Thursday, April 28, 2011


I love me some Easter!  Is it because it's during spring?  Maybe.  Is it because of what it represents?  Probably.  This year I made less baskets than I have for 15 years.
It was weird.

The baskets contained; candy, a movie and a tie.  Could it get any better?  Yes.  My basket had my all time favorite Sees candy, bordeaux with a new skirt attached.  Sweet.

The kids had a Easter egg hunt on Sunday evening at Mimi & Papa's home.  Even Winston got involved.

Quinn loves that Mr. Winston!

Roxcy had fun finding the goodies!

A small group this year.  Just two with a kid missing (my kid, Cole).

Truman, Quinn and Winston.

Rick turned the camera on us.

Monday, April 25, 2011

He made It! Shimonoseki, Yamaguchi.

Can you see him?  Look for the goof with old man glasses and his chin up to the camera in the back.  Yep, that's Cole, all the way.  We haven't heard from him since he left last Monday.  Actually, we hadn't even heard that he arrived until, by a round about way, I was sent this picture today by another "new" missionary mom.  It was really great to get this physical confirmation that he made it.  Looks like the picture was taken in front of the Fukuoka Temple on a hill side.  The older couple in the middle is Cole's mission president and his wife. I've forgotten just how green everything there is.  Living in a desert does dull the eyes sometimes.

Monday, April 18, 2011

He's on his way/She lives! What a day.

On Saturday, my older sister, Amy, was found by two of my other sisters unresponsive and in dire straits in her apartment (long story waaaay short).  She ended up in the hospital ICU on a ventilator and heavily sedated until this morning when the on-coming RN turned off the sedation just to assess her neurological status.  The RN said she hadn't hardly walked out of the room before her manager said, "Um your patient just extubated herself."  Which means she was awake and pulled her breathing tube out on her own.  Then Amy went on to pull out her nasal gastric tube as well.  She is a horse!  Just this morning we didn't know if she'd ever be the same since we didn't know if she'd have brain damage from being deprived of oxygen for who knows how long.  Turns out she has multiple bilateral pulmonary embolisms (blood clots in both lungs) that could/should have killed her but they didn't. 

We waited for Cole's call this morning, all morning. He is traveling to Japan today, finally! He left Salt Lake City around 8:00 a.m. and arrived in San Francisco around 9:30 a.m. His flight to Tokyo was scheduled to leave at 12:55. He finally called just after noon. Here we are all listening around the phone.

Cole said he was the last of the 23 missionaries to make his phone call.  So we talked until they announced his flight was boarding.  Luckily while we were talking, another missionary came over and told Cole they delayed the flight from 1:15  to 1:40, which gave us extra time to talk.

Here's Rick talking to one of the Japanese Elders in Japanese.  Afterwards the Elder told Cole to tell his dad that his pronunciation is good but he has to work on his sentence structure.

So, what do you talk to your son/brother about when you haven't spoken for three months?  Things like:  What was the hardest part of the MTC? The food.
What did you like best?  The music.
How are you feeling?  All better, no more hard core cold.
How are the Japanese missionaries?  Ultra Stylish and super fun!  One Japanese elder is really into the Phoenix Suns and Steve Nash.

The phone's on speaker-phone.  See the duct tape?  You never know when you might need it....just sayin.

Ah, rollin the duct tape.

What a day.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


The other day I had to take my mom to the pulmonologist since she gave up driving a few months ago.  She has recently been diagnosed with Pulmonary Hypertension.  Not a good diagnosis.  While we were in the Dr.'s office waiting for her to come in, my mom said, "It's sumggy in here."  She makes up words.  Maybe it's due to the lack of oxygen getting to her brain.  Perhaps, most likely, its just mom.  She meant stuffy and I knew it.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Every now and then I'll google Japan Fukuoka Mission Blog just to see if there is any updated information regarding the situation in Japan, missionary-wise.  I found a blog from a sister missinary who gives some details as to the current events in the Fukuoka mission.  Below is some of what she says:

Anyway, transfers were delayed for a week. Here's why.

So, because of the giant massive earthquake that destroyed so many places, Tokyo and Sendai will probably not be open for a while. Our mission is PACKED. But we were planned to have 21 more missionaries come this week. (That's Cole)  They first decided to delay them or transfer in other missions or in the MTC, to make room for them in the other 4 missions of Japan. Well, in the apostle meeting in the temple every week, they talked about what to do with Japan, and they decided to send the missionaries over anyway. We have room, maybe. But they are delayed a week... I think they probably canceled airplane tickets, and now they have to find them all again, but I'm not sure if that is true.

So now we have 24 more missionaries coming into our mission. The mission office has been trying to find apartments and such for people.

We think our apartment could become a 3-some. 4 would be impossible - one would have to sleep in the closet. So we got word of that Wednesday night. Then Thursday at lunch the mission president called. When the mission president calls you know something is up. He never calls just to say hi. He talked to Shaver Shimai. She dies (goes home) in May.

He said that he got an email from his leaders saying that if he wants he can send people home a transfer early to make room. So he called everyone that is supposed to die in May, and gave them the option. My companion freaked out for about an hour. To go home a transfer early, or not to go home a transfer early.... that was the question. She finally decided to stay. I've heard of at least one person choosing to go home early. But he's in my zone, so that's why I heard. There are probably a few others. So now president and the APs are figuring out transfers. Transfer announcement is in a week and 2 days. This is the special 7 week transfer!

It's interesting to see how they're dealing with the issuefrom the Japan side, not just the MTC or our side.  Kind of gives me a wider perspective.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Can a person be homesick for their child?  I think I am.  I miss Cole.  Obviously not the obnoxious parts about him, 'cause he does have a few.  I miss the creative, funny, loving parts about him and his wise choice in music.  He has quite a music library and can pick some fabulous tunes. It's been nearly three months and he'll be gone for two years.  I think it will go by fast.  Time has a way of doing that, going fast, that is.

The sending off of a missionary. 
I put a link to this on my post a few weeks past but if you don't have Facebook, you can't access it.  Now you can view it without Facebook. 
Boo Ya.

Monday, April 11, 2011

A "non-party" birthday. Truman is 15!

Truman turned 15 on April 1st.  Conversations between him and I prior to the actual birthday consisted of me telling Truman that he's had about 14 other birthdays and how I'd like to skip this one with as little pomp and circumstance as possible.  It turned out he invited a few friends over for hamburgers and hot dogs.  After cake and ice cream, the kids watched "Inception" in the back yard on the back wall while eating root beer floats.  It actually turned out to be a very nice birthday.  I don' know how non-party like it was because it still seemed like a lot of work.  Funny how that happens.

The papers hanging from the chandelier is a birthday tradition where Rick draws crazy characters professing happy birthday wishes to the celebrated person.  We've got them all saved. 

Truman loves a Texas Sheet Cake every now and then.

"Inception" on the back wall.

Who needs a chair when you've got a trampoline?

A yummy treat.

Emily stopped by.

Tradition is a birthday breakfast of the celebrator's choice.  This is a posed picture, obviously, because Truman does not eat breakfast meat of any kind.  We also had crepes with fresh strawberries but they were put away before the picture was taken.

But wait, there's Sunday dinner for Truman and Papa too!  Papa had his 73rd birthday on the 5th.  Here are two of Rick's sisters and their kids.

I swear, our birthday celebrations N E V E R end!  We were lucky to get Truman's over with over a weekend!  We got off easy.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

It's on!

Tuesdays are the days we get to hear from Cole by e-mail.  Those days are his "P" days which stands for Preparation days, a.k.a. a day off from studying the language and classes.  In the morning he hadn't heard  if he was actually going on April 11th, as originally planned, or not.  Then later in the afternoon, we got this from him:

I have NO good pictures of Cole in his suit before he left.  The boy does not pose!

Good news starts now:

WE'RE LEAVING!!! One week after expected, but yes. As of right now, we have the facts and we're saying 'yes!'

200 hundred pictures is a dream come true. I will love to share w/ my fond nihonjin (Japanese) friends. I've been a little byoki (sick) lately. That might be why, if at all, you are billed for a thing or two. All I know is I didn't pay anything here for the doctor visit.

We've all been genki (happy, healthy) as ever though. All is well.

We had a fireside on Sunday from a famous LDS footballer and now newscaster in Philly. He's a true example of spreading the word through whatever resources he can. The slogan he came up with for the foster child program in Philly, which is on every billboard around the city, is "(name) dreams of finding a forever family." We had much laughter when he spoke. He also incorporated a "Mormon day" at Philly's games once a year where the missionaries in the area sing the national anthem. Once while he was giving a report all the missionaries were behind him singing called to serve. It was quite an uproar.

But yes, don't you worry. I will be in Nihon (Japan) in just under two weeks. I'm am so grateful again for all the help and love the family gives to each other, and right now especially me. I can feel the love every day, or as one of the Brazilian elders used to sing in the showers: "Can you feel the love tonight (toni-ee-ite) in the MTC?" My answer is yes. I love you all tremendously.

Elder Tipton

This is good news!  People ask me how I feel about my son going to a place with such turmoil now especially with the radiation threat.  I say, he is safe where he will be and I know the Church would never place anyone in danger.  I know he'll be where he's supposed to be.  This is good news!