Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Baby Update

So i had another ultrasound today just to check that he's still growing normally and that my fluid is good which both are so that's the good news. Except that his belly was measuring a little low and he's 47th% for weight/height. Also they found something wrong with his left's called a duplicating collecting system which means he has 2 ureters coming off his one kidney (normally you just have one on each kidney) which happens in 1 of 1500 babies. What luck eh? Basically they won't know if it's super serious until he's born and it may not even be anything to worry about but now we have to meet with a specialist and i have to have ultrasounds every 3 weeks to keep an eye on it. The problem is that the ureter on the bottom is pinched a little too much so his urine isn't draining out properly but i guess he'd just rather hold it in instead of having to drink is own pee!! I think it'll be fine tho and we'll keep you posted if anything changes. Still no name but the latest is Ziva....what do you think? Rhymes with diva tho so maybe not so much....ok well keep up the good work, makes me thankful for how really blessed i am when i hear about your stories! xos!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Photos (hopefully)

OK let's try again to post some pics:

This is our Thanksgiving crowd (less the one taking the picture) in our apartment on Thanksgiving Day.  Elder Silva, on the far right, is assigned to our branch and is a hoot, as well as a very successful missionary.


This young man asked if I'd baptize him.  His wife's parents are on either side of them holding grandkids and our branch mission leader is next to me (in the tie not the skirt).  

One of the families in our branch with their grandpa on the far left -- a former bishop now inactive, but we're working on him.

Another baptism for a man who'd worked his way back after several years out of the Church.

A picture Mom took off the back balcony -- when the wind blows it really blows.
So guess that'll do it for now.  Better post these before something else happens.  Love yas.
XOS,  Dad

All in a day's work

Well, first some comments on previous posts.  Jason's mullet has inspired me to grow my hair out again.  I know he wants us to think it's a wig, but I'm pretty sure it's his real hair.  He probably thinks it'll increase his chances at Disney.  But I'm thinking the comb-over is in again!!  So you can all send me some hair spray for Christmas. 
Next is the couch out in the yard -- who puts couches outside the house?  But it's a good picture of three lovable people. 
And then the snow storm in UT -- looks like great fun.  The closest thing we've had to that is a fierce hail storm that not even the locals had ever seen -- hail stones as big as golf balls which did a fair amount of damage to cars and windows. 
Lastly, thank you very much for the sweet Thanksgiving messages.  We're very grateful for the relationships we enjoy within our family.  It's tough to miss those events but it'll make them all the more enjoyble when we get home.

Thought I'd share a typical Sunday for us down here.  Our meetings start at 9:00 am, but most people don't actually get there until after 9:00.  Last Sunday the air-conditioning wasn't working so everybody was fanning their faces during sacrament meeting (between breast feedings).  The person assigned to bring the bread for the sacrament didn't show up so we were scrambling at the last minute to get that ready.  The concluding speaker on the program didn't show up either so we had to wing it, but it was worth it.  We had a couple of recent converts share their testimony -- they talked about how the Church has totally changed their lives.  It was very heartwarming to hear these humble unsofisticated people share their feelings about how the gospel saved their life and gave them new hope. 
During the second and third hours I try to get as many interviews done as I can since it's so hard to get together with people during the week -- many work until 8:00 or 9:00 pm or even later.  So I interviewed this one elderly man who works in the "campo" -- in the fields doing heavy manual labor.  He'd been through the temple many years ago and now wanted to be sealed to his second wife. So I get to the question about daily wearing of the garment as instructed in the temple and he leans forward and very earnestly tells me that he only has one pair of garments and he saves them to wear on Sunday, hoping that was OK.  He then paid his "widow's mite" for tithing, laborously afixed his initials to the recommend (since doesn't write well enough to sign his name) and I gladly signed his recommend. 
I then had an interview with a13 year YW who's one of eight children being raised by a single mother.  She doesn't like to attend YW's classes because they're "boring" but she's over at the building almost every day hanging out because she just loves being there.  I asked her why it's important to study and learn the gospel.  She didn't know.  I asked her how she's going to gain a testimony if whe doesn't study and learn the gospel.  She didn't know.  I asked her how she's going to resist temptation when it comes if whe doesn't have a testimony.  She didn't know.  So I had a chance to explain all three steps -- we learn the gospel to gain a testimony to resist temptation -- when it comes at her in the form of some sweet-talking young man.  She's such a little sweet heart, I hope she gets it and survives this deplorable environment.
Our Primary president didn't make it to church last Sunday so Mom and I went and visited her that evening.  She shared some of her story -- she was "married" and had her first child when she was 14 years old.  The missionaries found her and she and her family were baptized when she was 28.  She's now about 40-ish, been pretty faithful in her church attendance, and wants to go to the temple and be sealed as a family.  Her husband has worked doing what he can and also been faithful in his church attendance.  But as a result of their desire and preparation to go to the temple, they feel like they've already been blessed -- he just got a job driving truck for a very good wage -- 4500 pesos a month (about $1000).
At the end of the day, Mom and I felt very grateful for not only our own abundant blessings, but the privilege of associating with such humble people of faith.  This mission has really been an experience and helped us appreciate even more how the Lord is no respector of persons -- the gospel can work a miracle in anyone's life. 
So how about a few pics to go along with all the verbage:

Well, looks like I'm having trouble uploading the pics so I'll send this and try doing them in a follow-up post.  Love you lots and glad we're all in the same family.
XOS, kiss hug,



Pasco Thanksgiving

Well it was pretty nice in Pasco for the week we were there and lots and lots of happenings of course. We had a bachelorette party for Becca, played volleyball, rode 4-wheelers, flag football, temple session and lunch, Thanksgiving tasty-ness at the church, decorated for the reception, saw Breaking Dawn (lame) and then all the wedding festivities as well. Tons of people everywhere and not a lot of sleep for anyone which defeats the whole purpose of a vacation but oh well. Brynn just slept whenever/wherever she could and just had fun playing with her cousins. 

Too bad you missed Becca's wedding, it was insane! They did all their pictures beforehand which was nice so we didn't have to spend forever outside in the cold and then there was the luncheon, then the sealing and then the reception. You should have seen the gym....i'm talking ELABORATE stuff. The decorator had all this furniture and centerpieces and plates and pictures and lights and doors and windows and on and would have died mom if i had wanted all that kind of stuff. But they only had the one reception since they're both from there. I left early tho to put Brynn to bed so i missed all the fun stuff, except the cleaning up part. Yep it was pretty crazy but it's all over.

Now back in Vancouver and we've already decorated for Christmas and then before we know it little man-child will be here! Well we missed you guys and wish I had been with some of the McCoy side of the fam but we'll be in Puyallup for New Year's so that'll be nice. I still need to send your goods, madre, but i'll do that this week. Love you both and thank you for who you are. I love that you're my parents!! xos

Daddy and Brynn

After his flag football game

Brynn and Cyrus' 1st Thanksgiving 

I threw whipping cream in his face!

In all her wedding get-up

Playing with Cyrus

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanks Giving

Hi Mom and Dad!

We missed you today!  The day flew by.  Thanks for the email that you sent this morning.  Brooke and I read it together.  We were thankful to be able to spend the day together even though it can be hectic keeping kids entertained while all the cooking goes on.  Why don't you ask what Jason and Rob were doing..... yeah, getting beat by the boys on some Wii soccer game. Ha Waste! The day was beautiful; clear skies, crisp air, a real Arizona fall day.  The food all turned out great, mostly thanks to Brooke who prepared the turkey and made a delicious, (and I mean DELICIOUS!!) sweet potato pie, which everyone wanted for leftovers.  I grudgingly gave a scoopful to Benton and Tiana to take home.  It was a nice day.

Just wanted you to know how thankful I am that you're my parents.  What great examples you are of lifelong service and love for our Savior.  It has definitely rubbed off.  I feel very grateful for your efforts to hold family home evening, scripture study and family prayer.  Now that I have a family I know how hard it can be, especially as the kids develop more complicated schedules.  We have been asked to be a Ma and Pa for our upcoming stake Trek and I hope we can instill in three days time some of the values you instilled in us about work, testimony, service etc.  I know your example has touched my kids lives. We pray regularly for your health and success.

I know from my own experience that being on a mission over the holidays is very difficult.  I want you to know that we miss you, but are blessed because of your time and efforts in Argentina.  I pray the time will go quickly, but that you experience the everydayness of it too, along with the many triumphs you will experience as missionaries.  There's no better place to be..... for an allotted time that is! I love you!  Happy Thanksgiving!

M for Morley and McCoy and Mm Mm good! That was Reagan's touch. Cute huh?

More delicious rolls. You can never have too many...

V and B playing so nicely.

The clean-up begins. So yummy! Over too soon...

Look-alike cousins getting on their crafting...

Thanksgiving Day

Dear family and friends,

I figured that today would be a good day to write my second blog entry.  As you can imagine, Thanksgiving Day in Argentina is a little different than at home.  In lieu of family and friends to invite over, we invited six of the young Elders that work in areas close to us.  Two of them are American and so are  missing their families at home and the others just enjoyed a nice meal.  There are no turkeys available until Christman time so I baked some chicken instead.  We had mashed potatoes and gravy which were about the only authentic thing we had, green salad, lots of pan [bread] and then ice cream and banana bread [fruitcake] for dessert.  I hope everyone got full - you know how missionaries can eat !!  We did our usual tradition of going around the group and saying what we are thankful for.  There were the usual things mentioned but we all were glad to be on missions serving the Lord at this moment in time.  About two hours after the missionaries left a big wind/rain storm kicked up which is always nice because it cools things off considerably!  That's always a plus.  One other unexpected thing that happened this morning was that the electricity went off.  I was glad that we have a gas stove and that I'd made a lot of the preparations for dinner the day before.  And fortunately it wasn't the water that went off so we counted ourselves lucky!!  Every day is a new adventure here and we're trying to be very flexible like they told us at the MTC.

I started my day with a prayer of nothing but thanksgiving, trying to enumerate all the things that I know I usually take for granted.  Among them family and friends who love us in spite of ourselves.  It's been good to be in a much slowed-down environment without all the things we're accustomed to to make us really appreciate what's important in life.  Our family, friends, the gospel and our testimonies of it's truthfullness.  In over 40 years of marriage, we've never gotten to spend so much time together and we find that we like it!!  I know for sure that I never would have made it as a single missionary and my admiration of you kids has gone up a thousand percent!  I also realize, sadly, how much more I could have done for each of you in the way of letters etc.  I comfort myself  by saying "Dad never sent you a single package!"  That's how we divided things up I guess -- he wrote the emails and I sent the packages.

Well, before I lose this [it happened to Dad just yesterday]  I'll wrap it up and send you my best wishes for a wonderful holiday season.  Eat a piece of turkey and pumpkin pie for me!  I love you all dearly and hope to hear about your Thanksgiving day soon.
                                                                                                       XOS         Love, Mom


Sunday, November 18, 2012

First Snow Fall..........

Again I'm being lazy and just copying and pasting from our blog. But first a quick update on G. The liver biopsy was read twice and both readings were normal but the doctor called Tuesday and told us the sample was too small to be 100% conclusive. He is having G take Ursa (bile salt) for the next month and then we are repeating labs and the biopsy. Fun, fun! Honestly I talked to our lab and pathologist here and he wasn't concerned that the sample size was too small but we'll go along with it to be thorough. I think the doctor is quite perplexed the autoimmune hepatitis isn't showing up because he's been so sure that is what G is dealing with. All this should happen before Dec 20th because that is when we meet with the doctor again.

Emma's first experience with snow happened last week as we got our first snow storm. At first she was very intrigued, then she smiled and tried to lick it off her jacket, finally she realized she was cold and started to fuss.

Also with the first snow fall we had a visit from the Vegas McCoys. We told them to dress warm and Brandon didn't take us very serious. Needless to say we layered clothes, borrowed snow clothes, and bought warm clothes. We also went through 2 gallons of milk on hot chocolate! It was a blast and we had so much fun freezing together at the football game. And it was totally worth it because Spencer had defensive touchdown (it was the only thing that got me to my feet cheering the entire game)! Sunday night we got to go to a youth fireside and hear Matt speak about 'Standing in Holy Places'. Afterwards some of Matt's buddies came over and we ate popcorn and played games till the wee hours of the morning. The best part was after Matt's friends left cute Brinks immediately says, "I miss Tanner." He was one of the buddies and future QB here at BYU after his mission. He's a great kid and obviously quite the charmer. Made us all laugh!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Us lately

Hey, hey sus padres!! How goes it? Starting to get warm there yet? B/c it's chilly here and i'm  not a fan but we haven't had snow at least yet so i'm fine with that. Things are just going, going as usual getting ready for Thanksgiving and Becca's wedding. Sure you can't come? 

Well we finally got a preview pic of our photo session in Pasco from Sept. and they're our Vogue pictures. I actually like it except that she made it black and white so you can't really see Brynn but we'll get more when we're there next week. The others are from Halloween, the horse races (as white trash as you can imagine), her plumber's crack, and then watching bubbles (she's mesmerized). 

Our stake is having a "special" meeting this Sunday for all adults but no hints as to what it's about so everyone's speculating since we just had stake conference. Probably has to so with being a Zion people and that we're all getting translated, something along those lines i'm sure....j/k we'll see. 

Still have dr. appoints like crazy and still measuring small but it shouldn't be any big concern. Can't decide on a name still but the only one we both have agreed to is Hudson but i'm not totally in love with it. Brynn is just so fun right now, curious about everything, wants what you have, giggles and laughs all the time and constantly wants to walk. I just love watching her little babyness. 

Ok well i'll send that stuff to you madre, i just need to find your address again but sure love you both and hope the work is coming along! xos!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Emma's sneeze

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

All things Halloween

Wow, so many scary creatures, but I think Brooke wins the prize for the spookiest!!  And then there's the little bugs -- getting their first introduction to the world of  SUGAR!!  Yes, that delicious extract that makes all things happier.  I'm affraid R-hen-teen pastry just doesn't quite get it.  But we do have stuff here that isn't available in the States -- like milk in plastic pouches.  Yep, that's how they package and sell it.


And that's how we buy a lot of our bread -- in these long rolls (the one Mom has is cut in half).  It's always a trick to cut the corner off a full pouch of milk and pour it into a pitcher without spilling it all over the place.  And what do you think of our spacious kitchen?  Just out of view to the lower left is our little gas stove and that's it -- pretty cozy.

This is a typical construction site -- they tear down the old, throw all the debris out into the street (this is the main street through the middle of town) and then reconstruct the new building where the old one stood.  The interesting thing about it is that they tear down the old building ONE BRICK AT A TIME using a hammer and chisel.  So they're pounding pounding pounding all day long.  And since almost all buildings share walls, the noise reverberates throughout adjacent buildings -- that's what we've been listening to for the last six months -- construction pounding going on on both sides of us almost all day every day.  We wonder if they'll ever be done.  Nothing is built out of wood -- there just isn't any around here except what's trucked in to make furniture. 

Well, I was going to share a funny exhange we had the other day.  We were riding along in a taxi (which is how we get around most of the time if we have to go any distance) and got to talking to the driver about his family.  So he tells us that he's lived here in Saenz Pena for 30 years and has, he estimates, 150 to 200 relatives in the area.  But, he says, his parents passed away recently and everybody misses them.  So, being the good missionary that I am, I figured this was an opportunity to share something about eternal families.  So I pose the question "So where are they now?"  He doesn't say anything and then looks at me very wierd and says "They're in the cemetary" -- like what kind of people do you think we are down here.  So I start to explain that I was talking about their spirits, at which time he starts laughing.  So now the guy's laughing at my explanation of sacred things and I'm wondering what kind of pagan am I dealing with here.  Then he explains that he simply misunderstood my question and was laughing at himself, whereupon we both had a good laugh at the whole situation.  Ahh, the joys of cross-cultural communication.  He did ask a serious question though -- they do have souls don't they?  I assured him that they do and gave him a card to follow-up.

Well, Mom wants to add her own post, so I'll say good-bye for now.  Thank you as always for your thoughts and prayers -- I think the Lord is receiving a lot of prayers from all of us for each other these days and He's listening.  Thank goodness we have the gospel in our lives.  We love you and miss you.


Happy Halloween

I'm just copying from our blog......

Happy Halloween!

Emma's first Halloween was a fun and exciting one! My friend at work had given me a ladybug costume that fit her perfectly and since I had an old ladybug costume it was perfect. Emma and I were ladybugs and G was a bug catcher!

Our neighbors and good friends the Torgersen's helped us decorate the back of G's truck for the ward's trunk-or-treat. With our competitive and creative skills combined we came up with a trunk worthy of the first place prize we received! We are already planning next year's trunk.......

Luckily Emma doesn't even know what candy is - she just likes to chew on the wraps. Unluckily G knows what candy is and he quickly eating all the leftover sweets in the house.