Friday, June 26, 2009

MTC Vacation--Day 1

June 14th--Day One of the MTC vacation--We went to church. After sacrament meeting Alex got set apart as a missionary by President Newton. It was really special. We had so much family there and Alex gave a great talk in church, too. After church we left and went home to finish loading the RV. We pulled out of the driveway at about 4:00....right on time. As soon as we pulled away we realized we left our games at home. Oh well, we decided. We could buy more. Then we started looking for my notebook to get addresses for where we were going. Where is that notebook, anyway?!?! Oh, no, we definitely have to go home for that. Turn the big rig around and go get the notebook. Might as well get the games while we are home!!! Taylor runs to get the notebook where I told him it was. No notebook!! Where else could it be? Oh, yeah, it IS in the RV...put up in the cabinet with my magazines and books (sheepish, sheepishness!) Back on the road, now 30 minutes late....but we had those games!
We drove to Dallas and stopped at Zack's sister's in Carrollton so they could say goodbye to Alex. We had a fun visit with them for a couple hours and then we were one our way. We finally stopped at some truck stop and Zack slept for about 4 hours. We decided that was the worst gas mileage you could get.....O miles to the gallon.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Last 6 Weeks

Ok, I am on vacation, but more about that later. I need to update. I really do think I have a great excuse for not blogging. I'll let you be the judge.

April 23: Alex comes home from BYU. Had to drive to Houston to pick him up.

April 24: Finish all Alex's mission papers and over night them to the Church after subbing in the morning.

April 25: Took the Praxis test.

April 26: Church and my aunt, Mona, came to visit.

April 28: Teacher Appreciation night at church. We had a great turnout. Taylor's and Emma's teachers came, and we had a great night. We had such a good time visiting with Mrs. Bowen and Mrs. Fontenot. They are truly the best teacher our kids have ever had.....along with a few others.

April 29-30: I subbed for the next 2 days for Mrs. Blanchard in 2nd grade while Alex got his shots done at the health unit and had a dentist appointment.

May 3: Alex celebrated his 19th birthday!! Wow, I have a 19 year old child. The only hard thing about this age is keeping my mouth shut and knowing how and when to get involved. Alex and Taylor bore their testimonies today in Sacrement meeting. They both cried and it was a very tender moment. Alex said that even though his testimony wasn't as strong as it could be he was ready to serve and knew that this was the right thing for him to do. Taylor was grateful for Alex's example. Wonderful parenting moment!!

Spent the whole next week shopping for suits, slacks, shoes, white shirts.....missionary clothes.

May 6: Alex and Zack spoke at Stake Priesthood meeting. I hear they did a great job. They had to speak about why they want to go on a mission....or why Zack wants Alex to go! I wanted to be there, but oh well. 3 different people that night told Taylor that he gave a great talk and to have a great mission...even after Alex spoke, they still misstook Taylor for Alex.

May 7: Book Club at our house. Also, Sarah Beth had a softball game that night. She was the only child of ours to play this season. She had a pretty good team. Mary Catherine's french teacher was Sarah Beth's coach. She was very happy when her brothers and sisters came to her game. Little things make her so happy.

May 9: Taylor, Mary Catherine, and I went to a Bi-Stake activity in Leesville, LA. We brought some of the kids from Lake Charles with us. We did a sevice project at a camping facility and they played in the water and ate on Toledo Bend at the Lord's property (name of the family who owns it). It was so fun. The property was just beautiful being surrounded by water by about 300 degrees. We consisdered having girl's camp there next year, but have decided that it is just too inconvenient and that we like North Toledo Bend too much to change. But, it is beautiful.

May 10: Mother's Day....last one probably forever with all my kids there. Breakfast in bed and a wonderful day.

May 12: Sarah Beth had award's day at school. She received the "M" award. YEAH!! She found out later she is on the Yearbook staff for next year. I don't know who is more excited...her or me!!! I have always wanted one of my kids to be on the yearbook staff. So fun, and cute pictures of my kids I am expecting. Silly, right?

May 13: Lily had the coolest helper at her Kindergarten Space Extravaganza....Alex!!She was so excited to have him help. So proud. She has been so happy to have him home. The first few days she hung on his legs and followed him around every where he went.

May 14: Stake Young Women Auxiliary Training in Orange. Nervous, but everything came together just fine.

May 15: Alex flew out to San Francisco to apply for his Visa and to visit his roommates from BYU. They had an amazing time. I am so grateful that Alex had such wonderful roommates this past year. They really helped him so much.

May 16: Went to Houston for Melissa Kitfield's wedding. I am so proud of that girl. She waited to get married until she found the right person who could take her to the temple. I was also able to do 2 sessions. Great day.

May 18: Emma to Dr. Thompson for a check up. She has had several week spells at school and home. One day her teacher, Mrs. Bowen, was talking about her brother who was having surgery on his arm. One of the students said they should just cut it off. Mrs. Bowen looked at Emma who had turned a definite shade of green. Mrs Bowen sent Emma to the nurse's office. At the last minute she decided to send another girl with her. When they got into the hall Mrs Phoebe was there and Mrs Bowen asked her to watch Emma. As soon as Mrs Bowen shut the door, Emma collasped on the floor. She had not eaten breakfast that morning--stubborn girl--so they let her lay down and eat some crackers and OJ. She felt a little better but came on home with me. Another day I was subbing and they called me to say that Emma was weak again. So, we wanted to get these weak spells checked out. Everything came out great. No sign of ANYTHING. We can only assume she has a weak stomach and we need to be sure she gets some protein in the mornings. That little girl worries me so much. She was so brave at the doctor's office. She didn't balk at the blood or at urine sample they needed. She talked to Dr. Thompson and was so cute.

May 21: Sarah Beth's 13th birthday. We celebrated by going to lunch with her then a little birthday shopping and later, dinner with the missionaries, even the sister missionaries. She had a sleepover the Friday before, just a 3 or 4 girls from school that she has just recently gotten closer to. We went to Que Pasa. On the night of her birthday we ate Tortilla soup for her and crawfish etoufee for everyone else. That is one of her favorite things. I hope next year will be a little more smooth for Sarah Beth. Puberty is hard.
The same day we had Elder Brian Graff and his mother come to visit. He was a missionary in Sulphur a couple of years ago. He was a favorite of our family and all of Sulphur. He had such an impact on so many kids AND adults. They came to dinner with us, the missionaries, and Rip. We had 17 for dinner that night. It was really fun, though. I think Sarah Beth had a happy day.

May 22: Emma was the narrator in her class production of Little Red Riding Hood, the musical. She did a great job. It was fun to see her be so careful. That is how she gets when she is performing in front of others. Very serious and careful. And so, so cute.

May 23: What a fantastic day!!! Alex went to the temple today for the first time. It was one of the most wonderful experiences of my life. I have always looked forward to the time that we would be in the temple with our children. I think he was a little overwhelmed, but had a good experience. I love being in the Celestial Room with him and Zack and Mama. I can't wait to have the rest of our family there. I had a realization that if Alex can make these covenants then he can make his way in this world with out me controlling him. It was a tender moment.

The next 2 weeks were full of getting ready for girl's camp, finishing school, meetings, ball games, finishing missionary preparations, getting ready for our trip, sewing capes for camp, fixing swimsuits to be more modest, making preparations for so many other things my head was spinning at times.

June 6: Just enough time to squeeze in a temple trip before we leave for Girl's Camp. We had all 4 kids there in the temple together. Talk about being torn between two things. But, I just didn't feel like I have enough time to get everything done. And we had just been 2 weekends in a row 2 weeks before. Alex was able to perform baptisms. I love that they were all there together. Hopefully it will help them remember that they want to be there together again someday. They had a good time on the trip, too!!

Taylor looks happy in this carload of Young Women!!

June 8-12: Went to Girl's Camp at North Toledo Bend State Park. It was the best girl's camp I have ever been a part of. We had a very spiritual experience together. We had lots of opportunities to talk to the girls and get to know them in a way that I didn't before. I love that. We had a blast, too. The tradition at our camp is that each night ends with dancing. Those girls just love it. We have several "special" girls in our stake that add such a deeper feeling to all the things we do. It is such a blessing to be able to have them participate in camp. They bring their special spririt to all the activities. We seriously had no problems except getting Sarah Beth to sleep each night. They girl's were excellently behaved. The crafts were fun and cute. The food was good and below budget. The budget looks good, too. All in all, it was a great week.....but very exhausting. I stay up too late. It is too appealing to just sit up and visit with friends. I am worse that the kids.

July 14: Alex is set apart as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints after speaking in church. We had 3 aunts, 1 uncle, 3 grandmothers, 3 cousins, and a good friend of our family, in addition to our ward family and our family. There was a great spirit there that day. I am so grateful that they were all able to come. It is wonderful to have the support of so much family.

That is the last 6 weeks at a glance. I know it is probably a little boring, but I had to get it all down. More on the vacation later.