Wednesday, May 27, 2015

May 21-25, 2015 A dream!

Tuesday we previewed the hike we were going to do for zone activity on Friday.  We saw this roadrunner.
This lizard stayed still long enough for a photo shoot.
Our daughters flew into LAX on Thursday night at 9:00.  Shelby called to tell us they were on the curb and was willing to have everyone walk to us.  I know now why we don't and WON'T pick up new missionaries from LAX.  It's a parking lot with a lot of honking going on.  We told them to stay put because we weren't sure if we were even in the right area to get them.  It was such a relief when we saw Shelby's orange Boston marathon jacket.  So exciting.  
The girls participated with us for the Newbury Park/Camarillo zone activity.  You can read more details on the mission blog.

Shelby and Brooke aparently forgot to blindfold.  They moved along well.
Heather was with Sister Wilson.
After the hike we drove to the stake center where we had lunch and finished some more activities.  It was fun for us to introduce our girls to the missionaries.  
Before getting home we stopped at Terry's Berries and bought a flat of strawberries.
We cleaned up and drove to Ojai to an Italian restaurant that we had heard about - Boccili.  We enjoyed lasagna and pizza.  Even though we had the strawberries we ordered strawberry shortcake as it was a specialty.
We used half of the flat for strawberry jam.  And enjoyed the other half on waffles and crepes.
While making jam Brooke made chocolate peanut butter candy from a recipe that Elder Leavitt gave to me.  He told me I couldn't put it in the missionary cookbook but I could have it.

Shelby brought Kneaders chunky cinnamon bread so I made french toast for breakfast on Saturday.  Brooke made us look good.  I think her favorite place to cut hair is on the deck.

I had projects planned for the girls to help me with.  "Cafe Rio" pork cooked in the crockpot over night and Shelby did the shredding.  She put the four roasts in bags in the freezer.  I'm now ready for the departing missionaries' dinner.
Shelby is gluing bit o honey candy on a note of encouragement that we send out to the departing missionaries about three weeks before they leave.
We went to a baptism for Stephanie in Camarillo at 2:00.  Dell had to visit with an elder so he dropped us off at the outlets.  About three hours later we went to dinner at Souplantation.
We had to go to McConnells.  Fortunately we beat the crowd.

Sunday morning we went to church in Ventura after having waffles for breakfast.  Shelby's waffle was a masterpiece.
  Since Heather had not seen the mission office we went there after church.

At Father Serra Cross.
 I finally learned the official name of what we've been calling the cross.
Dell and I had to go to the mission office Sunday evening to meet with the Assistants to start the transfer process .  The girls walked over to see the Floyds in their temporary studio apartment.
Heather's assignment was to get all of my pictures from my tablet to a jump drive.  We even started a scrapbook on Shutterfly.
Monday morning we went to the Ventura Pier and walked along it and the bike/walking trail.
It's Memorial Day and the sight was beautiful with the flags.
This fisherman caught a crab.  He got the lure out and threw it back into the ocean.

I couldn't resist.  Three beautiful daughters!

Dell made us crepes for breakfast.  We've discovered lemon curd from Trader Joes.  It is so good and adding blueberries, strawberries, and bananas with whip cream is so yummy.   Of course we had chocolate milk.
The drive to LAX was uneventful and we made good time.
We took this picture driving back to Ventura from the airport.  We were so fortunate to not have driven in that.  Timing is everything.
This weekend was a dream come true!  We loved it!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Floyds

Yea, the Floyds are here!  They rang our doorbell at 5:30 Saturday evening.  Just in time for dinner as we had planned for the Senior couples in the office to come over for dinner so they could meet the Floyds.  It was so wonderful to hug them both (yes both of them).  We will be more missionary like from now on though as opposite genders should not be hugging.  We have a great love for them and we are so grateful they've been called to serve with us in this mission.
This picture was taken on our deck Saturday evening.
Sunday we took them to two sacrament meetings.  We stopped off at the mission office to show them around and they met the Assistants as they were there prior to attending the YSA ward in the same building.
Sunday afternoon we drove to where we do a little experience with the new missionaries as they arrive here.  The Floyds even jumped off the step to signify they have both feet in.
Yesterday they were in the office all day having some training.  We got some dinner together afterwards before they moved into the studio apartment that they will be living in until the Miles leave on June 2.  They will then live in a cute town home.  I think it was good for them to decompress a bit after a long day before moving their things into the apartment.

Friday, May 15, 2015


Today is an anniversary of living.  So much has happened in a year.  Dell is alive!  He’s doing well.  He rides his bike about 5 times a week.  The one thing that is different is he has to take meds every night; but hey, that’s not hard.  I do not like to think about the details of a year ago.  In fact I do not dwell on them.  I know the Lord orchestrated Dell’s survival.  I say it changed his heart physically and mine spiritually.  We both had a change of heart.  I put behind the fears of questioning could I do what was needed for the missionaries.  We are suppose to be here in the Great California Ventura Mission.  I am learning to trust in the Lord.  He’s in charge!  I am so grateful for my testimony of the truthfulness of the 
Gospel of Jesus Christ.  We are so BLESSED!
This was left at the front door.  It says:
"This is the only kind of heart attack that you should be getting.  We are so grateful to you and all that you do for us.  Not only this but many more instances confirm to us that you are supposed to be here at this time.  Thank you so much.  We feel your love from a heart that purely beats for others.  We love you!  Sister Nicholas and Sister Hiapo."

We feel so much love from the missionaries.  We do not talk about Dell’s heart attack but the missionaries remembered our experience.  We will be talking today at zone activity in Ventura regarding listening and following the Spirit.  I will probably say something about how Dell had a feeling and did not ignore it.  This morning in our prayer before going for a short ride he expressed gratitude for the restoration of his life.  We are both grateful!  I am having a hard time expressing in words.  I love him with all my heart!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Trip up North

Monday we drove to SLO to check out a hike for zone activity on Tuesday.  It was a challenge finding the Madonna trail.  We were so happy when Jesse, new convert who had suggested this trail, called us back and told us where to go.  We wanted to see what the hike was like so we would know where to stop a long the way for our different experiences.  The theme of the activity was to be led by the Spirit as we find and teach.  We planned to blind fold one of the companions in each companionship.  We had different activities a long the way that I will write about on the mission blog next week.
These trees were more at the beginning of the trail.  It took us 50 minutes to get to the top and 35 to come down.  We knew we wouldn't be able to get to the top with the activity because it would take a longer amount of time with the missionaries being blindfolded and stopping at different places.

Wednesday morning we met with the FM Group to look at the paint samples they had chosen for the outside paint of the mission home.
We went back to the hotel and changed so we could go walking in Pismo Beach.  Dell found the two sand dollars but this one had a shell attached.  We were planning on taking them home.  There is some kind of creature coming out of the shell.  We left it there but brought the one in the lower right corner of the picture.
Dell saw that the Piano Guys were playing in SLO and called President Kasper to see if he and his wife would like to go with us.  It was great to have them drive as President Kasper is a professor at CalPoly and had a parking pass.  That meant parking much closer and for free.
We had a great time.  I loved how they represented being Mormon.  They talked about being middled aged Mormon men with families.  Between the 4 of them they have 16 children.
One of the songs was about being a father.  
I wanted to have missionaries outside ready to answer questions.
Not a very good picture but had to post it.  This number was all four men making different sounds with the piano as they were running around it.  Very entertaining.
This was a date for us.  We've been encouraged to have a date weekly.  It doesn't always happen but this should hold us for a few weeks.

San Jose

On May 6th I "faced the roar." I drove Sister Miles and I to LAX to fly to San Jose.  I had to find parking and get a shuttle to the airport.  We did it!  I took a picture of where we parked though so I wouldn't forget where the car was.
We had a great experience in the shuttle.  We were the only ones on it.  The driver thought it was pretty cool that we had name tags on with Jesus Christ.  We enjoyed talking with him as he loves Jesus and I gave him a pass a long card as we got off.  He was our angel in getting us to the airport and he felt we were angels.
We went to San Jose to a medical seminar for mission nurses.  Well since we don't have any, Sister Miles and I went.  It was enlightening and I came away with knowing we needed to get nurses called to the mission.  Sister Miles has been so wonderful but she is leaving the first of June.  
Elder/Doctor Burton and his wife picked us up at the airport but would not be able to get us back on Friday.  I had a thought so I followed through with it.  President Mella of the San Jose mission was at the conference as well.  I asked if there would be anyone who could take us to the airport on Friday. 
 He made it happen.

President and Elder Miles went out to dinner.  Dell brought home the left overs and we had enough for lunch the next day.

I need to add how incredible it is being the wife of the mission president.  It is really cool when it's  Mother's Day.  I received so many texts, calls, and notes from our missionaries. They made me feel so loved and appreciated.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Mission President's Seminar in Monterey

The Gold Coast is referred to here in California. Would you guess it is because of the gold rush? Today I was told it is because the hills turn gold. This picture doesn't do it justice. 

Fields of grapes. There are so many rows.  

I don't know what was being picked.

We passed several trucks with produce crated up. 
We arrived early enough to go to the aquarium before checking into the hotel.  We spent three hours there.

Our first stop was to learn about the albatross. His feet were large. 
Tube anemone 
Was the penguin wanting to give President a kiss or tell him a secret? 

These three sea otters were fun to watch as they were very playful. They played with a ball. We were surprised at how big they were. 

Outside of the aquarium as water would rush out every few minutes. 
President and Sister Samuelon of the Oregon Salem mission. 
President and Sister Robinson, us, and Sister and President Jardine 
President and Sister Clark 
We drove to Carmel on the 17 mile road. We passed through wooded areas, golf courses and ocean. Too bad the wind made it cold. 
Spyglass golf course 

There are seals and sea lions on the rock.

The Russells on the other side of the tree that we were standing at. 
Saturday we got up early and walked down cannery row to the ocean.
This is a mural 

Us and the sweet Albas. They love Jace and we're so grateful for them. They have only a few months left of their mission.