Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A note from Zack 12/31/08

Hey Mom!
It was great to talk to you on Christmas, even though the length of the call was almost twice as long as it was supposed to be...(oops).
Elder Okamoto said that he was going to give the tie to one of the members ( I think he was kidding).

YOU JOINED FACE BOOK??? WAHHHHHH????????? I never thought I'd see the day...
Sis. Carter has been pretty busy lately. Between work, visits with her kids, and church stuff, its hard to visit her sometimes.
Did you get the pictures from Sis. Ashford? I accidentally kept giving her your old phone number, because I forgot that you were using MY phone. lol I figured out eventually though.
I bet its good sleddin' at Uncle Jack's. Did they ever get the snowmobile back up and running or did they sell it? Tell Uncle Jack I said Hi!
Aunt Belva calling me at 2:20 a.m.: HAHA! Aunt Belva is so funny! such a practical joker!

Yeah I figured dad to be a one project a day person. what with his age and all. I wouldn't expect him to do more... :P Maybe if you say that you're going to go do it yourself, he'll shape up?
I think you did play the Havens racquetball one time. It was probably like a year or so ago. If I remember correctly, you guys won, but I wasn't actually there, so I don't know. If I were there, I'd win though.
Tell me: Did the boys actually dance? (that would be kind of a miracle) I think when I get back, you just might be able to beat me on the Wii (if it still works by then) [Wow... Mom being able to beat me at video games....*shudder*]

For New Years tonight, I plan on staying in our apartment. I taught Elder Okamoto how to play chess, so we'll probably play chess till bed time. He's actually pretty good. He wins every once in a while. I finally got him motivated to paint that picture that you wanted with me and Jesus. He said that he wants to paint it today and send it to you by this weekend.
well I got some more emails to do, so I'll talk to you next year!
Elder Holladay

Monday, December 29, 2008

Emily's Christmas Program

The Heaps family did a great job with Emily's Christmas Program! What an awesome experience to be a part of.

Here is the link to see their blog update and pictures. I will sure miss them!


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Funny Dog!

Here's Molly looking over the fence wondering what we are doing.

She climbed to the top of Michael's snow cave and peeked over to take a look!

Sweet Christmas Party

Too many Sweet's to fit in one house, so we have it at a church.

This is Owen pushing the tables around. This boy needs no toys. He is happy to play with a tag off a toy or to jump on the cart the tables and chairs come on, or just to push something around.

This is James wearing the jacket he wants to give me for Christmas!

Then, no party is complete without a ride on top of the tables before they get put away!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

My favorite Gift!

I just got my phone call from Zack! It was so great to talk to him, finally! He said there is still no snow in New Jersey, but it is cold and he is staying warm enough and well fed. His ward gave him a bunch of "junk food"(apparently at least a years supply), and some toothpaste and soap, etc. We sent him a digital photo frame with tons of pictures from home on it. He said it was perfect! I also sent some socks and ties and some for Elder Okamoto. One of the ties I sent to Elder Okamoto had Japanese writing on it. I got it from the Missionary Mall, but no one there knew what it said. When Elder Okamoto opened it he read the tie and started laughing and told Zack that I was pretty funny. When Zack asked him what the tie said, Elder Okamoto replied, "Drink Beer!" It's a good thing he has a sense of humor! I am never buying another thing with foreign writing on it. The last time I did that, it was a swimming suit with a picture of a sailor and some French words on it. My niece asked me if I knew what it said. She told me it said, "Do you want to have a good time!" I never wore that suit again without a t-shirt over it!

Anyways...Zack is doing awesome. He is getting used to missionary life and enjoying it. He is teaching quite a few people right now except during the holiday season most had plans and didn't want to schedule any appointments until after New Years. He loves the area he is in because the members are super nice to the missionaries and he is really feeling at home there.

I didn't think we would talk very long because we e-mail every week and I just got an e-mail from him yesterday, but we ended up talking for a little over an hour. It was great to hear his voice again.

Merry Christmas!

Yes, we have joined the Wii club! Santa really hooked the boys up this year!
My favorite Christmas quote is from Spencer:
Yeah! Bubble wrap!

Hope you all had a fun Christmas too! We got a bunch more snow to shovel! The boys weren't up and Dave couldn't sleep anymore, so at 6:30 a.m., he went out and shoveled the first installment of snow removal for the day!

Anticipating my missionary call any minute now!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Snow Fun!

It only took a couple hours to dump 6-8 inches of snow on the car. This is Jake trying to dig out his car. He successfully got it stuck 3 times trying to get it off the street so the plow could get to the edge of the street. Teenagers!
John had an interesting technique for snow throwing. Instead of shoveling it over to the side and dumping it, he would take a shovel full and toss it over his head. Whatever works!
This is our awesome neighbor, Dean! He cleared all the sidewalks near his house (and ours) and helped us and many others, dig out of the snow mess. He ended up going out at least 3 times during the day.
This is a great pic of my foot!
Oh ya, and our snowy dog, Molly. She loves running in the snow!

Holladay Holidays

Jodie's baby, Jamison

Arianne's baby, Boston

Julie's baby, Anna

Buncha babies at the Holladay Holiday party. Then there were these cute kids! I counted over 52 people at Bob and Diane's house. It was a bit of a squeeze, but it was great to get together and see so much family in one place! Thanks for all the great work you put in to this Diane and being brave enough to have this brood over!

Even Grandma had fun!
Here is Arianne and Boston. Both adorable!
Poor Joyce, she got sick. It looks like she is starting to get the chills here and she was really shivering by the time she left. I hope she is feeling much better by Christmas!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Fun times!

We have been busy having fun this week.

Thursday, after a big snow, my lunchosociety friends and I had lunch at Applebees. It started out with a friend, Diana, who was laid up in bed with a bum foot with no way to come down stairs for food. I told her I would trade her a RS lesson for lunch (because I miss talking about the gospel with the sistas). We added our dear friend, Iva and we have saved lots of money on therapy! lol We have some awesome conversations about the gospel and life in general.

Diana has a huge dog, a great daine. She was telling us yesterday that the dog was following them to the front of the house when his harness got caught on on the Christmas tree. The dog, Jack, started dragging the Christmas tree across the room. When Diana heard the commotion, she turned around and instead of commanding Jack to stop or sit, she kept yelling, "Jack!, Jack!" Jack was so excited to obey and come, he pulled harder and harder to get to Diana. Of course the tree toppled over with a few ornament fatalities and the top of the tree landed on her daughter. I was laughing so hard, imagining the whole show and wishing they had caught it on tape.

Today Dave and I had the pleasure of having lunch with my brother, James. James just got back from a fun trip to Hawaii with his 2 kids. He kept the destination from his 8 y.o. and had a great time helping him decide where they were going to go, if they should drive or fly. When they got to L.A., they discovered that mysteriously, L.A. was too full to stay there and they would have to take another plane somewhere else. Nick thought they were going to Las Vegas, so James' friend, was making a big deal of how awesome it was that they put an ocean in Las Vegas when they got off the plane. Too funny!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Racquetball Buddies

These are my racquetball buddies. I play at least one of them nearly every day of the week (cept Sunday). We had a nice breakfast at my house after racquetball today. We didn't look anything like these pics because we were all sweaty from racquetball (except Julie, she was dressed nice cause she didn't play us today), so no pics. Blue shirt is Wendy, black is Tammy and yellow is Julie.

I love you guys! Exercise has never been so fun (or frustrating, lol)! Thanks for the racquetball abuse!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

To All you Grinches out there!

I found this at anothers blog. If you're not feeling the spirit of Christmas here are some ways to help you feel miserable.

Daily, constantly, we choose by our desires, our thoughts, and our actions whether we want to be blessed or cursed, happy or miserable. ~Ezra Taft Benson

1. Believe That Things Will Never Change
* Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change. ~Norman Vincent Peale
* Tough times never last, but tough people do! ~Robert Schuller

2. Think About Your Problems
* Everyone can be discontented if he ignores his blessings and looks only at his burdens. ~Thomas S. Monson

3. Worry About Things You Can't Control
* He who worries about calamities suffers them twice over. ~Og Mandino

4. Complain About Your Blessings or compare them against things you have sacrificed.
* I complained because I had no shoes until I saw a man who had no feet. ~Sign in a shoe shop

5. Think About Yourself
* Generally speaking, the most miserable people I know are those who are obsessed with themselves: the happiest people I know are those who lose themselves in the service of others. ~Gordon B. Hinckley

6. Put Yourself Down (and/or Compare Yourself To Others "Better Off")
* Our doubts are traitors, And make us lose the good we oft might win... ~William Shakespeare

7. Hold Onto Grudges, Don't forgive, Don't give people chances to change
* There is no peace in the nursing of a grudge. There is no happiness in living for the day when you can "get even." ~Gordon B. Hinckley

8. Put Deadlines On Your Happiness (i.e. "I won't be happy until __________ happens.")
* Happiness is a decision, not a destination. It's and attitude, not an event! ~John Bytheway

9. Always Want More
* Remember that in the end, surely God will be looking only for clean hands, not full ones. ~Jeffrey R. Holland

10. Postpone Prayer
* Ask and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. ~ Matthew 7:7

11. Recycle Regrets
* The past is behind; learn from it. The future is ahead; prepare for it. The present is here; live in it! ~Thomas S. Monson

Saturday, December 13, 2008


Zack is still at the same address:
Elder Zack Holladay
150 West Ave., Apt. 202
Woodstown, NJ 08098

Dearest favorite mom,

Dirt and grease really shows up on our new stove. I don't think it matters what color the stove is, it still shows up... We have a white stove in our apartment and you can still see the dust and grease just as well as on our old black stove. How old is the dryer? Its probably close to my age or older because I remember it being at the old house in West Valley. (I used to kick it while I was going potty and then you'd yell at me to stop) [kicking that dryer is more fun than you think...].

I can't remember all the songs we're singing. I know that one of them is Pacabel's Canon/The First Noel. there were 3 songs(I think), but that was the one we focused on last week.

Our talks on Sunday were about member missionary work, and how "easy" it was. I left out a lot because I was nervous. I hate giving talks. but people came up to me and told me it was a good talk, so I guess it was OK...

Oh and we haven't moved. We are staying in Woodstown. Same address. The sisters are moving to Pennsville. We just have to sort out how to divide up the ward between us. We have to keep Salem, because the Sisters can't go there. it might get tricky, but we'll figure something out. We haven't met the sisters yet, but I know that one of them is named Sister Thomas, and she is training a greenie.

Japanese is much more difficult than I expected. I learned from Elder Okamoto that when the characters for different words are arranged differently, it means completely different things. (I.E. the character for 'light' preceded by the character for 'tree' has a different meaning than 'light' preceded by the character for 'language') so I have more to learn than just the meaning of the character. It's slow, but I'm getting there. Elder Okamoto said that I could be a missionary in Japan because I learned the alphabet in about 3 weeks. The missionaries that go to Japan learn it at the MTC in 3 months. Also if I go into Computer programming, Japanese would be good to learn.

Sister Carter was in a play/drama/pageant last Saturday and one of our investigators took us to see it. It was very well put together. I liked it, and so did our investigator. the only thing that I thought could have been better was the technical difficulties. the mics went out sometimes so it was hard to hear, and the lights didn't cooperate sometimes.

Well I gotta go!
Wish I could email more,

Elder Holladay

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Jake and John in a choir?!!

Jake and John actually sang in a youth choir tonight. We had a wonderful program for Enrichment, or whatever they call it now. Here's proof.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Beautiful Shepherd Boy

Isn't this one of the cutest faces you ever saw? This is my friend Brigham.

Decorating Grandma's Christmas Tree

Grandma Holladay asked us to come put her tree up and get the decorations on

Michael called us last night while we were out to dinner and told us he shaved his head and forgot to put the attachment on, so he's sporting the winter bald eagle look!

John adding his artistic touch!

Even Grandma helped!

This is the boys sorting out the ornaments and making sure each had a hook on it.

Jake put the first ornament on. Notice the poise and dramatic effects he adds.

The finished product! Way to go guys!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

New Zack Pic

Note on back: I already have my own business started!

Big Thanks from Elder Okamoto

Dear Sister Holladay,
Thank you for wonderful package for me! I was really surprised when I got it. And every candy wonderful! And your letter made me happy with deep emotion. I don't know how much I can show my thankfulness heart to you. When I got the mission call I was so shock. Because I didn't know how to speak in English, and I didn't know American cultures. But now, I can say that here is my mission place. I really love United States. I really love your country. Every Americans are awesome. and most important things are I met Zack Holladay and his family. I heard from Elder Holladay that how wonderful people you are and my family wants me to say that we're grateful for your son. Such a wonderful friend and my son's companion for Sister Holladay. I'm sorry my family can't speak English. Wonderful things of Missionary work is finding investigator and meeting eternal wonderful friend like your son. Heavenly Father wanted me to see your son at here. So then he called me to go New Jersey. I can testify it. Thank you for everything you have done for me.

Love, Okamoto

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Just have to share...

Just had to share this short note the Emily posted on her blog. The picture on the left is me and Emily playing the guitar and singing "Called to Serve". The bottom picture is me and the primary kids singing a song I couldn't play on my guitar, so Sister Spencer was playing the piano in the other room. The other picture is the me with the Heaps family singing "If the Savior Stood Beside Me". It was so sweet it was all I could do not to choke up during the song.

Written by Emily: It was fun. I had fun playing the guitar. At the end we got to have cookies! Cambry came, Angie Johnson came and Grandpa and Grandma Heaps, Grandma and Grandpa Whiting,Katie and her dad came and Sister Spencer.

Sister Holladay is my teacher. She played the guitar and I love her.

It was a special program because people got to come and it was at my house.

Awe! Precious!

Dec. 3 note from Zack

Dear mom,

I'm glad you enjoyed your trip over this way. Hope everyone is doing OK.

Elder Okamoto is a phenomenal painter/artist. He likes to paint Jesus. I'll have to take a picture for you some time.

You already got a new stove? lets see... that means that next you're either going to get a new dishwasher, or a new dryer, or a new toilet. My guess is the dishwasher.

Since I've been in NJ, I've sang twice in the Ward Choir. It was fun even though I didn't know my part. I'll probably end up sing twice this month because the priesthood is singing a song and then the ward choir is singing for Christmas as well. I'm not sure which days, but I'm sure it's soon... too soon...

LOL! You painted your room bright green? that would hurt my eyes to wake up to bright green every morning... you are bold...

I love the camera! Its everything I ever wanted! I tried to upload some pictures, but for some reason the computer doesn't like the card. So I tried to print off some pictures at Rite Aid, but it still wouldn't read the card. I think it has something to do with the Card being an SD HC, but I"m not sure. I'll bring the cord next time and see if that works.

Thanks for the packages in advance! The email said it would probably be there today or tomorrow. I think it will be there when we get back home today.

I'm glad I'm not wearing girl slippers either. they were too small. no they weren't pink (much to my dismay), but they were fuzzy and dark blue.

I did receive some letters from Erika the other day. Surprisingly they made me very happy. They brought me a lot of hope, and comfort.

Also, I've begun to learn the Japanese alphabet characters. I can pick out a few, but I've still got a ways to go.

Just a heads up: We might have to move next wednesday, so I might not have time to do emails on Wednesday. Rest assured, I will email you next week.

oh and we gave talks on sunday.

Elder Holladay

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving 2008

Finally! The dishwashing duties fall the the next generation!

Thanks for the pics Carma! You should be able to click on them to make them bigger.
Out of all the wonderful things we had to eat, Spencer could not find one thing he would eat!