Formerly "Neil Stone Updates"

Friday, November 29, 2013

Here's What Happened...

Scott was on local television:

We participated in Relay for Life:  (On a very sultry [read: hot and sticky!] day)

Deer in the yard made us feel at home:

Alison and Emerson visited:

We explored South Carolina:

Neil won a race:

We explored downtown Greenville:

We found some sights that are new to us:

Not that it matters...

That's 3 gallons worth.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Coming and Going

Two Brothers On Their Way
We'd just about finished unpacking boxes here in SC when it came time to take Eric to BYU and to bring Neil home from his mission--both, events to celebrate.

After we dropped Eric off at school (and I had a good cry), I tried not to call or text him. I wanted to give him some space, as I had been driving him crazy trying to impart every last bit of wisdom I had during the past several weeks. Then I got this text:  "Words cannot describe how awesome college is." I'm glad he's happy. I just hope he can maintain this attitude when classes finally start next week ;-)

We're so proud of Neil for serving faithfully for 13 months in the Church and Family History Headquarters Mission in Salt Lake City. He had some wonderful experiences and met some great people. We are grateful for many that helped him along the way, especially our dear friends the Ryggs and the Coppins. He's ready to move on now and explore some opportunities for further growth in our new home.

Time to get busy.

Eric's New Home
Neil's Old Job

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Garden State of Mind

I've been putting off writing this because I don't want to cry. I'm getting ready to shut down the computer and pack it up, so I can't put it off any longer. It's time to say goodbye to New Jersey. We've lived in this house, in this state for thirteen years and now we are leaving. I'll miss my friends. I'll miss my house. I'll miss my garden.  I'll miss the foxes in their dens in the little woods in my back yard.

More than sadness, however, I feel gratitude. We have associated with, and been blessed by so many wonderful people during our sojourn here. Friends, neighbors, and even strangers were by our side buoying us up through our toughest trials. We will always remember those prayers, hugs, and faithful friendships during good times and bad.

Tomorrow we will drive toward new beginnings in South Carolina, but New Jersey will be forever in our hearts.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Renaissance Man

I going to brag on my boy a bit.
Tomorrow is graduation day, and there has been a lot of activity going on in Eric's life associated with the end of his high school career.

In March, he played with the Wind Ensemble at Carnegie Hall:

Here's prom:

With KT

At the Senior Awards night, he was given a scholarship for his Wood Technology skills:
Eric, along with the winners for music and art
An assortment of some recent projects
Pens made from ebony and holly, cherry and walnut
Of course, there was the band banquet:
With Mr. Myer and Trenton
He's recently acquired some new skills at his first official job:

With Grandma Nadene
And we're oh, so excited and proud of his scholarship to his first-choice school:

As you can see, he's been a fan for many years
  There are good-byes ahead, along with big changes and new adventures, but tomorrow is just going to be about remembering the good times and celebrating with friends.

Love you, Eric!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Catching Up With Elder Stone

Fun Times

This picture showed up on Facebook the other day. My friend, whose son is serving in the same mission as Neil, posted it because her son sent it to her. I was thrilled to see a familiar face kicking up his heels in the center of the lineup! He looks happy, doesn't he?

Today was the day we missionary moms look forward to--we get to talk to our missionaries on the phone! It was great to hear his voice and talk freely with him for our allotted 50 minutes. (When you've got 70+ young Elders and a limited number of phones, you can't talk all day!) 

On the Way to a Lunch Invitation

This has been a challenging opportunity for our young man. He works very hard at having a good attitude, but frankly, he struggles. 

We have seen tremendous growth in him over these past several months. He is learning to manage his day-to-day living. His emails home indicate he is making progress in his ability to communicate and express himself. Even though his ability to process his thoughts might be slow, when he takes his time, his letters can be quite inspiring. Here's a short quote from a recent email to his grandparents:

 " without challenges is life without growth. We need challenges to learn all we can while were here. I hate saying I like challenges, but as I said above idol minds are the devil’s toy."  

So there's a couple of misspelled words, but it's usually spot on. 

Anyway, There are many days when the mission is too much for him. He wants very much to give up and come home. Then, in the next email he sends, he tells us he wants to keep trying. It's a bit of a roller coaster experience for both him and us. Thanks to all who have written him and showed your support. I know he doesn't often write back because he can't address the envelopes, but your letters help. In fact that's what keeps him going the most--knowing how many people are praying for him and watching him.

Neil hits his one year mark in July. Even though this is a two year mission, it may end up being a one year mission for Neil. We have let him know that that's okay. We love him and support him no matter what, and we've let him know that his friends and family will understand and love him whether he stays or comes home. You will, won't you? Maybe he'll choose to continue. He'll reassess in July. 

I'm so proud of him for his perseverance and willingness to work hard in spite of his disabilities. Thank you for your concern and for your prayers. He's a very special young man.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Lori, Sherri, Jill, and Cameron

With all the work and stress involved with our upcoming move to the South, I needed a little time in the city with the girls. I didn't even know that was what I needed until my dear friend invited me to come. I'm still not sure why that bustling city is balm for the soul, but yesterday, that's exactly what it was.

So after a fun lunch at a cafe in Chelsea we ended up here:

That's Rachael Ray with Isaboo sitting on the steps. My friends and I are on the left about four rows up. Watch her show this Friday, March 15 and see us clap and holler with enthusiasm as we watch a celebrity we didn't know promote a TV show we don't watch. We were not there for her other, more famous celebrity of the show. We were there, however, for her delicious smelling cooking segment--a recipe I am looking forward to trying!

For dinner we took a taxi (hey, it was raining!) the few miles to the East Village to hit an old favorite

I'm going to miss this place. I'm going to miss my friends.

I guess it's time for a new adventure.

There are nine (count 'em--nine) links in this post. Did you find them all?

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Well, It's About Time!

I think this is the longest I've gone without posting. I don't have a good excuse, but some interesting things have happened since December 14, so I'll fill you in.

Neil sent us a calendar for Christmas. Guess who is featured on every month. That's right--our favorite missionary! He has begun taking his medication again, and is feeling much better about things. We got to speak with him on the phone on Christmas Day and it was wonderful! The four year anniversary of Neil's accident came and went without our hardly noticing it. He's come so far; so have we.

We spent New Years with this adorable boy and his family:

Unfortunately, he was a little under the weather, but he was cute as can be none the less. Sure do love that little family!

Eric played his first improve solo in a jazz concert:

He loves to play. I love to hear him play. It's a win-win!

Scott took a job in South Carolina, so we're getting the house ready to sell. It's kind of a big deal. I'm trying not to freak out. We'll be fine. We'll be just fine.