30 November 2007


oh yes! can we say satisfied--so fun to see such complete happiness after being so hungry--he just goes completely limp! Do you like my cape---for all those nursing mommy's they are so awesome!

Loves to you,

26 November 2007


Isn't this fun! A great museum here in allen tx--what a blast we had today!

3 is not a crowd!

these 3---just can't get enough of eachother! it is simply so fun to hear them play their imagination play---they could go on and on for days---in fact that is what they do! we feel so blessed to be here with scott and wendee---but you know you all are invited any time!

Loves to you!

23 November 2007

Hayes Montage, 2007

20 November 2007

Elder Austin - October 14, 2007

Hi everyone. How is everything going? I am sorry to hear about the hot weather. It is getting Cold up here, but it still is not that cold. The leaves are still falling from there trees and it is not snowing yet. They say that Windsor doesn’t get too much snow, so I am bummed about that. But I am doing just fine. I am keeping worm and everything is going great. My clothes need a little mending, and my shoes are a little worn through. The tops of my shoes are doing just fine, but the soles are just worn right through. When it rains, my feet get all wet. But that’s how it is. I am wondering if I should go and buy some new ones or re-sole the ones that I have right now. What would you suggest? I also need to take my suits to get some minor repairs done, so if you could throw in a few bucks into my account Dad, that would be great. My shoes can hold out a bit longer, but if you could tell me what you want me to do, that would be great.

Mom, I got the package, and I love it. I was smiling from ear to ear. Kayla and Garrett, you look so good. You are growing up way too fast. You really need to stop that. Emma looks a foot taller. And Bo, well, you look the same. That’s a good thing though. How where the tryouts? Did you get the parts? I don’t know why you wouldn’t. You look so good. Garrett and Bo, you need to protect your sister. She is a looker and the guys are going to be all over her if you don’t stop them. You all look so great and happy. I am so glad for that.

Well, my week has been really good. Last Wednesday, we set Cyanic and her family for baptism. They were going to get baptized this Sunday, but they are not ready yet. But they are definitely going to be. It was such a wonderful experience. This is the family with 6 kids. They are all so wonderful and they make me so happy when we meet with them. We had another wonderful lesson with them last night. The spirit was so strong. It was with the mother and her 2 oldest daughters. They were full of questions. They finally realized that we were teaching them that this was the only true church on the face of the earth, and the spirit bore testimony that what we were saying was true. So amazing, I love the spirit.

Suzie is still getting baptized this Sunday. She is more prepared than anyone I have taught. She wants it so bad and is so ready. Please pray for her. She is going to call her husband in Florida and get his permission. He has not been to keen on the idea. So keep her in your prayers.

Maliki is still going to get baptized this sat. He is so excited and all of his family is going to come. It is going to be awesome.

Simone said she was not ready to be baptized yet. But she is still coming to church, and reading. She will come in time.

We found a new investigator. His name is Mike. He wants so bad to find what we are telling him is true. He has had it a bit hard, but he is so ready for the Gospel. He is really going to look and find what he has been looking for, because he is really looking.

God is continuing to bless me with more people everyday. As a Zone, we had 11 new investigators. That is really bad in a week’s time. In our zone, we have 12 missionaries. We had 6 out of that 11. The Lord is blessing me so much. I don’t say that to brag, but to say how the Lord will bless you if you are obedient. In the mission there are 200 missionaries. And last week we had 30 new baptismal dates set in the mission. My district of 8 missionaries has 14 of them. We have been working so hard to be obedient in every way and the Lord is blessing us so much. This is a true principal. Live it and God will/has to bless you. I love him so much. He is there and he loves us so much. I can’t do anything without him. He watches over me so much and it is only because of him that we are finding these prepared people.

So now for the miracle. Do you all remember Maggie from Manitulon Island when I was up in Elliot Lake? Well, she is getting baptized. I need to tell you the whole story for you to truly understand.

It all started when I was in Midland. I had been there for abut 8 weeks, when I met a member named Persila. She is a native story teller. She travels all over Ontario, so she is not around as often as she wants to be. But no mater where she is, she always goes to church. So I got to know Persila really well. She told me all her stories. She said she had a friend that she desperately wanted us to teach but she lived out on Manitulon Island. She jokingly said, "I am going to pray one of you up there." So time went on and I was transferred to Elliot Lake. We were there about two weeks when Manitulon Island was shut down as far as missionaries. They were taken out and we were put in charge of it. It is about 2 hours away from Elliot Lake. So we tried to get down there once a week, but sometimes it was a bit hard. But just before we had taken over it, the missionaries that where on the island had contacted a women named Maggie. This was Elder Eaton and Elder Parks. But she lived about 3 hours away from Elliot Lake apartment. It was quite the drive, but we chose to make it one day. She was so awesome. She was so prepared and ready for the Gospel. She had been looking on e-Bay one day when she came across a LDS quad. She felt prompted to buy it. She did and paid a total of 10 dollars for it. When we Got there, and after discussing a little about the Restoration, she said, “I have something to show you". She promptly leaved and came back with the quad in her hand. She related the story of how she had got it. It was a miracle. We continued to talk and she said that she had a friend that was a member of our faith. She said Persila. I said, "Excuse me." She said Persila again. "Persila Toby?" I asked. She said yes. I then connected the dots of who this person that I was talking to was. This was the friend that Persila had prayed for me to find. What a miracle. God lives. We were able to teach her the Lessons, but I was not able to see her baptized. I was then transferred to Windsor, and on the 13th of November, I got a call saying that Maggie was getting baptized on the 14th and to call her. I very promptly did. She was so excited to get baptized and she related the wonderful story of her conversion. She was going to put off baptism until April, but she didn’t feel that that was the thing to do. So she prayed and asked God when she should be baptized. Wednesday came to her head and she set it up. Latter, she found that Wednesday was a very special day. The 14th of November is her son’s birthday, her husband’s grandma’s birthday and the day that her mother’s baptism was registered. What another miracle. She is so excited and ready. She is going to take her mother’s name to the temple as soon as she can and all of her other family members. What a story from one simple prayer of a faithfull member of the church.

God lives and loves us. I know this is true.

I love you all so much. Dad, I still have not received the box. I would still love some music and talks that I could listen to.

I love you guys. You really are the best family. Never forget that.


Elder Graham

19 November 2007

blessing jake

we sure wish you all could have been here, it was beautiful! he is just growing up to fast--love you all so much!

17 November 2007


Madeyn had a great time at homecoming last weekend. She went with some friends. Alone....stagg. None of the other girls have read Strength of Youth obviously! She was hit in the eye at one of her games last week! Awesome! huh

Battle Scars

Here are a few of the battle scars from the games this week. My girls are no wimps! I wish you could all see them play! such a

15 November 2007

Oh, Mexico

The James Taylor song is appropriate....Oh, Mexico. Landon will be joining James in the thriving city of Monterrey Mexico. We opened Landon's call with him last night. We took the whole family down to his apartment at Snow College, and there with his roommates, Landon opened and read his call to serve. He enters the Provo MTC on March 12, and will be serving in the Mexico, Monterrey East Mission. His mission goes to the Texas border, to the Gulf Coast, and south just a bit. He is really excited. He did not anticipate learning a language, but is surprised and excited to do that. He was pretty much floating around, especially when he recognized he would be sharing the city with James.

What a great experience for the kids to see and participate in. We can't believe it, but are so stoked. Carolyn and I had some interesting experiences in Mexico last week that makes this discovery even more special. While on our ATV adventure in the jungle, we saw two Elders walking the dirt roads in the poor part of town. We both immediately saw Landon doing the same thing. We also spent some time reading about Monterrey because we were interested in where James was....funny thing.

So, we will send you more later. His mission president is 49 and a native. Pretty exciting. Monterrey has a temple, and is the headquarters of the Mexico North area as well. Awesome.

Brad and Carolyn.

Blue Eyed Mady

Hey guys, I just wanted to update you on our life as of late. Shelby and Madelyn have started Basketball full force this week. They have their third game tonight. Madelyn made Varsity! Yipee!! So her and Shelby play on the same team! It is so much fun watching them play together. In their opening game Shelby didn't get to play because of being out of town last week. But Madelyn scored 18 points. They won the game and are really excited because they may have a better team this year. They have really struggled the past few years at Eastlake. But we have already had a better season this year. We lost last night to a team that mopped the floor with us last year. They are a first in the county and a large team of nice black scary girls. Last night, for the first time in four years, we were tied at half and even led for a few minutes in the 3rd quarter. It was great. We lost but we are not too dissapointed because we at least played them. They beat us by 50 last year. The girls were ok with the outcome because they new there competed. Shelby is awsome under the basket getting all kinds of rebouds and scored 8 or 10 points. Madelyn got it in the eye and she is going to have a great shiner! She was hurting but now loves looking rough. We love our Lilly. She is almost 1! Enjoy

Never to Be Said...

It was another day at Caputo's: the Mexican chefs were slapping meat down at a blurring speed, the deli boys were wiping tables while whistling something that reached back from an Andy Griffith's show, customers were staring at the menu with worship-like awe - wondering how and what would be their heavenly bite.

They came in... the two of them. I'd seen these two so many times, that I call them "regulars." His name is Jon. Hers I can't remember, but that never stops their smiling nature to come out.

And it does. It always does. They seem genuinely happy to be at lunch, together. He's probably mid 50s; she is probably early 20s. I enjoy seeing them so much, that I decided to "stop" them today and express my appreciation.

"I just have to tell you two, it is so refreshing to see you come in! I really like your energy... your smiles!"

"Oh, thanks!" they say, beaming.

"Yeah," I said, "its so good to see a father and daughter enjoying time together like this. I just really think its great!"

She smiled and with deer-in-headlights-eyes said, "He's my husband."

There are times when you say something wrong in a social setting that you can recover. Its fast. Its quick. Its a nano-second that can curb an entire reservoir of explanation and embarrassment on your part. Its well crafted, but only through a snap-cracking wit, as fluid as mercury. This nano-second is precious, few, and like a grace from Heaven if utilized perfectly.

I missed it.

I just stared at her. It seemed like an hour that I stood, carp-mouthed, full-moon eyed, trying to think of someway to recover the words that slipped from my mouth.

And I ask you... how do you do that? How do you recover those milliseconds of foot-in-mouth blundering?

I said I was sorry. And then found myself digging myself out of that: "No,.. I'm not sorry you're married.." Deeper. Deeper. Six feet under.

"Oh, that's fine! We get it all the time! He just looks older. And I look younger!" eyes twinkling in some distant galaxy.

As they left to their table, I gasped for air, dropped my head, and felt my head fill with red, pounding, screaming blood.

"So, Dallas," Jan asked, "you having crow for lunch?"

14 November 2007

Fall Fun at Stan and Gina's house

This is a photo of the North Shore of Oahu. They were having some world surfing competition on those waves!! Fun to watch only!!

Hey, I'm getting the hang of this blogger thing! Right on! it took me a few tries, but here we go. So, photos from Oahu, Hawaii. We took some friends and had a ball. We did a cage dive with sharks!! There were nine sharks swimming around us just as friendly as could be! Amazing creatures!! It was quite stormy while we were there, but still warm, so we spent a lot of time in the water. Our friends and I took a turn at Scuba Diving. We did a shipwreck, a reef and a night dive! Wow-it was surreal!!

Pearl Harbor, BYU Hawaii, Hanauma Bay, Hawaii Temple, Fresh Pineapple, Macadamia nuts, Coconut and Mango ! Fabulous! Check out the Mr. America, Buff Man I found on the Beach! My lucky Day!!

Halloween and Fall fun!!

Tommy - er, um, Woverine . . .and Ninja boy with green hair . . .Mr. Gabe man coming at ya!!

12 November 2007

Nibblin' on Spongecake...

Carolyn and I crashed after "wasting away again in Margaritaville". I was disappointed at breakfast when I was "lookin for my lost shaker of salt". Back to mush and water. No more all inclusive resort vacations. What we didn't drink we made up for in food...lest you think I wasted my money. Some people claim that there's a woman to blame, but I know......its my own dang fault.

Some of you have inferred that our trip to Mexico was somehow a bonus for deciding to become unemployed. I made the reservations a year ago, and, well, we just decided to go, even though we are in the midst of a freefall. How exhilarating.

Tonight we had a family night activity to guess where Landon will be called on his mission. The one who is closest geographically will win a "revelation prize". We had Nettie Ann point to the map. Her foreign pick was "Russia" and her stateside pick was "Wyoming". Landon's own pick was Great Britain, and North Carolina.

We are waiting on pins and needles.....ouch.

Anyway, it is so good to be pack in the USA, I was, born in the USA...Born in the USA, we comin' to America. Be...as a page that aches for a word which speaks on a field that is timeless....


Cute Coasters!

Check these fun ones out! So easy and so fun!

09 November 2007

A note rParadise

Hey family!

Carolyn and I are sitting at the laptop at the Barcelo La Jolla just south of Puerto Vallarta. We have spent the week since Sunday at the Dreams Resort, but had to move today....and we went from a 5 star to an upgrade...is there such a thing as a 6 star hotel? I got an upgrade when I booked on my travel web site, so we are being pampered here. It is a Spanish theme here, and is very beautiful. We have two rooms, two bathrooms and a balcony overlooking the ocean.

Aside from a very good conference where I got a ton of CPE credit, we did a lot of laying around on the beach, making some great new friends, watching the ocean....and just relaxing.

We have seen plenty of whales, and have released newborn sea turtles into the ocean. We took a 4 x 4 tour through the jungle, and have been in awe of the beauty here. We have had plenty of opportunities to share our beliefs with new friends since we don't drink any alcohol. Both resorts are all inclusive, so you eat and drink all you want. People are blown away that we have 7 kids.

It has been good for us.

We checked my Bishop's website to find that Landon's call was mailed from church headquarters this morning. We should get it by Wed at the latest. We will keep you posted.

Enjoy a few of the pictures. They don't do it justice, but you can see all the beauty...

Brad and Carolyn...

I Felt the Rain Down in Africa

We landed at an airfield in the bush after 2 hours behind a propeller in a plane from Joburg. My brother turned to me as if to say "hurry boy its waiting there for you." Down steep hills on muddy roads with ruts I saw a lone elephant behind a pond, maybe I would find "some long forgotten words or ancient melodies." Up at dawn out at late at night I find beauty in the black disturbed rhino, the sleeping lioness, the rythmic chatter of our ponchos, wild hogs, or chase of the cheetah. But surrounded by those witnesses, I "grow restless longing for some solitary company" with mi amore Amy..

I had fun steeling some phrases from Toto's lyric's above but words can't describe the world I got to see. We were out early one moring when the mist of the dawn was still in the low air and we saw a cheetah with little cubs about 100 yards ahead. She didn't let us get too close, but her movements were from graceful and magestic almost heaven like. I'll never forget it. All the time she was sensing every small sound or movement around her to make sure she could protect her cubs.

But all the time I wished Amy or my girls were with me, all the time. So, I'm blessed with the gifts of heaven in my life. As the song goes, "its gonna take a lot to drag me away from you." craig

05 November 2007

Stan and Gina and pics of James

Okay, I really have never figured out how to do this blog thing, so I am just experimenting. I sure loved seeing all of your blogs though and the photos, so I just need to learn to do this so I can participate. I am going to try to upload some photos of james at the airport on Oct. 15th. This is the day we sent him off to Mexico.

03 November 2007

Brad and I are off to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. We will be staying at an all inclusive, 5 star hotel. So we won't have to hunt for safe water and food like we have to in Puerto Penasca, Mexico. Would someone check in on the kids once in a while for us? Abby and her friend Jessica will be babysitting half the week, then my mom. Should be great fun and relaxation. Brad is attending CPE classes while I sit on the beach and read Harry Potter and Twilight. We will be home in a week or maybe longer.

02 November 2007

the evolution of dance!


watch this! so funny!

01 November 2007

Angel of Death

I know, I know... I don't have any real reason for post these other than I FINALLY got the Halloween Spirit (isn't more correct to say 'Ghost'?). Typically, I'm slow on the execution (no pun intended) of Halloween: I like the idea of dressing up, but I don't want to spend the time or the money to suit up; I like to see Jack-O-Lanterns, but I don't like to pull out the stringy guts b/c it takes too long. Well, this year the Great Pumpkin visited me. What you see below is the face make-up (all black) for my Angel of Death. I wore a blank tank and some big, black angel wings. Creeped some people out. Sorry for the horror, but as long as we're sharing in ghoulish pleasures... B O O !

and a few more!

too much fun

check these!