for their assignments. However, there are some Missionary Training Centers located throughout the world, and there happens to be one in Brazil, soooo...he'll leave straight from home to Brazil. YIKES! He reports on August 26th. We have a lot to do in four months!
Marshall has had some great examples along the way. He grew up hearing wonderful stories of his father's mission to Paris, France. Rich served for two years from 1976-1978. Marshall's older brother, Chris, served in Knoxville, Tennessee from 2002-2004. Marshall's brother-in-law, Joseph, served in Samoa. I have always loved this picture of Chris and Marshall. They didn't have too many matching pieces of clothing like the girls did, but I loved these shirts!
Marshall has a cousin-once-removed (that would be his cousin's son) named Perry Sessions. Perry recently received his mission call to New Zealand. Marshall and Perry's paths have crossed occasionally over the years. They've both been at BYU for their freshman year. Can't remember how long ago this was! But we're sure excited for Perry also. He leaves July 2nd.
A couple of years ago we were at the church museum in Independence, MO. There was a display showing all of the languages that the Book of Mormon has been printed in. Have you ever heard of a language called "Marshallese"? We thought that was great. I've often wondered where in the world they speak "Marshallese".
Thanks to Chris, Rich, Sarah, and I were able to see Marshall open his call, via a web cam. It was pretty chaotic, but definitely memorable. Here's a fine picture of the group right afterwards. Apparently there was some discussion as to whether my "known-to-be-very-emotional son" would possibly shed tears when he finally read the letter, but no, he was ALL smiles and very thrilled. We had all tried to guess where it was that he would go, but we were all pretty off the mark. Oh well, the possibilities were endless!
I am so thrilled with Marshall's desire to serve. What a commitment from these 19-year-old young men to put their life on hold for two years, pay their own way, go anywhere in the world they're asked to go, and preach the gospel they love with all of their hearts. I'm so pleased. I have no doubt that he will be blessed immensely throughout the remainder of his life for the service he will render to the wonderful people of Brazil. I love you Marshall!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Utah Trip, April 2009, Part 1

Last week Sarah and I made a "not-so-much-of-a-surprise" trip to Utah for Sarah's Spring Break. We arrived on Marshall's 19th birthday and tried to surprise him, but we had apparently slipped up one too many times and he kind of had it figured out...oh well! Here's the group at Tucano's in the Riverbottoms area in Provo celebrating Marshall's that place! Only wish Rich had been able to be with us...we appreciate his hard work more than ever!
I look at this group and have to admit I get a little teary-eyed! They all make me so happy. I am SO pleased with all that is going on in their lives. Chris is doing his best to be a successful student at ITT Tech, plus work full-time. I am amazed at Lindsay's creativity...I shouldn't be...she puts out some really cute designs at her job at Pebbles! Katie and Joseph are both working and going to school now, making hard decisions and raising the cutest grandbaby in the world. Marshall is finishing up his freshman year at the "Y" and his mission papers are in...we'll be posting about that pretty soon! Can't wait to see where he gets to spend the next 2 years! Sarah misses being around her siblings a lot, but somebody has to keep her parents company, and she fills that role quite nicely. She's an excellent student and musician. They all have wonderful, growing testimonies of the gospel, they keep the commandments, they serve in their wards, they love the scriptures, and they are worthy to be in the temple. What more could I ask for from my kids? Thanks a're the best!
OK, so this isn't the greatest picture of Lindsay Lu, but it captures how I see Claire really well. Miss Smiley! There's just a tint of redness to Claire's hair...maybe strawberry-blond. Lindsay continues to be Katie's greatest asset in raising glad she's there close by to be such a great support.
Claire Bear loves, loves, loves the lemons!
Showing off my cute Easter dress and bow!
Happy Easter from the Brewer Family...all so perfectly coordinated! OK, so this wasn't really planned, it just happened. Too fun!

Trip to Utah, April 2009, Part 2

So one night while in Utah we were able to go up to Salt Lake to Jayne and Ta's home. They are the proud parents of seven new Havanese puppies. Go to Jayne's blog at for some really, really cute pictures. They are darling and have the cutest personalities. Sarah is holding the chocolate brown one that Stephanie is apparently claiming. I think his new name is going to be "Nacho".
These puppies were so good with all the kiddos running around. It was amazing. So were the momma and poppa. Claire loved all the kisses and loves! I, of course, fell in love with them, but was firmly warned not to bring one home...oh well.
Claire LOVES to be in her jumper. She is not one to sit still. She gets this thing moving! She mostly likes to be held standing upright! Katie did report today that she was sitting up on her own.
Claire's nursery is done with the Eric Carle Hungry Caterpillar prints. I found this "beautiful butterfly" at Kohl's one day. She loved it. It has this crinkly stuff in that makes a sound she loves. Just want to squeeze that cute little face. She definitely looks like her daddy to me.

Trip to Utah, April 2009, Part 3

Fun friends, fun times in Provo. Marilyn, on the left, and Diane, on the right...some very special, "old" friends from way back when in California. It is amazing for me to think about how dear these friends are to me! Our paths have taken us all different directions over the years with amazingly different experiences, but it is always fun to go back...must have said, "Do you remember when...?" and "Do you remember that thing you made?" and "Do you know what happened to...?" bunches and bunches of times. So glad we've stayed in touch!
This is Stephanie's oldest child, Taylor, and his 2nd cousin Claire. Taylor has grown up SO much since we spent Christmas with him well over 4 years ago!
Katie with cousins once removed...Lily and Tulip Crook...sooo cute. Lily was just a baby when I saw her last. Tulip looks so much like the pictures I've seen of her grandma Becky as a little girl!
My sister Becky and I at Jayne's house. So glad we got to visit for just a few minutes. Looking forward to our get-together this summer at Sally's house in Arizona!
Sweet Baby Claire and her Great-aunt Becky! Becky loves little ones so much. I wonder if she's kept track of just how many she's tended over the years. She commented about Claire's cute personality!