Sunday, January 5, 2014

Ye Shall Go to the Ohio

On September 8, 2004 the final episode of the Drew Carey Show was aired and we were reminded for the final time, "Cleveland Rocks". For the next 9 years, Cleveland celebrated one winning season from the Browns, one postseason appearance from the Indians, and the rise and fall of King James. 

Enter Eller Family

Browns are still losing, the Indians lost the wildcard game, and the Cavs are awaiting their new savior. While we may not have reignited the Cleveland fire, we are excited to be here. 2013 was a big year for us. We spent the first half of the year finishing school and finding a job. We landed a good job with the JM Smucker Company. We live about 20 minutes from work in Wooster, where Rubbermaid used to be (although not the official city motto, it seems to stir a lot of emotion). We feel like real adults here. We now have a minivan and a hybrid sedan, I started listening to NPR in the mornings, and are being parented by our toddler. I also dedicated 2 graves and spoke at a funeral while Laura chaperoned at Youth Dances. Seth is also feeling like more of an adult with his red tricycle, Hulk underwear and showers without shampoo. He oft threatens punishment when we don't obey him and seems to always know what is best for Mark. Mark knows all he needs in life is "Dandy" (candy) and his blanket. With Mark in Nursery and Seth in Sunbeams, we no longer have any excuses to skip Sunday School. 
We feel this increase in spiritual feast is enough to justify ending our 18 month cable fast in time for the Smucker Sponsored Winter Olympics and the Politically Plagued World Cup. The only thing better than watching the Winter Olympics is watching all inspirational movies about the winter games. That's right, 32 days of Cool Runnings, Miracle, and D2 Mighty Ducks. 

Laura here: Instead of trying to up Brandon with words, I am doing pictures. I will caption each one and describe our life through them. Hope you're interested in a bunch of pictures, 'cuz here we go! (Which I figure you are because you troubled yourself to see our blog)

July 4th in Orrville, the city where Smucker is headquartered. A great parade, great people, and we got "Dandy." We even got a religious hardback book. Kids sure make you popular at a parade! Brandon also kept yelling, "Candy"--I have three children. 

We thought we would celebrate July 4th by wearing our BYU colors, True Blue!

I found Seth nursing this baby doll at Grandma Packer's house shortly after moving to Ohio. Weird, but funny. We love going to Grandma and Grandpa's house so much, even though Seth thinks they live too far away. He told me we should move closer. 

Mark loves the swings! That was his favorite thing at the playground this year.

Happy on the swings, but then. Oops, and I was taking pictures. He was fine.

In our new house. Seth was talking on the phone one day. He told me to go away because it was a very important phone call. It must have been because I have about 20 shots of this. 

Kirtland Temple with Eller family! Brandon was still at work and the boys took a nap at nearby Grandma Packer's house. It was SO wonderful to have everybody come to visit. The boys and I were very lonely when they left.

Mark and I at the Sacred Grove in Palmyra, New York. We had to leave because he was screaming. Meanwhile, everybody else found the other exit. We took a lot of pictures while waiting...

Nature! We have found many little frogs and birds and bugs around the house. We even had a bird's nest for a while by the front door. One day I went to check on it and the baby birds flew/fell out. I tried to get them all back in but every time I put one in, another would "fly" out. I felt horrible. I will now leave nature alone.

Seth and his buddy Hallie being super heroes. (Notice the Spiderman shirt--he wears it a lot so it is in multiple pictures. I have to fight to get him into something different every day.)

Brandon and I at an Indians game. They actually won it in 11 innings, but we were long gone by then (work night). We had suite seats from the company and really enjoyed ourselves. Felt like real adults. 

Seth and his hero. But he wouldn't talk to him or smile for the picture. He was a very nice Spiderman. This picture was at Octoberfest that Wooster holds every year. It is an amazing community with great events. Seth got to do everything he wanted to without too much hassle. I'm loving the accessibility of being involved here. They even have free concerts in the summer in the square downtown. It's not too crowded for us to go and we really enjoy them. 


We had some friends stay over during Conference Weekend and it was so much fun. Seth got to try on Christian's helmet. Then he got some crazy rash. Thanks a lot Christian!

Once our awesome people left, the crazies came (October, week 2). Yes, the Bokish family arrived. We fed and housed them and got this lousy picture to prove it. They really liked my parents, but I don't know if we'll ever see them again. One thing's for sure, we definitely had an exciting time with them! (more to come on that)
If you are considering coming to visit us, please talk with the Bokishes. They can vouch for how gracious of hosts we are (hopefully).

Family pictures (October, week 3)!! Our wonderful friend took these for us on a bleak looking Saturday in October. We were very blessed that it did not rain and our kids held up in the sad weather. It made for some beautiful fall pictures though. And we got a couple of smiles...

Mark was still pretty solemn when these were taken, so it was a miracle to catch this great shot of his sweet smile! 

Couldn't get this one to stay still or serious enough, so this will have to do.

Football season (Fall 2013)!  These wonderful girls came with me to watch our friend play in the Marching Band for her high school. It was Johanna's birthday too! 
We had a blast and we didn't lose any fingers or toes to the cold either! Love these Young Women! 

Our group huddling up together. Marching Band rules!

Halloween, 2013. Seth wanted to be Ninja Turtle or Spiderman. Since there are four ninja turtles I thought that would be fun. We had a blast making these costumes and they're sturdy enough that they can last for some serious ninja fights as well. If you don't know which one each of us are, call us up and Seth will tell you.

One of the wonderful miracles of moving back to Ohio is the people. These people are incredible! And I keep running into people I know! One of my BYU roommates, Carrie, lived in the Akron Stake. I didn't realize when I moved here that I was moving into the same stake. Then I saw her mom in church within two months of moving to the Wooster ward. There she was, sitting on the foyer couch. And we've seen each other many times since. It has been wonderful to catch up with them and hear all about Carrie and her siblings. I have met up with a former Stake Young Women's leader in similar circumstances. The Lord knows where we are and I am grateful for the wonderful boosts these connections have given me. We also have a friend that we met in Raleigh whose father is our Stake President. Wonderful blessings and people! I am thankful for the faithful lives the saints lead that reach out to so many, including myself.

True Blue as we are, we couldn't miss the BYU vs. Notre Dame game (November 23). It was only four hours away! We got some great tickets and went with my Dad and a friend from NC State. We had a blast! A friend in Wooster ward was at the game too and gave us a lengthy tour of campus. People were very friendly and (to be totally honest) it was my first tailgating experience. (I was always too busy to go early to a game. I rarely, if ever, saw the kick off.) 
We enjoyed the Grotto and Cathedral on campus; a very neat experience.

Us at the game. I don't think I have ever been so cold.

Thanksgiving weekend we spent with my aunt in New York. I didn't get a single decent picture, sorry. But we had a great time with them! And a day later, I had my high school reunion (November 30). It was really great to see friends again, many of whom I hadn't seen since high school. What a great bunch!

Christmas! Our first Christmas on our own. Seth really got into Santa and here is the plate we left for him. He and the reindeer ate EVERYTHING. We got to pick traditions and timing and it all worked out very nicely. We had pizza for dinner, a talent show, thought of gifts to give Jesus this year and called it a night. Oh, and Santa's elves left a note that said we could open one present early before bed. Seth stayed up for a bit after; luckily Santa didn't come for a while.

We took a lot of videos Christmas morning and no pictures! Here is our evening with friends and missionaries. We did dinner and then had a nativity! It was really fun and helped focus the day back onto Christ. All in all, a wonderful and enjoyable Christmas. 

Seth and his pizza mess on Christmas Eve

Mark and his cuteness (edited for content)

We loved our time in Raleigh and miss our friends there very much. We feel very blessed to be here in Wooster and love the smaller community. We are surrounded by farms and beautiful country. Our house is by the College of Wooster (we always seem to be by some great school wherever we live) and the houses in our neighborhood are their own tourist attraction. 
Brandon is enjoying his job and is learning a great deal. Smucker is a great company and treats its employees so well; we really appreciate finding this company. 
We have made some great friends through church and in the community. We had a Cafe Rio night and Christmas Party recently and enjoy the space this house gives us to have people in our home. 
On to my major plug...we hope you will feel the call to come to Kirtland and visit! If you have never been here, now is the time. Or, come again. We are happy to host, house and feed anyone who makes the trip. It is a wonderful place, a sacred place, an important place. Don't miss it! 

This is the big news for the end of the year.

In case the last picture didn't clarify, there will be another set of shoes coming to join us. June 2014. The boys are very excited. We are too.
We found out the weekend that the Bokish family was in town. Quite a memorable experience and hopefully we didn't scare them away. We were grateful they were here though.

We love this picture we took in our neighborhood! And it is a fitting picture to end on. Eller family out! 
PS, much love and best wishes in the New Year


  1. What a great family!! Congratulations on your newest addition. Hope pregnancy treats you well Laura so you can have the energy to keep up with those handsome little guys. We miss and love you guys and wish you all the very best!

  2. Congratulations on the new addition! How exciting! Do you know the gender yet?
    Come visit if you're ever in DC!