Sunday, July 28, 2013

Cute thought--surprisingly deep insight

Today at church, we were interviewing each of the Primary kids in preparation for our annual Primary Program. We asked pretty standard questions, and mostly got standard responses--except for one darling little 4 year old girl. When we asked her "How do you know Heavenly Father loves you?" She said (very matter-of-factly) "Because I'm his princess!".

Awww! So cute!

And I was thinking about how that is the way a 4 year old sees herself, and how full of infinite possibilities she is--and then it hit me!

Big girls (like me) tend to think its because we're nice, or give service, or remembered to exercise or not swear at the neighbor this week. Nope. He loves us, because we are--literally--Daughters of God. Divine Princesses. And nothing we do--or don't do--will remove that divine potential from us.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Summer fun continues!

In top news: mostly the weather!
Last week we got an AMAZING storm!  Everything!  Wind, thunder & lightning, tornado siren, TONS of rain (this on top of the amazing rain two days previously!), lots of corn was flattened, the cemetery has 20 trees down.  We just had a lot of sticks and branches down (although some of them were driven about 5 or 6 inches into the ground!), no major damage.  BigGirl loved getting out and playing in the puddles as it flooded the road and various yards and parking lots.  The highway was closed for 3 days. One of our nearby towns had their downtown totally underwater.   Now, the rain has moved out and the hot has moved in! 

However—my garden is going crazy!  I have yummy crookneck yellow squash waiting to be lunch tomorrow! The “lawn” in the back yard, which is mostly made of non-grass plants was/is seriously taller than my knees.  Mowing is an ongoing challenge.  I finally got to check on my bees, and (yay!) I had to add another super because they are being so productive!  And, I got to watch a worker emerge from her cell (basically “hatching”) which was pretty cool. 

Wednesday—the day of the big rain—there was no youth activity because of Youth Conference, but I still had to take BigGirl and LargeBoy in to town—they spent the night because they had to be at the church at 5:30, and I didn’t want to get up!  I also picked up my sister V.  

On Thursday, I went to the Library Summer Walking club with Stephanie the Librarian and her cute college daughter, and then hurried home to pick up V and take her to riding (SmallDaughter was running a little fever, and was very sleepy, so she just napped at Aunt A’s house.)  It has really been too hot to be very productive!  On Friday, we had Fiber Friends—it is so fun to meet with dear friends (and cheaper than therapy!).

On Saturday, I planned to be massively productive, but ended up driving 30 minutes East, to the Scout Shop with SmallDaughter to get stuff to get LargeBoy ready to leave for Jambo, and then—the second I walked in the house—V told me I had a message from BigGirl, which turned out to be: “We are back from Youth Conference, and need you to pick us up!”—so we got BACK in the car and drove 30 minutes South!  They had a great time at YC—the boys stayed at the home of some very wealthy members (I heard about the HUGE house, the gated entry, etc, etc.) but I also heard a lot about the awesomeness of the RM son (he is the one I heard about last year, from the girls, because apparently he looks just like Taylor Lautner!).  The boys were excited when the dad said “here are the game systems, here is a fully stocked fridge, you can stay up all night if you want—just clean up after yourselves”— and then bummed when Bro. K (the YM president) made them go straight to bed!  LargeBoy was also jealous that due to a breakdown in communication the Clearfork YM didn’t have a ride in the morning to the service project, so Handsome Guy drove them over in the Porsche!

Anyway—they got home, showered, washed clothes and repacked, and slept!  On Sunday, we drove over to see how the flooding was affecting MFG’s folks--their power was out from Wed around 6 in the afternoon until the wee small hours of Sat am), then we dropped BigGirl off at  her friend’s, because she is a 5th year Youth Leader at Girls Camp this week and they had to be at camp early, so all they YL’s rode together and I didn’t have to get up!  WIN!. 
W we took LargeBoy up to the Oberlin Walmart to catch the bus for the Jamboree.  He left with lots of eye rolling, and not the world’s greatest attitude, so I hope he has so much fun he can’t believe it!  On Monday, we went to see Bug’s Life at the library—mainly for the air conditioning!  SmallDaughter has been riding her bike every day, in the morning or evening when it isn’t so hot!  I checked my bees Monday afternoon—and boy is it hot in a beesuit!  Also, I forgot that I wasn’t wearing my hiking boots and long socks, and a bee crawled up my leg (inside my pants) which is a very distracting feeling!

On Tuesday, I had a Library Board Meeting—the boring one, where we have to decide on the Library Employees Insurance (which is also depressing, because it costs so much more every year!). Dad was here working on my porch when I got back!  We talked about his trip, and the reunion.   In the afternoon I did walking club with Stephanie, then picked up SmallDaughter & V and we went to the Relief Society picnic in town.  SmallDaughter had a great time—eating watermelon and jello and fried chicken, and wandering around (but lots of sisters kept an eye on her, and it was great!).  Around 8:15, she decided she was done, and got in the car and did up her seatbelt!  So we left!  V went home with P, so now it is just SmallDaughter, The WonderDog, Diesel (the kitten who is still here!), and I—and assorted other cats and chickens, of course!

I put her too bed, then worked on mowing around the beehive—I couldn’t blame the boys for not wanting to go there, but it was no problem at all~except for the sweat dripping down me!    It was 94 degrees today with 95% humidity, and we have NO A/C.  I have a great deal of sympathy for the Wicked Witch of the West, because I spent the whole day feeling like “I’m melting, I’m melting”. 

Today at the Summer Reading Program, SD got to dig for treasures in a sandbox!  There were lots of other activities, and she did try a few, but she played in the sand for almost an hour!  I loved it—she was happy and entertained and we were both cool!  Then she rode her bike to the Post Office, and got to put the letters in the postbox, which she loves!  The rest of the day was not NEARLY as cool!

We are going to the library a LOT this week, I can tell!

Diesel just managed to tip the trash can over on herself, and then attack and bite her own tail!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Busy Summer!

What a lovely week! Or couple of weeks, as the case may be!  On Saturday, I had Seminary inservice, where they introduced the new "Book of Mormon" Curriculum which is awesome! I am super excited for Seminary to start!

I spoke in Sacrament Meeting on service (as a prelude to kicking off the “Summer of Service”). Have I told you about the SOS?  We are doing it instead of the Book of Mormon Summer Reading Program this year.  Usually we would kick off at the beginning of June, but the Bishop asked me to move it back a month, which worked out fine.  I have really come to LOVE speaking, so that part was awesome—I was a little worried about going over my time, tho, especially after last time!  However, I prayed about it, and they ended up putting me last, after a sister who was SUPER nervous, who gave an excellent but very short talk, and I finished exactly on time!  YAY!  Then, during Primary time, we had the Visiting Teaching Conference, so we had yummy food, a nice lesson and the Brethren took over our classes!

BigGirl, SmallDaughter, The WonderDog & I left for Maryland right after church.  We had a nice drive, with a lovely sight when we came over the top of a mountain pass in the evening and looked down on a cloud and a rainbow!  We got in to our dear friends Mr. T & Miss D’s house about 10:30.  Miss D drove a big (non-air conditioned) 15 passenger van full of teens (including BigGirl) down to EFY (Especially For Youth) on Monday morning. SmallDaughter and I just killed time until Miss D got home.  On Tuesday, Miss D wanted to do something fun for SmallDaughter, so we took her to a neat park and then to McDonalds.  In the playland, there was a life sized “Ronald” sitting on a bench, and Miss D was not sure if it would freak SmallDaughter out—but she walked up and kissed “him” on the nose, and draped herself over his lap!  We had a good time talking, and she had a blast!

On Wed morning, Mr. T & Miss D left for Boston, and I got a text from My Favorite Gentleman that they weren’t working at all, so I drove over to Richmond VA to get him.  We were in a huge traffic jam, because somebody jackknifed their boat trailer and the boat was tipped over on its side across all three lanes!  Keeping it interesting!  On our way home we drove through some historical byways—apparently much of the Revolutionary AND Civil Wars happened right there!  It was amazingly moving to be in the birthplace of the nation on Independence Day.  That is NOT easy country—especially with horses, wagons, etc.!  As we drove along a very beautiful, scenic road, I thought “uh, oh—two naughty little dogs on the side of the road!”—but it turned out that it was two twin fauns, very tiny (smaller than The WonderDog!), still with spots, grazing less than 2 feet from the road!

SmallDaughter got sick—I think it was food poisoning--on Wed night, and spent the night alternating vomiting and diarrhea, which was not fun for either of us.  We spent a very quiet Thursday!  (glad we had the house to ourselves—and the washer & drier!).   We drove around and checked out the beaches near Miss D’s, then went to some thrift stores.  We got some 100% cotton work clothes for My Favorite Gentleman (he can’t wear synthetics because of fire danger—natural fibers burn and blow away as ash, synthetics melt into your skin~!), a cool T-shirt for LargeBoy and a great pair of tennis shoes for SmallDaughter, who’s feet are finally growing!

Fortunately, her tummy felt better quickly, so on Friday morning, we got to go to the beach!  She LOVED it!  And, since it is on the Chesapeake Bay, it was perfect—only to SmallDaughter’s knees for hundreds of yards out, barely any waves (like 1 inch high!)!  

My Favorite Gentleman was super cute with her—even though he HATES being in the ocean (he doesn’t like the textures—hot sand, sharp shells, squishy mud, gross seaweed…but the thing that really gets him is the thought of what is in the water   “we are wading in whale excrement!”---he doesn’t even like baths because you sit in your own dirty water!).  They also had a great time making sand castles—MFG would make a PERFECT castle, all smooth and nice, and SmallDaughter would stomp it and laugh!  

After we came home and had baths/showers, SD & I took a nap (still recovering!), and then we were going to go see theWashington D.C. Temple (where we were married!) and go to IKEA, but first SmallDaughter dumped an entire economy size bottle of Comet Cleanser on her head, so we did a major cleanup!  And she got ANOTHER bath—much less sweet!

The Temple was (of course!) amazingly beautiful!  We had some fun walking around on the nature trails and looking at the flowers (even though it was crazy hot and humid!), then we went to the visitors center.  SmallDaughter’s favorite part was the elevator!

My Favorite Gentleman had never been to IKEA, so it was quite an experience for him!  He still isn’t sure how he feels!  SmallDaughter loved the meatballs (which are one of her VERY FAVORITE foods!)  She ate all of hers, and half of mine!  Then we went home, and she crashed, and My Favorite Gentleman & I watched TV together and listened to fireworks, and enjoyed each other’s company!

On Saturday, I got everything cleaned up and packed, and as soon as BigGirl got back, we left.  She had an amazingly good time at EFY.  
Her testimony is stronger, she is feeling buoyed up and more self assured, and she made some new friends and learned a lot.  I am SO glad!  I would have enjoyed staying longer, but they didn’t get back until after 1:00, and we had a long drive!  We got home safely, and enjoyed being back in our own beds!  We picked up LargeBoy from BestFriend’s house.  He mostly spent the week helping Dad on our house, and doing various service projects.  He is pretty excited that his hair has gotten big again.  (Faster, this time—it’s been less than a year, and it is HUGE!).

SmallDaughter didn’t have riding on Monday, which was fine by me, since we had oodles of boys here, so there was a LOT of loud.  In the morning we all had our Dentist appts, and SmallDaughter was SO GOOD!  She sat in the chair all by herself!  I didn’t have to hold her or anything!  And she brushed the teeth on the little stuffed dragon (he has “people teeth”, and they use him to show proper brushing technique!), and then used him for a pillow!  We all had an “all clear” report, so that was excellent!  In the afternoon, BigGirl had her 4-H “picnic and filling out fair cards” meeting at the park in Plymouth.  The sad news is that our 4-H leader Hazel—who is in the middle of her 50th year as our club leader--had another stroke and is blind, and not doing well.  The meeting started out on a somber note, and then the clouds rolled in so it was quite dark and menacing (with lightning!), and then the heavens opened—and we got about 4 inches of rain in an hour!  It was epic!  And I wasn’t willing to go out in it, so we just waited in the park shelter!  The town 25 miles away from us got 14” of rain in June (which is 2” more than Idaho’s average YEARLY precipitation!) We only got 7”—but that is still almost twice our normal for June, and it hasn’t stopped!  It is hot, humid and wet—which is doing great for my garden, but the boys can’t mow, so the back yard needs a baler, and I can’t check the bees when it is windy, rainy or threatening rain, so it’s been WEEKS!  From the outside of the hive, it looks like they are doing well!

I am enjoying my walking club at the library—mostly it is just me and Stephanie, who I have wanted to get to know, so this is great!  And, yesterday she wanted to know about bees and Mormons!  She kept apologizing for asking so many questions, but I told her my three favorite things to talk about are:
1. SmallDaughter, Special Needs & Service Dogs,
3. Bees, and Honey
so we hit 2 out of 3!
(and we usually talk about SmallDaughter & The WonderDog, so we are good there!)

In the evening, I went to Cub Scout Committee Meeting and sewed patches on LargeBoy’s scout shirts.  He leaves for the National Scout Jamboree on Sunday, and he needs 2 full uniforms, each with approximately 6 million badges sewn on.  I am slowly making progress.  Today I have to sew BigGirl a “Spiderman Apron” for her skit at Girls Camp.  I am also making a batch of deodorant and homemade laundry and dishwasher detergents as an experiment (the deodorant works great—we will see on the others!


(Yes, she is still at our house, why do you ask?)