Sunday, May 31, 2009


Today is Ned's birthday.  Erin is at girls' camp so for his birthday Ned gets to get all the kids ready and be at church at 8:00 a.m.  This will probably be a birthday he never forgets.  Izzy and Briley are suppose to give him the great birthday gift of helping the best they can.  I know they can do it--I hope they do.  Happy Birthday Ned.  We love you and hope you know that.   We are  so grateful you are in our family.  Best Birthday wishes! 

Friday, May 29, 2009


 Heavenly Father loves our family---one of the reasons I know this is because 35 years ago He sent our Amy to us.  What a joy my Sweetcheeks is to all of us.  She is a great example of righteousness and serving others.  She has a ton of self control and determination--that girl can run and workout like crazy.  She is hilarious and fun to be around.  She has a talent for making people laugh and for saying bold things without offending people.  Happy Birthday!  I hope you feel loved on your special day and that it is full of fun!  We love you TONS!
Hugs & Kisses

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


                        This year's cake will require a few more candles, but he is still as cute as ever!

He's been my best and most patient computer instructor ever.  Always so kind to me even when he knows he is working with a computer illiterate.

            How cute is this picture of Andrew dancing with Bennett? (aka his Daddy's clone)

Happy Birthday Andrew--27 on the 27th- -this is a great year for you.  We hope you have the best birthday yet.  We've celebrated your birthday today in big style--we welcomed 9 new missionaries this morning.  We love you son-in-law-Lark!!!   Ashly knew what she was doing when she convinced you to marry her.  Our family is better because you are in it--and a lot more fun.   Have a wonderful day.  

Friday, May 22, 2009


Another early birthday post because Dad and I are leaving early in the morning for Belarus.  Tomorrow--Saturday the 23rd of May--is this crazy nut's birthday.  Those Skousen girls ought to be great divers--I mean both of their parents are right?  We hope your birthday is the best yet.  37 years old?  Wowzers.  We're so glad Amy talked you into marrying her.  We love you tons.  We'll be thinking about you while we are in Minsk.  I'm sure your girls will treat you right.  Happy Birthday.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Our zone conference in Almaty, Kazakhstan.  Elders:  Harker, Brandenburg, Despain, McKay, and Welling.  Sisters:  Jenson, Smith and Welling.  The Wellings are the only members in Astana, Kazkhstan.  They go home soon.  Wonderful-outstanding missionaries--all of them.

When our plane was landing in Almaty, I could tell that Spring had come--way ahead of Moscow. It was so green.  I loved all of the tulips that were in bloom throughout the city.

I love the lilacs too.  Every time we walked by a tree in bloom I had to go over and get a whif of that wonderful fragance.  I picked a couple blossoms and sniffed on them the whole way back to our hotel.  All of the lilacs reminded me of Massena and Budapest.

Do you know how long it has been since I've seen a mountain?  These mountains are beautiful even though the polluted air in Almaty make it impossible to see them a lot of the time.

Last night was our dinner and testimony meeting with our AP's Elders Cannon and Russell and our departing Elder Kurth (Peoria, Illinois).  When Dad asked Elder Kurth what he wanted to eat he requested Mexican food.  So we had a Farewell Fiesta with enchiladas, nachos, and homemade refried beans.  YUM!  Now, our Elder Kurth is flying home.  I miss that sweet missionary already.

Monday, May 11, 2009


I know Paige's birthday isn't until tomorrow on the 12th, but Dad and I will be out of town.  Better early than late.  So HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my sweeter than honey girl.  I can always count on a phone call from her and Bryce from their school on Grandparents' day.  Paige is great at being thoughtful and sharing her love.  She is a great little dancer and 2nd in charge mom for her brothers.  She is a great student and loves to have fun.  Her Grampa Larson sure would have been proud to see her ride that bull.  We are so glad you were born into our family 7 years ago Paige.  You certainly have blessed us all.  We hope you have a wonderful birthday.  We will be thinking about you, missing you and loving you.  We love you tons!
Hugs & Kisses
MeMa and PaPa 

Sunday, May 10, 2009


BECAUSE...I have such a great sweetheart Mom.  She is the best--I love her with all my heart.  Happy Mothers Day Mom.

AND BECAUSE these kiddies of mine have a great Mommy... 
AND BECAUSE these kiddies of mine have a great Mommy...
AND BECAUSE these kiddies of mine have a great Mommy...
AND BECAUSE these kiddies of mine have a great Mommy...
AND BECAUSE these kiddies of mine have a great Mommy...
AND BECAUSE these kiddies of mine have a great Mommy too....
Heavenly Father sure blessed all of my kiddies with Moms that love them and would do anything in the whole world for them.  They are great examples of righteousness and are doing a great job of teaching their precious children to live the Gospel too.  It makes me feel so good to see my family "walk uprightly before the Lord."  We are becoming an eternal family--that's what this life is all about.  Yessiree--I'm the lucky ducky for sure.  Happy Mothers' Day Natalie, Amy, Erin, Brooke, Shelly, and Ashly---I love you girls.  Thank you for being the best Mothers my kiddies could ever have.  

Friday, May 8, 2009


Our zone conference in Moscow was on my birthday.  I made cupcakes for everyone to celebrate.  Look at this bunch of marvelous missionaries.  I am so blessed.

My missionaries gave me these beautiful flowers and sang happy birthday to me.  They made me feel loved.

                     Last night we had our farewell dinner and testimony meeting with these Elders.  This group really made me proud.  They ate a lot--just like Elders are suppose to do.  

Elder Blatter (Riverton, UT) and Elder Geels (Lehi, UT) left for home this morning.  Saying good-bye---it really stinks.  I miss them already.

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Our first ZC this round was held with our South Zone in Voronezh.  Because I was the only Sister in the group I felt outnumbered, but because of being raised with 10 brothers, I felt very at home.  Back:  Elder Russell (AP), Elder Madsen, Elder Whitney, Elder Vernon, Elder Cannon(AP)   Front:  Elder Woodland, Elder Worthington, Elder Aitken, Elder Kurth, Elder Westbroek

We arrived in Voronezh early to spend their P-Day with them. After a delicious pancake breakfast (President Collins was the cook of course)  Dad let Elder Vernon whip him in ping pong.   Elder Whitney whipped him too.  

                                                   Elder Kurth practicing on his newly purchased harmonica.

The Voronezh building is the only building in all of Russia that has a sports court.  The Elders love it.

  The fun and games happened on Thursday.  Friday was our uplifting, spiritually fed Zone Conference.  It was great.  Aren't they cute?  I HEART my missionaries!

Sunday, May 3, 2009


We just got back from Kazakhstan and it's late, but I'm not going to bed until I do a birthday post for my Lil' Dude Dodge.  Remember when we were at Thanksgiving Point taking pictures of the family before we left on our mission?  Remember how tiny Dodge was back then?  He was a newborn and today he is 3 years old.  Dad and I were at the MTC learning Russian and we got the call from Dustin that Dodge was born.  We cut class early and rushed over to the American Fork Hospital to see him.  What a beautiful baby boy he was.  What an adorable 3 year old he is.  He has such a cute personality and I love watching my video of him reading his book before bed.  He is a smarty pants too.  I couldn't help but include two pictures of he and his "conjoined twin" as Natalie calls them.  Those two are something else.  Two happy campers thats for sure.  Happy Birthday Dodge.  We are so glad you were born 3 years ago into our family.  You have brought us all much joy and love.  We love you tons and we miss you like crazy.  
Hugs & Kisses
MeMa & PaPa