Monday, September 28, 2015


As I'm making these posts I'm finding more and more random pics from my phone that don't really have a  home but I thought they were either cute or funny so I decided to make a post all of its own of random shots.  Kaders was nervous about swings for a while.  Every time he'd swing, he'd grunt on the forward motion till he got use to it.  It was pretty cute.
 He sure loved playing in the sandbox.

Everyone did for that matter.
 We got a wiggle car for a killer price in the winter and since it's too cold outside till about April and we had a massive main level with lots of wood and tile flooring, this toy got a lot of use.
 Kenz stole my phone and had to get some selfies at the temple open house.

 This is how Masie usually sleeps.  Right up against the edge of her bed.  If it wasn't for her rail she would always be on the floor.
 Kaders discovered Nutella.  Or should I say his hair discovered it.
 Just being cute.
 More of the Children's museum.  This is in the ancient exploration area.  This kids are digging up things.

 Gotta make sure you wear protective gear, even it's on upside down.

 We like to try and wear these two out.
 More sandbox cuteness

 I did  take two shots of Randy's surgery. Well before his surgery.  He looks so forlorn.
 My cute boys
 And sometimes just weird
 OK, really weird!
 I guess it kept her busy during General Conference so that's all that mattered.
 Upon arriving to MN we found out that band starts in 5th grade so we jumped at the chance to have Micah begin lessons.  He chose percussion.  Hope my nerves hold up.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Welcome to Minnesota

We left on Labor day from Martin's Cove in hopes of seeing Mt. Rushmore and Matney one last time.  But our start was too late and we had 13 hours to go so we drove all day and got into our hotel in Maple Grove about 1 AM.  Because of Randy's surgery and other events we were unable to secure a home before leaving Indy, so we stayed in an extended stay type of a hotel in hopes of finding a place soon. Randy had to be up early and at his new job that next morning and so we sent him off with his very own first day picture, lol.
 Over the next 3 weeks, we searched everywhere for a rental.  We thought we wanted to stay somewhat near Randy's office so he wouldn't have to commute that far, but we also knew with this new position there would be a lot of travel, so being near the airport was also an option.  When we couldn't find a place up on the Northside, so we expanded our search to all over the Minneapolis area and found a home in Lakeville in a little bit of disarray from previous tenants that the landlord said he'd work on while we were living here.  It was big enough and for a great price, considering the area, and since we had been struggling to find a place we jumped at the chance and moved in as soon as possible.  We had been living in a 2 bedroom hotel for too long and we were "all done" living that way.  Plus the kids had been out of school long enough and they were getting a little stir crazy.  We tried to get out of the hotel as much as possible, but with Randy working and being new to the area it  was hard to explore with 6 kids. We did go to the Mall of America which had been a dream of mine since I was teenager.  Now we live 20 minutes away!!!  This place everything imaginable, even roller coasters and other rides.  The kids really like the Peeps store and of course the Lego store.
 Being out of our ordinary routine was hard for Kaders.  Living in a hotel, not having his normal bedtime routine made it hard for naps as well as bedtime.  But he would eventually crash somewhere.
 We also heard about the Como Zoo which is a free zoo in Minneapolis.  It was small but had some really cool animals.

So far we really like it here.  There is a lot to explore and so many lakes.  I feel like I'm living Up North all of the time.  Now if we could just afford to buy a lake house, I would be in heaven!!!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

It's Great to be 8!!! Martin's Cove Family Fun!

Like I said before with the move Malia was given the choice of being baptized before the temple dedication or waiting and being baptized with her cousin Bradley in Martin's Cove.  When Malia realized how much family would be able to come to Wyoming she decided that would be more fun to wait to be baptized so she could see her grandparents and cousins.  My parents recently started serving a 6 month mission in Martin's Cove in the spring and were given permission by the mission president to allow any of their grandchildren turning 8 to be baptized in the Sweetwater River where LDS pioneers had crossed making their trek to Zion.  My parents loved serving here.  They learned so much about these saints who sacrificed their lives to follow the prophet to help the church grow. 
Here is an excerpt from their missionary letter after we left.
Dear Family;
  I am so sorry that I was unable to write you last Sunday, but with the family here for the baptisms I just didn't get everything done that I wanted to.  Those of you that were here for the weekend, I hope it was as special for you as it was for me.  Those of you who couldn't make it, we missed you terribly!  And just to give you a short synopsis of what we did; we were able to go on a trek into Martin's Cove on Saturday and I was really proud of all those little legs that made it on the 5-6 mile walk.  We 4 pulled handcarts and some of the little people got to ride for part of it.  But the actual walk into the cove was without handcarts.  We told stories and even did a river crossing - some did that in handcarts.  After the trek, we got ready for the two baptisms in the Sweetwater River.  I was worried that the river would be cold and that Malia and Bradley would only remember how they were baptized in freezing water.  Although the water temperature was not as warm as it would have been at a font in a meetinghouse, I didn't hear either of them complain about it being too cold and they both only had to be immersed one time.  Malia got baptized in the dress that Grandma Barbara Schmidt had made for Shauna to be baptized in.  I think all of the Schmidt girls and most if not all of the Schmidt granddaughters so far have gotten to be baptized in that dress.  So that was neat.  We got to have the opening and closing of the baptism in the little chapel not far from where the kids were baptized.  We had the talks and confirmations there and all the grandkids that were there got to sing all three verses of "I am a Child of God."  That was special.  During the interim while we were waiting for Bradley and Malia to change into dry clothes, James got to sing "Savior, Redeemer of My Soul."  It's the song that is at the end of either "17 Miracles" or "Ephraim's Rescue" and he did a great job.  President and Sister Bushman were there and made some awesome comments and even gave both of the Baptized kids a present of a handcart necklace and a tie tack.  President Bushman held up a picture of John the Baptist baptizing Jesus and suggested we notice the background of the picture; how there is a mountain range and a field.  Then he told us to look at the background of the baptismal area when we got to where Bradley and Malia were going to baptized and see how similar they looked.  That was amazing.  Although they weren't baptized in the Jordan River like Jesus was, the setting was so similar.  I was just grateful to be able to be a part of that special day for those two awesome kids.
       We had about 50 at the baptism with two of Katie's friends who were able to come.  Randy's parents and two daughters and families as well as Eric's parents and brother were able to attend so that was neat.  Randy's dad has ancestors who came in the Willie and Martin Handcart companies.  So he told the story of one of them while we were in the Trek Center.  It was the story of Ann Jewell Rowley.  She had been converted when she and her husband William heard Wilford Woodruff preach the gospel in England.  She and her husband had been members of the United Brethren and the whole congregation had been converted and baptized when they heard Brother Woodruff preach.  The Church of England was upset at the number of people that were being converted to Mormonism and so they sent a constable to one of the meetings to arrest Brother Woodruff.  But the constable heard Wilford preach and was converted.  So the Church of England sent two spies to attend one of the Mormon meetings and report back.  These two men were also converted after hearing Wilford preach.  The Church of England gave up sending any more 'spies'. The Rowley family wanted to emigrate to Zion and was saving money for it when William died.  He left Ann with seven kids and a stepdaughter from her husband's first marriage.  Ann said that she knew this life was only for a moment and she would try to make the best of her situation.  Her goal was to get the temple work done so she and William and the children could be sealed.  So all the family worked and after 7 years the family was able to start their emigration.  They ended up being assigned to the Willie Handcart Company.  Of course I don't have to tell you the terrible trials the saints in that company had to go through.  One evening when everyone had run out of food and Ann was trying to figure out what she could feed her eight hungry children so she prayed.  Then she remembered two sea biscuits that were in pocket that she had gotten on the ocean voyage.  She pulled them out and set them in the Dutch oven.  Then she covered them with water and put them over the fire, hoping the biscuits would soften enough to give each child a bite.  She let it cook a while remembering the story in the New Testament where Jesus fed 4000 and 5000 on a few loaves of Bread and a couple of fishes.  She thought that if the Lord could do that, there must be hope for them.  When she took the lid off the pan, it was filled with food.  She and her family knelt down to thank God for his goodness.  That night, the family had enough to eat. (You may have seen and remembered this story from '17 Miracles'.  At any rate it was exciting to know that Brother Tucker comes through such a strong, faithful line of pioneers.

  Here is Randy, Malia, Eric and Bradley before they were baptized.

 Then right after.  That day had been pretty warm, so the cool river felt great.

 Before the baptism, my parents wanted to take us all on a mini trek.  We gathered supplies and loaded them into the handcarts and started pulling.  Some of the kids when they got tired were able to sit in the handcarts.  Man I wish I were little again.
 We even had a reenactment of one of the amazing stories of one of Randy's ancestors, Mary Ann and Louisa Mellor.  The Mother, Mary Ann, could go on no longer and so she kissed her children goodbye and then sat on a boulder and cried as her family trekked on.  Louisa, her daughter, returned to her side and pleaded for her to keep going.  Her mother would not budge and so Louisa knelt down and prayed that her mother would find the strength to continue on.  When she got up she found a pie and brought it to her mother which they devoured and caught back up with their family.  So, these two women reenacted the scene and we all had a piece of pie.  It was really fun to see how engaged and passionate these missionaries are about our pioneer ancestors.  
 Most of our trekking group
 Grandpa pointing out the names of his ancestors
 Kenz excited to finally meeting Lilly

 The "lodge" my dad found for us to sleep in while we were there.
 Our trekking group pushing along.
 Masie even got into it.
 The older girls and Preston
 After trekking for a little bit, my parents would find a spot to rest and tell us about the area and some of the stories of the pioneers.
 Grandma and her brood.
 Uncle Beebit helping with the tired kids.
 The grand kids taking a break in Grandpa's rover.
 What a cute bunch
 and a tired bunch
It was a beautiful for a trek.  It was warm and windy and just the right temperature.  Unless you are McKenzie and like to act like you are dying.
 Micah showing off his muscles.
 Some could not trek due to health issues, like Randy recovering for gallbladder surgery.  So my dad drove them around and met us in different places.  We decided it was best to have McKay ride in the rover.  Glad we did!
 What cute little stinker

 Don't mess with me, I'll use my Jedi force on you, lol.
We even had a couple of friends make it to the baptism.  The Matney's and the Youell's came and shared in this special day with us.  We ran into the Youell's while we were trekking and Matney (since they had just moved to Casper 1 hour away) came for the baptism.  It was really awesome to have them take time out of their schedule to support us.  And like a dummy I didn't get any pictures of them.  I have the best friends ever!  This was a once in a lifetime experience and I am so grateful we were given the opportunity to go.