Letters from Mom: December 2013

December 2, 2013

Hello, my son!  I thought it was so funny in your last letter when you mentioned that it's weird to have it getting warmer in December.  It's quite the opposite here!  We had lovely weather for Thanksgiving, mid 40's, clear, no wind - great weather for some backyard football!  BUT, typical Idaho, this week we're going down to the teens and lower, snow is threatening, and we've got lots of wind!  It's so funny how different the climates are just because of the equator!  

I hope you've had a good week, that you're feeling better about the language and that you feel that your teaching pool is going well.  How is all of that?  How is life with your companion?  Did you get a new companion?  How are you eating down there, I mean, how is the food - do you get enough to eat?  too much to eat? anything you love that you didn't think you would, or that you really really don't love but have to grin and bear it?  

Also, did you get your birthday present yet? hahahaha   I'd love to hear more about what life is like down there, what the people are like, the general feel. It sounds like they're generally pretty religious, yeah?  Maybe all of these are better questions for Christmas Day Skype party!  hahaha

So, things are going pretty well up here.  Thanksgiving was nice.  We hosted all of the Dixons at our house, which was a bit of a squeeze, but it was a nice time.  Lynette and Bailey brought their little Kyle and he was super adorable.  They are SUPER paranoid parents - they made everyone wash with antibacterial soap AND use hand sanitizer before they could touch their little boy.  Hahahaha  Ah, the funniness of first time parents.  Everyone on the Dixon side seems to be doing fairly well. Sean and Tammy flew to Europe yesterday on a business trip - 10 days in France and in the Netherlands - so excited for them. Trina just got accepted to a massage school in Blackfoot.  She is living with Gma & Gpa Dixon after losing her job in Logan.  So she's excited about that.  Leslie is moving home in December to work until she starts school at Utah State in the fall - she isn't loving Idaho State University (although Lynette and Bailey think it's more like Leslie doesn't like being so far away from Mom and Mom's credit card).  Brad and Ami seem to be doing well with school and life and all.  All in all, they seem to be doing pretty good!  

Meg's basketball team is 3 and 0 so far.  They've played IF, Hillcrest, and Skyline so far.  We're all kind of amazed that they're doing as well as they are.  We'll see if it continues!  hahaha  I finally got some good photos of Meg in action.  I'll send a few next week.  

Janie is doing great - her love of art is spilling all over.  There is barely a scrap of paper in the house that doesn't have some manga girl or some sketch of an eye or something on it.  She begged for art supplies for Christmas - big shocker.  You're going to be surprised at how grown up she has become... and how vastly different from Jenny and Jack she has become!  hahaha.  But then, when you get home, she'll be nearly 16 years old. Ca-razy!

Sam seems to be doing better.  He has some new medication which helps him be a little more alert during the day, so that's a bonus.  It's kind of hard sometimes, wondering what is going to become of that boy.  He has always been an enigma of sorts - always been a little eccentric, and that's all good - but add this... whatever it is to the mix and the whole future is just sort of fog. I used to be able to sort of imagine what he might do, where he might go, but now it's just a giant question mark.  Will he graduate?  Will he go to college?  Will he be able to get a job?  Truly, I think he is doing better.  His improvement is super slow, incremental, but steady.  I think it will help when he gets his license next week (finally!).  I think that added freedom will help a lot.  Also, he has finally seen the light of money and begun to feel that it is worth working to get some of that stuff.  So, that is all good news.  Six months ago, we didn't even know if he was going to go back to high school!  So, the improvement is there, it's just slow.  'salright.

Dad is amazing as always.  Seriously, I don't ever want to find out if we could survive without him.  He is the glue, ya know?  I sometimes think that I am the engine- I'm the driving force - but Dad is the frame that holds us all together and keeps the engine from flying to pieces and burning everything else up!  I love him madly.  He is so supportive and wonderful.  I mean, he isn't without his flaws and weaknesses, but those are so far overshadowed by his greatness.  I am so lucky to be his wife.

School is going well.  You asked that last  week and I didn't answer because I ran out of time.  It's a better year, for sure.  I'm much more secure in what I'm doing as a teacher.  I still struggle a little with feeling insecure about how the other teachers feel about me, but most of the time I just live in my own little classroom bubble.  Most of the time I can just be at peace with who/where I am and be content to let "them" be who/where they are, but there are moments when that insecurity sinks in.  I'm definitely not one of the popular teachers, especially in English. I teach until the bell rings most of the time, so that doesn't make me particularly popular.  It's a funny thing, popularity.  There are many times when I have to consciously tell myself that being popular/well liked is not my goal, that it's more important for me to teach concepts and principles with fairness and positivity than to be a push over whose policies can be got around with a plate of cookies or compliments or candy bars.   I like to be liked as a person, and it's a challenge for me to know that there are many many people who don't like me.  So, sometimes that leaks in and I get insecure and then I get defensive, but I'm learning to talk myself off the cliff and focus on being a good teacher and finding a good balance between school and home.  So, there you go.  My schedule is crazy - I'm teaching 6 different classes - but I love only teaching three English classes, that takes a lot of weight off of me, and I love teaching speech.   So there is alot of good in my life these days.  There is so much to be grateful for!

So this is a really long letter.  I guess I'm overcompensating for the short letter last week.  hahahaha We LOVE YOU!  And I can't wait to talk to you on Christmas Day.  Know that you are loved, my dear!  

Love from MOM

December 16, 2013

I feel so guilty that this is going to be such a short little note!  I feared that I had missed writing to you AGAIN, for the second week in a row, but we haven't recieved a letter from you yet... so maybe there's a chance.

Things are going alright.  Life is just so busy.  Seriously, I'm not sure what to do to change things - change the busy craziness, but I feel that something must change.  We've been terrible at family scripture study and that weighs on me a lot, especially when we have a Sam who is preparing to leap off the fence into dense mists of darkness.  Anyway, yeesh.  I'm kind of a downer today.  Ugh!  Boring!  Be positive - like my missionary son, CHOOSE to be happy, CHOOSE to be grateful, CHOOSE to find the good when all seems dark around you.  Right?  <3

So, things really are going pretty well.  We ARE busy, crazy busy, but happy.  We're busy doing things that we love and that help us to be good people.  So, that's a good thing to be grateful for.  We're NOT crazy busy because Dad and I are working two jobs each to put food on the table.  We're NOT crazy busy because Sam is in the state hospital again.  We're NOT crazy busy because we only have one vehicle to get us from place to place.  There is much to be grateful for.  Life is good.  It is.  Consequently good can ALSO mean difficult, but difficult does not necessarily mean bad, right?

Meg's BB team is kicking buttootey.  They are undefeated - the only Shelley basketball team to be undefeated - boys or girls.  So, it's been a wild ride for most of these girls who have struggled so much to even win a game in the past.  You know how Meg's teams have struggled, so it's crazy to see them be so successful.  Fun, too.  I'll try to send a very short video clip of her playing sometime.  Is that allowed?  Can I send a 10 second clip?  Hmmmm.... I'll have to look at your handbook again.   Sam is doing fairly well.  In many ways he seems so much better, but there are other ways that he seems just the same.  I am beginning to think that the sameness may be something he/we have to live with until his neurotransmitters are set back to rights.  It's been really great for Grandma to take Sam to his weekly counseling appointments (they start before the school day ends) because she suffered a severe depression after extreme blood loss when Brent was born.  She can really relate to him.  She said that it was the better part of two years before she even started to feel like she loved her children again.  So, it may take a while, but I think some of those feelings of motiviation and hope and happiness... and hopefully an ability to better feel the Spirit will return when more time and healing has passed.  Hopefully, but only time will tell.  Sam went on his second date on Saturday - it was fun to see him nervous and excited to go.  Also, he may finally get his drivers license this week!  Yaaaaahhhhhooooo!  I look forward to having another driver when things are as busy as they are.  Janie continues to be the socialite of the year - but it's wonderful to see her having fun with good girls who are also good friends.  She is really looking forward to high school.  She's got those 8th grade blues that all of you had:  I'm so sick of Hobbs!  They treat us like babies!  Ugh!  I can't wait for high school!  hahahahaha  Dad is amazing as always.  He does great things in the Priest Quorum.  He's such a great man.  Emulate him, my son.  Be like your father in as many ways as you can and you will live a blessed life.  I don't deserve him, but I am gonna keep him!

OK, so I cannot WAIT for Christmas Day!  Do you have any ideas as to what time we'll get to chat?  And for how long, because I think the whole world wants to be at our house to say, "Hi!"  hahahaha  Also, did our packages arrive from Antofagasta?  I hope I hope I hope you'll have something to open on Christmas Day.  :D

OK, I've gotta run.  I've stolen these past 15 minutes, and now I have to return to the land of bossy teacher.  You I love.  Truly.  You're always in my prayers.  Be safe and continue to be the best that you can be.  

TALK to you live and in person SOON!

Love from Mom

yes videos are allowed :)

Dont say that you dont deserve him momma. por favor. you do.

Neither can i! i am so stoked for christmas! i should be on around 12 30 or 1and for like 2 or 3 hours i believe. and i should get your package on thursday! whew! and i will have lots to open dont worry :) i have lots of friends here.

love you tons momma :) i pray for you too. keep fighting the fight!

Elder Gold your son forever :)

December 22, 2013

We are counting down the days, my dear!  We are so excited to see and hear you at the same time on Wednesday!  That is 12:30-1:00 IDAHO time, right?  Or is it Chile time?  I just want to be sure...  Tate might stop by during that window, and I invited Lexa over facebook (it was finals week last week), but I haven't heard back yet... so, yeah.   Oh.  I just checked and it seems you two have already discussed this.  I still invited her if she should, on a whim, decide to stop by.  Just FYI.  

OH!  And Dustin Marsden got his mission call to Florida!  I don't know where or when he leaves... His uncle played the most amazing joke on him last week.  I guess Dustin requested that he NOT go foreign, and on Wednesday night, he came over to where we were sitting at the boys basketball game and told us that his call was waiting for him at home and he was going to open it when everyone got home from work & stuff.  So, apparently, when he opened his call, it said "Botswana Africa" and he was freaking out - I mean, I think he was crying freaking out because he didn't want to go foreign - but then he continued to read and the letter said something like, "just kidding, your call should be here in a couple of days."  I don't know how he did it, but his uncle punked him BAD!  hahahaha  it's pretty hilarious.  I don't know if DUSTIN thought it was hilarious, but...

Meg sprained her ankle during their game on Tuesday.  It was their first lost against Marsh Valley - they forgot how to lose, I think.  So when they weren't doing well and the score was not going the way it has in the past weeks, they kind of freaked out and fell to pieces.  Meg sprained her ankle at the start of the 2nd quarter trying to make a crazy (and ugly) lay up.  She was in a fair amount of pain, but still played for several minutes during the 4th quarter.  She sat for the rest of the week, though, after her ankle became a cankle.  She sat for their game against Firth last night, she and Holly Scarr who fell and pulled ligaments in her knee at the same game where Meg rolled her ankle.  She wasn't too sad, though, because they still managed to beat the 32 to 12... using primarily the 3rd string players.  They don't play any more games until after the New Year, so she should be all healed up by then.  The swelling is almost completely gone already. 

Sam had an interesting holiday experience at the Christmas assembly on Friday.  They played a game where they made one person from each class the same "breakfast" that Buddy the Elf made for his family: spaghetti noodles, pop tarts, lemon heads, smarties, marshmallows, maple syrup, and chocolate syrup.  hahahaha  We attached a video clip.  He's doing alright.  Ups and downs, but I think he's insightful about things.  After almost a year, we've learned a lot... still have lots of learning to do, but I feel that we're going to be ok... somehow.  :D  Sam passed his written driving test (second try) this week and will take his driving skills test tomorrow.  We may finally have another driver in the house by the end of the year!  Meg has started driver's ed, too.  Lock and load!

Janie has a sweetheart.  It's the typical 8th grade crush where they both blush when they look at each other and won't even talk to each other, but they just know that they like each other.  It's sooooooooooo funny to talk to Janie about it.  You'll have to be sure to mention in on Wednesday when you call.  Her cheeks turn fire engine red!  hahahaha  The great thing is that she likes nice boys, and this boy is super nice.  Jack Thompson has become "too cool" for someone like Janie, so those days are long past, but this boy is new in our ward and is a really nice and good young man.  So, I'm ok with this little crush.  It's just so funny!

So, we got your videos that you sent!  They are so great!  You seem to have a fun and great relationship with the Vargas family.  It's fun to see them live and in person.  Dad said, as we were watching you play little games with the kids, how much he remembers playing with the Polynesian kids... how he loved it.  It looks like you're doing well.  I'm attaching the video from the assembly (it's from my phone, so it's kind of stinky) and some clips from Meg's orchestra concert.  The cellos created this little beat box thing with their cellos... well, Thomas, Lincoln, Kolby, and Meg did, but when they asked if they could perform it at the concert, the new orchestra teacher insisted that all of the cellos be included... Meg wasn't entirely happy about that, but it's all good.  We also have a few clips of Meg playing ball, but they're kind of boring.  Somehow, she only makes baskets when I put the camera down.  hahahaha  I included a picture of Sam blowing out his fireless candles on his birthday.  We were in my classroom after Meg's game and sang and ate the no-bake cookie cake before we went up to watch The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug (super good!).  

Can't wait to talk to you on Wednesday, my love!  Merry Christmas!  I hope your gifts arrived!  We love you so much!

Love from Mom

December 30, 2013

It's funny how you lock your heart away when you're separated from one that you love and then seeing that loved one again unlocks the heart just a bit and it's all squishy inside again!   It was so wonderful to see you-you look really good, did we tell you that? You look just the same, but better! Your countenance glows - it's wonderful to see! 

We haven't been doing much since we spoke to you on Christmas: reading books, watching movies, playing games.  We had our holiday movie marathon with Prices the day after Christmas: Indiana Jones, all for of them. It was pretty fun.  We actually started it on Christmas Day, But were interrupted when Grandma Price called -she and Grandpa had slid off the road into a canal! They were ok, stiff and sure, a few little bruises, but Grandma's car is in the shop! It got crunched pretty badly!

Tate should be getting his call this week or next, how exciting!  Also,.in decidedly sad news, Rachel Thompson is seeking an annulment.  McKay was beating her...abusing her in all ways. She finally told her parents when they came home from Hawaii for Christmas.  Evidently his parents knew and said nothing.  So they have a restraining order against him and are working with Jim Archibald (interestingly) to end the marriage. So so sad - she's not even 19 yet. Pray for her.  It's not super wide knowledge yet, but Sister Thompson told Meg's whole Sunday school class, so...Anyway, not nice news, that. But I'm deeply impressed with her courage...

Kaitlyn Peterson was baptized on Saturday in Littlefield AZ- we were planning to go down, but I woke up that morning with a throw up bug, so i stayed in bed and we all stayed home!  Apparently everyone was sick down there, all the Petersons Ha ha ha Not their favorite trip out West!  Ah well!

Sadly, i have to go in to an appointment! Next week, we can chat about Tate's mission call hopefully! 

Love you muches!


funny story, we had a zone conference and this dog randomly started following some of the missionaries on their way over. they got to the church and shut the gate so it couldnt come in.... then it did this! and got 100 percent stuck and high centered! we had to work on it to be able to squeeze it between these bars... i dont know how it fit! either way! plus it was a street dog so it was covered in... grossness and filled with fleas. good stuff!

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