Friday, October 31, 2008

Crisp, clear, Spooky Halloween, no snow today!

Some of our favorite little spooks. H A P P Y H A L L O W E E N !!!!!
Some places are decorated all out for Halloween.
The after product
Doug carving away with his little carving tool.
The before picture, sorry it's last

Halloween is a hard holiday to be away from family. We always gather over to our house before the little spooks are out and about, for Pizza and Homemade pumpkin cookies. The grandkids are always so excited to be all dressed up with the anticipation of gathering yummy treats and showing off their costumes. Brandee emailed to let us know that the tradition is continuing with out us. We have such a fun wonderful safe neighborhood. We seriously have about 200 little and big trick or treaters come by our house on Halloween.

Here in Monticello they say it can be a scary place to be outside on Halloween. Many people have gotten hurt from flying eggs. Our complex where we live is off the beaten path and there is a sign up any way that says "Absolutely no Trick or Treating allowed". How sad. The missionaries are all to be in by 6:00 pm tonight, they can play games or sleep. We are hopeful to have the Elders in our building over for pie and a mean game of Canasta. Also I printed off some fun Halloween word games.

We carved and painted pumpkins for FHE with branch members and Doug had one left over that he saved for himself. I used mine to make pumpkin pie. What a long process. I was told that it makes the best pie when used fresh. It is a really good tasting pie, but too much time. There is a special breed of pumpkin used for just pies. I've got another one saved for Thanksgiving and then I think Ill just use the canned stuff.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

S N O W Y Tuesday

We woke to a skiff of snow on the ground. We haven't lost all the leaves on the trees, so I hope that the weight of the frozen snowy leaves and trees don't cause problems with power lines. Anyway, Doug is thrilled and I hate being C O L D!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Rainy Monday

Elderl Berganza showing us how it is done
Elder Jesson, this is how it is done
Elders watching to see how it is done
Oh, that's how you do it!
Our District; Elders Wilkinson, George, Dalton, Jesson, Ellett, Gale, Berganza

It has rained non-stop all day today. A very steady rain fall. We enjoyed district meeting here in Monticello. Went over what President Searle trained on in Mission Conference that he was trained on at his Mission Presidents conference by Elder Bednar. The guys always enjoy a few minutes playing ball when ever they get together.

It was "movie night" at FHE. This happens every 4th Monday. We popped pop corn and watched "Second-hand Lions". Transfer phone calls are tonight. We just got word that NO one in our district is being transfered. We thought there would at least two of the six elders transfered. But not this go around. Probably because every companionship has baptism dates scheduled. Our district is doing awesome.

We are teaching a lady that called and ordered a bible from a TV commercial. (Media Referral) She is very excited to come to church with us this Sunday.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

New Burgh Stake Conference

We have truly been blessed. Our sore tired bodies have been invigorated by attending our first Stake Conference in our new area. We have to travel about 50 minutes to get there. We are so spoiled in Utah to live so close to our chapels. Many don't make it to the conference because of the cost and transportation problems. Having said this, I was really surprised at the amount of people there today. Last night was a little different. Doug was asked to talk in the Priesthood Leadership meeting. He was first on the agenda after the prayer. When he started he said there was about 20 people there, but by the end of the 2 hour meeting there was about 50. The torrential rain last night could have persuaded some to stay home. I was told by the whole Stake Presidency and many members what a fine job he did. The adult Saturday night session was great. And then again this morning we had a wonderful spiritual feast. The Manhattan Temple President and his wife along with President and Sister Searle, our mission Presdient, were the guest speakers. We have grown to love both so dearly. Oh, how we miss serving in the Temple. There are quite a few from the New Burgh stake that travel once a week and serve in the temple.

All total, we had about 15 from our little Branch and 2 investigators at Stake Conference. We should have had at least 10 more there that could have come down in the 3 vehicles they have between them. Oh well, those of us who made the trip were grateful we did. It was a great experience to sit by the 20 cadets that came from West Point all dressed in their blues. It was awesome to be sandwiched in between them and listen to their powerful testimonies thru them singing. Most are RM's

A few tid bits of encouragement I will share with you from my notes:
Enduring - It is not just "hanging in there" it is a process filling every minute of the day
Religion should not be an academic pursuit, It becomes who we are
"It will be all right in the end...If it is not all right, it's not the END," (Pres. Hinkley)
We are given sacred responsibility to obtain, nurture, share our testimonies.
Repentance is a requirement, it's not optional
Did you know that the mustard seed is the smallest seed of all the herbs, and it grows into the largest plant even becoming a tree. Can we grow our faith to become like the Mustard "TREE"

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Metalic Zoo

We were down to Sparrow Bush cutting wood and had to go into Port Jervis (2 miles away) to find a STIHL shop to sharpen the chain saw blades. And what should appear right next door in full view, but a metalic zoo. These creatures are actually really cool. The old gentleman who makes them has a dog that he was walking, much like Brax's Bernie. He told me that he was a friendly "dumb" dog and that he would be happy to put him in our back seat so we could take him home. I told him that we all ready had one back home. We both had a good laugh.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Surviving "Fall - Hunting Season"

Doug is surviving this season. It has been hard not to be on the mountain with his boys in Colorado. They did a good job of checking in with Doug several times this past week. Staying busy cutting and splitting wood has helped. We are just too tired at night to worry much about anything, but we are grateful to be of service to our branch members here in Monticello. The families benefiting from the wood we have been cutting will stay warm this winter. We are all ready experiencing cold nights. It was 28 degrees this past night. Our fall colors have reached their peak and are now falling to the ground.

Brandee and Kevin both got a deer during the hunting season. The meat will be appreciated this winter.

Even though the hunting season is a spendy time of year for our family, the memories are "PRICELESS". We are glad you all are continuing with making memories. XOXOXOXOX

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

h A P p Y 7th b I r T H d A y KC

This is a SHOUT OUT to our very 1st grand child Kevin Clintin - "KC". He has been Pompa's little shadow from day 1. Happy 7th Birthday to you, hope you have a fun exciting day. Love you so much XOXOXOXOXO!!!

Mission conference and FHE

Putting together 72 hour emergency food kits

Always as a thank you for those who prepare lunch for our mission conferences the missionaries stand and thank them by singing "Called to serve".
Family Home Evening was a lot of fun, we carved, painted and decorated pumpkins.

Our mission conference every 6 weeks is always on a Monday so the day is busy and long as it is also FHE. Always a spiritual feast, and we always enjoy being with all the suits and few skirts. President and Sister Searle had just come back from a Mission President Conference in Palmyra with Elder Bednar. They had a very busy instructive time and share much that was learned at their conference. Preach My Gospel is such an inspirational teaching method. The one thing that was emphasized comes from the quote from Elder Boyd K. Packer: "True doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior. The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior." Therefore, if we share "True Doctrine" taught with the spirit it will bring about a desire to change lives. The spirit witnesses, teaches, helps them feel and know and understand the truths they are hearing. Understanding doctrine can change behavior.

For the afternoon activity we put together 72 hour emergency food kits that each companionship will take to their apartment. We went over what to do in the case of an emergency, escape plans, where to meet up etc.

We also had Kem Nixon, the brother over the "LDS Family Services" here in New York come talk to all of us about dealing with stress and depression and anxiety. Very informative and helpful. An interesting thing is that he shared how the 12 step program in the Addiction Recovery Program is what will help with the stress, depression and anxiety that many of us experience.

Another busy week

At FHE for two weeks we tied a quilt. Doug made the quilt frames and we got some fabric put it on the frames and taught many at FHE to tie a quilt. Like an airhead, I forgot to take pictures of everyone around the quilt. Doug and I went back the next night to finish tying it and then I bound the edges. We made two of them that will go to the McCunes little girls. They are the family living in the Motel and will be moving into an new apartment this week. The weather has turned cold and they will be really warm in their new quilts. Matching top side but the bottom of the quilts are different, one purple and one orange.
We had about 12 people around the quilt tying it. Lisa, our new member asked if I would help her make some for her little boys for Christmas.
Loving being in the woods and behind a chain saw.
Doug thru the beautiful trees cutting the trees up in rounds
Frank Diaz spent 4 hours splitting wood. Frank went to the airport Saturday to fly home to Chile where his family is waiting for him. They have been living here in Monticello for the past while. We will miss you and your family, how blessed we are to know that friendships can be eternal too.
Doug cuts it and I haul it down to the road to be split
Sitting down on the ground looking up thru the fall colors as the wind blows the leaves around.
I love it!
We spent several days cutting wood again this week. A member Frank Diaz came and helped split wood along with the Elders. We traveled down with the Farnsworths to the mission home for a couples luncheon. The Howells in the Public Relations office in the 2nd floor of the Manhattan temple building are headed home. In the last month we welcomed in two new couples, the Farnsworths that are up in our Zone and the Kigens who are in the employment center on 14th street in Manhattan. We are truly blessed to rub shoulders with all of these awesome Senior couples. After the luncheon we took the Farnsworths down to the city to drive around and show them where Lagardia airport is as they have family coming to see them in November. A drive down to time square and past the temple was a must.

Sunday we traveled down to Middletown for the Marriage Relationship class we teach every three weeks. We had a real treat as it was the primary program in that ward. They have about 35 kids in their primary. A couple of the songs were sung in Spanish as there are many in that ward who speak little English. One of the Sacrament prayers was said in Spanish. There was such a sweet spirit in the meeting as the kids shared the theme: "I am a child of God."

During the primary program there was this sweet newborn baby whimpering during some of the program. My thoughts went back to home as I know how I have missed holding the new little ones that have joined our family.

And of course we have enjoyed all the beautiful colors of fall as we have traveled much this week.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Fall means H U N T I N G season

Our boys are all together in Colorado hunting. It is a very bitter sweet time for Doug as he is an avid hunter. We chatted with them last night as they were all set up at camp and warming up in the big army tent that has a stove in it. Nice and toasty warm. Doug was talking with Brax and he told his dad "We are really were missing you, especially because you usually pay for everything. " An expensive little hunting trip especially because they are hunting out of state. Hunting tag - $500.00, gas a fortune, memories - "priceless"!!!!!

Wishing we were there with you all - but there is always NEXT year. Have a great time and bag a big one.

hApPY bIrThDAy T R Y S T O N

This is a SHOUT out to our little buddy T R Y S T O N -----Happy 3rd birthday. Love you so much. Hope you have an awesome Birthday.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Spending time with the Sister Missionaries

The sister's luncheon was held at the mission home. Here I am with Pres. and Sister Searle. Sister Ollerton is on the end, we spent time with her in Olmstead when she first arrived in the mission.
Outside on the deck, it was a beautiful day to be outside, too bad there wasn't enough room for everyone.
This is the other side of our table in the main dinning room at the mission home
This table is in the kitchen area of the house. It is a very nice big house that accommodates alot of missionaries when needed.
This is something you won't see when the elders come to the Mission home.

We have 12 sets of sister missionaries in our mission at this time. They are awesome young women. Sometimes they are able to touch the hearts of investigators in a different way than the Elders. They can put away a lot of food, It may just surprise you.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

West Point Homecoming activities

This is the stage that they have outdoor concerts on, the audience sits on the hilly grass. What a cool view of the Hudson River. This area is called Trophy Point
Notice the cannon used as part of the lighting system. This cannon was the first one shot at the Civil War
Here comes the "Black Knights" for their Homecoming Game, they wone 17-14
Beautiful stadium at West Point. We really enjoyed the game, we were watching the parade at the parade grounds and someone came up to us and asked us if we were going to the game and then they gave us some extra tickets they had. They were great seats in the shade as it was a very hot day at the field.
The Cadets marching out to the parade grounds
Notice the 4 points, these are the paratroopers that jumped out of a helicopter. It was awesome

We are sitting at the monument at Trophy Point
Elder Evens and Doug checking out a huge cannon, Doug can stick his head in the end of it and did.

We were up early and headed to West Point to meet the office senior couples for the Homecoming parade and game. We hooked up with the Elders whose area it is and they went with us to the parade grounds. There were about 2000 cadets marching at the parade grounds. All decked out in their white uniforms. After the parade a RM cadet met us and took us on a little tour of the place. After wards we met up with the Farnsworths and we went to the Homecoming game with them. West Point Black Knights played the Eastern Michigan University Eagles. West Point won 17-13. Very good game. Afterwards we went to dinner at UNO Chicago Grill. Yummy food.

P.S When wanting to go to West Point, make sure you have your drivers license with you. Everyone must have a picture ID. I learned the hard way as last week while here with the ZL at the street fair, we were unable to go on a tour because I did not have my ID with me.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Busy Adventurous Week

Wood cutting service project for the Branch
Doug's loving being behind a chain saw
All tuckered out

Beautiful red tree where we were cutting wood
District meeting lunch at Denny's
Elder Evans came back to Monticello with us for splits with Elders
'U-pick" Pumpkin patch
The owners of the pumpkin patch, very nice ladies that knew who the Mormons are, the one in orange spent a summer up at Palmyra helping with the pageant. Not a member.
These pictures don't due the fall colors justice.

Our week started with General Conference. What a spiritual feast. What a blessing in this world wide financial crisis to have the opportunity to listen to a prophet's testimony, to be taught and edified by all our general authorities. Now it is our responsibility to apply the messages given in our own lives. We can experience peace in the midst of this storm. We enjoyed watching conference at our chapel with many other members and investigators. Potluck lunch in between the sessions. For many it was the first time hearing from President Monson.

Mondays are busy because of traveling to district meeting down to Middletown. Our Zone Leaders were there and went on splits with the District Leader Elder Gale, so Elder Evans came back to Monticello with us and the Elders. Doug put some finishing touches on the quilting frames he made. For FHE we put on a quilt for our activity. We taught several how to tie it. Eventually we will have 3 quilts for Sister McCune who will be moving out of the Motel to a house for her and her two daughters. They abandoned most of their stuff in their other place when it was condemned and infested with roaches. The next quilting project will be for Lisa Champlain, the young mother of two little boys that we baptized. She wants to make them for her boys for Chirstmas.

Wednesday we spent most of the day at the mission home in Scarsdale. There was a sisters luncheon for all the sister missionaries and the senior sisters were invited too. I missed the one we had when we were in the Bronx, so I wanted to go to this one. It is always a treat to spend the day with "girls". It was a mini inservice as President and Sister Searle talked for about a half hour. On our way back to Monticello we stopped and walked around the pond at Bear Mountain State park. We thought the fall colors would be more apparent over the mountain. Not so, our area in Monticello is in full fall splendor. Words can't describe the beauty. It is a smorgousboard of yellow, orange, red. Unbelievable! We stopped in Middletown on or way home and went to the movie "Fireproof". Every and any married couple need to go and learn the "Love dare".

We spent most of the morning on Thursday jumping through hoops so we could get put on the list of Clergy at the county jail. Bro. Silva who is in the Branch Presidency with Doug, his son committed murder in self defense and wanted a priesthood blessing. He is a baptized member who is very inactive. He has two little kids and has never been married. He went to a friends house late at night up the fire escape, the dad, who had been drinking started yelling at him to go home. So he climbed back down the fire escape and as he was starting down the walk when the door opened and it was the drunken dad of his friend yelling at him. Instead of turning and walking away he walked toward the man and saw that he had a knife as he was yelling at him. He pulled a knife out at the man and the man kept coming towards him and went right into his knife. Long story short, he is in prison for second degree manslaughter. Such a sad situation. A young kid with his whole life turned upside down. After visiting with his parents to let them know we were able to visit with their son we found a "U-pick" pumpkin patch and purchased 10 pumpkins for FHE halloween activity. Received excellent instructions from the lady selling the pumpkins on how to make pumpkin pie from pumpkins. She picked out the perfect pie pumpkin and we are going to give it a try.

Friday we took the Elders to a members home about 20 miles to the south for a service project. We have been asked to help get the members who have wood burning stoves, wood to burn for the winter. Most have oil burning furnaces and fireplaces. The oil this year has doubled what it normally is, so they are need of wood to burn. Brother Fuller, the elder's quorum president, has 7 acres of wooded land in his back yard, and has donated any dead wood. Doug was in heaven behind the chain saw. The elders and I packed and rolled the the logs down the hill where Doug cut it into rounds to be split. We probably cut 2 cord in 3 1/2 hours. Each of the three families are going to need about 6 cord for the winter. So we might be very busy cutting wood for the next couple of weeks. The temp has dropped to the low 30's this past week. Several are very anxious for wood to burn to take the chill out of the morning air. Maple and Oak are very hard wood, much different than the Pine and Aspen in Utah that we are used to cutting.