Sunday, August 25, 2013

Zack's Endowments

Today at 4pm we went to the Temple to be with the Paddocks while Zack received his endowments.  We have know Zack forEVER.  Seriously, for about 8 years I think.  We have watched him grow 2 feet and gain 100 pounds which tells you how small he was before when he barely weighs 150 now.  Zack is another son to us.  He has always been there whenever we needed him to do anything.  He takes Sophie and Josh to the Temple every Friday morning at 6am to do baptisms and is an excellent example of what a missionary is.  He is also stubborn as the day is long which is why we get along so well. 

I have loved having Shayne on a mission.  It has been so exciting.  We never cried when she got her call.  We never even cried at the MTC.  We celebrated every second.  I have missed having a driver around but not missed her because I have been so excited for what a huge opportunity she is having.  But it wasn't until I was sitting in the Temple and looked over and saw Mason on one side of Zack and Joel and the other that I missed Shayne so much that my heart ached.  I wished so badly that she could see what I was seeing.  I wanted her there to share in that same sweet spirit that I was feeling that told me that what we are doing is the only thing that will get us back to see our Father in Heaven and that his love is so incredibly strong for us.  I can't imagine the love I feel for Zack and the Paddock Family and for my own family and then multiplying it by an unknown amount.  How could you even handle it.  I cried just thinking about the little bit I have now.  I would be an emotional disaster if I were a God. 

When we got into the Celestial Room I gave Zack a big hug and told him I loved him and that I wished Shayne were here and in perfect Zack form he said, "She's kinda busy right now."  True. Very true.  And I'm so glad she is.  Shayne has been nothing but the perfect example to all of us.  I have been eternal blessed to have her in my life. 

After the temple and our "photo session" we went to Zack's favorite restaurant.  Golden Corral. On our way in I asked Mason if he needed me to get him an Nebraska sticker for the back window of his truck and a Omaha Clock so he could keep track of the time change.  He said no thanks.  He thinks he can handle it. It was awesome.  We sat around and talked and laughed and had so much fun.  I think the waiter came up and asked us if we needed anything else about 4 or 5 times trying to get us to leave.  I'm just glad that he doesn't leave until October.  We'll have a little more time with him before then. 

So check these three studs out.  They were checking themselves out.  "Nice Suit."

With these three on missions the world won't know what hit them. 

 Mason, Ellen, Megan and Zack.

 I put this picture in just because Zack's cousin's wife was bugging me the entire night and I was being very unchristian about the whole thing and I shouldn't have let it bug me but when I took this picture I knew it had to go on the blog.  I'll probably take it off later after I repent but for now... I bet you can't guess which one she is. 

Alyssa Eileen Bull

Welcome the latest edition to the Beckstrand Family.  Alyssa Eileen Bull born 8/15/13 6lbs 14oz 20in long.

Kellie and Garrett have been trying to get pregnant for quite a few years now and have had no success.  Kellie was in the hospital a couple months ago with a ruptured cyst on her ovaries.  They decided, after much prayer and fasting that adoption was the way to go.  Garrett was adopted  when he was a baby through a closed personal adoption and everything has been great so that is the path they Kellie and Garret chose as well.  They didn't feel like LDS Social Services was for them.  So they started putting out a portfolio to everyone and word of mouth started going around.  They had one birth mom that had narrowed it down to them or another couple so they felt like if they were chosen then it was supposed to be but if they weren't then is wasn't.  And it became a waiting game.  While they waited they just happened to come down  to St. George to visit during the hot summer and went over to Uncle Larry and Aunt Boydine to go swimming.  Aunt Boydine asked what Kellie was up to and Kellie told her.  Well it just so happened that Aunt Boydine knew of someone who was considering placing their unborn baby up for adoption.  Seems she thought she would marry the father but it didn't work out after all.  So Aunt Boydine made a call to see if they'd be interested to meet Kellie and Garrett and see what they thought.  Before they knew it they had traveled to met with this young lady and had a great feeling when they left.  Again it came down to them and another couple.  This young lady and the other couple were however going through LDS Social Services.  So it was another waiting game.  But now it looked like a better chance at getting a baby because they had two possibilities.  But again they knew that it wasn't up to them and that they were to go about their lives and not to worry about what may or may not happen.  While they were here for Family Reunion they found out that the first girl had decided to take the other couple and the day they got home and unpacked they got a phone call telling them that the 2nd young lady had gone into labor and had chosen them to raise her baby.  So they repacked and got back in the car and drove off for another long trip.    A couple days later, after Alyssa was released from the hospital Kellie and Garrett where able to bring her home.  It is weird to have our family grow by 2 babies since Shayne's been out and no one's been pregnant!   She'll be a year old by the time Shayne see's her.  We are very blessed.  I know Kellie and Garret will be great parents.

BEST DAY EVER!!!!! aka...1st day of school 2013

Wednesday, August 14th was the first day of school.  WOO HOO!!!  Everyone was ready for it.  Not just me.  The kids were bored out of their minds.  We had so much fun finding cool backpacks and lunchboxes.  I always tell the kids to tell their friends that I will give a prize to the coolest lunchbox.  I mainly do it so that they all know that it's OK to: #1 Have a lunchbox   #2 Be to poor to afford school lunch and   #3 Be yourself and not worry what others think.
The backpacks are always fun.  They are the cheapy ones but they are cute and unique.  They will not get mixed up with someone else.  When Shayne was in 2nd grade the school gave everyone a backpack so they wouldn't have to buy one.  It was very nice but they were EXACTLY the same, plain, navy blue backpacks.  So I went out and bought some big white Gerber Daisy Iron-On 's the next day and made it the cutest thing ever and she never got it mixed up with anyone's.  Since then we've wanted to do things our own way and we have.  We have made it fun.

 Sophie's on a Minion craze.  I LOVE her lunchbox!  It is sooo cute!  It's just 2 big minion eyes.

 This is Brianna and I swear these two share a brain when it comes to clothes.  They will not see each other all day and then we'll go to Payless to look at shoes and Brianna will be there wearing the exact same thing Sophie is.  They ride the same bus but it stops and picks up Sophie and Josh first then goes to Brianna and Ryan's but on the first day of school Brianna and Ryan walked over so they could all get on at the same time and this is what she showed up in!!!  I kid you not!

Here is Josh.  He opted for Shayne's Scooby Doo lunch box from her Sr. year.  Not because it's super cool, because it is, but because it's Shayne's.  The backpack however is new and awesome!  It even has the muscles built in!  Sophie said that as soon as they got on the bus Josh turned it around so the six pack was where it was supposed to be. 

 Here's another funny coincidence...Ryan and Josh matched too.  Hahaha! 

 Ben was sporting a Tony Hawk shirt and plaid shorts.  He loves plaid shorts.  His lunchbox is kind of hard to see but it is a Monsters University lunchbox.  We had seen the movie earlier and he loved it.  So it was only natural for the backpack to match.

 David wanted to follow is Ben's footsteps and wear his Tony Hawk outfit on the first day of school too.  I learned the hard way that you can't buy them the exact same thing or else Ben will refuse to ever wear it because he knows David will wear it the same day and Ben will not be a twinner to anyone.  His lunchbox is also a minion but it's Stuart the one eyed minion.  His favorite.  And his backpack has a hologram on the back with a ton of minions and it says, "Assemble the Minions!"

 Fun stuff and super excited kids!

 Joel took Sophie and Josh to the middle school to check out Josh's classes and to find his locker a couple days before school started and I took Sophie to the HIGH SCHOOL the day before school started to get her locker and to help her find her rooms.  Luckily neither school is very big so they didn't have a hard time finding classes.  Joel and I both took Ben and David to their first day of school and met their teachers and found where they sit, their cubby and hook for their backpack and left them to have a great day.  As we left the school hand in hand Joel said, "Maybe we should ditch work and go celebrate everyone being back in school."  We didn't but it was a fun thought.  Ben has Mrs. Stephenson who started teaching here in the middle of school last year.  She seems very nice.  David has a tag team pair of teachers with Mrs. Wood and Mrs. Baker.  Ben had them in 2nd grade and had a horrible year.  But we prayed about it and feel like David can handle the switching off and is a little more stable than Ben.  So we kept him in there and we'll see how it goes.  He also has Owen in his class so it'll be fun.  So here we go!  Another fun year of school!  Sophomore, 8th Grade, 4th Grade and 2nd.  Bring it on!

Family Pictures

 While we still had Stephen and Debra's families in town we decided that we had better do some family pictures.  We hadn't really done one for years.  In this picture we are only missing the three missionaries - Shayne, Jaden and Austin - and Pat and Bryce.  Those first 3 don't really count so we were only missing 2.  One to work and the other to football camp.  That's not bad for a family that size.  In fact it's AWESOME! 

I thought about zooming in closer on this picture but half of us have our eyes closed so this is as good as it gets.  From a distance we all look great!

 Mike and Elaine and the crew.

I wasn't paying enough attention to get a picture of every family.  I thought I heard someone say that they would make a copy of all of the pictures on a hard drive for Mom and Dad so I stopped taking pictures after Stephen.  I stole Holly's picture's off of her Facebook page.  Same with Daniel and James.  Thanks guys!

This is Kaleah.  She is the newest member of the Beckstrand family but not the youngest.  The youngest would be her new best friend Hannah sitting next to her crying.  Younger by 20 days.  Kaleah was adopted by Holly and Brian through the state when one of the girls that they had in foster care, awhile ago, delivered her.  After trying to raise Kaleah by herself she told Holly that she wanted her and Brian to raise her.  What is amazing is that she looks just like Baylee.  It's crazy.  She fits in just like she was always meant to be there and the boys absolutely love her.

Every time the Beckstrand boys are together they have to get an oldest to youngest picture. 

This is a very stolen very handsome picture.

Here are our 4 teenage girls!  Sophie, Ashley, Emma and Chase.  Aren't they GORGEOUS!

Oh Brothers!  You can click on this picture to make it bigger but you probably shouldn't waste your time. ;)

This bunch started almost 45 years ago.  That is a lot of years of a lot of fun!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Beckstrand Reunion Part 3

Saturday consisted of an early morning basketball game with all of the guys and Ashley.  Joel and Brian drove up on Joel's motorcycle so we didn't have to wake up early.  They had a great time in the Enterprise High School gym thanks to Brian Phelps who teaches and coaches there.  The rest of us came up around 10 and the adults had a great devotional while the teenagers took the little kids into the primary room to do crafts.  Afterwards we had a huge lunch and then played around for a couple more hours then slowly everyone went home.  Josh brought his unicycle back up for people to try and Chad, Connor, Matthew and Ashley all gave it a good try.



Joel gave some motorcycle rides.  This is Chase.
Here are some pictures of everyone trying to climb up the rope we had hanging from the tree.  The shots aren't very flattering but we have some very talented climbers in the family.  Here are Baylee and Rylan Holloway.  For most of the little kids Brian just held onto the rope and let the kids climb him.

 Here are Stephen and Kyle.  Kyle had the second fastest time.  Brian could get up in 6 seconds and Kyle did it in 8.  Speed demons.

Holly and Katie climbed it too.  The women can't be shown up.  We actually had more little girls than boy climb it too.

 Timmy and Treasure could almost beat Kyle's time.  They are FAST!  So we made them race each other to see which one was actually faster and Timmy was barely.  By doing that it sparked the idea of one person climbing 2 ropes at the same time and the following pictures are what we ended up with.

 John and Brian

 Alex and David

 Luke and Mary

 Ben and Hailey

 Matthew and his daughter decided to give it a try too.  I think she got higher than he did.

 Otto was just fine hanging out watching the whole thing as long as he had a glove and a ball to hold on to.

 Then we ended the reunion with a water balloon toss.  The trick was to see if you could catch one without making it pop.  It never happened. If you look close you can see the splash coming out of Matthews fingers.

 It was a blast!  I can hardly wait until next year.  It's always so good to see cousins you haven't seen in awhile.  Catch up,  make new memories and enjoy yourselves.   See you next year!