Thursday, December 30, 2010

Our Sister Missionary has arrived

Aimee's mission takes in two countries, Vietnam and Cambodia. She will be serving in Cambodia but teaching in Vietnamese because she is an American and from our understanding only native Vietnamese are able to serve in Vietnam.
Each week when I update everyone on Aimee's mission here on my blog I will try to include a few pictures of this obviously beautiful country. Some of those pictures will be some that I downloaded from the internet and some, hopefully, will be pictures that she sends to us.

One of the things that she has to have while there is native costume... I think that is so cool!! Here is a picture of the Vietnamese traditional clothing, I think it's pretty. Won't Aimee look beautiful in something like this? I think so!!
Here is a picture of the Cambodia Royal Palace.
And finally, here are the emails we received from our beautiful sister missionary this week.

Sent on December 28, 2010

Hey mommy!! I'll be calling today!! i know it will be so late when i call you guys, so i hope you all dont mind!
I dunno why they didnt let anyone call on Christmas, probably cuz the lines would be too long.Urg, it was so hard saying goodbye to my elders yesterday, but i know they are going to be awesome!
so it hasnt failed yet, sister erekson and i got locked out again. and we both lost our card keys...what the heck? XD
i sure hope that i havent wasted my time here, surely i havent. overall i feel so good about my mtc experince...granted i dont want to repeat it ever again but still.
Ack! i miss playing Volleyball with the Japanese and Thai missionaries! they were so much fun! :3 not to be boastful or anything but i haz mad volleyball skillz now ;)
I think i learned a valuble lesson last week. Christmas day elder nelson came and spoke to us..right after our huge christmas dinner..(okay who set that one up? shouldnt they know we would be drowsy after such a huge and delicious meal??) Needless to say i dozed off and missed a ton of good information. I felt so sad and upset with myself that night that i decided never to fall asleep in a meeting again.
So on sunday i was attentive as sister nelson spoke in relief society, and i learned so much! hopefully the things i learned in that meeting will carry over to my mission! XD
orz i think the stress is getting to me again though, my jaw is giving me problems again. I've decided though that it probably is just the stress and there really wont be anything i can do about it so i'll just live with it till i get home. ah! and i didnt gain any weight until the first package came with treats (Elder Humphreys' mom sent him one the first of December and we all pretty much have been pigging out since then XD) but Thay Kiet said that the weight just falls off you in Cambodia so i'm not really concerned about it. :)
I'm so thankful for the elders that i was with here in the mtc. i dunno what i'm gonna do without them. they've all become my 1 older brother and 5 younger brothers. XD I was with Elder Lam and Elder Hammond the longest, and i broke my heart to watch them go. but somehow we said our good byes now we have to go on and do the work!
oh i cant wait to call you all today! i sure hope you read this before hand so you're aware of my calling late today!
I dunno what else to say aside from I'm so happy to be serving the Lord! These past 12 weeks have gone by super fast and i'm sure the next 15 months will go even faster! I love you all and thank you so much for all of your support and prayers and letters and packages!! *hugs and loves*
well sister erekson and i have to go clean our room now! i will talk to you all in just a few hours hopefully!! and i'll tell you how my name is pronounced! :D yay!
Chi Ca Holloway

Sent on December 30, 2010

whoo! i made it to Cambodia!! I cant believe i'm here! okay so the flight from SLC to LAX wasnt so bad, it was rather short compared to the flight over the pacific ocean! orz i thought i was gonna die!! i slept off and on for like 10 mins at a time the entire flight. then we stopped for four hours in Taipei Taiwan. we all got ice cream and oh! i forgot in the slc airport there was a random seemingly Muslim woman who walked by as we were taking one group pic before we boarded, she did a double take then asked to get a picture with us. turns out she was a member. she was kinda weird, but harmless. then in Taiwan sister erekson and i ran into another woman who was a memeber and she was so excited for us. she even gave us a hug! nothing like a hug from a random asian to make your day!so we landed in phnom penh and the heat and humidity are like BAM! we started sweating the moment we stepped off the plane and we havent stopped since. although the mission home is air conditioned, which is so nice. and our houses too all have at least an air conditioner in the bedrooms. we have been going through orientation since after lunch and i am so flippin tired right now!oh while we were at the LAX i overheard a vietnamese man on his phone, and i realized i had no idea what he was saying XDthe mission president is super nice and his wife is so kind as well! we had interviews with them already, and he is so nice. tomorrow i get to meet my companion finally and begin teaching! i hope i'm rested enough for that! oooh traffic here is super crazy!! but sister smedley has shared some amazing stories with us how the missionaries are protected. so i dont have to worry about that. did i mention it was hot here? okay well i'm only allowed to email parents and mission president all other corrispondence has to be through letters. :( bummer. oh i hope things are still going well! I love you all and thank you so much for your support!I still hope that my going on a mission will somehow influence makie and koby to come back to church...but after wendy told me the drama of what happened it's kinda made me lose hope... at any rate i'm not going to let that slow me down! *determined face**loveslovesloves* i miss you all! oh and P-days are on wednsdays!!Love,

Sister Holloway

Monday, December 27, 2010

December 2010

This was the second time Dave had to clear the driveway this month! We have gotten about 3 FEET of snow since the first of December! We have been told that there hasn't been this much snow since 1964. If you follow the crazy weather on the news you probably know that airlines, trains, public transportation of every kind have been shut down several days throughout this month. We have had about five days where Kaitlyn has had a two-hour delay start at school. Dave's work has even been closed a couple of days! It's been crazy!!!

We have looked EVERY where for a snow shovel and haven't been able to find one! So Dave had to make one. He used duct tape, a broom, and a plastic lid from one of my broken storage bins! He's so creative!! I guess that's what happens when you grow up in a house full of creativity! Good job Honey!!

Kaitlyn trying to help Dave shovel the driveway with his homemade snow shovel.

Snowman Holloway 2010!!! Isn't it cute? Kaitlyn and Dave spent a couple of hours outside making this snowman in our backyard! The first attempt didn't last the night because it wasn't balanced and the wind managed to blow it over. The second attempt was a much better success.

Kaitlyn and her first snowman!

We looked out the kitchen window a couple of days later and saw this cute little bird perched on the snowman's arm. When he flew off he was "bathing" himself in the snow!! It was so cool, I wish I could have gotten a picture of that!
Our pretty Christmas tree! A lot of our tree ornaments were crushed by the movers! UGH!! So now I think I will have to buy some new ones and then make some pretty new ornaments. I think that will be my goal for the new year, make new Christmas ornaments for my Christmas tree. We bought this tree two years ago when we were living in Italy. I love it! It's a pre-lit tree and this year we discovered that HALF the lights wouldn't work unles we plug that section into it's own plug!!!
Kaitlyn and her haul! Two movies, two books, crayons, hair things, hat and gloves, jacket, two pair of jeans, four tops, pajamas, and stickers. Hey Wendy, Kaitlyn got MONKEY pajamas!!! She wants to rub it in that she got something that has monkeys on it!! ;0)
Here is Kaitlyn in one of the outfits that she got from Grandma and Grandpa Crook. She's trying to be a fashionista! She's been reading 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid' series and watching the movie so she wants to be like one of the characters in her fashion style.
I started this "tablecloth" on August 1, 2009. I realized about half way through that it was gonna be too big for my dining room table and even my mom's dining room table so I thought maybe it would work for a bedspread on my king-size bed that we gave to my brother. I finished it December 27, 2010 laid it on my queen-size bed and it is a perfect fit! Now I need to make a dark blue quilt back for it and I'll be putting it on my bed! I can't believe I actually finished it! I wanted to give it up so many times, but my family kept encouraging me to finish it! Thank you all so much for all of your encouragement!
Aimee is leaving the MTC and heading to Cambodia on Tuesday, December 28, 2010!! I can't believe she has been on her mission for 2 1/2 months already! She has grown so much and done amazing in learning the Vietnamese language! She is so excited to be leaving.
Wendy is doing great in Utah and at university! She finally got her driver's license!! She is doing great.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

What a week!

Dave had a rough beginning this week at work, but after receiving a priesthood blessing from our home teacher he was able to end the week on a great note. He is much calmer and is able to leave work at work, which he has always tried to do. The missionary effort is going slowly right now since it is the holidays. He keeps informed with the missionaries and tries to go with them to teaching appointments each week. He is anxious to get on his bicycle so that he can explore the area more, but it's dark when he leaves for work and it's dark when he gets home!!

Aimee is doing amazing at the MTC! She has learned so much and grown so much in her testimony. We hear from her each week and can feel the love that she has for her companions and for her Savior!! I can't believe how the time has flown by, she has two and a half weeks left before she heads to Cambodia!! The blessings that we as a family have received because of her willingness to serve the Lord is overwhelming! Our own love of the Savior and our own testimonies have grown so much since she has entered the MTC.

We received a couple of messages from Wendy this week that were surprises! The first was that she ended up in the ER because she had had an allergic reaction to some dogs. It's really strange because she hasn't ever had a problem with animals before and now all of a sudden. The homes that she had been at are friends that we have had for many many years and they have always had pets! Both friends have felt so bad, but Wendy has been so gracious and let them know that they shouldn't feel bad! I wish that I had been there to be with her, I understand how hard it is to have to go through that treatment! But her grandparents were there with her and Grandma took great care of her!! Thanks Momma!!

The other surprising news came as a generous donation to Aimee's mission fund. We have had to humble ourselves and ask family for help in supporting her on the Lord's errand. The generosity and kindness of extended family and friends has been overwhelming! The amount of gratitude we feel toward those family and friends is something that we can never repay. We know that the Lord will bless each one of them in their efforts to support Aimee. We received this news this morning before we left for church, so we went with the right spirit to our meetings today and felt an outpouring of love from our Savior!!

Kaitlyn and I have been reading some great books this year, I keep a list of our reads on the side bar. I love that time we have together at the end of each day. It's the time that we take to read scriptures and a book. I've tried to read to her every day since the day she was born! It's been great. I did the same with Aimee and Wendy, but once they could read comfortably on their own they didn't want me to read to them any more. I've read to Kaitlyn the longest! I love it! Maybe it's because it's the only thing that I can do with her that doesn't cause me to be in pain, it's very relaxing for me and calming for her. I also take that time to let her read to me, it helps her with her reading skills and I can assess where she needs help. I ask a lot of questions at the end of each chapter to see if she is able to understand what is happening in the story. I started to do that when she started school. The only trouble with me reading to her each night is that she doesn't think she has to read on her own. This next year I'm gonna try harder to get her to read for her 20 minutes every day as part of her homework. Wish me luck!!

I was able to finish several projects this week and pull out a few more that I've been trying to finish. I get so excited when I start a new project, but then after a while I get bored with it and put it away. Like the crochet tablecloth that I started in August of 2009 while we were living in Italy. Well, it turns out that it is WAY too big for a normal dining room table, so maybe I'll make it into a bedspread for our KING size bed! When I get that finished I'll be sure to post pictures. I was hoping to also work on some other Christmas cross stitch projects, but it seems that my stocking pattern book has disappeared!! I guess I might have to just start emptying my craft boxes to find it.

I started this cross stitch project in 1990!! I try to work on it every December and I FINALLY finished it this week. I love these beautiful scenes of Christmas. This particular piece was very difficult for me to do because the detail is so fine. I'm glad I finished it though. I have two other pieces that are from a collection of "plates." Each of the others that I've done I have put in round plastic wood looking hoops. And each Christmas they come out to replace every day pictures in the living room or in this house they are hung in the entry way. Now I just need to find a hoop to put this one in. I sure hope I can find the other patterns for the rest of the collection. My goal was to do one for each year of our marriage, don't know if that is going to work out or not.
This is 3 to 6 month baby dress with short sleeves and booties in purple.

This is 3 to 6 month old baby dress with cap sleeves and booties in blue.

This is a 45" blanket and large burpcloth double layer of brushed flannel with crocheted plain trim.

This is a 36" blanket and small burpclothes double layer of brushed flannel crocheted with plain trim.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Meatloaf and Scalloped Potatoes

I am always trying to be a better wife and mother, as I'm sure we all are, and this week seems to be the week that I started enjoying cooking again. For the past several years Wendy has done most of our cooking, and got pretty possessive of the kitchen. It was all fine with me, but now that she's gone back to Utah to live with my parents I've found that if I don't want to starve my the remaining members of my family, I have to cook. I forgot how much I enjoy cooking! If you are on my friends list on Facebook, you know that I've been cooking all week. So since I've decided I want to be Betty Crocker this week, I decided I could share some of these yummy meals.

We'll start tonight's dinner - Meatloaf and Scalloped Potatoes.


1 pound ground beef

1 medium onion, diced

1 medium green pepper, diced

1 egg

1/2 cup milk

1 or 2 slices of bread, torn into small pieces

Preheat oven 400 degrees Fahrenheit or 200 degrees Celsius. Mix all ingredients together. (I like to use my hands, it gives it a more homey taste - but make sure you wash your hands!) Place in a greased loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour. Serve and enjoy!

Scalloped Potatoes

6 medium potatoes, peeled and shredded

1/4 green pepper, diced

1/2 cup sour cream

1 can cream of mushroom soup or cream of chicken

1 onion, diced or 1 package Lipton Onion Soup mix

1 package shredded Colby/Jack cheese

1/2 cup French's French Fried Onions

Preheat oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit/200 degrees Celsius. After peeling and shredding potatoes, mix with sour cream, green pepper, onion or soup mix, cream of mushroom/chicken soup, and half bag of shredded cheese. I like to use my hands to mix ingredients, it just gives it that homey taste. ;0) (Please make sure your hands are clean!) Put in 9x13 inch lightly greased pan, sprinkle remaining cheese on top, cover with foil, and bake for 1 hour and 45 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle French's French Fried Onions on top and bake for another 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

I served these amazing dishes with green beans and fresh bread from the local bakery. It was very good!

I follow a blog , the lady that writes it is Angie. She is amazing! You should go over and check out her blog! She blogs about EVERYTHING, cooking, raising her three children on her own, work, friends, church, crafts! And she does it all with an apron on!! Did I mention she's amazing?! She has inspired me to make my dinner table look nice for my family. This is what I came up with for tonight. Doesn't it LOOK good? I think it turned out rather nice myself.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

SNOW, Harry Potter, and a Crochet Hook

This week started cold and wet. The weather report for the week was snow! We had a little tiny bit, a trace really on Monday morning. Tuesday morning we had about 1/2 inch of the white stuff. I don't know what was so weird about Monday, but I had a hard time emotionally. I had a couple of anxiety attacks and cried several times throughout the morning. I decided to watch all the Harry Potter movies we have, so The Sorcerer's Stone and Chamber of Secrets were the movies of the day. I also spent the day crocheting, trying to get a baby gift done for a wonderful friend.

This week I managed to watch all of the Harry Potter movies 1-6. The bug is still with me, I love Harry Potter and it was a perfect week to watch them all because it was so stinkin' cold out and it snowed just about all week.

Thursday and Friday were two hour delay days for Kaitlyn at school. If you follow me on Facebook you know what lesson I learned! I felt so silly standing outside for 1/2 hour waiting with Kaitlyn for the school bus that was gonna be two hours late! I now call the MP hotline for weather and school delay information and updates BEFORE we walk out the door.

I worked on several projects this week, crocheting, cross stitching, family history and reading. I have been working on cross stitched bear magnets, here are six that I finished this week. As you can tell they are monthly bears! We've gotten January, February, March, April, May and June here. I'm working on July through December next week.

I am so happy I got the baby gift all done for baby Makena Ardis who was born a couple of weeks ago. Here is a picture, but don't tell Maria! ;0) The blanket is 45" square double layer of brushed flannel, nice and warm for snuggling baby. The burpclothes are extra large hopefully to keep whoever is snuggling baby from wearing whatever baby just ate! The bib is for later! ;0) I hope y'all enjoy!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Rest of Our Home and Thanksgiving

I finished cleaning our home and getting pictures set up on Wednesday! I was so proud of myself. I tried not to overdo it, but I had to get it done! We can't hang the pictures on the walls by ourselves. We have to call the Embassy to place a work order for maintenance to come hang the pictures up for us. I don't think I want to bother since we will only be here for another 32 months.

Our entry hall. The open door leads to the basement. I didn't take any pictures of that area, there is only the garage, food storage room, and my craft room. There's also a "water closet" off of this entry hall. The stairs to the bedroom area are also off this hall.

Looking into the living room from the entry hall. Our television isn't watched much, but it keeps us entertained in the evenings.

Looking from the fireplace and piano into the main living room area.

The living room is "L" shaped. This is looking from the Office/crochet/reading alcove.

I love having a fireplace! This one sits in the corner of the living room. We don't plan on using it since our home is nicely insulated and stays comfortable, unlike our drafty Italian home.

The piano in the living room. We are waiting for the first of the year and things to kind of settle down before we find a piano teacher for Kaitlyn. I hope we can find one that is reasonablly priced.

Office/reading/crochet alcove of the living room. Aren't the doors to the dining room cute!!

The "office" in the living room alcove. We finally got the internet hookup so we don't have to "piggyback" off the neighbors wireless. I keep our family history books here so that I can work on them whenever the mood strikes me.

My crochet/reading corner! I love it! The cabinet holds extra blankets.

Sneak peak from the office/reading/crochet alcove into the dining room. I love these doors! We can completely shut off each room on this floor to keep them warm!

Looking from the living room area side into the dining room. The glass door going to the big backyard. The back patio has a retractable awning!
Looking into the dining room from the kitchen. I LOVE the china hutch! A small painting by Aimee.

Dining room looking from the glass doors to the back door. Those are some of my souveniours from Italy. The painting is one that Aimee did of Cinque Terre, Italy.

Here is our kitchen. The stove, like our in our Italian home, is "Barbie" size, it barely fits one 9x13 pan.

This is our European frig. It is barely six feet tall, the freezer has three drawers in it and is on the bottom half. The top half is barely big enough to hold a weeks worth of groceries. It's a good thing we have another one exactly like it downstairs.

This is the door from the kitchen to the entry hall. The white cabinet hides a microwave.

So this year we had two sets of missionaries that are assigned to our ward over for Thanksgiving dinner. One set had to go to France for a meeting or something and they didn't get back to Brussels until about 630 pm, so we didn't eat until 730! It was great! We really missed having or family with us, but we made do.

I really enjoyed cooking this year! I know that's a shocker, but I did! We have relied on Wendy to do all the cooking and stuff, because that is what she loves to do, for so long that I forgot how much I enjoy cooking. I realize that some of what I made wasn't "homemade," but why put myself in more pain than necessary? If it comes in a box and is good tasting, I'm okay with that. Dave helped me with a lot of the cooking, so that I could enjoy it as well as everyone else.

Oh thank goodness for pumpkin bread in a box! It made the house smell so yummy! And it was delicious!!

Thank you "Mrs. Smith" for the delicious pumpkin and apple pies!

Our Thanksgiving Dinner 2010. We had ham, real mashed potatoes, grean bean casserole, stuffing, Belgian rolls, crackers with hot spinach dip, vegetable tray with dip. It was so yummy! And the best part, NO leftovers! ALL the leftovers went home with the missionaries! We hope that your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving!