I haven't had a chance to update the blog in a little bit, but we've had some wonderful things happening in our family!
First, Andy came home from his mission! Hooray! It really seemed like he was gone for-ev-er, and we were all counting down the days, then hours, then minutes until his return. He was a truly amazing, 100% dedicated missionary, and we are all so proud of him. We had a huge crowd at the airport to greet him. About the only word I can come up with to describe how he looked is shell-shocked. :) I took a ton of pictures, but here's the best one of him (and the beautiful Ange) -- he was moving around so fast greeting everyone it was hard to get a good pic. He was definitely uncomfortable hugging all the female family members, which we all got quite a kick out of. There are more pictures here.
My favorite part of the night was that Josh refused to believe that Andy was the REAL Uncle Andy. There were several missionaries on the flight, and for some reason Josh had decided that one of the other ones was actually Uncle Andy, and he became more and more upset when we all insisted that he was wrong. The next day when Josh saw him he said, "Oh, you ARE Uncle Andy! I thought you weren't..." Now they're inseparable -- any time we're with the family, Joshy runs right to Andy.
The next day we went to lunch and then Mom and I went to Costco with Andy and tried to talk him into buying some jeans and casual shirts, but nothing doing.
He's having a tough time transitioning. I hear he had a major breakthrough this past week though -- he came home from Institute and said to my mom, "I kind of look like a dork, don't I?" :) Yesterday was his homecoming at Church, and he gave a wonderful and spiritually powerful talk.
Saturday was the most incredible day -- we did Carissa's temple work! Amy, Mom, and I met at the temple early to do her initiatories, and then a huge group from the family met us for the endowment session. It was the most incredible spiritual experience of my life. I was able to do the endowment on her behalf, and I felt her spirit and her love so strongly throughout the experience; I know she was with us, and that there was great rejoicing in heaven. Afterward we went to the cemetary to have a little memorial and do the official unveiling of her headstone, which was installed a couple of months ago. It was really a wonderful day, and we were so happy to have the whole family together, including Eric and Leanne who came all the way from England! You can see lots of pictures from the day here.
Now, I do have something to report that falls in the "major bummer" category -- we've been planning for months to take a family trip together once Andy came home and Eric and Leanne were here, and last week we decided that weather wouldn't be good enough for Lake Powell (our original plan) and that we should go to Disneyland instead. Yippee! So all week we were feverishly preparing for the trip. Well, Josh took the feverishly part a little too seriously, because what we thought was just a cold got worse and worse until Saturday I took him the Urgent Care and he had a fever of 103.9 and he tested positive for swine flu! Argh! So that really stunk, but we REALLY didn't want to miss out on the family trip, so I thought we might still make it happen, but Sunday Sammy and Eliza both woke up sick and by the afternoon I was feeling awful as well, so we had to give it up. There was just no way we could risk getting everyone else in the family sick (not to mention the entire population of Disneyland!). But, on the happy side, everyone is doing much, much better today. None of us have a fever, and the kids are enjoying getting to stay in their jammies and watch Disney movies all day. I really believe that it is the power of prayer and the priesthood that have made all the difference. So many people have given us so much help -- I really appreciate it!
We hope the family has a totally awesome time at Disneyland and takes tons of pictures!