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Friday / Apr 05, 2019 /

Family All Around Us

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This week Kayrin left the MTC on Tuesday so there will probably be no phone call this week. I suspect that her P-day has changed to Monday and I am looking forward to hearing from her then.

Family at the MTC

Kayrin is breaking the rules again, as she was so excited to tell me that she found a family member at the MTC. She sent me a text message explaining that the sister, Sister Horner, she was on splits with at the MTC is her 9th cousin removed. Then she sent a screen shot.

Found a Park

On the last call I had with Kayrin she mentioned that there was a Park 900 foot from her and she could not wait to see it. I figured there was a park on the MTC grounds, I did not think much about it. I told her that when she gets there to make sure she took a picture of her at the Park. Here is her picture at the Park:

Elder Parks

Why Elder Parks?

Those of you in the family on my father’s side probably will understand. We are connected to the Parks line. So this is all exciting, right??? Well, I am sure Kayrin does not know that much about Elder Parks, maybe not even his first name. I will update this in a future post when I learn more about who Elder Parks is and where we are connected.

Last Day at MTC

One last day to break some rules right? I got these pictures from Kayrin on her last day at the MTC. These are all the missionaries in her district. I imagine since they are all going out at the same time they probably will not end up as companions for the next 18 months. I can only hope that Kayrin thought about trading contact information so that she can keep her new friends she made while training at the MTC.

Arriving at the Mission Home

I was surprised to receive an email from the Utah Provo mission secretary announcing her arrival. The message was short and sweet but had a great picture attached.

Arriving at the Mission Home

My Testimony

I cannot believe it has already been three weeks since Kayrin arrived in Utah. That is almost an entire MONTH! My spirit is calm and things are more comfortable than expected at home.

Lesson Learned This Week

One things that stood out to me this week in my scripture study is how important a mother’s influence truly is. The book of Ezra talks about how the people had to “put away” their wives and children of those wives because they were of a strange people. I did not really understand what it meant to be put away then I did not understand why the children were also put away.

To Put Away

After doing research and discussing with the sisters I study with I learned that when the people “put away” their wives it meant that they were expected to divorce their wives and children. When the men married the “strange women” the women were not converted and were allowed to teach the children to worship they did, including worshiping idols.

The Point

I taught Kayrin about Jesus Christ and God’s love. I overcame the guilt that washed over me the day Kayrin walked into the Clayborne’s house unable to identify who Jesus Christ was. Now Jesus Christ walks along side of her each day she is serving him on her mission.

Tuesday / Mar 26, 2019 /

Kayrin Head

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The first week I did not receive any photos of Kayrin so I did not really know how she was doing. I finally got to speak with her on Thursday, we got to speak for an hour, made this momma happy.

The Call

Kayrin originally planned on calling while she was working out around 2pm, 3pm my time. I was excited when she called me at 9am! Of course it was not the most convenient but I was not missing my call! I went and hid in a conference room so I could give my undivided attention.

First Picture

This picture of the scriptures and letter to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles is the very first picture Kayrin sent to me. I was excited and disappointed at the same time. When I finally got to talk to her I told her that a Kayrin head was missing.

Letter to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
So Happy!!

Why the Letter

This letter is of great importance to Kayrin. She has changed her name from Harrison to von Mayer so that she could release the stress that was tied to the Harrison name. She was able to successfully change her name legally but realized that her Patriarchal Blessing still had the Harrison name that haunted her. After discussing with mentors at the MTC, Kayrin learned the process she needed to go through to get her name changed on the record. This letter is one of those steps, she explains her request to change her name and why.

So Happy!

I cannot believe how great she looks! She is so happy to be at the MTC and having this experience. She noted that her companion was struggling with the absence of her parents.

I found it funny that both Kayrin and I have been telling the same story. I have not been missing her too much because this is not the first time that we have been apart for more than a month. Now, if you ask us in a few months how we are and if she is homesick , it may be a different story. For now, Kayrin is doing fantastic and learning so much.

Favorite Thing at the MTC

Kayrin mentioned two things that she absolutely loves at the MTC, the first being the FOOD!! It almost sounded like I starved her or maybe she does not like my cooking. I know that is not the case. I am glad she is enjoying the food there.

Kayrin also loves the pictures at the MTC. She said that sometimes she will sit and examine the murals because they are so beautiful. She sent me several pictures of them.

Packages Received

Kayrin received two packages during her first week. She received a green package for St. Patrick’s day from one of the mom’s on the Missionary Momma’s Facebook page but was confused how her name got on this. She was very grateful for the jester, it helped her to settle in.

The second package was actually from her friend of five years who lives in Provo. She made it sound like he tried to break the rules and hand deliver it but she loves it nonetheless. She received a light fury. I don’t know how she is going to pack that thing around, but she is happy.

Light Fury Package

Temple Day

Temple Day at Provo Temple

On her first P-Day Kayrin went with her group to the temple and I finally got my first Kayrin head photo! The funny part, she has so many new clothes and she choose to wear this dress. I originally ordered this dress for me but I look like a big easter egg in it. Kayrin loves this dress so much…so much so apparently, she wore it to her first temple trip in Utah.

Surprise Kayrin Head

Today, I received this AWESOME Kayrin Head picture. I just love how happy she is how she is thriving before even leaving the MTC.

My Testimony

I may not get as many Kayrin Head photos as I would like but I know Kayrin is doing the Lord’s work. With as much work as she doing and studying I am so proud of how quickly she is growing. I know that these rapid changes I see in Kayrin is because of the Lord’s influence in her life. I am thankful that we are able to send her on mission and she has this opportunity to grow and become an independent young woman.

Tuesday / Mar 19, 2019 /

Rebel Missionary

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I was not suppose to hear from my sweet missionary but I did!!!! Well kind of… When I spoke to her when she first arrived she did not know much and she also did not cover much in the email I got her.

First Rebel Offense

After church on Sunday I noticed that my Google Hangouts had a message waiting, usually I only use Hangouts during the week when texting husband during work hours (he is not allowed to have his phone out at work)… So I thought it was odd that there was a message waiting.

Kayrin and I did set up Hangouts on her phone before she left so that she could video call me through there because we did not think Skype would be allowed. Even after she “missionaried” her phone she was still able to download and use the app so we thought all was well…

The message was from MY MISSIONARY!!! Of course, otherwise why would I be writing this right? She sent the following at 1:44 my time:

“Hey mom, just texting you to say you should get Skype because I’m not allowed to be on Hangouts at the MTC.

PDay is Thursday btw

Love you”

I responded anyway telling her that I have Skype.

Thinking that maybe I could help her out I logged into Skype.

Second Rebel Offense

I thought it was funny that she sent me a text on Hangouts when she was not suppose to use it. I log into Skype and THERE IS MORE!!! She already found me! I was so excited that she found me so I sent her a text (rebel mommy too!).

Her Reply!

Sister von Mayer replied to my text!! With a button pusher thumbs up! I asked if she knew when she could call and it was much longer!! She explained that she would be able to call while she was exercing. If she has breath to call while exercising I’m sure she is burning serious calories, but I don’t care I will take it!

Why Call When Exercising

Kayrin will be busy on her PDay as they are planning on attending the temple after working out and still has class in the afternoon. I told her I didn’t care what time she needed to call, I would drop everything just to hear from her and we could worry about getting the whole family on the line at a later time.

Kayrin then replies, “Okay, love you. I’m breaking the rules just to tell you my schedule, gtg love u.”

And she was gone just like that.

My Testimony

I truly believe that this time while Kayrin is absent is only going to be as big of a blessing as I allow it. I can choose to focus on the hard stuff or I can be in awe over the how we over come the hard stuff. The Lord can only bless us to the level that we allow, we must remain humble, keep our eyes open, and seek after the things that are of God. As we strive to service our fellow man. I love the Lord and I am thankful for the gospel in my life.

Friday / Mar 15, 2019 /

First Day at the MTC

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Kayrin was finally able to send me an email from the MTC. I have been on social media and everyone said that they had received an email the first day, but I had not. I was a little jealous so yesterday I called to verify she had actually made it to the MTC. She checked in at 1:48.

Her Flight

In Kayrin’s email she had mentioned that the flight was more stressful than she anticipated. There was a lot more turbulence on the plane than she was use to. She felt like it was necessary to pray that they would arrive in Salt Lake safely and was satisfied after she said a prayer.


When arriving in Salt Lake Kayrin called me. I still cannot figure out how she called since she did not have her phone. I will be sure to ask her about it. However, during the call she explained that she could not really see much from the airport window but just wanted me to know she had landed safely.

Shuttle to the MTC

Kayrin’s email was very well written. When she was finally able to get into the shuttle she noticed it was snowing but stated that it was no big deal, it was Utah after all. It already sounds like she has been there forever! Upon arriving at the MTC she seen the Provo temple and is so excited that it is right across the street. I hope she gets to go in!

Getting Started

As soon as the car pulled up and Kayrin got out of the car it was game on. The pulled her right to get her badge and schedule for training. She has been training since she got there.

Kayrin’s spirits are high and she is excited to be at the MTC and interacting with new people, probably people in general. Sister Monson (not sure what the relation is to President Thomas S. Monson) volunteers at the MTC so Kayrin is close to VIPs in the church.

My Testimony

I am a little said that I did not receive a picture like other have but I am so thankful that Kayrin sent an email last night. I have a testimony that her dedication to her mission will strengthen her for the challenges she will face in life. I know that with the long hours she will be working she will be greatly blessed.

Wednesday / Mar 13, 2019 /

Flying Away

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See Later Kayrin!

We woke up at 4:45 AM to get Kayrin to airport in time. I cannot say it was a flawless drop off but I would say it was uneventful for the most part.


Husband and I drove separately so that he could go to work and I would bring back the kids. We took different routes which gave me a little anxiety, but not too much. I arrived with the girls about five minutes before Bill. However, I loaded Kayrin’s luggage into Bill’s car trusting him to bring in the luggage. Of course, when Bill and Derek came in they only had two of the THREE suitcases…sigh. Interestingly, this also did not spike my anxiety; probably because I made us leave about 15 – 30 minutes earlier than we really needed to.

Checking In

Checking in her luggage was a little of hassle. The first bag was 48 lbs, good job Kayrin, the second bag was six lbs over. The attendant allowed us to take out six lbs of luggage and shove it into her carry-on. We got lucky because Kayrin actually packed an empty bag into the bag that was overweight; all we needed to do was put the overage poundage in the empty bag she had packed and shoved her purse in there and it was a done deal! Did you know a pair of jeans weighs one pound?!?


It was so fast…the line was short and ran pretty smoothly. I was the one to get in trouble. I missed the red line on the floor that said do not pass! LOL The security guard made me go back so I could barely see her going through the process. I stood there as long as I could before she disappeared into the crowd.


I was not leaving the airport until I knew her plane had taken off. Derek, Jo Jo, and I went to sit in front of the screens that had departures listed and I downloaded a flight tracker app. As soon as we sat down I received a message from Kayrin from google hangout just saying “Love you Mom <3,” made me smile.

Flight Tracker


Of course I followed the flight track! What momma wouldn’t? The plane did not crash and I got notification that her plane landed in Salt Lake. I did not receive a message when she landed, as I was hoping for. I am guessing I will get notification when she arrives at the MTC. I am sure she is super excited and anxious at the same time.

My Testimony

Yes, at the end of every post I am planning on writing a piece of my testimony. When we were saying out good-byes there were no tears. I believe this is because this is what Kayrin has been called to do. I know there will be many challenges during this time but I also know that as we, as a family push forward together and stick close to the gospel everything will be fantastic!

Kayrin is going to be GREAT!

Tuesday / Mar 12, 2019 /

Officially A Missionary

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Yesterday was a difficult day and emotions were running high. I left work early swimming in my emotions thinking about Kayrin leaving and how sad she seemed to be on Sunday. I knew she needed something to lift her spirit or a down right cry fest so…we cried, a lot.

The Cry

We cried over everything. Kayrin was stressed so much that I felt like she was ignoring me when I got home. I finally made her stop in her tracks and talk to me. I asked her to pick up the main floor for when the Stake President came to the house to set her apart. She was also consumed in her fears. I reassured her that she is doing the right thing and that I am extremely proud of her decision to go on a mission.

Stake President’s Arrival

I feel like I failed at the president’s arrival. I was able to get through the gate but he came to the door through the garage and knocked. The dogs did not bark, fortunately, Johanna heard the knock and let him. He was able to navigate through the plantation and arrived with no major challenges.

Before Setting Apart

Before Kayrin was set apart President asked us about our family, how we like the new schedule, and then proceeded to ask each of us what we wanted to say to Kayrin or if we had forgotten anything.

Dad’s Words

Bill told Kayrin how proud he is that she has chosen to go on a mission. He noted how even though he was pushing for her to go into the military he believes that she made the right choice.

Derek’s Words

Derek noted that he believes that Kayrin is making the right choice to go. He understands that it is going to be hard at times but at no point does he believe that it will not be worth it.

Johanna’s Words

Little Jo Jo did not really know what to say. She is sad that Kayrin is leaving but super excited for her.

Mom’s Words

I remember what I said the most, of course; mostly because I said things I have not been thinking about. I told her that I am extremely proud of her and that she will be awesome. I told her that she will learn a lot including what a worth young man looks like that would be marriage material. I explained that she is worthy and deserves to have great things, including a great husband; she just has to believe that she deserves a great husband. Weird, right?

Setting Apart

This was more comforting than I could have ever imagined. The Stake President set her apart and gave her a blessing. President asked her full name and the exact name of mission she has been called to.

Promised Blessings

During the blessing Kayrin was promised a lot when she goes out. There were two things that comforted me the most: to be healthy and safe during the duration of her mission. For a mother to hear those words in a blessing calms the soul more than I could ever describe.

My Excitement

I am so proud that Kayrin has decided to serve a full-time mission. She is going to be an AWESOME missionary. Tomorrow her flight departs early in the morning and she will be arriving at the MTC by 3pm. I am excited to see how she will grow and change and what will become most important to her.

My Testimony

I know that the Lord answers our prayers, leads us, and guides us everyday that we will allow. I love the Lord and his Son. I know that they work in my life everyday. I know that we have a purpose on the earth and I believe as we continually study gospel principles we are able to better see the Lord’s work.

Tomorrow will mark Day 1 of Kayrin’s mission to serve the Lord as a full-time missionary. She is going to be GREAT.

Tuesday / Feb 12, 2019 /

Kayrin Received Her Call!

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Kayrin received her call! She submitted her papers on December 1, for her birthday and after waiting two and half months, it is finally here!

The text

On the way to work this morning I was listening to my scriptures and after I said my daily prayer while driving. We have been waiting so long that I finally verbally prayed that we would receive the call today and that Kayrin would be excited about where she is going.

Once I got to work everything was going as normal and I was getting a little slow needing a little boost. At 10:44 I received a text message from the bishop stating that Karyin had been assigned to a mission and that she should be receiving her call in the next day or two. At 10:50…Kayrin CALLS me to tell me she received a text message that links to the letter she is to open!

The phone conversation was short but emotional. Kayrin told me she received the text and that the message was in Spanish! So we are very hopeful that she is going foreign. I told her that we would open her call at 6pm so that Bill could get home. At the same time, we both were holding back tears of excitement.

After I hung up the phone my heart was/still is racing and I told everyone in my cubicle area at work that Kayrin received her call but still too excited to work I walked downstairs to the rest of my team and told them that Kayrin received her call. Standing there like a goofball I decided I should leave and told them thanks for listening. All of my coworkers are excited to find out where Kayrin will go but completely amazed of how a mission works.

I called to tell Bill and realized that he gets home early on Tuesdays so we actually get to open her letter at 4:30. I will be leaving work at 3:30 so that I can get home and find out where my daughter will be serving a mission for a year and half.

I am so proud that Kayrin has chosen to serve the Lord for a year and half. I know she will grow spiritually and emotionally. I cannot wait for what is in store for her. I will make another post this evening after she opens the letter to record my thoughts.

Monday / Jan 21, 2019 /

20 Days of Service

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The first 20 days of service in 2019 has not played out as I planned but I have been able to dip my hand in much.

Current Projects

Dad & Stepmother’s Christmas Gift

We have decided to make 2019 Christmas a “homemade” Christmas so I have already started thinking and working on some of the gifts I would like to give. I just hope that I have not bitten off more than I can chew.

My dad probably will never figure out what I am talking about. Several years ago I attempted to make my Dad and his wife something for Christmas but I never finished it. I don’t know that I will be able to finish the gift this time either but I am going to give it my best shot. I would say that the project is about 1/4 complete. If I keep pushing I may be able to finish.

Daughter’s Birthday Gift

I have decided to take the homemade Christmas to homemade birthday. My husband picked up a used fish tank and the stand was not in good condition so I decided to do mosaic over the ugly. However, I am so afraid to do the grout. It looks great without the grout but, I believe the grout will really finish the look. Here is a picture of what it looked like while I was applying the ceramic pieces:

Jo Jo’s Fish Tank Stand

I looked online to try to find some ideas on how to do this and ultimately decided to come up with my own idea. It would have cost me over $200 to use mosaic tiles or flooring tiles. I ended up purchasing $30 worth of ceramic plates from the dollar tree and taking a hammer to them. I do have to admit that breaking the plates was very time consuming. I also used eight tubes of caulking at $3 each. I bought an abundance of grout to ensure I have enough spending $28. A brand new hexagon 55 gallon fish tank would have cost north of $450. I paid $80 for the used tank, and about $80 in material to resurface the stand; my cost, $160 saving almost $300. Jo Jo LOVES the mosaic on the tank. I just hope I can deliver with the grout.

Painting With Diamonds for CoWorker

I have a coworker who is very impressed with the painting with diamonds so I decided to make her one. I asked her the kind of things she likes and I finally had tell her what I was up to in order to get a good idea of what should be in the picture.

I ended up choosing a pattern with huge red flowers. This project is about 1/10 of the way done. I have more projects going than I thought I would, so the process is proving to be slow.

Daughter’s First Mission Box

I want to be able to send my daughter’s first mission box as soon as she leaves so I am working of what goes in it. Sharing experiences is difficult when you want to be able to say the right things but you know you are not going to be there to talk your missionary through each challenge that will come.

Kayrin and I have been close since she was little. She is wise beyond her years and I believe she is going to make such a great missionary. I just never thought it would be so hard to let my little girl grow up. Words cannot express how I feel and no one has shared their story of allowing their children to grow up in ways that I could understand. I know she will make me proud.

First 20 Days of Service

I have had more opportunities to help or do good things than I could have imagined and it makes life a little easier. Not focusing on myself has really helped me to more easily see the Lord’s work in my life.

The Snow Storm

Last week we had a horrible snow storm; I wanted to go to the temple so my husband and I traded cars for the day. The snow came hard and fast. It ended up extending my hour commute home to 3.5 hours; it took husband eight hours get home in my little Fiat.

On my way home I counted over a dozen cars in the ditch or in an accident. In my last 20 miles of highway a man spun out in his little pickup and was stranded on the side of the road. I seen him walking on the icy shoulder and decided that I needed to give him a ride.

Once he got in my car he told me that he called 9-1-1 and told them that he was going to leave his truck on the side of the road and walk home. After he told me he had done that he continued to explain that within the 500 foot that he had walk he was already having a hard time breathing because he has COPD.

This man thought his house was only a couple miles from where he left his truck but the journey was 8 to 10 miles. If I would not have picked up that man and offered him a ride home, who knows what would have happened to him. He takes care of his 82 year old mother; if something would have happened to him, I am sure something would have happened to his mother.

The Temple

I have been reading the scriptures on a regular basis. I am currently reading the Old Testament; I can’t say it has been the easiest reading but I can say that I have been prompted to do some things. Most recently, I have been promoted to go to the temple. This prompting to go to the temple was different from others. I felt such as strong push from the Spirit to go and I was devastated that I could not attend because of the snow storm. I finally made it to the temple almost a week after starting to prompted.

I prayed about attending often before I actually got there. I looked up every option of who I could take through the temple and I did not get any feeling outside the ordinary. I was in a good place in my mind and heart. It didn’t make any sense to me why I felt so “pushed” to the temple.

When I got there, everything felt the way it always had. I was able to go through the entire session with nothing out of the ordinary happening. When I finally made it into the celestial room, I sat there very content in myself. I dug through my thoughts to understand why I was there. It took me 30 minutes before it finally revealed itself. Oddly enough…as soon as it came to my mind I was being “pushed” out of the Celestial room.

My Take Aways

When you open your heart and mind, you see things that you have missed many times before. I am confident that as I continue through this year I will continue to have opportunities that are not my simple list that I have composed. I am thankful I have had the opportunities I have and can’t wait to see what is next. I have not mentioned every opportunity of service that I have taken advantage of these first few weeks but have mentioned the ones that have touched me the most.

Wednesday / Jan 02, 2019 /

My First 2019 Service Opportunity

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I made a list of the service I plan to complete in 2019 and have already went off the list. I think that as long as I keep my eyes open to identify new opportunities they will come more easily than I expected.

The Opportunity

My family was given the opportunity to service a family by helping them move into a new house. They have been blessed to move their household of six (I think) from a two bedroom apartment to a house that has enough room for them and and a new pet.

I don’t think the service opportunity was moving the family. I think having the opportunity to listen was both a service opportunity and a learning opportunity. Sometimes you get a glimpse into how Heavenly Father works in other people’s lives and you truly get to see the love love the Lord.


As we moved Lisa’s family I was reminded how much Heavenly Father does for children. Lisa has been through a lot in her life. She shared how she has tried to get out of an apartment for years but has only been able to recently access the resources to move into a clean environment large enough for her entire family.

Lisa has a heart of gold and gives all that she has to ensure the well being of her nephews. The boys are so happy to have a new place to say with one of the boys saying “the new house is AWESOME!”

To see how excited Lisa’s nephew is just reminded me how thankful I should be for the blessings that Heavenly Father has given my family and me. I know what it is like to want the world for my children and how it feels to struggle. I am so excited for Lisa and the new adventure she will experience as her relationship with Heavenly Father grows.

Lady at the Front Desk

I gave Christmas gifts to several individuals at my work and many of those who I gifted to has opened up a little to share a little more of their life stories. The lady at the front desk, I don’t remember her name so we will call her Debra, was one of those people. Her heart is also full and unmeasurable.

Debra took on a lot of responsibility when she lost her best friend in her twenties. Her friend had a 14 year old daughter, we will call her Karen, who had no place to go. The family was going to let the daughter go into the foster care system so that they would not have to care for her.

If you know anything about the foster care system it is often difficult for older children and they age out of the system when they are 16. Once a child ages out they may be put into an independent living facility for youth, similar to a half-way house, and are taught how to be independent.

To save Karen from the fate foster care would bring her, Debra adopted her at the age of 28. Debra raised her as best as she knew how, married, had children of her own; and put Karen and her children through college. Karen is now married and on her way to having children of her own.

Impact on Me

Both of these women have touched my heart in unexplainable ways. I truly believe that it takes special people to do grand, selfless, things. I would like to think that I too would be able to take on these types of challenges without question but I don’t truly know the answer. I hope that by focusing more on service in 2019 I will be able to come close to being the person that I want to be.

Wednesday / Jun 10, 2015 /

LDS Influence During Kayrin Dropoff

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Being LDS is great! Today I had to drop off Kayrin.:( I cannot believe how quickly she is growing. She sent me a text as I was driving home that security had to inspect her scriptures. So I felt that there should be a “suggestion box” for what to do in these situations. This is what I came up with:

1. Look at the security person as seriously as possible and say “God is Good.”
2. When the guard grabs your scriptures case just loudly call out “Praise God Jesus!”
3. Start singing I Hope They Call Me On A Mission as loudly as possible. (My favorite)

I do have to say if this ever happens to me I hope that I remember these suggestions.