Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Studying Spanish at Ben's and other excitement

We have a lot of pictures this time. There has been alot happening. We are still with Ben and Kirsten and Kate.

Kate is fun to be with and she really is as cute as she looks. She has her moments though and when she is tired she wants nothing to do with anyone except mommy.

She is a climber extrodinar. I really can't believe it. She has been climbing on the funiture and up into a shelf area for some time and she is very good at using their really tall chairs for a jungle gym. While we have been here she has learned how to move from the chair to the high chair and then out of the high chair and down to the floor. The first time she got out of the high chair and down we didn't see it happen but the second time Ben and I watched as she negociated her way down the leg of the high chair after she had transfered there from the chair.
This is right before church but it is my usual position. I am working with a tutor from the MTC. We have a 1 hour session 3 days a week and I have between 6 and 8 hours of homework between sessions. The church has very good language resources for senior missionaries. Yo hablo español un poco. Mi español está mejorando. (I speak spanish a little. My spanish is improving)

These are pictures of the stadium that the Pheonix Cardinals use. It was the site of the Superbowl this year. (Since I am a complete football neophyte that was news to me). It is quite the building. It is the only stadium in the world that has it's grass on a rolling tray that is taken outside to get light and be watered. Most of the time the grass is outside. It is rolled in under the redzone sign above and fills the whole floor. It is incredable how it works. We toured with a tour guide for about one and 1/2 hours. There was a miniuture radio controlled air plane compitition going on down on the floor and the NFL draft (on TV) party was going on on the second level. They use the building for a lot of different things.

Kirstin and Ben and Kate flew to San Francisco on Monday to sign the lease on their new appartment and then flew home the same day. It was Kate's first plane trip. She did great but she was wiped out the next day. This is the wild woman look that she sported as she caught up on her sleep on Tuesday.
It wasn't all that easy to sleep on Tuesday because the Satalite dish people were putting in new wiring for the apartment complex that Ben and Kirsten live in. This is a huge complex. Ben and Kirsten live in Building 18 one of about 20 12 plexes but wouldn't you know it, the work was going on right outside their 3rd floor appartment. They were pounding and drilling and it was really noisy. All of a sudden it got even noisier and Kirsten and I saw a one inch drill bit come through the wall at a 45 degree angle and go into the ceiling. The guys thought they knew where they were drilling but missed the target and hit Ben's wall. Not only did they put a hole in the wall, they also knicked the wiring in the wall and blew a circut breaker to all the lights and fans in the appartment. The rest of the day was spent in repair work. We had electricians in and dry wall guys in. The Satalite guys kind of disappeard for a while but they are back today with more pounding outside. So far no more holes though. Enough excitment for one day. Ben graduates on Friday. He is trying to study for a couple of finals he still has to take. Alot of these same pictures are up on Kirstin's blog. They have made their blog private because they got some postings by people they do not know so if you want to see their blog you need to email them and let them know you have a google account and want to be on their permitted list or email us if you know Ben and or Kirsten and we will give them your email and let them get in touch with you. Bye for now. Bogota is sounding more and more peaceful all the time.

Friday, April 25, 2008

The rest part

We are now at Ben and KiKi's enjoying the heat - 97 - and the three of them. Kate is a sweatheart. Right now she is headed to bed with the hick-ups. I will add pictures to this post later. The plane ride here was a dry run in how to handle the suitcases. We have all our things packed for a trip that will last for two years but we packed so that we only brought the two smallest bags with us on this junket. Still it was a zoo at the airport. I can't wait to land in Bogota with all of our luggage and try to get where ever we will be staying. I am not sure I even want to think about the fact that we will be in a foriegn country where my grasp of the language is pathetic (but improving). I will be counting on Darwin and the fact that the Church doesnt routinely loose missionaries at the airport.

More fense, more moving, but now rest

This was a much easier way to do the fence. Br. Bingham was a life saver, thank you, thank you.

It went on so much faster with the right equipment and an expert hand or two. The last half only took an hour while the first half took 8 hours.

It looks sooo much better, now that it is done. When we watered the lawn the water just beaded up.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

As if we weren't stiff enough from packing

Darwin and I decided that our fence need to be cleaned and oiled before we left for two years. We had this bright idea some time ago but never found time to do it so we decided that Friday and Saturday of this week would be it. Oh boy!! We are not yet done with packing (almost but not there yet) but we decided that we could do this "little chore" with no problem. It was a much bigger project than we thought. We cleaned the whole fence on Friday (about 65 feet across the back and 65 feet up each of the sides and across the front to hook to the house - about 195 feet total by 6 ft high.) We used a brush on, wash off fence cleaner. Today we painted about 2/3's of it with Linseed oil and mineral spirits. We still have the back side of the fence that faces into the common area to do plus the side where I was painting the rails. The first picture shows what one corner looked like before we started and the last two pictures show what it looks like at the end of today. You can see how much better it looks in the last photo. It is quite a contrast. We will need to finish Monday. We are definately running out of days as we leave for Ben's house on Thursday.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Writings of Lee Clark

Darwin and I have been busy getting everything moved out. I have some pictures of the great helpers we have had. They really have been great. I didn't know how we were going to get the couch down from the the Bonus Room. It took 4 men and a lot of engineering to get it in. We thought about taking it out through the window but Elders Ferguson, Carreon got it out with no problems. They have done most of the heavy lifting with Elder Garsia and Johnson helping out when we need more man power. I will put their pictures up shortly. They also carried down the Treadmill which was even heavy for them.

What I really wanted to write here was a blub to let you know that I have created a new area on the WebPage for Mom's writtings. As I was sorting through the geneology, I found all of her papers and the stories and letters that she has written over the years. Some of them were published in that little book "Stepping Stones" but there are alot of things that I have never seen, like the story that is up there now. I will continue to type stuff in as I have time. Also Noel and Rachel have started a blog and I linked to it. It is just starting so not many posts. I am hoping that Jared and Nichole will get inspired and that I can get Rich and Sherry to do one for Josh. It is a great way to keep up with you guys. The picture of Derek in the Diaper box just cracked me up.


Saturday, April 12, 2008

Still Hectic but exciting

I just sat down on a folding chair at a card table in our Kitchen. We have moved the dining room table and all the chairs to the new storage unit. I haven't been in the house for I don't know how long, we have been over at the storage unit getting things into it in order that works or else hauling things out. In addition to figuring out that we had to move out of the house and get a storage shed, just after I wrote the last post we got a letter from the Mission travel office that said all our visa application stuff had to be in by March 31 or we we would be postponed for 6 weeks. Since it was April 10th, I called right away and our travel person told us that she needed the VISA material ASAP because we really were on a tight VISA schedule. In order to get a VISA to Colombia we had to go to the bank and get a noterized letter saying that we had a bank account and then we had to take that to the Secretary of States Office and get something called an apostille that verified that the notery was real. We were suppose to get one letter in English and one in Spanish but the bank said they didn't even know what we were talking about and they couldn't give us a letter in Spanish. They did give us a letter in English saying that we had a bank account. When we got to the Secretary of States office the door was guarded by a very large, very messy goose. We finally got past him/her and the Sec of State knew exactly what we needed so all sort of went smoothly from there. We still had to get two more passport photes and send it all in. So yesterday was pretty much shot. I wasn't home at all. We did go to Jared's after out running and get the stuff from his garage that we had stored there. That load went to the storage shed in a load this morning. Last night we hauled things over to our neighbors because they are having a garage sale today and told us we could take some stuff if we wanted to. We didn't get to bed until 2:00 am this morning by the time I put in my spanish study time. Dad is working on his assignments. The auditing department sent him a whole training course he has to finish before we get there. They are just concentrating on my spanish right now. Darwin now spends most of his time speaking the language and we are doing all of our prayers in Spanish. That is really interesting since my vocabulary and sentence structure is still limited. But it definately helps because it makes me search for the words I need. Must go will write later, I am fixing us a late lunch and then we have to take the grandmother clock over and the oak secretary and some other furnature. Check out the guest book on the site and let us know you are around or leave a comment here. Bye Vicki.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A little hectic

Our life got a little hectic day before yesterday. We thought the house was taken care of. We were working with a management company to rent it to students of the linemans college here in Kuna. (A school for training electrical linemen for the electric companies in the northwest and western canada.) We got an email from our management company two days ago saying that they were getting out of the roommate business and couldn't handle our house. They explained why they were getting out and that they would recommend that we not rent this property as a roommate rental. We understood the problems that they were explaining and agreed that given what they had found out about how rentals of this type had to be handled that we would be better off renting to a family or single renter. (We wish they had found out sooner about the problems and let us know sooner) Anyway now instead of being able to close off part of the garage and leave our stuff here we have to completely vacate the house. We don't blame them we just wish we would have known sooner. Anyway we have rented a storage unit and a U-haul for the day and two sets of missionaries came over today and we moved most of the funiture and heavy stuff. We still have clothing and some household items and small stuff like computers, tv, our bed etc. We are leaving to go down for Ben's graduation on April 24 so our goal is to be completely out of here by then and have this place vacant so it can be rented to a family. People are having a hardtime getting loans right now so the rental market is good. We had been with a management company before who didn't do roommates but who had handled our house before we moved to Kuna. We are now back with them. The say that currently the have a 2% vacancy rate for the houses that they are managing and assure us that the house will be easy to rent once we are out of it. Anyway it makes life just a little hectic right now.

The MTC has assigned me a private tutor and start language training over the phone on Thursday. I already have 8 CD's of language instruction from them. We will work on spoken spanish and I will get about 3 hours a week of one on one conversation practice with her plus the lessons on the CD's and lots of homework. I should be interesting. Vicki

Sunday, April 6, 2008

We recieved our mission call on Thursday April 3, 2008. We have been called to serve in the South American North Area in Bogotá Colombia. Darwin will serve as the Area Auditor Trainer and will be working primarily with ward and stake leaders responsible for the records of the Church. I have been called to serve as the Mental Health Advisor to the Area President and will help him and the mission presidents in the area assess the mental health needs of the missionaries serving in the area. As far as we have been able to learn there are 384 wards and or Branches in our area and 11 missions. I will be posting the letters we recieved from President Monson and our responses below or above. Where ever they appear.