Tuesday, June 18, 2013

New Calling

I was actually really looking forward to teaching seminary next year. Like, a lot. I had learned much from this year (mostly what not to do)--you'd think my third year would be my best, but not so. Anyway, I wanted to redeem myself and right when I was on the cusp of volunteering to teach full-time . . . I was released.

Really! Isn't that always the way? Just when you work out the kinks it's time to move on.

To my immense surprise, I was called to be the stake Young Womens president. You will remember that I served at the ward level (a single congregation) for many years. The stake is in charge of several wards: in our stake, 8. I and my new presidency (who are awesome, amazing women: Michele, Amy, and Merridee) oversee the ward YW programs to ensure that they are running correctly and have what they need; we also plan large activities like youth conference and stake dances. It's a big responsibility on a large scale and though I have a great team, it's a bit intimidating to take the reins and be in charge. But I know once we get going it will be great. The stake YW program is running well and so I just have to continue moving it forward.

My new calling got me thinking of the old pioneer tune, "The Handcart Song", which I learned in Primary many moons ago.

When pioneers moved to the West,
With courage strong they met the test.

They pushed their handcarts all day long,

And as they pushed they sang this song:

For some must push and some must pull,

As we go marching up the hill;

So merrily on our way we go

Until we reach the Valley-o.

In life, sometimes we push and sometimes we pull. Sometimes we lead and sometimes we follow. We all move together to make it work, so as long as our vision is clear it doesn't matter who's in front and who's behind. The Lord is our guide and the Gospel our map. For a while I will be in front--and with the company of a wonderful presidency, I look forward to this new adventure.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Impromptu Photo Shoot with Mary

First of all, I am not crazy. My friend Shannon (who made a surprise visit today from Logandale with her kids--woo!) said that the school district calendar she'd printed at the beginning of the year said that the last day of school was today, not yesterday. That obviously got changed somewhere along the way but BOOYAH. I am validated.

Last week before it was 109 degrees every day, I went on an evening walk with Katie. Mary decided to come with us. The lighting was so lovely I had Mare run home to get my camera.

So here are some pictures of our favorite 13-year-old girl and her dog. Aren't they pretty?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Life Keeps Coming At Me

Okay, I am really overwhelmed today. I thought school ended on Thursday but it's actually tomorrow. Tyce gets done today at 10:45 and he wants to have his foreign-exchange friend Melissa over to watch The Blind Side before she goes back to Germany in a few days. You will be happy to know that I did clean the house yesterday so that's one less thing to worry about. However, Mary comes home an hour after he does, usually attached to Bella, and while they are very easy to entertain they still insist on doing things like EAT and now I'm wishing I'd gone to the store for snacks.

Anyway. Man, I'm feeling sad that my boys are leaving 2nd grade. I am feeling those pangs of nostalgia for when Tyce and Mary were that age, so nice and sweet. And look at them now. Just kidding. But I will say, having teenagers is not for the faint of heart and as you know, I've nearly passed out from the stress. I look at my twins and I can't imagine them not being who they are right now, so earnest and loveable, trying to do what's right.

We are thinking about homeschooling one of the kids next year. I would like to homeschool two of them but I know the oldest would absolutely freak out (we have broached the subject many times). I don't know how it would work out with the girl either, but her academic performance at school leaves much to be desired. I think she is highly distracted and for some reason, completely unmotivated. It is the most disheartening thing in the world to see exceptionally smart people grossly living beneath their potential. Perhaps changing the learning environment would help with that. I don't know. But she can't keep going on like she is or she'll be in 7th grade for the rest of her life.

For both of them, there is a significant med issue that needs correcting. The summer will be full of appointments and I pray that they will be willing to go without a fight. I talked to Mary last week about seeing a new doctor and she was fine with it. But you never know on the day of, how things will work out--for either of them. Have you ever tried to help someone who doesn't want it? It can be a battle royale. We've been through that often enough with Tyce to know that. He even threw a tantrum about going to the dentist a few months ago, utterly refusing to get in the car for his appointment.

There are good days and bad days. More good than bad, usually.

Well I did want to post a few more pictures for you. Tyce had his final concert of the year and guess what--he surprised us by singing a solo! He performed "Shadowlands" from the Lion King musical. It was great. The whole night was very emotional since it was the Seniors last concert and that made all the kids cry their eyes out. Tyce's friend Nick is graduating this year and we will miss him--there are no words to describe how grateful we are for his friendship and example to Tyce. He is an angel in our lives, literally prayed for and delivered.

The week after the concert was the choir banquet. Tyce was recognized for his service as a section leader and earned his letter in choir. He also got elected to an office for next year, Chamber Representative on the choir council.

Nick and Tyce. Harrison convinced Nick to do a back flip on stage and he did!

The students who lettered in Choir.

Recognized for their service as student aids. Tyce's class was the Advanced Women's Ensemble.

That's all I can do for now since I have to pick up the movie-watchers in 30 minutes. I'm going to do some last-minute tidying and maybe make some cookies or something to cover up the smell coming from the play room. That place is an abomination.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Last Week of School and Catch Up

It seems like the year just started, doesn't it? Hm, ask any kid and they'll say the opposite. The older kids have finals and half-days this whole week, so just about the time I get the twins off--Tyce and Mary reappear. Oy. The house is a wreck and I want to get several projects and workbooks ready for summer and I am apparently running out of time.

Here are some things that went on in April.

1. We dyed Easter eggs on General Conference weekend. Yes, a week late because that's how we roll. I'd boiled the eggs before we left for Utah but we never got around to coloring them.You may be noticing a trend here, that my little holiday plans aren't working out as expected lately.

Mary and Harrison are the meticulous ones.

Cam is just in it to be cool.

He's always the first one done and his spot is the messiest.  But he's happy and that's all that matters, right?

Miss Mary and her pretties.
Tyce was around but was more than willing to let me take his spot at the table. I guess 11th-grade guys aren't as in to decorating eggs as Pinterest has led me to believe.

2. I went on the 2nd grade field trip to see a stage production of Skippy Jon Jones at UNLV. It was one of the strangest plays I've ever seen. The title character is an imaginitive chihuahua who wants to be a cat. The books are absolutely adorable, by the way. But I couldn't decided if the message of the musical was that being different is good, or that if you feel species dysphoria trapped inside your body, your family should enable your desire to change. Cute story or political agenda? I think this was all made confusing by the human acting.

This is, of course, my own overthinking. The kids had a great time.

Some of the class. Cam is the the middle of the pack.

There's Harrison.

Cameron and his friend Cody.

And Harrison with Cody.

Cam was my bus buddy.

3.  Katie found an injured American Coot hiding in a bush in the park by our house. It is a water fowl and it was far from home (which I'm assuming was Lake Mead, although we read they also like golf courses). The poor thing had a broken leg. Of course our rescue vet (i.e. Mary) took great care of the creature until she and Bryce could drive it the bird sanctuary the next day.

They had quite a time dropping off the bird (which Cameron named "Duh", infuriating Mary). The Coot was not cooperative and when Bryce and Mary tried to smuggle it into the water, it freaked out and bit Bryce. So then there was a big kerfuffle of flapping and shouting which roused a worker's attention. He probably thought they were stealing a bird, not donating one, because he shouted, "Hey!" which was enough to send Bryce and Mary hightailing it back to the minivan.

In the tub with a piece of bread.

Posing for the camera.

Duh, ready for his/her close-up.

4. We went on a double date to Beauty and the Beast at the Smith Center. Tyce took a lovely girl named Jenny and she was such an easy person to talk to. She was in my seminary class her freshman year. The play was amazing and it was a fun night all around.

Jenny and Tyce.

Bryce and I.

Waiting for the show to start.

Looking at the program. Tyce discovered that one of his YASE counselors was in the chorus!

Stay tuned for more. But right now I have to get to work because Child #1 will be home any minute.