Saturday, April 29, 2017

April 29th.  Leaving to register the kids for swim lessons.  Around 6-8 inches of snow.  Incredible!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

There's so much going on, and I almost don't care about my classes anymore. I just want to be done. These are the last two weeks and with finals it's a bad time to not care!  I don't want to lose all the work I've put into the classes, but Pat doesn't have time to tutor me anymore, and we're feeling a lot of stress. Even though we feel fine, we can tell this new calling is taking it's toll because we stay up late and wake up way too early each morning unable to turn off our brains. There's just so much to think about. I don't know most of what he's thinking about, but I'm thinking about how to support him.
A bishop should look like a bishop, so I went through this guys closet and threw out all the white shirts that had turned yellow/grey and also threw out all his ugly stained ties.  We took him shopping to get new shoes, LOTS of new white shirts, and a couple new ties.  Then we got his 2 suits dry cleaned (not that that worked- they did a bad job and I got my money back).

Then he bought a phone.  For the first time, he has his own cell phone.  We knew there would be confidential things and other leaders with whom he'd need to communicate.  All of this cost around $400 dollars.  I teased that he should submit his receipts for a refund.  Then, yesterday we got a completely random check in the mail for almost $400 from refinancing our house a while back.  We weren't expecting it at all, and are so grateful for that timely blessing!

Speaking of house, we've had a builder and drafter come out and try to help us add on to our house.  We really want to do foster care, but are already very full here.  Howard McCall gave us the best price he could, I'm sure of it, but it was still too much money.  About $70, 000 for an additional bathroom and two bedrooms.  Now I feel kind of trapped.  We didn't feel it right to go into that much debt to have the ability to foster/adopt, but my heart also hurts to not be able to do it.

My wonderful sister Stephanie and brother T really helped us out this Easter.  We've been so busy that Easter baskets haven't been a priority.  She, however, sent us a care package from their trip to Hawaii, FULL of neat things for the kids.  I asked her if I could save it to use for Easter baskets and she said yes.  It saved us!  All we had to do was add some candy and the baskets were done!  They wanted to wear their new stuff to school and church they loved it so much!  We finally watched the Moana movie to go with it!

It was a wonderful Sacrament meeting today at church.  I got roped into singing last minute with the choir, but it was a song I knew, so it worked out okay.  But all the rest of the program and speakers were wonderful, and the BEST part of all was when the primary children sang Gethsemane.  There are no words for how beautiful and impactful it was.  I have written about that song before, so that's all I'll say about that.  Sister M, the music leader asked if we would help arrange the kids up on the stand, and I said yes! because I wanted to sit unseen behind them and sing.  Theresa then teased me about being the only adult standing in the back singing.  I love her for making that hilarious picture in my head. 

Pat's new counselors spoke today and they're both great.  One said, while giving his background story, that after his mission, his wife was "lucky enough to land me, the perfect trophy husband".  (That might come off bad if some did it, but from him it's hilarious).  Her reaction was so cute too.  They both love their wives and they really brought the spirit.

We are so thankful for our good friends here.  We were able to have a new family, the M's over for dinner and games.  We played an easy card game Wacky 6.  It was nice to get to know them (we love them!) before the bishop thing.  The stake presidency counseled us that some would see us differently and I'm kind of sad/scared about that.  Will people not want to talk to me as much?  Already I scrutinize what I wear when I go out a bit more and how I behave.

We had such a fun game night at the Tuck's house.  The Treys, Sheps, and Hass were there and everyone is so funny to me; the last time we were discussing days to get together, Pat said, "We're having an introvert party, and your all NOT invited".  That really made me laugh.  We are so sad the S's are leaving.  They know everything, and know how to do everything, and do it with the Spirit and pure hearts.  We wish them well in D.C.

Last, I'm thankful for these great kids.  When Pat was called, they immediately lost their two family vacations this year because of it.  So it's their Spring break and instead of being on the beach in California like we'd promised, they're sitting around the house.  I had to ask Dal to watch them while I went to my class.  They all got in swim clothes and made mud, and had a blast squishing in it.  I came home and found them like this.

Oh, and at our last family night, we played kickball, and Pat and I were dying laughing (on the inside) at how uncoordinated our girl is.  She's like Bella or the girl in Princess Diaries who throws the baseball right into the P.E. teachers head standing next to her.  Pat and I are both pretty good at sports, so I am floored that someone could be so uncoordinated.  Charlie can run circles around her.  When we found out she would be tall, I thought I'd steer her toward volleyball or basketball.  But perhaps I should steer her toward track, martial arts, or dance.  Or knitting.  She hopefully can't hurt herself knitting.  Man... she has overcome a lot of difficulties she was born with though, so maybe she'll get better.  Who knows!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

On Saturday night, we told our kids that their dad was going to be the bishop the next day.  This morning as we were getting ready for church, Leia said, "Well, today's the big day!".  Impressed that she remembered I asked her what was happening today.  She replied, "Sister Ettin is finally coming back to primary!" (her teacher who broke her ankle).  I just love this girl.  Are we not all fellow servants?

Everyone has been so kind.  P. Manning came to me and in great delight gave his approval, followed by the phrase, "My condolences.  I'm sorry for your loss." This was probably the most appropriate reaction (from someone who knows). 

After church we went to Pat's office to say goodbye.  All the kids yelled "Daddy!" and gave Pat goodbye hugs; but Charlie just yelled, "Hey Bishop dude!".  (We are bewildered as to where he would get that).

We told Pat's parents they didn't need to come, but they did, and Charlie and Pat spent a good deal of time arguing about whether or not he even had parents.  Pat tried to explain that Grandma and Grandpa were his parents, but Charlie said, "You don't have parents!  You're a dad!!!"

So we got to enjoy spending time with the Grandparents, and Kathryne and had a lot of fun.  Grandpa likes to walk A LOT now, and so it was fun to go walking with them (even though D would ride next to us ringing his bell).  Dallas got made fun of by me for having a dorky bell on his bike. I just love Dallas, because instead of getting offended he started talking to his bell saying, "It's okay.  Don't listen to her."  Man he cracks me up.  He made pretty hilarious vlogs of his time with Kathryne too. 

I wonder if Pat was chosen to be bishop because of our wonderful kids and not because of us at all.  They have helped us so much this week (and they always do), and they didn't even know why we needed the extra help.  I am just so incredibly thankful for them. 

Pat and I cannot hold a candle to the former bishop, but the confidence of the Stake presidency meant so much to me today, along with the support from our ward.  Former Bishop Nuckols said there would be an intense pouring out of the Spirit in our home to help us and protect us.  The Shepherds expressed their love and support and I could tell that they felt both sad, and 100lbs lighter at the same time. 

When I told our neighbor and good friend Warren about it, he wondered why we would be willing to do something that required so much extra service without any pay.  I said it was a privilege to serve God.  I never know what to say in situations like these.  That seemed like too simple an answer, but it is hard to quickly sum up.  It is choosing the harder right instead of the easier wrong, like Jesus Christ did for us.  It is why we're willing to take His name upon us, keep His commandments and always remember Him; because he loved us first! *smile*

When you stand with God, you never stand alone.  I choose to stand with Abraham, with Nephi, and Moroni.  With Abinadi who testified in flames.  With Alma, with President Monson.  With those not of our faith who have the light of Christ.  I am so thankful for my husband.  Even in the midst of overwhelming schedules, we've made time for each other and been happier in our marriage than ever before recently.  This, I know, would never have come without us both loving and serving God more than we love ourselves.

Now a funny from Leia: She's been learning about liquids, solids, and gases, and she knows the air around us is a gas.  Her little friend Heidi came over to play, and as they were swinging together Leia kept asking Heidi, "Do you feel the gas?!?"
I'm sure Heidi hadn't any idea what she was talking about.

Dallas and I practicing our mad faces.

Charlie totally came out of his shell and was his normal (fairly normal), talkative, loving, crazy self.  What a surprise!
Leia said this poem at family night. 

The boys took torturing their aunt very seriously. 

Best friends.
with Grandma
more torturing
oldest and youngest

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Studying for a stats test....  on possibly the busiest week of my life.  Update* I got a 100% on this test plus extra credit.  I. Can. Not. Believe. It. 

My brain food kale salad.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Grandma came to visit our Family Night on Monday.  Okay, maybe not a real grandma, but Evan has perfected the character of "Grandma".  He does it at school and last night was the first time I saw it in force.  I laughed my head off.  He has no teeth.  Falls over.  Says words like whippersnapper, and "I'll switch you!"  He really was the most hilarious thing.  Grandma even played Duck, Duck, Goose with us.  Hilarity ensued.  I love that kid.

Something about family night makes Charles absolutely crazy too.  He dances around like a maniac. 

Evan has several friends at school.  One boy, who is a year older than Evan, plays a game with him, where they are not allowed to say Hi, but they can wave, or something like that.  Maybe they can't even wave.  But they try to make eachother break whenever they see each other.  Cracks me up.

Evan wanted to go down to Albuquerque to do the Home Depot project, so we went and made these cute bunny boxes.  Then for some reason Evan began to be really grumpy and moped around the house for hours no matter what we did.  We were like, "We did the thing you wanted to do today so be happy!"  Then I forced all the boys to have haircuts.  He has the thickest, darkest hair out of all my kids, with the most curl too, and it had gotten quite long and poofy.  Once that hair was gone and he showered, he was like a new man; so happy.  I joked with him that his hair must have been weighing him down.  Making him grumpy.  I don't know why, but it was so funny to me.

I love simple beans and rice!

These cats have hardly caused a ripple since being adopted into our home.  Occasionally they throw up, or claw my leather furniture which I hate.  But they are patient with Leia and Charles who LOVE them, and they love to curl up with the bigger boys, and have brought a lot of happiness into our home.  Sam especially.  Martha is on the left and George on the right.  Charlie now calls them Mardue and Cecil.  I have no idea why. 

Biology lab class.  I can't wait until schools over in about 3-4 more weeks. 

A boy we knew ever since we were in the homeschool group years ago, receiving his Eagle.  It was really neat.  These big productions scare me though.  I don't want to have to do that for all my boys. 

I love asparagus.  With fresh garlic.  And lemon.
Sam had to work on a project for school with a group of kids.  I guess they needed to text each other, so he gave them my cell phone number!  My phone dinged more in one night than I think it ever has.  I asked him what I should do if his friends started asking me out on dates, or to take them rollerskating, or just wouldn't leave me alone.  He was exasperated with my joking.  "Mom!  I'm going to delete that conversation!", he said.

Dallas, always one to take initiative, cleaned out our garage for us and has been fixing up bikes for the warm weather.  (Though we just had a couple of huge snowstorms.  In April!!!).  He is wonderful.  Without telling us, he arranged to play a song in sacrament meeting a couple weeks ago, and did beautifully.  I'll have to record him and have Pat put it on here soon.  It was absolutely gorgeous.
Sadly, I just quit my guitar lessons.  No time.