This weekend we went camping in American Fork Canyon with Mandie’s family. Dimitri was in heaven the whole time. Dirt, cousins to play with, treats, and staying up late- can life get better than that for a toddler?
Adam loves to mountain bike and got to go on a ride with Joe and Curtiss (our brothers-in-law) while we were camping. As you can see, Dimitri is excited to follow in his dad’s footsteps. This is my sister, his Aunt Linda helping him learn the ropes.
My family goes on a camping trip every summer but we haven’t always been able to make it because of work or other scheduling conflicts. We are glad we got the chance to go this year. It’s nice to have time away from everyday life to spend together and be in nature.
At the end of the month, we will be camping again, this time with Dimitri’s birth mom and her family. We’ve done this every year since we met Kasi, even the summer when she was pregnant with Dimitri. I love for Dimitri and Kasi to get to spend some time together and for us to get to know her and her family better.
Do you like camping? What kinds of things do you love to do every summer?
I know it’s not Thursday, but I missed my post this week because we were gone camping. Better late than never, right? And I promised to post something about Adam’s mission, so here it is.
A throwback to Adam’s Mission. He served in the Dominican Republic and learned to speak Spanish, which he still speaks well to this day. Adam loved learning about a new culture and really made an effort to get to know and understand the people he worked with and taught. Just like I did. he had experiences that prepared him for life and made friends he will have forever. In fact, the people that Adam and I consider our closest friends are people we met on our missions.
Very few of Adam’s mission pictures are in digital form, so this is the only one I have to post for now. I spent a lot of time converting my mission pictures from hard copies and negatives to digital files, and it’s on my to-do list to do the same thing with all of Adam’s pictures. I guess we’re aging ourselves by revealing that we didn’t have digital cameras when we were on missions. Ha. If I get some of his pictures converted soon I will post more of them.
This was a long time ago! In 2003 and 2004, I served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I served in Athens, Greece. It was an amazing experience; something that I’ll never regret and still think about often.
Sometimes when I tell people that my mission was in Greece, they make comments or imply that it must have been more of a vacation than a church assignment. But actually, no matter what part of the world a missionary serves in, their schedule and expectations are very similar. I was doing the same types of things in Athens as another missionary serving in Norway, Africa, or Kentucky would be doing. It was just a lucky coincidence that when I walked from one appointment, service project or church meeting to another, I had a view like this.
On my mission, I learned so much about myself and about my relationship with God and Jesus Christ. I learned how to work hard. I learned how important it is to think of others before myself. I learned to communicate with others and how to resolve disagreements without being disagreeable. I got to learn a new language and all about a new culture. I I made friends that I will have for life. I’m so grateful for the way my mission shaped me and helped me become a better person.
Next, I’ll have to do a “Throwback Thursday” to Adam’s mission. He served in the Dominican Republic.
Hooray for warm weather! And hooray for the splash pad right next to our house being open! Last year we went to a few splash pads and Dimitri was pretty hesitant about getting wet. Well, what a difference a year makes, because now Dimitri is all about the water! We went to the park a few days before the splash pad was officially supposed to open. There were some city workers there testing the water, so Dimitri and his cute new friend got to be the first kids to try it out.
We went back a few days later when it was officially open.
I think we’ll be spending a lot of time here this summer! What are some of your favorite things to do when it’s hot outside?
I love reading. A few months ago I was realizing that I don’t read as much as I used to. I think when life is busy it’s one of those things that falls by the wayside. At least for me. Anyway, I decided that I needed to start reading again. I made a list of books that I wanted to read and told myself I’d read a few of them each month. My list is about 200 books long now, and even though it might take a while, I plan to read all of them. I thought that posting an informal book review on here would help me stay committed to my goal of reading.
I have my long list of books organized by category. I have plans to read some fun novels, biographies, books about health and medicine, self-help books, and more. Some of the books I’m most excited to read are:
Luther’s Fortress: This is about Martin Luther and his reformation. I have always been interested in Martin Luther and have always wanted to learn more about him, but have never really taken the time to. So now I am going to.
Hidden Figures: This one caught my eye because it is now a movie. It looks fascinating and seems like a part of history that really needed to be told. I haven’t seen the movie yet because I’m waiting until I read the book.
Jane Eyre: I read this in about 8th grade but have not read it since. I decided I needed to add some classic books to my list.
These types of books are some of my favorites to read. I love gaining new perspectives and realizing that the way I think about something is not necessarily the best way or the only way to do things. Not just about parenting or raising kids, but about life in general. I was reading another parenting book a while back called Parenting without Borders, and somebody who saw that I was reading it made a comment about how parenting should come naturally and she feels bad for people who feel that they have to read books to learn how to raise their child. While I think it’s fine to rely on your instincts and intuition to raise your child (and I definitely do that), I guess I had never thought that I “need” these books to know what to do for Dimitri. I just like to think about things in a new light and be armed with as much information as I can.
I’m excited to start reading more and to share my thoughts about all these books with you!
What are some of your favorite books? Do you have a list of books to read? I’d love to hear what’s on it!
I just realized it’s Friday, so I missed my “Throwback Thursday” post yesterday. Oops. But that’s okay, because all week I’ve been wanting to post about Mother’s Day, and specifically about our Kasi. So I’ll do that instead.
Kasi is Dimitri’s birthmother. We cannot express how much we love her or how grateful we are for her. It is such an amazing blessing that we get to be a part of each other’s lives and that Dimitri gets to grow up knowing her.
If you haven’t already heard the story of when Kasi asked us to adopt Dimitri, you can read it here.
We have been able to visit with Kasi several times since Dimitri was born. The pictures above are from the first time we went to see her after Dimitri was born. We also stay in touch through text and Facebook, and we video chat most holidays. This year, when we talked on Mother’s Day, it was the first time Dimitri seemed to really know who Kasi was. It was fun to see him get excited about talking to her. He wanted to show her things he could do, like dancing, counting, and singing. After we had finished talking, Dimitri kept saying Kasi’s name and asking where she had gone. After a few hours, we text Kasi and asked if she could talk again before Dimitri went to bed because he kept asking for her. He was excited to see her again, and I love that he is starting to realize what an important person she is in his life.
Here we are with Dimitri’s great-grandparents (my grandparents). My grandfather passed away last summer, but I’m so glad that Dimitri got to spend a few years with him. In fact, Dimitri was able to have a relationship with all of my grandparents, which is something I’ll always cherish. My grandpa had a hard time with his memory the last few years of his life and couldn’t always remember the names of all his grandkids, but he always remembered Dimitri. He never forgot Dimitri’s name and he remembered being in the temple with us when we were sealed to him. I loved that he would bring that up and talk about how special it was whenever we saw him. What a blessing it is for Dimitri to be surrounded by so many people who love him.