Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Time to say goodbye!

I had to include this too cute picture of Audrey with Andrew. Because Andrew and Sarah only live about 45 minutes away from my mom I had the opportunity visit with their family the most. I spent the night with them before I flew home. I had a great time reading one of Audrey's favorite library books with her about Cinderella. She actually fell asleep in my arms...It was nice to be able to spend a little extra time with her.

Thanks mom and Otto for the visit! It was great to visit and we sure love both of you.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Just for you Lauren!

This is for you Lauren! Sarah and the girls so graciously picked me up from the airport in St Louis when I flew in to Missouri. Some may say that is an easy task...but as I recall the days of driving and driving with small is not always so. But Sarah graciously came! When we met up in the airport, all Lauren could say, is "Baby, baby, baby"... she clearly wanted baby Andrew. All was well UNTIL we all climbed into the car and started driving. Sarah was driving, I was in the passenger seat, Lauren was sitting behind her mom, Andrew behind me and Audrey was in her own world in the back seat. We pull out of the airport on to the interstate and Lauren starts crying and crying and keeps looking at doesn't seem to matter anymore that she helped pick up the baby at the airport. The only thing she can see is me and NOT her mom....I offer her snacks and toys....she keeps I decide maybe I should try and "hide" from her. SO I go and join Audrey in the back seat. Worked like magic! Every once in a while she would look back at me and start crying again but for the most part, she was so scared of that lady they picked up in the airport.

Lauren wanted to hold Andrew so much...always, baby, baby. She would do her little bum scoot to get to him and would hold on to him. The morning we left to go back to airport we left before Lauren woke up. I asked Andrew if she asked for "the baby" when she woke and she did!

I also had to post the pictures of Lauren with the wipes. She LOVES on anything with a picture of a baby on it....explaining the wipes in her hands. I thought it was too cute and wanted to capture it on my camera but I had to take just about 5 pictures to finally get one with her eyes OPEN.

Andrew and Andrew

Andrew meets Andrew....In choosing the names for our children, we have always tried to choose one that has significance. After losing Kathryn, we had mixed feelings having Andrew. . . or at least I did. I struggled having a new baby when I really wanted Kathryn in my arms. In my family there are 7 kids. The first 4 were born in 2 1/2 years...which means there is one set of twins (I am one of them) and then I have a sister that is 11 months behind us. Needless to say, life was a bit difficult for my mom at that time as my dad was a resident and she was basically rasing 4 kids on her own that were so close in age. During my dad's last year of residency Andrew was born...3 1/2 years after Katie was born. Andrew was very good natured and a very happy baby. Mom and dad would often wake him up after they had put the rest of us to bed to play with us. In naming our Andrew, I knew that I needed one that would bring that same peace and happiness to my soul....thus his name became Andrew.

Colton's family with Andrew x2 9can't figure out how to delete it!

Andrew with a 4 of the 7 girl cousins that were born before him. Looks like he is already voicing his objections..Kayley Bell (31/2), Audrey Felker (3 1/2), Cora Bell (18 m0), Lauren Felker (13 m0)

Visiting Aunt Margaret and Meeting with the Bells

John has a great Aunt that lives about an hour from my mom. She is 90 years old and just had a DOUBLE knee replacement in November. Because we were so close, we decided to head down for an afternoon visit. We had a great time and I had to literally twist Aunt Margaret's arm to let her take a picture of the two of them together. She told me I had to stand way back by the fridge. I honored her request but I didn't tell her I was going to zoom in....

The other two pictures are of Colton's two girls. She and her family came over to meet baby Andrew. Kayley is 3 1/2 and Cora is almost 18 months. She and Andrew weigh the same!

The last picture is of my mom with Andrew. Doesn't she look great!

Monday, January 19, 2009

few pics at other blog

Here are a few pics at our little outdoor adventure blog. . . Enjoy.

Saying goodbye at the end of the day

Saying goodbye at the end of the day! Our visit with the Carle's was much too short....No one wanted to go home but they were all a good sport. Andrew was so good as you can see...being passed literally from one set of arms to the next. My arms sure appreciated the assistance!

As mentioned in a previous post, Olivia is almost 12, Judson is 9 1/2, Edward is 7 1/2 and baby Katrina is almost 2.

Meeting the Carles!

Because of work schedules and school schedules, visits with my siblings and their families were relatively short...most just the afternoons. The last two pictures on the blog are two of my favorites. Edward's youngest Mallory will be 2 in April and is just tiny tiny. She wanted to hold Andrew so much. As you can see, they are just about the same size. I think there is only two pounds difference...Mallory weighing in around 19 pounds and Andrew in around 17 pounds. I love the picture of their hands. It doesn't really do the comparison justice but it is close.

On Martin Luther King's birthday Jessica and her clan came over for the day from Kansas City. Uncle Jud got a "Big Mac" to get a picture with his nephew "Big Mac" aka Andrew McKay...

Olivia is my oldest niece on my mom's side. She will be 12 in August. YIKES!!! She is sporting the cutest pair of glasses. The kids did not come with me on my trip to Missouri. They stayed home with dad and they moved in with John's parents for the duration of my trip. Thanks Donna! However, when Caroline looked at the picture of Olivia, she said to me, "Mom, Olivia looks like a teenager!" She almost is!

The other picture is of Jessica and her youngest baby Katrina. Katrina is one of the baby girls that followed the birth of our daughter Kathryn. There have been times and visits with our family that have been difficult for John and myself because of losing Kathryn. I know I will always watch these 5 other little girls and will always wonder how she would mingle with them and what she would be doing. Katrina is 9 weeks younger than what Kathryn would be if she were here. This visit was easier for me than any of the other visits have been. I am sure it has a lot to do with time and because my arms are full again. We love and miss you baby girl....

Caroline Meets Claudio R.M. Costa of the Presidency of the 70

Yesterday was our Stake Conference at church. For those of you that are not familiar, it's a large gathering of church members from all over the region into one location to listen to regional and occasionally worldwide leaders of our church. It was a wonderful experience. In this case one of the worldwide leaders was in attendance. He is Elder Claudio R.M. Costa from the Presidency of the Seventy. The speakers were amazing and the Spirit of the Lord was especially strong. Elder Costa talked about a poor family near Recife Brazil where he is from and some of the sacrifices they had made to dedicate their lives to the Lord. I enjoyed the meeting and his remarks. It is truly amazing that even though his English was broken his words penetrated our hearts and strengthened us all. Despite the large crowd that surrounded him for the first 30 minutes or so after the conference, I was hopeful to allow the girls to shake his hand and have that experience. Sterling lasted about 8 seconds after the Amen of the closing prayer. He took off to who knows where. I guess I was asking a lot of him to stand next to me in a crowd after 2 hours of great behavior, about half of which he pretended that my pen was airplane. Julia was interested for about the first 15 minutes of waiting and then got nervous and found grandma. So Caroline and I stuck it out. As we were waiting I reminded Caroline of a previous conversation that had occurred watching conference reruns at Grandma and Grandpas house one Sunday. I reminded her that this man, whom we were about to meet, was among a few of the Lords elect and select few, and that he was among the finest men on the earth today. God had preserved and selected him to come a hemisphere away in these Latter Days to share that message and that it was worth the wait. She looked up at me and smiled, waiting patienty. She is going on 10 and has grown up this year in leaps and bounds.

Finally, Elder Costa made his way to where we were waiting. I greeted him warmly, introducing myself and Caroline. He was genuinely interested and friendly to us both, as if he had all day to talk. As he shook Caroline's hand he said,

"What a beautiful smile you have. You should use that beautiful smile to share the Gospel. Here's what I want you to do. . . I want you to find a missionary and get 3 pass along cards. Take them and share them with your non-member friends. Write to me about it and I will send you a speedy reply. Will you do that?"

Of course she smiled big and said, "YES!"

After conference we went home to a delicious fish and shrimp fry at Grandma and Grandpa Sanders' home and our honored guests just so happened to be non other than the missionaries. Caroline told Elder Mortenson all about the ordeal and snagged 3 pass along cards to begin her duty. He held them out like flavors of ice-cream for her to pick. She decided to pick one in particular, with a picture of the Savior to try to reactivate her home room teacher at school who hadn't attended meetings since she was a kid and just so happens to have landed on my home teaching list this month, Miss Espeseth.

Later in the evening, as she recounted the whole experience in her journal, she carefully cut out a picture from the October General Conference addition of the Ensign and wrote and said to me, "Dad this was a great day. I got to meet one of the finest men on the earth."

I couldn't help to hope and wonder what I could do as a Father to help her and my family be continually reminded that these men are truly the finest the Lord has to offer and that they in reality share his words and counsel with all of us if we will but LISTEN! Of the billions of people on our planet HE has selected but few to carry forth His mighty word. The Lords chosen servant was here in our little chapel, and he spoke the words of Christ.

I had to agree with her and said, "Yes it really was a great day."


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Andrew goes to Missouri!

During the month of January, Andrew and I had the opportunity to go to Missouri for 2 1/2 weeks. I originally was going to help my mom out postoperative after she had a tumor removed from her brain. However, as you will see in other posts, mom looks great and only needed company and assistance with driving. So we were her wheels while we were there.

While we were there, we were able to see most of my siblings. We missed Katie and her crew in Chicago and Mary Caroline and Tyson in Las Vegas. These are a few of the pictures. The first one is of Ross my 2nd oldest nephew on my mom's side (Edward's oldest). The group family picture is of Edward's family...Ross (9 1/2, Elizabeth 7 3/4, Drew 4, and Mallory 20 months. The two girls on the floor in the kitchen are Mallory once again and Lauren Felker (Andrew's 2nd).

Monday, January 5, 2009

The start of 2009!!

Just a few misc pictures to start the year off. It seems that we don't seem to catch Julia as much on the camera. She reminds me of myself when I was her age. I was often dodging the camera because I did not want my picture taken or I was often seen pouting in any pictures that were taken. I hate to admit that but it is so don't lie.

I LOVED having the kids home from school over Christmas break. I am usually ready to have everyone head back to school after a long break. However, this time, it was great to have them all home. I appreciated the help of the girls. Anytime Andrew was awake, he was more than well taken care of. Getting back into the schedule we had before Christmas break may be a bit painful....meaning Andrew may have to get use to not being held 24/7.

John has a guitar that one of his brothers gave to him. He will occassionally get it out to strum on it. Obviously, Sterling would like to do the same thing!