Wednesday, September 26, 2012

1/2 Marathon!

Well so i finished my Indian Summer half which went better than i thought since i was really sick of training and only ran about 8 miles beforehand. I got 2:05 so not my best time but hey, i was slackin. It was fun to run with my friend Anna so we kept each other going. Now i am done with races until after this baby comes. Altho, knowing me i can't stay away from doing them so maybe a Turkey Trot or Santa sprint? 

Brynn had her 6 month dr. visit yesterday and is still right on track with her growth. More shots as well which is always sad. She's just dying to be walking. I always find her standing up in her crib after naps so she's pretty much into everything. But it's a fun age and it's definitely going to be interesting to have her plus a brand new baby. Dal is working on an app with a guy from work so he's hoping that leads to something and then i'm still just loving YW's. It's a busy rest of the year for sure! Welp, glad to get updates. You best keep an eye on mom....she might get missionary "goggles" and start thinking all the locals are hot stuff! Love you guys, xos!!!!
Trying to sneak food...

Monday, September 24, 2012

Thank you, all of you!!

Looking at all the photos of all of you . . . all I can say right now is that we really miss you.
Dad & Mom


Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Best Day Ever!

So it's only taken a week to get our sealing pictures up (a little late I see from some already posted!) but WOW what an amazing day.  The whole weekend felt great having all the McCoy kids together hanging out, reminiscing and having a ton of fun.  I just felt really happy and complete once the sealing ordinance had taken place. There were so many feelings that I experienced while being there in the temple.  Years of hard work (prayers, tears, hardships, joy and growth) all culminated in one brief moment when I committed to my husband and now eternal companion with all my siblings in the same room to share that accomplishment with me. What a blessing to have such an incredible family!!  I love you, I love who each of you have married and the cool kids you all have!  Mom and Dad, it would have been great to share this day with you as well.  I hope posting lots of pictures will help you to share in that day.  Life is good because of the gospel!!    Thank you for sacrificing your time to share it in Argentina : )                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
Ah, we felt like newlyweds again!

                                                                         And again.

I so love you Jadon, Heidi and Karli!  Thank you for sharing this day with us!
Silly, silly girls...
Shar sure did someting hilarious (I just wish I could remember what it was!)

                                                         World's greatest sisters...mine

                                                Wha, wha? Are these guys related to me?
Darek, you funny funny guy! 
Ok, there we go.  I knew they could do it.
Seriously, Brandon, we're trying to take a picture here!
What a good looking group! 

                           Start adding more people and it just gets more difficult.  Which camera?
                        Well, at least you can still tell there's people in this picture from so far away.
                                    So glad they were still around for this day!  What troopers.

                                                    Sara representing the sisters-in-law!

                                                         Not sure what's going on here.

                                                The look says it all.  'Is it lunchtime yet?'


                                                               This was Darek's idea.
                                                         This one is my favorite I think.

                                                           Ok, maybe this one actually.

        A big thank you to the Sorensen's for a beautiful dinner!! A perfect end to a perfect day.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Post-card worthy shot of Eiffel Tower, Non? Oui, Oui!

First day of school for Reagan.

Alex getting some waves in Cali.

Vienna, the knee-boarding phenom.

Hello Dahlings!

Good looking group....

of weirdos!

Quick pic with the Bobbies!

Typical lunch...jambon (ham on a french baguette)and Orangina, watching the old guys play boules in the park

The Olympics rings over the London Bridge

"Why yes, I can boogie board with the big boys!"

First Day of School. Oh so bright and hot!

About Time!

Ok, so I'm going to do a little recap of the last couple of months in our lives and post some pics too!  We had a lot of fun in London and France this summer.  Everyone loved the sights, the sounds, the smells (or not), the food etc. but we were all ready to come home after three weeks.  Back to our nice soft beds, electronics, junk food, space, you know.... HOME!  It was well worth it for the kids to see something new about other cultures, how the church operates in other  places and get an idea of American Consumerism.  So! The question of the day is "Would you ever do it again?" and the answer is, "Yes................... but not for a long time!"

The kids started school on July 23rd.  Reagan in 8th, Alex in 5th and Vienna in 2nd grade. They are almost finished with their first quarter.  My, time is flying.  Reagan is doing well.  She is the choir president.  She has started swimming with a club and is really improving her Freestyle stroke.  She is just a few seconds away from high school regional times which is cool. Alex is completing a report on Juan Ponce de Leon this week who, for those who may not know this, discovered Florida! He also settled Puerto Rico and is mostly known for chasing the Fountain of Youth.  Alex is also starting his first season of soccer and is looking forward to it.  He is getting pretty good on the violin as well and his orchestra teacher gave him some of the 6th grade music since he has been playing longer than the other 5th graders. Vienna is doing well also. She is getting very tall! She had her first soccer game last Saturday and scored a goal!  She was very happy.  Of course she is always very happy!  She is coming right along with piano and has completed her first book.

We recently went to California for a quick get-away to see some of the sibs.  Fun, fun, fun to play in the sun!

This last weekend I was up in Seattle to attend Paul and Marschell's sealing.  It was a great weekend. The Puyallup Fair was cool.  I rode some good rides (Sinbad, I will always love you) and a not so good ride. (Thanks a NOT, Paul!)  Good times at the Fair eating scones.  The Temple was awesome.  The sealing ceremony was really good.  Luckily we didn't have to take too many pictures!! But the lunch was delicious (Thanks a LOT, Paul).  The weather was perfect. The company, superb.  (I still remember when Grandma taught me that word! I think I was 7.)  Why can't we all live closer?  And by closer I mean, when are people going to move South for forever??

And here we are.... cleaning the house, doing the laundry, homework, soccer, swim, grocery shopping all the usuals.  I guess vacation can't last forever. *Sigh*  Welp, I guess I won't drag out my good-bye. Ha Ha Until next time....

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Two posts in a row

Today has been kind of a slow day, so thought I'd post a couple of funny happenings in the life of your favorite (only?) south american missionaries. 

So the other day we're in this cel phone store asking about a phone for mom (we only have one between us that the mission gave us)  and we're just cruising along conversing in spanish explaining what we're looking for etc and this guy suddenly asks me what company we're with.  I'm thinking, well cool, here's an opportunity to explain that we're LDS missionaries.  So I kinda point at my name tag and say we're with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and he looks at me like I'm some sort of alien.  And then it dons on me -- oh you want to know what cel service company we're with!!  (ha ha)  So I quickly recover and say we're with the local service company down here and we go on our way talking about cel phones. Ah yes, the trials and challenges of cross cultural communication.  The guy probably thought these goofy americans are pretty slow on the up-take. 

Not long ago mom was out doing a little shopping with her north american friend and they go in this little fabric store -- two north american women out on the town in the middle of the day minding their own business.  So they're talking to this older gal about fabrics and clothes etc and pretty soon the gal starts asking them where they're from and how long they've been here and kind of admiring how they look etc, which isn't all that unusual -- they tend to think pretty highly of all things north american anyway.  Well, before mom and her friend left the store, the gal wanted mom's name to put on her private list of eligible women -- to match her up with some of her male friends around town!!  And mom always wears her wedding band, so I don't know what this gal was thinking but that kinda gives you a feel for the culture down here.  I've since met the gal at the fabric store and she seems to be a nice lady so I don't think she had any dark motives, I think she was just trying to play cupid for some friends.  Guess I better keep a close eye on mom -- some Argentine guy's liable to try to sweep her off her feet.

Lastly, we recently went to the doctor to renew mom's blood pressure medication and what an experience that was!!  We go in this big clinic and ask for the doctor that we'd met at the English school and of course she's not there.  So we ask for the cardiologist that our doctor friend had previously introduced us to and were sent upstairs.  Of course it's like a zoo up there and we finally get to talk to the receptionist who tells us to go away and call her in the morning.  So being the new kids on the block, we go home and call her in the morning for an appointment.  Fortunately, she tells us to come in that afternoon.  So we show up at 5:00 pm and wait in line to talk to her again.  She confirms our appointment and says that'll be 200 pesos ($45) cash.  Luckily we had cash with us and gave it to her which she promply put straight into her pocket and told us to take a seat.  I was pretty sure that we'd just been scammed.  But we took a seat in this crowded little area and waited for about an hour not knowing if or when we would ever get to actually see the doctor.  Finally the door opens and the doctor whom we'd previously met motioned for us to come in.  Once in his office, he was very professional and gave mom what looked like a thorough cardiac examination, using me as the translator along with a good deal of sign language.  He explained that mom's blood pressure was a little elevated (no kidding after being down here!!) but otherwise everything was OK.  So we get an Argentine prescription and go happily on our way -- but not before we got a receipt for the 200 pesos we'd paid the receptionist!!  What an experience.

So there ya have it -- just a few of the experiences we're having on "Brian and Jan's Argentina mission".                                  

Doin' the Puyallup

Well it was a fun-filled weekend kickin it off with the ole Fair of course, McCoy style. I sadly could not go on any rides but it was fun to watch still. Dal got to go on the sling-shot and loved it, pulled a "mom" and laughed the whole time!! hehe Then of course Sat. was the sealing which was so awesome and even more cool that Erin and I were in with Marschell to help her into her dress.

If only you were there to watch slides with everyone. Probably almost gave birth to how hard i was laughing, it was HYSTERICAL!!! We were in rare form with all the snide remarks, disses and good ole making fun of. Great weekend with all the sibs, just minus the parentals but soon enough!! Why don't we do it more often? Love you guys, xos!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Culture Shock

Well this week's episode has to do with Argentine culture and family life.  We had dinner last night with an investigator family -- a quite well-to-do couple -- she's the owner/operator of an Enlish school and he's a cattle rancher with his father -- really nice people to whom we've given a Book of Mormon and she's come to church a couple of times.  So we're talking after dinner last night and asked them what youth do around here for recreation since they have a couple of boys.  What they told us shocked us.  They said there really isn't anything for youth to do besides hang out at the "airport" -- a vacant field where they gather on the weekend, listen to music, ride motos, and sip mate (pronounced ma-tay).  Beyond that they said the kids all go to "discos".  But they don't even leave home until midnight or later, stay out all night, don't come home 'til morning, and then sleep until mid-afternoon.  They said these discos are bad news -- there's unrestrained drinking and drugging and who knows what else going on all night -- and kids as young as 14 - 15 years old are involved.  When we expressed disbelief, our friends told us there isn't anything they can do about it -- that's what kids do here and if they (the parents) tried to stop them, they'd just sneak out and do it anyway.  Our friend's friend/business partner who had joined us for dinner told us the way she "controls" her 15 year old daughter is by not giving her much money so she can't buy too much alcohol.  Wow!!  Now that's parental control at its best.  There's a complete lack of discipline apparently when it comes to guiding teenagers, which of course accounts for why fewer and fewer couples get married in Argentina -- everybody just "shacks-up" because there's been no real direction during the formative teen years.  There's another incentive to just live together too -- the government pays single (un-wed) mothers nearly 300 pesos ($75) a month per child.  So the idea is to just have kids out of wedlock, live together, and collect the government handout.  What a great system!! -- get paid to not get married!!  So young people have an up-hill battle to try and stay on track around here. 
They (our friends) practically scoffed at the idea of having a Church sponsored dance a couple of times a month for member and non-member youth to go to on the weekend -- they said they just wouldn't go or if they did they'd leave after it was over and go the all-night disco.  We're going to do it anyway -- there are kids who already come to the Church every weekend to play soccer and ping-pong. 
So we thoroughly enjoyed the evening with our Argentine friends, but it was a real eye-opener as far as how the family functions and kids are raised.  Mom and I came away feeling very thankful that we're done raising our family and that we did it in the US of A under the umbrella of the Church.  It's no wonder countries around the world are disintegrating -- traditional families with moral values and structure are an endangered species.  But that's why we're here -- to teach them different -- to teach them that families can be together forever -- like ours!!  Thank you all for embracing the gospel and doing your best to live it in your own families.
Well, guess I better close for now.  Thank you for your thoughts and prayers in our behalf.  This really is a unique learing experience. 
Love ya, love ya, kiss, hug,


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Miss B

Here's my little helper!! She crawled right over and pulled herself up to have a better view into the dishwasher. Also note her stellar outfit, mom. Every time she wears it people comment on my "wild" child. But she's only doing what you made me do for 18 years, clean out the dishwasher. She's only been crawling for a couple weeks now and is already standing herself up against stuff which means she's also fallen a few times so i can't leave her unattended. Maybe it'll be good she's walking before the next baby comes?

She's also got her two bottom little teeth and i didn't even know! She's just growing and growing so hurry up, you're missing it!! love you guys! xos!

Monday, September 10, 2012

We got mail !!

Many thx to Sara and Marschell for the packages -- three in one day !!  It was like Christmas -- lots of mail and stuff coming after Shar's package of Swiss Miss -- we thought we'd died and gone to heaven.  Hopefully the rest of the stuff Mom's requested arrives pretty soon -- no guarantees down here though. 
Thx for the pics of the orchard back home -- of course the plums come on like Rambo after we're gone (yeah, I made that one up).  Presley is so stinkin' cute!!  Looks like Porter now his own geek picture that his siblings can show everybody when he gets older.
So Sharla -- when you going to start acting like a pregnant person?!  Running all over the place again -- don't you know we have a vested interest in your bodily welfare?  We're callin' it right now -- it's going to be a boy -- one year younger than his sister so all his teenie-bopper buddies can come over and goggle at his older sister. 
And who's that WHITE BOY on the beach in California?!  I had to put shades on just to look at the picture!  Oh, it's Garlinski holding that cute baby girl.  Man, life is hard -- going to the beach then down to SD, just hangin' out.  Glad you could get away for a while.   
And then there's the lake trip -- swimming, wake-boarding and cruising around.  What great memories you guys are making.  Thx for the pics, including the pics of the kids' first day of school.  They grow up so fast.

Well, speaking of pics, we have some more: 


Now for the commentary -- the first picture is a member of our branch who found this snake on his clothes line in the back yard.  Pretty spooky.  The last picture is his little brick house (the left half of what you see behind them) with his family, Mom and the misionaries there for a service project.  The elder made off pretty good -- he took home a microwave.
The second picture is yours-truly wearing the knitted tie I took on my first mission and tried to pawn off on Garlan who gave it back to me before we left.  Dang , I thought I'd never see that thing again,
Lastly, is Mom showing off the activity bags she made for those primary kids who absolutely loved them.  She has totally endeared herself with everybody with her activity bags and banana bread.  (Who needs Spanish to say "we love you"?)

Well, beyond that we had an absolutely wonderful weekend -- it was the re-dedication of the Buenos Aires temple Sunday with a special cultural arts festival Saturday night -- all broadcast via satelite to chapels throughout Argentina.  We had a couple of investigators come to the Saturday night event which was outstanding -- lots of South American music and dance.  Mom and I both teared up watching it.  And then the temple dedication Sunday was like being transported to another world so very different than what we live in -- everything depicted was so clean and white and beautiful -- only recommend holders were allowed into the church building to view the proceedings.  To see the Brethren (Pres Eyring, Elder Ballard and Elder Christofferson) function in their sacred callings in perfect harmony was so inspiring (especially in light of the disunity that often prevails in this area).  Mom and I stayed for all three sessions, each of which was a little different.  So we were in the building from 8:30 am to about 5:00 pm soaking up as much as we could.  We hearkened back to when we could go to the Seattle temple only 45 minutes away any time we wanted and wondered when we'll get to go again.
So, all of you who are or will be gathering in WA for Marschell's sealing, enjoy every minute of it.  We'll be there in spirit but be sure and post some pics of everybody outside the temple. 
So bye for now.  We love you all very much and miss every one of you.
XOS, love ya love ya.
Dad & Mom       

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Chelan Trip & First Day of School

 Jadon's first day of 8th grade!  Yay, no seminary yet!!

 Heidi's first day of 6th grade!  Yay for contacts!!

Karli's first day of 3rd grade!  Yay for Quest!!

Lake Chelan 2012!  Who invited the pimp in the shades?

 Porter's so bored he fell asleep!

How cute is that?

Livin' the life with family and friends.

 Karli snorkeling for treasures.

Ryan, Jadon and Mitchell gettin' cozy! 

Karli's ready to jump while Paul maneuvers the cliffs.

Ryan and Jadon finally waking up but they look like zombies!

Summer's been a lot of fun for sure : )  Here are the pics I promised to put on your blog, Mom!  I hardly ever download stuff and post messages cuz I'm slow and not very good at it but wanted to share a little bit about what our family's been up to.    Sure love you guys!!