Month: January 2016

The big 2-0!

The big 2-0!

It’s kind of crazy to think how quickly the last 20 years have passed. That little one year old Nathan in the photo is now moving into the third decade of life on earth. He is home from his mission and enrolled at college beginning…

Each his own flavor

Each his own flavor

I was at the grocery store not long ago. I marvelled at the variety of fruits I saw. It reminded me of being at a market in Jamaica and feasting my eyes on the color, texture, size, and certainly flavor (although I didn’t sample everything)…

Homecoming

Homecoming

Welcome Home Nate table

While it’s already been two weeks and a day since Nate came home, I am so excited to share about this incredible day!

Three weeks ago, Lane received word from Nate’s mission president that Nate might have to come home early because of his injury on Dec.28 (from landing wrong while playing basketball on preparation day). I could hardly believe my ears when I heard this, and I was at first ecstatic to think that I might see our son in less than a week! Then I got very concerned about how he might be feeling. Was he worried about coming home early? Feeling guilty? Not wanting to come home yet? I prayed for help.

The answer came the next day, and I felt peace. After that answer and accompanying peaceful calm, I got really excited and started taking immediate action to get things ready for his return. We cleaned the house, cleaned out Pete and Nate’s room, washed sheets, washed windows, dusted, and vacuumed. We pulled down the tubs of stuff that we had packed up in a hurry before and right after he left. I shopped for some clothing that I thought he might need immediately, and I made a doctor’s appointment with the same sports doctor he had seen with his rugby injuries.

There was one tendermercy that I’d like to share. Before I even had a chance to call this doctor, I received a photo from a family in Peru of Nate’s foot, and I forwarded it to a good friend of Nate’s, who happened to see that same doctor that day, so he (the doctor) was totally aware of the situation before I even called. Sounds trivial, but it happened in such a way that I was reminded of how Heavenly Father is aware of our needs at every level.

We continued to make arrangements for his return, and before we knew it, it was Tuesday morning. One of the greatest concerns we had was that Lane wouldn’t be at the airport when Nate got in. He had a meeting in another state with other people who had also already purchased non-refundable airplane tickets. He had to show up. He was, however, able to get his nonrefundable, nonchangeable flight changed to an earlier return. That was another tendermercy. So we prayed that everything would work out, and that Nate would feel OK about things since we weren’t able to reach him to tell him about it.

We got everyone out the door to go to the airport, and one cousin, but we had to stop and pick up Sarah from a hospital in Salt Lake where she was job shadowing. We got some inaccurate info from a flight tracking phone app, saying that the flight was delayed a little. So we weren’t rushing until we got to the airport and saw that his flight was on time and landed! Then we started running. I got mixed up about the terminals, so we went to the place where we thought he would be coming out.

airport Nate homecoming

And we waited.

IMG_5541There were three other families waiting for missionaries. We watched the missionaries arrive and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

“Where is Elder Livi?” We wondered, anxiously. I was DYING!

Then my phone rang. I almost didn’t answer it, but had the thought that maybe Nate was calling from someone else’s phone. Rebecca answered it. IT WAS NATE! He said he had been waiting and where were we? We figured out that we were in the WRONG TERMINAL! We started running back to the other terminal. Sarah, who had worn heels, couldn’t run very fast. I was dying. I slowed down for a little while until everyone had mostly caught up, and then I ran again. When I saw him, I just ran fast until I could give him a hug! I couldn’t help the tears. I simply cannot describe how wonderful it was to hug my son again after 22 months (to the day), to feel him and see him in person.

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And then everyone else got turns hugging him. We all had tears of happiness in our eyes this time.

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We felt so thankful for the nice guy who had wheeled Nate to the baggage claim.

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Nate was totally OK about Lane not being able to be there. So gracious and understanding! Why had I worried?

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After only a few minutes of being together, it felt as if he had hardly been gone for so long. How does that happen?

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Of course he wanted to take a selfie to post on Insta! haha

We arrived home to be greeted by some of the best neighbors and friends in the whole world! They had made a fabulous poster and brought balloons and tied bows around all of the our trees. Our neighbors who own a sign company had made an amazing sign for us that we had hung over the front entry. It was a very warm welcome on a freezing cold January 12 day!

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The first thing he did when he got home was to drink clean water out of the kitchen faucet. Clean water. Such a gift!

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Then came some playing piano. Rebecca played a song she had learned for him that he loved. We played a violin/piano duet that she had me learn for Nate.

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Elder Livi (I keep calling him Nate, but he actually wasn’t released yet, so he was still Elder Livi) pulled out a few items to share from his suitcase. And then came the phone call we were waiting for: Lane was on his way home from the airport. We jumped into the car to meet him at a special restaurant. There we had to cry again for joy when he and his dad embraced. I can’t put that moment into words.
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And then dinner time!

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Nate was in heaven!

Then off to the Stake Center (church building) to meet with the Stake President so he could be released. That was a very special experience that I’ll save in my heart forever. We got to share our testimonies and hear his. Can’t put that into words either. The Stake President had me and Lane remove his tags. Nate took his photo off the wall. It was amazing to see how many of his friends are serving missions!

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And then we were home, jiggety-jig.

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Grandma came over and there was another joyful reunion. After some friends stopped by, a very tired and uncomplaining Nate unwrapped his foot and we saw this:IMG_5637

It looked worse in real life! Red and so swollen and bruised. We couldn’t imagine this was all just from a sprain two plus weeks before!

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We had a little Christmas breakfast the next morning and gave him a stocking with some fun gifts, including cologne samples! Time to move forward with college…and dating!

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The xrays at the doctor’s later that morning were inconclusive, so an MRI was scheduled for the next day.

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An amazing fruit basket from his grandpa sure made his afternoon!

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The MRI the next day helped us find out what was really going on in his foot: a broken ankle (compression fracture) and a torn ligament. We got the cast on the next day, and his foot has been feeling SO much better ever since.

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He never complained once. Not one single complaint. Amazing.

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Having cousins and friends drop by has been the best!

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He’s enjoying the puppy, who licks his toes. He gave us all special gifts, some of which he picked up in Lima on his way home–where he ran into one of his best friends again who is serving in one of the Lima missions!
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Look at the artwork on this tiny mate (“mah-tay”).

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Having him home is as good as it gets. I am more thankful than ever that he served a mission and super grateful to have him back!

 

 

 

Peanut butter chocolate chip cookies

Peanut butter chocolate chip cookies

I really like cookies, but I don’t make them very often.  I have a household of people who love to make cookies, so it works out. Today, though, it was like magic: I had an afternoon with no obligations, and the kitchen was clean and…

Alive and posting!

Alive and posting!

Wow, the last month has been crazy, and the last two weeks in particular have been amazing! Having a puppy has been in many ways like having a baby around. And then Nate came home, and it has been heavenly to have him around and be…

Say love

Say love

So much has happened in the last 10 days! Nate came back home! I am happy as I could be to see our son again, and to see him doing so well.

I will post about that all soon. Today I just wanted to share a song by Hilary Weeks whose message is so good for me to hear tonight. I’m grateful for positive music that helps me remember what is most important.

It’s a wrap!

It’s a wrap!

We got a photo on Thursday (that won’t upload–not sure why) that showed Elder Livi with his foot wrapped from toe to knee! I’d say that’s a wrap! In just a couple of days, we will get to see that leg for ourselves as Elder Livi…

Elder Livi Update: Surprise early return!

Elder Livi Update: Surprise early return!

This little brother (and all of his siblings and parents) were SO excited yesterday to hear from Elder Livi’s mission president that because of this recent P-day foot injury and the needed recuperation time (he’s not supposed to be up and around for 10 more…

The scripture basket

The scripture basket

scripture basketHere’s a fabulous tool that helps us achieve our goal of studying the scriptures together (and grow spiritually, intellectually, physically, and emotinally) everyday:

Our SCRIPTURE BASKET!

Ta dah!

Nothing fancy. Just a simple plastic basket.

Here’s what’s inside:

stack of copies of the Book of Mormon

  • A copy of the Book of Mormon for everyone. (We don’t read the other Standard Works as a family. I read scripture stories from the Old and New Testament, etc., from the scripture “readers” when the children were young, and when they are older, they take a seminary class and read and study the texts cover to cover for themselves.)
  • hymn book with pencilHymn books. This year we are singing a different hymn everyday and marking a check on the page in pencil (so there is a pencil in the basket). We have one hymn that we will memorize every month, and we’ll work on that on the weekends.sticky note scripture bookmark
  • Sticky notes for us to stick next to the verse where we end that day.FTSOY For the Strength of Youth booklet
  • For the Strength of Youth booklet. This year we are reading this every day for 2 minutes, including the scripture references, over and over to help us get the words in our heads for future use. We are doing this instead of memorizing a new verse of scripture every week. We will learn one verse of scripture each month instead.FTOSY and Our Livingston Legacy
  • Our Livingston Legacy (family mission statement). We recite this every once in a while. It’s a little piece of paper that we use as a bookmark in our FTSOY booklet.PMG Preach My Gospel mini book
  • Preach My Gospel. We will study this on the weekends when we have a little more time than on school mornings!

In other years, we’ve had other stuff that supported our scripture memorization efforts, such as general conference Ensign issues. In our first January family council meeting, we decided to study these things, so that’s what’s inside the basket this year.

Routines and creating a house of order (first slice)

Routines and creating a house of order (first slice)

I’m preparing to teach a lesson on home organization this month, and so I’ve been thinking about all things related to that topic. I decided that while I’m brainstorming every day, I’ll write some posts on the topic. WHAT WE CHOOSE AFFECTS OUR EVERY DAY…