Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Too busy living life to blog about it!

Sorry I haven't posted most of December and January! Life has been so full and busy that I haven't given myself permission to sit down to blog about it.

Hoping to do it soon!
Love, Debi

Friday, January 9, 2009

Happy New Year

January 2009

We decided to start out the New Year of 2009 by writing a New Years Letter to you to let you know that we are thinking of you and to thank you for letting us hear from you recently during Christmas time. We love staying in touch with friends and family and hope we can always remain close through this wonderful tradition.
Last year, 2008, was a full and learning year for John and me. John served my family and learned what it means to be the Executor of a Trust and Estate as he fulfilled that assignment well for my mom and dad, who have both now passed away. There were ups and downs with grieving for them and taking care of all the paper work, filing taxes, distributing their belongings and selling their house in Mesa, Arizona, but with the wonderful support and help of my siblings, we made it through a challenging process. He was a tremendous support to me, as I not only lost my mother December 2008, but by February, I had lost my last my paternal grandpa and my maternal grandma and a special Uncle and Great Aunt. Attending so many funerals at the end of last year and beginning of this year caused much reflection and appreciation for our Heavenly Father’s plan for us and for eternal families. Our testimony of the Restored Church of Jesus Christ in these latter-days has only been strengthened and renewed. We are grateful for the Temples where we can go to seal families together forever. We know He loves each one of us, His children, and that He sent His son to teach us how to live and love and serve each other, and we know because of Jesus Christ, we can all live again.
John and I had changes come to us in our service in the church. After his serving for over 5 years on the High Council, and me serving the Young Women of our Stake, we were both released this summer. I was able to still participate in our Youth Conference and Stake Girls Camp before the changes came. We love the youth and still get to enjoy them, but in a different way. John was called and ordained to the office of Patriarch. His first comment when the call came was, “I’m not old enough!” to which he was told by our Stake President that you have to be at least 55 and John was 57, so that wasn’t a valid excuse J. He humbly accepted the call and has moved forward in faith. I am privileged to serve as his transcriber, to type up the blessings, and we enjoy the sweet Spirit in our home more than ever before. It is such an honor of having the recipients of these blessings come into our home, and to recognize what wonderful people are in our midst.
In November we were also called into the Bishops office and asked to serve as the Nursery leaders in our ward primary. (I think mostly because our oldest daughter, Kirsten is the Primary President…she knew that this has been John’s dream calling since we can remember!) So, we enjoy serving every Sunday together in the Nursery with the little ones 18 months to 3 years. It takes a lot of energy but we hope we can keep up. He enjoys getting on the floor to play cars and trucks with the boys and he is great at the play doh table! Often, he gives two Patriarchal Blessings before or after church, so our lives are full of good things. John also loves the opportunity of serving as a coordinator for the ordinance workers in the Los Angeles Temple every Tuesday afternoon/evening. He still works full days and many hours to keep our two stores running, but is grateful to be able to leave them when he needs to for church or family.
We were very actively involved in campaigning for Proposition 8 here in California this past election season, despite much opposition. From our experiences of standing on street corners, phone calling, putting flyers on doors and donating money to a cause we feel very strongly about, we gained a greater appreciation for the blessing it is to live in this choice country where we can stand up for the morals and our belief in traditional marriage and family and then go to the polls to freely vote for those beliefs.
Our own family is growing and multiplying very fast. We now have 6 of our 9 children married and they are all having children of their own. By March of this year, we will have 14 grandchildren. Our three unmarried children are Steffen (starting his 2nd year of serving as a fulltime missionary in Washington DC South Mission), Mette, our 19 year old daughter, who just finished her Esthetician Program and earned her California State License to practice in that field. She is attending Ventura College this coming semester and works part time. She has aspirations of attending BYU in the future, but for now we love having her here with us and enjoy the beautiful person, inside and out, that she has become. Hans, as I mentioned, is in 4th grade and keeps us young at heart. He is an active little guy, involved in Cub Scouts, (this month he and his dad are working on his pinewood derby car) sports, music lessons and of course, video games!
We were blessed to enjoy all of our children, their spouses and children (except Steffen, of course) during the holidays at one time or another and we ate many meals together, played games, enjoyed outings such as sailing, motorcycle dirt bike riding, walks on the beach, jigsaw puzzles, watching movies and other activities together during the last 2 weeks of December. It wasn’t uncommon to have 25 or more at our home at once. All the grandchildren are younger than our Hans, who is now 9 years old, so you can imagine the “energy” in our house! I wish at times like this we had a bigger home, but I’m grateful they want to be here with each other. We are rich with family, if in no other way! Yesterday was our last big fling this holiday season, with those who could, going to Disneyland together. We had to laugh at one point when John and I stayed off the “Indiana Jones” ride to take care of the little ones who couldn’t go on the ride. Else stayed behind with us since she is 7 months pregnant. You should have seen the looks Else got as she was pushing a double stroller with two little ones, I followed with a 3 year old and John had a double stroller with 2 little ones. We looked so funny maneuvering through people to keep all these little guys happy…it was a picture!
We have had some wonderful times this past year and also many growing times, as well. We look forward with hope for the New Year and all it will bring. We have hopes of celebrating John’s parent’s 95th and 90th birthdays, as well as their 70th anniversary during one big celebration this year. We’re grateful to have them here in Camarillo with us still for as long as the Lord permits!

Happy New Year and lots of love to each of you!

John and Debi, Mette and Hans Lassen

Steffen’s address is: Elder Steffen Lassen
Washington DC South Mission
5242 Lyngate Ct.
Burke, VA 22015-2234
(Until he comes home Dec. 19, 2009)