Monday, January 30, 2017

It's been too cold and snowy or muddy here to exercise with Pat or go walking.  I need those daily walks like I need water; but it's been weeks.  I kept us walking in the bitter cold; way past when he would have stopped.  But the mud, snow, and slush don't work.  I'm gaining weight and feeling cranky.  My new semester is super full.  I have three classes: 7 credits.  Not to mention 5 music lessons for all of us weekly, and volunteering at the school weekly, 3 callings, foster care training, ... and all the regular things you have to do to take care of a family.  It's a lot.  My kids just got selected to be in the school talent show so now I'm supposed to come up with 5 nights to come to rehearsals, get their costumes and, help them get their routine down perfectly too.  I can't.  I told them we might have to back out.  We had no idea they'd require all those rehearsals. 

We've been happy to have some friends to dinner and Pat's been able to tutor another friend.  Today my neighbor came over, rang the doorbell and marched into my house with a ladder and fixed the light problem we've had for 10 years because we've never had a tall enough ladder.  Blessings.  We are so blessed, and it's funny to feel so blessed and so stressed simultaneously.  Someday I'll miss these times, however, in hindsight I'd change some things.  Like I wouldn't have accepted one calling if I hadn't know my other calling would soon change.  Now there's nothing more to be done than to see it through.  And pray often for help. And I usually add in a few good doses of freaking out.

I thought my 1 credit lab wouldn't be a big deal, but since it's 3 hours long at the campus, it takes 5 hours for me each week just to go there and back, with a lot more work at home to do too.  But that's not the worst of it.  I sit next to kids just 1-2 years out of high school (my lab partner is a 6'1" jock) talking about how old they are, and I have to try to figure out labs without Pat next to me!  It's terrifying!  I had one Biology class and one Chemistry class in high school and they were both a joke, so no help there.

It's interesting, but stressful.  The teacher is not good at explaining and then she leaves us alone to do seven labs each week.  This one credit class is just as hard as my 3 credit ones!  At least for me, not having had any real science before. I'm learning how to use a microscope for the first time in my life, and I ask the teacher more questions than everyone else, which is embarrassing, but I want to understand.

Our girl with her crazy outfits.  She's holding a chicken egg after coming in from feeding them.  How in the world am I going to pull together a birthday party for her?  Pat and I still haven't done anything for my birthday or for our anniversary.  16 years!!!  We haven't gone away by ourselves for 6 years now.  We keep thinking of flying a grandma here to help so we can get away, but trips cost so much...
Below are pictured the most adorable dolls that my friend Teresa made for Leia.  Leia and her son are in the same class at school and enjoy playing together.  She hand painted these; incredible!
Such a cute gift for our girl.  She is almost 7 years old!

Evan asked our neighbor Warren to help him make his pinewood derby car since we have no tools.  Warren spent hours researching and learning how to make a fast car.  Evan wanted a pencil shape, so together they went to work.  Two days and 6 hours later, we had the nicest car this family has ever made by far! Unfortunately, as he won the first race, his car crashed onto the hard floor when the track ended.  It jacked up his wheels or something, and he never won a race after that; even against the same people.   I asked Pat if he wanted to try and fix it, but Pat just shrugged, not caring.  Luckily, Evan wasn't upset by it either.  I love that about my kids.  Some people went home super upset after this event about different things that transpired.  We just joked about how his pencil didn't like being raced; it just wanted to write :)  I think the best part about the pinewood derby is seeing the different car styles the boys chose.  Super fun!  This was our last one for some years until Charlie starts cubs.

Evan learned so much about tools and doing good work, as he went through all the steps to make this car and he is super proud of it.  We are so thankful to Warren for doing what we could not with our kids and helping his car to not be just a lightly sanded block of wood!
As a side note, while we were at the Pinewood Derby, D was out working for a family in our ward (who own the airport), to make money for camps.  He's on NYLT staff this year, so that's only $100 for 9 days, but he also has scout camp this year ($300), and Philmont next year ($1000), so he's trying to earn money.  So he washed airplanes and a bunch of other stuff and then Brother W. took him flying!  What a blessing he is.  I though it was funny that Dallas still came home with $20 for working.  He probably owed this Brother way more in airplane fees!  I was also glad I found out about it after it was over too, because I get terrible anxiety.  We have had someone in our ward die in a small plane crash out of our same airport just a couple years after we moved here.  He was commuting to work like he did every morning and something happened...  he was in our bishopric and one of the best people I've ever known.  His wife's now been a widow around 8 years, and she still seems so young and serves so much.  But she must get so lonely at times...

We are really glad that our Stake won the lottery to get to go to Philmont.  Two weeks of backpacking and various adventures.  Pat, Dallas, and Sam plan on going.  So we'll need $3000 dollars.  Those boys are going to have to work a lot to earn that!  I wish Evan and Charles could go too so we could get it all done in one year. 

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