Tuesday, February 24, 2009

GiRL MeeTs bOy!

Girl meets boy, February 22, 1985

I tell this story at the risk of really dating myself...but here goes anyway!

24 years ago I returned home from serving an LDS mission in the Philippines, I was suppose to return home on December 14, but ended up coming home the first of February and was able to travel home with my second companion (who I served 9 months with). My home was in Portland Oregon, my companion (pictured with me below) Carilyn is from Ogden Utah.
I had only been home a couple of days when Carilyn called to tell me her father was in the hospital, he had suffered a heart attack. She really wanted me to meet him, so we made arrangements for her to travel to Oregon to meet my family and I would return with her to Ogden to meet her family, especially her father.
Long story short, while I was in Ogden I got a tooth ache (I had lost a filling in the Philippines and opted to wait until I got home to fix it, given the fact that I never ran in to a dentist while I was there). Anyway, it was a Saturday afternoon and Carilyn called her Uncle who was a dentist and asked if there was anything he could do, being the incredible kind man that he was he agreed to meet us at his dental office (on Madison Avenue, this is where our first daughter got her name).
Carilyn's uncle brought with him to the office, his beautiful wife, Sharyl (and yes, we both share the same name now, spelled different, but still the same), and his son Darren, he brought his son to be his dental assistant (and no my husband did not become a dentist, he is an airline pilot, in fact I can't think of another time in which Darren ever helped out at the dental office...hmmm). For me it was love at first sight, for Darren, maybe not love at first sight, you know the whole suction, dental thing....But for the sake of keeping this story short, I will just say that it was only 9 short months later that we were married. Today actually marks our first official date 24 years ago. We went skiing, all day! Darren had recently returned from serving an LDS mission as well, he had served in Bolivia! We both LOVED the time we spent serving missions, and we loved sharing stories...
So 24 years later, 6 kids, a cat (who died), a dog and a huge mortgage we are still going strong. Life has not always been easy and we have faced our share of bumps in the road, but the older I get the more firmly I believe that I found my soul mate in every way.
Darren is a quite reserved kind of guy, he is the youngest of a family of four children, by four years. I am in the middle of 13 children, I don't really have to say more (although I will mention the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding, it is similar to our lives). I appreciate how supportive Darren has always been, we have had four of my sisters live with us, spanning about 5 years, we had a niece for another 18 months, a younger brother for a summer and myriads of house guests every year. When one of my sisters graduated from college (here in Utah) we had 20 house guests in our 2100 square foot home, it was crazy, but so much fun!!
Darren is also one of the most honest people I know! He is kind, gentle and trust worthy he is extremely hard working, and most of all he is a family man, he loves his children and when his crazy wife approached him about adopting a little boy from Haiti, even though we already had
five children, he was on board all the way!!
I am so grateful that I served a mission, met Carilyn, came to Utah, met my husband and have the wonderful life I have today! Darren is not a man of many words but his smile says so much about what he feels, and I am grateful after 24 years we are both still smiling!

Chareyl Gentry in the Philippines
(this is where our oldest son Gentry got his name)

Chareyl and Carilyn in Japan on our way home from the Philippines

Darren and Chareyl, met February 22, 1985
Married September 10, 1985
Love at first sight is easy to understand; it's when two people have been looking at each other for a lifetime that it becomes a miracle.
Amy Bloom

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Okay, so I know I haven't posted in a long time so this is long over due!!
Some of you may know that I tend to tease a little about the fact that all six of my children still live at home, and they are costing me an arm and a leg...Truth is, I love having them all home and I appreciate what great kids they are. No they aren't perfect and thankfully neither are their parents, but we love them just the same!
For Christmas this year our kids made Darren and I a video, it was the greatest Christmas gift we could have received. It was set to music and had a little interview from each child and then photos of them from the time they were little, it included family trips and great times together! Robby LOVES to watch it and probably would watch it every day if we let him. He will say "lets all watch our happy family movie".
Then just a couple days ago I returned from a trip to Haiti, I left all my adult children in charge, especially since their dad has a pretty full schedule. When I walked in the door, the house was completely in order! I didn't get home until after midnight so the house was quite and everyone was in bed. I was standing in the clean kitchen looking around and feeling blessed (and very impressed), there were little notes on the counter welcoming me home, one very cute one written by Robby (with a little help from his sister Madi) telling me how much he missed me, and then I looked over at the fridge where one of my girls had written a quote in very nice print, like a poster, it read "Be the change you wish to see in the world" (by Ghandi)I was so touched by this! What wonderful examples my children are to me..We all need to be the change we wish to see in the world.
So I wanted to post some of my favorite photos of my kids that were taken during the holidays. To Gentry, Sterling, Madi, Chloe, Grayson and Robby, Thanks so much for your support and helping when I am out of the country. You are the best kids a mom could ask for! Love you tons!!

"Be the Change you Wish to see in the World"