In the beginning...

Alec started his papers on August 7, 2013.

2 weeks later his application was denied due to the length of his hair in his mission submit photo. ( In this mom's defense, I was so excited that he had actually clicked send that I made him put on a shirt and tie and shave quick so I could take the picture to include it with the submission papers.  It never occurred to me that his hair was too long, especially since this was short compared to Alec's hair not long before this photo was taken.)  Embarrassing!  We are just winging it at this point...and from this point on.  :O)

So we cut his hair and took another picture...but first we had to wait for the camera to have enough juice to take a picture.  Dang dead batteries!

The one we should have used ...

The one we actually used...I think.

 Or it could have been this one...

August 22, 2013 we got confirmation that this mission photo was accepted and so we waited.  We waited 4 days.  On the 26th we received a phone call from Missionary Medical Services.  I talked to Sister Heineken who informed me that Alec's blood pressure was too high.  We had to take his blood pressure 3 days in a row at the same time each day, record the results and then call her back and give her the results.   On the 29th I called her and she confirmed what I had told her on the phone days before...Alec suffers from White Coat Syndrome.  He does not like to go to the doctor, he was terrified that when he went that day for his mission physical that he would have to get shots that day.  Sister Heineken assured me that his blood pressure was fine and that she would put his papers through...AFTER we talked about David Archuleta, weather or not we were related and how sweet he is.  :)

We waited just over two weeks and on FRIDAY, September 13, 2013, we got this in the mail.

We waited until everyone was home from school and work before he opened his call! 

We couldn't have been more proud of Alec.  The video that we have is too big to upload.  When I figure it out, I will add it on here.  

4 long months we had to wait just until he entered the MTC.  It seemed like so much time.  We were happy to have another birthday, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's with Alec before he left.  In December we got his mission pictures taken.  

On December 27th Alec went through the Sacramento Temple.

Alec spoke in sacrament on Jackson's 10th birthday.  We left the next day for Utah.  It was a long drive with no radio or videos to watch.  Surprisingly, all the boys did exceptionally well.  There was minimal fighting and Alec spent most of his time sleeping.  When we arrived in Utah we went to Temple Square.  Jakob and Jackson hadn't ever seen the Christus in the Visitors Center.

Jackson and Jakob looking out over the Salt Flats

Jumped in my picture at the last minute.

Jakob, Alec and Jackson.  Not the right light setting on my camera, but I love how my boys are in this picture together.

I wished we could have seen the temple with the Christmas lights on.  It is one of the things I miss most about Utah.  It was nice to be at Temple Square with only a few people.  It is really quite peaceful.

The family met up with Brandi and Kara just after this picture was taken.  We went to dinner together and then to their home to chat for a while.  Tuesday was filled with a temple trip to the Mt. Timpanogos Temple to go through with family.  Grandma Jackson was really sick and unfortunately we (Grandma and Jen) missed the temple session.  We did sealings and tried to make it into the Celestial Room when the session ended.  We didn't make that either.  Confusion on the time.  It was sad for Grandma to miss going through the temple with Alec before he went into the MTC.  Afterward we had an open house at Kym and Spencer's home and got to visit with family and friends.  It was the perfect ending to the day.

Wednesday came all too soon.  That morning, we had Alec give each of us a blessing.  That was an amazing experience.  With each one his confidence and ability grew.  He is going to be one awesome missionary.  

SNOW!  The boys have been waiting to play in the snow for days now..even this pathetic amount of snow was exciting for them.

I wonder who this is for???

Looks like some negotiations are going on here.

Run boys...RUN!


Getting tired of the pictures already.

Dad, Alec and Mom.  Alec and Dad look like they are LOVING this.  :)

Jakob took this picture.  He also took over taking the pictures from here on out...

Goodbye phone call to Grandma.  Annoyed with Jakob taking pictures..

Jakob always takes the best pictures of the statue Moroni. 

We dropped Alec off shortly after this.  All morning as we were at the temple, I kept asking him if it had hit him yet that he was finally at this point.  My stomach was doing flips the first time we drove in front of the MTC.  Then again as we were at the temple and each time I would ask him.  He would say no.  I took this as a good sign that he was truly ready to go.  The camera froze as we were curbside.  I couldn't get it to turn on.  I was so sad and angry.  Either way, we got to have a full 2 1/2 minutes to say goodbye to our sweet boy.  Each brother got a hug and quickly got back in the Suburban.  Then Mom got a hug, then Dad.  I looked at the missionary that was going to escort Alec into the MTC and he wasn't moving so I took that as I had another chance to give him one last hug and kiss on the cheek goodbye.  I whispered in his ear that I loved him and that I knew he was going to be amazing.  He hugged me tight and said, "I think it just hit me.".  Tears were threatening to fall and I didn't want to cry.  I could hear Jackson crying in the Burb.  I told him that everything was going to be great and he would be fine.  He turned and his escort grabbed his suitcase and they started off.  We were sad to see him leave us, but so excited to have him go.  

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