Friday, January 13, 2017

Elder Phippen's first taste of Cuy

The other day I received a wonderful e-mail.
I LOVE it when people 
from my children's missions Text me, facebook, or email
 me to let me know how my children are doing. 
 Here is the e-mail with these pictures.
We are touring our sons mission. He trained Elder Calle prior to completing in October. Elder Phippen is doing great. 
We all had our first taste of Cuy  ( google it). 
I am from Illinois so it is good to see a Midwestern Boy. 
Feliz Nuevo Ano  

A few days later a gal requested to be my friend on facebook.  I was unsure who it was but figured it was a Spanish name and written in Spanish could be from Ry's mission, I better except.  So glad I did. 
She sent me these pictures.

I responded,

Thanks for the pictures.  I love them.

She responded,

"No entiendo mucho pero thank you"

I am thinking, I need to start responding in Spanish;)

Thursday, January 12, 2017


It's funny how kids get parents to do things they don't want to do.

Over Christmas break, Ashlynn was having a "moment".  
She was crying about being bored.
 She begged to go to the ARL.  I finally agreed but it was 
understood we are not coming home with a pet.

 We didn't.  We came home with two pets.  
Anna and Elsa. 
 They were so adorable, they were sisters, they had to stay together. Plus, as Ashlynn put it, she needs these dogs, she has felt a hole in her heart since Riley left.  

Manipulation at it's finest:)

Well that FUN lasted until we had to start paying for them and cleaning up after them.
Then they would start wrestling each other in the middle of the floor like actual siblings. 
Then one decided to snap at the neighbor kid and that seemed like the perfect reason to put a STOP to half the insanity we just introduced into our lives.
 Problem was Ashlynn was in love with both dogs.

  Mom was worried the dogs would suffer depression if they were separated.  Dad didn't want any part of the non-sense we spoke of.  He said the aggressive dog is going back end of story.

 Ashlynn was in tears, mom called Dad about a hundred times as he was making the trip to return the bonded, four legged friend. I wanted to be sure this was not a bad choice. 
You see, dad is usually persuadable:).

 Turns out Dad was right.  Since we took the black dog back, our life of owning a dog has been much easier, and enjoyable.  Paige (we changed her name) has bonded better to our family instead of her sister she was suppose to be bonded to. 
That sounds awful of us I know.  However I studied it a little, it's not:).

It really is true a dog is a man's best friend. 
Everyone who leaves, Paige sees to the door and she 
greets them cheerfully as they get home.
Daxon loves teaching her new tricks
and taking her running.

Paige has come with some added work.
The smiles that she puts on all the kids faces 
makes it totally worth it.

December 19, 2016 in Arequipa

Week 9 
Riley has been out of the CCM for about 
2 weeks and is as happy as can be.
I am not sure if the hat is just a tradition of some kind or part of a Christmas play:).

In the Christmas play Elder Phippen was a candle because he is tall, skinny, and white!!!

 This is the view from the Arequipa, Peru Temple plot.
 Volcano Mt. Misti

Here are his lovely living quarters:).

The moment all missionaries remember,
The first baptism:).

 Everything Riley has to say about his mission is how much he is loving it.
That is not a surprise.  Riley loves people and life.  He follows Elder Worthlin's advice as well as anyone I know,


     'Twas the year 2016 and the Phippens had found
Christmas was a little more quiet
 with only 3 children around.

So many wonderful things surround this time of year.
The birth of our Savior being the focus. Love for others is in the air.
We continued with our tradition of taking treats to Hope Ministries,
and going to parties. This year Daxon tried his hand at making my Aunt Louise's hand made caramels and Grandma Briscoe's divinity.  I have to say, that boy has a talent for candy making.  They were SCRUMPTIOUS!
JD worked a lot this year, but when you get paid time and a half, plus holiday pay, it's hard to pass up :) .
One tradition I had almost forgot about this year (until I was talking to my
 Dad). He mentioned they were all getting ready
 to make gingerbread houses.

 This is always the most fun when we hot glue the houses, 
then cover them with frosting:)

 Funny story-We called the sister missionaries to join us.  They responded to the message with "Who is this?"  We responded, "Phippens, Sorry".  They responded, "No worries".  

What does that even mean, I thought to myself. Do we wait for them or go ahead.  They never came.  Later I discovered it was not the correct number. LOL

 We had a great time eating and building .

 Christmas eve PJs are always a favorite.  
This year I went with funny Pjs rather than stylish:)

After all the kids had opened PJs Ashlynn was a little distraught that hers did not match the boys.  I had and extra pair that ended up not fitting in Rileys 
stuff so we let her put them on for pictures.

 Daxon watches Jon B fishing videos whenever he can.  
He had to have this shirt:).

 I love this picture of all the boys trying to figure 
out Britton's new toy.

 I think it is safe to say that Ashlynn loves her unicorn.

 I have to say I was very surprised when Daxon asked for a guitar for Christmas.  He has never shown much interest in musical things. I decided to not let this golden opportunity pass me by.  :)
 He has loved it and is learning quickly.

 I loved that I did not have to ask the kids to get ready for church at all.  
They just were ready and willing to go on time.  

 Ashlynn's toys never appeal much to her brothers.  It always makes me smile when one of them takes the time to play with her and her new treasures.

 The all time highlight of the day was the missionary phone calls.
We all loved getting to see Alyssa's and Riley's face and hear their voices.  
Last year we did not really have a rule on how much time we could talk so we talked for a very long time.
This year however, we were so concerned about following the rules that I think maybe we hung up too soon.  I realize no missionary, nor mother, is ever ready to hang up, so on Mother's Day I will let Elder Phippen decide when to hang up.

 I sure love these 2 kiddos.  
I love this picture. 
I love these smiles.

I love my new bumper stickers I ordered for Christmas:).
It was a wonderful Christmas. It makes me think of these words from the song 
Blessings (by Alabama)
Oh, The blessings, sent from above,
Oh, the blessings, a life full of love
When I look around I can see,
All that's been given me,
So lift my eyes up to the sky
'Cause I wanna give my, my, my, my, my
Thanks for the blessings