23 July 2007

Finally....I am here

I know you have all wondered why I have been absent. My FireKracker has been keeping me up to date, but I thought I had better weigh in (shut up Doug).

Lets just say I can hardly wait until any other day than today. I feel like I am in the Nexxus of the universe. We have alot going on at our house, and it isn't slowing down. After I blew my back out last Saturday and started evacuating in a quart jar since I couldn't make it to the bathroom, I wondered if it was the right timing. Just when my back started responding to therapy, Carolyn found out that she may have a problem with her thyroid. During a routine checkup, it was determined that her thyroid was enlarged and the doc ordered an immediate ultrasound of it. We got the call this morning. She has numerous nodules showing up, and one is the size of a marble. It is somewhat alarming, but thyroids are notorious for nodules-so "they" say. Anyway, she is supposed to get them biopsied next to see if we get to deal with anything else. This is while we are applying for new medical insurance anticipating my departure from my employer, and starting my own firm.

I have been working on my official resignation, but no one is showing up at the office to resign from. This is not funny. I am hoping to let they guys in on it this week before we see you. Wish me luck.

Gotta run. Wendee and the gang are showing up to burn up some time waiting for a grandbaby. Scott, we are hiding all of our food from Garrett except 2 week old hamburgers from McDonalds.



Hey guys, I am just getting my feet wet here.

Lilly Grew Hair!

This is my real life baby doll! Isn't she so cute. We laughed so hard and still do everytime we look at this. The other night I put a wig on her that came from Build a Bear. It almost is a perfect fit. I think she looks like a REAL dolly!

20 July 2007


hey fam-

jesse and i are deeply grateful today...we had a scary incedent with mary last night that required a 911 call and a trip to the ER. she had what is called a fever seizure. it was a pretty good scare. jess found her laying flat on her face on the couch and turned her over to see her pale with blue lips--not breathing. her body was limp and her eyes were rolled back. we didn't know what was happening...i never want to feel that feeling again. i was so scared. she slowly started to breath shallow breaths. and by the time the paramedics were there she was coherent again. sort of. they poked her toe to get some blood and she didn't even flinch. they did some test while she was laying on the floor and then recommended we take her to the ER. throwing up along the way. Long story short...all is well but they had to put a cathader (? spelling) in her to get some urine for a test. and proceeded to poke her 3 times (one in her left arm, one in the ankle, and finally in the right arm) to get blood and put an IV in. she was NOT happy. which is the mary we know! they told us she was too chubby to find a vein. once she got some food and liquid thanks to dal...she was quite chipper. she only had a fever of 100.3 --not too high. the doctor just said that it was how fast it came on that shut her body down. the heat doesn't help either. so...to all of you. keep your kids hydrated--and if they are showing the slightless sign on heat on their body put them in the bath or something. i know this fever seizure isn't uncommon but it definitely is for us and our little mary. i don't want that scare again. so just be aware.
it just made us realize how grateful we are for our kiddos--and how much we love them. mom called it my "growing pains". i don't think i like them very much!
we love you all
and see you soon!

16 July 2007

grandma i'm here!

well, its me shelby. i have joined the blog! now i feel like a real member of the graham family. just got back from EFY last week, wowwww. it was pretty much amazing, the spirit was just so strong. austins just doing amazing up in canada! well i thought i'd let everyone know i'm now a part of the blog! byee!


14 July 2007

July 11, 2007 from Elder Graham

July 11, 2007


I hope everything is going well. Everything is well up in Elliot Lake. But a lot more has happened.

So, do you rememeber that only 9 people came to church the first Sunday? Well, we had 21 this past Sunday. We were able to get less actives and investigators out. It was awesome.

We have been working really hard with the less actives. We already have two more that are coming back, that is to add to the ones that we had this last week. A lot of them are not coming to church because they have been offended. It is really bad, because they are all getting offended by the same person. We are really having some problems with this one person. We are writing President Ashton and telling him all that has been going on and he is talking to the Stake. We are praying that something changes, because we have been finding that this has been going on for a long time. But we have a problem; she is the Branch President’s wife. She thinks she can run everyone’s lives and she doesn’t see anything wrong with what she is doing. The branch president is telling her things that she should not know and she is taking matters into her own hands and she is really causing some problems. But we are really doing well and pulling the branch back together.

We have 4 prospective families that we may be able to teach. We are really happy. Nothing has happened up in this place in a long time, and we come and we have 4 families that we are going to start teaching. One of them is a part Jamaican family that has two kids, 18 and 16. They are really nice and we are meeting with them on Saturday. Another one is a woman that has 2 boys. She is living with her boy friend but we can change that. When we were talking with her, I got this wonderful feeling that I really can’t explain. I had a love for them that just overwhelmed me. I almost started to cry. I know it sounds weird, and we just met them and talked for a few minutes. O yes, the 11 year old son looks like Bo but with dark hair. It is really weird. He acts just like him too. Another family is the Fishers. They are a part member family with 3 boys, I know there are a lot of boys, but we prayed for priesthood and that’s what we are getting. But, the Fishers are awesome. She was baptized about 6 months ago but was chased away by this one person. We are really making some progress with them. The husband has read a lot of anti Mormon literature though. But we are fixing that. The last one is a young guy with 2 kids. We just met him briefly and he told us about his family. He is really nice and loves his family. So as you can see, we are really being blessed. It is hard though. A lot of people in this town really don’t like us. But what can you do. That’s their opinion. Personally, I think we are pretty cool. Just kidding. But the Lord is really looking out for us.

So there is a new twist on things. Two nights ago, we were called and told that we were taking over Manitoulin Island. Yes, we now cover all the way down to the island. It is about a 2-hour drive to get there. When you are on the island, it takes about an hour to get anywhere. It is also a little branch. The missionaries were moved and we were told that it was know part of our responsibility. It is going to be really hard to run both of these arias. But there is a reason for everything. Nothing has happened in that place for a long time too.

So we now have two apartments and we will be running two areas. It is going to be fun, but a lot of work. The Lord is really streching me. But all the more to learn, right.

Well I got to go, I love you all so much. I know that this church is true. I know that we really need to read the scriptures. If we don’t, we will not make it in this world. You have to read the scriptures. Just like Nephi said, if you will read the word of God and hold to it, the fiery darts and temptations of the devil will not over come us. We will over come and have eternal life. What is more important?


Elder Graham

11 July 2007


Who is Napoleon? xoxo Mama

10 July 2007

Critics (My) Review :: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

So, let's get "harry." Tonight, I drew my metaphoric invisibility cloak, garnered my phoenix-feathered wand, and broomed my way to a local theater to see the latest "movie" installment of JK Rawlings world-altering stories: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. I came by way of the tickets from a good friend of mine that lives in the complex - he's a dude that produces games for Playstation and strangely-new gizmos, like the Wii (see Brad and Carolyn's brood for details). And I'm just elated. Is it escapism I'm thirsting for? Would witches and wizard treats and classes engage my memory more than perhaps my once-learned calculus (have any of us used it since senior year in high-school? If so, who, and for what. You may remain anonymous if you'd like). Like you've read and like you've seen, Harry and his crew are getting older, and just like puberty, the changes are more than skin-deep. I remember reading the book and feeling of sense of "this is more serious, more... adult." The movie heralds the same feeling. Definitely more morose. Less and less laughy and more and more morose. I totally enjoyed it. The art direction was beautiful and the conflicts he deals with are more loving and deadly than ever. I'm amazed at JK Rawlings pursuits, her inventiveness, her way with words. So go see it. Are you going to ask me which of your kids can see it? I will have to defer that question: you see, all of you raise your kids in such fun interesting ways, I'd not like to get in the middle of one of summer's biggest block-buster hits. And let's not forget: the last book is only wks away. Patronus!

Happy Birthday to Joni

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO JONI!!!! Sorry this is a day late, dear. Just for the rest of you to know, we had a little birthday dinner for Joni. Dad, me, Dallas and Doug met Joni and Jesse in SLC hoping to go to the Loco Lizzard, only to find that it was closed. Darn! So we went and had a great little big of Greek food. Of course the food was good, but the company was the best. I am sure you can imagine a few laughs. Jodi was gone on Trek and Doug's kids were in Logan, so lonely Doug came by himself. Sure is fun to actually see Joni on her birthday! This was 26 for her and that I have a hard time believing. I want Joni to tell you all what Jesse did for her birthday. Hopefully, Joni, you can even add the photos. What a good guy you are Jesse! We love you Joni, and wish you many, many more birthdays! xoxoxo Mama

New Invites

Hey Dallas, since you set up our blog, are you the one that does the invites to those who aren't there yet? If so, would you send an invite to Landon, Abby, James, Dane, Shelby, Mady and Stan? When Brad has his own E-mail address, he needs another invite too. I love the color change to the black and red. I assume you are the one that made that happen. Right? Hey, how about you tell us about all the 'shoots' you are doing? Also, tell about the celebrities you see at Tony's. Everyone would be glad to hear. xoxox Mama

05 July 2007

Letter from Elder Graham

Austin was transferred from Midland to Elliot Lake. Here is his first letter from his new field of labor. His new address is:

149 Mississauga Ave., Apt. 113
Elliot Lake, ON P5A 2P9

I might add that it is really cool to use Google Earth to see from the satellite what the area looks like. The census of the 2006 says there is just over 15,000 in the small community.

July 5, 2007

Hi Fam.

P-day is still on Wednesday. We just had some trouble yesterday, so we are using our break again.

Thank you all for your letters. I have got them from Kayla, Garrett, and Mom and Dad. Thank you. Dad, I didn’t get the letter that you sent with the talk in it. Not that I know of. Mom, I didn’t get an e mail from you this week. I don’t know why that is. Sorry.

Happy B-day Garrett. Just because you are 17 doesn’t give you rites to go out and have a girl friend. Just remember that. You still have a mission to go on. Trust me; you don’t want to waste your time.

Elliot Lake. What a place. It is so beautiful. I left my camera in the car that I was driving up in. But I will get it in a couple days and send you some pictures. But it is just awesome.

It is really small. 13 thousand. Really small. When we went to church, there were 9 people counting us. One other man. Yes, it is really different. There is a lot of work to be done. Like I said, the area has been closed for the past bit. But we have already had some success. We have 4 less active coming to church – we hope. We also have 1 investigator coming as of now. We are hoping that will grow. There have been a lot of bad things happen in this area with regards to the missionaries. It is really hard. Lots of strife between members. We really have to work hard. We are trying some different ideas. Some things that most missionaries would not think to do. We really need to light a fire. We were told that this transfer, 6 weeks, would be key in deciding whether missionaries would be staying in Elliot Lake.

I know there are people here that need and want the Gospel, so I am working really hard to see that missionaries stay. I just pray that the Lord will help us on our path. The hardest thing is trying to find people. There is a lot of Jehovah Witness, JW, in the place and they all knock on doors, so people really don’t like it when we knock on doors. So we are trying some different ways of finding. If anyone has some clever ideas, Please o please send them. I need all the Help I can get. Let me know as soon as you can. We have 4 1/2 weeks left. Not much time.

This time is really causing me to stretch. But what is funny, is that I asked the Lord to break me down and build me back up the way he wants me to be, and that is what is happening. I am getting stretched and molded into what God wants me to be. It is a long process. This hard area is going to be a key factor in this. It is really going to make me work. It makes me so excited. I am ready. I really am ready to be tried. I know that the Lord will not give me anything that I can not overcome. He is going to be with me. I know that this place will grow because of the hard times. It is only after the test of our faith. I stood up in church and told the members that it is crucial that they help us. I really let them know that we have to have faith.

Man, I just get so excited when I think of hard times, because I know that that means there will be blessings. What a comfort that is for us to know. If we will work our hardest, the Lord has to bless us. This place will grow. It will! The Lord is about to perform a great and marvelous work in Elliot Lake. It has been through some hard times. Know is the time for Blessings.

Man, I love how the Holy Ghost feels!!!!!!!!

My companion is named Elder Romine. He is from New Mexico. He is a really easy going missionary. We are going to get along great. He has a wonderful testimony. He is a little quiet though. But that doesn’t stop him or the Holy Ghost testifying.

Pray for me. I am really going to need it. I know that if we have faith, anything is possible with the Lord. He is there and is just waiting to pour out the blessings of heaven upon us his faithful. Now let us be faithful!!!!

I love you all so much. Thank you again for your letters. Sorry if I didn’t answer any of your questions. Write them in the next email.

Dad, I would really love a Tape recorder. It would be really great to keep a record with that as well as in my journal. I would also like to send you some tapes of me. If you could find me one that is not to big, I would really love it. I also need my contacts. Thanks Dad, I love you so much

I love you all so much. You are so wonderful. We are really blessed to have each other. Don’t let anything get between us.

Love elder Graham

good things...

it has been awhile since i have posted on the blog but i thought that i might share a thought with you...well...not so much thought as a talk. all 3 of my kids are asleep right now...which NEVER happens...so i decided to do some ironing...yes, ironing. as i was in my quietness i turned on a talk by Elder Holland. it is called "An High Priest of Good Things to Come". i am sure you have all heard it and love it. i ended up listening to it twice because of how close it hit home with me. and i wanted to share it with my wonderful family. having been feeling a little bit of an emotional roller coaster lately and dwelling on my own little troubles i found peace in the voice of Elder Holland. i believe he speaks to all of us in this talk no matter our age or circumstance. i urge you to LISTEN to it. take a quiet morning or a quiet moment and listen to it. it truly is nourishing. i love you.

saturday afternoon session--last talk

01 July 2007

European Update

Hi everyone! Still having a fantastic time in Europe - I read Jen's post about crying a bit since we've been here (which is true), but seriously - they have been tears of joy! We had a great anniversary trip to London last week - I posted a bunch of pictures on AllenWorld - Here: http://allenworld.spaces.live.com/. Just to give you a sneak preview - here's a shot from each of us: Me and the Tower of London; Jen on the Thames River; Lucy with her Sunday curls; and Myles in front of yet another fountain. :) I'll be in Moscow this week for work - so make sure you all check in with Jen for me. Next week is Paris and then Orlando. Guess I had better buy Jen some stamps or something to keep her busy while I am gone. TTFN - Tyler