Friday, May 30, 2008


I know this is early but we will be in Voronezh tomorrow (see post below).  So Happy Birthday to you Ned and also a late congratulations on graduating---WITH HONORS EVEN.  You are a smarty pants.  We are proud of you.  We hope your birthday is the best one yet.  We are so glad you were born 32 years ago and that you are part of our family today.  We love you!


This is a picture of our building in Voronezh with Elder & Sister Paul standing in front of it.  Isn't it cool?  We are leaving this afternoon to fly to Voronezh for a City Conference this weekend and then our Zone Conference on Monday.  That means lots of talks for both of us.  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.  We will be back on Monday night.  You know I'll miss you even more while I'm away from the apartment, phone, & computer.  ILYT oxoxox

Thursday, May 29, 2008


34 years ago our first baby girl was born.  That was a joyous occasion for us FOR SURE.  From that day on she has always been our favorite oldest daughter.  She has made our good times the best with her craziness and fun and yet she is a great example of a righteous woman too.  She is very self disciplined and works hard at being in shape.  She be lookin' good.  We love you.   Who doesn't love Amy?  Who knows there may be a show called "Everyone Loves Amy".   Happy Birthday.  We are so glad you were born to us--fat, squishy, kissable cheeks and all.  Hugs & Kisses to you!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


We just walked into the apartment from Paris.  I wanted to get this birthday post done for our son-in-lark before the day is over in NYC.  I'm full of Paris right now so thought this picture of our cute Janjue in Paris would be an appropriate one for his birthday.  So how was your day off from work on your birthday?  How fun to have Jono, Shelly, Carter, and Sawyer there too.  We are so glad you didn't give up on us Collins' as in-laws when you asked  Ashly to marry you at the beach.  We think you are wonderful and we are blessed to have you in our family.  You head up the language department in our family for sure and the gymnastics too I shant forget about that among a host of other entertaining things you are famous for.  Happy day to you!  We love you tons!  You are MANIFIQUE!!!!!
Good night and good luck!

Friday, May 23, 2008


Annie isn't the only one that loves her Daddy.  We all love him too---(being a NDD doesn't matter).  Hope you have a great day Jackson.  What could be more great than going to the Larson Reunion?  You really don't need to answer that.  We'll be thinking about you all day.  We are glad you were born 36 years ago and that you are in our family today!  Happy Birthday!!!
We Love You


Dad and I are leaving EARLY (5:15) in the morning for Paris.  We HAVE to go and get new visas so that we can stay in Russia legally for another 3 months.  I certainly can think of many worse places to go.  I'm almost feeling guilty (almost) about being so excited about being in Paris again. Just thinking about our at least once a day stop at Jean-Paul Hevin Chocolate Shop, Bo-Finger, crepes, french bread and the flea market gets me more excited by the minute.  We will be back Tuesday night.  I hope everyone has a wonderful but so safe holiday weekend.  I know the Collins' and the Larks are partying it up in NYC--the Skousens and the Opfels will be hanging out with all those crazy Larsons at the reunion.  What are the Flakes and the other Collins' doing?  Hey--even though we will be in Paris eating ourselves sick---we will still miss you.  ILYT oxoxoxo

Life's A Bowl Of Cherries

Dad came upstairs Wednesday evening wanting to walk over to the stadium near our apt.  WHY? Because the big game was happening.  Chelsea and Manchester United were playing for the Championship League Final.  Moscow had been hyped for months for the big game.  They even laid out a pitch on Red Square and had all sorts of soccer things going on.  So Dad and I took off on our walk and there was lots of excitement in the air with all of the British fans that were here to cheer on their teams.  We confidently walked towards the stadium when we were stopped by a line of about 100 Russian policemen.  We had to have a ticket to the game to go any further.  Dang it.  We wanted to buy a soccer scarf for Andrew.  Oh well--good intentions.  So we took some pictures of the banners and the million tow trucks making millions of rubles by towing off all of the millions of illegally parked cars and started walking back to the apt.  BUT we stopped at our neighborhood rinok and bought some delicious cherries.  YUM!  That little outing was well worth the effort--even in the rain.

Monday, May 19, 2008


We had our Moscow District Conference this weekend.  Dad had leadership meetings all afternoon on Saturday and then we had the adult meeting on Sat. night.  Dad gave an amazing talk.  He always does.

Sunday morning I was sitting on the stand going over my notes for my talk before the meeting started and Dad was running around making sure everything was good to go.  He was talking to one of the counselors in the District Pres. and turned to me and asked me what Elder Christoffersen's first name was.  It is weird because there are a lot of missionaries that I don't know their first names because we never know them to begin with--they are all Elders or Sisters to us.  Elder Pringle was walking by and he had been Elder Christoffersen's companion so I suggested to Dad that he ask him.  He did and found out that his first name is Eric. Problem solved. 

It wasn't until they were reading over the pulpit the names of the Quorom of the Twelve for the audience to sustain and I heard with a Russian accent, Elder Eric Christoffersen, that I realized which Elder Christoffersen he was talking about.  He wanted to know Elder Christoffersen---our newest Apostle's--first name. Which by the way is D. Todd.  So our missionary got sustained in our District Conference as an Apostle.  Dad and I got a good laugh. Our  Elder Christoffersen  doesn't understand Russian--he is still clueless.

WOOHOO--DUSTIN WON!  I may be crazy, but I can't help it--I get so nervous when I know my big boy has a fight.  The first thing I wanted when I woke up early Sunday morning was to know how the fight went.  I called Mrs. Demon, no answer.  I called Amy, no answer.  I called Ned and he said that Dustin had won his first submission fight.  (what the heck is a submission fight?? I have since found out.  I'm still new at being a fighter's Mom)  It was fun to talk to Dustin later and get all of the details.  Obviously he is good at this stuff.  That makes me think he isn't going to retire before I get home like he said he was.  I think I need some vicodin. The Russian Apteka might have some for cheap.  Good job--we are proud of you son--you are the champ.  I thanked Heavenly Father profusely for your safety and protection.  

Our weekend started out with sending two of my marvelous missionaries home early Fri. morning. Sister Collins really has a hard time with this part of her calling.  She gets quite emotional.  We had a nice speghetti dinner Thursday night with our APs.  We always end the evening with a testimony meeting.  Sister Gunderson and Elder Sinyakov both bore great testimonies.  They were perfect examples of "finishing the race" of their mission by working diligently to the end.  I'm going to miss them. Sister Gunderson had a sleep over here because she had to go to the airport with Elder Sinyakov and he had an early flight.  Now that Elder Sinyakov is gone we have no Russian elders in our mission.  Sad for us.

Monday, May 12, 2008


Paige you are such a sweet as HONEY GIRL.  You are always looking out for your brothers and take good care of them.  Being the only girl in your family makes your Daddy so happy.  You sing and dance adorably and you are so smart.  We are so glad you were born 6 years ago into our family.  You are a delight and a joy in every way.  Happy Birthday.  Have fun at Quiznos and Hollywood Connection.  Wish we could be there to celebrate you!  We love you tons!!               Hugs and Kisses to you!  
MeMa & PaPa 

Saturday, May 10, 2008


"All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel Mother".  Abraham Lincoln

"My Mom is a never ending song in my heart of comfort, happiness, and being.
I may sometimes forget the words, but I always remember the tune".  Gracie Harmon

Hundreds of dewdrops to greet the dawn,
Hundreds of bees in the purple clover,
Hundreds of butterflies on the lawn,
But only one mother the wide world over.  George Cooper

Happy Mothers' Day Mom--there are hundreds of reasons why I love you.  There are hundreds of reasons why I thank my Heavenly Father every day for you.  There are hundreds of reasons why I think I have the best Mom in the world.  With only one mother the wide world over there are hundreds of reasons why I am overjoyed that you are mine. You are simply the BEST!  You will be in my thoughts and in my heart all day long.

  Hugs & Kisses to you Mom!  

Friday, May 9, 2008


Natalie, Amy, Erin, Brooke, Shelly and Ashly---Happy Mothers' Day to you.  I am so grateful for the amazing moms you are to my precious kiddies.  They are the lucky duckies to have you to teach them, to play with them, to nurture them, and to love them to pieces.  I hope you are treated royally on the day that your children celebrate you as their Moms. I know I will be celebrating you too.  I love you tons. oxoxox

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Just thought I would share some of the things Dad and I have been up to this last week.  
Sweet Sister Abram made a birthday cake for me.  She and her husband are the Office couple and will be going home in a couple of weeks with no one to take their place.  BooHoo. 
Sveta, (cleaning lady)  E. Abram, E. Lundquist, S. Abram, E. Salinas, S. Aidarbekava
We had Irina and her sweet little girl Masha over for dinner and FHE.  They are a referral from Bishop Chuck Flake.  They have been going to his ward in CA and are only here visiting her family until June.  They are being taught by Elder Hiatt and Elder Pollard

Elder Lamb's birthday was Mon., so we had a combined Cinco de Mayo/Birthday dinner.
E. Salinas, E. Ellsworth, E. Lamb, and E. Lundquist

Don't these Elders and their President look like the newsies???  ADORABLE!
E. Salinas, Dad (aka my boyfriend), E. Lundquist

Friday, May 2, 2008


Dodge, D's, My Lil' Dude--is two years old today.  I remember being at the MTC when he was born and hurrying to the hospital after class to see him.  He is such a sweet little guy--so laid back and always willing to give hugs and kisses--AND he is just plain adorable in every way.  Happy Birthday Dodge.  We are so glad you are in our family.  We love reflecting on our good times with you here in Moscow.  We hope you have the best birthday yet.  We love you tons!  oxoxoxoxoxox
PaPa & MeMa