Sunday, August 21, 2016

First Day of School!  Dallas 8th, Sam 7th, Evan 5th, Leia 1st grade!

Kids lined up for the pledge. You'll only be able to find Leia if you're her mother.
I have been working on a post about our last school year, to sum it all up.  In my head anyway.  But I haven't had hardly any time to do much.  I've been trying to get the last Summer stuff done, and planning out my year for Cub Scouts and doing lots of activities with my Bears, and going to round tables and completing hours of training for the scout work I've been called to.  At the end of each training, they always say, "And remember, keep it fun, keep it simple!"  I wish they'd take their own advice!

Dallas has had fun riding bikes all over our town with his friend Larry and his brother.

Dallas is making the final preparations for his Eagle project in less than two weeks.  He will be making some repairs at historic Beatty's Cabin in the Pecos Wilderness.  I can't say how blessed I've felt recently with those at church and in the community around us who have offered to help.  I really am shocked.  It is a 2 hour drive to get there, and after the 2 hour drive, a 7 mile hike!  So if you leave early, it will take half a day just to get there!  Dallas hoped for 10 volunteers to come, but it looks like he'll have even more.  I didn't think he'd get 1 frankly.  I knew some people would want to help, but not be able to because they are doing it on a Thursday & Friday so people have to take off work and school  Yet still, friends from church are coming, and Mike our neighbor and Jason, a coworker of Pat's.  It's incredible!  I'm just floored that these people are all willing to help.  Even some boys from another ward!  

Sam was ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood today.  I kind of panicked when I heard his name called by the bishop.  I forgot they were going to do that.  Then I enjoyed seeing his smiling face as he stood up there to be sustained. It is an honor too great to say to hold the priesthood.  The priesthood is the power of God, and it can change the course of history.  Abraham of ancient times, left his father's idol worship and chose the priesthood, the wisdom of the fathers, passed down from Adam through all the faithful.  That decision changed the whole course of history, as the Lord watched over his chosen people the Israelites.  They weren't better than any other people, they simply chose Him and made covenants with him.  “The door of history turns on small hinges, and so do people’s lives.” –Thomas S. Monson

Sam had a fun 12th birthday that was very easy for me.  I thought I would plan a swim party for him and a few friends.  But the next day at church, the bishopric announced a ward swim party, on, of all days, Sam's birthday!!!  Party planned!  He got to swim with his friends, and I didn't have to do a thing!  We had a great time.  Here are some pictures of his family party.  He has just finished reading all the Harry Potter books over the Summer, and watching all the movies.  So of course, he had a Harry Potter Birthday.

He wore this shirt to school and tons of people told him how much they liked it, even the teachers!

 The above cake was supposed to be Hagrid's cake that he made for Harry in the first book; you know covered in pinkish frosting and green messy lettering saying, "Happy Birthday Harry", until I realized I am out of food coloring except purple.  So I did green candles, and set a pink washcloth out.  J/k.  That was there.  But it was a fantastically delicious chocolate cake all the same, with pudding in the middle! 

I've been watching a baby occasionally who is only 6 weeks old and her mother has severe PPD.  Not sure what will happen to this baby, but I wish I could adopt her.  Except that that would just prolong the stress of raising kids, right?  Ha.

Middle-age (having turned 40 this year) has been both happy and depressing.  Closing previous chapters, like having babies, breaks my heart and makes me sigh with relief at the same time. That chapter is probably closed, but who knows. Opening new ones, like going back to school are slightly exciting.  I love just being a mom and can find endless things to learn and do at home, but it'd be nice to have a degree to fall back on if I ever need/want it.  Some friends are thriving in their families and having  time for their interests, but I've been sad for all the divorce and heartache that has surrounded me for the past two years.  There really does seem to be some middle-age-crisis or something.  A friend of mine said, "Wait 'till your 60.  All my mom's friends are divorced or living parallel lives in separate wings of the same house."  Life is hard.  It's better with the Lord, but we can't choose that for our spouses, or control their actions, nor can they control ours.  And we all have our issues.  But the Lord can make weak things strong.  I rely on that.

We have had stormy days every day for the past weeks.  Pat and I go walking 2 miles most days, and the storms seem to sense when we are out walking.  Yesterday we returned home through near-hurricane-force winds and pelting ice-rain.  Moments before it was a bright sunny day.  New Mexico if famous for doing all the seasons in one day; with gusto!  But man, it's gorgeous where I live.  I absolutely love the views I get to see, and everything has been so green lately.

Oh, and I've been cooking up a storm to have healthy food for lunches and meals ready.  The next two months are going to be incredibly busy.  The Fall is always the craziest time for us.

I only took pictures of these butter, cinnamon, tortilla roll-ups

and these vegetable, cream cheese, cheese wraps (put whatever vegetables, olives, etc., you want in the cream cheese, with shredded cheddar cheese.  Mix and spread on a tortilla and roll up).  I used a lot of Thrive freeze-dried veggies for this and the kids didn't like it so much.  I made them the next day with just strips of fresh cucumber and carrot rolled up in the cream cheese tortilla and they seemed to like that better.  It reminded me of sushi!  Wraps are nice.  Add chicken, avocado, southwest sauce, bbq sauce, whatever!

But I also made Bean Burritos with corn, Meat pockets (that are half lentils), Hard Boiled Eggs at the ready, Chicken strips with ranch and bbq dip, and lots and lots of popcorn and granola bars to fill them up.  Here's an easy good roll recipe for anything.

I also made some taco meat for dinners, beet burgers for me for lunches, and I still need to make some of my tortillas, and some other types of pockets.  Maybe a ham and cheese with apple, or chicken and cheese with bbq sauce, or pizza pockets.  Hmmm...

I put this sign on the fridge so when they pack their lunches in the mornings they can be reminded of what's possible.  They're not whole food plant based like I am trying to be, but they are not pre-packedged processed food kids either.  They won't be that until the Spring.*wink*


Christy said...

So, does this mean all your kids are in school this year? I know what you mean about one chapter closing, of no more kids and being both sad and relieved. I know it is the right thing for me but I have moments that make me sad to think that part of my life is over. I love your homemade lunches list. You are AMAZING! I love reading your posts and seeing all you are doing. You are an awesome mom, wife and woman!

Karisa said...

Yes, all in school. It was Evan's turn to have a teacher Dallas and Sam loved, plus we're checking out all the options for my first high schooler next year. Thanks so much Christy for your always uplifting words and encouragement!