Tuesday, June 30, 2009



Man what a long flight from Anchorage to Dallas! I did not get much sleep. Sammy John, Eldon, and MOmma came to pick me up from the airport. It was sooo good to see them.

We then went to lunch with all the siblings except our Florida resident brother Justin. It was good to be in the same place with them. I love talking on Skype with them but in person is best.

I got to take a nap, worked out, then had FHE with the family. Momma made my favorite her lasagna.

I played outside with the kiddos. We went on rides on the Ranger. I LOVE LOVE LOVE to ride on ATv's. I was having as much fun as they were.

Stayed over at Jared and Ann Maries but on the Trampoline with Sam, Emily, and Cole. It was perfect weather for it. It was so nice to see the sun go down. I love the AK sunshine but sometimes it is a wee bit annoying to have sunlight coming in your room at 3 am when the sun is coming up. I had a great time looking at the stars and telling them stories. Emily had a lot of questions about what are stars? how do you get there? what is a falling star? who lives up in the stars? She is so dang cute!! I am pretty sure the information I gave her was not 100% accurate but it was sufficient for her.

Today I went to lunch with Janeen and Momma at La Huerta my favorite Mexican place. We had a good time. Me and Momma went to buy some fabric for a new temple bag one that will keep my dress a little more unwrinkled than my current one. I am excited and we found patterns to sew new temple dresses and some sweet white fabric that won't wrinkle. YAY!!

I am having a great time enjoying the family and holding all these babies. I love it. I can't wait to do this full time. I love teaching but I was made to be a momma.

We leave tomorrow for Florida to see Justin, Amanda, and baby Kade. Amanda is expecting a baby girl in September. We are all so excited to see her and add some more girls to the family.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Beth's Wedding - Seward Whale Cruise- Friends

So yeah a lot going on right now. I have been super dooper busy!! But I like it that way. I have had a wedding, a road trip, and out of town friends visiting.

Beth's wedding was really good...on the 19th. She looked amazing and James forgot his tux it was funny but did not ruin anything because the most important thing was that the were sealed together for all time and eternity in a House of the Lord. The sealer -President Owen did not have any real words of advice for them so that was different than any other sealing I have been to. For all you who are not LDS..we believe that families can be together forever -even after you are dead. That marriage can be more than ' 'til death do us part." That Christ gave this power or authority to Peter to "seal"on earth and that it was restored through the prophet Joseph Smith.

The reception was amazing. The gym looked like a magical garden. My friend Nicole and Kim were driving her car and it got decorated with all the newly wed stuff and we had to drive it an hour back into Anchorage. It was hilarious!! We got some very funny looks the three of us in that

The last three pictures were from the Powerline trail. It was so beautiful the day we went up there. Flowers blooming, a stream gurgling, and birds chirping and lots of Alaska sunshine!!!

Seward was fun. Me and Kim went on the Kenai Fjords Tour. We saw some amazing marine wildlife. I really wanted to see an orca. I had no such luck but we did see a humpback whale and some other really great stuff. Nicole went on a deep sea fishing excursion and barfed the entire time poor thing...we did get a nice fish fry out of the deal. We were starved and got some food at this place in Seward me and Nicole shared the Alaskan dinner for two at a sweet 25.50 and then we got the bill and it was 60.00 bucks. Apparently it was 25 per person. That was kinda funny! We slept in the car...won't be doing that again anytime soon.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Sweet Temple Blessings

Summer time shot with the addition
Winter pic before they enclosed the stairs.
So since General Conference I have been trying to attend the temple weekly. Thursday night have been the night that we- me and a few friends- go. Thursdays in June are our month to help clean as well.

I couldn't find my recommend..I had it out to order something ..imagine me loosing something. I know hard to do. Ha ha ha I did eventually find it but I missed the six pm session. So I took a spin down the Turnagain Arm sooo gorgeous. Nothing like being out in God's creation to prep you for the temple. I went and sat in the Celestial room waiting for my friends to come through while I was in there. I saw two sisters talking they were I'd say in there late 50 early 60's and then their Mother came through for her first time as they embraced and talked I could tell they were her daughters. Then a pregnant grand-daughter came into the mix. I was so touched by the spirit of this family. All these women who were there in the temple together there they were with a baby in the pre-earth life and several generations there. Their Joy was palpable; I was not the only misty eye in that celestial room. With the Great grandma with the wrinkly hand putting her hand on the granddaughters belly and embracing her daughters it was JOYOUS!!!!!

Then my friend came through and it was good to see her and embrace someone and explain why I missed the session... I would have been a nutso to go hug this cute family..I love hugs..so good to feel so secure and safe..I know I am such a girl sometimes.

Laney, my friend, went to do initatories and I went and did sealings. This family came in and the Mother of the bunch the 80 year old was sealed to her parents and then they did some other family ordinances. It was sooo moving!!! I am glad that I was able to be present. I know how I long for my family both the ones in Arkansas and my eternal family. It really made me want to get into some McKinney family history. As I was seeing this 80 year old woman with her sweet daughters and granddaughters pondering if I would ever be blessed enough to have that kind of posterity I was reassured that I have already been promised those blessings. I just need to believe Him that He WILL provide when I am ready and when the time is ready.

Cleaning the temple was really neat esp. after hearing from Doug Green -who is the architect for the mini temples -about some of the symbolism in our specific temple; as Bro. Green is an Alaskan. It was neat to look for them and to see them. Me and our Elders Quorum president were on trash detail. After we finished I was given the assignment of brushing the carpet in the celestial room so that there would be no footprints or markings from the vacuum so that the only footprints that could be found there are those of whose House the Temple is. It was a really neat opportunity. I am getting to know lots of the temple workers who work on Thursday nights they are so cute!

Needless to say I LOVE the temple and being in the temple it makes me want to honor my covenants and be better than who I currently am. I have made serious promises to be who I promised to be at baptism. I am so thankful that Heavenly Father is so willing to help me on my journey back to His presence. He moves to grant me his grace at my first intimations of repentance (paraphrase from Joseph Smith manual lesson 34ish on forgiveness). I love the Spirit and am going to do better at inviting Him into my life and recognizing Him. Driving home I realized all this happened on Jared's and Jack's birthday. Awe.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

New McKinney Baby! Jack Benson McKinney

Looks like Jared to me...8lbs 10oz 19.5 inches...chubby little guy with dark hair.

Emily Rae looks so happy in this picture..Jack was born on Jared's 30th Birthday!! =0)

The Jared and Ann Marie children. Emily, Cole, Luke, and Jack

Just want to wish Jared a happy birthday. He has always been a great big brother he would play barbies with me and I would play Heman with him. I remember going to the pool with him when we were little tykes in Marysville and him trying to help me learn to swim. Good memories! We did tons of stuff in High School with our good friend Johnny Leach and my cousin Mandy..every weekend we were off doing something fun liking listening to him and THE RAVENS play some tunes. The night before he left on his mission to Utah slc mission. Mandy, Me and my mom stayed up all night to sew all his patches on his army duffle bag. Skittles taste the rainbow..'member that one?
As I have gotten older he has always been there to make me smile when I really felt like crying. And when I did need to cry he was always there to hold me and tell me it would all be alright and that I am amazing..cause I am! wait this is supposed to be about Jared's amazingness :D) Jared has been a great example to me to never quit studying and learning especially in the gospel. He has always been there with added insights and additional references when I ask him about gospel matters. He is more gentle than Quincy. (..who is also an amazing brother just not as gentle as Jared. Love you too Q = ) He is one who is firm in the gospel and his testimony. I love him for listening and reading my blog even when it is long and boring. I love him for taking the time to keep in touch with me and what is going on in my life. I love him for having the only niece and the sweetest nephews for me to love on while I wait....and wait...and wait...for my own. =0)
He welcomes all to his home and makes you feel loved and needed while you are there. His house has an amazing spirit and atmosphere of love for one another and for the Lord. I hope that my future home will be as warm and welcoming. Happy 30th Birthday Jared....I love you..love your little sister...Katie

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Motivational Day in Anchorage

The top pic is Mr. Zig Zigglar and the bottum is Mr. Mayor Rudy G.
Laney called and had tickets so I went it was fun. I will blog more abou this later.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Summer Fun

Some friends hitting some balls and having fun!
Me pitching to Troy...Idaho farm boys are just good!!

Me and my friend Kay and our mentor teacher Lou Ann. Love these ladies. PS steamed soy beans taste like boiled peanuts..and I love suchi!

So I bought a baseball bat and some softballs at Salvation Army for 3 bucks!! I have made use of them several times this summer. I really enjoy hitting some balls with friends.

We had a YSA summer kickoff activity out in Eagle River this weekend it was fun. We did some dancin' and eating some yummy food.

Thursday I went to the temple and did some sealings. It has been awhile since I did them. It was really neat. I love being in the temple and so blessed to live with on "in my backyard." I have been trying to go weekly since General Conference...several talks on temples and covenants..Bednar, Scott, Christofferson to name a few.
Sunday night we did Doctrine and Dessert at my friend Katie Hill's (we served in the same mission) she has a piano so we sang some hymns and then discussed Elder Christoffersons talk from General Conference about the Power of Covenants. Had a great time with good kids. Our YSA ward is amazing.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Flat top and other adventures

Me at Lake Eklutna with some friends..memorial day weekend

Me on top of flat top mountain..next time I hike a mountain I will check and make sure my eyes are OPEN in the picture. =0)

So I am loving the summer here!!! Tons of fun with friends...in a most spectacular place.
Highlights from the last week

FHE Memorial Day bbq went great..my last act as FHE coordinator

Softball with friends

Karaoke Bowling

Temple endowments and initaitories
Hiking Flat top (the most summitted mountain in AK) and getting snowed on, on the way down

Making breakfast for a date..he enjoyed the grits..and I LOVE them
Making Sunday dinner for friends...they loved grits and some even loved the chocolate gravy
Keeping Laney's nieces going to see "UP" and to Chuck E Cheese
Rewatching Elder Bednar's CES fireside Sunday during RS time
Eating Suchi with my mentor teacher and my BFF teacher Kay..I never would have made it through my first year of teaching without those two!