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Time marches on and the stories keep unfolding. Meanwhile I am so busy I haven’t taken the time to tell many of them.

The day before we moved a hummingbird flew into the house. It took Heath at least half an hour to get it out. He managed to block off all the rooms upstairs except Gwen’s room. He shut it in the room, took the screen out of the window, and eventually had to use the screen to convince “Sweetie” to fly low enough down to get out the open window! He did take several minutes of video.

Gavin worked with his scout leader to get things up to date. He earned the citizenship in the community merit badge and may even qualify for a rank advancement. The boys signed up to volunteer at the library. Parker went twice and Gavin went once. Gavin just needed one more hour to finish the requirements for the merit badge. Those three trips to the library were time consuming enough that when Gavin was finished I told the boys they were finished volunteering for the summer!

I let the kids check out library books since I was going to pack up all the books. Gwen accidently left one on the bookshelf and it was packed. She had to pay $10 to fix the mistake. Did I already tell this story? I don’t remember. I don’t want to deal with sending the book back when we find it. Dawn says I can return it to our new local library and they will send it for me. Or I can donate it to her little library (neighborhood library). I would rather do that. Or I could just be nice enough to let Gwen keep it! We’ll see.

Parker-Vader

Parker designed and created a Darth Vader head out of a cardboard box at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. I love how creative he is. It’s unfortunate I’m his mother. Fortunately he asked his creative grandma if he could execute on this idea and she agreed. She provided minimal supervision. Mostly with the spray painting part. Other than that he did it all himself.

The day before we moved into our new house we went to the Everett Children’s Museum. I took a bunch of pictures and will one day post them! We also had a lot of fun at Grandma Holmes’ birthday party last Saturday. More pictures for another day. Gwen became fast friends with her second cousins again. They were really upset when we had to leave. They love Gwen. Seeing her play with Ashton, Kiera, and Aiden reminds me of how we tricked the kids with a trip to Disneyland. We told them we were going to visit Uncle Dan, Aunt Dana, and Danielle and her kids. Gwen was so disappointed we were going to Disneyland instead that she cried and wouldn’t forgive us for most of the drive!

Last Saturday we made friends with perfect strangers at the mall. We parked next to a car with Utah plates. They happened to go back to their car at the same time we did. We got to talking and found out they were Mormons also who recently moved here from Kansas but were originally from Utah. I exchanged numbers with the lady. Her name is Kristen! I don’t remember how it came up but she and her husband knew people who graduated from my high school the same year I graduated! It was the funniest coincidental encounter.

After that we drove to our new neighborhood and met several neighbors just chatting outside. Gwen went to the playground at the top of the street and found several BFF’s. We felt so great about everything with our neighborhood, I decided the mall encounter was more for Kristen’s benefit than mine.

Our new ward is so awesome! It felt like being back in P4 with the warm welcome we received. Even couples who were new the Sunday before welcomed us to the ward and the area. I love that the attitude we grew accustomed to in P4 continues here as well.

Scout camp was this week. Heath and I agreed that if we had more notice we would have sent Gavin a second time. He loves scout camp and it would be fun for him to bond with the boys his age. There are lots of deacons in our ward and they are excited to welcome Gavin.

Parker made some friends that first day at church as well. There are lots of boys on our street the same age as Gavin and Parker. Lots of girls around Gwen’s age as well. She even made friends with the boy next door last night. Angie (his mom) said that he is so shy and hadn’t even played with anyone since they moved in a month ago.

Wednesday was move in day. Gwen was invited to a playdate in the morning and the boys were invited to a movie that evening. All by the same family. Tom and Natalie have four kids. The younger kids wanted to invite friends over while their older brother was at scout camp.

We got here early enough for Gwen to go to her playdate. We were hoping we could get keys in the morning even though technically we weren’t supposed to until that afternoon. We ate Subway in the grassy park next to our house while we waited for a supervisor to come give us keys. He was able to come at 1:30. When we got into the house we went nuts trying to seal tile, grout, and countertops. Just as we were laying carpet protecting plastic on the stairs the trailer arrived. Things sort of snowballed from there.

I went back to the playdate house to ask if Tom could help us with the ramp. Oh yeah, when the trailer was delivered in CA they didn’t deliver it with a ramp. When Heath called they said they were out of them! It was up to us to get one. That was an adventure since none of the home improvement stores actually rent them like we were told. He called a Crestco in Fremont (not that close to us) and was able to get one delivered. It was delivered on Saturday morning and they said they wouldn’t charge us for Sunday. They picked it up on Monday after the trailer was loaded. ABF paid for the ramp rental since they made the mistake.

Anyway, we only wanted Tom to help move the ramp. The Elders Quorum was supposed to provide the muscle at 6:30 that evening. A day earlier than we originally planned for their help. Once the ramp was in place Tom called the Elders Quorum President to come over. He brought his two sons (11 and 9). Kirk came over too. With all that help we were able to unload about half the trailer between 4:30 and 6:30 when more men came by to help.

Heath bought Little Caesars Pizza to feed our new friends. Dawn came with brownies after she was finished taking Grandma Holmes to the eye doctor. We were done unloading the trailer a little after 7:00. The doorbell kept ringing! The sister missionaries came over wanting to help and more men came by. It was strange to have to turn them all away! We did talk to the sisters for a while though.

The Sunday before we moved I was talking to my neighbor Peggy A. She asked if we had a church to go to when we moved. I told her that we did. Then she asked if Heath’s parents were also Mormon. I told her they were. She was happy to know that we would have a church community when we arrived. The sentiment really touched me. I do love that the Mormon community is so prevalent throughout the world. No matter where you go the church is likely there. There are instant friends and always help moving. It really is a comforting thing.

The kids have not gone to bed any earlier than 11:00 pm in days. Last night we couldn’t ignore our congregating neighbors outside any more. I live on Mayberry Street in the 1950’s and I love it! Watching the kids run around playing late into the night was such a summer thing to see.

Today was the first cooler day. It has been in the upper 80’s to low 90’s since we moved in. We chose not to have air conditioning installed because it’s the Northwest. Most of our neighbors don’t have A/C either. The air has been stagnant with no breeze so it has been intensely hot. I thought we left the heat! Heath bought a portable air conditioner on his fourth trip to Lowe’s yesterday. We were melting in our house.

Heath and I will be substituting in Gwen’s Primary class tomorrow and the following Sunday. It is nice to dive right into serving in a new ward. We have been so blessed by the service from our fellow ward members.

The stories will continue to unfold. I hope to be better at recording them.

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