Saturday, December 11, 2010

It's that special time of the year...maybe.

So.  Steve is in Japan for the week.  The good news is that his cell phone works there - so it doesn't cost anything for me to call him.  The bad news?  Umm...figuring out when to call him. Japan is one day ahead, but seven hours earlier.  Let's do the math.  Right now, plus twenty four minus seven (10:20pm[here] + 24) -7 = 3:20pm tomorrow afternoon[there].
My problem?  I was always better at addition than I was at subtraction...and frankly story problems just aren't my favorite thing.  Which is why I called Steve this morning at 8am. (8am[here] + 24) - 7 = 1am tomorrow morning[there].  Sorry hon.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Happy Eyes

First of all, it's really hard to take of picture of your own eyes. Second of all...I think I'm going to like our new eye doctor.  While examining my optic nerve, he told me that 'things look've got happy eyes."

Yup.  I like him.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Pinecones, three ways.

Sherri called me up this morning and said, "I got the eggs!"  It was a bit of a non sequitur (the only eggs on my mind are the two dozen eggs I need to get for Daniel's campout tomorrow)...but we straightened it out.  She got the styrofoam eggs for making the pine cone ornaments.

So...for the last time, here are some more pictures of the pine cones I made - this time showing the tops. Every one I made is a little different, but most share elements.  For instance, I bought one package of assorted sizes of jingle bells - and used whatever size or amount I felt like.  I purchased one or two fake ferns fronds that were covered in gold glitter and cut them apart and hot glued various sized pieces on, ditto artificial pine branches...for the 'hangers' I used ribbon, rick rack and jute string and attached them with a combination of straight pins and hot glue.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pinecones...take two.

Now I want to make one with plaid paper.  How cute would that be?  I'm nearly out of pins so I can't make another one until I go to the store...aargh.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like...pinecones?

I'm not as 'crafty' as I used to be...but every once in a while I get the urge.  My go-to place for scoping out new crafts is a site called One Pretty Thing (thank you, Keira).  I happened to take a glance a week or two ago and found the cutest pinecone - the instructions are on a site called The Hybrid Chick. It looked easy enough, and even better, it didn't take a ton of specialized equipment that I would never use again.  I used the pages from a Betty Neels book (The Mistletoe Kiss) I used mistletoe on the top.   The only things I had to buy for this craft were styrofoam eggs ($3.99 for a 4 pack at Craft Mart), straight pins ($1.99 at Fred Meyer for 250 - I may have used about half) and a sprig of fake mistletoe (on sale for $1.40 at Craft Mart - I only used half of a sprig on one).  Total time?  About an hour - maybe less.
Step 1. Cover the pointed end with a strip of paper about and inch wide.
Step 2. Fold a one inch square of paper so that it has a pointed end.
Step 3. Repeat step 2 a bunch of times.
Step 4. Pin pointed paper pieces onto the styrofoam egg.  The ones near the bottom should be overlapped some - you can just use one pin in that case.  Work your way up the egg in rows, adjusting your spacing as needed.
Step 5. When you have gotten pretty much to the top, add a ribbon for hanging and any embellishments you want.  I cut apart a sprig of fake mistletoe for mine...I also trimmed the mistletoe leaves down a little - so they weren't quite so long.

Ta Da. 
I'm calling this: "The Mistletoe Kiss.  Chapter One."

Snow Day

It may not be a lot of snow...but it's enough.

Enough to cancel seminary...and school for Alex (the college is closed).

This is one of those days when Danny wishes he went to a 'brick and mortar' school.  There are no snow days at WAVA. He'll be in good company.  Steve will be working 'virtually' today.  Turned out that his van pool van didn't come equipped with snow chains.  After a nearly two hour commute, he ended up parking it about a mile away from our house.  He could drive it in to work today - but since none of his riders will be going, he'll be logging on to work from here.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Hawaii 5-0

We're back.
I can't say that we had a relaxing vacation - but we did have a heck of a lot of fun. 

Now it's time to get back to work and rest.

Monday, November 1, 2010

I should be making a list...

Yay! Vacation this week! 

Steve and I are leaving VERY early on Thursday.  Very early. That means we need to be packed by Wednesday night.  Which means that I should be making a list.  Actually, I should already have a list.

  • reading material
  • swimsuit
  • umm....
There.  Anything else is gravy.

Friday, October 29, 2010


It was my birthday a couple of weeks ago - one of my presents (actually two of my presents) was/were two shortbread pans. I've been wanting one for years - but they are surprisingly hard to find.  I should probably warn the ladies I visiting teach...I'm thinking these pans will come in handy for Christmas... Valentines... Easter... Mother's Day... Memorial Day...

From the look of the final product, I think I need to work a little on my technique - but the taste is spot on. I do love a recipe that uses staples that I always have on hand. Here's the recipe that came with my pans:

Classic Shortbread

3/4 cup butter, room temperature
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
Preheat oven to 325'. Grease pan.

Cream butter until it's light. Cream in powdered sugar, then vanilla. Finally, work in flour. Knead dough on an unfloured board until smooth. Firmly press dough into pan. Prick surface with a for (I forgot to do this). Bake for 30 - 35 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool in pan for about 10 minutes. Loosen the edges and invert on cutting board. Cut into serving pieces while warm. Yum.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Style is My Middle Name

Steve has a campout this weekend with the Scouts.  That's fine, I got three new videos for my birthday...I shall don my awesome new Totoro slippers, pop some popcorn and cozy up in the recliner for a vid-fest.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Wishful Thinking

Steve has been hinting at me lately that I need a 'birthday wish list'.  Yes, my birthday is coming up soon...but I'm fairly stymied.   I told him he could fall back on an Amazon gift card...but he's not too thrilled about that.  So here goes:
My Birthday Wish List
  • A Pony. Oh, wait, I mean, I DON'T want a pony.
  • Amazon gift card.  Really honey, I wouldn't be insulted.
  • Kindle??? I'm not convinced I need one - so you'd have to do some fast talking. Very fast talking.
  • a weekend getaway (I've got a 3 day weekend this week).
  • i-tunes gift card.  I've got a few songs I'd like to buy.
  • um...
  • um...
  • ...
Sorry, I guess there's just not that much that I want for my birthday.  Last year's was so great - I can handle having a more laid back one this year.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

What's on your nightstand?

Besides my ongoing seminary lesson prep, here's what else I'm reading:

Just Finished:
The Disappearing Spoon by Sam Kean - I picked this up last month at the Costco in Spokane - Alex read it while we were on vacation, then I got a chance. It's a non-fiction memoir of the Periodic Table of the Elements.  Sort of.  I really enjoyed it - and my grasp of chemistry is not particularly firm.  Two thumbs up.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.  Another Costco purchase.  I liked this book a lot, in spite of the high body count.
Bachelor's Galore by Essie Summers. Despite a promising title, not one of my favorites by Essie.
A Little Moonlight by Betty Neels. Reviewed last Thursday on The Uncrushable Jersey Dress.

Next up:
The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey by Candice Millard - Steve talked me into getting this today...again at Costco.
An Ideal Wife by Betty Neels.
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins.  Book Two of The Hunger Games.  I borrowed this from Keira.

What are you reading?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Last Hoorah of Summer - Part IV

Danny's Favorite Day

Marcy drove up to Henry's Lake to meet us.  She overshot by about 10 miles, but luckily we had cell phone reception (as long as I didn't move...or breathe).  We all crowded into the red clown car and got ready to spend the day in two, count 'em, TWO, National Parks. Yellowstone and Grand Teton. 

Since we hadn't had much time in Yellowstone a couple of days before, it was nice to have a second chance.  Danny really wanted a second chance at the giant frozen yogurt cones at Old Faithful...but since we'd already been there, we gave it a miss.  We heard about it all day. 

I am still not convinced that the Tetons are 'all that'.  I was in Jackson Hole in May and August...and I never got to see the tops.  With two kids at BYU-I I'm thinking I may have more opportunities.  Marcy bought me the card that allegedly shows  the Tetons.  I'm still not convinced.

We eventually made our way down to Jackson Hole - we had a couple of hours or so to spend there while we were waiting for dinner time.  We spent the time browsing the art galleries with Marcy and the two boys.  I thought it would be horrible, but the boys were just fine.

And now we come to Danny's favorite activity of our whole vacation.  Bar-J Chuckwagon and more especially the Bar-J Wranglers.  We all enjoyed the music, but Danny REALLY enjoyed it.  He talked Steve into buying three CDs.  Three.  Guess what we listened to on the way home.  Go ahead, guess. 

It's a good thing the rest of us liked their music. 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

There's A Sling For That?

Danny had surgery today.  Nothing too major...but still, it was surgery.  I miss the old days when the patient stayed at the hospital for a couple of days and a trained nursing staff took care of the patient 24 hours a day.  

He seems to be bouncing back pretty quickly.  In less than two hours from when he had surgery he was eating two hamburgers and a hot fudge sundae.  I always figure that if they can eat, they'll be fine.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Last Hoorah of Summer - Part III

Wherein we drop off Andrew in Rexburg and I lose my wallet. Tuesday found us heading down to Rexburg to drop off Andrew and his possessions.  He was to stay with Nathan and Rebekah until he could move into his apartment on the 6th.  Fortunately for our limited space he hadn't overpacked as to personal items.
First stop. Nathan and Rebekah's.  Second stop. Deseret Industries. Third stop. Distribution Center. Fourth stop. Walmart. Fifth stop. Porter's - to take Marcy out to lunch.
We had a nice lunch across the street from Porter's.  And then I got a phone call from my friend Deann - she was calling me from Marysville to tell me that I had left my wallet at the Distribution Center.  A mutual friend had called her to try and find my cell-phone number.  Someone else had called's still somewhat of a mystery - but a fortuitous one.

More shopping, this time in Idaho Falls...then a final good-bye to Andrew, Nathan and Rebekah.

Next: Danny's Favorite Day.

Last Hoorah of Summer - Part II

Farewell Butte, Hello Wyoming.  Steve's sister Debbie lives in a tiny little town in North Central Wyoming.  Byron is about 45 miles east of Cody.  Since we spent the night in Butte, we lost one day of visiting.  Instead of getting to her house on Friday night, it was Saturday evening by the time we rolled in.  Steve's other sister, Becky was also visiting (she had caught a ride up from Utah with her son Ryan who was traveling in the area for work).  We had a lovely visit on Sunday, and then on Monday we headed to Yellowstone.  Debbie brought Becky, Steve's mom and we stuck Andrew in with them to ease our congestion. 

The drive to and through Yellowstone was lovely - we had never driven through the East Gate before.  Lots of wildlife was seen, especially bison.  We saw a lot of bison.
Here's a man there never lets an ice cream cone get the better of him.
Old Faithful was obliging and erupted for us twice...but I'm pretty sure Danny thought the ginormous frozen yogurt cones were even more fascinating.  Steve found them pretty fascinating himself.  The squirrels running around inside the lodge were fairly interesting too.  Just like rats, but cuter and friendlier.
After a chilly stroll around the boardwalks we went our separate ways...this time with Andrew in our car.  Luckily for us, Henry's Lake is only an hour or so from Old Faithful, so we just gritted our teeth and bore it.

Next: Wherein we drop off Andrew in Rexburg and I lose my wallet.

Last Hoorah of Summer - Part I.

Our vacation didn't start off well at all.  Nope.  Nathan and Rebekah left a little while before us...and Nathan got sick.  Throwing up sick.  Throwing up a lot sick.  Too sick to drive - so Rebekah did.  They were heading straight to Rexburg via Ontario/Boise...the rest of us were heading to Wyoming via Spokane/ the time we knew how sick Nathan was our paths had diverged and we were hours away from each other.  The best we could do was to tell Rebekah to drive as far as she could and find a motel... the meantime...we were having troubles of our own.  Our battery light was going on and off at random.  We took a long lunch in Spokane and Steve had the battery and alternator tested.  They were fine...or so we thought.  As soon as we crossed into Montana, Steve handed over the driving to me.  The van kept flashing the battery light for increasingly longer periods of time - but I didn't worry about it much - we'd just checked them, right?  A little while past Missoula we started to have other, more worrying symptoms.  The turn signals stopped working.  Then the fact the whole electrical system was acting weird - on again, off again.  And then we started to loose engine power...on again, off again.  The speedometer was flatlining, then would come back with a burst...I finally pulled into a tiny little town (Drummond).  There was a nice gas station/mini mart and not much else.  Steve and Andrew experimented on the van - and removed all the non-essential fuses they could find.  We couldn't really stay in Drummond - if there was a problem with the van, which there was, there was no place to get it off we went. We took it as a good sign that the van started right up - yeah, that was great for a few minutes, then all the problems came back with a vengeance.  The van died right at the exit for a rest stop - the boys all hopped out and pushed us to the parking lot. 
Let's go back to that morning, before we left the house.  Steve was on the phone, making us late...he was talking to a AAA representative.  He signed us up - with the extended towing package - which covered towing up to 100 miles.
Now, back to the rest stop.  Steve calls up AAA and they arrange to tow us into Butte - 60 some miles away.  That is wonderful - it's getting on towards dark and the rest stop we're at is not a busy one - very few people stop at it.  Which is a problem.  Why?  The tow truck driver can only take two passengers.  That leaves three left over.  We eye every car that stops...hoping for someone with room for 3 passengers - but it seems that it's all families on vacation - with full cars.  Aargh.  Finally - just before the tow truck shows up, a man stops by to use the facilities...and he's got a king cab pickup truck...and he's alone...and he's going to Butte.  Alex, Danny and I ride to Butte with the nice stranger while Andrew and Steve go on the tow truck. The van gets towed to an auto repair place - and we get dropped off at a hotel.  Now we have another dilemma.  It's Friday night and the repair shop doesn't open until Monday.

We managed to rent the last available car from Enterprise - it was a red Chevy HHR (think PT Cruiser).  We dubbed it the Clown Car.  We were able to get nearly all of our luggage stowed in it  - which was a minor miracle.   None of us could move an inch - except Steve, who was driving...the rest of us had stuff tucked under us, around us and on top.  Not comfortable at all...but we did it. 

Next: Farewell Butte, Hello Wyoming.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Our Man in e-mail.

Dear family,

Well I'll be seeing you later this week. I already know my schedule for Friday now I guess

6 AM Wake up
7:30 AM Breakfast
8:45 PM Bullet train to towards Narita Airport
4:10 PM Plane leaves for Seattle
9:20 AM Arrive home
4:15 PM Be released

That's going to be a long day I think. I'll try to sleep on the plane, but I've never been good at it, maybe I'll manage a few hours.

My bike got a problem again a few weeks ago. I used the back brakes past where I should of and over time they dug into the rim a little and there's a rip in the rim. It's still ridable kinda, but probably not too good to ride. Somehow I don't think I'll get it fixed at this point.

I bought some Japanese books last week, most of them were only a dollar. I actually bought the Japanese 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone' it doesn't look too hard to read so maybe it'll be good practice. It was only a dollar after all.

It's probably too late to get an answer but are your cell phone numbers still the same ***-***-**** and ***-***-****? I might call you when I get to Seattle if I can't find you.

Well you all take care I'll see you on Friday.

Elder Andrew West

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Friday, 9:20am.

We've had Andrew's flight information for months now...months.  And now it comes down to days.  Days that you can count on one hand.  Barely enough time to make a "Welcome Home Andrew" poster or two. Somewhere or other, I'm pretty sure I have the one we made for Nathan...I could totally use it in a pinch.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Sneaky Kids.

Rebekah (the daughter-in-law formerly known as The Zombie Bride) and Nathan surprised us by showing up a day early.  We now have 4 full weeks of them to look forward to.  Four. Full. Weeks.  Many thanks to Taylor for giving them a working vehicle.  Let the games begin.

In other news, Andrew gets home one week from today.  In fact, by this time next week, we should be driving home from the airport (if he makes it through customs in a timely manner).

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Our Man in Japan

Dear family,

I'm sorry to hear that you're sick Dad, I hope you get better soon.

I'm not sure if I'll be able to do email next week because the place is closed next Monday. We'll see.

As far as things that happened this past week go. Yes I did register for classes, I need to register for a few more but I'll probably figure that out when I get home. I registered for the important ones already.

I really don't know what I feel like writing right now. Hmmm... have you gone to the new

Oh yeah, my bike is having trouble again... I'll see if I can grab a random old wheel from the mission office tomorrow. If not I'll just throw my bike away on Wednesday.

Elder West

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Our Man in Japan

Dear Family,

It sounds like you're still all doing well. I'm glad to hear that.

This past week we had an all mission conference with the 30+ missionaries who came from the Hiroshima mission. Everyone got along great and it was pretty good. Unfortunately that's probably the last time I'll see most of them considering I go home in August.

There's not really much to write about this week. On Tuesday or Wednesday I should be registering for classes, hopefully that goes well.


Elder Andrew West.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Our Man in Japan

Dear family,

Sorry about not sending any email last week. We wanted to but when we showed up at our email place it was just randomnly taking a day off.

So there were transfers. I'm still in Miki, but my new companion is Elder Cannon from Payson, Utah. He's a nice guy, we're getting along great.

As far as things that have happened go... After English Class we played the telephone game to teach about the Great Apostasy. It worked out pretty well. We did 2 sentences in English and 2 in sentences in Japanese.

We are children of a Heavenly Father.
We are became big people.

Jesus Christ is our Savior, the Son of God.
Jesus Christ is our Savior/Rescuer.

We are spirit sons and daughters of God.
We are spirit.

Through prayer we can communicate with God.
By the prayer of God our bodies get better.

I thought it worked out pretty well and illustrated how some things were completely lost and parts of others were changed.

Well things are going well here. I really feel good about things.

Elder West

PS. Sorry I had to send that picture, I found it trying to crawl into my closet...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Our Man in Japan

Dear family,
Happy Father's Day. I thought I had missed it, but it's still Father's Day over there for you.

I found a Dr.Seuss tree as well as a Ramen bus. The first one to figure out what the other picture is gets a cookie.

Yesterday we went to Stake Conference. This time it was one of the broadcasts from Salt Lake to all of Japan. Before they started the broadcast they mentioned there was a room to watch it in English. Figuring I'd rather here it direct without a translation in English we went to that room. Unfortunately it was full and we missed most of the first talk before they got another room set up. Elder Evans, the former North Asia Area President, was one of the speakers. He spoke in Japanese so we ended up hearing a translation to English... He spoke about the importance of deciding to serve a mission and shared some personal experiences. He also showed a video of a group of Japanese missionaries in the MTC right now. It was pretty interesting. One of the Japanese Elders said 'The best thing about the cafeteria is that you can drink all you want... And you can eat all you want... And you eat all the ice cream you want on Sunday and Wednesday. I really like ice cream. I love ice cream.' I think that made everyone laugh.

This morning I was writing down the words to the hymn 'Love at Home' in my planner so I could memorize it. I was just about done when I thought I saw something move out of the corner of my eye on my desk. I dismissed it but imagined how bad it would be if there were a cockroach on my desk... A moment later a cockroach skirted out from under my hymn book and down the side of my desk.. It got out of my sight and I couldn't find it. After study I cleaned my whole desk out and wiped it all down but didn't find it. Still I imagine it's less likely to come back to a clean desk than one that's covered with dust bunnies along the back.

I went on an exchange to Awaji, the island in our mission, again. When we got there on the way to the apartment I saw a big snake crawl into some bushes by the sidewalk, I got the feeling it wasn't a friendly snake. This time I was with Elder Matsuoka, a Japanese Elder. We had a pretty good exchange together and were able to see some success. They're doing well down there.

Well I hope you have a great week,
Elder Andrew West.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Our Man in Japan

Dear Family,

I hope things are going well for all of you. This past week was pretty good. The main thing of note was probably Lu's baptism. I think I mentioned him in my last email but he's a 25 year-old from Vietnam. He's been in Japan for a year and a half and has another year and a half to go. We started teaching him a little after I got here around May 22 and he's come to church every week since, twice in the rain. Fortunately we were able to find a Vietnamese Book of Mormon in our apartment and an old 1980 Vietnamese Gospel Principles book in the church library. He's really doing well and it's been great meeting with him. I look forward to continuing to meet with him from now on. He's pretty Tech-savy so I'll probably keep in touch with him on skype or messenger after going home.

Here's a simple translation of his testimony after being baptized. He's really trying hard with Japanese.

`Hello everyone. I've been in Japan for 1 year and 4 months. I still don't understand much Japanese so if I mess up please let me know.
I'm happy that everyone came here today. Today is the day I received baptism.
I'm very happy because through baptism my past sins have been forgiven by God.
Now I have a new life again. So following in God's way and so so I don't waste the things everyone has taught me from now on I'm going to do a lot of good things. I will follow the Lord's commandments.
(He read the 10 commandments here)
Besides these there's also some other various things but I'm going to do my best.
Next so everyone knows a little about me I'd like to introduce myself. I came to Japan last year on February 19th. I'm working here with the goal of helping my family and my future. Now I have another family, that family is all of you. I'm really happy.
I have 3 years to work here in Japan. After 1 year and 8 months I go back home. When I first came to Japan and lived in Kobe this lifestyle and environment was very interesting, big roads and lots of cars with beautiful scenery and good weather. There's lot's of places I want to visit.
However, after living here for a year I wanted to return to Vietnam but I had to continue working. But now I've gotten used to it and don't want to go home(early). So now with my remaining days here I'll work, study, I'll especially study Japanese, and want to talk with everyone more.
I want everyone to teach me. Please.
I say and testify of these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.`

He's a wonderful person.

As far as going to Hiroshima goes, the chances are slim. I probably won't transfer again.

Elder West

PS Tell Jordan I'd be happy to room with him.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Our Man in Japan

Dear family,

Sorry about forgetting to send my email last week. I wrote it and then saved it in case I thought of anything else to write before getting off, and well...

These past couple weeks we've been having a lot of lessons with investigators and it's been good. I really feel like the Lord continues to bless us. It's not necessarily that we're working a lot harder than before, because the mission has been working hard the whole time I've been out here. But the Lord blesses us more and more as we prepare and increase our faith so we can receive his blessings and guidance.

I mentioned we've been working with a Vietnamese guy these past few weeks. Right now the baptismal service is scheduled for this Saturday at 3 PM. We're not quite done teaching him all the lessons, but I think everything will work out in time. On Saturday we taught him about tithing and the Word of Wisdom, mostly out of an old Gospel Principles book. We had him list up the things we're told not to partake of on the whiteboard and asked him if he had any difficulties with any of them. He said he used to drink alcohol at parties with friends before coming to Japan, but he's stopped that. He doesn't like the taste of coffee. Tea makes him sleepy. And he fully understands the dangers of misusing medicine or illegal drugs.

Yesterday my companion almost got hit by a car. We were riding our bikes along and went behind a car that was sticking out a little without the driver looking in our direction. My companion remarked on how it's dangerous to go in front of cars like that. Less than a minute later we came across another car where the driver wasn't looking in our direction. We both noticed it but... anyways the driver only bumped my companion a little bit, he didn't fall down fortunately. The lady driving was really surprised and worried but my companion was fine so after accepting a couple little bandaids I gave her a little flyer for our English class, maybe she'll come. I know I've sent one of those flyers home before, but I really like them because they introduce who we are, what we're doing, and a little bit about our message. I think the Spirit probably warned us through my companion to be careful but we didn't really think about it.

You asked how many people attend the branch here in Miki, I think it's around 20. If we bring some people with us it goes up a lot.

Elder Andrew West

Our Man in Japan

Dear Family,

It sounds like you're all doing well still. Things are going well here in Miki (The area I'm in right now). We're seeing a lot of success and it's really exciting.

Have you ever seen a popcorn vending machine? I hadn't until last week. Maybe if I go there again I'll get some popcorn.

This past week we've been pretty busy. Our schedule has been somewhat full, which I'm always happy about. We're still working with Lu, he's a great person. He struggles to communicate in Japanese but he's really able to understand and comprehend things well. He's a very thoughtful and nice guy.

I think next week's email will be a short one. We might head over to Osaka next week for preparation day. I might see about picking up some souvenirs if I see anything worth buying and bringing home. We'll see... let me know if there's anything you want. If not I'll probably end up just buying books.

Elder West

Friday, June 4, 2010

It's A Girl!

Happy Birthday Stephanie!  On this day way back in 1983, our one and only daughter was born.  I like to say that we must have gotten girls right the first time, since that's all we got...and she is "practically perfect in every way" (thank you Mary Poppins).

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Road Trip

Last week, Keira and I took a road trip to Idaho.  We stayed with Nathan and Rebekah (thank you very much) and crammed as much visiting with Marcy in as we could.  I wish I had been able to take a few more pictures, but my camera decided to quit working on Saturday morning.  Keira's camera lasted until Sunday afternoon - when it decided to go swimming in the headwaters of......well, that's her story - so I'll leave it for her to tell.

On Saturday we all (including Marcy's husdand Wynn), went over to Jackson Hole, Wyoming...where I proceeded to fall in love...with cowboy music.  We had dinner at the Bar J Chuckwagon - which has an incredibly fun show.  I'd like to go back with Steve when we're out there in August (yes, we'll be going back to Idaho in August).  Maybe Marcy and Wynn can come again too...I'll keep my eye out for a Dolly Parton wig for Marcy - I mean, if you've got to wear a wig at a cowboy show, a Dolly Parton style wouldn't be out of place.  Or maybe a cowboy hat?  Whaddya say, Marcy?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Our Man in Japan

Dear family,

I'm enjoying it here in Miki. It's a little more urban than Shingu but not that much. There are a lot of farms here. Shingu had more forest and natural scenery. This past week has been good. I'm getting knowing the area better, the members, and investigators. On Saturday we met with a Vietnamese guy for a lesson. It was pretty good. He doesn't speak English and his Japanese isn't fluent, he came to Japan a year ago. We were going to watch the Restoration video with him in Vietnamese, and then realized there's not a Vietnamese version yet. Still it was good and we invited him to church. He came for Sacrament Meeting yesterday, he rode his bike there through the pouring rain. I hope he understood it somewhat and was able to feel the Spirit.

I really don't have much to say this week. It was raining really hard this morning, but fortunately it lightened up by the time we left to do e-mail.

Well that's all for this week. You take care of yourselves.

Elder Andrew West.

Monday, May 17, 2010

A Case of the Shingles

A couple of months ago, Steve and Alex were up on the roof - pruning the large tree that was rubbing against our house.  We knew then that a little roof maintenance was in order.  Just a little.

A couple of weeks ago we had a wind storm and afterwards starting finding shingles in our yard...several shingles.  Great.  Now we really needed to get up there and do something about it, so, Saturday evening (I'd like to say afternoon, but it was later than that) the guys got back up on the roof...this time armed with tarpaper, shingles and roofing nails.  Now for some good news/bad news.  Turns out the shingles in our yard weren't ours.  They belonged to our next door neighbors - but hey, now that minor roof repair job is done AND we have the supplies to replace quite a few shingles, if needed. 

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Our Man in Japan gets a Transfer

I love, love, love Google Maps.  It only takes a few seconds to look up where our boy has moved to.