Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Yum Yum!!!

Little Violet is now old enough to eat baby food!! We had to document her first taste!

She had a hard time figuring out how to swallow not spit!

Someone secretly tried to eat some himself (regression!!)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Visit to Grandma and Papa's!!!

Before heading home, I stopped at my in-laws for some fun! The kids played with cousins all day and had a ball! Then my wonderful mother-in-law drove back with me to help, then flew home. I loved not having to drag three kids in with me every time I needed to use the restroom! Thanks Nancy!
The kids would go to the 'small' pool and warm-up!

Violet cooing and smiling at the kids!

Preston throwing a ball at Papa!

Dorothy barreling down the slip-n-slide!

Little Violet loves being outside and watching the craziness!!

Dorothy took this picture of Violet and I!

After playing all day with cousins Preston crashed in Papa's arms and went to sleep!

Friday, July 17, 2009

President and Sister Mickelsen are HOME!!!

It's hard to say what it is like from a child's perspective when your parents go on a mission. Unlike a parent, the worry of whether or not they can 'handle it' or if they will be OK does not concern you as much. Instead, you worry about whether or not your kids will know them, or if your life is adding stress to an already stressful mission. When my Dad was called as mission president to the Russia Novosibirsk mission, we all laughed and said "I told you so!" He got a little torqued! It was difficult at times to have them away, especially when Violet was born and I was recovering from my C-section without my Mom. Or when my anxiety flared up again and my sounding boards were halfway across the world taking care of other people's children. But I think the hardest and most rewarding thing is when you see those missionaries who LOVE your parents and you are a little jealous that you have to share them and yet happy because someone else gets a little piece of the goodness you were raised with. I was so lucky to be raised by goodly parents who instilled within me a testimony of the gospel. I was so proud to tell people my parents were serving a mission for the church. We missed them and wished they were with us but we knew the Lord was blessing our family because of their sacrifice. They gave extraordinary talks about their mission and what they learned. They gave light and hope to an otherwise hopeless country and saw people change through the power of the atonement. We are glad they are home! Thank you President and Sister Mickelsen for your example and for "Returning with honor!" We love you!!
The kids at 12:00 in the morning (due to Russian flight delays) happily greeting Mom and Dad!!!

My Dad hugging Allison!

My Mom holding Violet for the first time!

Mom and Dad talking to people at the luncheon

Some of the 30 or so missionaries who during sacrament meeting sang "Called to Serve" in Russian and brought everyone to tears!

We had a 'best-friend' reunion while working like dogs to feed the 150 or so people that came to church and the luncheon!

Hanging out at the luncheon!

Aleeya was OBSESSED with baby Violet!!!

ps- We will be having another one of these in year and a half when my cousin Whitney or rather... Sister Morris returns from the Russia, Samara mission.

The "Gabe" reunion!

We had our Gabrielsen family reunion at the Salem pond. We had good food, fun games... which inevitably ended in a water balloon fight and good memories. We shared stories about Grandma and Grandpa Gabe and spent quality family time together! Eternity is going to be FUN with all those folks!!

Our family in front of the Salem pond!

Hanging out!

I love this shot of the water in mid-air!!

The water balloon fight!!

Most of the family!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Oquirrh Mountain Temple open house!!

We went to the Oquirrh Mountain Temple open house while in Utah. There is such a special spirit there. As we walked through the beautiful temple, I kept thinking what a peaceful place it is and how it's beauty is far removed from the world. Even the little children knew to be reverent and while walking through were gaining testimonies of the importance of the temple. I love the temple and am grateful for the power and strength it has given me!

I love this picture of Dorothy looking at the temple!

The kids running around after the open house!

About half the group (the lady could not figure out my camera!)

The beautiful Temple!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The 4th of July!!

My brother Evan and wife Kelly hosted the family party on the fourth. We had hamburgers and Cheetos as they were requested by my parents. We ate, hung out, rode the four wheeler, had tank wars, watched fireworks, and appreciated this great nation!! After living in Russia now for 3 1/2 years, my parents shared with us how lucky we are to be citizens of the USA!!!

Kyra, Dorothy, and Lillian

Riding on the four wheeler!!
James and Preston watch the sunset!

Watching the firework show!!

Sparkler fun!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Grandma visits!!

My mother in law finished her concert tour here so she decided to stay a few days to spoil her grand babies and kiss their cheekers!! We had so much fun playing with grandma!

The Mormon tabernacle choir at red rocks!

After the concert

Playing at home!

ps- Preston cried the whole way home from the airport!!