Sunday, October 31, 2010

Fall Time

I've been enjoying the Fall colors more than ever this autumn.  Usually, fall makes me sad because I know winter is coming on.  But this season I am choosing more to enjoy the warmth and beauty of the colors, instead of the bare branches when the leaves fall off.

I got a surprise call from my brother Cedric on Wednesday to come and pick him up at the airport that night.  Yeah!  He stayed for four days, and it was so great to have him.  Before I tell you how our ping-pong game turned out, I must report that Cedric loaded the dishwasher every day he was here, and deep-cleaned the kitchen on Saturday.  He steam-cleaned the wood floor too.  He worked really hard while he was here!

And now, let it be know that I beat my brother in ping-pong for the first time since I was six or so.  He won the first game, and I won the next two.  I warned him from the beginning that all that spinny stuff wouldn't work on me.  Ha ha  He said Julianne and I play exactly the same way.  I had a laugh about that.

We went to two last soccer games on Saturday - one each of Peter's and Mary's.  They both lost, but they played well, and it was fun to watch their games.

Halloween came and went with out too much trouble on our part.  Libby was a musician.  She found the dress at Walmart, and then added the other stuff from home, including the home-made guitar.  Peter was a Knight, and Mary was a clown.  We went over to the trunk-or-treat at the Church in the afternoon, and then took the kids around to some neighborhoods later in the evening.  We only went to members' homes, since we didn't know if others would be celebrating Halloween on the 30th instead of Sunday.

Bruce has been preparing for the last two weeks to go hunting.  He bought a wall tent this year off of craigslist, and he worked hard getting it patched up and waterproofed.  He bought new boots, tarps, and all sorts of gear.  Elk meat is the most expensive meat on the planet!  He took Joseph along with him.  I'm not sure how much hiking Joseph can do with his hip still healing up, but he wanted to go, no matter what.  Six llamas went along also - Achacachi, Achumani, La Paz, Cusco, Ruffneck and Huacuyo.

Oh, and we have an announcement!  Buttercup had a calf today!  It was born during church today.  I haven't been out to look closely at it, so I'll give more details later.

We got to hold Mazey today in Church.  She is only a few months old, and so adorable.  I was holding her during the sacrmaent today, and I felt that the reason that Christ did everything for us in the Atonement is easily understood if one holds a baby.  It was such a treat to hold her and think about who she will become someday.  If she's like her parents, well, she has a bright future.

Our friends Wade and Holli and their five children are moving in with us this week!  They will stay about two months until the rental house they are moving into becomes available.  They are staying in the Entertainment Room and Peter/Josh's room.  It will be fun to have them here.  I hope everything works out and they are comfortable while they're here.  I'm VERY grateful that we can use this large house and be of service to someone.  We kind of had that in mind all along when we added it on, so this will be the second time we'll have used it that way.  Our friends Aaron and DaraDee also stayed with us for awhile before they moved.

Josh's intramural soccer team is playing in the Final of the Tournament!  They show the Final game on Web-cam, so I'll let you know when that will be and where you can watch it.  I'm so excited about that because I've not been liking it that Josh is playing and I'm not there to see him play.  :)  Now if I can just get a recording of his choir concerts...

Jesse played for one of the local university piano professors this week!  Her teacher arranged the lesson with his former teacher, the professor, whom he still has a close relationship with.  Jesse got some good tips and played really well for him!  She has been working towards this goal for months, so it was exciting to see her accomplish it and do it well.

Monday, October 25, 2010

State High School Tournament

Joseph's Varsity team made it to State!!  This last week was spent preparing for and going to the State Tournament in northern Idaho.  One of the preparations was Joseph going over to a teammates house and getting his hair dyed to a "bleached blond".  The whole team did it.

We (as in our whole family) got to ride on a chartered bus with the team, since Bruce is an Assistant Coach. 
Man, it was the lap of luxury.  I got to sit by Bruce the whole time and watch movies.  
It was like being on an extended date.
The head coaches family was also on the bus, so our families got to hang out.
 We don't eat out hardly ever (besides Taco Bell), so this weekend we made up for it.  We got to eat at Panda Express, Olive Garden, Subway, KFC, and Grannie's Buffet.  And all that besides eating at the hotel buffet every morning.  My oh my!  It was so nice not to have to cook!

Beautiful view from the hotel Cafeteria

It rained on the last day - truly reminding me of our home in Washington state!

Within two minutes of walking into the hotel room, Jesse said, "I need to play the piano."  Notice - not wants, NEEDS.  ha ha  Jesse asked at the front desk if they had a piano, and the answer was no.  She went into "Wo is me" mode.  The next morning, her friend Maddy bounded in to tell Jesse that she had found a piano down by the hallway in the recreation area.  Yea!  Jesse was happy about that.  She played her pieces one morning, and finally a lady in an office across the hall came out and said she couldn't hear, so we would have to stop playing.  So we left, but I couldn't believe she wouldn't say anything to Jesse about her playing.  Am I a biased Mom with a Mama Bear attitude?  But seriously, it's not every day that you hear a Rachmaninoff and a Chopin played beautifully out your office door.  C'mon lady!

On Thursday, Joseph's team played really well and beat the opposing team 2-0.  
Joseph is #4 in Blue (I know - hard to recognize, huh?)

It was so fun to be on the sidelines with parents and a few classmates.  You get really close to these people throughout the season.

After this win, Bruce and Theron (the team manager) were the only ones who hadn't dyed their hair, so one of the mothers of a boy on the team dyed their hair in the hotel room.  With his long hair, Bruce looked like "Doc" on Back to the Future.
Our family (sans Josh)
  The next day we took a walk on the boardwalk with all the team.
Peter and Neil looking off the boardwalk.
The Coaches - Wayne, Larren, Theron and Bruce

That afternoon we played the team from our own district that beat us in the District Tournament in a 1 on 1 shootout.  It was a tough loss in District, so they boys were anxious to get out there and win the game.
Cameron, Paul, Dane and Curtis
Unless you've seen a varsity soccer team, you can't imagine how these boys give it their all when they play.  They "leave it all on the field," as the saying goes.  All through regulation, there were some close shots, but nothing went in for either team.    They started the first overtime period of ten minutes, and about half way through that period, the other team got it down near the goal line.  One of our defenders blocked a shot wtih his chest, but it went towards a guy on offense.  This guy was being marked, but not closely enough, and he kicked the ball into the back of the net from close range.  Jaren, our first-team All-Conference keeper, didn't have a chance at it.  AHHHH.  It's hard even to write about it now.  We lost!  Our hopes of winning the state championship were gone.  I was standing up, and I had to turn around and walk away from the field, and barely contained the desire to cry. Oh, that was tough to swallow.  Our boys just stood in place on the field for awhile, and finally made their way over to the sidelines and sat.
At game's end
They did jog over to clapping parents, but it was slow.  The ride home on the bus was very quiet.

The next day we had to regroup and come back and play another game for 3rd place.
We lost that game 3-0.  The field was soaked, and the boys were slipping all over the place.  Although we lost soundly, this loss wasn't nearly as hard to swallow as the day before.

Just before halftime, Joseph got a through ball and was going one on one with the goalie.  It was pretty even between them, and I knew it wasn't going to be pretty.  Joseph went in hard, not slowing at all.  He slid in for the toe touch to try to get the ball past the goalie, but the goalie slid in also and got the ball and slammed his knee into Joseph's hip.  When it was over, both of them were on the ground and not getting up.  After a bit, Joseph got up and limped to the edge of the penalty box, only to go to the ground again in pain. While he was doing that, the ref gave him a yellow card for colliding with the goalie.  Both coaches came out and attended to the players.  Joseph went out of the game, and the goalie got up and played.  Before this, Joseph had been playing really well.  He gave it his all, and left the field with no regrets, as did all of his team.  Congratulations Joseph and teammates!  We will miss watching you play!

Joseph is feeling a lit bit better this morning, but he got a pretty bad injury.  He feels like his hip got knocked out of alignment, so I'll be taking him in to a chiropractor today.

Josh is doing great!  He had a choir concert this week and a soccer game also.  I wish I could have been to those!  It's weird hearing from Josh that he's doing these things without me being there to see it.

Mary made the 8th grade "B" Volleyball team!  Last year she was on the "C" team, so she moved up this year, which she was really excited about.  She practices at 6:10 in the morning!

Peter had a great game last Saturday.  He played keeper during the second half and made some great saves.  Peter is the first keeper we've had in our family, so it is fun to see him develop that skill.  It will be interesting to see if he continues with that.  I'm not sure how I can stand to even write about it, especially with Joseph's experience above, but we're not to that stage yet, so it's OK.  :)

Libby has decided that she wants to be a Musician for Halloween. Yesterday she made four or five instruments out of cardboard and paper for her costume.

We got home from the State Tournament at 2:15 am, and then turned around and got to Church at 9:00 am for the Primary Program.  Before Church, Bruce pulled out the men's hair coloring kit that's been in the closet for years, and dyed his hair back.  Only this time it came out black - really black!  He and Joseph were quite a site on Sunday, for sure.

Bruce really does look like he's 35 again, instead of 45.  I'm certain a more handsome man does not walk on the earth!

The Primary Program was awesome!  Libby sang with her class and gave her part well.  And Peter sang a solo to "Follow the Prophet" about the prophet Moses.  Afterward, I was talking to Bruce about it, and he
said, "Peter has a great singing voice."  I replied, "Yes, he takes after his brother."  (Because he really did sound a lot like Josh to me).  Bruce hastily replied, "He takes after his Dad!".  Oh, oops - I forgot about that!  OK - he takes after his Dad.  :)

The Spirit was so strong during the Primary Program.  The first song we sang was "I Know He Lives", which is a new song this year.  I have yet to sing the song without chocking up on the part where we sing, "The love that he felt for his little ones, I know he feels for me.  I did not see him or sit on his knee, yet Jesus is real to me."

I have the distinct privilege of teaching the seven year olds that are turning eight all through the year and getting baptized.  Yesterday in class, our lesson was on the Sacrament.  After asking some questions, I realized that they did not really understand when Jesus did the Atonement, or what was involved.  So I took them through the Last Supper, through the Garden of Gethsemane, and on to Golgotha.  From the absolute silence in the room, and their steady gazes on me, I was certain they were hearing this described for one of the first time their minds could understand it.  It was an absolute departure from the lesson, but I just taught from my own knowledge and experience, and they were riveted.  I felt that they were ready to understand more of they symbolism behind the broken body and the water representing blood.  When I talked about the juice that Jesus gave them being like grape juice, Libby said with a serious face, "Was it red?"  As I said, "It might have been a reddish color," I could see her little mind processing that and seeing the symbolism.  It was a precious teaching moment!  And not just with her, but the whole class.

I feel like that often with this group of children.  It's a big class - we had eleven there yesterday, and when I look at them all together, I feel this power and strength emanating from them.  I can feel what an enormous influence they are going to have in the world, and what a stunning influence for good.  When I told Bruce I feel like crying every time I look at my class, he asked why.  I felt like saying, "Well, don't you??"  Isn't it obvious!?!  They are beautiful and I love them so much.

One more word on Jesse's Varsity Soccer team - they did not make it past the District Tournament, but they were the best girls team our HS has seen in a while, and it was so fun to watch all season long.  They did great!

Look on the far right in the fans and you can see Bruce and I watching Jeses's game.  (This is Annie throwing the ball in).

Jesse got recruited to a club team on the last two games, so she'll be playing for a club team in the Spring.  This is the first time we've done that, but the Coach made us an offer we couldn't refuse.  I think it will be good for her.  One of her favorite teammates, Mary, will be playing with her, and they are both excited about that.

One more soccer game for Peter and Mary, and then we'll be done with the season.  Whew!  And Bummer! at the same time.

And finally, CONGRATULATIONS to my brother Craig and his new bride Jenette!  They were married in the Mt. Timpanogos Temple last Friday.  Oh, how I would have loved to have been there, but I decided to be a mother first, so I needed to be with the rest of the family in Idaho.  Joshua was able to be there, however, so I was glad for that.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Conference Weekend!

Varsity soccer is a dangerous activity, as our family can attest.  We pulled out the crutches (Joshua's old ones from when he broke his leg two years ago) for the second time this fall season, but this time for Jesse.  At her game on Wednesday, she stuck out her foot to block a shot on goal, and the full force of the opponents kick came onto her right ankle.  She went down and had to be carried off the field by her coach.  The frustrating thing was that this was the one time in the last six months that I haven't had Deep Relief in my purse.  I ran home and got the oils that she needed and brought them back to her.  She was in a lot of pain and could not put any weight on it.  It turned out to only be a deep muscle bruise.  I was frankly relieved that it was only that - not a broken bone or torn ligaments!  She went to school the next day on crutches, hating every minute of it.  She hated the attention, but most of all she did NOT like that people had to help her.  It was a learning experience for her!  The next day she only needed one crutch, and Sat and Sunday she's been walking without even a limp.  I'm hoping she'll be back playing by Wednesday.  That was what her team was saying also.  Her teammate Sydney told me, smacking her hands together, "We just have to have Jesse.  We have to!"  Have I ever said how grateful I am to Heavenly Father for blessing us with essential oils?

Varsity soccer is also a very exciting activity, as Joseph can attest.  For the first time this season, Joseph scored a goal!  And he did it two games in a row - on Monday and Wednesday!  On Monday, I was so excited when he scored a goal, that I did a cartwheel on the sideline.  Yes - it's true.  I did a cartwheel.  I think it was seeing Libby doing it all the time that made it come to mind, and I did it!  And guess what - it didn't even hurt or anything!  Ha ha (That was adrenaline).  I looked up from the cartwheel, and a parent (I think it was Tammy), was holding up their hands, so then I went down the line of parents giving high fives.  Yes, that is true also.

The next game was in a town an hour and a half away, and I was in charge of the referees for our local club's tournament, so  I couldn't go to Joseph's game.  After the game should have been over, I checked my phone, and there was a text from an unkown number that said, "You owe us another cartwheel."  "What?", I thought to myself.  "Is this for Libby?", and then it donned on me.  It was for me, and that meant that our boys had scored a goal!  I called the number, and it was my friend Bob, and he let me know that not only was it our team, but Joseph specifically that had scored the goal!  Wahoo!  I was so excited, I couldn't believe it!!  Two games in a row?!  Just for the record, we had been putting on an oil called Highest Potential for about a week before that on his ankle and leg, where hurt it last month. 

I had to laugh a few weeks ago when Cedric, my brother, told me that as a parent, I needed to stay detached from the high school games.  I laughed and laughed.  What a joke - who ever came up with that paradigm?  He understood why I was laughing - I wasn't laughing at him, but my word, what parent that has watched their child play soccer since they were five is detached when they see them play Varsity games?  Ha ha  Not me, that's for sure.

Mary and her friend Trent made a display in the library for the upcoming Book Fair that the librarian raved about.  I haven't seen it yet, but apparently is very creative.  It is really cool that Mary has such a neat circle of friends right now, both boys and girls.  That doesn't happen very often in 8th grade.  This is one of Mary's gifts, however, and she is using her gifts well!

Guess who came home this weekend?!  Josh came up to the door Friday night and Libby went to answer the door.  Josh said her jaw dropped and she just stared for a minute or two before giving him a hug.  I knew he was coming, but nobody else did.  We got Joseph so good Friday night.  He came home from his date (with one of the cutest girls in the school - and yes, that's two weekends in a row with a date) and I was rubbing oils on Jesse's foot.  I said, Joseph, "Please go get me the Lavender in the bathroom."  When he turned the corner, Josh was there with a hockey stick in his hand raised up.  They both yelled, and it scared Joseph so badly!  Oh, we were laughing so hard!

This is a picture of us right before Josh left to go back to BYU-I.  Notice that Jesse, Mary and I are nearly the same height?  With raised eyebrows, I'm examining that fact in this picture.  It had to have been uneven ground, or else Josh is standing on his toes, which is entirely possible, because he is not taller than Bruce.  Yet.

I love General Conference!  We were able to go over David and Elysia's and spend the day.  David and Elysia moved here a little over a year ago from another state, and now our families have become dear friends.  David cooked us breakfast, their family tradition, and we made BLT's for lunch.  Add peaches and cream to that, also, and it tells you that we were stuffed at the beginning of the fourth session!

Obedience, repentance, following the prophet, addiction, and the Holy Ghost were some of the salient points of the Conference for me.  I can't wait to take each talk individually and study every word.  I am so thankful that we have this privilege.  One speaker said something to the effect that humans usually take things for granted.  So I express my gratitude for apostles and prophets!