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Saturday, January 2, 2010

Preparation Progress Report

It has been a little while since my last update. Today is Jeff's 19th birthday so he is now officially old enough to go on his mission. For his birthday he received mostly missionary type items including a first aid kit, travel alarm clock, mosquito spray (yes, that is something on the list he is supposed to take), sewing kit, and a portable CD player (he can't take his iPod). He also got a soldering iron for projects after his mission. As I started writing this, Jeff was at the hardware store picking up stuff to build the electronics for a rocket launcher for Estes Rockets so that he could try out his new soldering iron.

Jeff will speak in Sacrament meeting in the Knoll Park Ward (160 S 460 W Salem, UT) on 10 January at 9:00 a.m. Now for what has happened the past couple of weeks.

First, we had a great Christmas with the family. My mom and sister and Tammy's mom came out to the house and spent Christmas day with us.

The day after Christmas Jeff thought it would be a good idea to go and get a missionary suit. He needs two but he recently bought a new suit from Mr. Mac that he has liked and plans to use. Despite my misgivings about going shopping the day after Christmas, we loaded up and headed to Mr. Mac. The mall was very busy and I had to drop everyone off at the door so they could start looking while I trolled for a parking place. Fortunately someone walked out of the mall just as everyone got out of the car and I followed them to their place and waited until they pulled out.

Jeff found a nice dark grey suit with two pairs of slacks. It was good we went when we did because it will take until January 7 for the alterations. He also found two pairs of slacks, white slacks for baptisms, short sleeve white shirts, and an umbrella. He looked at shoes but decided to make that purchase when we went back to pick up the alterations. The word among missionary moms is the Rockport and Ecco shoes are the best and hold up the longest with lots of walking. Jeff will likely be doing quite a bit of biking and walking on his mission in North Carolina. Both brands are fairly pricey but they do look pretty nice. Ecco is a European brand that come in European sizes like most bike shoes. We were going to pick up a coat for him but they were out of his size and so we will pick that up when we go back.

On Monday we left for quick trip to Colorado so that Jeff could visit his great grandma Ruth Holman before he leaves. She celebrated her 90th birthday in April of 2009 and still lives alone, drives, and gets along better than most people half her age. There had been a LOT of snow along the way but the roads were all cleared off and we made the trip in a record 8 hours and 15 minutes from Salem to the Comfort Inn in Alamosa, CO. That did not include speeding. We went through Moab and then over Wolf Creek pass into the valley. We went down to mom's house in Sanford and ate a ham dinner with her, Trina, and Grandma Ruth before heading back to the hotel for a swim before bedtime.

On Tuesday we went up Cumbres / La Manga pass on the South end of the San Luis Valley and did some sledding. It was cold and a little windy but we found a great hill with lots and lots of snow. The kids had as much fun throwing each other in the arm pit deep powder as they did riding the toboggan. It snowed almost the entire time we were there. The scenery up there is incredibly beautiful.

On Wednesday we headed up to our land up Rock Creek. There was only about a foot of snow but it had drifted pretty bad in places and we could only drive to within about 1/4 mile of the gate. Before walking up to the gate, we shot a box full of .410 shells at clay pigeons. Tyler was the star hitting 6 pigeons which is pretty good considering that has only done that a couple of times. We hiked into our property and rode the toboggan and a tractor tube down a hill that we had purchased at the Monte Vista COOP on the way up. Tyler and Sean did some exploring down by the creek but came back up with the family when they thought they heard a big animal in the brush. A large herd of deer had recently been through the area leaving tracking and places where they had bedded down.

It was intended to be a quick trip and we drove back home to Salem on New Year's eve. It had snowed in the Colorado mountains while we were there and while the roads were plowed, they were still pretty icy all of the way over the pass. We went home over Cochetopa pass.

I know that a lot of this doesn't have to do specifically with Jeff's preparation for his mission, but going to Colorado was part of what he wanted to do before leaving. Next post will probably be after he speaks in sacrament meeting on the 10th.

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