09 December 2011

I'm a Mormon

I have been a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints for 10 years. Making the decision to join the church was one of the biggest life changing choices I had ever made. My journey the past 10 years has had its ups and it downs but I am proud of the path that having the knowlege of the Restored Gospel and the teaching in Jesus Christ has led me on. I have an Eternal Family, I know who I am--that I am a Daughter of my Heavenly Father. I have a Savior , Jesus Christ, who atoned for me because I am not perfect and need His help to return to live with God and my family.

As Members of the Church, we have been asked to share our testimonies and knowlege to help others learn about the faith that we have. Members around the world have created profiles on Mormon.org to help answer questions that other folks have, to help them see that not all Mormons are the same and that the Mormon Stereo type just isn't true...here is a link to MY mormon.org profile. Ryan is working on his and when his is...I will post it too.

28 November 2011

Visitors, Turkeys, and Love!

Our past few weeks have been filled with fun and excitement (not to mention lots of running around). My Brother, Tommy and his wife, Jessica, came to visit from Mississippi not to long ago and this visit Annalyse really took to him and she loved playing with him! While, Tonya, Jessica and I went to Brown County for the annual Chocolate Walk, Ryan and Annalyse hung out with Tommy and the rest of the family. ( I left the camera with Ryan so I have no photos of the Chocolate Walk, sorry). They had an awesome time! Tonya picked up these super cute matching shirts while in Brown County they say "Spoiled Rotten by my Uncle", which is so true...all of their Uncles love them sooo much!

During their visit, Tommy and Jessica were able to squeeze us into their busy visiting circuit and spend the night with us one night. Hanging out when them was so much fun!

For some reason, Jessica always seems to evade the camera and we NEVER have a photo of her.

Next was Thanksgiving! This year was a Shrack Thanksgiving year. So we headed down to Ryan's parents for the holiday. Mike, Cindy, Yasumi, Tom, Luna, and Yasumi's parents had to go to Chicago to do some paper work for Luna that had to be done in person so Sarah, Matt, Ryan, and I prepared Thanksgiving (Cindy of course had everything well planned and called us a lot)

Here is our Turkey and it turned out really, really well. Sarah and I had a lot of fun trying to figure out how to cook this thing! I think everyone loved it! Everything was fantastic and we all just enjoyed being together. Yasumi's parents came to visit to see Luna and having them for Thanksgiving was wonderful!

These two girls are wonderful. Luna, of course, is sleeping away. Both of them sporting their Thanksgiving shirts. Annalyse loves holding her little cousin. The two of them are going to be good friends!

Annalyse finally took a nap late Thursday evening. After we pulled out a toy tote we had stored at the farm and she fell asleep with this bear from her Uncle Tommy!

The Holiday season is my favorite time of the year. I love being with family and friends. Our tree is decorated and radio stations are playing Christmas music. Celebrating the various holidays makes me feel so abundantly blessed beyond measure. I have all that I need and more and for that I am so grateful!

09 November 2011

Welcoming Luna Matsumoto Shrack

Yesterday (11/8/2011) at 7:20am Tom and Yasumi welcomed Luna Matsumoto Shrack (6lbs 6oz and 18iches long) into their little family! Both the baby and Mommy are doing well! We all went down to the hospital yesterday to see the baby. Tom and Yasumi decided to wait until the baby arrived to find out the baby's gender...mostly everyone thought that the baby would be a boy, but all were pleasently surprised to find out that the baby was a little girl! This little girl can't be mored loved!

Annalyse and her new little cousin get along famously already! Depsite not being able to say "l" Annalyse manages to say "una" for now.

This photo was taken in the morning just after Luna was born

These photos of Annalyse and Luna were taken later last night we wanted to get pictures of just the girls without fear of Luna being dropped so we laid them on the bed to let them hang out. Luna wasn't the biggest fan of having to lay on the bed by herself, but when Annalyse held her she calmed down! (for just a little while)

Here is our little family with baby Luna

02 November 2011

Happiest Halloween!

Daddy's Little Giraffe

Halloween was so much fun this year! We really had a great time and kept ourselves busy! There is no way for me to post all the photos I want to because we had so much fun...

Annalyse was a giraffe this year and LOVED her coustume! She loves everything about halloween I think. Our Ward had a Trunk or Treat so she got a taste of what real trick or Treating would be like and she LOVED it. We made a few treats for friends for a FHE just before Halloween, went to the Zoo's Halloween activity (ironically the Zoo didn't have very many animals out), and of course trick or treating. A family in the Ward invited us to go with them in their neighborhood, which was a lot of fun! Enjoyed everythign about this silly, but fun holiday. I've decided to TRY to make our own costumes next year for the whole family. So i suppose I better get started now. (lol)

Here are just a few of our photos...you can head over to my facebook to see more....

16 October 2011

Fishy Friends...

We've been wanting Annalyse to have a pet but since we live in an apartment there aren't too many choices out there without having to pay extra to have one. So, we were able to acquire an awesome little fish tank from freecycle which came with the the tank, some fish food, rocks, some fake plants, the filters and everything to set up your first fish tank. We've had it for a while, but were going to try to use getting a fish as a bribe to help Annalyse become potty trained, but soon realized it's 1) she isn't quite ready yet and 2) a bribe like that really wouldn't work so the tank just sat in the office for a while. While I was away attending a Women's conference (Time Out for Women), Ryan cleaned the fish tank and bought fish for our Tank to surprise Annalyse and me with our new friends and lovely additions to our little family. We have 3 goldfish and 1 algae eater. Annalyse LOVES them. We've tried to get her to name them, but all she comes up with is "annalyse" and "brown"...so we'll see what happens.

22 September 2011

History and Celebrations

This past weekend, we were busy! Every third weekend in September, Fort Wayne has a Johnny Appleseed festival and for the past four years, we have always gone and taken our beautiful niece Kirsten. The first year we took her, she would say Johnny the Appleseed instead of Johnny Appleseed and the name has always kinda stuck. They always have lots of yummy food, apples, and people dressed up and this year the weather was wonderful. It was cool but not cold, which was great. This was Annalyse's 3rd Appleseed Festival and she loved it...she walked nearly the entire time and she wore Ryan and me out! On our appleseed adventure, we met John Chapman (aka Johnny Appleseed), Abe Lincoln, and we even ran into the Calls. Kirsten also got to help make some carmel kettle corn. We really did have a great time. I dread the day when Kirsten gets older and start to think she's too old for this annual adventure.

After the festival we went down to Ryan's Parents for the rest of the weekend. The girls got to spend time on the farm, which both of them love to do. The two of them get so spoiled when they are at the farm. I think the visit to the farm is the only time Kirsten enjoys doing chores (as long as 'Grandpa Mike' is by her side). Kirsten even volunteered to go out and pick raspberrys to suprise Mike...thanks to Matt, Kirsten, Ryan, Annalyse and Matt picked TONS of berrys and Mike was definately surprised!

The primary reason for going down to the farm was to be in Dunkirk on Sunday to celebrate Ryan's Great Grandma Shracks 102nd Birthday. I honestly can't imagine being alive as long as she has and really she's in pretty good health for being 102! There were 5 generations at the Birthday party so we got a few photos and Annalyse actually smiled and looked at the camera for some of the photos.

There are 100 years between these two lovely gals...can you believe it!?

15 September 2011

Genealogy, I'm Doing It

Since becoming a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, I have really taken an interest in genealogy and been really interested in my family's history. When I was first introduced to genealogy, I always thought that only old people did that stuff (and that theory was often confirmed whenever I walked into a genealogy center or library). BUT, I've come to the realization that you can do different types of genealogy at different times in your life...and even dabble here in there in everything. So, I wanted to write a post about my attempts at genealogy and family history in my life.

There is little history of my family written down anywhere so as far as personal family history goes I, with some help from other family members, have started to do pedigree and family group sheets for everyone in my family. In my PAF file, I have 126 names entered and most of those are only my immediate family...I haven't gotten much past my 4 generations. My goal is to someday get much further, but everything is one step at a time. Ft. Wayne has an amazing library here chuck full of Family History resources and my wonderful mother in law is willing to watch our little bug while I sleuth around (once her long term sub job is over). In the past, I have found census and military records with the names of my ancestors!

When I can't or don't have time to work on my own personal family history, I do Indexing on the church's Family Search Website. Indexers are looking at various types of documents (like census records or military records) and type the vital information so it can be loaded into a database where it can be searched so that others who are doing personal family history can find the documents to get information about their ancestors. Anyone doing family history can benefit from the indexed documents and find the information without having to locate the physical form. The goal is to Index everything so genealogy can be done from home and everything can be search able and available. Then those searching can print the actual document. Indexing can be taxing trying to decipher people's writing, but I LOVE it. You can index as much or as little as you want-I often do it during naptime. If you're reading this and thinking...i could do that...I promise you-you can. Even if you aren't a member of the Church, you can sign up here to volunteer to do indexing.

I have such a strong testimony of Family History and how it brings us closer to those ancestors (and even our living family members) by doing family history we get an opportunity to know everyone on a much deeper level. While Temple Work is vital component of family history work, I feel that if we do not get to know and love our ancestors the sacred and special Temple Work performed for our ancestors is partly in vain. As I research and build on the knowledge of my family, I gain a respect for those ancestors I never knew. Family history is more than gathering names and dates and going to the Temple....Family History is Love...Family History is Discovering Your Roots and Yourself.

This Post turned out to be a lot longer than I intended. In the spirit of Family History, I'd like to leave you with a scripture form the Old Testament.

Malachi 4:6:
And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers...

14 September 2011

Out 'n About

We have definately been busy lately. Not really with anything specific, just enjoying everything. Heavenly Father has blessed out little family so much lately that we can't even begin to imagine. We try to go to as many free or cheap events around town as we can and have had so much fun doing it!

Thsese are phots at the 'Historic' Fort, in Fort Wayne. Annalyse loved the reinactment they had. The guns and Cannons didn't even bother her.

I was missing my family in Anderson so one afternoon we down to Anderson to visit and my Aunt Connie was watching some of my little counins so Annalyse got to play with them. They had so much fun that afternoon! They are all cute as a button and hams to boot!

Over labor day weekend, We, along with Tom and Yasumi, took a little drive up to Warren Dunes in Michigan. It would be both Annalyse and Yasumi's first time seeing the Sand dunes. The weather was not at all what we had expected just days earlier we had it 100 degree temps and at the dunes it was around the 60's, cold and windy. The sand blasted us as we walked around and attempted to climb the dune. We had only packed shorts for the weekend so I put my PJ pants on for warmth. It was beautiful, but so cold.

(only the Lorax was willing to get out for photo at the parks enterance)

(annalyse is trying to protect her beautiful face from the sand)

Tom, Ryan and Annalyse climbed the dune...annalyse was on Uncle Tom's shoulders during most of the climb.

On September 10th, Grandma and Grandpa came up to visit in celebration of Grandparents day. We had gotten a Zoo coupon for 1 free admission in addition to our membership so only 1 ticket had to be bought PLUS we also had a coupon for our entire party to be able to ride 1 Zoo ride for free. We chose the Sky Safari ride located in "Africa". Grandma and Grandpa were a little apprehensive, but they made it! Annalyse loved being able to 'fly'.

Annalyse just loves the Zoo and all the animals. She had so much fun sharing it with Grandma and Grandpa. Ryan and I really enjoyed seeing how excited she was

Since moving, we have really learned to take full advantage of the Library system here (which is amazing). We go to storytime weekly, check out 3-5 books a week for Annalyse, movies, and even I have been able to do some reading! I love going to the library and so does Annalsye!

18 August 2011

Saying Good Bye Uncle Jared

As I mentioned in a previous post, Jared will be returning to Korea to complete his study abroad program for the fall semester. He came up to Fort Wayne to visit before leaving. Annalyse showed him around Fort Wayne's Kreager park, our favorite park so far. It's a HUGE park with several playgrounds, a splash pad, and lots of room for everyone to run around. The last picture is Jared and Annalyse watching Sesame Street You Tube videos.

Annalyse loves her Uncle Jared and can't wait until he comes back for good!

Lakes MiniVacation and our little Fishergirl

Every year (or almost every year) before school starts we try to go up to Ryan's Aunt Shirley and Uncle Lew's Lake to play, have fun, and just be together. This year we all had a BLAST and enjoyed being together. Jared will be leaving to continue his study abroad in Korea for the fall semester so he'll be gone until just before Christmas.

The Lakes are always full of boat rides, fishing, and just playing around. This year, Annalyse had so much fun learning how to fish. At first, she was just helping grandpa man his pole, but Ryan and I were so amazed at how attentive she was that we thought we'd get her a fishing pole too...pink princesses! And she loved it!

As you can see her really did enjoy fishing and she caught 2 fish (bluegill)--one was even big enough to keep!

Every year we always try to go swim on the lake and we added cornhole to our activities

We are grateful to the Hustons for letting us all come and invade their house for a weekend and for taking us fishing, boating, and swimming!

10 August 2011

We now have a 2 year old....

Can it be? Can we really have a 2 year old?

(isn't she so focused)

We had Annalyse's Birthday Party the Saturday before her actual Birthday because 1) immediate family would be able to travel up here much easier and 2) Ryan had a conference in Evansville so we'd be gone on her actual Birthday. Because of the size of our apartment, we only invited immediate family and a couple of close family friends (the Keplingers and the Calls).The party went really well & we had a lot of fun. The Party was a Sesame Street themed party it was small and simple...Cake, Ice Cream, a gifts, a simple game, and then we headed to the splash park across the street for some water action. Annalyse had a blast at her party...she's been saying she's "2" for sometime, but now she really is two. Kirsten stayed the night with us Saturday and Sunday night, which was a treat for Annalyse in and of itself.

On her actual Birthday (Aug 2nd), we didn't get to do much because It's been so HOT here in Indiana and the heat was pretty much unbearable. Part of Annalyse's Birthday gift from Mommy and Daddy was a Fort Wayne Zoo membership and with that membership we get discounts on admission to other Zoos so the following day I (despite the sweltering heat) ventured out to the Evansville Zoo and spent a couple of hours there. Being in Evansville for a week was a lot of fun. She enjoyed Hotel life and we discovered a new food love...Yogurt! She loves that stuff. We're amazed at how well she likes it...she even asks for it for a snack too.

Annalyse with her new bike and a photo of the Weber clan

Phil and Peter Enjoying the splash pad and Annalyse and Papaw putting money in her pig