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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

I just took a glance at some of the other posts on here and realized it has been 2 years since Renee graduated from High school. Wow! I can't believe that.

Hope did get to go with her dad and Samantha to the Georgia Aquarium earlier this year. They had a great time. Now she is interested in taking up paddle boarding. Chris and I are really excited about that because she gave up dancing this year and has been drifting. We feel it is important to have interests and outlets that help build self esteem and provide stress relief and all that jazz. I don't know how we are going to afford to buy her the necessary equipment but that is the goal. For now she has her body board that someone found at a garage sale and has been sitting in our shed for years. She has been taking it to the beach. They offer free paddle boarding experiences at Bill Jackson's every Saturday morning as well.

Hope is an excellent saver. She never wastes money on herself. She either gives it away or hoards it for something she wants badly. She saved the money to go to the GA aquarium. She saved to adopt a bunch of animals at the Clearwater Aquarium last year. I think I can give her a little money here and there and trust her to sock it away until she has enough to get her paddle board and paddle and whatever else she needs.

Mothers Day
I want to put a little note on here about Mother's Day while I am here. I usually get really annoyed with Mother's Day, as well as my birthday. I am a big baby and even though I know I should be above it I still really want someone to make a big deal about "My Day". I am usually disappointed. The fact is, if a woman is not in charge of it, it just doesn't happen. I work to make sure Father's Day, and everyone else's birthdays are special. I make Christmas for everyone as best I can. I kind of thought having daughters would ensure I would have great Mother's Days. They are young WOMEN after all and women make things happen. I don't know when that kicks in. It must not happen until they become mothers. I don't know.

So, Saturday Sam tells me that they were going to be giving me an IOU(again) for Mother's Day because they hadn't been able to find anything for me. That ticked me off. I mean, come on, Mother's Day comes every year. It isn't as if you didn't know about it until this week. This happens every year. They wait for someone to work everything out for them and so nothing happens. Last year they said they were going to make dinner for me and make it all about me all day. Then they came home from church, fell asleep and at dinner time they said they couldn't make anything because I hadn't bought the ingredients.

So I was trying to tell myself not to be upset this year when my sucky Mother's Day played out. I heard someone in the kitchen and assumed it was Chris making me breakfast which he does most years(then I have to clean up the mess after church while everyone naps). As it turns out it was Samantha. She brought me an omelet and turkey bacon. It was really good. I asked how she knew how to make an omelet and she told me she had googled it. Then she went and cleaned the kitchen. I was really impressed. She is becoming a woman after all. Then Hope got up and gave me a painting she had done for me. She had made me a really cool card with an awesome note in it as well and a few other things. She had put a lot of time and effort into it. It was the best Mother's Day yet.

Don't get me started about Chris and Renee.

Seminary this morning

I had a moment of coolness this morning in seminary. We were talking about Joseph F Smith. Of course I had taken in all the facts and details available to me the night before in preparation for class but didn't make the personal connections. Standing in class, I asked the kids how seeing his father and uncle dead at 5 years old might have impacted him, testimonywise. One of them said that since he was only 5 he probably didn't even remember it and it wouldn't have had a lot of impact. Right then and there I realized I had a personal connection to that lesson. I told them my mother died when I was 5 and I definitely remember the feelings and thoughts that I experienced then. Those impressions have grown and evolved into a deeper understanding of things than I had at 5 but my experiences at a young age have a lot to do with who I am today. I think seeing that his father had sealed his testimony with his blood must have been a huge faith builder for him just as experiencing the loss of my mother the day after our family was sealed for eternity in the SLC temple has strengthened my testimony of the eternal nature of families and the importance of temple ordinances. There was no way I ever would have married anyone outside of the temple.

We went on to talk about the responsibilities he faced as a young boy - crossing the plains without a father. At 7 he was in charge of one of his families wagons. His mother died when he was 13, leaving him to care for his younger sister.

I recalled how much I wanted to know about a mother I barely knew and imagine that he also sought to learn all he could about his father which probably led to his deep understanding and testimony of the gospel.

I recall taking care of my brother who was 6 months old when my mother died. I didn't think about it at the time but it was a lot of responsibility for a 5 year old. My father worked at night so that he could be home during the day for us. Working nights means he slept during the day and I did a lot of cooking, cleaning and diaper changing while my dad slept. I remember when I was 5 or 6 I got a dishwasher for Christmas and I was really excited about it. It never occurred to me that this was not normal for a kid my age.

I think facing difficulties at an early age and dealing with things most young people don't have to think about prepared Joseph F. to become the prophet he was. He spoke of the importance of using our youth wisely and not wasting that time. He is an example of what can come when youth is not wasted. He instituted the seminary program which is a wonderful way for the youth in the church to make wise use of their time.

As I realize how my own experiences are similar to Joseph F. Smith's I have to also realize that I should be doing a lot more with my life and work harder to be the person I have been prepared to be. Sure I know that the church is true but what am I doing about it? I know that I am strong and smart and capable but what am I doing with that? I really need to pick up the pace.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Ain't it nice?

I was just looking at an old post on our seminary fb page and was reminded of the award that our stake promised all the kids who finished reading the Book of Mormon last year. It has been almost a year and they have not yet received it. Some of them have left for college. Maybe they will get it when they finish college. Probably not.

It took almost 2 years to get the dvd of photos from the trek. The kids were not allowed to take their own cameras so they had no photos at all until last month.

Last week there was a stake dance but no one knew where it was. I wonder how that went. I don't know if its just because our ward is the black sheep of the stake or if this is a stake wide problem but its pretty crazy. I do know I am not going to promise the kids anything on behalf of the stake anymore.

Lost Blog

I knew I had a blog spot somewhere. I have been thinking of some things I wanted to write about lately and got on here this morning to see if I had one and sure enough...

I thought it was a little more recent but, whatever.

Renee is now attending the Art Institute in Tampa. She is very talented and is finally beginning to realize just how talented. She has been at the head of every class since she started there last fall. Her work from her very first art class is on display at the school and she was told that the best of her photos would not be displayed because they were too good for a first year. Weird.

She finished most of her gen ed classes at our community college before she started at AI, thus saving a few bucks but still it is an expensive school and she was unable to get a grant, which sucks, and is paying with a lot of loans. If anyone hears of any art scholarships or contests that could help reduce these loans, please let us know.

Adding to the financial responsibility, Renee moved into an apartment with her friend, Marina, last May. She seems to enjoy the privacy and the extra room she has now. She still hangs out with us a lot, though. She is still my baby girl. She takes the bus to work and school which is a pain. She wants a car but I don't know how she can afford one right now.

She worked at Dunkin donuts for 2 years and for the past year has been working at Chipotle. Sam has been working for Regal cinema for a year this month. They are both good little workers and made good reputations for themselves.

Sam and Hope are now enrolled in full time Florida Virtual School. They are always struggling to stay on pace. Sam is a straight A student but tends to be habitually behind schedule. She says it is not a problem. Its just the way she operates. Hope is adjusting to a much more intense work load. She is getting much better at it. We had a lot of arguments at the beginning of the year but she is working more independently now - most of the time.

Hope has been dying to go to the Georgia Aquarium for months. For Christmas she gave her dad the money to buy tickets for the two of them. She had saved this by collecting cans and hoarding every penny she could find. Sam is going with them on Valentines day. They are all excited. Renee and I are staying here. She has school and can't miss a day. I have seminary and work.

I suppose there is a lot more to write but for now that will do.