July 30, 2011

Updates from Texas

Allyson is an amazing missionary. Mondays are our favorite day of the week as we look forward to hearing from our missionary. She is working hard, giving and serving with all her heart.
We love you Ally!

"On Saturday morning, I had one of the sweetest experiences of my mission. I got to attend the temple to see Leesa receive her endowment. I've walked up those stairs in the Houston temple so many times, but this time, I saw Leesa in her beautiful white dress sitting on the couch at the top with two of her sisters. It was a beautiful sight. One I'll never forget so long as I live. She looked so pure and confident and happy. She understands who she is and on whom she can rely. She has put her trust in God and has given up smoking and time spent working so she could be at church instead. She has exercised faith and that faith has moved mountains in her life. Mountains of pain, of addiction, of loneliness. And she will have the chance to do the work for her husband and to be sealed to him for eternity. It's moments like these that you know why you believe what you believe. I believe in the priesthood power to bind families together forever. I believe in second and third and forth chances."

Ally and Leesa at the temple together a couple of weeks ago.
Ally wrote this in an email 8/9/10:

"We spent the rest of the lesson talking about faith. And Lessa said, "My goal is to get to the temple and be in the Celestial room with my sisters." I almost started to cry. That's my goal too! Leesa has such great faith and is wonderful. She has been coming to church for the past few weeks and really has become so happy and free. Love Her."

"We ate dinner at the Lamkins last night and their old yellow lab was under the table licking my legs the ENTIRE time. It was the strangest thing. I tried everything I could to move him or get my legs into a place where he couldn't treat them like a lolli pop, but that cocoa butter lotion I put on was just irresistable for that old pup. It cracked me up and I had a difficult time keeping my composure during the dinner. Good times."

"Catherine was baptized on July 15, 2011. The Baptismal service started at 6 pm. It was the most amazing baptismal service I've ever been to. It was packed. Members from the ward filled the seats in the Relief Society room. Many of whom were directly involved in Catherine's conversion process. Many who invited her over for dinner or gave her rides to and from church or other places. It unified the Tomball Saints. Catherine has blessed the lives of countless people, including me. I had the opportunity to give a talk on baptism. And after I finished, Brother Steed still hadn't made it there from work. Bishop got up and said that while we waited for Brother Steed to get changed, we could have a few minutes for whoever wanted to get up and bear their testimony. Ethan G. was the first to stand. He bore a beautiful testimony and it seemed like the room got brighter and brighter with each testimony. Elder Foster also stood up and bore his testimony. He said that he didn't know Catherine very well but every district meeting we talk about how she is doing and he has been praying for her and her family for a long time. It was very tender. I am grateful for the Lord's plans. They are so much better than our own. We could not have done all the planning in the world to have created the situations and experiences that produced the miracles and tender mercies we saw this week, especially for Catherine and her family. Catherine had to go under the water three times before they were able to get it perfect. At the end, Bishop talked about how the Savior's Atonement covered all of our sins and pains. It didn't just cover some of them or most of them, it covered all of them and because of His perfect Atonement, we can all return to live with God again. Baptism is symbolic of the Atonement and I had never realized that so clearly before. Catherine was also confirmed on Friday and she was glowing the rest of the day. She is so filled with joy."

Ally, Catherine, Sister Fonua and the wonderful Steed family

Catherine and Ally

Kangaroo Zoo and "The Canyon"

Summer favorites always include our trip to Utah for summer sports camps and visiting Lisa, James and the fam. Thanks for housing us, feeding us & taking care of us! We love you!!
The kids like to do our "tradition" favorites, and that includes Kangaroo Zoo, a fun (jumpers on steroids) warehouse. And of course going to American Fork Canyon to have dinner and roast marshmallows.
Ahhh...we love summertime.

Uncle James taught Levi the art of making the perfect s'more.

Jennie and Amy were busy doing an engagement photo session in Provo and barely made it up to the canyon before it got totally dark. We were all so happy they found us!
Going to the canyon with the Dixon's is one of our very favorite summer memories.
We sure wished Grampa Al, the rest of the family, and our missionary Ally could have been there too
...next year for sure!

July 26, 2011

Jimmer Camp

Jimmer Camp was awesome and Kaden and Jackson had a great time. I liked Jimmer Fredette before...but I am really impressed with him now. The NCAA Player of the Year and the ESPN College athlete of the year with countless other accolades and awards is just a cool, funny, kind young man, who really seemed to care about these kids. He was at camp every day talking to the kids about not cheating in school, valuing your families and spending time with them, being grateful, choosing good friends, working hard, setting goals, and all around being a good role model. Oh yea, he taught them some basketball skills too. I stayed and watched everyday and I loved it. I know, I'm a crazy grandma. And I'm definitely a new Sacrament Kings fan...I hope Jimmer does great in the NBA.

That picture on the left of Jimmer shooting a 3/4 court shot went in, oh yes it did.

You gotta watch these videos. It's crazy how amazing Jimmer can shoot the ball!

Rhett Calder

Calder and Ivy's beautiful new baby Rhett Calder was blessed recently and I was so happy I got to be there with their wonderful family. I feel so lucky to be "Aunt Linda"...I love my nieces and nephews and their amazing growing families.

July 25, 2011


It's Taylor's 11th birthday today and I loved finding all of these old pictures this morning...
You were a beautiful baby Miss Taylor Colleen, and you are a beautiful, talented, amazing, sweet, funny, gorgeous
11 year old!!! We love you...Happy Birthday TayTay!

July 20, 2011


We recently got to see Bristol and his wonderful family!! He is so cute and getting so big.

Janika is such a princess...and a wonderful big sister.

Kaden and Bristol had fun dunking basketballs (with a little help from the trampoline)