Friday, February 26, 2010

Elder Smartiepants

Elder Smart had his first transfer this last week since arriving in the mission field. He is now in Jacksonville a mere 5 hours from my DC! Intent on learning a little more about Jacksonville, NC; a city Shea claims to be a thriving metropolis compared to the trailer park he was living in before. Here are a few fun facts about Jacksonville:

-As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 66,715 people living in Jacksonville

-The racial makeup of the city was 63.94% White, 23.96% African American, 0.75% Native American, 2.07% Asian, 0.19% Pacific Islander, 5.42% from other races, and 3.67% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.05% of the population.

- The median age was 22 years. Jacksonville has been named the youngest city in the nation (lowest median age) on various lists. For every 100 females there were 156.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 178.6 males [maybe I should move there :)].

-The median income for a household in the city was $32,544, and the median income for a family was $33,763. About 12.5% of families and 14.1% of the population were below the poverty line.

We love getting his weekly letters and hearing about all of his adventures. He is growing and changing and has already had the opportunity to be a senior companion. I know Shea's two sisters pictured below are extremely proud of the example he is setting.

Other family members can expect to find incriminating photos of themselves here if their posts continue to be scarce:)

Friday, February 5, 2010


People in the DC metropolitan area are actually using this phrase in reference to the pending snow storm headed toward the mid Atlantic this weekend. And I thought the Smart family was dramatic! The past two days at work conversations have been inundated with weather updates, snow predictions, and basic end of the world preparations. I don't think any of my coworkers have ever seen a UT winter. On average I have received 15-20 daily emails related to this upcoming storm. I wanted to share a few actual emails send around this week from concerned co workers:

I do not want to freak out anyone. A friend of a friend of mine, who works for the National Weather Bureau, said that around 3 feet of snow is expected over Friday and Saturday. She said that the Bureau is not announcing the news as they do not want to freak out people. I hope the Weather Bureau is wrong, but who knows mother nature's plans... So, stock up and be prepared to shovel..."

"Thanks so much. Please go home before it starts snowing"

"A friend passed along this extremely helpful sight regarding the approaching snowstorm."

"Please be aware of inclement weather "

"With reference to the severe weather condition tomorrow, I would like to request permission to work from home tomorrow"

Subject: Inclement Weather Response in the Washington, DC Area for Friday, February 5, 2010
As you may know, current weather forecasts for tomorrow predict a severe snow storm in the Washington, D.C., area beginning late in the morning and continuing into Saturday. Out of concern for employee safety and to help alleviate traffic concerns Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has provided the following guidance to Federal agencies for their non emergency employees."

Other snow storm terms used by my more snow savvy friends: SSS(Super Snowy Sunday) and snOw M G

The federal government is shutting down today at 1pm and that means an early release for me! It is sad to say that I have the same school kid giddiness I had when school was cancelled. Since we just moved and still do not have Internet and cable set up, we decided to spend the weekend doing home projects and finishing up some unpacking. We ran a few errands last night in preparation, and the grocery store had an eerie end of the world feeling--seriously. Everyone was stocking up on the necessities and the lines were backed up half way through the stores. The news stations were updating which stores were out of things like bread, milk, and sugar. My predictions is it won't be that bad--I am looking forward to a weekend stuck at home with a warm fire!