*In the mornings, Jared would leave to take Jake to seminary at 6:30am and I would walk Karcyn and Calvin down the street around 7am to the bus stop while Cooper stayed behind with JJ. We started memorizing scriptures while we walked and waited. They did a great job! Cooper's bus came around 7:30. The mornings were warm and damp with humidity. Something that was still so foreign to us. Sometimes it was foggy and looked a little eerie.
Jared captured some beautiful sunrises as he drove northeast to Madisonville.
*One afternoon, on our way to meet Karcyn and Calvin at the bus stop, JJ and I spotted this golf ball in the grass. Except...it wasn't a ball. It was a mushroom!!
*JJ also had a knack for not only finding the fire ant hills by the bus stop, but deliberately stomping on them! He loved the immediate result of seeing the ants rush out in a frantic swarm. What he didn't like so much was when the ants bit him all over his feet! Fortunately, one of the pools was right there and I rushed him over to dip his feet in to take some of the sting out. These picture were taken about 30 minutes after he was stung and had soaked his feet. They are nasty little buggers.
*This is the entrance to The Village (the duplexes within the Creek Meadows Subdivision) where we lived for four months while our house was being built. We lived on the street behind this row of duplexes to the far left.
*After the move, we found we had a little bit of extra money left over and Jared decided to take Jake and Cooper to the BYU vs. University of Texas football game in Austin on September 6th since we were so close. Jared actually bought 4 tickets, thinking we'd offer one to a friend, but our friend already had plans, so Jared invited Tim Nardi, one of the only Deacons in the ward to join them, as Cooper would soon be a Deacon himself. Tim and his mom Jennifer, had been so kind to reach out to our boys as soon as we arrived in College Station, so it was a real pleasure to take him along. Turns out there were several people from our ward also attending the game. Jared and the boys ended up riding with Bishop Sharp and his son, Jackson. Bishop Sharp had attended UT (and BYU!) so he knew where he was going and where to park, which was a blessing! On the way there, they stopped for lunch at Chipotle--Bishop's favorite, apparently ;)
Once they arrived at the stadium, Jared and the boys parted ways with the Sharps as they went to their respective seats. Ours were a lot higher up than Bishop's!
Behold a sea of orange with little specks of navy blue here and there! I was actually a little concerned about the boys going in their BYU attire. They would be in enemy territory. I hoped Texas fans would be as gracious as they are outside of the stadium, too!
At one point, Jake had to use the restroom. While he was gone he sent Jared the following text: "I'm locked in a bathroom full of Longhorns! I don't know if I'll make it out alive. So tell Mom I love her and JJ to be the man I never could be!" :)
When the boys returned late that night, I expressed my half-joking relief that they weren't lynched. Jared told me there was a man and his girlfriend (rooting for the Longhorns) sitting on the row in front of them, right below Jared and the boys. It didn't take long before Jared realized this man was very vocal and every time he opened his mouth, out came profanities and vulgar language. Jared was so disappointed they had to be exposed to hearing this and debated for quite a while about how and when to ask him to please stop--considering they were decked out in the opposing team's attire and not from Texas--which the guy wouldn't know, but Jared would and somehow, it seemed to make a difference. Jared didn't know what Texas fans were like. Near the end of the first quarter, another older man sat down on that same row, just down from Mr. Potty Mouth. The next instant the profanity went flying, this older gentleman shot the other guy a crusty look, pointed a finger and in his thick, southern accent, firmly called him out. He hollered, "Hey!! You need to clean that up," and pointing up to our three young men sitting right behind him, continued, "we got kids up there!" Immediately Mr. Potty Mouth responded regretfully, "Oh, uh, so sorry, yes, sir." And everything that came out of his mouth was clean and appropriate after that. The guy and his girlfriend left at halftime and Jared leaned down to thank the man for saying something. He nodded and told Jared there is no need for that kind of language when children are around. Jared was impressed that the younger guy actually respected the older gentleman who had put him in his place. I'm pretty sure the result would have been different in another stadium, in another state.
*On Wednesday, 9/9, I had an appointment to meet with Brother Ashcraft--1st counselor in the bishopric. I could not imagine what he wanted to speak to me about. I had just gotten a calling a two months previously. He said they had to make some changes to the Relief Society presidency and consequently that left them without second Gospel Doctrine teacher. (I didn't like where this was going). He said they actually had several people in mind for that calling but as they considered each one, none of them felt right. But when someone suggested me for that calling, everything else just slipped into place for the bishopric and it was really neat for them to witness. (How do you say no to that?? ;) I told Brother Ashcraft that discussing callings was one of Jared's favorite parts about being in the bishopric because of experiences similar to this one. Of course I accepted, but I was so sad to leave my Primary class that I was just starting to get to know, not to mention I had already prepared my lesson for that Sunday and they needed me to teach Sunday School that Sunday. *sigh* Three days to prepare for an Old Testament lesson was not enough!
*Gas continued to drop! This was taken on 9/12/14.
*We spent the first part of Saturday, 9/13, at the Kolache Festival in Caldwell, TX. Caldwell is only about 40 minutes from College Station, so it was really close! We were dying to try these popular eats. Unfortunately for us, it was wet and soggy and unexpectedly cool--in the mid 60s. All of a sudden we felt transported back to our Oregon days! This was the same weather that we were graced with the day we left Oregon back at the end of June.
But that wasn't going to keep us from the Kolaches! We would just get them to go!
My freshman year in college, I had a roommate named Deborah, who made these square shaped cookies with jam in the center and an incredible glaze on top. She called these kolaches and even shared the recipe with me. So I was curious to see what "real" kolaches would look like at the festival. Not suprising, they are a circle of puff-pasty filled with a dollop of fruit filling in the center. However, there are also a type of kolaches filled with cheese and sausage or sausage and jalapenos. We grabbed some of those, too. I have to say, I can't decide if I love the sweet or savory more! Delicious!! Here's a link that sheds a little more light on the origin of kolaches.
*It was Hough Sunday on 9/14--Cooper taught his primary class about Elijah and the false prophets of Baal, Jake taught his priesthood lesson on living in the world but not of the world, I taught about Hosea in Sunday School and Calvin had a talk in primary about how living the gospel blesses our family (which I actually forgot about until I got a reminder the day before!)
*The kids obviously got a hold of my camera and even figured out how to do a panoramic picture! :o
*The kids were watching a Bugs Bunny DVD in the car. There's one cartoon where Bugs talks about going to Miami. A few minutes into it Karcyn pipes up: "I wonder if he'll ever make it to his Ami." :)
*On 9/15, Jared stopped by and took some pictures of the house. We were excited to see lights!
This is the living room.
Stairway looking down from the upstairs landing.
Game room without the ceiling fan.
Karcyn's room without the ceiling fan (which we mentioned to the builder because all the bedrooms and the game room should have them).
Karcyn's walk-in closet.
Standing at the bottom of the stairs looking up.
Master bedroom--with ceiling fan!
*Yay!! We made it under $3.00 a gallon. This was Sept. 17th.
*On 9/24, we saw carpet and flooring!!
This is the master bedroom.
This is the living room looking into the dining room and to the front door (that is open) beyond that.
Looking up the stairs.
Standing at the front door looking to the dining room and living room to the back of the house.
*On the 22nd, we had Parent Night at the High School where we could walk Jake's schedule and meet his teachers and get a feel for his schedule and class load. Jake is the 4th class to be at the school and it was the first year they had freshman through seniors there. It still smells so new.
It seriously reminds me of a junior college in many ways. This is a study area on the 2nd or 3rd floor off to the side of the large hallway.
This is overlooking the big front foyer area. (College Station High School Cougars :)
This is overlooking the cafeteria.
This is the view from one of the stairwells looking out front.
*On September 25th, Jared's birthday, JJ and I made the 1 hour drive up to Madisonville to surprise him for lunch. This may not seem like a big deal, but for me, it was because I don't like to drive and I really don't like it when I've never been to my destination before. I was happy and relieved I found the hospital on my own, however, finding Jared in it was much harder. I had to have some hospital staff help me find him. You know it's not a good sign when people who work at the hospital haven't heard of him OR the clinic he's running. Granted, he and the clinic had only been there about 6 weeks. He was tucked in what looked like a utility closet had I not known any better. We waited for him until he came back from lunch since we didn't get there soon enough. But it was still worth the trip to see him. I can't just swing by his office anymore like I used to.
In honor of his 41st birthday, the kids and I came up with 41 Things we LOVE about Jared. In no particular order:
1) He's sweet
2) He cares about me and keeps me warm when I'm cold (Karcyn)
3) He's practical
4) He takes me on monthly dates to the temple (Jenn)
5) He holds regular PPIs with each child 8 and older
6) He learns from his mistakes
7) He's a great scripture scholar
8) He listens to General Conference talks on his 50 mile commute to work or on his bike rides
9) He's generous with his worldly things
10) We love the way he makes us feel
11) He's my personal heater (Jenn)
12) He's a super grill master
13) He's strong physically and spiritually
14) He treats Mom with love and respect and puts her above everyone else
15) He's an incredible teacher
16) He magnifies his callings
17) He has a great memory and can quote movies like a boss
18) He's funny and makes us laugh--really hard
19) He knows how to balance fun and work
20) He makes great facial and voice impressions
21) He works super hard to provide for the family
22) He's smart
23) He has made plans financially for the future and stability
24) He's good at messing with his kids' heads :)
25) He's a great fisherman and loves to take his kids fishing
26) He's easy going and personable
27) People and patients love him
28) He's honest
29) He took a job and a terrible commute to support us
30) He doesn't sugarcoat the truth--he says it like it is, but with compassion
31) He loves the Lord
32) He's a returned missionary
33) He is a worthy priesthood holder
34) He's handsome
35) You can talk to him about anything
36) You can ask him anything
37) He makes you laugh even when you don't want to
38) He's very wise
39) He's got great common sense
40) He loves his garden and plants
41) He's ours!
*As much as we love Jared, he cannot be trusted with our tithing envelopes anymore. He just holds on to them through the end of church and then forgets to turn them in--only because for the two years previous, that was one of his duties as a counselor in the bishopric. He held on to all tithing envelopes given to him until after church when he or another member of the bishopric would count the monetary donations. Old habits die hard, I guess ;)
*Also on 9/25, we swung by the house for another look-see! Every day there's more progress!
We have a tree now!
Getting ready to put the fence up. Our next door neighbors happen to be closing the same day as us!
We found this guy in our bathtub. Ugh...nooo bueno!!
*On Saturday, the 27th, we decided to go swim in the pool--because we could!! Since school started the end of August, I would sometimes take the kids to the pool after school if we didn't have places we needed to be (like on a Friday). It was a great way to expend some energy when it was still hot outside.
The pools here are heated by the sun, so on this particular day it wasn't the really warm bath water that it was in the middle of July, but it wasn't ice cold either. This is so crazy that we could still swim outside just a few days before the beginning of October. A real big change from Oregon.
*On Tuesday, 30th, I wrote this on Facebook: Today my parents return home from serving an 18 month mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of a Latter-day Saints in London, England. We're super excited to see them again in a few weeks, but the promised blessings of having parents who put the Lord first above their children and grandchildren are immeasurable!! We are grateful for all 4 missions they have served these past 10 years! And I can't wait until Jared and I can do the same--which is a large part of why we moved to Texas...to get our student loans paid off as quickly as possible so we can save up for our own mission!