Sunday, April 10, 2016

Student body Officer and Cheerleader

Lindsey decided to push outside her comfort zone and fulfill her desire to be an student body officer.  This is quite an uncommon thing at her school.  She had to actually ask permission to run for office and cheerleader because it hasn't been done in, at least that anyone could remember.  She ran for Spirit Officer on the platform that she could be a great liaison between the cheerleaders and the officers and student body.  I always feel nervous when my kids put themselves out there to be judged by their peers.  The morning she was supposed to find out was nerve-racking and exciting.  When they came to get her it was a big relief.

A couple of weeks later it was on to cheer tryouts.  There was some concern as there seemed to be a little back and forth going on between the coaches in regards to Lindsey.  We weren't sure if they were going to be on board with her doing both.  Lindsey finally talked to them and they were glad she did.  Lindsey was supposed to be captain of the cheer squad and they weren't sure how to tell her that the principal had told them she couldn't be captain and an officer.  Lindsey was happy they wanted her to be captain but understood the reasons why she couldn't do both.  In the end, the best news came when we found out their faculty advisor was quitting!  It has been a stressful year working with her and everyone is ready for a change.   The results came in and Lindsey made cheerleader.  She will have a very busy and eventful year next year-- her senior year.

Heather is 15

It's hard to believe, but Heather is officially fifteen years old.  We celebrated her birthday this week with the traditional breakfast in bed followed by presents.  We tried for family dinner that night but had to try again the next night in order to get everyone there.  I have to say, that was probably the best family dinner we have had.  The four teenagers sat at the end of the table and really talked with each other.  No one fought and everyone got a long so well.  My heart swelled with love as I caught a glimpse of their eternal friendship that has been developing for ages.  They are such great kids and so supportive of one another.

I was in the temple earlier that day and I was thinking of Heather.  I was struck by how much I admire Heather.  She is an incredible example of peace.  She generally finds peace within herself and is genuinely happy.  She also likes to create peace in the family and will often make sacrifices to encourage peacefulness.  I know that I don't naturally do that and Heather's example has inspired me to do better.  I realize that each child has their own gifts and talents to help everyone in the family grow.  What a blessing Heather has been in my life and those around her.

Spring Break

(Pictures for all posts will be forthcoming)
It was that time of year when winter fades away.  Easter came at the end of March--which always seems too soon.  We had the tradition egg hunts and family dinners coupled with Easter dresses and bunny visits.  This year, however, I tried to focus a little bit more on the sacrifice of my Savior.  James gave a great talk in Sacrament meeting illustrating the final days of Jesus.  I felt a little sad when I thought about how much time we think about Christ's birth and participate in traditions symbolizing said birth at Christmastime, but we do very little at Easter time when we consider his sacrifice and celebrate his resurrection.  I hope to do better next year.

After Easter Sunday, we boarded a plane for California for Spring Break.  We decided to visit Disneyland and give Ashlyn the opportunity to experience the fantasy land.  We have taken our kids when a sibling is around four years old because that seems to be a magical time for them.  Ashlyn did not respond as our other children had.  She woke up the first morning throwing up, that probably set the wrong mood.  She didn't seem too interested in meeting any princesses or participating in any of the make-believe.  It was a little disappointing.  The rest of the kids had a great time until a few days later they woke up to throwing up.

I believe everyone would agree that the best day was our last day.  We opted to skip Disneyland and spend the day at the beach.  Ashlyn and Matthew loved playing in the water and sand.  The other girls and I hung out reading and relaxing.  It was probably the most stress free part of the vacation.  Later that evening, we went to Mideival Times experience for dinner.  I had flashbacks of when I was a high school senior and my grandma took us to the same thing in Florida.  It was so unimpressive that it was comical.  The kids made the most of it and we came away with a funny memory.  Of course, that is what family vacations are all about-- making memories.


March 12, 2016, that's the day Luke's mission call came!  We had stake conference adult session that evening so the time was set for 9:15 pm.  As we rounded the corner to our home, James and I noticed there were cars lined up all along both sides of our street.  When we walked into our home, it was overwhelming to see all the support of family, neighbors, and friends.  The house was full of people.

Luke, sitting on the bar, tore the envelope open and began to read.  "... you have been called to serve in the Laoag, Phillipines, mission.... you will preach the gospel in Tagolog."  There was an amazing spirit as he read those words.  As a parent, I was unprepared for the emotions I would feel.  Having served a mission and been where Luke was reading the call, I knew how that felt.  I remember feeling a strong confirmation that was where I was supposed to go, I also felt relief that a time was finally set and the process was moving forward.  I felt gratitude and love for my Savior and all those supporting me.  I imagine Luke felt many of those same feelings.  However, as a parent, this was a new experience.  I felt a deep love for my son.  Memories of him growing up by my side flashed through my mind and I realized he was now becoming a man.  There was a little bit of sadness in my heart as I realized things were going to change, our roles would be different.  I know change is necessary and growth is good but sometimes I just want to slow things down and savor the moment a little longer.  The one feeling that was similar was the deep sense of gratitude and love I felt for my Savior, who loves my son and blesses him, and for the support of so many family and friends.  The gospel is a beautiful thing that brings people together and blesses so many lives.

I am grateful for a son who is also my friend.  I feel privileged to be his mom and to have watched him grow into the man he has become and the one he is striving to be.  I am grateful to have been a part of his successes and his trials because I have learned from watching him in both arenas.  I understand more and more that these are not my children but are God's.  He loves them, watches over them, and blesses me to help them.