Thursday, January 1, 2009

Summer? What summer? Not to mention Fall...

Wow. It can't already be Jan '09. But it is. Ok, so we're slackers when it comes to keeping up our blog. Thought about making a New Year's resolution to do better, but who's that gonna fool (what's your last New Year's resolution that made it past Valentines Day)?

Options? One mega-long post. Odds of anyone reading through that: 'bout zero. Real quick update with links to others' blogs who have done better at keeping up. Sounds like the better option. So, here we go...

Important stuff first. Jake: We may be completely biased, first-time grandparents and all, but I defy you to find a cuter kid (until next May when Nathan and Jessica have their first baby--then he'll have some competition).

We got to see Jake several times after he was born.

Kristie came with Jake and visited us in August (more here), and then we made a trek out to Utah over Thanksgiving week.

And by "trek," I mean we drove out and back. No, we're not nuts (well, at least not based on driving out to Utah); we'd been having a pretty hard year with David and weren't really sure if we could leave him or not. So, rather than book flights (which were outrageously expensive that week), we opted to drive--straight through--in case we needed to change plans at the last minute. As it turned out, thanks to great friends who watched David for us and urged us to go, we made the trip out and back with no problem.

Finally, Wes, Kristie, and Jake conspired with me to surprise Sabine and come out for Christmas, arriving just in time for Christmas Eve. And she was surprised (nothing quite so great as a real good surprise). Check out the video here.

During the summer months, we made a trip to Germany (along with Nathan and Jessica) while Sydney stayed home and wrestled with David (aka, Dr Jekyl and Mr Hyde--picture at left is Dr. Jekyl). For more details of her adventures, go here.

Of course we visited lots of family and friends, but the best part of the trip? No speed limit and our sporty rental car (hey, Sabine may disagree, but I'm posting this entry).

There was also some fun and excitement that had to do with riding horses, but that's a whole separate blog entry. Suffice it to say, Sabine rode like Calamity Jane but now isn't sure if she'll ever ride again (had something to do with all the physical therapy that followed).

For more details than I care to recount about our Germany trip, check out Jessica's extensive trip-log here.

So, that's about it for now. Stay tuned for more--frequent--updates and hope you all had a great holiday and the best of everything in the coming year!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Let the Spoiling begin!!!

April 26th 2008, just a few days after his dad graduated from BYU, Jacob Rulon Hurst was born and we officially became grand parents for the first time. Most of you already know this, especially if you looked at Facebook (which we did update right away) and our kids' blogs. Sorry, it's taken us sooo long to catch up with our blog. I was hoping Ralph would take on the task in his "spare time", but it became apparent that wasn't gonna happen in the next few years, so here I am, doing the best I can. :o)

The picture above was one of the first shots of Jake taken by our daughter Sydney, who was the photographer shortly after his delivery. Even though we didn't get to see our grandson until a week later, we were super happy that all three of our daughters got to share this awesome event. Jessica, as most of you know, was the labor and delivery nurse. Even though she has helped with so many deliveries already, since she graduated from BYU Dec 2006, to bring her nephew Jake into the world, was definitely a highlight for her.

We couldn't wait to fly out to Utah and see everyone in person, congratulate the brand new parents and hold our little Jacob for the first time. Let the spoiling begin!!

Coincidentally this was also the week for us to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. We couldn't think of a better gift.

Kristie and Wes are doing a terrific job being first-time parents. They have adjusted well to all the accompanying hurdles (i.e., sleep deprivation) while Wes started a new job and then, to make sure things didn't get boring, they packed up and moved from their small apartment into a brand-new home in Salem UT, which they'll take care of for Wes' parents who are away in Thailand for the next two years or so. What a blessing it is for the young family to live there! In fact, the only drawback is that they're now about 25 min away from Jessica and Nathan, whereas before they were literally three doors away from a professional nurse/sister and all the help that she could give the new mom.

Of course, that was all going to change sooner or later anyway since Nathan and Jessica are preparing to move to Arizona when Nathan begins Dental School in the Fall. Before that move happens, we'll get to see Jessica and Nathan again when we go together for a short trip to Germany.

As for little Jake, we're looking forward to seeing him again when he comes for a visit this August. We think his mom his coming too, but we're mostly just interested in seeing Jake (jk)...
(NOTE: The preceding sarcasm was inserted by G-Pa). In the meantime, we're seeing and talking to our family in Utah nearly every day (sometimes several times a day) thanks to the wonders of iChat.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

The Two+ Year Update

Hi friends and family! As most of you know, we’ve had a couple of kids get married the past two years, but we thought maybe we’d finally drop a line to fill in some of the other blanks of what’s going on with the Schindler family.

Jessica and Nathan (Larson) both graduated from BYU in Dec 2006, which was just about one month before their wedding in the Washington DC Temple. Since that time, Jessica started working as a labor and delivery nurse, primarily at Orem Community hospital, which just happens to be the hospital she was born in—just another one of life’s fun little ironies. Nathan has been working as a Tech at Utah Valley hospital and will start dental school this summer.

Kristie and Wesley (Hurst), married in Dec 2005 at the Bountiful Utah Temple, are also still living in Provo while Wes finishes his Business degree at BYU while adding a few other classes in anticipation of applying to dental school later this year. After getting married, Kristie decided to follow her dream and enrolled in Paul Mitchell Hair Design School, from which she graduated in June 2007. Since that time, she’s been working at an Aveda salon in Orem, UT. They’re pretty excited (as are we) to be expecting their first baby—and our first grandchild—in April 2008. Oh, and it’s a boy. :o)

Sydney graduated from High School last year and couldn’t wait to get out to BYU in the Fall, where she’s decided to major in Photography and minor in Illustration. It’s been fun for the three sisters to be together in Provo since Fall 2007. Sydney’s enjoyed getting to know (harass?) her new brother-in-laws, who also keep an eye on her and make sure she doesn’t date any slackers. They also don’t seem to mind mooching off her Dining Plus card whenever they get a chance. :o) When she’s home for the summer, she works full-time providing respite care for her brother David as well as another physically handicapped young woman from our area.

David turns 18 this April. Even if we didn’t know that from his birth certificate, we could guess his age pretty close by the amount of food he consumes on a daily basis. David is a pretty happy kid. He’s grown a bit taller than his mom, not quite as tall as his dad, has the energy (and strength) of a teenager, and gets into everything like a toddler. At times, that makes for a dreadful combination, but it’s always an adventure. We’re grateful for the progress he’s made in the past two years, particularly with potty training, and his general cooperation and understanding have grown to the point that we can go a lot more places and do many more things together with him. Having David around has also made our transition into the “empty nest” phase of our lives much easier.

Sabine finished her stint as ward Relief Society president after only 18 months. It wasn’t the constant turn-over in the ward, nor was it the juggling of church responsibilities with being wedding coordinator for both Jessica and Kristie that finally did her in. It was simply time to be released when they called Ralph to be the Bishop. Now she just continues to stay busy helping others, teaching piano, teaching music at the Fredericksburg Preschool (going on her 10th year), working as a consultant for Heritage Makers (, taking care of David, and serving as the Scout Committee chair as well as Ward Historian.

Ralph finally retired from the US Air Force in Jan 2006 and co-founded System High Corporation (, which is doing well going into its third year of operation. Serving as Bishop while trying to help build a growing company has been challenging, but with great counselors and other strong leaders in the ward serving in key positions, it’s worked out just fine.

We’re so grateful for the many blessings we’ve been given. Most of all we’re grateful for our testimony of Jesus Christ and the perspective that gives us on everything else in our lives. We’re also grateful for friends and family who have kept in touch over the years (even when we’ve been slackers at times) and are always happy to hear from you. We’ve resolved to do better in the future, and with the ease of blogging, we decided that might be the best way to keep you abreast all through the year of what’s new in our family. We’ll still occasionally send out a letter, but if you’re ever interested, pop on over to for the latest and greatest (if you’re reading this online, you obviously have already found our blog!).

Looking forward to many exciting and great things in the coming year and can’t wait to hear from all of you again!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Yet Another Form of Communication

So we're blogging now. Jessica convinced us that it was a good idea. The more 'sophisticated' way to communicate (when compared to facebook, etc.). We'll see how well we can keep this up. Stay tuned :)