Sunday, July 17, 2016

Pictures from the last few weeks! Lots happening...

Broken leg, wedding and summer visits

Well, what a couple of weeks. Here's the latest:
David and Amy came with Breyden and Aria and then Courtney and Max and Ashley came too and Andrew arrived also! Needless to say our house was full to the brim but with happiness and people we love. We went to the rodeo, then took the jet skis to the coast and on July 4th played at the lake.
This is when Rob turned his jet ski and fell off and broke his leg. Susan and LaRon took us over to the emergency room and sure enough Rob's right fibula was broken just above the ankle. Susan & LaRon drove the boats home and then we stayed in Lincoln City the night and came home the next day after visiting Pacific City and Tillamook cheese factory. Then we had a busy week hosting here, getting the schedule figured out and getting Rob looked after and doing some early wedding stuff with Courtney and Max.  They were able to get their engagement pictures taken, pick out a cake, and establish the venue. We walked thru a wedding rental place and she chose her colors.
The kids and David and Amy all left at the end of the week, Max drove Cody Kartchner's truck back also. Then it was just Andrew and Rob and I and seemed kinda weird for a while but now we are settling in. Rob ended up getting surgery on the leg and having 11 screws and plate put in as the fracture travelled up the back of the bone further than was initially thought.
Our weather has been muggy ,  Andrew is looking for work, Courtney's work is going to dissipate down to 15 hrs soon and Ash is still busy busy scooping ice-cream and having the summer of her life.
We will see where life takes us -

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Weekly update June 26th

This week flew by. Rob and I have the yard looking pretty good, had to patch in some sod and smooth some bark but its coming along.
Church was great, lesson went so so, but loving people there.
Courtney is doing well, still trying to make some decisions about the wedding.
Ashley's trip has fallen apart, she is still unsure about what she is doing.
Andrew has signed his contract, which includes health care coverage and has stored his stuff at Ru's place. He will be home on the 2nd.  I have cleaned and tried to prep the house, and will work on the food this week.
It is hot weather, which I am extremely thankful for! Rob bought a new motor for them to install in the brown wave runner and he will hope that comes together.
All in all, life rolls on.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Ashley in Logan Canyon

Courtney and Max newly engaged

Popping the question at Provo Temple grounds

Andrew's fake tattoo

Update- June 19th, 2016

Well, lots has happened! Courtney got engaged to Maxwell Brudnicki on June 10th, 2016! We are all happy for her. She and Max are very happy also and busy planning.
Rob and I have worked hard on the yard, and we are still trying very hard to get the wave runners ready for the weekend of the fourth. I find myself very excited to see Andrew, Ash and Court and Max - All of our family plus Ashleys friends, and David and Amy and kids! We plan to cook a turkey and have everyone over on the 3rd which should be super fun.
Court and Max decided to stay at BYUI and are looking for housing for January. Ash has worked her two jobs and studied and played a lot too and seems to be having a wonderful summer.
Andrew is arriving on July 2nd and we are so very happy to see him back also.
Church is good, always pushing me to be more than I thought. I was given a challenge this week and have thought heavily about it. I know this- incredibly thankful for a young man worthy to take our daughter to the temple for an eternal marriage- what an incredible blessing.
Work is busy as ever, but feeling like we are keeping up OK. Website is coming along!
Lots of love,

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Lincoln City 

Memorial Day pic

Robbie 8 yrs old

 Website pic

Andrew's favorite students

Courtney in Rexburg on way to work

Update June 5th, 2016

Courtney and Cami came for a visit last weekend, Memorial Day weekend and it was delightful.
We took them to dinner at Nagoya, and got her car registration done, and they went to the beach with me. Then they went to church and we had a picnic at Susan's which Eric and Melinda came to.
It is always so good to see Courtney or any of the kids. We miss her already.
    Teaching has been good, but I am struggling to find the right material to focus on and then filter out the other that I don't need to spend time on. It is a challenge to get it all in, but I love the study and the manual 121-122.
    We had Russell M Nelson come this week to our Stake center and talk about family. It was a great privilege.
    Rob and I are trying to prepare for the family all to come home on July 4th, lots to be done. Our weather has been 101* F. Very , very hot!
Ash got a second job at this sprinkler company as a morning secretary and it seems to be going ok, & her classes are going pretty well too.
Courtney applied to UVU and she and Max will go down next weekend to check it out - it will be interesting to see what she decides.
Andrew is signing up for University in China and going to take a weekend contract to keep teaching. Rob and I coached him to be careful about it, but we think he is going ahead with plans.
Kirsten picked strawberries and Rob and I had a strawberry shake on this Sunday afternoon which was delicious.
Bye for now,

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Lots of changes

This week has been a difficult one for me ( Kirsten). I got released from my calling as 1st counselor in the Relief Society Presidency and then when they came to ask me about a new calling it was for the Gospel Doctrine teacher.  I will give you a little background.
Over the last months I have felt like my scripture study was good, I love reading the Book of Mormon for the most part and usually get up, sometimes walk Kona, then get ready and give myself about 10-15 minutes for scriptures. I always feel like I should spend more time reading  but I feel compelled to get off to work. So in the back of my mind, I knew I needed to do more study but hadn't prioritized actually doing it. Then I read a mini book this week called 'One Drop at a time" by M. Russell Ballard. In it I read a line that really struck me. He stated " the doctrine and gospel of Christ is the only way to obtain eternal life. Only when our testimony transcends what is in our mind and burrows deep into our heart will our motivation to love and to serve become like unto the Savior's. This deeply affected my thinking because my mind is very strong and I think I just can't give up my pride and let  the spirit guide me in every way. Then they asked me to be the teacher and I knew it was the Lord's way of making me do what I already knew I needed to do. I also read this section of scripture which seemed to speak more directly to me at the very time I needed to hear it than any other scripture ever has.
Alma 32 which talks about being compelled to be humble, then in vs 21- faith is not a perfect knowledge, then Alma 34:31-31 Harden not your heart, now is the time to prepare ,  VS 33, do not procrastinate vs 38 contend  no more with the Holy Ghost, but receive it, and humble yourself. Vs 40 have patience.  I knew I had to accept after this but I still found it very difficult to face. I had a rough week with Rob giving me a hard time about having the missionaries and I felt so very alone in my church responsibilities which kept making me find every excuse still to turn down the calling. I think that Satan knows my insecurities and made it very difficult for me with little support from Rob. Anyhow, I still made a million excuses when I accepted but they persisted and here I am. I pray that I can find ways to facilitate a discussion each week that will lift and strengthen.
   Oddly, I had also recently told myself that I would willing serve whenever asked. I have observed this quality in others and wanted to emulate it. This was a real tester of that commitment. I feel incredibly inadequate, and you, my family, know more than anyone that I am the least qualified. I will however try, each week to prepare.
   I got a lot done in the yard, the rain has returned. I went to Beaverton this Sunday and spent the day with Mom and Melinda and Eric & Paige and Robbie. Hailey was super sick, throwing up, so that was sad, but we had a nice dinner and Eric is treating me so nicely. I love him. I am so thankful for forgiveness. I am so excited for Courtney to come in a couple weeks.  I planted the garden  tomatoes and flowers in the yard. I forgot to order the hardware for a case for Rob and he was very forgiving.
Everything else is rolling along,

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Grandma Olsen and I eating at RedLobster for her Mother's Day Lunch before she left for Eric's.

weekly update...May 10th, 2016

My mom ( Grandma Olsen) finished her stay with us yesterday. We were lucky to have her for 3 weeks and it was really quite delightful. She said how secure and comfortable she felt here and I think she really enjoyed her stay. We saw the tulip farm, shopped, watched movies like the 100 foot journey and Jane Eyre and she helped the office. She will be missed. I am blessed to have such a great mother.
Rob made awesome rolls this week, he has perfected his recipe. He fixed the lawn mower and we have the yard looking better all the time. He bought me beautiful flowers and chocolates for Mothers day and I am so grateful for him.
Courtney is doing well. She has a job interview on Monday for a car dealership secretary and paid her first car payment. She played baseball this week in Rexburg and had a great time. She went down last weekend to support Ashley's skating and is just a sweet daughter whom I am so very grateful for. She is still dating Max and seems happy.
Ashley finished out her finals and got straight A's! So proud of her efforts! She was able to schedule her class and get funding for the summer and is happy to have it all worked out. She called this week to tell us how scary it was to get locked in the freezer at the Aggie Ice Cream shop, we laughed but I am glad she is ok. She is still dating Daniel and enjoying her ward.
Andrew called me for mothers day and it was so good to see and talk. He is keeping very busy too. He is attempting to get on at Shandong University as a teacher and won't book his flight until he figures that out. He wants to teach more adult students and feels with his degree and 2 yrs of experience teaching , he has good chances of getting hired on. He says he could make a lot of money tutoring also. He said he and Ru are together again, and he is definitely coming home for late August.
Life is going along well, we are slowly realizing we may never be so lucky to have our children raise their kids near us, but hope to be involved somehow someday. The house seems kind of empty today, missing the days of everyone here.
Church was good, new member of our bishopric, and I got released today along with the whole presidency. It was a rare moment in time to be as involved in the members of the ward as I was, but I hope it will not end. I really want to remember all that Nancy and Natalie taught me about friend shipping and fellowshipping and service.
I am so very glad that relations with Eric are better, it makes me thankful for forgiveness and kindness. I do love them and love him.
Hoping this week is good weather, feeling badly for the people of Fort McMurray, this week fires ravaged the town. Thankful for the stuff I have and especially for people who are so good to me.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Weekly update

I had a good visit with Eric yesterday. He came in and hugged me and visited, hot tubbed and ate dinner and played games. He asked about each of you and genuinely enjoyed being here with his family. All this after I deeply offended him years ago. I am so very grateful for forgiveness. The kids are growing so quickly, Paige is 10, Robbie is about to turn 8 and Hailey is 5. They are all busy in swimming, hockey and dance and school. Eric says they could think about moving if the new high school is not in their zone. Melinda is going to Utah this summer again, but later in July and August. 
     Mom has been here a week now. We went to the tulip farm on Friday and walked around the outlets. She shops in the afternoon and then we have dinner and visit here. It has been great so far. 
    We haven't heard anything from Andrew this week, he may be in Korea. 
Courtney is having some car trouble which is sad, hoping that gets worked out. She finally confided in me that she is seeing Max again and she is happy. I am so happy if she is happy. I just want her to be with an active, happy person for life. I appreciate her willingness to confide in me again. She is glad she is not taking classes. She needs a break. She always expresses how much she loves her work, what a blessing that job has turned out to be. 
Ash has been super busy with the group of friends she found at the bonfire. She held a crepe party this week, took finals, worked scooping ice-cream and basically keeping super busy. She is so happy, and that makes me happy. She has some friends who all just instantly get along great and that is pretty special. 
 Rob and I are thinking of getting a lawn mower brand new. I am hoping we can figure something out soon. Work is going well, spring is here, life is good,
Lots of love to whomever reads this,

Sunday, April 17, 2016

April 17th update....

Mom arrived on Friday afternoon and her flight was great, so good to see her. Courtney has been working full time now and finding the days long, but loving her job. She is going to look for different car insurance. We'll see what she finds.
Ash took her food handlers license and is ready to start work at Aggie Ice Cream. She is busy with school still and lots going on, but happy. A few more weeks until the end of her semester.
Andrew took his proficiency test, and said it was very difficult. He is not daunted, telling us he will study more vocal and comprehension and take it again. He is waiting of a new teacher from Norway to relieve of some of his classes. He seems happy.
Rob and I reseeded the lawn, but no sprouts yet. Weather has been wonderful!! Matt and Rachel came for dinner and games. Wedding plans are progressing.
Meagan had her baby this week and it was two weeks early, but a eight pound baby. Tyler's mission blog is awesome, love reading his letters. Kiaya is doing well too. Rob is going to Edith Nicolaysen's funeral tomorrow. Not much else to report, Mom and I did a fun craft day at church!
Until later!

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Pictures from the last few weeks

Courtney riding horses in Colorado

Courtney's new Honda Pilot

Eating at Maddox!

A visit to the Provo Temple

Andrew hiking mountain in China with friends

A trip to conference and much , much more

This week was amazing. Conference was super, met Courtney and her roomates and saw how she was doing and where she works and went to a movie and ate at Costa Vida. Then went to Ashley and picked her up in Logan. We then headed to Salt Lake via Weber campus ( Courtney is considering) and shopped at the city creek mall and met Jeff and then ate at Tocanos which was an amazing experience. Then next morning we went to Kneaders for breakfast and then on to conference. Amazing session, amazing choir, and overall fantastic experience. Then down to Provo we went to shop more, look at UVU campus and the Provo Temple. We ate a delightful dinner at the Brick oven and then hiked a tiny hike on Y mountain. The view was divine and we really enjoyed our time just soaking in the warm air , beautiful sunset and view over Provo, Byu and beyond. We watched conference from our hotel in Salt Lake the next morning, drove Ashley back to campus, walked around a bit, and said our goodbyes. Susan & I headed for Boise for the night and left Courtney to take the shuttle one last time. Courtney didn’t bring her brand new car ( Honda Pilot). Busy week back here catching up, beautiful weather, terrible toothache and much needed root canal and then talk for Kirsten at church on humility. Courtney also left with her roomate, Kelly, to go to Colorado to ride horses on her aunt’s farm. Needless to say, Courtney is in heaven. Rob and I reseeded the front yard and he mowed the back and front. Mom arrives on Friday so I need to clean up a bit more, but hopefully we can make it fun for her. Dinner tonight at Susan’s for the Laron, Adam, Kristin combo birthdays. Lots going on, Ash got hired at the creamery along with her other call center job and got registered for her summer class. She got straight A’s this term, so proud. Andrew called yesterday and is really prepping hard for his proficiency test on this Friday, April 16th. He sounds like he is making some real life decisions about China and it will be interesting to see what he ends up doing. 
Rebecca McCauley got married this Saturday, went to her reception also. 
Lots of love,


Sunday, March 27, 2016

Cookies picture and message to make any moms heart burst:)

Tilby just posted this on her photo share. Do you see what kind of cookies they're making? Your berry shortbread dreams! You are such an amazing mom who inspired us so much growing up, I could only help the French people as much as I knew how from how much you taught me. Because of your awesomeness right now somewhere in France people are helping others, and finding happiness and making cookies. Thanks for always being an example for me growing up to continually do the right thing.

Sent from my iPhone

Easter Sunday and Weekly happenings

                                          Easter Sunday- March 27th, 2016           

Andrew is signed up for the proficiency test in Chinese on April 16th. He recently climbed a mountain and has been the bank for the ILP students. He is very busy but happy. I told Andrew I miss his sense of humor which shows through in his texts sometimes and makes me laugh.

Ashley keeps up communication well, is doing great on her tests and planning her spring and summer. She almost got a job for the baby products store but the mountain of car seat laws seemed daunting amidst homework. She then applied for a job at Comcast call center and may have a job there. She recently shared a message and picture with me that was very heart warming and I will include. It has been a difficult time for her with the terror attacks on Belgium being so devastating and the missionaries she knew affected. She knew Elder Wells and Brother Northby especially. 
She is so sweet to have such truely tender feelings for those serving and our many discussions have been focussed on their well being. She continues to follow the Spirit and promptings as she gets them in giving comfort and love to those she knows and doesn’t know. 

Courtney has most of her tax money ($ 1400 ish) and is looking forward to buying a car. She has had a first hand look at Christlike service through the example and experiences of the boss at work - Ruth. This woman is amazing , all that she deals with really puts Courtney’s trials in perspective and she has developed a deep love for this woman. Courtney’s job has been an incredible blessing of companionship and examples and as her mother , I am deeply grateful the Lord blessed her with her work experience. She also has bonded well with her roomates and may go to Colorado at the end of the semester to ride horses. I hope it works out well. 

Rob has worked hard to get the yard machinery fixed. We are going to reseed our front yard since the heat last summer destroyed it. He also fixed our hole under the stove so no litttle visitors come to see us anymore and I love him for that. He played well in his tennis tournament yesterday in Corvallis and will keep playing. He is a source of love and stability and laughter for me and I love him more now than I ever did. 

I am getting ready to go to see Courtney and Ashley and along with Susan, go to conference ( meeting Jeff also) !  It will be the first time we have all gone to conference in Salt Lake City and I find myself rather excited. I can’t wait to see first hand where my girls are living and catch up with them too. I feel so blessed to have found Essie to cover at the office and thankful the money is finally coming in again. Went to lunch this week with Karen and Jodie for birthdays and it was delightful. 

Easter is sad without the kids being here to do hunts and activites but the meaning of it is real. I know Christ lives, and loves us all. Dinner at Susan's tonight should be nice also.  We had Matt and Rachel over for ham last week for his 39th birthday and dessert with Susan. 



Sunday, February 28, 2016

Feb 28th, 2016 update

Andrew is busy teaching like crazy. He is about to sign up for his proficiency test. He and Ru broke up, and he shared with Ashley the details. He just doesn't feel right about Ru coming to America.
Courtney and Thomas broke up and she and I have not communicated well. She is carrying on with life in general.
Ashley is working hard on getting good grades. She scored an A on her chemistry test which made us all proud. She finds there is a fair bit of drama with her mission friends but manages to stay grounded just the same. She is going to meet with Ashlyn this week and come home one week from today for spring break! She continues to call daily, and I could love her more for it. She is very ready for a relationship and  I hope love finds her too.
Rob played tennis all weekend and qualified for sectionals in Seattle in September which he looks forward to in mixed doubles. He found playing with the women much more enjoyable than with Jeff who is routinely sour. We are working on taxes and all the other busy work of life. Kona sheds like crazy so she got shaved again and Kirsten washed everything in the house to try to stay on it. Life carries on.
Until next time - Kirsten

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Weekly update February 16th, 2016

Well, where to start. With the kids as always.
Andrew is back in China , just hanging around, Ru is in Vietnam and he is just killing time till school starts again. He got hot water back and has been studying Chinese, hanging out with Michael and laying low. He calls frequently so we are glad to see him back and better.
Ashley calls daily ( I love it) and we talk about life. She loves Chemistry, finds Sociology tedious, and likes her pilotes class. She is planning on going up to visit Courtney this coming weekend and I hope it goes well. She also booked her trip home for spring break and we look forward to a week with her then. Already planning haircut and movie. She has set many goals and continues to study her scriptures and attend institute classes faithfully.
 Courtney and Max finally officially ( I say that with bated breath) broke up. He wanted a break again and she was just done with that behavior. I am so proud of her for finally taking a step back and trying to move on. This has been a long time coming. She has not been happy with her classes this term in particular. She has two online classes which seems to be quite a trend for her school. They have not worked out well and she has been very disappointed. Her job is going well and roommates are good but I worry about her overall happiness. I have suggested maybe a move to different university in the fall and she is considering it.
Rob played tennis in Eugene and it is fun to watch him play in tournaments. We both found out the results of our lab tests ( done for the sake of life insurance) and he was high in Triglycerides and I was high in cholesterol! Go figure - finally my lack of cardio is catching up I guess. He blames his on eating a donut before his tests. ( Who knows). Either way, all is well basically here on the home front. The new girl we hired at the office is working out super well, very glad for that.
Mom is down at Jeanne's home still, and Jeanne is to have surgery on her disc soon.
Susan and I and maybe Kacey are planning on a trip to conference in April, I look forward to that very much. Later-

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Weekly update Feb 7th, 2016

Andrew made it home from Thailand safely except with stomach issues and weird sores picked up in the jungle. He saw and did amazing things however and contacted us along the way. He told of a very nice man who helped him when he was so sick, thank goodness for good samaritans all over the world.
Courtney got an A on her Realestate test and played with her friend Alex's puppies all day today after working hard on a Stake activity all day yesterday.  Court got paid her first really good check and is finally reaping the rewards of having a job she found all on her own. We are proud of her.
Ashley did very well on all of her tests, is challenging some, and continues to cry during the commercials and scream on a dime. ( Had me in stitches telling me about her exploits). She is busy after speaking to the counselor trying to figure out her schedule for the upcoming months.
Kirsten started a sewing project this week which is pure therapy to get away from office paperwork. I also hired a new lady to work at the office ( with Rob's permission) and is hoping for some relief especially for Karen but herself also. I certainly feel confident about her and hope it is a step in the right direction.  I also can proudly say, I attended my first Stake conference all the way thru - Saturday night session and there was an early session for single sisters that I took Cynthia to as she is who I visit teach, but also a friend. All sessions were inspired, and truly revelatory.
Rob cleaned his car, played in a tennis tournament, played golf, and watched the Super Bowl  which by the way, the Denver Broncos won.
All in all , a busy week for all of us.
Update on extended family -
David and Amy are coming to visit this 4th of July.
Amy and Todd are enjoying a break. Mom is in Texas visiting , however, Jeanne has been laid up with pain and Abi is getting a bone marrow scan too. Not good news there.
It is Melinda's birthday tomorrow and wishing I'd sent something last week or had a chance to get up there.
Rob and I really enjoy the hot tub lately. We are in process of trying to buy much more life insurance and redesign our retirement plan and finances. Kirsten is feeling the crunch of taxes.
Weather today was glorious, not so great  for the girls who've had a lot of snow. Not sure what its like in China now, but just glad he made it back safely.
My how quickly the weeks float by-