Friday, February 28, 2014

You're almost home!

Today is Friday, February 28, 2014 and you are already on your way home from your mission!!  I can't believe it's been almost 2 years since we've seen you.  Although the Skype conversation at Christmastime was sooo fun, I can't wait to see you both in person in 2 days!!  It will be fun catching up.  Everyone's excited to see you and welcome you home.

A couple of things I am most looking forward to (and this is based on my own home-coming experiences) are: 1. Grocery shopping because I can't wait to see you in a regular grocery store and being overwhelmed by all of the choices and the prices too, plus you'll want to buy every single thing you've missed while being in South America all at once. 2. Not knowing how to say words in English because you either forgot them or there's a better one in Spanish and everything gets jumbled. 3. I'm interested to see how long of shower you will take the first few days you are home because it will feel so good you will never want to get out. 4. I also wonder what the first t.v. show, movie (I recommend Frozen for Mom and The Shadow Recruit for Dad), album, restaurant etc. you'll want to enjoy when you get  home.  5. And lastly, I wonder if you'll still be getting up at 6:30 for your companionship study etc. hee hee!!

Anyway, I'm glad you're coming home.  It's been a long time....

Erin and family

PS -- final pics

Hopefully we now have a better connection and can get some pics to post.  But before that, thx to those who have recently posted -- we thoroughly enjoy seeing and hearing about what's going on your lives.  We've missed it.  Yet at the same time it's almost like we have two families -- our beloved family in the States and our "loved ones" in Argentina.  So how about some photos.

Our future pro baseball player, Elder Gates, about to baptize the first convert in the Belgrano Branch in years in our portable baptismal font.

Mom and the branch president's wife fellowshipping our new convert, Hermana Sanchez.

A beautiful rainbow seen from our balcony -- taken by our new family photograher, Mom.

We've seen some beautiful sunsets in Argentina too -- this shot taken from our balcony as well. 

This is Daniela, our previous branch president's daughter, to whom Mom had given a stash of goodies.  So she gave Mom a treasure of her own -- a little plastic notebook, with a note that said "Ha sido muy bien conmigo -- te quiero mucho" -- you've been very good with me -- I love you a lot.

A couple of north american sister missionaries who enjoyed speaking english with Mom.  It's interesting what you begin to appreciate after a while -- comfortably conversing in your own native language becomes a delight.

These sisters said they didn't have anything to give Mom as a going-away present, so the sister on the right drew some flowers on the black board for her.  How sweet is that.  The writing on the bottom says Happy Trip!

Us and our sister missionaries (Hna Skirvin -- from the States and Hna Medina -- from Panama!) with sister Coca Oviedo -- a wonderful faithful member who feeds the missionaries a couple of times a week -- every week.  In this picture I'm not a hunch-back, I'm just trying to keep my head out of the branches.

This mother and daughter -- sister Espindola and sister Oviedo -- collaborated to make the dress Mom is wearing and gave it to her as a gift.  They are both among our "loved ones" here in Argentina. 


Juan Torres on the left and Orlando Oviedo on the right -- two men whom I've come to love like brothers.  I would entrust anything I have to either of them -- they are among the finest men I have ever known and I will miss them. 

A shot of all the missionaries who showed up to help us haul our luggage over to the bus terminal for our trip to Resistencia.  Of course it helped to bribe them with pizza for lunch.  What a great group of young people!  We will miss them too.  We have really come to love the missionaries. 

A shot of the bus terminal in Goya, Corrientes Argentina -- fairly typical of the facilities here.  We finally pulled out about 1:30 pm Thursday, February 27, 2014 -- waving good-bye to all the missionaries and several members who showed up to see us off.  Don't know when we'll get back, but we definitely left a part of our heart there.

And now (February 28) we head home!!  We've been anticipating this for nearly two years now -- and can't wait to see everybody.  We have grandkids we haven't even seen yet and can't wait to get acquainted and play with them.  And we have adult children and their spouses whom we love now more than ever.  Thank you all for your love and support and prayers.  Our feelings for you all are very tender and we're anticipating a grand reunion. 

Love you!!
Dad and Mom   


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

El Fin

Well, it's all over but the shout -- tomorrow's our last day in the mission.  What an experience it's been -- nothing like what we expected -- more intense, but the learning curve has been well worth it.  Northern Argentina is a place all its own -- generally flat, dry, poor, and Catholic.  The culture is a bundle of traditions that basically enslaves the people and retards their development.  All this impacts the Church as well, which explains why there are few stakes in this area and only two temples in the whole country of 40 million people.  And yet, there are wonderful people here whom we have come to love and will always remember!  So we feel like we're done -- for now.  But we're thinking we may come back some day and pick up where we left off trying to build up the Church in Argentina.

In the meantime, let's see if we can get a few pics to post.

Well, our connection isn't that good right now, so we'll try again tomorrow before we actually head to BA for our flight home on Friday.

Love ya all.             

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

nothing like waiting until the last minute...

well, it appears that this mission business is coming to a rapid close
so i best post something lest i look like i never post anything

life has been consumed with luscious lips (aka Beck) turning four last week
i daresay it was the very best day of all his four years combined

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it began with presents and birthday breakfast
naturally, he requested chocolate cereal

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then he turned into a super hero for a while
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after a day of friends and sunshine it was prep time for Chuck E. Cheese
where he ran away from Chuck E. and i really couldn't blame him

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after chuck the lock-aloys came over for cake and ice cream

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we took him to build-a-bear friday night to in fact, build a bear - which was darling and he loves
saturday was the official shin dig with all the maniacs in the neighborhood

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of course the bounce house was the biggest hit of all.
beck has expected a bounce house for his fourth birthday ever since atticus had one for his two years ago
and since luscious lips has us wrapped around his finger, we complied.

PS - i chose this picture because darek looks exceptionally handsome here

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kennedy had less success jumping completely over darek
but at least her hair looked awesome while she wiped out

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atticus was also present at this party, but opted against family bounce house photo shoot
because he was far too busy assembling all of beck's lego gifts in the house

but at least our kennedy girl was there to share the birthday love

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it was a really fun, happy week for all of us, especially beck. he's just a happy little guy and seriously so hilarious. in fact, i'd even go as far as saying that he's my funniest kid, but if you tell atticus i said that i'll tell him you're a liar...

life here is good. so busy and crazy but we are hanging in there. and i am telling no lies when i say that looking forward to the march madness mccoy family weekend is what gets us through life's chaos these days. we can't wait to see everyone, and especially the family's most recent returned missionaries! i'm pretty sure time is speeding up. no one else in the family's mission was over in a blink of an eye! something's fishy here. nevertheless, we are so proud of you g'ma and g'pa mccoy and can't wait to give you lots of love and besos the very second we see you again!

until then - XOS - and make the very most of every last second
because once you get home and re-acclimate to american life, you'll miss it a lot :)

love you all!

ps - i've spent aaaallll day catching up our family blog
it's caught up thru october now if anyone cares to rewind time and see how halloween went for us last year.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

squeezing in at the end

so when is the go home day exactly?  Just wanted to add last little bit on the family blog but surely cannot top garlan and amanda's beautiful new daughter.  my keypad is acting up too sorry its a little wierd.

so glad we will get to see you guys in a little after a month. although I will say it will be weird to not be praying for you on your mission.  put moms name in the temple last night to cover any health issues i've heard rumors of but don't know exactly what.

love you guys thanks for the support.  what doesn't kill you makes you stronger right?  although I have been thinking of grandpa harstons phrase, life is hard and then we die....and then his later in life slogan that changed it a bit.

anyway, enough talking here are some pictures of our family.  ps. the weather has been amazing here.  we really need rain but wow its all sunshine and perfect temperature

Friday, February 21, 2014

New Addition

Presenting the newest member of our family......Sophia Rose McCoy!
Born: Feb 2, 2014 6:12 pm
Weight: 7 lbs 13 oz
Height: 20 inches
Garlan gave me a beautiful blessing before we left for the hospital. I was promised peace, comfort, physical strength and an increase in love for our new daughter. I was also promised to have the ability to know how to divide my time and understand the love the Lord for choosing motherhood. After the blessing I definitely felt ready to bring Sophie into the world. I am so grateful for the power of the Priesthood and for a husband who honors the power that he carries.
We were blessed with a very easy and quick delivery. We went in to the hospital for my induction on Sunday at noon. They started pit at 12:30, had my epidural at 2pm, my water broke at 2:45 pm and after a couple easy pushes she was born at 6:12 pm (during halftime of the Superbowl).
This birth was extra special because my mom and really good friend Cherie were there for the whole thing. It was the first grandchild for my mom to be present at the birth. We both were able to talk about and shed some tears over the miracle of birth and amazing blessing of motherhood. 
We love our sweet Sophie! She was Coombs positive so she had pretty bad jaundice for about 6 days and had to be on lights at home. That was tough on all of us (except her - she slept in her little coffin without complaint).
Emma is a great big sister and each day warms up to Sophie a little more. We have been so lucky to have my mom with us for the past 2 weeks. I am dreading her leaving tomorrow!
It's a whole new world being a mother of 2 and some moments I feel completely overwhelmed. Blessed but overwhelmed. Thankfully I'm not alone and Garlan is an amazing husband and father. 
Here are some pictures from the first two weeks of Sophie's life.
                                                             (awkward pose, I know)