So, we tried to kill ourselves off as quickly as possible. Upon our return we were immediately launched into a family reunion. While it is better than can be imagined to see all of our family so quickly and be amazed at how little ones have grown, and see the kids renew their loving ties, it also almost killed us. It had the kids staying up way too late when they were already exhausted and trying to deal with stress and jet lag. We were trying to spend as much time as we could with everyone. We were trying to decide whether we would be putting our kids into a charter school they all got into or their normal schools (this required lots of visits to schools and endless amounts of prayer and talking). We eventually decided to put them in their good ol’ normal schools. We love the gradeschool, and the Jr. High is okay. We were trying to get them registered, to orthodontic and more doctor’s visits, let the kids play with friends in the neighborhood who were knocking down the door, buy groceries, find our stuff that was in suitcases, find out stuff that was tucked into all sorts of nooks and corners of the house, stay over night a few times at the reunions, visit with neighbors, deal with a few things that were going on with work, get the yard and broken sprinkler system doing okay, and acculturate to all the stuff here we had forgotten about. We did things in small bits of time. We had a ton of fun with family. We had a part of the reunion be helping us move furniture around. Phillip came by several times to help. We celebrated Kaleb’s birthday, but he thought it got pretty lost in the reunion (it did), so we had a little party with friends on a later day. We ended up making four cakes, and Phillip made him one, for all the different places we went and the things we did on his birthday. I also went to the funeral of the bishop of my youth who is one of my best friend’s father.
Kaleb blowing out the candles at the ten minutes of celebrating his birthday at the reunion
Sabrina, Jaker and cousins at the humanitarian aid center during the reunion
The grandkids at temple square during the reunion
Races at the reunion
Little kid races at the reunion
Sabrina, Alexia, and cousin Brinley singing in the reunion talent show
Tashara playing the guitar for the reunion talent show
BJ and cousin Taylor playing the piano for the reunion talent show
When it came time to go to church we had a really hard time finding shoes, socks, etc. for everyone. It was stake conference, which was a nice little step, since we saw a bunch of people but not everyone all at once. We spent some time going around and saying hi to a few neighbors. We have two new neighbors to get to know. The Olsons invited us over for FHE to share experiences, which was great! Tashara started junior high. Her first day, when only the “sevies” (7th graders) go was good. But she was found by a friend who is a bit manipulative and immediately put pressure on her. We were hoping to avoid that. The next morning, when she had to go with BJ and the entire Jr. High, she was an emotional wreck. I knew we signed up for mornings when every single thing makes a girl cry when we had a baby girl who would eventually turn into a teenage girl, but it is still a crazy ride. She cried about everything you can imagine, started to move out, knew we didn’t love her, especially me, and knew we didn’t understand her at all. We didn’t let her go to school right away, but got her feeling okay, and then took her. After a while everything was fine. Crisis over, teenage daughter phase one entered.
We also went to a social for work, and I went to some meetings for work. It is really good to see everyone. I can’t say that I am excited to go back to work. Everything is a bit of a letdown after the Jerusalem Center. It’s just a little more mundane, a little less ideal, a little less meaningful here. But back to work I will go. I met for a while to figure out what my duties are as an associate chair. I am starting to get it, but I’m sure I will figure out a lot more as I go. Right now I feel like I can give hardly any time to it. It was great to finally go back to church on a normal Sunday. Seeing everyone made it feel even more like home. It’s nice to be back.
Kaleb, Alexia, Sabrina and Jacob after a Family Home Evening treat of berry smoothies made by Dad