November 3, 2013
Happy birthday (on Friday), my dear! Nineteen years old, and look at you! Living in South America, doing a great work for a great people. In comparison with the world at large, you truly are a peculiar person. How many other 19 year olds are willing to give up so much time and money to serve foreign people? Not many! I'm so pleased with the man you are the man you are becoming. Thanks for being awesome. It is wonderful to be your mom.
So, I'm going to try something of a photo essay this week, which means I will be sending several emails with photos for you. Just FYI.
As always, life is crazy. I've been struggling with that again, well... always. But, I think I've identified the source of some of my feelings. At least, I felt my mind inspired by them. You know that there is a whole list of things that we're supposed to do in order to stay close to the Lord and to return to him "with honor": scripture study (personal, couple, and family), prayer (personal, couple, and family), temple worship (personal, couple, and family), service, magnifying callings, visiting teaching/home teaching, missionary efforts, etc., etc. Just this list alone - trying to do each of these things each day would take up a large portion of every day (consider just praying... individually, as a couple, and as a family at least twice a day.... six prayers, not including asking blessings on meals and individual prayers said here and there throughout the day). Now add the demands of spouse and family: making meals, caring for the house and garden/yard, helping with homework, chores, settling disputes, appointments and errands, and Family Home Evening added to all of the mutual activities, Relief Society activities, Elders Quorum activities, ward activities, etc. It seems that home, family, and service to the Lord is all that we could possibly have time for in our lives. There is no room for plays and musicals, for working full time, for sports and activities, for all that other stuff.... When the prophets ask us to simplify our lives, it seems that THIS is what they want us to do - focus on home, family, and service to the Lord, like our parents and grandparents who lived more simple lives where they had time and energy to focus on these things because their lives weren't so crazy. So, I look at my current life (and, yes, I always reflect the most when times are the most crazy) and think that it is nowhere close to the model that I imagine I'm supposed to have: a simple life of service to home, family and the Lord. Obviously, my current life must be wrong. It is anything but simple right now, and how many times did we hear the call to "simplify our lives" in General Conference?
But, then, I think, "Who is to say that I'm NOT doing what the Lord wants me to do right now? Didn't I feel impressed to return to school? Wasn't I lead and directed to this job? Haven't doors been opened and paths been cleared so I could accomplish these things in the past? Haven't I seen and felt His hand in accomplishing all that has been put before us even now? Who am I to deny that?" And then I think that our parents and grandparents lived in a simpler time - travel and information and activity wasn't as widely accessible to people back then. They stayed home. My mom remembers that when she was living out here as a young girl, they went to Idaho Falls MAYBE once a week where now we frequently go to Idaho Falls once a day! We can't seem to stay home these days. I don't know if I'm making excuses or what... but the epiphany is that the idea is to keep moving toward the Lord regardless of when or where you are in your life, regardless of how complicated or simple life may be. I think the Lord wants me to keep trying to draw close to Him, to serve Him to serve the family, to care for the home even when He has guided me to become a teacher and a director at a time when my kids are so busy and involved. Perhaps part of my personal journey right now is to see if I will fight for family time and time with Dad, if I will work to find time to read and pray as a family, individually, and as a couple, if I will accept callings even when my life is nuts. Will I apply faith in the Lord and trust that He will help me keep moving in the right direction, closer to Him. I may not be making huge strides toward Him right now, but I will do what I can, and, I believe, that is all He asks. Anyway, it brought me some comfort. I'm still trying to find inner peace with the idea of "simplify" because life just isn't simple. Unless we were to cut out all sports and extracurricular activities, and I was to quit teaching and directing, I don't know how we could simplify any more. Ahhhh, still chewing on that one.
So, Janie turns 14 tomorrow. We had a nice evening at home tonight celebrating Janie's birthday. She wanted Family Fun Time - no big family, everyone-over-for-cake event... and it was really nice. Grandma Price invited us over for dinner with the Hatchs, but we declined and just had time at home. Dad and I even took a nap! It was a good thing because the week ahead is... yeah. Busy. So tomorrow I'm taking half a day off and taking Janie to lunch and to go shopping for her birthday. I have to be back at the school by 4:00 for dress rehearsal, but I think we'l have a good time. She had a party with her friends on Friday and they had a giggly fun time together. She has sweet friends. So, we're looking forward to that.
I can't wait to send more pictures of the play... the ones I'm sending today are from our first run through on Saturday, so the set isn't painted and the costumes are a little wonky. Also this week, Meg has Bball tryouts. If (when) she makes the team (she's been totally warming up to Coach Campbell, going out of her way to talk to him each day... that girl), she will play her first game two days after the play ends - next Thursday! So, it will be fun to send some pictures of that also.
OK, I'm gonna focus on getting pics to you. LOVE YOU! Oh, I forgot! Dalaney Nelson got her call to Tempe AZ (leaves Feb 12) and Brooke Williams got her call to Chicago IL (Feb 19) - they both got them on Halloween! hahahaha
November 10, 2013
This is your last year as a teenager. Next year you officially become.... a young adult. You're a young adult right now, but you're also still a teenager, officially. So, it's the end of your second decade this year. Ca-razy. We celebrated your birth and YOU in general with a delicious cinnamon roll cake. We sang, we had candles... you even blew them out (sort of). I hope you were able to find a cake somewhere and celebrate your birthday in some way. Did Dad mention that we put some cash in your account for that purpose? to get a cake and some sweats or whatever else you might want/need (or whatever you might want/need to give someone else)? some from us, some from Grampa Gold? Anyway, it's there for you. Sadly, young adult birthdays are generally more boring that child and teenager birthdays. BUT, such is life. :D
So, we opened the play. We did it. We got 'er done in less time than we wanted or needed. AND it's a great show. Sam does a really good job. He's sort of a natural actor - quite talented and has great comedic timing. It's nice to see him succeed in something. He's been getting a lot of praise, and that is a good thing for him right now. So, yeah. A positive thing. Brecklyn Hobbs competes with Sam as the show stealer. She is hilarious because she is so dry... so straight faced when she says these terribly funny lines. Ahhh, it's been really a fun experience. The only time I freaked out was when I was recovering from the stomach flu and my brain was just not able to cope with all the little annoyances that it typically filters and flushes. So, I just put my head down on the stage and counted to 30 and then told the cast members, specifically the onSe who had placed the straw that broke the camels back, what needed to happen and why. I didn't even yell... or swear! Yes. There has been alot of good things about this show. hahahahaha So, I'm excited to send some pictures. We simply neglected to take some Saturday night, so we'll take some on Monday and send them on next week. Kolby Brown does a great job, too. He is so funny in his part as this mousy old guy.... so funny!
The football team is just cruisin' along... they've crushed everyone they've played by 20 points at least except for the expensive trip to Manti where we had our hats handed to us 21 to 0. So, they play Gooding in the semifinals on Saturday and then will probably play for the championship in the Holt Arena the following Friday. Meg has her first basketball game on Friday against Idaho Falls. Yes, she made the team. There are 11 girls on the team this year, two of whom are sophomores, so it's a C team. It will be interesting to see how the season goes for them. Meg is super excited. Basketball is her first love as far as sports go. So, that should be a fun time. Bring on the bleachers!
Check out the picture that Janie drew yesterday. Freehand. She looked at an image for the eyes, but did all the rest herself - no tracing, just her amazing fingers. I am really so excited for her to get into art classes with Mr. Borup next year. She will fly, I think. I wonder if she'll get to have one of her designs painted on the side of a building in Shelley somewhere. :D She really is so, so talented! What the heck! All of you are so talented! Wow... I'm lucky to know you guys and to be your mom. I am truly blessed.
Lexa and her mom came to the play Friday night. She seems to be having a great time up at BYUI and I'm so glad. She is embracing all of the experiences before her and that is exactly what she should do! I don't know how much you two communicate... you had some deal about not writing much last I heard, but she has this one roommate that really hates how happy she is all the time. hahahaha I just find that to be so funny! Living with roommates, much like living with companions I'm guessing, can be quite an adventure! :D We were sitting in the seats chatting and suddenly there was a swarm of cast members surrounding us and all chiming in on whatever topic was at hand. So, I was sad that I didn't get much of any time to talk to her more one-on-one. Even once the cast members left, Meg was hanging out right there (Meg sat by them during the show). I'm glad she's planning to come over during Christmas break. :D
Let's see... what other news can I tell you.... Josh Hatch got a job with Webb construction and will be working in Cody, WY for the next few months. That is a good thing, I think. He came home about two weeks ago from "the farm" and has been sort of just hanging out. So it's good that he's moving forward. Ummmmm Heidi's volleyball team got destroyed at state, but I think I already mentioned that. Hmmmmm.... Oh, Grandma & Grandpa Price went to visit Uncle Brent today and spent a couple of hours with Rex. They said Rex has grown nearly as tall as Grandpa is and has filled out. He's going to an alternative school and doing well - getting good grades even. I'm glad. Public school just isn't for everyone, so I'm glad he's finding some success. Oh, how could I forget! Lynette had her baby! From Facebook: "Kyle Darron Pulsipher born Oct. 30th at 5:40pm weighing 6lbs 3oz and 19in tall We are very in love." Here. I'll include a photo. I can't wait to meet him at Thanksgiving, which will be at our house this year. We REALLY need (ok, just want really bad) a bigger kitchen/dining area. :) Oh, last bit of news, both Janie and Dad have had the stomach flu this week - so, so fun! Dad has been in bed all day today, poor guy! Sam alone has been immune... we shall see if it lasts (I hope at least until Wednesday when the show is all said and done)!
LOVE LOVE LOVE YOU! We're excited to hear about the work with the Vargas Family and the other investigators you're working with. The stake presidency is calling for a stake fast next week so that we might be guided to know what to do to "hasten the work" here in Shelley. We will pray for you as well, my dear son, and for those people who are willing to hear your invitation to return to Christ. We love your letters and your endeavors to stay positive and your choice to be happy. You're a good one, you are.
Meg taking selfies in some aviators... and her Russian hat... while looking for new pants because SHE HAS GROWN TALLER!
We also had some fun surprise visitors yesterday! We had dinner with Gramma and Grampa Price and Rex (who is here for the week), and after we were finished, while we were sitting around the table solving the problems of the universe, we heard a knock on the door! I'm so glad Sarah and Lexa thought to walk across the yard and find us! They had just come from Emily Gardner's mission farewell - she's going to South Dakota! I didn't even know! Anyway, it was loads of fun to chat with them both. They are wonderful women, for sure! Sam made himself comfy in their presence FOR SURE! hahahaha