Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sunday Summary #2

What a week!

Eva was the busiest this week.  OK, maybe every week!  She ran at state on Wednesday.  I think she enjoyed herself but she was really hurting and I'm glad she can rest and let her leg completely heal.  Nathan, Vince and a I all got to watch her run.  She also had a choir concert and an orchestra concert. Two different nights.  Between the two of them she had two violin solos, a kazoo solo, accompanied two pieces for a choir, sang three songs with her show choir, and played an additional 6 pieces with chamber strings and orchestra.  Then on Friday night she took Nathan to the school Halloween dance so I could go to the temple.  She's amazing!

Ethan was invited Friday to go to the BYU/Boise State game with his cousin D.  That was definitely the highlight of his week!  As an added bonus, BYU won the game!  Last night was the Halloween church dance.  He's been telling Eva for weeks that no way was he going to go and she has tried everything she could think of to convince him.  He made friends with several of the boys on the cross country team this summer and she even enlisted their help.  At one point they were going to kidnap him but they couldn't get all the logistics worked out.  Thursday at the orchestra concert the boys were trying to convince him and he told them he didn't have a dance card.  They said it was no big deal, you just go see your bishop.  Eva piped up, "The Bishop is his DAD!"  "You don't even have to leave the house!" they exclaimed. Finally, an hour before the dance, he said he would go if only he had a costume.  Eva produced one within five minutes.  Then he was sure he had her-- he didn't have a dance card and we all knew the Bishop was at the hospital, he had been there all afternoon, and wasn't coming home soon.  She tried to call a counselor but there was no answer so we arranged with Vince that they would bring an unsigned card and text him when they got there and he would step out and sign the card.  So he went.  The team even convinced (he says forced) him to ask a girl to dance.  After that the first girl brought her friend over, introduced her to Ethan, and then left so Ethan reluctantly danced with that girl too.  Hopefully it wasn't as terrible as he had imagined!

Ivy was excited to play in the orchestra concert.  She sat first violin first chair which was a surprise to us all!  The director doesn't do real chairs in the elementary orchestras but she did say that Ivy is a leader which is one reason she ended up there.  Ivy is clearly enjoying orchestra!  The toughest part about it was her costume.  I dislike Halloween (costumes stress me out) and there wasn't much time to figure this out.  We made her a purple minion hat (it still needs some work) and she wore a purple shirt.  She loved it but it was strange.  At the concert I noticed she had holes in her jeans.  Nice.  But she let us know when she got home after 4:00 that her violin had a bad string and wouldn't tune, I had to teach until 5:30, and she needed a costume assembled and had to be at the school by 6:30.  So that meant when I finished teaching we had to track down a string, run to the store for costume inspiration, grab a few supplies, come home and throw something together, and drive to the school in one hour.  I was quite proud of myself until I saw holes in her pants.  Oh well! Ivy also got to go to the drive-in with friends Friday night.  She loved that!

Nathan got 100% on his spelling test this week.  This was great news he and a I celebrated because, honestly, it was a busy week and we didn't get to study as much as usual.  He also got 100% on his book report which he was very proud of.  His teacher said she would love to have 100% book reports on hand to show parents in future years what is expected if students wanted to donate them.  Nathan was thrilled that he could donate his!  I was a little sad because the project was a bit of a milestone for him and I thought it would be nice to file it away for him but it was obviously important to him and he was soooo proud that it was an option that I just smiled, put my arm around him, and told him I was proud of him for being so thoughtful and generous to his teacher.  He just smiled his giant toothy smile with his eyes lit up and returned it the next day.  I love that boy!  He dressed as Ironman Friday night and went to his school dance with Eva.  He was disappointed he didn't get to stay long (I can't blame Eva because I know she was tired and the dance is basically very loud music and hundreds of kids in costumes running and chasing each other around the gym) but he was there long enough to see all his friends, eat two hot dogs, and see his principal dressed as a zombie so I think he was there long enough!  Saturday he went to the church history museum with the cub scouts.  He said that was kind of boring.

So now you know all about what I did this week!  The temple was lovely and I feel blessed I was able to go.  This morning is our Primary program.  Ivy's last one.  When that is over I am headed down to Annabella (by Richfield) because I have an old friend there I'm very worried about.  I'm praying the Spirit will go with me and she will be able to feel the presence of a loving Heavenly Father.  Life is hard sometimes.  I'll stay the night and come home tomorrow morning.  If you think of it my friend could use extra prayers.

Thursday, October 24, 2013


I have been working my way through conference the past few weeks.  I haven't hardly begun to really study any of it but I already have a favorite talk, one that made my spirit sing.  It's "Be Meek and Lowly of Heart" by Elder Soares.  My favorite pieces:

"The Apostle Paul taught that meekness is a fruit of the Spirit.4 Therefore, it can most easily be attained if we “live in the Spirit.”5 And to live in the Spirit, our lifestyle must reflect righteousness before the Lord."  I guess I hadn't given much thought to meekness being a fruit of the Spirit but when I read, hear, or ponder that thought I feel like smiling.

"Being meek does not mean weakness, but it does mean behaving with goodness and kindness, showing strength, serenity, healthy self-worth, and self-control."  I love these attributes, and have been working at developing them the past several years.  I especially love the four S words: strength, serenity, self-worth, and self-control.  I think one of the hardest for me has been serenity but I feel like I'm beginning to feel it.

"President Lorenzo Snow, the fifth prophet of our dispensation, taught, “It is our duty to try to be perfect, … to improve each day, and look upon our course last week and do things better this week; do things better today than we did them yesterday.”11 So the first step to becoming meek is to improve day by day."  Actually I loved all of President Snow's thoughts but I was touched by the gentle reminder that we need only work one day at a time.

I loved the story about Brother Mahlangu, who attended church "through the window" because his country did not allow him to be part of the congregation.  I take so much for granted.  It is a true spirit of meekness that a person would want to learn of Christ so much that he would willing and graciously sit outside an open window, alone, subject to adverse weather!  And some days I complain in my head about finding/taking time to read my scriptures...  So now when those thoughts come I can remember Brother Mahlangu's example.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday Summary

I'm giving up on writing any kind of synopsis of our lives since my last post.  Here's news from the past week!😊

Eva's orthopedist said her stress fracture was healed enough to run.  Sort of.  What he said was to jog on grass and train on a bike and to let pain be her guide at the region race.  What Eva heard was to let pain be her guide. She ran region Wednesday and qualified for state.  Her entire cross country team gets to go to state and she is thrilled.  But I can tell she's hurting because she has been icing a lot and she seems tired all the time.  State is this Wednesday so hopefully she will have time after that to fully recover!

Ethan had a big Court of Honor Wednesday night.  He got his Star rank and is working on his Life.  He received several merit badges.  The Scoutmaster made a point of telling everyone how helpful Ethan is.  He has diligently worked to help other boys receive their merit badges and advance their ranks.  We are so proud of him!  Ethan also had a birthday Sunday.  He's 14 now and was ordained a teacher last week.  On Monday I went to his Parent /Teacher conference and was impressed again with his phenomenally high math and science scores.  His core test results rival kids two grades above him.  Which is great since he wants to be an engineer one day.  I love seeing him work hard to develop his talents.

Ivy started taking piano lessons from me this fall.  This has bee a bit of an adjustment for her because I do things a bit differently than her old teacher and since she is an intermediate student I expect things to be learned/polished better than she is used to.  She is really improving!  She practices diligently and she is doing quality work.  She is enjoying orchestra and toying with the idea of private violin lessons.  We'll see.

Nathan LOVES school this year!  This is exciting for all of us!  Nathan has been going to school for over 7 years and has disliked every day until this year.  I can remember him hiding from me when the bus would come to take him to preschool and having to carry him to the bus kicking and screaming every time.  Things have been better than that for a long time but it is a huge relief to have him looking forward to school and learning!  It makes mornings and homework so much easier!

After several months of no dishwasher and some car trouble things are improving.  Vince fixed our dishwasher yesterday.  Washing dishes isn't the end of the world but after three months without it I know it will be easier to keep up with everything with a functional dishwasher!  It turns out that our Expedition may not need a transmission after all.  For now anyway.  We are halfway through a month long trial to see if new transmission fluid solves the problem and this week it's looking really good!  I think this is a tender mercy because we and a couple of mechanics were certain it needed a new transmission but after waiting and praying about what we should do we were all inspired to try this instead...a little miracle for us.  We'll take it!