John and Jill Return to Eagan for Thanksgiving and Christmas
November 25 to December 27, 2008
written by John

Since Jill and I have been called to work in the Boise Temple, our freedom to just take off for extended trips has been curtailed. However, when we were called we mentioned to President Waite that we had this trip planned, so we were excused for this time period. Jackie wanted to be back in Minnesota to see all her family there before leaving on her mission, so the three of us made plans to travel. Because we were taking lots of her things and also the rest of what Jerica left in Boise, we determined quite readily that it would not all fit in the Honda Civic. So we proceeded with plans to take the Tacoma pickup.

Jackie quit her jobs and made all her arrangements, including getting her wisdom teeth out on November 15th. The three of us left on Tuesday, November the 25th. One of us always had to be in the back seat, a punishment none of us relished. However, we all took our turn back there. I even found it not too uncomfortable as long as I could sit sideways and put my feet on the window opposite from where I was sitting. Jackie was still suffering considerably from her wisdom teeth extraction, taking medication, so she declined to drive. Jill and I weren't up to a straight-through drive without Jackie in the driver pool, so we stopped in Billings overnight. We arrived in Eagan late Wednesday night, on Thanksgiving eve.

We had a great time on Thanksgiving and the ensuing weekend, with Jordan's and Jansen's families coming and going at various times.

On Sunday, December 14th, we celebrated Eva's birthday, which was coming up on the 16th, at Jansen's and Christina's home. She was excited about her presents, but once she settled down from that, wasn't she an angel?

After celebrating Eva's birthday, we all invaded President Rob Payne's home in Eden Prairie for Jackie's setting apart. President and Sister Payne are on the right, and Jackie looks ready to be a missionary, doesn't she?

Jackie left for the MTC on December the 16th. I had the privilege to take her to the airport, where I took this shot of her waiting in line. Does she look excited to be going? She was scheduled to report in on the 17th, so when she arrived at the Salt Lake Airport, her Aunt Beth picked her up, put her up for the night, ran around with her on several errands, and took her to the MTC the next day.

We were missing Jackie, and of course Joy and Chris and their kids weren't down, but the rest of the family got together for Christmas. Eva asked for a robot cat, and Santa brought her one she named Cattie, which is very interesting. Everyone was excited  for Christmas and that we could be together, but eventually we got tired and had to rest. Benji was so tired he could sleep in any position and despite the noise around him.

Jill and I packed up our truck with more things to take to Boise, and the day after Christmas we headed out. After looking carefully at the weather and road conditions, we decided to take the southern route on I80. We had lots of fog driving south in Minnesota, and we found lots of vehicles in the ditches along the way, so at some point the roads were very slippery. All through Wyoming the wind was blowing incredibly hard and blew the snow up making conditions almost like the fog in Minnesota. Just north of Ogden it started snowing and continued all the way to Boise. We pulled in to our home there on the night of the 27th, and found nearly a foot of snow on the driveway. No matter, the truck can get over that with no problem. I was glad that I bought some new all-season tires while in Minnesota on this trip since we found pretty bad conditions all the way. We were very glad to get back to Boise safe and sound.