What should I wear today?

Yesterday was the first day in a long time, if not ever, on this mission that I didn’t have to wear a white shirt and tie.  We took a P-Day, but had a meeting scheduled in the evening.  An hour before the meeting we got a call, canceling. 


But when this is your wardrobe, what would you wear?

Change in the weather.

Not today, no it has been in the mid 40’s and has rained almost the entire day.  The kind of days we get in Washington, don’t mind them so much there for some reason.  Next week it looks like it may be warmer and drier.  If it changes you will be able to hear my scream of rage from there. 

Two Digit Midgets

Out of the blue on Thursday, the phone rang and it was an elder from the mission office.  He asked me which airport we want to fly to.  Wait, we still have over 3 months!  He told me that they book early so that they can save money. 

The young elder said that we were due to fly out on the 7th of July.  I said, “actually, the 6th”, but who would argue over a day (probably your mom).  I also told him that it would be great if we could fly a few days earlier so that we could be home by the 4th of July weekend.  I wrote an email to the mission president telling him of our desire.  We haven’t heard back.  Perhaps he is laughing at the request. 

Regardless of this, even if we fly on the 6th, today leaves us with 100 days.  Tomorrow, we will be in double digits.  Not trunky though, although last night Janet mentioned that she really was homesick.  I’m worried that I’ll get bored when I’m home and that I’ll put on a necktie each day, even to take out the trash. 

Love you guys.

Wash Day

Today was our P-Day and we started washing our laundry first thing.  We had a batch in the washer at 8:00 and by 11:00 we had four clean and dry single sheets and two pillow cases.  We can only do one bed at a time or it is two crowded in the washer.  We set it for the fastest wash time, which is just under an hour.  When it  comes to washing my undies, it needs a heavy duty cycle which takes just about two hours.  With the size of our washer/dryer and the speed with which it works, Leslie’s family would be washing around the clock.  I can see it now – 2:00 a.m. the alarm goes off.  Dix, your turn.  Put in the next batch and put the dry clothes in the basket.  The process continues at 4:00 a.m.

Don’t get me wrong, we are very happy to have a washer and dryer that work so well.  They just aren’t designed for a large family. 


…I’m going to look back on the spring of 2009 and think it was a good spring.  But right now I am in the midst of daily snow storms with added wind.  I am not happy!  I would like to send my coat and boots away, but I dare not in case things get much worse (how can it get worse than freezing, gale force winds and snow pellets  coming straight at you?).  Next spring I plan on being inside on days like today.  I don’t mind the cold and wet as long as I don’t have to go out in it.  For us going out in it means getting in and out of the car several times a day.  That gives the wind and wet many opportunities to get down my neck and up my skirt.  Plus our Saturday has turned traitor on us, yes, now 44 degrees and rain.  Just what I ordered.  I was looking forward to an outing, but not in the rain.  I am not a duck!   

Spring is here – or is it?

The other day we were driving to a nearby city “for all the world to be taxed”; well at least us.  It had been a sunny but fairly cold day.  Janet always finds dark clouds and forecasts rain.  I on the other hand look for the blue.  I did, however, mention that I don’t think we had seen the last of snow for the winter.  Right now, all of the snow drifts have melted, and most of the lakes are without ice.  Janet doesn’t much like going into the tax office so she chose to sit in the car.  It took them a very long time to calculate 13.5% of the receipts I took in, but eventually I was called to the cashier window and I said farewell to 40 Euros.  I went out the front door of the building and there was our little white car.  Wait, it is a blue car.  About an inch of snow fell while I was in the office.  We weren’t there until Hell froze over, but… 

Saturday was a beautiful day, with sunshine and warm temperatures (relative to the 0 degree weather of January).  I had proposed that for our P-day we go to some fun place.  Janet stuck her toe out the door and said we would wait until we have warmer weather.  For fun we cleaned the apartment and warmed up leftovers.  We did go to the German store and to the Commissary.  I like to go to the shopping center on Saturday because we usually see lots of members.  We did see two families.  

Weather forecast for this next Saturday:  


Mar 28Partly Cloudy
Partly Cloudy  56°  37°

Right, what’s the likelihood that we’ll see the 50’s, other than my clothing style?

Still waiting for Dale’s Europe travel blog, and any communication from Kurt. 

Love you guys. 





Great Visit to Freiberg

We had to get up really early this morning, but it was well worth it.  Our RS President, Janeen Nance picked up Gina Mecham, and met us in Huetten at 5:15 this morning.  We loaded up in her car and drove to Freiberg, about a 2 1/2 hour trip.  We had no construction, bad weather or bad traffic and traveled as planned to the town of Freiberg.  We approached the temple from a different direction, so we came up from behind it. 

Freiberg Temple

This was Gina’s first temple experience (other than baptisms).  She had to buy some garments and then we went inside. The first person I saw inside was President Gira, formerly of the Berlin Stake Presidency.  He and his wife work there one week a month.  The Temple President Apel met us and welcomed us to the temple, as did his wife. Since the temple was renovated a few years ago, it looks entirely different inside – it is beautiful.

The girls were rushed off and I sat there and read scriptures. While waiting, Ruth Shult came up and was so happy to see me. We talked for about 30 minutes. Later, Hans came up and was thrilled to see me too. The first question, after greetings, was, “How is Kurt?” I don’t know why they love him so much, but they do. Janet and I were the witness couple and the session was great.  After the session we readied to leave and we had to say goodbye to everyone, including former temple and mission president, Manfried Schutze. We went to a nice restaurant downtown for lunch and then drove home, arriving around 5 pm. We were/are tired.

With Gina and Janeen Nance

Janet, Gina and Janeen.

With Gina Mecham

Do we look happy? 

Tomorrow and Sunday are Stake Conference.  At our zone conference Elder Kopischke looked at our name tags as we approached to greet him and  he said, “Oh, you are legends in Grafenwoehr!”  Don’t know why we are legendary, but that was a cool way for a General Authority to greet us.


Are you ready for some soccer?

So, the Seattle Sounders begin their first season in Major League Soccer this year (technically they are a new franchise, but the city has had a soccer team named Sounders as far back as 1974).  I purchased four tickets for a 7-game pack for the following games:

Saturday 3/28 vs Real Salt Lake
Saturday 4/25 vs San Jose
Saturday 5/30 vs Columbus
Wednesday 6/17 vs DC United
Saturday 7/25 vs Chicago
Saturday 8/29 vs Toronto
Saturday 9/19 vs Chivas USA

Who wants to come see some games?  The tickets I have are $18 each.  Let me know which games you’re interested in seeing.  The first four games are all evening games, the last three are afternoon.  If you go, you are required to wear green.

Been a while

So while I work on my full Germany trip blog (I will finish it, I promise!), let me tell about my Seattle trip this last week.

On Wednesday, I took the day off from work.  After puttering about and doing some chores for awhile, I drove up to Seattle, where I met up with Mark.  He showed me the office at Atlas Solutions, or as I call it Planet Nerd.  I mean, come on, he had a copy of Watchmen at his desk.  Could anything be nerdier than that?  (Note to self: hide all my action figures before any family visit my office in the future.)

We had a quick lunch at a Chinese restaurant nearby (I enjoyed rice noodles while Mark had black bean chicken), and it was off to Seattle Center.  We parked, and then wended our way over to the Pacific Science Center to view the “Lucy’s Legacy” exhibition.  This was an exhibition centered around Lucy, the famous fossil that is (I believe) the oldest surviving fossil of a hominid that walked upright: Australopithecus afarensis.  Remarkably, around 40% of the over-3-million-year-old skeleton was discovered.

There was also quite a lot of Ethiopian cultural artifacts there, as Ethiopia has one of the longest and most interesting (and for Africa, relatively un-tragic) histories of that part of the world.

After that, we went back to Mark’s place so he could change from one short-sleeved knit shirt to another short-sleeved knit shirt.  (I’m growing tired of mocking Mark’s fashion acumen.  Someone else will have to do it on my behalf.)

We then drove back to Seattle Center.  We checked out the Used CD section at Silver Platters, then went to eat at Bamboo Garden, a vegetarian Chinese restaurant.  I had mandarin chicken, and Mark had chicken with peanut satay sauce.  “But wait a bit!” you ask.  “I thought you said it was vegeterian!”  I did indeed.  It’s mock-chicken, made of ingredients like taro and potatoes.  The look, texture, and taste is surprisingly chicken-like.  This ain’t no Boca burger.  The Chinese have been perfecting this kind of cooking for centuries, so they’ve gotten pretty good at it.

Finally, we went to the opera, and saw a pair of modern works, Bluebeard’s Castle and Erwartung.  It’s a really violent but cool pair of work.

Anyway, I’ll blog about what I did on Saturday later.  And eventually, the Germany trip.  Be patient.

Super Saturday

We had a great day today.  Any day that includes a baptism is a great day.  I had the blessing to be able to baptize Andrew Kuban today.  Andrew is 9 years old and a great young man.  We’ve been meeting with his family for a year now and we were thrilled when he asked to be baptized, and double thrilled when he asked me to do it.  We love the family, but they will be moving to Ft Benning soon.  We are losing many of our good friends, but that is the Army life for you.

 Andrew Kuban

This is Andrew just before the baptism.

 The Kubans

This is the Kuban family, plus the two little girls who could not pass up an opportunity to have a camera pointed at them.

 We also had a nice meeting with two investigators.

And some really great news, next week we get to go to the Temple in Freiberg.  We have been teaching a woman the temple prep lessons and she is going to the temple this coming Friday.  Mom will be the escort.  We got permission from the mission president and the Area President.  We will also see Hans and Ruth there.  An exciting week indeed.