Friday, July 13, 2012

         I honestly don't know what we would do without our GPS.. We drive on back roads off the main roads about 90% of the time.. beautiful curving roads, rolling hills, back woods and farm land.. In Maryland the roads have "2" names one is a number like highway 5 or Mattawoman Beantown Road.. the locals use the numbers and many times it is listed as the name.. so without our trusty GPS we would be so totally lost..  We are finding our way around the peninsula called Calvert.. The landscape is so full right now and even the trees and bushes are covered with vines so it is solid green everywhere.. it is rare to see the trunks of trees that are not covered..

Solid Green Everywhere

 Crape Myrtle trees in various colors are in beautiful bloom here now.

 We had a great week, we had booked several appointments for this week prior to Monday so in our Monday morning planning meeting, we made 8 calls got a few no answers but we were able to fill in the rest of the week.  Can I just say how much I love the people we have been able to visit in this area.. they have been so warm and welcoming and are making us feel so loved. 

         Kim was our first visit of the week. She is the wife of our Stake President and we were very excited to spend some time with her.  What a delight she is.. She and Pres. Sakai were both raised in Hawaii. They have known each other since they were 5 years old.  Kim serves in the Primary Presidency and is such a support to her husband.  They have one daughter Lily who is 7.  We know how important it is to visit the leaders families, since so many think that they are so busy and have it all and really don't need  a visit.. But they often times need a visit more than anyone because their husbands are so very busy in their callings plus their demanding professions.  So we always try to make sure we touch base with those sisters.  Kim was such a joy to visit with, she has a very infectious laugh and we had so much fun with her.  She was a wealth of information about the dynamics of the entire stake and answered so many questions that we had about the different wards we will be serving in.
 Kim & Lily
 Love their house

       Kristin was our next visit. She is a busy mom of 3, Hanna who is 7, Lucy who is 4 and Perry who is 2.  They live way out in the country and were one of the families who lost power in the huge storm that we had a couple weeks ago.  They have their own well and so without power they cannot even get water.  Their neighbor brought over a generator for them to use and they were able to get by for the 6 days until their power was restored.  They lost a couple big trees, but all else was fine.  She loves to sew and is very active in all kinds of sports. She is homebound, because they only have one car and her husband needs it to get to the Navy base each day.  So we loved being able to visit with her.
Lucy, Kristin, Perry & Hannah

       Sharyn is the Young Women's President in the ward and had just returned from girls camp.  She and her family moved to Maryland after her husband was laid off from his job in Pennsylvania a few months ago.  He now works for NASA.  Sharyn loves to play the piano and loves photography and painting..They have 4 children aging from 17 to 10.  She is loving living in the ward, the number of youth in the ward is huge and so she has her hands full with her family and her new calling..

        Ann was our next visit and we also got to visit with her sweet mother Shirley who lives with them.. Shirley asked us to meet in her room, which Ann and her husband had added to their home in 2009.. It is a beautiful addition just like a studio apartment.. Ann has 5 children, 1 married, 2 in college and 2 at home. Their 17 year old daughter suffers from the effects of having Guillain Barre' while their family was living out of the country. This is an acute disorder affecting the nervous system, causing progressive muscle weakness and paralysis.  She can now walk with the help of leg braces.. Such a brave young woman..   Ann's husband is an environmental JAG attorney for the Air Force.. as she said "a tree hugger".. Her mom Shirley is the cutest little 85 year old lady and so much fun to visit with.. She asked us to come see her often, since she loves to have visitors.. It was a wonderful visit..
Ann & Shirley

        Nancy was our next visit, she is the mother of 9, all at home with the exception of their oldest son who is serving a mission in Brazil.  She loves to run, and she said she loves anything outdoors.. She also loves to bake.  I fell in love with her youngest son Jack.. He was sitting close to me, very absorbed in his animated movie and we just hit it off.. She is a very busy mom, with 8 children at home and loved to have us come over to give her some adult conversation.  Her husband is a private business consultant and serves in the bishopric, so he is very busy.. It was nice that we got to give Nancy a break for an hour or so. 



         Tanji and her family just moved back to Maryland after living in San Diego for 3 years.  Their son just received his mission call to Chili and leaves in November. So that will make "9" missionaries serving from the Calvert ward.  They have 1 married daughter & 2 grandsons.. Tanji is one of the most talented people I have ever met.. Her hobby is woodworking.. She made much of the furniture in their home.. and it is so beautiful.  She was so modest and said that she just has great tools..  She also created this amazing Noah's Ark with all the individual animals, all hand carved.. (you have to look on my blog to see the pictures).. Her husband serves in Human Resources at the Pentagon for the Navy. We asked her what we could do to help her and she asked if we could to with her on her visiting teaching route, since she doesn't know the sisters yet. Sister Brown is going to go with Tanji  while I am in Arizona.. Since they just moved back here, she doesn't know a lot of people..this ward is so large and since it is mainly military, there have move in's and out's quite frequently.

 The Ark she made ! all the animals and figures are hand carved
She made this beautiful piece too. .

        Anne serves in the RS Presidency and invited us to lunch.. She is the mom of 4 delightful children with special needs.. She is so patient and such an awesome mom.. We were so impressed at the entire family.. Her 11 year old daughter was busy making cookies, she also has a 15 year old daughter with autism who is so excited to be a freshman , her 12 year old son was just ordained a deacon and has ADHD, and an adorable son who is 4.  What a great visit we had with the whole family.. Her husband is a private contractor specializing in computer programming for the Navy.  Anne teaches water aerobics, and loves her garden.. She had been canning beans and they looked wonderful.. She also loves to bake bread.. and we got to have some with our luscious lunch.. It was a great visit..
          Sarah was one of the speakers in church last week and we knew we wanted to make sure we had a visit with her. She is a very shy person and we were asked to see if we could get in and visit with her.. She was a delight to visit with.  She two little boys and they keep her hopping.. She has been helping out in summer daily vacation bible school.  Her talent is decorating her home and yard work.. both are beautiful.. She is quite the shopper and said that she hunts and hunts until she finds exactly what piece of furniture or accessory with fit into her beautiful home.  Her husband works for the census bureau. One of the few who isn't in the military or works for the military. 
                                                      Sarah with Andrew & Matthew

       Carol was a sister that we were very anxious to meet.. We had heard so many wonderful things about her and couldn't wait to visit her.  She was the stake girls camp director, and was called to be the director just 3 weeks before camp when the other camp director bowed out & hadn't prepared anything for camp.. What a task Carol had ahead of her, and she did a fantastic job and camp was a wonderful success.. She and her husband have 6 girls.. 3 still at home.. it was a wonderful visit.. They moved here about a year ago from Texas, her husband works at the Patuxent Naval Air Base in the testing department for the new fighter jet..

Carol and her youngest daughter
Carol's father built this full size organ from a kit.
 It is amazing and I couldn't believe anyone could do that.

        Our last visit this week was with Nicole.. She is a single sister who had her 11 year old daughter Tatiana visiting with her from California for the summer.. They are very involved in creating their own line of bath salts, lotions and soaps using all natural ingredients and essential oils.. Nicole has recently become very involved in church again and has been through the temple about a month ago. We are going to visit her often to keep her spirits up after Tatiana leaves.  She lost custody of her a few years ago and has really turned her life around and is really on the right track now.. She is a counselor for patients and their families who are suffering with PTSD.. We had a wonderful lunch with them and saw such love with them both. A wonderful mother and daughter..
Nicole & Tatiana
The 4 of us. .

       On Thursday evening we went into DC with Bishop Vance and his family to see him perform with the Army concert band at free concert on the west lawn of the US Capitol.  The band and choir were set up right in front of the steps of the capitol and we set our chairs up on the grass close by.. It was a beautiful evening and we enjoyed the music and the friendship so much.  The Army performs there every Friday night during the summer, but this was a special added concert bringing back many of the alumni who had played with the band in past years.. It was fantastic.
Sunsets with a Soundtrack:The U.S. Army Band Alumni Concert : : We feature current and past conductors and musicians on light and listenable music from all genres of great concert-band music. The concert featured The U.S. Army Concert Band, The U.S. Army Herald Trumpets, and The U.S. Army Chorus.

The concert is over...

         Friday morning Sister Brown had her second round of epidural injections in her back.. We are hoping that this series works, since the last ones didn't seem to make a difference in the back pain.  So keep her in your prayers that it will finally ease the pain. I was in charge of keeping her down and having her rest for the day..

"The trick is to enjoy life.
 Don't wish away your days waiting for
      better one ahead" 
Marjorie Pay Hinckley

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