Wednesday, March 23, 2011

El Capitan & Other Short Stories

This is my special way of catching up.
El CapitanJared is no longer 1st Lieutenant Laney; he's been promoted to Captain (hooray!). And if he's seeing a Spanish-speaking patient, he hears, "Si, mi capitan." I was unable to make it to the ceremony (frowned upon), but hopefully by the time he's up for Major they'll give me more than a day's notice! Anyway, CONGRATULATIONS, HONEY!


Ever since he turned 3, Noah has been rrrreally worrrking on his Rs. He is rrrreally making grrrreat prrrogress. Each time he says a worrrd with an R in it, it's verrry much emphasized and quite corrrrect. No morrrre baby talk for Noah (or as he likes to be called, "Isaac No. 3")!

Wow, I bet that was annoying to read.

'Two Teeth' No Longer
Ellie is finally getting more teeth (sad! but okay)--three more! This might make weaning a much higher priority. Yikes.

Isaac picked out the most beautiful, giant roses (looking a little droopy here, but they have since been watered and they perked right up).

I was spoiled on my birthday again. Then the next day was Saturday, so Jared made it even better...what a great day! We ended with delicious salmon barbecue and a Snickers cake.

My big surprise was a new camera, so as soon as I got the battery charged and a memory card in it, the boys tolerated my playing with it. They were still in their pajamas.

Stinkin' Hot
I've said it before: I don't know how we'll survive the heat and humidity that's coming this summer. But I'm pretty excited that we just got season passes to Sea World--that should help. We even blew up the pool today because it was so hot.

Ellie watched in amusement.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Road Trip (finally!)

It's time to document our migration. Way back in September, we left a great place: close to nothing but beautiful trees and bodies of water; not far from some of the most fascinating historical sites. We knew this day would come, so we didn't cry (much). We said goodbye to our friends from church. Then we had one last "cousins party" with Camille and Brian. Man, it was great to be close to them!

Goodbye, Sweethaven!
The morning before we left was beautiful and misty. We had to say goodbye to these wonderful folks; then they took a picture of us on the porch. We look forward to visiting again one of these days.

We spent a long time getting out of there; I didn't think we left the place clean enough! And then there was the challenge of getting everything to functionally fit in the cars. That took a while, too.

Howdy, Granny!
We headed for the hills, accidentally going the longish way, and made it to Granville, Ohio the next morning to visit Grandma Betty. She loves visitors! She's all alone out in the country, confined to a wheelchair. She seems to be as well as she was the last time we saw her, though.

We've written letters back and forth with Grandma Betty since our 2008 visit.

Nauvoo--Still Our Favorite Place!

Isaac suddenly finds himself in Nauvoo...
and Ellie looks so young here!

Okay, can I just say PERFECT? The timing, I mean. No crowds! The place was ours! The weather was beautiful! Camelot. No, better: Nauvoo (ha ha)!

We did the Community of Christ (RLDS) -owned stuff first. The Red Brick Store is the only place you can buy anything in Historic Nauvoo. After the tour, we enjoyed some Red Brick Store Root Beer outside.

That night we saw the missionaries' production of Rendezvous in Old Nauvoo. Afterward, the boys got to meet the cast and try on some of their hats. Those missionaries were all so sweet! I think they missed their grandchildren, so they projected all that love to my kiddos. We even got some nifty souvenirs (in addition to the usual freebies you make or see how to make)!

It was still a lot of "learning, " even if it was fun, so Isaac and Noah used every opportunity to be their usual crazy selves between buildings.

Ellie had her first fever that day. She was still her usual sweet self, though.

Isaac's favorite place was the printing press because he got to work it! This is where "mind your p's and q's" comes from, by the way (I always wondered).

We walked and walked. Nobody really minded. The pioneers walked longer.

There's a lot to do and learn at the Family Living Center. I can't remember what Noah's doing here. Isaac made a rope (we all helped hold and spin).

The very rocking horse that John Taylor went back for. His son, Joseph, was so sad when they had to leave it behind that John went back over the frozen Mississippi, risked being caught by the mob, and retrieved it for him.

While we were there, we swam, attended the temple...and the family-friendly buffet. At one point, Jared's LAPTOP fell off the roof of the car while I was driving and this nice couple followed us halfway to Carthage before they could get my attention and give it back. It still works, by the way. Can you say "count your blessings"?!

A great shot at Carthage: in the room where Joseph and Hyrum Smith were martyred.

We finally got a chance to see the Missouri sites!

It was a beautiful, quiet place (until we arrived).

We sat down on a blanket together and discussed where we were, using the scriptures.

We enjoyed being there as a family. It was a little bit like being in the Sacred Grove in New York a few months prior: standing in holy places with our children, as close as we can get to being inside the temple with them while they're small.

Haun's Mill
This was quite an ordeal. To make a long story short, this involved taking a wrong turn, getting Jared's car stuck in a ditch, having to call AAA, Laurel getting lost on the way to and from the real Haun's Mill site without cell reception, a tiny bit of a disappointment at what's left of the site, a lot more waiting as the tow truck blew a tire on the way over, and, in the end, having Jared's car pulled safely out of the ditch with no harm done. It could have been a boring time. It could have been a frightening time. Instead, it was a fun, memorable and faith-promoting experience. Of course, that's because we did a lot of praying!

This is basically all there is to see there at Haun's Mill. It was once a community of Saints when a mob came and massacred nearly all the people. Isaac Laney, Jared's great great great grandfather survived being shot many times (the amount varies depending on which account you read) and just kept running.

Farr West
This site was in the middle of nowhere. It's hard to imagine what it was like back in the day.

Isaac was (is) going through a "bag" phase. He liked to be in charge of his bag and what he was going to wear the next day. Before bed most nights he'd do strange things like this:

Liberty Jail

It's kind of hard to smile after thinking about how much suffering went on here.

Independence Visitors Center

The missionaries were so patient with us here! It was a really nice place with lots of cool displays and interactive things, but at the end...that's where the fun stuff is! The boys were in heaven.

(And this was across the street. We could've toured it...but we weren't really interested).

More Driving

This is what we did in the car ride a lot of the time. Especially toward the end. There was lots and lots of driving. Many movies were seen. We even watched General Conference along the way.

Jared was pretty excited to eat at his first Waffle House.

When we finally got to San Antonio, we lived in "temporary housing" on base for about 10 days. We were so busy getting Jared started at in-processing and looking for a house that we didn't take any pictures there.

A Place to Live

We found our house by chance. After looking all day with a Realtor and without hope, we passed an LDS church and decided to try looking in the adjacent neighborhood on our own, hoping for a sign on the lawn. Nothing. Then we went over to the church, where there was some activity from a ward's mid-week meetings. I sheepishly got out and asked if anyone knew of any houses for rent in the area and boom! I was landed immediately with the phone number of a bishop from their stake who happens to be a Realtor. I called him and told him what we were looking for and he said he had just the thing. We went over to see it after dinner and it was the first time we felt good about a place in San Antonio! Nothing else we saw afterward could compare, so the next evening we filled out the application and we were moving in just a couple of days later. Luckily, we sat by some super-awesome folks at church who volunteered to watch the boys on move-in day (thanks, Kate!), so all went smoothly.

The "un-loaders" were pretty lazy and refused to put anything back together except the beds (good thing I've got this mechanical mind, ha ha). The "unpackers" were a huge mistake. They basically cause the most chaos possible with your household goods. It was such a mess! We still have some ... um ... piles leftover, but it's getting better every day.

As soon as we could, we started painting. The last renters had a strange color scheme going on, and Jared preferred to chocolate it up. And now the question has arisen: will we buy this house?