Saturday, November 22, 2014

November 2-22,2014

The hush Before Winter

The view from the window at my desk.  I love the one lone brown leaf captured in mid-descent.

I have been missing in action for the past 3 weeks from this blog.  I have been laid up and had to spend close to 2 weeks just laying down.  So naturally, this won't be the most exciting post and will be lacking in photos. The following photo I took trying to entertain myself while laying on the couch.  I was playing around with some of my phone apps and really kind of like this comic book style.  I think I'll have to experiment and get more adept at it!

Here is a brief review of the past few weeks:
Stake priesthood and wives dinner
 Cambridge Stake conference.  We watched it via video in the Belmont building because Dale had a meeting soon after with Bishop/Dr. Thompson to discuss his role in helping out with the missionaries' health care. The mission nurse, Sister Denney, and her husband also attended.  Dr. Thompson was very helpful and it was a fruitful meeting.  The stake conference was  very uplifting and inspiring as well.
Pday was low key.  The boys watched a Broncos game and then went to Barnes and Noble.  The girls went to the mall searching for warm boots, coats, and clothes.  The plan was to have dinner together afterwards but that's when my pain kicked in so we called it a night.
I pretty much missed out on the rest of the next 2 weeks.  Dale carried on for both of us. He went to the temple, district meeting, served the zone pizza for lunch, spent the day going out with the elders and then took them and a fairly recent convert out to dinner that night. He also took very good care of me. :)  I wanted for nothing (except pain relief) and felt pampered and loved.

We missed our Pday with the Moores. Happy they were able to visit a place we had already seen and had a wonderful day.

Dale went to the temple without me and afterwards he and the Moores picked up dinner and brought it home for all of us to enjoy together.  Susan and I talked and the boys watched a movie.  This picture may just be my very favorite so far taken on our mission:

I finally ventured out on Friday to our district meeting. We decided to invest in a waffle maker and to serve waffles once a month or every other month to our zone.  It was a hit! (what isn't with these hungry missionaries, though, right?)  Their gratitude is so delightful.  I love their cute comments. For instance: 'Yes! This is the best day of my life! Thank you! Thank you!' So funny.

We visited one of our 'regulars', Sister Jarak. She has had quite a few hard knocks in this life, is pretty much home bound due to a fused and straight leg from hip to ankle, and yet has a positive attitude, doesn't complain much, and has a unique sense of humor we really like. She loves doing pastel portraits and gratefully has this talent and gift to keep her busy.  She usually gives us one of her drawings nearly every time we visit her.  This was the one she gave us today and is my favorite so far.

We made the mistake of staying too long and paid the price- it took us 2 1/2 hours to get home. 
We've decided we either need to leave by 3:30 or stay there for dinner and come home later.  
This is a very bad photo taken from the car but this was our view for part of the drive home. I love seeing glimpses of Boston!

Oh! And this is a  store we pass all the time. We think the name is hysterical! Especially for a food store!  We know it's another language , but still!  Funny!

Saturday night we met up with the Moores for dinner at a local landmark we had heard good things about- the Summer Shack.

It was your quintessential seafood shack.  Fun atmosphere and everyone loved what they had.
I'll think we'll return!

On Sunday we drove Elder Walk and his companion, Elder Sessions, to Warwick, Rhode Island so he could attend and speak at the baptism of a young man he taught while serving there. We were happy to help this happen and to see how beloved he was there as the following photo attests.

We also had a family baptized in the Spanish branch that meets in our building on Sunday as well.
People are seeking out the truth everywhere ,everyday.  It's joyful to see.

Monday was a rainy, rainy cold day so we switched up our Pday plans and explored a relatively new shopping/entertainment venue in the Moore's neighborhood- Assembly Square. We had fantastic burgers at the Burger Dive, shopped a little, (Susan and I got matching Christmas sweaters I'm sure you will see in a future post!), and saw a cute Disney movie- Hero 6. We also sampled Boston's Best hot chocolate at J.P. Licks and had a yummy dinner at Earls. Great way to spend a rainy day.

Tuesday and Wednesday were back to our "normal" schedules for those days- catching up on computer type work, and a Costco run for the fixings for Friday's lunch. And lest you forget, Dale is always on the phone. :)
Thursday found us both at the temple and it felt so nice to back within those walls and associating with those wonderful selfless people.  We returned to our new favorite Thai restaurant afterwards, with the Millers and the Kennedys joining the Moores and us. Lovely people! Such examples!

Friday brought another District meeting with our incredibly consecrated and dedicated and simply wonderful missionaries.  We love every one of them.  I didn't think I could pull off a Thanksgiving feast for all so I opted for a fun Pinterest inspired 'feast' instead.  We made a veggie tray, a fruit tray, a meat and cheese tray, a cheese ball all in the shape of turkeys. I also made a very yummy cream cheese, caramel, heath bar crunch apple dip for dessert.  As always , they were over the moon appreciative and it makes it all worth it.  I made hot , spiced apple cider and several of the ones from other countries had never tasted it before. So fun introducing new foods and traditions to them! My favorite compliment this time: "I never want to be transferred because I want to be here to for all of Sister Braithwaite's holidays". Very sweet. 

Once again, I couldn't have done this without the help of Sister's Valentine and Elmer. Love them!
I had a few "photo booth" props this time too. 
Love these sweethearts!

We had some assignments that we needed to work on at home so we came back after lunch.
It was so nice to get in our warm and cozy jammies and just keep busy right here in our apartment. 

Saturday we took the McBrides out to lunch. (I can't believer I forgot to take a picture!) We have grown to love them so much.  They are a most delightful and charming couple. Sister McBride  happens to be our Mission President's wife's mother and she and her husband came out here specifically to assist them since they still have children living at home.  Sister McBride also served as the mission nurse until just a month ago and was invaluable not only to her mother but also to Dale.  They are going home in about 2 weeks.  I can't imagine the mission without them. 

Our mission is so full of wonderful people and wonderful opportunities.  There is never a dull moment and we are loving every minute of it.

We continue to go our way rejoicing!

Sunday, November 2, 2014


"Fall...the time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the Grand Finale!"
Lauren DeStefano

We got a little bit of a breather from our busy, busy lives of the last few weeks.  It was nice to catch our breath.
Our Monday was more low key just by the fact that we stayed close to home.  Mike and Susan only have 2 months :(  left so they want to leave feeling they really got to know Boston well.  We listed the places we haven't seen and will start checking them off.  The South End was one so we hopped on the T and went exploring this beautiful city. The south End was built up primarily in the 1880's and has rows of old brownstones  lining tree shaded streets. Quite lovely.  We also loved how you could see the new skyscrapers from here and the juxaposition of old against new. 

Just loving this lovely tree  tunnel!

Last blog I showed a taste of Halloween in NYC. This week it's Boston's turn to shine!

One for my kiddos!

We have just about given up on depending on other's ratings for restaurants, i.e.. "The Best Thing I ever Ate", etc.  It may very well be the best thing he or she ever ate but that is just one person with his/her own distinct taste.  Case in Point: Flour Bakery and Cafe.  A " Best thing...Ate", top ratings in every Boston food review/guide, recommended by locals as a "don't miss". We were not impressed. And we had a wide variety of dishes we sampled, including their famous Sticky Buns.  Our verdict: nothing special. Dale thinks Cinnabon's buns are better and I'll take any of my kids chocolate chip cookies over theirs any day!

 I got a kick out of this because we have been watching "Chopped" when we eat at home and they make such a big deal over plating.

 I have to admit- it was cute !

The boys wanted to see the library after we told them how fabulous it was so we walked there.  Susan and I explored the little square fronting it while Dale and Mike explored the library.  

 The Boston Public Library

 Once again, the old reflected in the new.

The Library Lanterns.  I thought they looked Halloweeny!

We wanted to walk through the Public Gardens once more on our way home. They truly are beautiful and we discovered a fun 'frame your point of view' that we hadn't noticed before.

 Does his tail look extra fluffy to you? 
(Please say no!)
We were told you can tell if it's going to be a rough, long cold winter by the fluffiness of the squirrels' tails. 

 Mother Nature has the best box of crayons!

We tried our best for a decent photo but the sun was just not cooperating! 

We had a late afternoon appointment in Concord on Tuesday so afterwards we explored some more of that charming town. We were kind of rushed last time we were there and didn't get to see all of it.

 We had dinner here in a cozy,warm ,inviting dining room.  We had THE best Chicken Pot Pie on earth! The puff pastry was enormous and so fluffy and buttery.  It almost felt like eating dessert- it was that good. The butternut squash bisque with cream, bacon and roasted pumpkin seeds was not bad either. YUM! 
We'll find our own Best Places to Eat , thank you very much!

 I know it's not exactly like it but it has the same feeling...this house reminded me of the one in "Marley and Me". Anyone else?




Love the red against the red!

Thursday  we didn't serve in the temple  due to the fact that we had a special zone conference because Elder Lawrence from the 70 and his wife were here touring our mission. 
It was an all day affair - 9:30-4:00.  
He and his wife served as Mission President in Russia . Said you could fit the entire United States within their mission and it was so big that they spent 264 nights of their mission sleeping on trains traveling across the wide expanse. 
The conference was all about missionary work and we received several challenges. We need to so something extraordinary !  We will!

Since Halloween actually fell on Friday, our district and zone meeting day, I just had to throw a little party for our hard working crew! :)   (you know me)
We had chili , mummy dogs, banana ghosts, clementine "pumpkins", and donut spiders. 
We played several 'Minute to Win It" games which they really got into and loved.  They were all so very ,very appreciative .  It is fun doing things for them for that reason alone.  Several of the missionaries are from other countries and had never celebrated Halloween before.  

 Borrowed this from the ward party.

 Loooooove T.J.Maxx and the dollar store!

Dale made these spiders! I'm so proud of him  :)

 Love that Elder Walk down at the far end with his 2 thumbs up!

Let the games begin!
 Mummy Wrap

 Vampire Bites 
(transferring marshmallows from one plate to another while wearing vampire fangs)

 Creepy Crawler Toss

Candy Corn Crush
( bite off end and stick upright to paper plate. 1st to complete the circle with the most candy wins.)

They all had fun with the photo booth.  I regret Dale and I didn't get a pic of us. no costumes but I had on orange and black and Dale had on his 'Halloween' tie- orange, grey and black stripe.

Sister Elmer and Sister Valentine. They helped so much with the party. Made the ghosts and pumpkins and the cutlery envelopes and just helped however needed! Couldn't have done it without them.  

 He made this out of duct tape on his Pdays over a few months time.

 We love them all!  I'm sure you can just see why- they all glow with goodness. 
They always send us on our way rejoicing!