Letters from Mom May 2015

May 25, 2015

OK, so I hope we didn't miss you!  Usually, you're online much later in the day, so we didn't rush to get our letters out to you today.  It's Memorial Day so we're all home and have been a bit lazy today.  Also, Katie and Brant and Isaac and their little foster baby girl stayed with us last night, so we're just chilling.  I hope it's not too late!

How are things?  I'm afraid this letter may be a little short because I have a stinking sinus infection that has turned into bronchitis and so I'm reaaaaallly out of it!  hahaha  I can barely remember what happened yesterday let alone in the past week!  I thought it was just a cold, then thought it was allergies, but after three weeks it's still lingering and was getting worse, so I finally went to the doctor.  Gah!  Ah well.  It's been really wet and rainy here for the past week, so that is probably a contributing factor.

School ended.  That was awesome.  There were several students that I was only too happy to say goodbye to! hahaha  At the same time, there are several students that I've been really impressed with and will miss having in my classes.  And so it goes, yes?

How has the work been for you?  I'm afraid you're going to have to carry the weight of this conversation today.  I'll hopefully be more clear headed next week.  :)

I love you so much, dear one!  Be safe and be happy!

Love from Mom   

May 18, 2015

Aaaaahahahahahaha its the last week of school!  It's awesome and awful at the same time!  Awesome because there is a real and tangible light at the end of this tunnel, and awful because the students are just... done.  You remember those days, yes?  It's a challenge to keep moving, to keep going forward.  BUT we will persevere!  We will be victorious!  We just finished the SOB assembly.  It was pretty good.  Truth be told, I'm not that sorry to see this group of seniors leave.  Many of them are, well, let's just say, not my favorites: Brandon Hadley, Skyler Fielding, Heather Christensen, Brynlee Wattenburger to name a few.  Sorry to be cruel, but, wow - I'm really going to be glad to not hear their potty mouths in the hallways, their braggart strutting down the hallways, and their meanness to other people.  So there you go.  It's been an interesting experience being in the senior hall this year.  Hahaha  Great in many ways, and kind of stinky in many ways too, but more great than stinky - I DON'T WANT TO GO BACK!   And so graduation is tomorrow.  Sam is going to come to graduation to see his old school mates, which is cool, I think.

The ECT treatments are working.  We are beginning to see subtle changes in Sam.  He doesn't really recognize them, but we see the improvements.  For example, he's more... cuddly, like, he seeks out hugs and even... snuggles.  He's kinder.  He's not on the computer 24/7.  He is sleeping better.  He wants things now, which is both awesome and hard for him.  Last week, Sam went willingly to a support group for people in the area with mental illness.  I had encouraged him to go to the support group several times over the past few years, but he couldn't muster the motivation to get himself to go.  Last week he went willingly because he WANTS companionship, he WANTS friendship.  He is able to see how alone and lonely he is and actually WANTS to do something about it.  Sadly, it wasn't a swimming success because most of the people were older than 30, so it was hard to really... connect.  But, when I asked him about the group as we waited to go in to see his doctor, he told me that he had made a big discovery, that he is going to have to deal with this for the rest of his life, that it isn't going to go away in a few months and then things will be back to normal.  That realization made a deep and penetrating impact on him.  In many ways, I am glad it finally came.  He knows that this is his life now, that he is going to have to deal with the paranoia that occurs when he is in a large group of people - even family parties - that he is going to have to negotiate the odd thoughts that creep up on him and the overly vivid, paranoid anxiety dreams that he has at night, and that he is going to have to be on medication for a long time, maybe forever.  After visiting the doctor, we went out to Chick-Fil-A because Sam needed to talk. We talked about how for him right now, life is kind of like waking up after a long, deep sleep and he's waking up and is not really sure where he is, what he's doing, where he's going... what is real and not real.  You know how that is sometimes, after waking up from really vivid dreams and/or a deep sleep?  He  added, however, that he feels like he's waking up from a deep sleep to find himself alone on a boat in the middle of the ocean with no idea where he is or where he needs to go.  I reminded him that he is not alone, that I'm there - we're all there - and are ready to help and be with him, and I testified to him that whether or not he is aware of God in his life, God is aware of him and He knows where Sam is and knows how to guide him and get him to safety.  Sam didn't even roll his eyes or give me that sarcastic grin when I said it!  In fact, Sam agreed to contact the Young Single Adults in our stake and attend some of their activities!  I reminded him that they would probably try to get him to go to church and he said, "Doesn't everybody want me to go to church?"  "Well, yeah," I told him, "Just so you're aware."  And he's good with that.  So hopefully the EQ Presidency will be coming by this week sometime to make a visit, and Sam is now on their text list to recieve notifications about activities.  Only time will tell, but we will continue to be hopeful and prayerful.  He has two ECT treatments left and then will probably change to a new medication that has a high success rate.  He's also been taking a new medication that has helped his terrible dreams.  He didn't ever want to go to sleep because his dreams were so awful and so persecutory.  So, he's sleeping better and feeling better and step by step... step by step we're seeing some improvements.  

It's been a busy couple of weeks! (Sorry I didn't write last week - I ran out of time!) Meg ran for Junior Class President AND WON!  She had a killer skit/speech, which was super fun and awesome.  The week before, Janie painted a picture in the freezing cold during "Music in the Park."  It was a combined music concert and art show - very cool.  It would've been awesome had it not been rainy, windy, and freezing!  But it was a fun experience.  We go and watch Meg do her activities all the time, but we rarely get a chance to stand and watch Janie do her art stuff, so we really enjoyed that.  :)   Dad and I had a fun date last week.  It was cold and there were no good movies, and we've become kind of addicted to a new series called "Castle," so we set up a projector and used the bed we'd had for Sound of Music (it was being used for final performances in my drama classes) and watched movies in the Little Theater projected up on the cyc- it was like a private movie theater.  And then we fell asleep and just spent the night in the theater!  It was kind of hilarious!  We dragged ourselves out of bed Saturday morning and went home.  Good times. Of course, this week we'll be dismantling that bed because all of the student plays  are completed and let's be honest... a bed in a dark room with no cameras in a high school is NEVER a good idea!  In other news, Mandy Kelley is engaged!  She's getting married the same day as Leslie, so we won't be able to attend, but it's very exciting for her.  I am officially released from teaching Relief Society.  I had a little moment of spiritual crisis because I was feeling sad and vulnerable and Satan just pounced and poked all of my insecurities, "You're being released because the Lord knows how much of a sinner you are and you're not fit to teach these ladies or be an example to anyone"; "The Bishop has never liked you"; "You're too prideful, so the Lord released you before you became more awful than you already are"...  It sounds so ridiculous to recite those thoughts today, but they held on pretty tightly yesterday after I was released.  Dad helped to talk be through it, and the Spirit impressed me to ask myself if I really believe the phrase, "I'll go where you want me to go, Dear Lord."  It's true that leading the music in Sacrament Meeting doesn't stretch me like teaching Relief Society did, it doesn't give the same level of fulfillment (or anxiety), but... I need to ask the Lord what He wants me to fulfill in this calling, to know how I can serve Him above and beyond choosing songs and leading the congregation, yeah?  Every calling has a purpose.  I think you are more aware of that than ever now that you're serving in the Branch Presidency.  hahahaha  

OH!  Some good news - I got my temple recommend renewed.  It's amazing what a wonderfully peaceful feeling it is/was to have that tucked away inside my wallet.  Dad and I went to the temple in Rexburg on Saturday.  That is a busy place because its a small temple and now serves TWO temple districts!  But we were able to do a session, which was awesome! THEN, we called our two favorite BYU-I students - Heidi and Lexa - and invited them to lunch.  Heidi, consequently, went to California, so we got to spend some time with Lexa at Gringo's Mexican Restaurant.  It was a good time.  She let us buy her lunch without any fuss!  We didn't even have to trick her!  It was great.  She's having a very fun semester, and I'm glad for her!  Sunday, we had another Grandma Price family dinner with everyone nearby.  Marcus is graduating tomorrow, so his Mom and step-dad and sister are in town.  Jake, being Jake, brought over some water balloons so we could play some games after dinner.  It was a great time.  It was warm enough to be relatively enjoyable (especially because we filled the balloons with warmish water), but chilly enough to be kind of crazy!  We're all looking forward to summertime! hahahaha

OK.  I'd better send this before you send yours and don't get a chance to read this.  

YOU I LOVE!  It was so amazing to see you live on Mother's Day.  Please thank the kind people who allowed you to use their internet.  You look and sound and are fantastic!  I agree, it was a much more relaxed conversation.  So fun.  I'll miss those Skype phone calls a tiny, tiny bit - the anticipation, the excitement.  Luckily, getting to hug you in the flesh will absolve those completely, I think! hahaha  OH, and speaking of hugs - I got dibs on the first hug when you get off the plane.  I've already warned Meg and Janie, so they're aware.  And now you're aware, too.  hahaha  

Love from Mom

May 3, 2015

So on Friday, May 1st, my Google calendar rolled over so that I saw the whole month of May instead of just the month of April and the tag on days in May.  And what to my wondering eyes did appear?  May 10th is Mother's Day and that means we get to talk to YOU!  I was so, so, so excited!  I hadn't even been thinking about it a tiny little bit, and suddenly there it was!  So exciting!  So we are looking forward to that A LOT!  Let me know if you have any special requests for people to see/talk with.  I am sure it will be another short visit, and that's OK.  I understand - I don't love it, but I understand.  So, if there are any people in particular that you'd like to have here with us when we chat next week, just lemme know and we'll see if we can make it happen!

Another great thing May is that school is rolling to a close... quickly!  We have 14 school days left and only 19 calendar days.  [BIG SIGH]  So, we're going to survive.  Everyone is a little stir crazy and as the weather warms up it makes it all that much more difficult!  hahaha  Ah well, we'll make it happen!  Of course, I'll be teaching summer school almost immediately after school gets out, so I won't really have a true break until mid-June, but it's a pretty easy schedule.  I mean, summer school will be from 8-3 for the first three days, but then it's 8-12 for the next two weeks.  Not too shabby, I'd say!  That little extra pay will be very helpful this year, I think.  :)  

So, the news of the day:  Uncle Boyd had a complete knee replacement on Thursday.  It was kind of a surprise.  He finally went in to talk with Dr. Biddulph and after looking at the films, they agreed that his knee was wrecked and needed to be replaced (isn't that just amazing to think about?  we can REPLACE an entire knee? amazing!).  The surprise occurred when they told him that they had an opening a week later.  Aunt LeAnn was out of town when Boyd made the arrangements for surgery, so she came home and found out about the whole surgery deal on Tuesday - really threw her for a loop!  But he's home now and has a fun 6 weeks of recovery ahead.  hahaha  He'll have the other knee replaced in October.  

On Friday night, Janie performed with the rest of the Advanced Drama class in the One Night of One Act plays.  She did a great job.  When we cast it, she wanted a tiny part.  Actually, she didn't want to do it at all, but she consented to doing a tiny little part.  But I think she is ready to go big next year.  It's been so fun having her in that class.  She's a talented little actress.  As for me, I'm super glad that the evening performance is done!  Of course, I still have in-class performances for the beginning drama class this week, but then we can just review, test, and play theater games for the rest of the year.  Hallelujiah!  I learned a lot this year - I learned a lot about scheduling.  So I've already started recording what I've learned and planning for next year so I can be more effective.  hahaha  I mean, I'm in school too, right?  I should learn and grow and change and develop just as I ask my students to learn and grow and change, yeah?

Last night, Saturday, Meg went to prom with Kolby.  He had "reserved" her several weeks ago, and we went and bought a dress and shoes and stuff, but he still hadn't officially asked her... until Monday night.  It was 11:00 at night, we are all settling down for bed - Meg was IN bed - when Kolby pulled up with a pizza and handed it to her and said, "Will you go to prom with me?"  hahaha  She showed him her dress and he left and she ate some pizza and went to bed.  She didn't answer him until Friday when she did a "lyrical dance" for him during strings class and he had to decide whether she said "yes" or "no" by her dance.  hahaha   I guess all of those dance competitions finally paid off!  So yesterday they went to Squealers, which used to be Riot Zone, in Rigby and had a fun day there with Brecklyn Hobbs and Jaren Smith and Yeager Dicus and Ariel Smith.  Then, Heidi came and helped get Meg all gussied up.  Kolby picked her up...40 minutes late - I think Meg was the last on the route, and you know moms and their cameras, they took extra time at each house - and then they went to Texas Roadhouse for dinner before going to the dance.  Meg woke up so sore this morning because, apparently, they were going all out on the dance floor!  They had a fabulous time!  I'm so glad Meg got to go with Kolby, who is more like a favorite cousin, so it was really relaxed and a fun time overall.  Of course, we couldn't let Meg have all the fun.  The rest of us went to see the new Avengers movie yesterday afternoon (EPIC!), and we didn't even have to feel bad because Meg went to Parker Tomlinson's Avenger's premier party on Thursday night, so she'd already seen it! hahaha

Of course, going to see the movie almost didn't happen yesterday.  Dad got called at 6:30am on a Saturday to go out tot he site to "tune" some computer changes at 9am.  Luckily, he was inspired to call before he drove out to the site and they said there was a chance they might not need him.  So he went in to work in town and sure enough, gratefully, happily, two hours later they said they were happy with the changes as they were, didn't require any tuning, and he could go home.  Yipee!  So we finished our chores and went to the movies!  It was fun day, and so beautiful and warm... almost 80 degrees yesterday!  Of course, it was breezy, and today it's full out windy and chilly... but still beautiful.  

Today was a great day in church.  Well, mostly great.  I had an experience on Wednesday that was the cause of deep reflection and that reflection made my worship very rich and satisfying today.  Dad and I haven't been to the temple in months, I'm sad to report.  We've been to all kinds of basketball games and rehearsals and programs and family gatherings and activities and any number of good and needful things, but we haven't been to the temple.  We tried to go in March before it closed, but couldn't find a block of time.  So, now that the musical is all done, we planned to go Wednesday night for our date.  That morning, I woke up with a happy, peaceful feeling, "Today I get to go to the temple!"  Then I thought, "I'd better make sure I know where my recommend is right now."  We were planning to drive up to the Rexburg temple right after school.  I checked my wallet and there it was.  Whoosh!  And then I noticed the date - it had expired March 31st, and here it was April 29th.  My temple recommend had expired!  I was heartsick, so disappointed, and so, so sad!  I had a deep impression of being one of the 5 foolish virgins who had been distracted with other things, good things but still distracted, and didn't notice that her lamp was out of oil.  Then, when the Bridegroom came, she couldn't go in to the wedding because she was out of oil.  The doors were shut before her and she couldn't go inside.  It was a deeply impressed by that realization.  All of the good intentions and sound excuses in the world will not fill a lamp with oil.  I choose to do better.  I choose to be better.  I had my interview with the bishopric today and am halfway to getting my recommend renewed.  Sadly, I have to wait another 10 days until I can meet with a member of the stake presidency, but that will be alright.  We have a family temple trip planned for May 15th, so if I can get my recommend on the 13th that will work out just swell.   I shared that experience as I bore my testimony today in Sacrament Meeting, and there were several people who, afterward, told me that "it happens to everyone" or that they had had a similar experience.  That's all fine and good, but, my dear son, the world is changing.  It's a very different place than it was two years ago, and none of us can afford such a lapse in attention to the things that keep us connected to our Father in Heaven.  Of course, we couldn't afford it two years ago, either, but I believe that real persecution for members of the church is going to come... and soon.  I don't know what it's like down in Chile, but up here in the States, there are some social issues that could very easily create real havoc in the lives of members of the church... in the lives of any who profess to be Christians.   There are some who say, if things keep going the way the seem to be going, that within 5 years, membership in Christian churches could drop by half because of persecution.  It may be too difficult to be a Christian in the years to come, and some speculate that 50% of church going people will leave their respective churches to avoid difficulties.  That exactly echoes the parable of the ten virgins.  It's more important than ever that we keep our lamps filled... to the brim!  And it is essential that we let those lights burn bright so that others who are seeking for light and truth in an increasingly dark world can find that light.  

I'm grateful that you are being that ambassador, that light in the darkness for the people in Chile right now.  They have so many struggles!  Volcanoes and floods and earthquakes!  Truly, the Lord is calling them, stirring them to repentance, to remembrance of HIM who is their father and God.  I'm glad you're there to help them find their way.  

YOU I LOVE!  Let us know what time we get to see you next week.

Love from Mom

OH!  And your ecclesiastical endorsement came through and I have classes all picked out - used Rate My Professor to avoid the stinky ones (I hope) - now we just have to wait until your assigned registration day, which is June 9th.  So all this hurry up-ness was for naught!  hahaha  I guess we couldn't know that until the endorsement was done, but.. still.  We'll do our best for you to have a good semester.  :)

awesome! thak you somuch for all your help!!! im glad you were able to recieve that personal revelation... the real problems that i see in Chile arent the social ones... its just that nobodycares about religion. They have lied for so long about GOD as religion has been so present in their lives that EVERYONE incuding members start to think that none of it really matters. go to church for fun, for habit, but everyone else is saved. and if they are in another religion... they are saved too. that makes it so none of the aucilary organizations works... its hard. but... what can we do... the world is destined to separate faryther and farther from GOD... which side will we be on. 

as you know, if you have repented for not making it to the temple. you are already forgiven, now the only thing that matters is getting better. i know you will :) youre great!!! i love you to death!!!

i would love it if you guys could send me my password one more time... is till havent written it down nor tried to memorize it! sorry to ask you for it! and... if by chance Elder Brown and i are on at the sme time... Meg should try and face time kallie or something so that we can talk! bye!

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