Superpaige's Pad

The Trials of a Busy Mom

Category: Church (page 3 of 5)

Differences

While in Nauvoo, we wanted to go see some of the sites that aren’t owned and operated by the LDS church, rather by the Community of Christ Church (formerly known as the Reorganized LDS church). The tour began with a film about Joseph Smith and his time spent in Nauvoo. Quite different from the Mormon telling, they mention that at the age of 14 Joseph Smith went into a grove of trees and had a ‘religious experience’.

It was interesting to visit the homes of Joseph and Emma Smith, and hear more sides of their story.

What I missed, though, was the testimony bearing. At most of the other sites in Nauvoo (the ones run by the LDS missionaries), they sprinkle their testimony in with the history. At these sites, the guide ended with a hint for monetary donations. But even without any bearing of testimonies on the tour, our testimonies inside are still bright. We know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, not just a religious and community leader. They wouldn’t allow us to take any pictures inside the houses, but there were many period pieces, some owned by Joseph and Emma.

One fun surprise was finding this little tiny baby turtle right outside the house. It was wandering around, a visitor from the river. We were all fascinated by him, and hoped he got back to his mother safely. (We found a dead one in the road a few minutes later–sad)

Many thanks to Cole, who figured out how to upload pictures even without the camera cord (and since the card was full, it was vital!) More posts and pictures later!

17 Miracles

Today was a hard day.

We found out that a dear friend has cancer, and it really shook us hard. They don’t know what kind of cancer it is, or what the treatment plan is yet, but they know from the MRI that it’s in a lot of his body. This man is one of the happiest, friendliest, most helpful, most energetic, generous people I know. Not only is he our neighbor and friend, but he’s our doctor. He’s EVERYONE’s doctor. He makes house calls, answers our medical questions in or out of the office, and he’s a GREAT man. He’s also young and strong (he ran a marathon last year for heaven’s sake!), but he’s been having unexplained back pain for the last 5-6 weeks. His wife, sick of his grumbling, finally said, “Go and get an MRI, for heaven’s sake!” and thank goodness she did. Hopefully now they can figure out what this cancer is and how to treat it.

At church, nobody knew. I don’t know if they just weren’t going to tell people until they knew what they were dealing with, but his wife was there in primary just as happy as ever, conducting junior primary. The Stake Primary was there to do sharing time, as it was ward conference today. Once the Stake Primary presidency started doing their thing, I stepped out into the hall for some reason, and there she was in the hall, with the Relief Society president and another friend, crying. What’s going on? I stepped closer, and one of our friends whispered, “It’s JB. He’s got cancer.” Oh. MY. Goodness. WHAT?

When Senior Primary started, the bishop came in and asked all the kids to please pray for him, and that we would have a special fast in his behalf. By that time, she was in no shape to conduct the meeting, and I stepped in. It’s just so unbelievable.

I feel so helpless to help my friend. I offered, no TOLD her that I would be bringing over dinner one night this week, and we asked what she needed. I think she doesn’t know what she needs, but they are scared. Scared of the unknown, of the worst, of the coming months.

After church we had to get the place straightened up and dinner ready, as we had invited another family over for dinner. We had a delicious dinner of glazed pork chops.

Which, by the way, is a really yummy and easy way to cook pork, and you can find the recipe here.

Later, I decided I wanted to watch the movie 17 miracles.

Bad idea. I knew it was going to be sad. Why did I think that watching a sad movie was a “good idea”?

Cried through the whole thing.

Sigh.

A good cry is some times a good thing, but some days it’s just too much. Right now I need optimism, not melancholy. We all need hope and happiness and helpfulness to support this family. They could use one of those miracles.

Christmas memories

Christmas this year has been wonderful! I loved the concerts, the decorations, the music, the shopping, the wrapping, the gingerbread house making, the anticipation, the live nativity, visiting Santa. All of it. Seriously. I asked the kids if it would be ok if we didn’t have Christmas on Sunday but waited a few days just to keep the magic going, but they didn’t go for that.

For months I had been planning on an early Christmas morning trip to the Conference Center for Music and the Spoken Word. I planned on dragging my family along. But about two weeks before Christmas, I got the message that they were going to record that on Thursday night, instead of having everyone come for a live Christmas broadcast. Hooray! It was wonderful to be there with the choir, especially when they did the Hallelujah Chorus. It’s one thing to hear it on a recording, but to be there, live, and to be sitting up on stage with the orchestra and the choir is behind you…that’s a once in a life time experience.

Saturday we began our celebrating.


We had our Coleman family Christmas party at Grandma and Grandpa’s house, and all but my brother and his family were there. As you can tell, it’s a big crowd, with 21 grandkids in attendance. We had wonderful food, then Grandma did some games, ending with a pinata in the garage. Instead of gifts, each of the kids and grandkids got an envelope with some cash in it (the kids were excited that it wasn’t just regular money, but the cash was in $2 bills, which is even MORE special!) Yes, it’s chaotic, but it was a wonderful party with my family.

We came home before too late, and we had time to watch Mr. Kruger’s Christmas, and tell the story of Jesus’ birth and act out the nativity with our puppets.

The kids eventually went to bed, and soon Ryan and I were in bed, too. We had agreed on “no earlier than 7 am” for a wake-up time.

It was the usual excitement and flurry of present opening. The family was excited to receive a Kinnect for the x-box from Santa, and quite a few movies. Cole got an MP3 player that he had wanted, Jenna and John got games for the Nintendo DS, Natalie a new coat, and Megan got a Kindle. I gave Ryan some clothes and a remote control helicopter. He surprised and spoiled me with a new Kindle Fire. I kept saying that it was too expensive and I didn’t need it, but he told me to just be quiet and enjoy it.


Our church isn’t until 1:00, so we had time to watch the Music and the Spoken Word, play with some of the new stuff, eat a nice breakfast, and then get ready for church. Our sacrament meeting was really lovely. The choir sang, the primary sang, there was a beautiful musical number, and two great speakers. And there were no other meetings!
Nice.
After dinner, my parents came over to play some games. For the past several years, we’ve invited both sets of Grandparents over for dinner and games on Christmas eve, but since we ended up doing the family party on Christmas eve, we opted for a last minute invite. It was fun to have them come over, and we learned a new game. Ryan even made the treats (cheeseball and Brazilian cheesbread). So, that was a fun way to end the evening.

Monday came, and the partying continued. The Ericksons had planned their family Christmas party for the day after Christmas, as that’s when we could get everyone together. We decided to get everyone together earlier in the day to take a big family picture. The last one we took was when John was a baby and my other kids looked about like this.

Oh, they were so cute, I want to just EAT THEM UP!
I looked just a bit younger, then, too. Sigh.
Anyway, I had suggested the photographer who had done our recent family photo shoot, Julie Taggert. She did such a great job making us look good, that I thought she could handle the challenge of our large extended family. And a challenge it was. One of Ryan’s nephews was hospitalized recently with pancreatitis, and he is still not back to full strength. He’s also got a feeding tube that we want photoshopped out, but she said she could do it. Getting 40 people to show up all at the same time in the same place and looking nice is also a challenge. I worried that it would be too cold, or raining or snowing, but the day was nice, bright, and above freezing. I wish I had thought to bring my camera with me to the shoot and the party, but I left it at home. I’ll have to wait for the official pictures. Megan woke up that day feeling crummy, with sneezing and runny nose galore. I tried to make her up a little bit, but she was stuck with a red nose and a bad attitude. Hopefully Julie can photo shop THAT, too. It only took about one hour to get all the shots we needed, and then we were on to Julene’s house to party. We took Megan home first, as she wasn’t feeling up to a party, sadly. We ate and ate and ate, had a small white elephant game present exchange, and Grandma and Grandpa gave everyone their presents. I was excited about the Ninja blender and chopper Ryan’s parents gave us, in fact I’ve make smoothies two days in a row now. Today’s was even a GREEN smootie. Yum.

Now all the parties are over, and it’s time to start taking the decorations down. At least some of them. It was a wonderful Christmas. We have spent a lot of time together as a family, and made some precious memories. The kids seem happy with their presents.

I hope you also had a wonderful Christmas, and that we can welcome in a bright new year.

Whew! What a week!

This week was Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. with special guests Jane Seymore and Nathan Gunn. You can read an official review of the concert here.

In order to make the concert great, that required a busy week full of rehearsals, beginning with Tuesday night. The rehearsal part isn’t bad, it’s the GETTING there that is the problem.
Really, once I get there and have found a parking spot, the rest of the night is fun. I love hanging out with my bell choir friends, and it’s wonderful to be there and be a part of the amazing production that is put on.

This year, the amazing costume lady and her team decided to outfit the bell choir so that we fit more with the theme of the show. So we were in these outfits.

And even given our own “dressing room”, which was really just some curtains put up in an out of the way hallway, but we aren’t complaining.

So, do these outfits remind you of anything?

They do look quite star trek, don’t they? We heard from choir members, stage crew, even our own director, that yes, we looked kind of star trek, but we’re ok with that. On STAGE, with the whole group, we looked good.

Right?

I decided to embrace our trekiness, and Saturday, I had Cole help me make these little badges.
Can you see the little BOTS on the badge?

I was hoping that everyone would have a sense of humor and not think I was just crazy, but after dinner on Saturday, I brought out my little badges and suggested we take a group picture.
Everyone was on board. They LOVED their badges and we took lots of pictures.

Even a group shot!

We waled around with our badges on back stage and even showed Sue, the costume lady. She laughed and laughed. The official choir photographer came up to us and said, “I understand you got a group picture with those star trek badges on.” She wants a copy for the choir newsletter. So, I’d say they were well received.

We really did have a wonderful week. Jane Seymore said hi as she walked by, Nathan Gunn came by Sunday morning and said loudly,
“Good Morning, everyone.” They were both warm and gracious guests.

Saturday night four of us stayed overnight at the Hampton Inn, and it was wonderful not to have to make the one hour drive home, and then the one hour drive in the morning. Sunday morning’s Music and the Spoken word was exhausting after the whole week of concerts, but it was a special performance. Ryan brought the kids up and I met them afterward.

So, I’m glad it’s over. I’m glad I got to again experience the wonder and magic of the Tabernacle Choir Christmas concert.

John’s Baptism Day

John was baptized on Saturday. It was a wonderful day!

Earlier we had asked John if he would like Cole to baptize him. He liked that idea and chose to have his big brother baptize him. We thought it was a wonderful idea, and Ryan didn’t mind handing over the job so that Cole could have the experience of baptizing someone before his mission.

The morning of the baptism, I was busy prepping the kitchen for the lunch afterward. Darn it if I don’t get so caught up in cleaning the house and getting the food ready that I sometimes forget to enjoy the actual event. But I said a prayer and asked that I be blessed to enjoy each moment and not to worry about the “after party”. No one coming over would be judging me as to how clean my house was, or how good the lunch spread was.

I am glad we got over to the church early, so there was no rushing around at the last minute. Cole and John picked up their white jumpsuits and got changed. I had to go to Walmart and buy white underwear for everyone involved the night before (glad I remembered that one).

We took some pictures and I got a little choked up seeing both of my boys in white. I am so proud of them both!

My mom gave a wonderful talk on baptism. It’s actually her “famous gate talk”. When we were discussing who should talk, the kids all wanted grandma to give her ‘gate talk’ about how baptism is the gate that you go through to get back to live with Heavenly Father. And my mom was great to give yet another talk at a baptism. John was lucky to share his baptism day with his good friend Carl, and Carl’s mom gave a wonderful talk on the Holy Ghost. She gave each boy a cute box and filled it with things that symbolize the Holy Ghost, and it was so sweet.

It was a wonderful day!

Afterward we came back to our house for lunch with the family, and a couple of John’s friends came over, as well.

We had a TON of food, with a lot of food leftover. I had bought a big old birthday cake from Costco, and when people started to leave (to go to a place that still has ESPN to watch the BYU football game, no doubt), I realized that we hadn’t served the cake. I could NOT be stuck with that WHOLE cake, so I hurried and plated some up to give away to the guests. I make Ryan’s nephew take a plate, and when Ryan went to a friend’s house to watch the game, I made him take a plate then, too. Luckily we only ended up with about a 9×13 pan worth, which I stuck in the freezer.

I am so proud of John, and love him to death!

bread, promptings and marbles

The other day I decided to make bread. Actually, I read a facebook post from a friend who was raving about her fresh strawberry jam and wished she had homemade bread to go with it. Well, I didn’t have homemade strawberry jam, or even strawberries to make the jam, but I could make bread. It was early in the day and it hadn’t gotten hot yet, and I had just enough time before John’s swimming lessons to knock out a batch.

My recipe makes 5 loaves, which is too much for my family to eat all at once, so I usually give a loaf or two away or freeze them. I decided to take two loaves to rehearsal that night for our director and assistant director of the community theater. They have to do a lot of yelling, and they probably aren’t getting a lot of recognition right now for all the work they are putting in. Yes, there is the reward of a great show when it all comes together, but I thought it would be nice to just give them a little something now. After my directorial debut with the old ROADSHOW, I’m much more understanding and compassionate toward those directors and the crap they go through. So, I wrote out little notes that said, “Thanks for helping us ‘rise’ to the occasion.” I gave one loaf to the director, and she seemed genuinely grateful. Maybe the loaf of bread itself wasn’t the greatest thing in the world, but hopefully she understood the message behind it. The assistant director wasn’t there, yet, but I put a loaf for her over on the table where I knew she would find it when she came in.

Now a bit of backstory on the assistant director–She’s about 8 months pregnant and I have no idea why she even agreed to help with this show. She never seems overly happy, and a few nights earlier, she had been downright grouchy in directing us. As a village woman, I don’t have a whole lot of time on stage, and it seems they only want me there to watch over my fake children (and they keep assigning me MORE fake children). It’s a shame I can’t have my own daughter as my village child. Instead, I get to watch over and herd other people’s children. We had a rehearsal there that the director and the assistant director kept giving us conflicting directions of where to be and what to do, the “kids” that I was in charge of were out of control, and I wondered why I ever wanted to be in this show, anyway. I mean, if I wanted to be under appreciated and herd disobedient children, I could do that at home, right?

Well, the next day I got an email from this assistant director. She apologized for her crankiness the night before, and explained that she hadn’t been feeling well, and –hello? She’s pregnant. No other excuse is necessary. I hadn’t thought she had been overly grouchy, but it really meant a lot to me to receive an apology anyway. We’re all just regular people, trying to work together to put on a good show, right?

So–back to the night of the bread. We got into rehearsal and she came over to me, and I automatically wondered what I had done wrong this time, and she said, “Thank you so much for that bread! That is SO nice of you.” Oh. The bread. I had almost forgotten that I had left her bread. I said “you’re welcome,” and moved on.

That was a Wed or Thursday night. Then on Saturday, she came up to me again. “Paige, I just need to tell you thank you again for the bread. You must have been inspired. We’re in the middle of moving, and we had NO food at the new place, and my kids and I were starving, and then I remembered that bread. You SAVED us that night. Thank you so much.”

Wow! I hadn’t felt inspired, and it was really just a loaf of bread (very yummy whole wheat bread, but still, it wasn’t like I made her dinner). But to her, at that moment, that loaf of bread meant everything.

In that moment I was thankful that I had listened to the little prompting that gave me the idea to take bread to these ladies. I said a little prayer thanking Heavenly Father for the prompting, and allowing me to bless their lives just a little bit. I want to be open to that kind of promptings so that I can bless lives more often.

In primary on Sunday, my sharing time was about the Holy Ghost. I had several examples and visuals about the comforter, and using our senses. But my favorite analogy was that of a marble in a glass jar. If I shake the jar, I can hear that marble rattling in the jar. It makes a soft tinkling sound, just like the Holy Ghost speaks to us softly. But if the jar gets dirty, just like if our lives get dirty, (and I poured some dirt into the jar) you can’t hear the sound of the marble anymore, maybe only a faint occasional clicking sounds. Likewise, we can’t hear the Holy Ghost if our lives are dirty with sin.

Now I don’t know if the kids will remember for more than 9 seconds ANYTHING that we discussed in sharing time, but I will remember. And I am hoping that I will be more open and willing to act on those promptings from the Holy Ghost.

Let’s get the show on the road

I haven’t written much here about our upcoming ROADSHOW, but it’s time to enlighten you. Some of the younger generation might not even know what a roadshow is, but Brigham Young is probably the man responsible for roadshows (or you might have called them “trail shows” back then). At least he set a precedent when he instructed the Saints traveling across the vast prairie expanses to gather together in the evenings to sing, dance, and entertain each other. He knew that such celebrations could raise the spirits of his people.

Today’s Saints are still carrying on the tradition, according to Pat Davis, cultural arts specialist for the General Activities Committee. “I sometimes think we don’t realize what we have in roadshows,” said Sister Davis. “Roadshows are a unique LDS art form, and an exciting showcase for talents. Every would-be composer, choreographer, director, singer, playwright, and dancer has the opportunity to hone skills and try them before the public.” Originally the roadshow would actually go ‘on the road’ and be performed at several different churches through the stake. Now, not every building has a stage or place to perform, so our roadshow is limited to one night at our Stake Center.

And who would be in charge of the ward’s road show, you ask? Well, me, of course. Because apparently having a time consuming calling with the Bells on Temple square and another time consuming calling in the primary presidency and, well, you know, my life weren’t enough to keep me busy. Ahem.

In December, right in the middle of my crazy hectic schedule where I spent about half of my month at the conference center in Salt Lake City, I was informed that the young men and young women had scheduled every week in January to work on this roadshow of mine, so would I mind getting off my butt and coming up with a plan? Ok, they didn’t exactly put it like that, but on the day after Christmas, I called together my committee for an emergency planning meeting to figure out what the heck we wanted to do.

I am honestly so IMPRESSED with what we have come up with. Our theme was basically the 13th article of faith, which in case you need a reminder states: We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

We decided to go with a top 40 countdown show, showcasing the songs that are important to our Highland 9th ward youth. We thought of popular, current songs, and we had our youth change the words. For example, instead of Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” we have changed it to “All the Missionaries”. I was explaining to this my parents, and telling them how great it was to see all our young men actually learning this dance (toned down just a little bit. And they do wear pants) and having fun. They said, ‘Who is Beyonce?’ and “What is this Single ladies song?” What? I thought everyone in Northern America had pretty much seen at least one version of this song, but I guess I was mistaken. So, for my parents, here’s the original song.

I won’t post all the lyrics to our awesome song just yet, because there may be other road show writers out there just lurking here to find out our secrets. –What? It could happen!– But just know that it’s awesome.

The kids have been working on choreographing dances and blocking to these songs, and I’ve found that a lot of my job is organizational. When are we going to rehearse each thing, and how are we going to make such and such work. Not theatrical at all. Basically, I’ve been stuck doing all the boring grunt work, with not so much of the creative work. Oh, well. Maybe I’m getting better at the organizational stuff.

We’ve got one song, “Don’t Stop Believing” which is kind of my song. When we chose our songs, and figured out how we wanted to change them, we assigned one or two young people to come up with the actual lyrics. Except when I asked one of the youth to help me rewrite the words (since she WAS on the writing committee) she pretty much blew me off with the excuse that she was too busy. Seriously? Too busy? I may never get over that one, chick. So… I wrote it. It took me about a half and hour. (Too busy? Humph!) As we are trying to teach the youth the lyrics and dance to the song, we found it’s harder to learn when all we have to rehearse are either the original lyrics or the karaoke version with no words. Fine. I’ll sing the song and record the changed words so we can all learn it at our Tuesday night rehearsal this week. It won’t be our performance cut or anything, but it will do.

So I went over to our tech guy’s house, where he’s got the whole ‘garage band’ thing all set up on his computer. He plugs in a mic, gives me a set of headphones and off we go. Now, just for the record, “Don’t Stop Believing” is not the easiest song to sing. It’s high, but it’s right in between my “belt it out” range and my “head voice” range. Never mind. I sang it through once, and then we listened to it. Or rather, he listened to it, and I sat there cringing. Flat note there, not a good entrance there, too loud and a bit screechy there. I sound dumb singing the boy’s part there. And gosh, do I really sound like that? It was painful.
“Do you want to do it again?” he asked. And while I would have liked to do it right and do it again and again until I was satisfied with the sound, I realized that this is called a “scratch recording” for a reason. We’re just going to play it for the kids to sing to so that they can get the words. It’s not for performance.

I cringed and said, “No, it’s good enough. Just don’t tell anyone who did the vocals. Tell them it was your wife or some homeless person off the street who had a ‘will sing for food’ sign.”
He laughed and said, “Right. Let me just download this as my new ringtone, then we’ll be done.”
“You will do NO such thing!” I said a little too loudly.

Now I’m hoping that tonight I can survive hearing myself singing that song over and over and over while trying to teach it to our youth. If I develop a slight facial tick or have a stroke, I’ll let you know.

I should probably prepare by stashing some chocolate and ear plugs in my purse, don’t you think?

Warning, Mormon lingo ahead

Sunday morning I got a phone call from Brother N in the bishopric asking if he could meet with me before church. Don’t you just LOVE phone calls like that? He said he could come over to our house, or I could come to the church, whichever was more convenient. What? I was busy trying to get people ready, also putting the final touches on my Relief Society lesson, but I told him I could come about 15 minutes before church started. Hopefully he’s just telling me I’m doing a great job in my calling, and maybe to ask me how things are going. Maybe they were really calling RYAN (who hides out in the nursery playing with little kids each week) to a calling and were asking me if I could support him. They couldn’t be releasing me from my calling yet, though, because I’ve barely been in this presidency a year, and I’m just getting the hang of things.

Well, I was partly right. They didn’t release me. They did CALL me to a new calling. Seems they were reorganizing both the Primary Presidency and the Young Women’s, and they would like for me to serve in the Primary Presidency as the 2nd counselor. What? Of course I said I would. While I’m thinking it will be more work than the Relief Society gig, I’m looking forward to working in Primary. It’ll be fun, right?

I still had to teach my lesson, since it was my month to do the Presidency Message. I had a lesson on faith all planned out, and I was going to show this video clip. It went so well with the message I was giving on having faith in times of trial.

Well, that video combined with this being my last lesson to teach in Relief Society for a while, and my last Sunday working with this amazing presidency who I have grown to love so much in the past year got me crying. I could barely see the words on the page. I tried to hold it together to get through the lesson–I’m really not usually a crier, dangit– and somehow managed to finish. I will miss working with those ladies. I’ve learned a lot from them and I love them, and I will miss them.

But I seem to be getting a little bit of a reputation in our ward. For the past several years, I’ve been bounced around from calling to calling. I was in activity days for a short time, just getting to know and like that calling, when they called me to Young women’s. I was getting used to that and having a grand time, when they called me to the Relief Society Presidency job. Then I do that for a year and get drafted into the primary. Maybe they think they want to work with me, then they realize I am not all that great and they want to get rid of me. Maybe they know I get bored easily. What they all seem to be forgetting, however, is that I already have a pretty major church calling. One that I devote at least four hours a week minimum to. Yes, playing bells IS a calling. A pretty great calling, if you ask me, but still a calling.

The funny thing is, they haven’t released me from the RS job. I expected them to call someone new and release me today, since it’s been a week, but they didn’t call anyone.

As a primary presidency, we are now scrambling to fill a whole lot of holes. Our president and one counselor were teachers, our music leader got called to be YW president, activity day leaders and scout leaders were also called into YW. So, we’ve got some shoes to fill.

Today we managed to pull together a quick sharing time, but that will be fun–coming up with sharing time lessons and all that. Oh, and writing and putting together a program, and quarterly activities. Fun, fun, fun.

Since we’re talking about church and all that, I went to my mission reunion last night. It was the Duesseldorf Germany 20 year mission reunion. Has it really been 20 years? ACK? I served from fall of 1990 to spring of 1992, so I guess it’s *almost* been 20 years since my mission. I guess they were speaking of President Wolfert’s 20 years, since he was called to that mission in 1990. It was fun to see many Elders and Sisters from my mission. Sadly, not one of my companions was there, although I did know many of the sisters that were there, and a few of the Elders. As a sister in the mission field, you have a little bit of a disadvantage because you don’t get to know as many of the Elders. After all, the guys have an extra 6 months. But it was fun hearing the mission stories, hearing what people are doing now, how many kids they have, and just seeing them. I missed out on my informal high school reunion that was also going on this weekend, but I’m really glad I got to go to the mission reunion. It brought back a lot of memories of what a fabulous experience serving a mission was for me, and also my love of the German people. I need to take my family over to Germany! I’ll have to work on that one.

Today I took Cole, Megan, Natalie and our two Chinese girls up to see Music and the Spoken Word. You can’t visit Utah and not at least try to see the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, can you? Ryan stayed home with John, who wasn’t old enough to go, and Jenna, who complained of a headache last night and an earache this morning. We got there early enough to get great seats, and listened to the run through. After the run through, there were some announcements and introductions and then they explained that we would have to be very quiet while the broadcast was recording, since this is a LIVE broadcast as well as being recorded for rebroadcast. One of my girls said, “you mean they are going to do that AGAIN?” Way to enjoy the beauty of the music, kiddo. One of my girls was complaining that it’s too cold, and the other one kept whining that it was too long. *Sigh*. I’m doing this for my two Chinese girls. This whole time we’ve been trying to give them new experiences, take them new and different places and have fun.

After it was over, I asked the girls what they thought of the whole experience. One of them told me, “We saw this with the school already.” I’m sure she didn’t mean to deflate my bubble, but I seemed to lose all my enthusiasm at that moment. “Yes”, I said, “you’ve already seen the building, but you hadn’t see the choir.” I said. I guess I was fishing for some kind of comment, but I didn’t get it. We drove home in relative silence. When I got home and Ryan asked how it was, I whined something like “why do I even try? You know how much the kids LOVE (I was saying this sarcastically, by the way) going to Music and the Spoken word? Daisy and Vivian seemed to love it just as much.” I was a little down and wondering why I try so hard. I mean, I would have enjoyed sleeping in this morning, too. I could have done without the two hours of driving up to Salt Lake City and back. I could have done without listening to the complaining. But I did it because I want to give them experiences. All of them. I hope that they did enjoy the experience. They just aren’t big talkers, so I guess I shouldn’t expect gushing enthusiasm, right?

So, it’s been a big week. New calling, lots of activities with the exchange students, Mission reunion. This week should be good too. Hopefully we’ll get ourselves organized as a Primary Presidency this week, and we can start to feel more confident in that. Oh, and hopefully soon they’ll release me. Because being in the Primary Presidency AND the Relief Society Presidency? That’s a little much.

First Funeral

I’ve been in the Relief Society Presidency for over a year now. While we don’t have the most exciting activities, we seem to be doing an ok job. We take care of the people who have surgery or babies, and I make sure there is always a lesson on Sunday. But we hadn’t had to take care of a funeral.

Until this week.

We did a funeral luncheon today for a man, who, while technically a member, many of the ward didn’t know. But the people on the street where he lived all knew him, and they were very helpful in pitching in food for the lunch. We got everything ready over at the daughter’s home while they were at the funeral. The daughter is also a member, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen her at church. If I hadn’t been her visiting teacher a while back, I wouldn’t know who she was. But the whole family lives on the street, on land that their dad bought originally. I think it was a very nice luncheon spread. There was a TON of food, and really only about 30-35 family members came for lunch. I didn’t stay very long after it had started, because I kind of felt in the way. It wasn’t like at the church when you can sneak back into the kitchen, this was their house, and they didn’t know me and wondered what I was doing there in the kitchen once we started.

But we did it.

Got through a funeral lunch.

Can we be released now?

(Just kidding. Mostly)

Eyebrows?

Last night I dreamed about plucking my eyebrows.

Seriously? Eyebrow plucking?

We had a wonderful Relief Society Activity last night. The games went well, the get to know you activity was fun, the food was delicious, and it all went well. I think everyone had a good time. Our first activity! And we made it through.

So, maybe the eyebrow plucking dream was the signal to me to relax for a minute, before the next big thing. You think?

And I have to give a shout out to my dear husband. He is a fabulous support. This week I was gone three nights out of five, all for church functions. And next week–well, next week is a concert week, and that means I’ll be gone Tues, Wed, Thursday nights for rehearsals, concert on Friday, and Music and the Spoken Word on Sunday morning. And he will be here to hold down the fort. He jokes about it, when we have busy weeks like this. We communicate by emails and notes, and then check in at night when I get home. I’m so grateful that I have his support. I couldn’t be in the Relief Society presidency OR the Bells on Temple Square without his understanding and willingness to help out.

So for today, I will catch up on some things that need to get done, get ready for Megan’s birthday tomorrow, watch my sister’s kids, and get those tweezers out. Because I really DO need to tweeze those eyebrows.

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