Thursday, August 1, 2013


As most of you know, my son, Scott, is currently serving a two year mission for our church.  He was called to serve in the Brazil Sao Paulo East Mission.

Unfortunately, on February 27th, when he was supposed to fly to Brazil, he hadn't yet received his visa.  So he went to the MTC in Provo instead.  He started learning Portuguese and enjoyed his time there.

Also unfortunately, on April 8th, when he was scheduled to leave the MTC, he hadn't yet received his visa. So he was temporarily assigned to the Colorado Denver South Mission.

He's still not in Brazil, but on July 1st his area became part of the Colorado Denver North Mission.  So he's now in his second mission and serving with his second mission president.

He's enjoying his time in Denver.  The people are wonderful and he's had some great experiences.

But Denver is not where he is supposed to be serving.  He's supposed to be serving in Brazil.  I don't understand the problem.  We submitted all of the necessary papers in late October.  That's over nine months ago.  I don't understand why it would take that long to get a visa approved.  And it's not just Scott.  There are missionaries temporarily assigned to missions all over the United States as they wait for their visas.

Usually I'm okay with this wait.  But today I'm feeling frustrated.  I want Scott to be able to serve where he was called to serve.  And I'd like it be sooner rather than later.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

It's Back - One Last Time

In August of 2007 we took our oldest son, Brian, to the Missionary Training Center (MTC) in Provo, Utah.  There he began his two year mission to the Dominican Republic. While doing some last minute shopping I found this key ring:
I excitedly bought it and proudly carried it on my key ring until Brian came home in September of 2009.

I then put it away until April of 2010, when Jeffrey began his mission to Mexico.  After another two year stint on my key ring, where it got more and more faded, I took it off when Jeffrey got home in May of 2012.

Last week my youngest son, Scott, entered the MTC and began his mission to Brazil.  I dug out my Missionary Mom key ring and proudly attached it one more time.

I will happily carry it with my keys until Scott returns home from his mission in February of 2015.  By that time it may be so faded you won't even be able to read what it says.

But I'll know.

I am proud to be a Missionary's Mom.  As much as I did miss Brian and Jeffrey, and will miss Scott, there is nothing I would rather have them choose to do.

And you know what?  When I take it off my key ring when Scott comes home in two years, I will be a little sad.  Being a Missionary's Mom is wonderful, and I will be kind of sad when I don't have another child left to serve.   

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

One Week!

One week from today, Scott enters the MTC (Missionary Training Center) to begin his 2 year mission to Brazil.

I'm having a hard time believing he's leaving in a week.  He got his call way back in early September, so it feels like we have been waiting forever for him to leave.

And now it's almost time for him to go.

In fact, he was originally supposed to leave for the Brazil MTC on February 13th.  But they have recently shortened the time spent in the MTC from 9 to 7 weeks, so Scott's entry date was pushed back to February 27th.  Scott was pretty bummed about that.

He also had another change.  Shortly after Scott got his call, we got the packet with all of the papers that needed to be filled out for his visa.  We quickly began filling out all of the numerous papers, knowing that it takes a looooong time to get a visa to Brazil.

And then we waited.  And waited. But no visa.

Then last week the stake president called and said the Missionary Travel Department had called him and said that Scott's visa was not going to make it in time, and he would have to go to the Provo MTC instead of flying straight to Brazil.  I wasn't really surprised - I had heard that lots of missionaries were having to go to Provo first.  Scott was a little disappointed, but he's just glad to be starting his mission anywhere!

I'm trying to look at his time in Provo positively.  I'm actually using some frequent flyer miles and taking him to the MTC.  I'm glad about that.  Plus, Jeffrey recently started working in the MTC cafeteria, so they should see each other quite often.  I think that's awesome.

I'm excited that Scott is finally starting his mission.  I know he's so ready to serve the Lord, and he's going to gain so many blessings from his service in Brazil.

Friday, December 28, 2012


For the first time in our married life I did not send out Christmas cards.

I feel like such a slacker.

Teaching seminary - even if I only teach every other week - seems to take away any desire to do anything else that requires thinking.  I have included a Christmas letter for a number of years, and I just didn't have the desire to write it.

I feel bad.  I even had stuff to include in the letter.  Such as:

Jeffrey is home from his mission.

Jeffrey is going to BYU.

Brian is getting married in March.

Scott graduated from high school and finished a semester at A&M.

Scott got his mission call and will be heading to Brazil on February 27th.

See?  Exciting things happened!

Maybe I'll start a new trend and send out mid-January cards...

And if I don't - there's always next year!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Such a Long Time!

Two months ago, Scott got his mission call.  Yet he is only 2/5 of the way to his departure date!  He still has over 3 months to wait.  That's such a long time!

It's okay now - he's away at college.  I'm not sure what's going to happen when he comes home in mid-December and still has two months to wait before he leaves.  That may be a very long two months!

Anyone need to hire a nineteen-year-old for a couple of months?  Anyone?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

More Politics

I usually don't post about politics, but the sorry results of this election are driving me to it.

People keep writing that Obama has won and now it's time for us to put the election behind us and come together as a country.  You know what?  If I had any belief that Obama was going to do what's best for America, I would do that. But I don't believe that.  I believe he's got his own self-serving agenda, and it's not going to be good for our country or we the people that live in it.

So forgive me, democrats, if I'm not willing to fall in line behind the man you voted into office.  I'm too busy being worried about the future of our country and my family.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

So Sad

Well, it looks like our current president has been re-elected. I can't even begin to describe how upset that makes me.  I really had hopes that the American people would see through his lies and deceit and elect Mitt Romney.

It's a dark day for our country.  And I fear it's the beginning of a bleak four years.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Mission Call!

It used to be that when something happened I blogged about it.  Not any more.  Now I put a post on FaceBook and call it good.  Which explains why I haven't blogged since August. And why I didn't blog about Scott's mission call.

That's right, my youngest son, Scott, got his mission call! He actually got his call on September 7th, but that's beside the point.

We had been thinking of places Scott might go on his mission.  Italy or Europe were high on our list, since we had lived there for a year.  California was guessed also, since it seems like a lot of people go west.  But Scott didn't get called to any of those places.

Scott will be serving his two year mission in Brazil! Specifically the Brazil Sao Paulo East Mission.  Scott is very excited, as are we.  

The only downside is that he doesn't leave until February 13, 2013.  Over five months from when he got his call.  That's a long time, but apparently it takes that long to get a visa for Brazil.  

He will finish up his semester at Texas A&M in mid-December, and then come home for two months.  We'll spend the time getting all the clothes he needs, plus new glasses, plus whatever immunizations he needs to live in Brazil for two years.  Plus who knows whatever else he needs to do to get ready to go.  

I can't believe that my youngest child has his mission call. He will be heading off to Brazil in 4-1/2 months.  I'm so proud of him for choosing to serve.

Sunday, August 26, 2012


For my birthday in July, Robert and I took a quick trip to Pennsylvania.  We flew into Philadelphia, rented a car and drove to the bottom of the Poconos.  Maybe it's because we didn't have time to drive very far into the area, but we weren't all that impressed.  We actually had to go for a long drive to find somewhere to take the pretty picture below.  I think we needed to be able to spend more time there, but we got there Friday evening and left Saturday afternoon, so we just didn't have a lot of time to explore. We did find some fun shops, so it all turned out good!
Late Saturday afternoon we drove to Amish Country.  We went out to dinner for my birthday and then made our way to downtown Lancaster for some yummy ice cream.

Our plan was to go explore the Amish shops on Sunday, but wouldn't you know it, their shops were all closed!  Darn those Amish for keeping the Sabbath Day holy!  We did find a place that recreated an Amish home and other buildings. It was interesting to see the clothes they wear and learn that different clothes mean different relationship statuses.
They had a covered bridge on their grounds.  I really love covered bridges.  I don't know why, I just find them intriguing.
After leaving the Amish village, we drove to the area where a lot of Amish shops are.  As I said, they were all closed, but we did see a lot of Amish horse and buggies.  Robert and I were impressed with how beautiful and well cared for their horses were.
Sunday afternoon we drove back to Philadelphia.  We took a short tour of Independence Hall and then went to see the Liberty Bell.  I have always wanted to see the Liberty Bell, so now I can check that off my list!
We took a nice carriage ride with a great driver who not only showed us the sights, but told us of a great place to get dinner.

The next day we wandered around and saw some more of the sights.  We went to Christ Church Cemetery and saw Benjamin Franklin's gravesite.
It had been restored, but sadly, many of the headstones looked like the ones below.  You could not see any words on them.  I hope they have a good record of who is buried in this cemetery, otherwise there is no way to know.
We flew back home to Houston that evening.  It was a fun trip and nice to get away with Robert.  But I think next time we're just going to rent a cabin and not try to fit so much into one trip!

Friday, July 27, 2012

So Sad

Earlier today I found out that some members of a family that lives in our old ward were in a terrible car accident as they drove to Utah to pick up their oldest daughter getting off her mission.  The mother, oldest son, and three youngest daughters were in the car.  Two of the daughters were killed and the oldest of the three is in critical condition.

My heart is breaking for this wonderful family.  I don't even know how you go on after such a tragedy.

I wish there was some way I could call "do over" on this day and have it end differently.

But I can't.  So I'll mourn for my friends and the sweet, beautiful girls they have lost.  I'll pray they will be comforted.  And I'll take comfort in the fact that I know they are an eternal family.  They will always miss their girls in this earth life, but they can hold onto the knowledge that they can be with them in the life to follow.

Rest in peace, sweet girls.

Saturday, July 7, 2012


When we got home from Italy last year, we noticed that our front lawn was dying.  Or the parts that weren't dying were choked with weeds.  And the bushes were looking terrible. We decided it was time to bite the bullet and have some work done in the spring.  We decided to put in a sprinkler system, re-sod, and rip out and redo all of the landscaping. (By "we" I mean that Robert and I would pay while the crew we hired did the work.  We don't do major work like that anymore.)

Here's a "before" picture of the left side of the house.  The grass looks fairly green, but that's because it was mostly weeds and not grass at all.  
Here's a "before" picture of the right side of the house.  The grass is definitely dead and some of the bushes in the back were dead or dying also.
After much sweat and toil on the part of the guys doing the work, here's a picture of the left side of the house after the work was completed.  Notice the rocks.  Our beds are much deeper now, and the landscaping looks so much more substantial.  There are bushes along the back, but they are very small right now.  In a few years, they will look amazing back there.  Robert really wanted a seating area, so notice the glider.  They made a nice flagstone walkway leading up to it.  Maybe it will be cool enough to enjoy come October....
Here's a close up of the left side of the house.  I really like that large moss covered stone in the corner.  Apparently those are very much in demand and cost more money.  Who knew!
Here's the right side of the house.  I like the way they made the tree and the bed one large landscaped area.  They were very close together and look better landscaped as one.
This is quite possibly my favorite part of the whole thing. They found this random rock shaped like a cowboy boot and placed it strategically to the right of the front door.  It really gives the whole place a Texas flair!
I really like our new landscaping.  I don't cringe when I drive up to our house anymore!  And I know our neighbors are happy we finally got something done!  It's nice to know our yard isn't the worst on the block any more!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Cub Scout Day Camp

My three boys each spent three years in Cub Scouts.  They each went to Day Camp three times - with no overlapping. That's a total of nine times.  I went with each of them all three times.  So I went to Day Camp a total of nine times.

At the end of Scott's third year, I breathed a sigh of relief.  I was done with Cub Scout Day Camp FOREVER!

Then in December I was called to be a Wolf/Bear Den Leader for our Pack at Church.  I was hopeful, though, that some parents would want to go to Day Camp with their kids. Bond with their boys - like I did with mine.

No such luck.

Day Camp starts tomorrow, and I'm going.

I'm too old for this.

Not to mention it's going to be in the mid-90s with a heat index of over 100.  That's really HOT!

I wish it was Saturday...

Thursday, May 31, 2012

24 Years

Almost 24 years ago, Kimberly started kindergarten.

Tonight, Scott graduated from high school.

24 years.  That's a long time to have kids in school.

I'm pretty sure I'm not going to miss it.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

As Weeks Go....

As weeks go, this is shaping up to be a pretty awesome one.

First, Jeffrey comes home from his mission on Thursday! Woo hoo!  I can't wait to see him!

Second, Brian told me tonight that he is engaged!  We knew it was in the works, but he formally proposed to Jenna tonight!  Aren't they a cute couple?
I'm not sure if I can take much more excitement!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

April 28, 2010

Two years ago today, I dropped Jeffrey off at the MTC (Missionary Training Center) so he could begin his mission.

He spent 8 weeks in the MTC learning Spanish and 10 weeks in the Salt Lake City South Mission waiting for his visa to Mexico.  He arrived in Veracruz in mid-September and has been busy serving in that area since that time.

And now it's all coming to a close.  He will be flying home on Thursday, May 3rd.

I am so excited to see him!

It's an interesting thing being a missionary mom.  At times it seems that he can't possibly have already been gone two years.  And at other times it seems like he has been gone forever!

Tomorrow night, I will write my 104th - and final - e-mail to Elder Jeffrey Clutter in the Mexico Veracruz Mission.

I have to admit, while I am so excited to get to see Jeffrey, part of me will also miss being a missionary mom.  It's a special club to belong to.

I'm proud of Jeffrey for choosing to serve a mission.  It's a big sacrifice, but I know he will be a better man for it.

Just 5 more days and he'll be home! 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Thomas Kinkade

Thomas Kinkade passed away today. He was only 54 - so young.

I love his art. I know a lot of people don't like it, but looking at his paintings makes me happy. I am fortunate to own reproductions of two of his pieces. The one below, Clearing Storms, is my favorite. It's hanging above my fireplace and probably will hang there as long as I'm around.
My post today is not really about his art but about how cruel people can be. A few hours after hearing that he had died, I went on Twitter and searched for his name. I wish I could say I was surprised by the many cruel comments I read, but I really wasn't.

I don't care if you don't like his work. I understand he wasn't to everyone's taste. But it would be nice if people could show some respect for a man who just died. Or maybe consider the fact that he has a family that is mourning his loss right now.

What happened to good old fashioned human decency?

RIP, Thomas Kinkade. I, along with millions of others, will miss you and your tremendous talent.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

One Month!

Jeffrey will be home from his mission in one month! May 3rd is the day!

It's hard to believe he's been out 23 months already. (Actually, he hit the 23 month mark on March 28th, so he'll serve a little over 2 years).

I can't wait to see him! And hug him! And listen to him talk in his Mexican accent! And feed him whatever he wants to eat!

One month! 30 days! Woo hoo!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Wisdom Teeth

On Friday Scott had his wisdom teeth removed. What a fun last day of Spring Break for him! He needed them out, though. His two bottom teeth were horizontal in his mouth! I'm pretty sure that's not a good thing!

His surgery was quick. We got there at 7:00, he was called to the back at 7:15, and we were on our way home by 8:15. And Scott was pretty awake and aware by the time we left. Not bad.

Once the bleeding stopped and Scott could take the gauze out (a few hours after we got home), he did really well. I made him take Motrin twice, but I don't think he even needed it the second time.

I took this picture on Sunday evening to document the swelling. I waited a little bit too long - the swelling had already started to go down.
I'm glad his wisdom teeth experience has been pretty uneventful. And it's nice to have gone through that for the last time.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

My Kingdom for a Filter!!

Today I changed the filter in our refrigerator. I always comment on how heavy the old filter is when I remove it. (Go ahead, ask my kids. They'll back me up.) Today I decided to weigh the two filters and see just how much stuff had been collected in the used one.

The new one weighed just under 12 ounces.

The old one weighed 24.75 ounces. More than twice the weight!

That's a big difference. I don't know what's being collected in the filter (and I probably don't want to know), but it sure makes me glad our refrigerator has one!

Monday, February 27, 2012

A Cougar in Our Midst!

Jeffrey was accepted to BYU! He will start this Fall.

I'm slowly adjusting to the fact that all of my children won't be Aggies. I guess if one of them has to go somewhere else, BYU is a good choice.

He's so excited. I know this is what he wants, so I'm happy for him.

But I'll always bleed maroon!!