texas time! my brother returns home from his mission!

 Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I was SO stoked to see my brother Peter return home from his Scotland/Ireland mission for the LDS church!
It was amazing to see him and spend time with the rest of my family as well. Not to mention, my family moved back to McKinney, so it really did feel like visiting home. The festivities of my brother's return and our short trip to Texas are as follows:

1. Fakkel Family Barbecue!
I wasn't able to greet Pete at the airport when he returned home, so having a BBQ was the next best thing! We had hotdogs, bbq chicken, corn on the cob, loaded baked potato salad, sour cream and onion chips, and grandpa's chocolate chip cookies! 

The recipe for this Loaded Baked Potato Salad can be found here.

2. Texas Temple Trip!
My family and I had the opportunity to all attend the Dallas temple together to do the temple ordinances for my great grandmother "Gray Nana" who passed away just a little over 1 year ago. It was so incredibly special to be a part of this and to have my whole family there (minus James, he was still in AZ taking finals). Piper & Peter performed the baptism, Dad did the confirmation, I did the initiatory and the endowment as well as the sealing to her husband, and my Nana was sealed to her parents. We were at the temple from 2-7 and it was a very spiritual and humbling experience to be in the temple as a family performing temple ordinances for our own ancestors (we did more family names too). For more information about temples and temple ordinances, visit here and here.
3. Olive Garden for Dinner
After we attended the temple together, we went to Olive Garden for din din! Yummy breadsticks, soup and salad, and chocolate mints after a wonderful time at the temple was the perfect ending of a perfect day.
4. Shopping with the girls.
I love shopping with my mom and sister. We always have such a fun time! We got some cute jewelry, ran errands, and shopped till we dropped at the Allen Outlets. Mom bought me a graduation gift at COACH which I will reveal in a different blog post!
 Pi & I at Hobby Lobby on this  super cute couch!
 Mom says, "Who does this remind you of?" Only us Fakkel ladies know who!
Lovely purple furniture at Kroger Marketplace
Can you believe they sell this at Kroger? So cute.
5. Family Pictures
Wowza the wind was blowing like CRAZYYYY on the day of our family pictures. It was a gorgeous sunny day, but oh so very windy. Mom and I curled our hair...you can't even tell! James flew in just hours before the pictures too! If we all look wind-blown and red-eyed from allergies in these pictures, it's because we were very wind-blown with allergy-looking eyes. At least we were all together after 2 years! Also, I can't decide which ones are the best...
6. Peter's Mission Homecoming Talk
Hands down THE BEST TALK I HAVE EVER HEARD IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. Nana says that Pete is "headed to Salt Lake" as a general authority sometime in his life. Seriously. This kid could win public speaking awards. The high councilman was supposed to speak as well, but he never showed up! So former Elder Fakkel spoke for the entire hour! He had 10 bullet points as his "notes." He spoke so eloquently that you'd think he rehearsed it because it sounded like an extemporaneous speech but it was basically an impromptu speech because he didn't even write the talk. You would think that he would use a lot of "ahs" and "ums" but noooo of course not, he sounded so organized, with no "ahs" or "ums" and the content of his talk was so mature and gospel oriented. I learned SO much. Everything he talked about was intelligent and brought the spirit. He spoke with such clarity. It was if he was STILL a missionary, not just a returned one. He basically is the coolest returned missionary I have ever met. Can you tell that I am proud of my younger bro? I looked around the congregration to see if it was just me who thought this talk was the bomb.com, but almost every person in the congregation had their eyes glued to my bro and the bishopric kept nodding their heads in agreement. Also, if I was in young women's and not related to my bro I would be drooling. This lad was glowing with happiness and with the Spirit and had on his posh European suit and "mission" tie from Scotland! So cute. I am so very proud of you Pete! You rocked your homecoming talk! Love you! P.S. It was also a special day because we were all here to witness my other awesome brother Chandler be ordained to the office of a priest. YOU ARE SO FANTASTIC CHAN, I AM SO PROUD OF YOU! LOVE YOU TONS!
Here are some pics of us after church. 
Handsome Scottish Lad!
7. Peter's Homecoming Open House
Yummy yummy food! Glorious food! We had so much! There were croissants, meats & cheeses, salsa & tortilla chips, onion dip & potato chips, fruit salad, veggie platter, cheese & crackers, cookies, cupcakes, banana bread, and totally delicious cake balls. After an afternoon at church, we had people come over to welcome Peter home and see his awesome Scotland/Ireland mission mementos. Thanks to everyone who came!
Food Galore
Pete's Friends
Scotland/Ireland mementos

LOVE his scripture cover!
 Dad talking to some of the guests
Brotherly love.
Chan & his friends
 My parents' friends drove all the way from Houston to see Peter's talk & come to the open house. 
 Pretty momma with her diet coke talking to a lady in their ward.
 How to Treat Your Wife sounds sweet until you read the end...haha.
 coolest ties ever.
 slideshow of Pete's mission pics
 James & Pi hanging with Nans & Gramps
 Nans & Gramps' good friends The Kovach's.
 Look who came to see us! I love me some Brielle & Breck! Reunion! Thanks so much for coming!
BLAKE!!! My first Texas friend. I consider him family! So happy he came!

Best. Trip. Ever. 
I love my family.


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