Monday, September 29, 2008

New Phase of Life

A friend of ours that goes to the Spanish Branch recommended my name as a candidate for a long-term substitute position at a local high school, (not the one my kids go to). One of the teachers of the English Language Development class is on maternity leave, and they need a full-time substitute for six weeks, so I took the job. I started with training on Thursday, and then teaching on Friday. Actually, on Friday they had been promised a movie, so that was easy. Today was the first real day of teaching. I have five grammar and writing classes, and one communications class. They are divided up into Intro, Intermediate and Advanced classes. The classes where there are 19 or more students are the most challenging - I have 3 of those. The other three were actually fun to teach. The three big ones are challenging, but not unmanageable. Today I realized that being a Mom of six active children teaches you a lot about classroom management. Part of it is just to laugh with the kids and have some fun with them. Part of it is distraction, and making sure they have something to do. Part of it is laying back a little and letting them have some room to decide to do what you asked them to do. Others just need some consistent asking. I haven't had any big troubles yet, but came pretty close today with a girl who seemed perfectly innocuous the first day, but proved much more of a challenge today. She was sitting in a teacher's chair and would not move when asked. This is when I laid back for a moment - and she ended up telling me about her knee operation. I listened intently, validated her feelings, and then turned my attention to something else for a moment. Next thing I knew, she was off the chair. If I wasn't Mary's Mom, I wouldn't have know how to handle that situation! :)

I love you, Mary. :)

Did everyone know that the Past Progressive Interrogative Tense in English is the following?
Singular: Was the fish swimming in the sea?
Plural: Were the girls dancing in the park?

That's what I taught all day today.

I was the only teacher today in the Staff Room (a small one - not the main one) that had a home-made dinner. It was Ham Loaf from yesterday. Everyone else had Easy Mac, or processed chicken nuggets or a frozen dinner. I was just burstin' my buttons over that.

After school I taught two piano lessons and then went to Joseph and Josh's soccer games (even though Josh didn't play). Joseph tied 1-1, and the Varisty barely won 5-4. The last ten minutes were pretty hairy. Clark and Mary Jeanne came at the end - they are so fun to talk to. I didn't know they knew soccer so well! And Dara Dee was there, as well as all my good soccer buddies - Mike & Karla, Betty, etc. I also had a really nice talk with Tim, who was disappointed that his bag-pipe reed was broken! He is a great guy. Well, obviously, this is turning into more of a Journal entry. But that's basically what this blog is anway.

Our Family Home Evening was around dinner talking about the state of the economy and the gangs that my vice-principal told me some of my students belong to. The message was, "It doesn't really matter what happens in the outside world. What matters is that our family is sealed together and we are keeping the commandments and serving the best we can. Everything else will just 'come out in the wash', so to speak. It doesn't really matter."

Tonight I'm grateful for ordinances, the plan of Salvation, experience in mortality, and the Savior.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Joshua is recovering

Joshua is up and moving around a lot more. The last two days he has been doing his homework non-stop, including a speech, math assignments, and a research paper!

He couldn't stay away from the piano for very long. It wasn't ideal, but he got some playing time in.

Mom - he read your email and he is using that as an excuse to order us all around and do everything for him, "'Cause Grandma said I had to rest!" You gave us good advice, we'll try not to overdo it. This is not my forte, though, as you well know, but we'll try.

He's is going to go to school for awhile tomorrow. We'll see how it goes!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Tidbits I forgot

Joseph walked into the girls bathroom last week at the high school accidentally. He said he was whistling a tune and walking along, when he turned the corner and ran into Kami (the Stake President's daughter). She said, "Joseph!", and then he yelled, and she yelled, and it turned out to be really funny. She then went back and told the whole English class (which is all girls besides Joseph) all about it. LOL Thank goodness he ran into her and not someone else.

Our Stake President told us yesterday that as our Stake Center was being constructed, he struck up a conversation with the General Contractor, who was a non-member. When asked about the construction, he got really excited and enthusiastic. The GC said that this was the best building he had ever built and that all buildings should be built this way. He said that five-story (or maybe he meant to say five-star? not sure) hotels are not built as well as the Stake Center. He added that he felt sorry for the contractor in a hundred years who bid on tearing down the building, because he would loose money. I thought that was really interesting.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

A week in the life of a busy Family of Eight

My word, what a week we've had. It makes my mind whirl just to think about it. I promise not to do this very often, but I just need to record once in awhile what goes on around here in a week. We'll go by days:

Monday: I did my first substitute teaching job! I taught 5th graders at an elementary school close to our church building. I thought they were a delightful class. I was amazed by how much I could read from their faces, although by the end of the day, there were some surprises. One kid was just fascinated that I could speak Spanish. He kept asking me to talk to all the Hispanic kids in the class, of which there were a fair number (I'd say close to half the class). I was disappointed in the regular staff at the school and how they treated the students. How do students learn respect if it is not modeled for them and to them? I was pretty ticked off that they were treating my students that way- enough that I lost the respect that I had!! Ha ha Anyway, overall, it was a great first experience.

Bruce stayed home from work that day and brought Josh home from the hospital.

I coach Mary's U12 Girls Soccer team, and while scrimmaging, almost at the end of practice, one of the girls kicked Mary's BYU soccer ball into the irrigation ditch that runs behind the field. Immediately, all of the girls were running down the banks, running over the bridge to the other side to get this ball. Nancy started yelling for everyone to throw rocks at the ball so it would go over to the side, which we did, and Kailee went and grabbed this huge branch and brought it down to the bank. After several close but failed attempts, Mary was the one who finally pulled it in with that big branch. It's hard to describe, but it was so fun - we were laughing and carrying on about how to get that ball.

That night we had an informal FHE, all gathered in the Living Room, eating Apple Crisp that Sis. Wells had brought and leftover cheesecake from what was supposed to be the Court of Honor. We didn't call anyone to come, or have a formal anything. I kept thinking, we should start Family Home Evening, but everyone was in the living room talking, and I thought, "Why stop the communication that's happening with formalities?" Now, I know we shouldn't do that all the time, but that night a formal meeting just didn't seem necessary. We did bring up some gospel topics, just because that's where the conversation led, and I was satisfied with that.

Night time is becoming more interesting in our family. Before we were all just grumpy and ready to go to bed. Now, it has become more of a time to talk and unwind from the day, with everybody hanging in the kitchen and eating. It's really quite fun. It just occurred to me that this wouldn't happen if the TV was on. I'm so glad we don't have that habit. I'm also glad that nobody in my family has an ounce of fat on their body besides me, so eating at night - not a big deal.

Jesse's volleyball team won their first game! She ended up having to walk over to her soccer practice, as I had forgotten to pick her up, and she had no soccer stuff at her practice. (This is keepin' it real). Her team scrimmaged one of the boys teams, and Jesse was so mad that she couldn't play because she said that she could see where they needed her help and she wanted to get in there and get it done. They won anyway, and after the game she overhead some boys saying, "The point is, they rock and we suck." Jesse got a kick out of that (no pun intended). Her team is good!

Whew - that was only Monday.

Tuesday: Mary's 6th grade teacher assigned them an autobiographical sketch to begin school. Mary said that someone last year brought in their horse, so Mary begged to bring in a llama. Bruce hitched up the trailer, loaded Sage, our 2 year old female llama, and I took her over to the school. All Mary's class was out on the lawn in back of the school waiting for us. I could just shoot myself that I didn't have my camera. Mary stood in front of the class and we told them all about llamas. While we talked, we had each of her classmates come up to Sage with their head down, and she smelled their heads, which is how llamas greet you. Then they all crowded in around us and were hugging and petting Sage.

She was really incredible - calm, and sniffing at everyone, and not whining like I thought she would be. The kids loved her! So many of them hugged her, as she was just their height, and they could get their arms around her neck. It was darling. Even some of the high school kids walking by came and up and petted her and talked to us. Mary, as you'll recall, was a Reserve Grand Champion in Fitting & Showing at the Canyon County Fair when she showed her lamb at the age of eight, so having all this attention, well, she just loved being in the middle of it, and "showing" her llama! It was really a fun experience for Mary and me!

That afternoon we got Josh up, and after much to-do, got his cast wrapped up and got him into the shower. After that he was feeling perky, so we took him to the high school soccer game. He got a warm reception from a lot of friends and parents who came up and talked to him. Joseph had a SWEET goal in this game, a long kick from about the 25 on the left hand side. It went up high and curved around, and went in over the goalie's head. Wahoo! If it had been with his left foot, that would have been ideal (for Joseph).

After Joseph's game, we left Josh to ride home with friends of ours (we left Mary and Libby at home to take care of him), and the rest of us left to go to the farm to bring in the hay. I drove the truck, while Bruce, Joseph, and Jim C. stacked the hay that came up through the "elevator", which is a machine that picks up the bales and puts them on the trailer. Peter and Jesse ran around and pushed the bales into straight rows, and then they shoveled loose hay after the bales were loaded in the barn. We did that until it was almost too dark to see, and then the elevator broke. Bad news.

Wednesday: At 6:30 am Bruce, Joseph and I took off again to get the rest of the bales up because they were sitting on water, so they had to be picked up immediately or they'd be ruined. Jim met us there, and Bruce and Jim had to buck the hay up onto the trailer while Joseph stacked it. They did that for about three hours without a break. I felt like a pansy because I was just driving the truck. I thought over and over, "This is why they didn't need to work out at the gym in the olden days." Driving out of the farm, Joseph said, "I don't ever want to see another bale of hay again." Then he added, "Why didn't the Nazis just take prisoners out to bale hay all day? Why did they come up with all these torture methods?" Ah, the hyperbole of a teenager. Again, no camera - I've got to get on the ball!

Jesse, Mary, Peter and Libby got themselves off to school Wednesday morning. They rode the four-wheeler down to the bus stop and Jesse took the key with her. I had to laugh later in the day when I was driving by and saw the four-wheeler parked by the bikes. I could see Peter bragging at school, "My Mom lets me drive our four-wheeler to the bus stop." Ha ha

I thought about skipping this, but since I'm "keepin' it real", I'll have to admit that I read Austenland, by Shannon Hale during the day on Wednesday. It's a short read, but still, I should have been cleaning the house. I got started reading it while they men were unloading the hay bales. I have really bad allergies to that hay, so I don't get out there to help them. After I get started on a book, I'm addicted, and I can't put it down. Click on my Good Reads to see a review of the book. It was sure fun, but my house suffered because of it. In retrospect would I do it again? Hmmm - I better not answer that question.

That afternoon, Joseph and I were Assistant Referees (AR's) for a U14 Boys game, and Bruce refereed some High School games.

After that we went and picked up kids for Mutual, and we had a party at our house for five of our Young Women who have birthdays within a month of each other, and one of the Young Men.
We played spoons with all the YM and YW, and leaders. They had never played before, and they thought it was a hoot!
We also played the game where you murder by winking at someone.
It just happened to be Isabel's birthday also, so even though she is not mutual age, we let her come to the party anyway. She and Libby got to be close when Cindy and Isabel stayed at our house last year for a month. After playing games, we had some cake (well, they had some cake) and then left for home.

Thursday: On Thursday morning I got to go walking with my friends. At the end we talked about 911. Shelly said, "The other day I asked someone what time of year nine eleven was at." We laughed about that. We also talked about the upcoming ward split. They were making four wards out of three in the stake. Lots of speculating going on, but no names being thrown around, which was good.

I taught 4 piano lessons - three to home-schoolers during the day, and one after school.

As soon as that was over I raced Peter over to Cub Scouts - his first Den Meeting! From there I went over to Joseph's soccer game. Josh was really mad at me because he wanted to come, but I put my foot down an said he should have taken a shower before, and I was going to see Joseph's game. JV soccer is my favorite to watch. It' great soccer, and better than Varsity because it's not so intense and rough. Joseph is playing well, and got told he would be suiting up once in awhile for Varsity!

At the end of that game, I took Peter and Libby to their soccer practices, picked up Josh, and went back and watched the Varsity game. Bruce was actually an AR for this game, which was dicey because he was attached to the game, but the assignor knew that, and he was needed, so he got assigned the game. He did a good job. I did find myself having to move away from some of the parents that continually verbally assault the refs no matter what they do. I can breathe better when I'm not by them. :) It was a great game, and our team came back and scored 2 goals in the last 10 minutes of the game to win 3-1. Wahoo!

After the game I came home and helped some of our new U6-U10 referees get their equipment, warmed up some leftovers for dinner for the family, then headed over to a Book Group. Book Group is at my house next month, so I got to take five books as suggestions, and then we voted on the one to read. It was way fun to pick out the five books that wanted to suggest! Here's what they were: The Coming of the Lord, by Gerald Lund; Enchantment, by Orson Scott Card; Rebecca, by Daphne Du Maurier; Northanger Abbey, by Jane Austen; and The Book Thief - can't remember the author. The vote was for Rebecca, which I haven't read since I was a teenager. I loved it then, so I'm looking forward to it! We discussed The Other Eminent Men, which was interesting. I was very tired, though, and left by eleven, which is highly unusual for me. Usually I'm there until 2 in the morning.

Whew - we're halfway through!

Friday: Jesse had an early-morning Volleyball Practice at 6:30 am. Thankfully our neighbors came and got her so I didn't have to take her. We read Scriptures without her, and got ready for school. We were too slow at everything. I ended up taking all the kids to school, and missed my walk. Bummer. I got showered, prepared the menu for the coming week and grocery list on Excel, and then headed out the door to a Piano Teacher's Workshop.

I go to this once a year, and always learn some really valuable stuff. I happened to sit at the table for the luncheon with Drue Chamberlain, one of the good judges that has judged many of my students over the years in Festival. I was able to thank her for her valuable service. That was fun!

I went shopping on the way home from this and didn't get home until 4:30. While I was gone, Bruce had to take Josh over to school, go pick up Libby from school because she wet her pants, and go pick up Josh again. All these Mr. Mom things. I was grateful he was working at home that day.

That afternoon at Mary's soccer practice, the sprinklers came on, and we had to running through them, just to get some extra conditioning in, you see. There are some things that are just plain fun, and running through sprinklers with 11-year old girls is one of them.

I got some dinner on for the kids, and then Bruce and I went over to the 4th Ward Elder's Quorum Party. What fun! We have SO MANY good friends in 4th ward. I feel like I'm getting figuratively "drunk" (only much better, I'm sure) when there are so many fun people and friends to talk to. I just talk people's ears off. It's embarrassing when I get home and think, "My word, couldn't you let somebody else get a word in edge-wise?" Yikes. Bruce got talked into going to the midnight movie of Hancock (they didn't have to talk very hard). I was responsible and went to bed.

During the night I was up and down taking care of Josh because when we got home from the party he had a burning fever, and I started to feel like I had the same thing. I never got the burning fever, but I woke up in the middle of the night with a burning sore throat. Ah, it hurt so bad. But I gargled with Listerine and it took it right out, so that was a huge relief. I was worried about the next day though, because Bruce planned to go horseback riding with Jesse and I had a big day with games, etc.

Saturday: Bruce and Jesse left at six in the morning to go riding with Dave and Kimi. We had a discussion before they left about Josh and I being sick and everything, but Bruce decided he really wanted to go. It turned out all right - I took some Alleve and I got through the day with minimal discomfort.

I dropped Joseph off at the school to ride the bus down to Jerome for his JV game. They lost 2-0, and Joseph said they played really rough.

By 9 am, I was over at the grade school with Peter for his U10 game. I also had to make sure all my referees were on time and on the fields with their new equipment, since it was the first game of the Fall season. I am the Referee Coordinator for the Soccer Club. Libby had a game at eleven, which I refereed. One of my friends, Lisa E., came up to me afterward and said I looked like I was sixteen out there or the field! I wahood and hugged her.

After her game was over I heard back from the Doctor that I had called about Joshua's condition. Not only had he had a fever Friday night, but he had a really sharp pain around his ankle that was making it so he couldn't get up and walk hardly at all. I was concerned about infection underneath the cast, so I called. He advised me to bring him in. Ah - I had thought this would probably be the case, but how to fit it in? Of course, this took priority, so I missed the funeral of Willard Stevens, a man in our ward that I loved, a funeral that I REALLY wanted to attend. I also had to call and ask one of the mother's to coach Mary's game because I couldn't be there. This was really disappointing. In the meantime, I had arranged for Peter to go to a teammates house, and I dropped Libby off at a friends to go to a birthday party.

In the ER, Josh and I got a few minutes to talk, and then I pulled two chairs together and dozed off for a few minutes. Bruce called to let me know he was on his way, so I left Josh and ran back to Mary's soccer game.

I got there for the last 15 minutes of the game, and when I got there the score was 1-1. I watched for a bit, and could see that my forwards were trying to do the midfielder position, so I had them stay up as forwards and let the mids do their job. It worked, because they scored three goals before the game ended, and we won 4-1! Have I said that it's really fun to coach this team? They are great girls - I am so proud of them. Mary was awesome on defense, and she has improved this season to where she's not just kicking the ball out of bounds, but dribbling up and passing when she wins the one-on-one with the offense, which is most of the time. Way to go Mary!

Bruce said that at the hospital they took Joshua's cast off and looked at his leg. It looked like the hematoma where he had broken his bone (the blood and swelling) had moved down into his ankle, and that may have been the cause of that sharp pain. They prescribed a new pain med and that has been working much better. He was up and about today, and walked all over Stake Conference (coming up) the next day, so he is doing much better. I still don't know what the fever was about, but he's over it, so I won't worry about it.

The adult session of Stake Conference rounded out the day. It was a great session, with wonderful talks. One of the Bishops quoted Pres. Kimball on hard work. It was something to the effect of, "We were taking the wildness out of the desert and the wildness out of ourselves at the same time." Our Stake President said that Heavenly Father's plan was founded on intelligence. While Father had a Plan, the adversary had a scheme, but not a plan. The adversary is clever, cunning, astute, but not intelligent - his plan is not founded in intelligence. By that I think he meant that intelligence is light and truth, and the adversary has none of that. Pres. G also said that one of the spiritual and temporal challenges of the members of our stake was the depressed economic times. He said this: "If you are anchored in the Lord, and are wise, prudent, and careful, coupled with paying your tithing, all will be well." This is what I needed to hear. One more quote, "We don't need to see the other side of the veil, we only need to feel it." I have felt the other side of the veil, and I want to feel that all the time - that sweet, joyful, uplifting feeling. I want that.

Bruce and I were almost home when we remembered that a group of us always go to Red Robin after the adult Session, so we turned around and went back to town for the twice-a-year meeting at Red Robin. Even though we have been to different meetings (because they are in a different stake), we still meet up with them and have a fun time talking about the session and other things. These are friends that I still feel amazed have adopted us as their friends.

At Red Robin, I heard more about the horseback ride, because Dave was there. Kimi told Shelly, "This is why I love Jesse. We were bushwhacking on a hill that had a steep drop-off, and we were maneuvering the horses carefully. All of a sudden Jesse says, 'This is the first time I've ridden a horse by myself!'" I don't whether that's a compliment or just plain dumb on her parents' part, but Bruce said she did great. They rode Lady and Mackee, and Bruce said they did really well. Jesse told me later in the day, "I hadn't ridden a horse by myself before, but now I love horses." That is exactly what Bruce wants to hear! :)

Sunday: I had a good night's sleep, for the first time all week. I woke up on my own just before sunrise, and had some time to think (wow!) and ponder. We had grapefruit, bacon and bagels for breakfast and then went off to Stake Conference in our new Stake Center! Bruce took some of the kids, and I took Josh and Libby in the truck to pick up Miguel, Isabel and Oyuki. We were late, but at least we were there. Pres. G. dedicated the new Stake Center at the end of the session. It was neat to be there on that historic day.

We came home and ate some lunch, and then headed over to our old Stake Center for a meeting of the 2nd, 4th and 5th wards to announce the creation of a new 7th ward. While we were singing "We Thank Thee O God for a Prophet", I looked around and saw how many people we love in those wards from our community, and I had to stop singing, I was so overcome with emotion. It didn't matter to me what the new boundaries were - because we have so many dear friends that it didn't matter. Although I do have to be honest and say that the thought of being in a different ward than any of my walking friends was painful indeed, but then I thought, "What am I saying - I'm already in a different ward, so what does it matter?' It was funny.

It turned out that we are in the new 7th ward. Well, at least we will be when we return to our ward of residence. The new 7th ward is really the old 4th ward with a chunk of it taken out. We don't have any new members from other wards. Our new Bishop is our neighbor down the street with the yellow house and black shutters, for whoever remembers that house. He will be a great Bishop.

We came home from that meeting, and I started to write this post. At seven we went to the baptism of Rogelio, Laura, Miguel and Ernesto R. at our new Stake Center. Yea - four new youth for our program! I was assigned to give the talk on baptism. With such talks, I don't prepare a talk, I just go with the thoughts that come to my mind when I get up there. Well, tonight, I started out and then the impression came to tell the story of Bert Whetten and Pancho Villa, which I did. Many came up to me afterward and remarked on it. It is a very interesting story and my point in telling it was that millions, even billions of people are waiting to be baptized and wished that they could be doing at this moment what these young people were doing. And that this ordinance would start their progression on a path that would change their lives; how fortunate they are!

Now, do you see why I say, what a week! If you have made it this far, you are a true friend of mine, and I can't believe your dedication. I love you, whoever you are... Well, Mom, since I know you're the only one, you know that I love you dearly. :)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Who says soccer is not a contact sport?

Well, while we were still eating watermelon at Peter's baptism last Saturday, Josh raced off to play in his Varsity soccer game. I went and watched for awhile, and then got worried about doing some things for his Eagle Court of Honor that night, so I left the game halfway through.

About five minutes after I got home, I got a call from my friend DaraDee, who I had been sitting by at the game. She said, "Josh is down on the field and it looks pretty serious. They have stopped the game." I hung up from that call and got another call from Braden, a captain on the team and Josh's good friend. He said, "They think Josh has broken his leg, and I thought it might be nice to have his Mom here on the field." That was a thoughtful phone call Braden!

I announced to Grandma and Aunt Angie what I had heard. They held down the fort for the rest of the evening - thank you so much! I found Joseph in the garage, so I took him along with me. Bruce called me next as I was on my way over there. When I got to the field, they were on the far side with ambulances all around. I was pretty calm, but still telling myself to breathe deeply. I waved Joseph off, telling him to go talk to his friends, and he gladly complied!

Josh was laying on the ground with Bruce and the paramedics around him. I knelt down and talked to him about pain management. (Birthing at home taught me a lot about that.) He had what looked like a baseball under his skin off to the side of his shin. But he was handling it really well. He only started to slightly cry once. I wouldn't have cared if he had been bawling his eyes out, but he wasn't.

What happened was that he went sliding for a ball with his right foot, and the keeper went down too, after he did. Somehow the ball got kicked away, and the two of them ended up going heel to heel. The impact did this to Josh's tibia:
OK now, just take a deep breath! Ha ha I've already talked about this so much that it doesn't affect me that much, but writing it like this, well I can see that a few of you are going to have to "get some counseling after this", as my friend Shari put it! :)

Josh said that as soon as it happened he felt the pain of course, but his first thought was to stand up, because Middleton guys stand up; they don't lay on the field like pansies when they're not hurt that badly. So he tried to stand up, tried being the operative word. He crumpled instead. As soon as he did that, Bruce ran out on the field. (He was on the coaches bench, so he could do that). At first he felt all around his knee, and was vastly relieved to see it was not a knee injury. He took off his shoe, sock and shin guard, took one look at the baseball-sized hematoma and turned to the Athletic Director and said, "We'd better call 911", which they did. By the way, the keeper on the other team had a swollen knee, but he was up walking within a few minutes.

They got Josh into the ambulance and gave him morphine in an IV on the way to the hospital. I'm pretty impressed the paramedic could put an IV while driving in an ambulance. We met them at the hospital. It took two more doses of morphine before Josh could relly relax.

Wayne Ellis, one of the guys that helps with the Middleton Soccer team, was the first to come and check on Josh. He came all the way to the Emergency Room, and comforted Josh by telling him that it was a really brave thing to do, playing that way on the field. I think at this point Josh was thinking it was pretty dumb!

They x-rayed the leg, and after a time, the orthopod, as the nurse called him, (orthopedic surgeon) came and looked at the x-rays and decided to take Josh into surgery that night. They made an incision right below his knee, drilled a hole down the length of his tibia, and inserted a titanium rod with two screws at the top and two at the bottom. They will leave the rod in there, unless there is some outstanding reason to take it out, because they want to prevent another surgery. Just before the surgery, while we were talking with the surgeon, we figured out that he knew our next door neighbors, and that his daughter had come out to our street dance the weekend before! That was a pretty cool connection. Josh and I figured she was Blonde 1 or Blond 2 or Blonde3 that we listed in the guest list! Also while we were talking, I glanced up at the clock, which read 7:15 pm, and asked the doctor if there was any way Josh would be ready to attend his Eagle Court of Honor that started at 7:30 pm. He said, "" :)

Bruce and I both stayed at the hospital that night with Josh. I wasn't any help at all, because the night before I had stayed up feeding out of town guests (and my own family - it wasn't just them), and sewing on merit badges until four in the morning. (Dumb - I know!) Bruce was up and down all night long with Josh while slept. Thank you Bruce.

The next morning before Church, Uncle Gary & Kaleb, Uncle Rodney, Aunt Angie and their chidlren, and all our family came to see Josh in the hospital before they went to Church.
It was so neat to see everyone in the room crowded around to see Josh.

Little Alyssa reached out and touched Joshua's cast, and then touched his toes. He commented on it afterward.

During Church, Bruce brought the Young Men over to the hospital. There were three investigators visiting that day, and the Elders came with them also. The YM gave Joshua the Sacrament, and then the Elders and Bruce and Hno. Iglesias gave him a blessing. It was wonderful to feel the Spirit in the room, and to see the Priesthood in action that way.

After Church, Hna. Iglesias came with her son, and the de la Rosa children to the hospital. I was so glad Hna. Iglesias had gone to pick them up. The three of them haven't come together in a long time, and we usually pick them up every Sunday, but we couldn't that day.

Josh stayed another night in the hospital because he was still feeling a lot of pain on the pills they were trying to wean him on to, so they gave him some more morphine periodically.
Bruce brought him home Monday around noon. I was substitute teaching (my first time! - a story for another day) so Bruce took the day off and took care of Josh.

This morning (Tuesday) he is feeling less pain, but it is still a struggle to even go to the bathroom. He is in good spirits, though.

After school yesterday, Coach Weber and Coach Wells came to see him, as well as seven of his teammates, including all the captains. His friends have been so generous and nice to him. And half of it has happened on his phone, via texting. It seemed like his phone was going of constantly! I think it's cool how they can communicate that way (although I see the need for balance, etc. - another post for another day). Raigen did call him when he was in the ER - it was so nice to hear from her.

"All these things shall give thee experience" keeps running through my head! The hardest thing is that he will miss the rest of his junior year of soccer season. At least it's not his senior year. And Show Choir will be hard to keep up on, but I think he can do it. Loosing his means of income from refereeing will also be tough, but I'm sure he will be blessed in other ways.

My dear friend DaraDee brought us dinner last night. Thank you DaraDee - it was delicious!! And so many friends have called and emailed - thank you to all.

Peter's Baptism

(Suggested music - Faith of our Fathers)
Last Saturday Peter got baptized by immersion into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and received the Gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying of hands. He turned eight in July , and we waited until now to do the baptism because he wanted Joshua to do it.

It was wonderful to see Peter and Joshua together all dressed in white. I thought my heart would burst.

Here are some photos of those who attended. Hna. Carmen and her son Hiram. She serves with me in Young Women's.
Uncle Rodney, Aunt Angie, Ethan, Alyssa, Caleb and Carson (pictured here) came all the way from Wyoming for the baptism! It was so much fun to have them here with us. Aunt Angie gave a spirit-filled talk on baptism. Here's some quotes of the week from their children:
1) Ethan said to his mom on the way over here, "Mom, I want you to stay by me in that big house." I guess last time they were here he got lost somewhere in the house. :)
2) As Caleb walked up the front entry way, he said, "I LOVE these guys!" Of course, we loved hearing that.
"The Brothers" is the title of this picture. All three of Bruce's brothers were present at the baptism. I like this picture! Shawn drove up from Utah with Camille and Lauren to be with us, and Gary came from Oregon with Kaleb to be with us also. Thank you for coming guys!
Cousin Alyssa (the back of her anyway), Mary, Cousin Camille, and Cousin Derek. We had ice cream and watermelon for refreshments after the baptism.
This was the first baptism held in the new Stake Center!
Ramona, Reuben and family kindly came to be with us, as well as Norberto and Elizabeth (not pictured). Bro. Benjamin (in the grey suit) conducted the meeting in English, and was sustained as our new Branch President the next day!
Presidente Cabrera was our Branch President for two years in the Spanish Branch. He was released the next day after this, so this was his last official meeting as Branch President. He had to work until right before the baptism, so he wasn't actually there in the meeting, but he met us out in the hall afterward.
Kathy came with her two children, Joseph and Caden. She is Peter's primary teacher. They are serving a "mission" in the Spanish branch like we are.
Derek, Uncle Stephen and Aunt Kendra were able to be with us. It's so nice to have Bruce's family close to us.
Our dear friend Calvin and his daughter Melissa were there, standing by Libby. Todd also came with his son Jay, even on a busy day when they were trying to get ready to open their net furniture store. Thanks for coming!
And of course it wouldn't be a baptism without Grandma and Grandpa. Grandpa gave a great talk on the Gift of the Holy Ghost. He actually told a story that I had never heard before! What? It was about bringing a rototiller home in his van, and listening to the Spirit. Thank you for coming all the way from Colorado for this occasion! We missed our other Grandma and Grandpa who are serving a mission in the Temple Presidency in Panama, but they were here in spirit.
And here's goofy older brother Joseph, trying to fit into Peter's... well, not his shoes, but his suit jacket.

It was a wonderful occasion for Peter, and we're grateful for everyone that attended! The ordinance of baptism is very simple, and yet profoundly significant. I am grateful to the Savior for restoring the gospel and the ordinances of Salvation. What a blessing it is in our lives!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Labor Day Meal

I had to take a picture of the meal we had tonight. There was only one thing that was bought from a grocery store! Living in Idaho, you'd think we wouldn't have to buy potatoes, but the potatoes are the only thing we bought at the store.

The sirloin steak is from Hamburguesa, our former beef cow,
the corn on the cob was given to us from the Wells' garden,
the cucumbers from Norberto Sanchez' garden,
and the blackberries were picked by our neighbors the Crofts at a local farm in Nampa.

Wow! Thank you to our dear friends that have shared their harvest with us, including the Waltmans who shared a big load of tomatoes with us also! This is truly a blessing, and I want to acknoweldge it as such.
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Pullin' Pipe

(Suggested music - International Harvester)
Bruce's parents have a grass hay farm about half an hour away from here, and since it was Labor Day, Bruce decided we needed to labor on the farm. Isn't there something twisted with that logic? No, but really, this is the only time we had to do it without having to miss all sorts of stuff.
Bruce put Libby to work picking apples, since she is too little still to help with the pipe.
The rest of us got to bring in the irrigation pipe - which we call "pullin' pipe" for short.
Peter drives Grandpa's four-wheeler with the pipe trailer behind it. He'll drive a little, then stop and wait while we bring the pipe and load it on the trailer.

Today we had three teams: Dad and Jesse, Mary and I, and Josh and Joseph.

We can pick up three rows of pipe at a time this way because Dad and Jesse do one side, Josh and Joseph the other, and Mary and I do the one right down the middle.

Jesse was a Shera today doing the pipe. Man, she is one tough chick. It's challenging to carry two pipes at the same time, but putting them on the trailer two at a time is even harder. She did it all morning with Bruce without any complaint whatsoever. She just informed me that it is not challenging, and that she and Dad did three at a time. Sheesh!
Mary has grown enough this year that she is finally tall enough to lift the pipe over the guard rails on the trailer and get the pipe on. That means she is a full time worker, and she does a great job.
Libby in pink in the hay. :)

It's a great experience to work together as a family and get this job done. I would like to say that it was all kindness and cheerfulness and hard work, but it was not. It gets a little tense sometimes, but in the end, in the overall picture, it's good.

We take a lot of breaks. After every load, we go in to Grandma and Grandpa's shed (it's more like a warehouse) and raid Grandma's freezer. She leaves all kinds of frozen food there that we can microwave and munch on. I was musing today about how she provides food for us, even when she is in another state. They don't actually live on the farm - they own 20 acres, and plan to build a house on it someday, but for now, they just live in their trailer when they come.

The farm is beautiful, and working out in the open on the farm is a different feeling than any other kind of work that I've done. I frankly quite enjoy it, and I love living in Idaho and having the chance to have these kinds of experiences with our family!