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. :)


Anonymous said...

OK, I got to the end. You certainly had a very crazy week! I hope this week is a little more relaxed. So glad we are still in the same ward, or will be when you come back. :)

Bruce said...

Ok, I'll have to put in another day of work to makeup for time reading this ;) - just kidding, it's great.

I think you failed to mention all the time you put in helping Josh after his first week of surgery, doing normal weekday activities and generally keeping 8 crazy schedules going. You're a good egg.

LizBeth said...

You are one amazing person! Your kids are very lucky to have you as their mom.

Curtis said...

Lor, if the economy tanks and I loose my job, can I come work for you? I'll clean house, deal?