Monday, April 27, 2009

Little Man Update

Carter will be 8 months next week, so I decided to do an update...

Carter now can...
    Scoot on his tummy...
    Sit up from his tummy all alone
    pull himself up on almost anything
    Sit forward in the car...
    eat real baby food instead of milk all the time
    clap his hands
    wave bye bye
    give kissies... even though they are very very wet slobbery ones
    give hugs
    and he has 6 teeth...  ya they are popping up everywhere. 

we cannot believe how fast these kids grow up. It is crazy...

Growing up SO fast...

Carter has decided to skip crawling and go straight to walking. He pulls himself up on everything. We can also hold his fingers and he will put one foot in front of the other. Great. I thought crawling would be bad... But walking... Wow. 

Even in the bath, he looks for our fingers and grabs them and pulls up. 

He is also becoming quite the little eater. He absolutly loves oatmeal and pears and doesn't mind eating green beans, peas, squash and carrots. Pretty much anything I make him he will eat. And he drinks out of a straw now too. A straw, a sippy cup or even a big persons cup. He loves it all. 


First trip to the Park...

For some reason my picasa won't post straight to my blog, and I am not sure how to turn this picture around, but you get the idea. 
The weather has been so beautiful so we decided to go to the park. Carter wasn't so sure about the slides. He did however love to eat the grass. 

See he is  very focused. 

He was crossing the bridge at this point and was very much enjoying himself. If you can't tell. 

It is so amazing how much you can love someone. We love this little boy so much and We hope he knows that. He is growing up so fast and he is getting so big. He is so sweet and such a doll. 


Easter was great this year. Our ward had an Easter Dinner and an Easter Egg hunt for the little ones. (Carter got to go and get a couple of eggs, with our help of course) Carter and Devin got a new Easter outfit and I got some new Easter shoes. And the Easter bunny came saturday night and left baskets for all of us. Fun. ( his head is not really this big, it is from the camera angle.)

Here is our first Easter Family picture. The trees are beautiful down here. 
Saturday night before Easter Sunday, Devin and I stayed up till 1am, dying Easter eggs and trying to make cut out sugar cookies. well the sugar cookie recipe that we used (thanks Nat) was WAY to soft to use cutouts, so we only did a few shapes and then the rest were either M&Ms or eggs. haha
Grandma Phillips brought Carter a big Easter basket full of bugs and candy. Here he is eating a big spider that he got. Yum... Well I guess it will be sooner or later that he starts eating bugs. 

Carter playing with all his candy and bugs. 

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Realizing the Hand of the Lord

Andrea asked me to write this one because she claimed I remembered the details more clearly. From the very beginning, we have always felt the hand of the Lord in our lives. I believe that every person feels this at one point or another in their life and when and if we take the time to reflect, the incredible amount of simple yet profound blessings will become apparent and the result will be a deep sense of gratitude.  For us during the past year, these blessings have become more apparent as we have sought his help and guidance. And I apologize before hand for the length of this post. 

As many might know, we have been on the internship/job hunt for what has felt like forever. The fact that I have never really known what exactly I want to do hasn't helped much either. During the summer semester of 2008, I was applying for internships and seeking anything that would qualify me to graduate. I was working for Melaleuca at the time and had interviewed for an internship with them for the fall semester. As I have learned, companies tend to take their time at making any decisions and Melaleuca was no exception. While I was waiting to hear back from them, we thought it would be smart to continue to get my applications out there. I came across one that was available for the Church and would start in the fall. I emailed the contact my resume and asked if it was still available. She responded very quickly and informed me that they had already began their second round of interviews, but that I could apply again in the fall during their next recruiting. 

The internship with Melalecua was eventually offered and I started the Wednesday after Carter was born. It worked out perfectly because I still had two other classes I needed to finish prior to graduating. We moved to Idaho Falls and I would travel to Rexburg twice a week to attend my classes. Upon taking the internship, I had several people tell me that if I worked hard, Melaleuca would usually offer a full-time position immediately after. But, as many know, the economic circumstances of last fall has been felt world wide. Though Melalecua wouldn't cut jobs, they also wouldn't replace any that became available either. So, the job search began once again! 

One company that I applied with was Northwest Farm Credit Services. They were hiring for an appraising position within the Southeastern Idaho Region. We both felt that this was the ideal job. As many know, my mother and father are in the appraising business and have been for over 15 years. I have always had an interest in doing that, but because the real estate market is worthless at the moment, the family business couldn't afford to take me on as an apprentice. This position with Northwest would have been ideal because they would have done all of the training and more. They came to BYU-Idaho and I interviewed with them a week before Thanksgiving. I felt that it had gone well and looked forward to hearing back.

Time was beginning to run short and so I felt impressed to fast and pray about our situation. On the day I decided to do this, I received a phone call from Chante Wouden from the HR department of the Church. She had left a message indicating that they were currently recruiting and wanted to know if I was still interested. I had completely forgotten about sending her my resume. I called her back and let her know that I was interested. Because it was such short notice, she decided to setup a video conference at BYU-Idaho. According to her, this had never been done before. After the video conference, we decided to head to Colorado for Thanksgiving. While driving down, I received a phone call from Northwest Farm Credit and they wanted to fly me to their corporate office in Spokane, Washington after we return from Colorado. It felt too good to be true. This basically set the tone for the rest of our Thanksgiving with Andrea's family. 

While returning home I decided to call Chante and to see what they had decided. She said she was just about to call me  and let me know that they would like to offer me the internship. I explained to her about my future interview with Northwest and asked for a week to decided. She agreed that a position at Northwest would be more beneficial because it offered benefits and was a full-time position. 

I flew to Spokane interviewed and returned home all in the same day. The interview felt good and I let them know regarding the offer with the Church. I also asked if I could know within a couple of days because I needed to make a decision. Well, on the day I agreed to let Chante know about my decision, Northwest called me and let me know that I they were going to go with other candidates. This really got to me because I felt fully qualified for this particular position. For the life of me I couldn't figure out why they made that decision. After that phone call, I immediately called Chante and let her know that we would take it. This position would only last up to 1000 hours. This converts into 40 hours a week for six months. They wanted me to be there starting Jan 5th. Though I was disappointed that it was another internship, we felt very fortunate to have work for another six months. It was after this, that pegs began to fall in place for our quick move to UT. 

My cousin, Eric Jackson, was going to school in Rexburg at the time. He had some job offers in Idaho Falls and was planning on moving at the first of the year. He knew that we were also moving, though we didn't know where or when and was considering moving into our apartment. Not ten min after I got off the phone call with Chante, Eric called me to see if we had heard anything. I let him know that we were moving at the end of the year and that our apartment would be available. A week later, they had signed a contract to move in Jan 1st. I'm sure this was a blessing for them as well as us! This got us out of our contract and we were able to receive a full deposit back. 

The weekend before Christmas, we planned our apartment hunt in Salt Lake. We had left with a prayer that we would find something suitable. All day on Friday we looked and never really found anything we liked. Another reason for our trip to Salt Lake was to sign any necessary paperwork for my new position. Chante let me know that the Church had formally issued a hiring freeze on all new positions and that there was great urgency in getting my paperwork in. This came as another disappointment. We had hoped that my position here could have evolved into something full-time.  It just began to seem that any road we took became a dead end.  Though we never lost hope that something would happen, we couldn't help but feel frustrated.

Come Saturday morning, we were burnt out at looking for apartments. But, we decided that we would search on and Craigslist one last time to see if anything new had been posted. We came across an apartment that was cheaper and nicer than any other one viewed. The reason it was renting for less was because the building it was in had caught fire a few months earlier and construction was going on all around it. We thought it might be worth a look. On the way there, the complex called me and informed me that someone else had already put a deposit down on the unit, but the manager would be willing to offer the same discount on a similar apartment, different building, if we signed that day. We looked at one and decided that it would work for us and signed! It felt like it had fallen right into our laps. Everything about it felt good and right. 

During out time down there, we have found ample opportunities to help and serve within the community and ward. I have a calling to serve in the YM and Andrea has two callings to serve within the YW and Relief Society. We have been taught by our parents and grandparents that wherever it is that we end up, we can always find ways to be serviceable. We feel that we cannot hope that the Lord will help us if we ourselves are not willing to help others of God's children. And that through helping others, we essecially help ourselves. 

A month after moving down there, I began the job search once again. I must have submitted 50-60 applications within the first couple of months. But I soon realized that I was only one of many seeking employment. At work, I would often search the Church's job board because though the hiring freeze was in place, if there was dire need they could seek First Presidency Approval. I found one posting, a month ago, for a position within the Missionary Dept. I submitted my application and then sent the contact another email with my attached resume. I heard back within a few days that they had received over 150 applications and they were busy reviewing and screening. He said it was good that I had followed up and that he would forward my resume on to help it receive a second look. After this email, I didn't have much hope of interviewing, but I kept the job in the back of my mind. 

A week later, to our surprise, I received a call to interview the next day. In the interview, they told me that out of the 150 applicants, they were only interviewing with 15 people and then congratulated me on making the first major cut. Once again. after the interview, I felt good about it. They were going to let me know within the next couple of weeks. A week later, I received a phone call from the gentleman who interviewed me and he asked if he could contact my supervisor. I gladly gave him her phone number. He said he would be in touch and hung up. Chante Wouden is my supervisor. I immediately let her know of the situation. Later that afternoon, she emailed me to let me know that she had given me a positive 100% recommendation. Could this be really happening? Against all odds and in the current economic state, could I really receive a full-time position with the Church? All of these questions took over my mind over Easter weekend. What I had thought was going to be another dead end, had suddenly been reconstructed. We couldn't help but feel the hand of the Lord in our lives! 

I came into work Monday and almost immediately received a phone call from David Musser (one of the gentlemen who interviewed me). They wanted to talk to me again that afternoon. First of all, I said of course! Second of all, how could they do that? Call me at 8:30 in the morning, schedule me an appointment at 3:00 in the afternoon and then expect me to work efficiently all day? How rude! I somehow made it through the day. I had a second interview with both gentleman again, and then interviewed with their boss, Brother Swensen. He has been working in the Missionary Dept for 37 years. When he was hired, he was in a similar situation as me. I left the interview feeling really good about the whole situation. Tuesday afternoon came around. I wasn’t anticipating hearing back so soon, but kept my phone on me at all times. I eventually received a phone call that afternoon with the job offer. I gratefully took it! What an amazing journey! There is no other way to explain the turn of events than to notice the hand of the Lord in it all! 

I know this was an extremely long blog, and there was so much more to include that I reluctantly left out. But I wanted you to see this chain of events that began by a simple email nearly a year ago.  Having read 1 Nephi hundreds of times (mostly because I would make a goal to read the Book of Mormon, make it through part way and then for one reason or another, stop... I'm sure that many of you can relate!) there is one common element that sets the theme for the entire book. It is this: "And inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments, ye shall prosper..." 1 Nephi 2:20. Prosper can mean a number of different things for different people. For us, it is simply to have what we need to survive and live happily. We can't help but feel immense gratitude for all the prayers offered up in our behalf. I think the Lord had no choice but to answer them! After reflecting on all of this, we can't help but wonder what else is in store for us in the future... 

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Trip to Temple Square

Since Devin works in the church office building, Carter and I have the opportunity to be on Temple Square a lot. At least once a week we take the bus or the trax and meet Devin for lunch. We usually stick around and walk around down town, or go shopping at the Gateway mall. I have always loved Temple Square and it is such a blessing to be able to be around it all the time. 

See what I mean? B E A utiful

Bath Time

Every night during Carters bath, he has squirt toys that got for christmas. There is this one squirt toy that is his absolute favorite. 
It is a bright green pokey blow fish.
And the other one is a bright orange star fish.
Here is the blow fish...
And there on the left is the star fish. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

two teeth plus 2 more = four

Here are Carters two bottom teeth and he is getting two more on top...

"I am going to break hearts.... See I already am so cool"

and we thought this was a way cool binky... looks like mator

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Best of Friends, now best of Fathers...

The last two weekends in a row, we have been up in Idaho Falls. First was for my family... Vanessa got excepted to BYU-Idaho so my mom and her came up and we met them there. We were getting Ness ready for school...and Debbie (devin's Mom) had a birthday... (we won't mention how young she turned...) so we were there for her party. It was quite the party... Hily and Adam, Devin, me and Carter, Grandma and Grandpa Henderson, and Grandpa and Grandpa Pack were all there. Pretty fun. However, there was a down fall of the weekend... Hily was sick and unfortunately we all caught it. Even my mom and sister. But they are better, and Devin and I are getting better. Carter got it pretty bad... He had a fever on and off all week and was pretty fussy and didn't sleep... So we took him to the doctor, and he had an ear infection... Not a great week... But this last weekend... we still went.

We went back up to Idaho Falls, because Steve and Rachel, Devins friends from High school, were in town from California to bless their, new baby... Jacob Steven Knowles. We came up, and got to see almost everyone... and it is so funny because all of these guys were friends in High School, and now they are fathers at the same time to all BOYS. It was pretty cute.

So here is the run down... clockwise
Hunter Anderson 8 Months old...
Mac Thompson- One month Old
Jacob Knowles- 2 months old
Carter Phillips- 6 months old

Here are all the dads holding their boys...

and here are the moms holding their boys...
Carter ended getting very sick the next day... He broke out in a rash, called Roseola (which explains the fever that he had a few days before). He was very fussy all day when he was awake which was not very often, and he slept most of the day. We finally decided to take him to the doctors again. It turned out, he had 2 ear aches, one had ruptured, roseola, and his top 2 teeth coming in. Poor little guy, but we got through it. We had planned on sat, going to visit all of our other friends which also had babies, but we didn't want them to get what Carter had. He is doing better now, other then his teeth coming in.

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