Sunday, September 25, 2011

What a couple of weeks. We somehow find ways to be way too busy. BJ and I were made home teaching companions and given some families to home teach. Some are struggling with some issues. We went out and visited them, and I think we made some progress towards becoming friends with them. It will be good to work on this together. BJ is really a great guy. I enjoy him so much.

On Monday we found a bed we really liked for sale.

This is what it looked like before we got a bed frame. It is also testament that our youngest two still keep coming in to bug us at night.

The bed once we got it together five days later

You can see the bed is tall, not so sure that is good

It was about an hour’s drive away. So we borrowed my parents truck, went out and got it (it is larger than we had anticipated), came back just in time to pick up kids from various places, and do an FHE that also fulfilled a requirement for a school assignment for Tashara and a merit badge requirement for BJ. We went to the little local museum of the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers. It was so cool. It is amazing to think of all our pioneer ancestors went through to come and build things up here. The persecutions they went through, the hardships of migration, the difficulties of building up a barren land with so few resources at their disposal, it is all amazing. These people had so much faith and dedication, they had such a great love of Jesus Christ. That is the only thing that saw them through. Seeing their lives makes me realize how little cause I have to feel like the things the Lord asks me to do are hard.

Tashara at the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers (DUP) Museum

More of the same

And more

We left there to have some desert with Tammy and Jed and family. Sometimes I wonder how things could be so silly that I have a sister who lives up the street and we don’t spend that much time together. Silly.

Dropping Sabrina off at school again. It can still be a bit hard for me sometimes.

I ended up with the opportunity to go and teach at Maeser again. This time it was not Tashara’s class, but it was the class BJ would have been in if he had been wise enough to go to that school. I taught two two-hour sessions, both times talking about history and pyramids in Egypt. It was pretty fun. They are a good group, and I tried to teach in a way that taught them about learning as well as about the topic. I am so impressed with that school. They are doing an archaeology unit this Friday, so I helped them get ready for that.

One of the classes I taught at Maeser

The kids have tons of stuff going on, and love to play with each other. I love watching that. I stay way too busy. So does Julianne. We have not made that much progress towards getting really moved in to our house, we keep on doing other things. As an example, we bought the bed on Monday, but it took me until Friday to put it together, and I did that working as fast as I could because I had to sandwich it in between just a few other things. I do love teaching my class. I taught it on the Fall this week. What a great topic. It is so wonderful to help students understand how this fits in to the Plan of Salvation, and how this was a glorious and good necessity, and how, while it brings about good but necessary things, that we are redeemed from the Fall because of Jesus Christ. Misunderstanding the Fall causes a completely different world view than if we see it in its proper perspective. It also helps us appreciate the atonement of Jesus Christ more.

As always, afterwards I got to spend a little time visiting with some Jerusalem students. What great friends. I love them so.

Sometimes they are pretty tired during morning scripture study. That comes from our doing too many things and keeping them up too late at night.

We had a wonderful time at our children’s school carnival. It is good to let the kids do these kinds of things that seem so huge to a little child. I think they loved it, and I loved watching them love it. Our kids are getting older and it is a bit weird to go to something like that and not have to supervise as much as we used to.

The carnival

Jacob at the carnivalJaker and Sabrina jumping at the carnival

Sabrina doing the same

Alexia got her hair colored at the carnival. Huh?

We left the carnival so that Julianne and I could help Camille, my department chair, to host some new visiting faculty and spouses at a dinner. During the dinner I was able to keep checking the score of the football game. We finally won. But what was great was visiting at the dinner. It was so much fun to get to know these good people better. I really, really enjoyed that. What amazing people I get to work with. I wish I could spend more time with more of them, it is so enjoyable when we get to know each other a bit better. The greatest blessings the Lord gives us are the wonderful people in our lives. I have always known it, but since he taught me that so powerfully in Jerusalem I have come to know it and notice it even more.

Saturday was a day of church stuff. Julianne and Tashara went to a humanitarian aid service project all morning. In the meantime, Kaleb and I worked on his pinewood derby car. We spent a lot of time on it together, and it was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed working with him. He so wants it to be fast, and I think we did the stuff we needed to do to make it fast. We had it smooth. We sanded the wheel axles until they were polished. We had weights in just the right places. We worked and worked on it, and I really enjoyed spending the time with him.

Workin' on the car

Sanding down the axles

They had the weigh-in all decked out

Others working on their cars at the weigh in

Some of the cars that had been weighed in

Kaleb's car after it was weighed in

I helped the kids mow the lawn, we cleaned up a bit, and then Julianne went to a Relief Society dinner and meeting. When she got back we packed up (that is always an adventure, with sometimes amazingly frustrating things happening just to get the kids to get ready) and went to a reunion for the summer term Jerusalem Students. It was so wonderful to see them again. We swam and visited. I love these guys so much, and it is so good to catch up with them and to spend good time with them. They are so pure, so good, so full of light. We are blessed to be with them.

The get together with students

BJ doing a backflip off the board at the party

Sabrina at the party

On Sunday BJ was put in as the secretary in the Teacher’s Quorum. I am very happy for him. He will get some good training in and have good opportunities for service. He is a great kid and I think this will help him learn to do good things.

We have played miniature golf as a family this week, worked on the yard, visited with neighbors we haven’t been able to catch up with, and a variety of other good things.

Ice cream cones outside for Family Home Evening desert after miniature golf

The highlights of the week were Kaleb’s pinewood derby and Tashara’s birthday party. The pinewood derby was a lot of fun, except that Kaleb’s car didn’t do that well and he really struggled with it. He had his heart set on doing well, and was on the slower side (I don’t know why, when we did this same stuff in the past he had a really fast car), and he was overwhelmingly sad with how poorly he did. In the end, that is what this kind of thing is for, to learn how to deal with losing. Everyone needs to learn it, and this was a chance for him.

The scouts loved this track and were so excited. A computer posted the results of each race on a screen. It was well done.

Kaleb gives them his car to load on the track

The cars are off in a blur of speed

Kaleb's car, in the blue, holds its own in the race. He was never more than half a second behind the leader, usually .2 seconds.

Kaleb tries to work with his wheels in between races to see if he can get it to be faster

Sad Kaleb not finding consolation in his certificate or his sister's hug

Tashara’s party was a hit. Julianne took her and a few of her friends to a beauty school, where they did fingernails, hair, and makeup for all of them. Then they did a photo shoot, and our wonderful student/friend Ashley Crist came down to help with that. Then they came back here for cake, ice cream, presents, and a movie (National Treasure). I think it was a hit. Tashara has been working so hard at school, and has been able to do so little with her friends here, that I am glad she had a chance to do some fun stuff with her friends here in the neighborhood. I had a chance to get two football tickets to the game, but didn’t go so that BJ and I could help with the party. As the party ended I was at least able to listen to the amazing ending of that game. We were also fortunate enough to have our friend from Israel, Rebecca Call, come by and visit. It is so great to keep up with friends like her.

Tashara getting all gussied up

See the gussying?

The girls at the photo shoot

Tashara at the Photo Shoot

Tashara blows out her candles

The week was also full of meeting with people at work who needed a little help. There are parts of the new job that I don’t like, but I do like doing all I can to help people become better and to make sure students get the best experience they can. That is worthwhile, even if I am losing out on getting other things done.

Saturday conference was great. Amazing messages, great family time, some less than great family time, so things done, and some resolves made. The low point was when our garage door broke. I two hours trying to fix it, and missed a planned dinner-before-priesthood-session time with BJ. I was bummed about that. But I loved seeing BJ get a lot out of priesthood session. It was a great session (other than the fire alarm going off), and I think he really learned a thing or two.

All in all we are even more fixed in our resolve to serve the Lord, are more full of love for the Savior, more full of gratitude for ongoing revelation and prophets and Apostles. Thank the Lord for all he has done for us. The messages of how much he wants us to return to him, though we already knew it, are still so uplifting and comforting.

This Week's Remembering Our Time in Israel picture

View of Bethlehem from Shpeherd's Field. I will never forget the times we spent in this filed, still used by shepherd's today. In this picture you can see Bethelehem in the background as the sun sets over it. Two thousand years ago some shepherds saw basically this same view, and shortly thereafter were greeted by a host of angles as they received the most glorious news the world would ever know. In that town which we can see in the background there, the Savior, Jesus Christ the Lord, had been born. How real it is! How wonderful it is! How much it changes everything and how blessed we are!

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