Monday, August 25, 2008


A face only a mother can love?  I don't think so.  I know Dustin is loved by everyone that knows him.  It does make me hurt to see his adorable face all beat up like this though.  Who would have guessed that I would be the mother of an Ultimate fighter?  Not me.

Dad and I leave early Tuesday morning for St. Petersburg for our MPS. I won't be here on Wednesday the 27th to do a birthday blog for Dustin so I'm doing it tonight. We were so excited  when we found out that we were going to have our first baby. We didn't care that we had only been married one month when I got pregnant and we anxiously looked forward to the day our baby would arrive.  Back then we didn't know if we were going to have a boy or a girl. What a special day August 27, 1972 was for us when our best big boy arrived.  Even though it has been 36 years ago I still remember every detail about that day.  Dustin wasn't an easy guy to give birth to--the doctor finally had to pretty much yank him out with forceps.  His poor nose and face were all swollen like he had been in a fight.  (I guess I should have known right off the bat that he was going to end up being a fighter) and the top of his head had a big scratch where the forceps scraped it.  But of course he was a beautiful sight to me and Dad and he has been a joy and a huge blessing in our lives ever since.  Dustin we are so proud of the good man that you are.  You have many noble characteristics and traits.  You are a hard worker, kind and caring, disciplined, loving, forgiving, and a sweetheart son, husband, brother, uncle and father.  We're so glad you are our firstborn and that you belong to us forever.  Happy birthday.  We miss you so much and we love you tons.
Special birthday hugs and kisses coming your way
Mom & Dad

p.s.  We'll be back from our MPS on Thursday night.  We'll have our cell phones if you need us.  We love and miss you all.  oxoxoxo

Saturday, August 23, 2008


We are so grateful for our missionaries.  They really are the best.  Our AP's, Elder Salinas and Elder Despain held down the fort for us while we went to Madrid to get our new visas.  There were no problems while we were gone thank goodness.  We are so blessed.

Dad realized that he didn't have enough pages in his passport to get his new visa, so as soon as we arrived in Madrid we got a taxi and headed to the US Embassy.  Needless to say, my heart started racing and my eyes were tearing up when I saw the beautiful American flag waving above the Embassy.  I am so proud to be an American and I miss the good ole U S of A so much.

This is the metro stop that was closest to our hotel.  We had a great hotel in a great location.

"I Love To See The Temple"  Isn't it beautiful?  Corina and I went through this Temple a few years ago.  It is always nice to be able to go through the Temple.  I've learned a lot over the years since we moved from AZ and a huge appreciation for a Temple nearby is just one of the things I've learned.  I certainly do not take that for granted.

I am the lucky ducky to have your Dad and PaPa as my eternal companion.  He is amazing.   Being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is truly a miracle in my life and along with that membership comes a more abundant life and exquisite joy.  Being sealed to each one of you and being together forever as a family is the best blessing ever.  We are all lucky duckies aren't we?  Remember NOM!  ILYT oxoxo


Mark would be so jealous if he knew that Dad and I hopped on a fast speed train in Madrid and ended up in Sevilla where he served his mission.  It was a fun-filled day and even though it was hot enough to be AZ we loved exploring and eating hagen-daz ice cream in Sevilla.

I got me another metal replica of the bell tower--La Giralda--to go along with my many other ones that remind of how blessed I am to have been able to travel so much.

Plenty of fans to choose from.  I  got a pretty hand-painted one that has already come in handy when those dreadful hot flashes attack me.  I'm pretty sure I know which fan Lily would choose.

These horse carriages were all over the place.  Taking tourists to see the sights.  The drivers were so proud of their carriages and would clean them up while they were waiting.  This little man was polishing the little lamp.  So cute.

The next time we go to Sevilla, I want to stay here.  I really like this hotel.  


The cute little patio restaurant where we had lunch.

I love gazpacho soup.  I've never had it served to me in a glass with ice cubes.  It sure was yummy.  So were the olives.

This is my lunch--a tortilla with potatoes.  The Spanish tortilla is pretty much an omelet.  The jamon (spanish ham) inside the tortilla sure was delish.

Dad had fish.  It was tasty too.  It was fresh and the breading was crispy.

The streets in the Santa Cruz Quarters reminded me a lot of Venice.  There were a lot of nice little plaza's with trees where we sat and observed.  Isn't this little senora cute?

I love the spanish architecture.  I also like this vintage looking Spanish flag.

You all know how much I love listening to the spanish guitar.  This guy was really good.

Too bad we weren't in Sevilla overnight or we could have gone to a Flemenco dance program.  I have some fun memories of Trace and I going to one when we met in Madrid.  OOOOPA!  Only Trace will get that inside joke.


Of course we walked to the top of La Giralda.  We had a beautiful panoramic view of Sevilla.

The bells decided to ring while we were up there.  Muchas loud!

We zoomed in on Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza.  The bull fighting arena.

Did you know that gargoyles are placed around cathedrals to scare away the evil spirits?  We got some good pictures of lots of gargoyles on our way down.

He is my favorite.  SCARY!!!   I'll spare you the pictures of 10 other ones.


This is Christopher Columbus' tomb.  The four heralds carrying his coffin represent the kingdoms of Castile, Leon, Aragon and Navarre.
This cathedral is pretty impressive.  It is the largest Gothic temple in the world and the third largest of the Christian world.  We were surprised to find out that the mortal remains of Christopher Columbus are inside this cathedral.  He died in Santiago, Dominican Republic and was first buried there, then they took his remains to Cuba for several years and then he ended up in the Cathedral of Sevilla.  La Giralda is the name of the bell tower.   It was built between 1184 and 1198.  There is a huge weather vane with the shape of a woman on top of the tower.  She is known as The Giant and really represents the triumph of faith.

Monday, August 18, 2008


The Flakes left for CA  today.  Even though I know the whole time they are here that they have to leave and go back home it is still the hardest thing ever when it comes time for them to go.  I already miss Jane's snuggling on my shoulder and her patting my back, Porter holding my hand as we walked all over Moscow, and Lily getting her make-up on every morning with me.  Of course it was heaven having my Angel Daughter here to talk to and hang out with 24/7 and Matt always makes a fun time even more fun.  I'm so glad they came to visit and that I have lots of wonderful memories to get me through until I see them again.  I have more pictures that I'll post after we get back from our Madrid visa trip---Oh I almost forgot--Dad and I are leaving EARLY in the morning for Madrid to get new Russian visas.  We will be back on Friday night.  We will have our cell phones and Dad's computer--feel free to email me.  I'll be checking my emails on a regular basis.  Thank you Flakes for coming and visiting us.  We loved every minute of it and we are missing you like crazy already.  It's way too quiet in this apartment.  
ILYT sweet kids and kiddies of mine!


Carter is 3 years old!  It seems like forever since we have seen this little guy.  I love getting pictures of him and seeing how much he has grown up since we left.  It seems like to me that he loves all of the things that his Daddy loved when he was a little boy and still does.  We just got two new pictures of him on motorcycles and he is so adorable.  He is so sweet and is the perfect big brother for Sawyer.  Happy Birthday Carter.  We are so glad you were born into our family 3 years ago.  You bring us much love and joy.  We love you tons and we miss you like crazy.
Hugs & Kisses
MeMa and PaPa

Sunday, August 17, 2008


The Tank is a one year old now.  I can't believe I haven't even met him yet and he is already ONE.  I sure do think he is adorable.  I LOVE his dimples and his stinkin' cute smiling face.  I've heard his laugh on the phone and every time I do it makes me laugh.  Everyone in the family tells me that he is one sweet, easy going guy with a fun loving personality.  I know that we are blessed to have him in our family.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY JUDE!!!  We love you tons and can't wait until we can meet you, hug you and kiss on you.  At least you will still be one when that happens.  
MeMa and PaPa

Monday, August 11, 2008


Hip Hip Horray----today is Rhett's birthday.  What an adorable little Buddy he is.  He has such a contagious grin that lights up his whole face.  I love this picture of him and Lily holding hands.  Such a ladies' man.  It was so much fun to having him here in Moscow for too short of a visit.  He and Dodge are such best friends and he definitely looks out for his little brother.  We are so glad he was born 4 years ago.  We miss you Rhett and we love you tons.  Have your best birthday yet.  Happy Birthday.
MeMa & PaPa