Saturday, May 30, 2015

our wonderful, beautiful, and kind of crazy weekend in Houston

Last Friday, Sadie and I had an opportunity to travel to Houston. Our summer schedule is already packed, but we both felt the need to return to her mission stomping grounds before too much time passed.  For eighteen months, we received Sadie's weekly emails full of excitement and love and sometimes heart break for the people of Houston.  I was beyond excited to have this chance to meet some of them face to face.  As we visited the homes of many of these people,  they shared with me again and again the love they have for "Sister Maughan". As I listened to these amazing individuals and families share of their experiences with Sadie in their homes, it made every second of her absence from our home worth it.

In pictures...

The Houston mission president, President Mortensen and his beautiful family. The Mortensen's have put their lives on hold, and moved their whole family from California to Houston for the three years that they will be serving.

This is a group of twenty somethings from a single adult congregation that Sadie served in.   On Monday night we  had the chance to go rock climbing with them, and even I got to the top of a wall (go me!).   A little bit about the "crazy" part of our weekend….  Most of you are probably aware of the powerful thunderstorms and devastating flooding that took place in Houston last weekend.  During one of these storms, while we were rock climbing, the entire venue lost power.  For forty five minutes we debated if we should leave or wait for the pounding rains to stop….

Enter Johnny and Quynh.  Like the true gentlemen that they are, they offered to escort us on the freeway (by having us follow them with their hazards) and help us get home.  The freeway was already flooding in certain spots and it was definitely what my dad used to call, "white knuckle driving".  
As we left the rock climbing place and got on the freeway, it was intense….walls of water every second and almost zero visibility between the wiper blades beating.  Without the steady blink of Quinn's orange hazards, I wouldn't have been able to continue driving. Thankfully, we arrived safely at Chili's, and when our dinner was done, to my relief, so was the rain. Thank you Quynh and Johnny!

Another highlight of our trip, getting to see this guy, my nephew Clark.  Clark will be coming home in one month. 

And this is Sister Nielsen, one of Sadie's very favorite companions.  She also will be coming home in one month.

Loved this one of the girls…..Sister Nielsen, Sister Jeppson, and Sister Peterson are all wearing shirts Sadie left behind.  I guess it's kind of tradition to dump your wardrobe when you come home.  After eighteen months of the same clothes, I get it.

Got to treat this fine group to lunch. 

And after three short days, our trip to Houston was done. I felt so very bugged that we didn't have a little more time to explore this amazing city. But, if you  ever get down that way, do try the gelato from Rao's Bakery. Sadie opted for Strawberry Shortcake and the Tiramisu I had was Italy at it's finest. 

  And if you happen to be in the area do try this place too...

Bananas Foster and Chocolate crepes.  So very worth it.  

I loved everything about Houston... the food, the happiest tree lined streets, and most of all the people. 
We felt so very sad to learn of the deaths and severe damage caused by the devastating floods. Many prayers for the people of Houston. 

I look forward to going back someday.  
There are so many background stories with each one of the people that Sadie had an opportunity to work with.  The stories are unique and beautiful as the people.  But tomorrow I want to share one story that was especially powerful to me.  It's the story of Krysta, and it's a story no parent should ever have to tell. 
Thank you to each and every one of you that welcomed us into your homes!
I heart Houston!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

May Giveaway

It's just around the corner…warm sunshine, popsicles, beach time, pool time, or maybe even sprinkler time and barbecues.
Summer.  I love this fun beach sign painted on plank board.  I think it would be the most perfect addition to your home or patio wall.  It just says, "Bring on summer!"
          {How to enter}
1. Become a follower of terra's earth (by liking terra's earth on facebook OR via google friends connect.)
2. Leave a comment on this post telling me how you follow.
3. Also leave a contact email (with comment) if it's not linked to your profile (so I can let you know if you win:)

One winner will be selected from the comments using and announced on June 2nd, 2015

{the giveaway closes on June 1st,  2015 at midnight}
{contest open to those residing in the intercontinental u.s.-no p.o. boxes please)

Friday, May 22, 2015

cause even dogs like free stuff

Happy Birthday to our Silver Lab Navy.  Today she turned one year old.  And today Sadie and Sierra and loaded her into our jeep and drove her to Krispy Kreme Donuts for her free birthday donut.  And bless those dear worker's hearts, because when the girls asked if they would give Navy a free birthday donut (being that she's a canine and all), they said yes.  It was gone in one bite, I tell you.  
Happy Birthday Navy.

And P.S. don't forget, this Monday the 25th will be the next giveaway.
(I think your going to like it!)

Thursday, May 21, 2015

seven years later

Today was our youngest child's very last day of grade school.  I snapped a quick picture on my phone as she walked away and then, I started to cry.  I hadn't anticipated this little stream, and as I exited the school parking lot, in my mind's eye, this is what I saw.
Gentry, my kindergartener.
And then I cried a few more tears, but they were mostly happy, grateful tears for the privilege of being her mom. 

Friday, May 15, 2015

everett and lujean

I got to spend one last afternoon with these two beautiful people before they return home to the midwest tomorrow.
And the longer I'm a parent, the more I appreciate my parents.
Thank you Mom and Dad. For everything. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

letting go

This amazing group of friends and family showed up last Sunday to hear Sadie's homecoming talk and welcome her home.  Feeling the love, I tell you!
And now, I start  my next adventure….parenting an adult child as Sadie prepares to take on life after a mission.  I have complete confidence in her.  But, when her date showed up on a motorcycle last week to pick her up, I struggled a bit.  Me to Gregg, "Do you know he's taking her on a motorcycle?!?"  Gregg, "Babe, she's an adult, remember?"  I still don't have to be happy about that all the time.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Saturday, May 9, 2015

happy and sad

Today we attended a funeral for a dear friend's brother.  It was a beautiful service filled with love and memories.  And once again, I was reminded of God's enduring and unwavering love for his children. And I was filled with hope and the confirmation that this life is just a stop on our journey back home.  

Today, we also celebrated Gregg birthday, and my dad's birthday.  It seemed so appropriate that Leo decided to join this picture just as Drew was taking it.   Gregg is a cowboy at heart after all.

 Tomorrow in church, Sadie will be giving her homecoming talk.  Happy mother's day to me….all my family together.  
Wishing all of you beautiful, incredible, wonderful, and dedicated moms a very Happy Mother's Day. 
You deserve it.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

whiskers times two

 Last Wednesday we drove to Phoenix so Gentry could pick out a Bengal kitten. Sierra decided to go along for the ride.   Last Wednesday we drove home with two Bengal kittens. Because Gentry didn't want to share.  I didn't blame her. 
Meet Cairo and Savannah.  

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Prom 2015 some other news

Hey everyone, long time no blog. Sadie has been home now for almost three weeks.  She's already back to dating, staying out late, and being a normal college kid.  We are loving every minute of having her home.
Last Saturday was prom for Drew. Last Thursday we added some more animals to our little "farm" (pics tomorrow). 
And yesterday I got five inches cut off my hair (yikes!).  Pics of that after I get my bleach.  Cause you know this blonde needs her bleach. 

Love this blonde so much and I can't believe he's almost a senior.  

And happy Cinco de Mayo!  Here in Arizona, we always use this as an excuse to indulge in some mexican food (not that we need an excuse).  Tonight it's loaded nachos complete with melted queso.