Thursday, March 24, 2011

My Mom, Dad, and Japan!

The last, what week and a half have been CRAZY! Two Fridays ago I was woken up by an early morning text from a good friend asking if my family in Japan was ok? Not sure why she was asking I pulled up the news on my phone. When the lead story was all about the earth quake in Japan I sat straight up and startled Kris. He was unsure what was going on and was asking me what was wrong. When I replied that there was an earthquake in Japan he non chalantly told me “that happens all the time in Japan”. (Kris served a mission in Sendai) As he rolled over and went back to sleep. Knowing that there was something more to it I called my dad right away. He answered after a few rings and after getting all of the details of the quake and making sure they were all right and their missionaries were all fine I was comforted and felt they were fine. Meanwhile I had one of the cute girls from their ward staying with me so we went about our day running from place to place to place. When we got back that night that was the first time either Ryoko or I had sat down and watched the news. That is when we were shocked and horrified by what we saw.
My parents have said that they have not experienced much destruction from the quake. Most of the missionaries were in the church in a missionary training meeting with my dad. My mom was in the mission home kitchen cleaning up after feeding all of those missionaries. She was feeling like she was going to faint and sat on the floor till the swaying stopped. The missionaries stayed in the church until it stopped. My mom said the quake lasted for several minutes. I know both of my parents have wanted to help in the relief effort, but for now they have a different calling.
With the nuclear stuff happening and the evacuation of other missions my parents were called and told that the missionaries that were scheduled to leave in the next 2 transfers were already scheduled to be on flights home. They had called with the same news for the Kobe mission. Both missions were sending home missionaries early to make room for the Tokyo missionaries. The Tokyo mission was being evacuated and my parents were getting half of the missionaries and Kobe was getting the other half. 43 missionaries sent to each mission. My parents and the AP’s worked very hard at getting ready for this massive “transfer” if you will. There were about 70ish people that my mom was trying to figure out how to feed. (and with the stores being bare even in Nagoya, that was not an easy task) I know she was so grateful for all of the help she received from the ward members. These pictures were taken by one of their AP's this was all of the luggage that just went on and on and then the church cultural hall full of futons that just were everywhere. They didn't have enough room to keep all of the missionaries in the mission home but all the sisters stayed there and then I know there were several missionaries bunking with the office elders as well, one thing is for sure... they were packed to the hilt!

For now my parents are doing well. They do get the aftershocks here and there, some bigger than others, but they are in a safe area and are thrilled with their new missionaries, I know they were sad to see their other missionaries leave and I know that their missionaries were sad to leave. You can see more of the story from 3 of their missionaries here. There is also another story from one of their missionaries from Australia that you can read here.
I know that all of my siblings and I have felt your love and prayers. Thank you to all of you for the sweet thoughts we have received though phone calls, text, facebook, and email. We have felt the comforting power of the spirit while my parents are far away and not being with them and being able to help where they have needed the help. Thanks for your prayers. We feel blessed everyday to have them serving were they are. We hear amazing stories of the faithful missionaries and members in Japan. The last conference call my parents had with Tokyo they said that though all of the missionaries have been accounted for and are safe, there are still many members of the church that are still missing or missing family members and to keep them in their prayers. We will keep all of those in our prayers. Thank you again for all of your support. It is so appreciated and we are grateful for such awesome family and friends.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Church Bag Addition!

I know it's been forever since my last post. I really need to get back in the groove. But now that I'm feeling a little better I feel a huge push to get my house organized, dejunked, and cleaned out before this baby comes. My basement is almost totally done, just a few little things to get done in the workout room and then I can move on to the upstairs. Molly's room is done and ready for her new roommate to move in as soon as the beds arrive, the frames were back ordered and will be coming in April. What does that mean.... I honestly don't know! (start of April or end of April!) Well I decided to take a break and do a project that I have had in my mind for months and have just now got the energy and time to put into action! I'm so happy how it turned out. I have plenty of ideas, most of which are a total busts, but I'm excited about this one and I'm sure the novelty will wear off after the fist week of church, but hey what do you do?
My girls really do love puzzles. I found a bunch when I was in Japan. There were like 6 in a package for $1! Japan's dollar stores are so much better than ours. Well they have been in the church bag and my girls LOVE them. The only problem is they fall all over and we lose pieces and I hate when they are almost done and then they move the puzzle and it all comes tumbling down. This is where the idea started to form. I thought I would get a can and then make magnetic puzzles so here is what I did and how I put it together.

So I went to Office Depot and found some Magnet sheets. They are the same size as paper! Then I printed some of my favorite photos of the girls and some other random ones off my computer right onto the magnet sheets.
My mom has a Cuddle bug cutter and they make a puzzle die cut that I found online and it fit a 4x6 photo perfectly! So I cut them into photos.

I also found the perfect size lunch box looking can for each girl that the magnet puzzle would fit perfectly on, then I could also store the puzzles inside them. I added some vinyl letters on the front so there is no fighting about who's is who (I'm sure my kids are the only ones that would fight about something that silly but I have to cover my bases). So then I put all of the puzzles in sandwich bags and shoved them in the box. Here was the problem with that... I couldn't tell what puzzle was what and the girls like to choose their own puzzles and it took up sooooo much room. So I printed off little thumbnail print of the same photos I used and went and had them laminated and found some awesome library card envelopes that would work perfect for what I wanted. I got home and there was adhesive on the back of each of the envelopes so I stuck them back to back and put the pictures of each puzzle on the front and then bound them together like a book! That way they can just flip though and find what they wanted. The books fit nicely in each can and keep it from the major digging and mess making with all of the baggies.

Each little envelope holds a different puzzle. I love that they stick to the can so we don't have them falling all over and they are pictures of themselves so they will love to put them together.

Really all in all I'm really happy with how it all turned out and hope it will keep them quiet for a few extra minutes during sacrament meeting!