Andrew spent most of April still visiting with his investigators, enjoying all sorts of different weather, eating all the good food in Germany, doing splits with the Elders in Dortmund, and participating in a Zone Conference and getting to see some friends from his time at the MTC. It was the last month of living a mission life while in Germany since he would be medically released for some continued health problems that were not improving. While in Germany, Andrew struggled with his health, but he always wanted to stay. Every time he met with his mission president, he would always say, “I think I can go a little bit longer.” We were never quite sure how long he would be able to stay on his mission. Andrew had some incredible experiences with Herman and Silva, one of his couple investigators from Honduras and Holland. I always loved hearing about Herman and the gains he made with him. I could see great changes in Andrew as a missionary and although he was only able to serve for 8 months, it was totally worth it.
It was hard to top Peter’s birthday from last year and since COVID was still around, we opted to not do a friend party and just do something with the family. The day before his birthday, Mike and I took Peter to Scheels where we bought him a brand-new camping backpack and he got to pick out his own rifle for graduation. Then we headed to Flying Horse to eat dinner to celebrate Peter. The next day on his actual birthday we had a nice celebration at home where he got to open up another present. All he wanted for his birthday was the new space shuttle LEGO set. He was so excited when he opened it up. After devouring his ice-cream cake, he headed into the dining room to start working on his awesome new LEGO set. Mike took his Stranger Things set out from the previous Christmas and started building that one too. I love that Peter is happy with the simple things in life. It’s hard to imagine that he is finally an official adult. He is such a ray of sunshine and happiness in our home. We are so lucky that he is part of our family.
Emma and I flew to Phoenix, AZ for a 2-day track meet with her running club. Emma and I flew in late on Thursday night. It seemed like everyone else in the world flew in that night too as the kine for the airport shuttle was at least a 45 min wait. Eventually we made it to the hotel. When we got there, we were kind of disgusted by our room since we were on the cheaper side of the hotel. So, I went down to the front desk to see if we could upgrade rooms. Luckily, they had a room on the nicer side of the hotel with one queen bed. We figured it was better to share a bed in a nicer room. While Emma slept in the next morning, I woke up early and went on a fun trail run with Connilee. Then it was back to the hotel to pamper Emma all day and make sure she stayed rested for her first night meet. Luckily, we met up with Tina Johnson and her daughter Ella. We ended up driving to the meet with them and while the girls warmed up together, Tina and I just chatted. It was super fun to have each other there. Our girls were running in both the 3200m and 1600m at this track meet. The 3200m was on Friday night and it was the most incredible race to watch. Emma was in the 2nd fastest heat. As the gun went off, there was a pack of 9 girls that stayed together for most of the race. Emma stayed in the 4-6 position for the duration of the race. I loved watching her run and I could see her strengthen as she hung close to the front of the pack. She ended up finishing her very first 3200m in 11:45, which was 10 seconds faster than my best time in high school. She was so proud of herself. The next day she ran in the 1600m and also got another PR running that race in 5:31 on tired legs.
This year Madeline was finally old enough to dye Easter eggs and enjoy it. I bought a simple egg dying kit and she had so much fun using all of the colors and then drawing fun designs on the eggs with a white wax crayon. On Easter day, we used our dyed eggs to make deviled eggs. We had our traditional Easter dinner of ham, honey roasted carrots, scalloped potatoes, deviled eggs, and homemade rolls. We hid candy filled eggs in the backyard just for Madeline this year. We also hid 3 golden eggs filled with money for the older kids. Madeline loved having all the easter eggs to herself. She was so ecstatic the entire time she hunted for eggs. Even though the older kids are getting too old to participate in Easter egg hunts, I know they enjoy watching Madeline have so much fun.