First Newsletter!

Greetings to all belonging to the Buchanan clan!  Though it is halfway through January, here is the family news for December!  I’ll start with the parents and move on down the line.

It has been a pretty amazing week here at the MTC.  Today at dinner time we got to see all the new missionaries that came in today.  You could tell just by the eyes who was new without looking at the pink ‘newbie’ dot on their name tag.  I think it is pretty amazing how many missionaries are processed here.  When we came in on Monday we were one of the largest group of Senior Missionaries they received at one time.  There were about 100 of us.  The spirit here is full of the spirit of ‘Hastening’ that Pres. Monson has stressed lately.  Foreign missionaries used to stay for 12 weeks, now it is 9 weeks.  They expect the numbers at the MTC to double in the next few months.  Did I already mention the word amazing!  I heard Tuesday night a young elder from Singapore showed up 3 weeks early and came alone to the MTC.  What an experience!  Of course they found some elders to take care of him and get him going.  They have also had a outbreak of flu and you can only imagine the restrictions that has caused:  no handshaking, wash hands frequently.  They even separated the Senior Missionaries from the young missionaries at our evening devotional on Tuesday to limit contact.  We weren’t even in the same room, being video broadcast to the different rooms.  We are having a delightful time.  Having many Senior Missionaries has some of us staying at the Provo Marriott Hotel.  We were some of the lucky ones and have a lovely comfortable room.

I know they’ve had some updates since then, but they’ll be added into the January post.

The Biesinger’s Bit: This past December, lots has happened.
Xai was born, of course, on the 1st. He is super cute, and getting super chubby. Then, we had Szént Mikolas day on the 11th. Szént Mikolas is the Hungarian Santa Claus, and he came on the 11th with lots of presents for everyone (that night was a very bad one for me. All of the anticipation was rubbing off from the kids)! On the 13th, we celebrated Saint Lucia’s day, when Tova and Lily get up early to make cinnamon rolls and hot chocolate for an early breakfast for everyone. Yummmmm….
We all went Christmas shopping together! Fun and exhausting. We had to try and hide our presents from one another, and search for baking items in Hungarian. Hava got tired, and laid on the ground. Xai got fussy, and started crying, and Maia was …. I don’t know, I never saw her ;). But we all made it out alive, and Dad took us to McDonalds to eat dinner while we waited for the bus home (which was crowded, as usual).
A few days later, it happened. The one, the only, CHRISTMAS!! We acted out the nativity the night before, as always, and then settled down to sleep. That morning, we woke up to find “Baby Jesus” had filled our shoes with candy! (we’d set out our biggest shoes the night before under the Christmas tree). We had candy for breakfast, doughnuts for lunch, and I don’t remember what for dinner :). We opened presents all day, it seemed. Once with Norway grandparents, once with Utah grandparents, and once with Mom and Dad’s presents. It was very fun, and very messy :).
This New Year’s Eve, we started the celebrations with a walk to a new park which also had a field for soccer! I’d gotten a ball from Hyrum, and we used that until a dog came along to play. :O. Thankfully, the teeth marks didn’t make any holes. The poor dog was very friendly and followed us home.
That night everyone except the little girls stayed up until 12 am and welcome the new year. There were fireworks outside, but they only did a few at a time, so by the time we heard the *bang* *pop* and ran to the door, they were already over.
For New year, we celebrated the same way… SOCCER! I think it’s going to become our favorite sport, too (the atmosphere rubs off, what can I say). :)
We all love everyone and miss you all!

Now let’s hear from the Maine Buchanans!

Dear Family,
Happy New Year!
Not much has changed since we sent our Christmas letter a few weeks ago.  We are enjoying LOTS of snow here in Maine, and have spent the past two weeks ice skating on the pond, building snowmen, sledding, and snowboarding on the hills near our home (Kainoa got a snowboard for Christmas and has been practicing nearly every day!)
Jon’s been working overnight shifts for the past couple of weeks, giving him the special privilege (ha) of working Christmas Eve, Christmas and New Years Eve and day – he works all night and sleeps all day, so unfortunately we haven’t seen much of him this holiday season.  We had to be creative in trying to celebrate with him – mostly it’s just been the kids and I.  It’s a good thing I have the kids to keep me busy, so I’m never lonely when he’s working all the time! :) But the good news is, that is the last time he will ever have to work Christmas!! (He assures me – I hope it’s true!!)
I’m keeping busy just trying to keep up the house, keep all the kids fed and dressed (it’s amazing how much work that is!), teaching preschool to Malia and friends, and working part time.  Makea is looking forward to turning 8 this month and is excited to get baptized.  She’s also hoping to get braces soon (if we are staying in Maine)  Kai is busy losing all his teeth, and is still managing to keep his cool amid the drama he faces being sandwiched between two sisters.  Malia is loving preschool.  She’s also very involved in ‘the arts’ – if she’s not singing while she’s coloring, she’s humming while she’s writing her name over and over.  (She recently learned to write letters, and hasn’t put her pen down since!)
We find out in 1 week whether or not we’ll be moving in June.  We will most likely be staying in Maine….but we won’t know for sure until Match Day Jan 8th.  We’ll let you know. :)
We love and miss you all, and wish you a Happy New Year!  We’re looking forward to what 2013 has in store!
Love, Jon, Sarah and family
Here’s the news from Dave & Charla’s Family!
This month was spent enjoying the new baby and having Christmas fun.  Cooper is about the cutest thing ever.  All the kids agree.  They love every chance they can get to hold him or on the rare occasion feed him a bottle.  They have even been willing to change diapers!We got a little creative on the Christmas fun this year, as it was more difficult to leave the house with a little baby.  We enjoyed christmas books and a daily treasure hunt, making candies, and family movie night (I don’t think Ethan will ever watch “Elf” again.)We had a great Christmas spending all day with family.  Moey got a digital camera and is turning into quite the photographer.   Unfortunately, her camera (being used) didn’t come with a USB cord, so I can’t share any of her pictures yet.Ethan and Gavin have been enjoying the RC cars and Light Sabers.  Ethan also got a quiver for his arrows, he is excited for it to warm up outside so he can use it when he practices archery.Gavin got an art set and has been busy making drawings, the wall in his room are covered in art.

Halle got a toy tea/baking set, now every day is a party – tea party that is.

We ended the year on a high note.  We blessed Cooper the same day we witnessed Mom and Dad be set apart for their mission.

We have felt deeply loved and blessed this month!

For your entertainment, read this next paragraph in an Australian accent! :)
So, Nathan, our beloved brother, has forgotten to make an entry for this here newsletter, We all still love ya, you cheeky blighter.
This is Aaron’s from an email he sent out and asked me to use.  It was a week or so ago.
I wanted to give everyone an update on Niesha. She went in yesterday for a nonstress test and her blood pressure was high again. They admitted her and they were able to get it down again. She just got back home a couple hours ago and will be on bed rest for the foreseeable future. The doctor said that if she were a few weeks further along then he would induce her. For now she will go in at least two times a week to monitor her blood pressure and if they can’t get it to stay down, they will induce her.
She is feeling well and we are glad to have her back home. We will keep you posted with any details as we get them.
For more info (this is from Adam again), Sophie and Oakley are sick right now as well,  For better news, he is most likely going to be assigned to the Dugway project, so they will be staying in Utah!
And now for Mark and I, the cabooses of the Fam!
Well, we had our finals for the Fall Semester and things worked out really well!  We are also both employed now, myself at the Payless Shoe Source at Jordan Landing and Mark at Dominoes Pizza in Sandy!  We had a good Christmas break spending time with Mom and Dad and spent some time with John Maynes and Ben Beus during the first week of the New Year while Mom and Dad were in the MTC.
Well, this has been the first newsletter of our family!  I hope to work out some better, more aesthetic ideas for the blog, but as for this one, I just want to get it out (because it’s two weeks late!)
I love you all, and may the rest of your January be fantastic!



Saturday, October 1, 2005, by Joseph

Saturday, October 1, 2005

Applesauce. What a day! We got up and going and started apples a little before 9AM. Bottles were washed, cavernous mouths yawning with anticipation on the counter-top. Mark took Adam to the soccer game where he succeeded in scoring two goals in the wind pushing his team to victory. Meanwhile, at home, hands stained, lungs filled with steamy apple fragrance and Hyrum splashing the forbidden strainer-crank catch bowl on the floor, the work crew clicked along with precision while absorbing the spirit and counsel of General Conference. Mary, Mary Jeanne, Shauna and I worked the morning process, with Mark and Adam at the soccer game, Quinn and friends at a football game, Aaron with Niesha helping fix up the Bodell cabin, and Jonathan traveling from Florida, accounting for most of the family. Nathan and Justin with his nephew Zander joined the fray shortly following lunch, as did Aaron and Niesha. The fruit frenzy continued through lunch time and through the afternoon session of conference. Finally at around 5 PM, the end of the raw apples approaching, the end was in sight. David arrived and the priesthood men of the family prepared and went to the broadcast of the priesthood session. Shauna and Mary Jeanne slaved over sticky floor and apple stain-encrusted stove top, now heaving a shudder of relief as the heat dissipates from nearly 9 hours of the maximum setting.

Exhaustion was evident in Shauna as the men returned home from the conference session, finding a sparkling clean kitchen. The large table in the front room smothered with 156 quart jars of fresh, appetizing applesauce, still eminating the heat and dedication of the day.