Sunday, January 30, 2011

11/134 and Counting!

Eleven: the number of temples Tony and I have visited and performed ordinances in together.
One hundred and thirty-four: the number of operating temples around the world.
Thirteen: the number of additional temples that have been announced, ten of which are currently under construction.
Our outrageous goal: to visit and perform ordinances in every temple in the world.

It may may not...but whether or not it does, isn't what matters.  What matters is that Tony and I have established a tradition and one we rather enjoy.  We like going out of our way to visit someplace with a temple that we've never been to before.  In December we were able to visit the Lubbock, Texas temple on our way out to visit Tony's parents.  One thing you might not have known...the floorplan for the the Lubbock temple is the same as that of the San Antonio, TX temple (which we visited on our honeymoon).


By the way, Tony is a master as setting up the camera and running to get into the picture (as seen above)...

On our way back from Texas we made another detour and visited the Albuquerque, New Mexico temple.  This one shares the same floorplan as the Houston temple.  It was freezing the morning we went (probably about 10 degrees, much too cold for my poor Arizona self).  The fountain out front (which obviously had heaters in it to keep it from freezing) was steaming!


I had a neat experience in the Albuquerque temple.  We were sitting together in the celestial room after our session and Tony asked me to pray.  We always pray together in the celestial room.  This time, I thanked our Heavenly Father for our temple marriage.  I thanked Him for allowing us to be an eternal family.  I expressed my gratitude that my baby could be sealed to us for time and all eternity.  When I said this I got really emotional all of a sudden.  I had thought about our baby being sealed to us before but for some reason it really hit me at that moment.  My baby is mine forever because of the sealing ordinances of the temple and I am so grateful!

We've been to eleven.  That's quite an accomplishment for 1 year of marriage.  We still have two in Arizona (Gila Valley and Snowflake) that we haven't visited and two more on the way (Gilbert and Phoenix).  We love temples!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Delightful December

December was a busy month but an enjoyable one as well.  We spent a lot of time getting ready for Christmas.  Some of our big projects included building two sets of redneck golf (to be used as Christmas gifts) and homemade stockings. 

Poor Tony traipsed around a million fabric stores with me because we had to find "just the right fabric" so that the stockings would be "just like the ones Grams makes."  For as long as I can remember Grams has made denim stockings with red bandanna trim.  She has one for EVERYONE...Grams, Papa, all twelve kids, spouses, and grandchildren.  Next year she'll even have one for a great-grandchild!  My mom has always wanted some stockings of her own, just like the ones her mom made, but (as some of you may know) my mom is a busy lady and although she intends to make them each year, it never gets done.  So, this year my gift to her was to make a set of stockings for her.  That meant ten stockings!  It was a lot of work but totally worth it.  Maybe next year I can make a set of my own.  I would only have to make three and then I can make a new one each year another little one comes along.

The few days preceding and following Christmas were spent at the Shinkle home.  It was fun to be with Mom and Dad and the kids for more than just a Sunday afternoon.  Tony did some handy-man work for Mom and Dad's Christmas gift, we played games, ate yummy food, and enjoyed the Christmas festivities.  Tony and I got to be Mary and Joseph for he Christmas Eve Nativity.  (Funny how the girls always fight over who gets to be Mary each year but this year everyone said, "Jeri Lin has to be Mary because she has a baby in her belly." and there was no fussing.)

Christmas morning was an early one filled with lots of love and excitement.  I love how kids transform Christmas into something so special!  Tony especially enjoyed helping Hayden transform his Transformers back and forth back and forth.  Tony might have enjoyed them even more than Hayden.

I stayed busy all day in the kitchen.  Mom did the turkey but I made mashed potatoes, homemade rolls, veggies, and my very first pie!

Our first married Christmas was a wonderful one!  Next year we'll have a baby to share it with and we couldn't be more excited!  We love Christmas because it helps us remember the birth, life, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  We know that through His atonement, we can be made perfect and can return to live with our Heavenly Father.  We hope that you have this same knowledge.  If you don't, please feel free to ask us more about what we believe.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Blog Attack!

The next few weeks may consist of a very scary blog attack.  I'm sorry. That's what happens when you get busy with life, reading stories, Christmas, vacations, anniversaries, kissing, and the like.  Then, when you're finally back home and you settle back into a regular routine you say, "Wow! I better let the world catch up with what the Browns have been up to..." 

So, for today, I will share with you the wonderful Brown family pictures we had done.  Thanks go to Ali Micek and her wonderful talent.  And was cold. 

 Don't you just love Tony's I'm-so-lucky-I-got-this-one smirk?

 Two babies on the way and only about three weeks apart!