a good thing to watch on Sunday

Our family likes to sit around and watch these:

I am a Mormon videos are so uplifting and neat. Sometimes we find that we have watched an hour of videos together.
This one is one of our favorites:

because you know, "chocolate is the nectar of the Gods"



For the best.gal.ever.
This girl is expecting a sweet little girl and I was lucky enough to be invited to her baby shower. She has chosen the name Jane for her little girl- so what do I do? Why, crochet a blanket for little Jane and watch TV shows that solely have a main character named Jane, of course! I had such a great time picking my way through Netflix to find the perfect shows to watch while I was creating this labor of love (hahaha! 'labor' of love! That pun was not intended at all- but I like it!). It was fun to thinking all these sweet good thoughts while making something for someone I loved. It seems that other people had the same idea. Because a majority of the gifts were handmade. It just goes to show how much Cammie is really loved. You don't make hand made gifts for someone who is just, 'eh.' What is one of the very best gifts however (and not handmade- but you will understand once I tell you what it was) was a collection of literary masterpieces turned board books. They were phenomenal. I WILL buy them for the next baby shower I attend... or for myself. The best, I think was the Wuthering Heights board book.

It used quotes from the story and had different types of weather on each page. Also, in the Pride a Prejudice numbers board book, the number 10 was represented as '10,000 pounds per year'. Hilarious, I tell ya!


Holy amazing ice cream batman!

We had a great trip to the beach house. To top off the amazing trip is of course:
This little shop makes nine fresh ice cream flavors a day according to what is available locally. I had roasted white chocolate apricot ice cream with bitter caramel sauce- oh.my.goodness. Of course I went back for a freshly cooked waffle cone filled to the brim with chocolate salted caramel ice cream. And of course, all those negative points were totally worth it!


Friendly visitor

Our visit at the beach house has been phenomenal. It is just what I needed. Because things are going so well, I have little to share on this here blog. Well, little to share about the beach house. BUT, I do have something to share that happened right before we left!
This little guy came to our door step the night before we left for the beach house. I cannot even try to convey the cuteness of this little guy. He was hunting and pecking around and all I could do is squeal. It's a wonder that my high pitched frequency did not break the glass. At one point this little baby skunk trying getting in by putting his little paws on the glass and peeking in at us. It was o adorable, I almost let him in. This sweetie pie hung around for quite awhile. I was nervous that his mama was near by, but he seemed to be all alone, making him that much more precious. The baby skunk finally left after nearly twenty minutes and so adorably trying to get in the house and toppling over in the process. If he didn't scare me so terribly, I would have kept the sweet boy and named him something equally adorable... 


Ladies, He's taken

It has become a tradition for Jimmy to ship me a special treat when the Curren family and I go to the beach house. Last year, he sent Dean & Deluca chocolates. This year, I am on a weight loss challenge and have not been eating too many sweets. Jimmy scored big time when he shipped me buffalo and beef jerky! What is so funny is that Mel and I stopped off at Trader Joe's on the way so I could get buffalo jerky. It is my absolute favorite. Because of what Jimmy sent, he made it possible for me to eat a package a day while I was here. Smart man. Smart man, indeed.

I love me some jerky!


The Grahams & The Currens do the Boardwalk

We inadvertently chose the best day to go to the Boardwalk while at the beach house. It was rainy and cold and not very sunny until late afternoon. When other people are miserable in the aforementioned state, mostly, those people choose to stay home. Not us! We did not wait in a single line! In fact, by the end of the night, Melanie and I both agreed that we had been 'rided out'- which never happens. It was a good day full of fun rides, a random eastern European man named Vesko, a spotting of a local Napa photographer I am star- struck by and lots of roasted corn on the cob. I most definitely count this day on the pro side of my life list.

Funny little side note: I kept thinking the park closed at 11:00pm, when it really closed at 10:00pm. On our way out, I stopped in the gift shop and took my sweet time. I could not get over how rude the store clerk was in trying to kick us out. In fact, they had to unlock the door to let us out. I got frustrated when I looked at the time and it was only 10:44- Then when I reached the car and turned around, the park had all the lights off. Only then did it dawn on me that I had kept that gift shop open for 45 minutes!!! Oops.



How relaxed I already feel...
Melanie and I arrived at the beach house today for a week full of fun, sun and relaxation. I am so excited to be here after the emotional craziness we've experienced in the past few months.
Although getting here was a little like delayed gratification.
At first it was fun to stop so many times.

Stop 1) LARRY'S!
Oh my goodness, folks. I just LOVE Larry's. Most of you already know this fact about me. And also the fact that I call him my boyfriend. And also the fact that I once called him my boyfriend to his face, not knowing I was speaking to the actual Larry... We had a blast shopping with our wheelbarrow for five cantaloupes that I am sure will be consumed rather quickly and other such goodies. Not so much fun using the porta potty...

Stop 2) Target in Milpitas
Quite possibly the largest Target with most empty parking lot I have ever seen. As always, I ended up buying more than planned- but I used my redcard, wherein my forgiveness lies. No judgment, y'all. If you don't have a Target redcard yet, please get one. And then thank me.

Stop 3) Costco
The Costco in Santa Cruz is interesting... mostly because many residents of Santa Cruz are interesting. The best part was standing in the longest line ever to buy light salad dressing so I didn't lose any points on the full fat Caesar dressing on the food court salad. It always feels funny to buy one thing at Costco. Especially when you walk out with it. One day I might try and do that while hiding it under my jacket. I think that might be funny. Maybe.

Stop 4) Trader Joe's in Capitola
Because one never has too much Buffalo jerky. Ever.

Let the relaxing commence.


Missionary Broadcast

We went to the missionary broadcast today. Wow. What an amazing broadcast. Let me lead up to that point in our day, though. You guys! THis is so cool!

Church ended at noon and we needed to return at 3:00. It takes us about 30 minutes to get home from church- sometimes less. Jimmy and I were debating on whether or not we should trek home and eat lunch or pack a picnic and eat at the church. Hmmm... Ultimately, we decided to head home, get a quick lunch, change, go for a walk, change again and return to church. Yes, yes, I know... we are crazy. But I really like being crazy. It suits me.
So, we moved forward with our plan and went home after church.
On our walk (after we ate and after we changed and before we changed again and drove back to church), we stopped by the neighbor that we've been sharing the gospel with, Sue. She just happened to be out tending to her goats. We had a great conversation with Sue and invited her to another missionary discussion in our home. She was happy to accept. I, of course was thrilled.

Flash forward to the missionary broadcast. Do you know how good it feels to be at a meeting when you have just already done what our leaders have admonished us to do?! It's like studying for a pop quiz before you even know it's happening! I felt so great. But I also felt the urgency to do more. To be more. To do my very best. I just felt so loved and buoyed up. If you didn't get to watch the broadcast, please do so here.
Happy viewing, all!



Our house feels hollow.
It is quiet.
I slept in today.
Kate talks.
Kate talks a lot.
I didn't realize how much I listened to Kate talk and talk and talk before the boys came.
It has been a different kind of noise that has occupied our home for the past four months.
I guess I have to get used to this new normal for awhile...


Right back on the horse

As if nothing huge in our home happened yesterday- I had to get right back into normal life, right?!

The family that we had set up for the boys seemed such a dream come true. Honestly, they still are a dream come true- kind, compassionate, grounded, loving, fun- everything that one would want for a child. Unfortunately, we received a call today that this family is not taking the boys.

When I received the call, I was shocked. Utterly shocked.
But, I understand. I do not hold them in contempt. I have no hard feelings. I do, however, ache for my boys. I have such a deep rooted pain for the sad turn their journey just took. How in the world will they ever get over this? WILL they ever get over this? If learning this tragic news is not enough- I learned it right between a day at work and a big catering job. Not a job where I could silently weep in the kitchen, either. I was teaching the whole night to 4 couples about making appetizers and such. It was a very detailed and demanding event. Not helping in the mix was the fact that there was alcohol involved and one woman that seemed to have nothing but attitude for me. Upon dragging myself home, I melted in a heap on the couch and just cried.  I feel like I am in a nightmare that I cannot wake from. I am stuck in an abyss of emotions that just keep coming at me like a wall of freezing cold water. I will get through this. We will get through this. But it's going to take a whole heck of a lot to come out alive...

Good news- I am going to the beach house on Monday morning for five days.
You know what they say:


End of an Era

 Today is our last day with the boys... the is a swirl of emotions. In some cases, it feels like a dream. The past four months have been a rollercoaster ride, so I suppose the day is business as usual. They are heading off the a loving family. I am nervous for these little guys. Believe it or not, out of the MANY pictures we took, this was the best. Anyone with multiple (crazy) children understands, I'm sure. And of course, in each shot- mom looks progressively more frustrated.


I don't know how we did it (well I do, kind of...)

But, Jimmy and I have been really good about keeping the TV off when the boys were here. In fact, Heavenly Father blessed us to be able to do a lot of things that came more difficultly before they got here. While the boys have been here- we did not miss a day of family scripture study, family prayer or a week of Family Home Evening. I am really not saying that in a bragging way- more of a shock and awe kind of thing. How in the world did we do that with four kids when we barely ever did it with one?! I have no doubt in my mind that the only reason that was possible was with the Lord's help. I cannot get over how much of a partner I have felt with Him through this whole experience. Being a foster parent has been the hardest thing I have EVER done. I have done hard things before. And I have always prayed through them. But in most cases, there was a time when I felt disconnected from God. Not betrayed. Not really abandoned- but far away. Like maybe He wasn't there all the time. Sometimes I had felt alone. In this experience of foster parenting, though- I have never felt alone. It has been truly amazing.

Because of Heavenly Father's help, I was able to block out many things of the world in our home. In fact, I was prompted several times to find things to talk about or even sing about while in the car. All because I felt like listening to the radio with these kids was not the right choice. We would listen to certain CDs, of course. But for the most part, we talked or played games or sang. The same goes with TV. It is difficult to find the words to explain the direction I received with these kids. I felt entirely guided to avoid media. We did have one night a week where we allowed video game/movie night. So, tonight- on our last night with the boys we watched a movie, ate popcorn and just laughed and laughed. I am sad to see these boys go- but it is their time.


Mountains and Mountains

and mountains...
as long as I was at camp, not a single dish was washed or a item of clothing laundered. I have been hip depth in each. This is in no way a complaint- I came home to four breathing children. Jimmy did well while I was at camp. But I think he was glad to see me :)


Horse Crazy

We have a little future equestrian on our hands. Kate just finished writing and publishing a book about horses for her writing course. So what better thing to do than go and visit the horses on a beautiful Summer day?!


Exclamation Marks!!!

I recently read a touching talk from the October 2002 General Conference by Colleen K. Menlove called, "A Voice of Gladness for Our Children"

In her opening statements, Sister Menlove shares her love for exclamation marks. She then quotes scriptures with the punctuation aforementioned. I loved reading that talk and made a few notes. It really did touch my spirit. It's funny how Heavenly Father works, though. Not even four days after reading that talk, I was reminded of the use of the exclamation mark when singing the camp song for our ward today in sacrament meeting. The song this year was, "Walk tall, you're a daughter of God". I already love that song! But, when singing it today, I was struck so profoundly. The one sentence in the whole song that uses an exclamation point is, "He loves you!"

When I read and sang those words, I was so overcome by the love I felt directly from my Father in Heaven. Fortunately, I was singing with everyone who had been at camp, because I stopped singing and silently thanked God through tears for the love I felt. It was a good week at camp. I enjoyed myself immensely. I enjoyed the Spirit that always accompanies camp. That song and it's reminder of God's love for me definitely put an exclamation mark at the end of a wonderful week at camp!


Celebrations all around!

We were able to celebrate two wonderful things today!
First was the wedding of a dear friend's son
Next was a farewell to a newly called mission president

The wedding was just wonderful. I was thrilled to share this day with our friends. These friends are actually the family that will be taking our foster children next week when we transition to the next step in the adoption process. We have had these boys solely as foster children but hope to take another sibling set to adopt. It's actually kind of a miracle the way things turned out. When Jimmy and I started our last cycle of the weight loss program, we were on a team with this couple. Because email is not really their thing and we already had Mondays set aside for the family, we decided to alternate hosting dinner and FHE in our homes. This family got to know our boys for eight weeks. When the other pulled me aside and mentioned wanting to take the boys- I was thrilled! What a HUGE blessing. We had already given the date for transition and were very nervous about where the boys would end up. Like, losing sleep- nervous. When I learned of the intentions of this family, a great weight was lifted from my shoulders. What is pretty amazing is that the placement approval was finalized two days before the wedding. Meaning, the family could share this happy news with their extended family when they came into town for the wedding. Right in the nick of time, I say!!!

And the farewell was so special. The man called to be a mission president in Oklahoma was actually the bishop when Jimmy and I got married. He was the bishop that counseled us as we prepared to be sealed for all time and eternity. This wise man was so helpful to us in our early and young relationship. To see him off was a true blessing for me and Jimmy.

Today was filled with wonderful emotions and great friends. It was pretty awesome.


Camp, Day 6: The great KD

KD stand for Kelly DeGarmo

This amazing woman deserves a whole post just for the praise I have for her!

It may be the act of kindness performed at camp that urged me to write this post, but her many great qualities and services in the past warrant all that I have to say about my dear friend. First of all, let me tell you a little bit about Kelly. She has three wonderful, beautiful children that are no doubt great because of Kelly's example. This woman is a hard worker and the best listener I have ever met. Her laugh makes me feel jolly and like the funniest person on the planet. Kelly is thoughtful and has dropped a sweet note in the mail to me on many occasions. I truly count myself blessed to call Kelly my friend. Now, let me tell you what this wonder woman did for me at camp:

After days on my feet in the kitchen, I was exhausted. On one particular day, our call time to the kitchen was 5:45 am. Meaning, that the staff had to wake up preeetty early. It was a day filled with non stop work until about 2:30 pm. When I finally dragged myself out of the kitchen for a small break before the dinner rush, I walked by Kelly who was facilitating a pedicure class for the girls. She talked me into staying so I could soak and rest my feet. It did not take too much coaxing to keep me there, as my cabin was located straight up two very steep hills. The foot soak was WONDERFUL! What was more wonderful than the hot peppermint scented water was Kelly sitting next to me and holding my feet in her lap to rub them. At first I felt a little embarrassed. But, all I could think about after my initial reaction was the Savior. Jesus Christ washed the feet of His disciples. He washed their feet because He loved them. In this small act that Kelly performed for me, I felt entirely loved. What my friend did for me not only made my aching feet feel better but also taught me a lesson in love and service. I am so grateful for her example. I am grateful for her parents raising a righteous daughter. I am grateful that Kelly is a mother that is teaching her children important values through her example.

I love you, Kelly- thanks for everything!


Camp, Day 5: Salt of the earth

There is a very sweet cook that works in the kitchen with us that apparently doesn't like anything sweet. This particular cook continues to salt anything and everything that they are cooking to the point of being inedible sometimes.

When the many warnings were given out about salting things too much were ignored, the rest of us had to take matters into our own hands. Rather than ask that cook for the fortieth time to keep the salt light, we all came up with a great solution.

One day, we took the salt shaker into the pantry (where no one would see our little stunt) and took off the lid. Fortunately for us, the salt shaker is not see-through. So, we were able to put tape in the underside of the shaker's lid and replace it without anyone knowing what we had done.
It may seem devious, but nothing got thrown out that day :)


Camp, Day 4: I want to be a missionary now

That title was meant to be sung. You know, like the Primary song-

I want to be a missionary now
I don't want to wait until I'm grown
I want to share the gospel while I am young
For I have a testimony of my own.

I just love that song. At camp, the Spirit is so prevalent. Even in the kitchen, where many might think there's little to do with church. We have twice daily devotionals and prayers. It's nice to be part of something so great. This year, I got to meet the new senior missionary couple that will be working at the camp for the next couple of years. They were just phenomenal. Meeting those two really brought me to have such a great desire to serve with Jimmy. I have always had a desire to serve a mission as a senior couple- but to see this couple made my yearning for that day just so much greater.

What we learned is that the church has been buying many properties around the country for the sole purpose to have Young Women's camps. It's because in a recent survey, more than 90% of women surveyed, cited Girls' camp as a foundation for their strong testimony. Isn't that just neat?! I know that camp saved me. I know that as a teenager, I learned so many valuable truths and had a wonderful place to help my testimony flourish.

I hope that each year, as I sacrifice time away from my family, at least one girl is gaining a small part of what I was blessed to gain- because I know she would be truly grateful. Kate will be going to camp in two short years. I really hope she enjoys it as much as I do! And when the time comes I hope to serve a mission to share the testimony that was in part fueled by the fabulous place I call Girls' Camp.


Camp, Day 3: Sinful

Sinful-ly good, that is!
Working in the kitchen was fabulous. Nothing more fabulous than having chocolate chip cookies, ice cream, IBC rootbeer, Cheetos etc. at your very fingertips. Especially if those fingertips are enjoying a hiatus between weightloss challenge cycles! If all those things didn;t sound enticing enough, I bring you our new specialty in the kitchen this year:
Chocolate Ganache Covered Rice Crispy Treats!!!
(Can you tell Stephanie was in the kitchen? Ganache- really?!)

And here is the fabulous recipe (be forewarned- just reading this recipe may cause artery blockage...)

Follow recipe on Rice Crispy box for the treat recipe. When pressed into pan, cover with this:

1 cup chcolate chips
6 Tablespoons butter
dash of kosher salt
Melted in the microwave until soft (about 35 seconds)
Stir until smooth, pour over treats and put in the freezer for 10 minutes.
You may need to double (or like we did, quadruple- eek!)

You have just been given the secret to a happy life. You're welcome friends.


Camp, Day 2: Skit

So, in trying to figure out how to post the actual video of the kitchen staff's skit, I learned that I can't. Here's a link:


But if you're like me, it might take some serious coaxing to push aaaall those buttons and open up a whooole new window just to see a six minute clip.
Here's my coaxing: Please do it?! It's really funny! And it looks like I hurt myself! (Jimmy said so... I refuse to watch it. I haven't been able to watch myself on video since grade school. But, I do hear the laughs when other people watch it. And I lived it. Believe me. It's funny.)

P.S.- it was a Star Wars theme, hence the tagline.


Camp, Day 1: My quarters

When we arrived at camp today, it was before the rest of the campers and leaders. You see, as part of the kitchen staff- we're special... and need to get a jump on all the food that will be provided this week. It's a strenuous schedule of waking up and cooking from dawn 'til dusk. And I love it. We have the same exact team in the kitchen as last year, which makes my heart sing!
What does not make my heart sing is sleeping in a closet all week. I am really only saying that to be dramatic. It isn't that bad. Except for the part that my quarters are smack dab in between the walls of the W.C. For those of you who may not understand the British references, I shall spell it out. My pretty little head is laid on a pillow each night in a closet that rest between two rooms, each with a very loud toilet. And so my night goes like this: snore, flush, snore, snore, turn over, flush, snore etc.

What I thought was so funny about the whole thing was this picture that would not leave my head:
In retrospect I realize that my have been why I referenced a few British terms. Well, might as well go for it then- Cheerio, gov'na!


Girls' Camp Overload

Tomorrow, I am leaving for Girls' Camp!!!
Which means that the next week of posts will be all.about.camp.
Kinda like me...

I am nervous for Jimmy. He will battle the children (and bedtime and wake up and dinner)by himself, all week. Luckily, my mother-in-law and my neighbor's mother-in-law and my dear friend Melanie will be helping while Jimmy's at work. I printed out (or rather Jimmy printed out at work because yesterday just happened to be the day our printer ran out of ink- yay!) schedule booklets for the kids to take everywhere they go. Also, packed all their clothes for the week in bags labeled with each child's name and day to be worn. Plus, I took a trip to Costco today with all the kids to give Jimmy a break before tomorrow and stock up on everything needed.

You know what's going to happen though... the kids will wear the same outfit all week and eat pizza each night.


Interesting Folks

Mostly when people use the word, 'interesting'  it denotes something of interest... mostly. Today 'interesting' was used in this way:

Those people at the park who were laying out on the field completely intoxicated in the midst of a child's birthday party were... interesting.
I went to my dear friend's son's birthday party at the park today. Just as we were about to pull up. my friend called nearly in tears. She had explained that there were some unwelcome people at the park just yards away from the party she had meticulously set out. It was actually quite sad. But, I went into protective mode with her. I came out ready to whip into action, whatever that meant...

She made the decision to move everything she had worked to hard to set out back to her house. Like pros, my kids hopped out of the car and had everything moved in no time. Then, our job was to return to the park to direct anyone that might be late to the party to her house. Well, I got to know those interesting people pretty well, in that one of the men and his nine year old son practically spewed information at me. I felt bad- not pity, but sorrow. I had sorrow for this poor little guy who was with his family who decided to be totally drunk while they were with him. I felt sadness when the boy told me so openly of his dad's time in jail. And when I read the "white pride" tattoo so visibly on the father's forearm. A lot of times, people might think I'm judging them by the way they are defensive in their manner of speech- but really, I just am sad. I am sad because when I see someone in a state that is less than best, I think about how they are a child of God. That person has been created in His image. At one point, they made a conscious decision to be on this earth. I see someone who could learn true peace if they just seek for it.

But I learned something recently- you can not share the Gospel unless someone is searching. Any truth cannot be found without someone first looking for it. I guess I just naturally want to do what is right- almost to a fault sometimes. But because the desire to choose the right is so great in me, I just assume everyone is the same. Not so.

So, although our run in with an interesting crowd was not really the highlight of my day, it did make me pause and think- what should I be searching for?


Yeah... that was me

I saw my friend in her car at a stop sign as I was driving by.
I waved.
She didn't see me.
So I waved more.
She had jsut turned her head away when I had gotten to the best part of the wave.
So, after getting a little flustered and thinking, "why doesn't she SEE me?! Is she mad at me? Have I done something to offend my dear friend?"
I  gave a little toot of my horn and started waving frantically.
My friend turned and looked at me...
and then I realized- that wasn't my friend.


Chicken n' Waffles!

Ever since we went to The Pear and had chicken n' waffles TWICE IN ONE WEEK- Jimmy and I have used the phrase so much it had become almost embarrassing... almost. However, when one uses the two most beautiful words in the English language together so much- something must be done.  And so, we bring ourselves to this moment:
The most delectable and amazing and indescribable (but I will try) dinner we've had to date.
Start with a Belgian waffle made with yeast dough and laced with apple wood smoked bacon. Add cinnamon honey butter with sea salt on top, a piece of smoked paprika fried chicken and fresh maple syrup. Holy.Moly.
It was worth the work. And the ten day wait for our special waffle maker in the mail. You know, because a flimsy old Target waffle maker just won't do. I am not knocking Target. Target is my friend. But I am knocking the cheap waffle makers they sell. We went online to find the best. I have to be honest with you- the waffle maker cost as much as our dinner at The Pear- but not once do I regret the purchase. Well, maybe just that one time when I tried copying a picture (without reading instructions) from Pinterest... We put brownie batter in the waffle maker. And ended up scraping up millions of brown crumbs off the beloved waffle maker. But the bits were good. And I seriously need to get back in my weight loss competition...


Music to my ears

Thank goodness I've never claimed being anything like Tiger Woods- because I hate to be wrong.
Jimmy, Kate and I went golfing while the boys were out and about. In fact, it was the first time all three of us had been together since February. We spent the day laughing.

First, we headed over to a cute little breakfast place called Biscuits. Everthing on the menu is southern with a California twist. We really enjoyed it- unfortunately not so much with the biscuits and gravy. There was no sausage in the gravy- what?! my brothers would be APPALLED...
However, everything alse was pretty amazing.

But folks, this post is not about food (shocker, I know) It is really about how I went to golf course and hit a ball so hard that I BROKE A GOLF CLUB. That is definitely something my brothers would be proud of. My swing had improved- but I didn't know that much!

Then we spent the rest of the day reading at the library and being quiet- something that hasn't happened in our home for months. Truly, a fabulous day filled with laughter. I forgot how nice Kate's giggle was...


Side Effects

I had a great need for pain reliever today. Before work, I popped over to my mother-in-law's house to grab something really quick so I'd be fresh and ready to go without my pain being a distraction. All that she had to offer was Excedrin. Now, I have never taken this pain medicine before. I have to say, I should have just opted out and suffered through the pain!

I felt alright for awhile... until that stuff kicked in!
It hit me like a freight train- nausea, dizziness and severe lethargy.
I work at a daycare!!!
Those kind of symptoms should not be exacerbated by toddlers crawling all over you.
Fortunately for me, the kids are great and have a keen sense of when to lay low.
It took about 4 hours for the medication to wear off and it was terrible.
I will never again take that stuff...



Today, I was very tender is spirit and super sensitive to negativity. Because of the week being so full of ups and downs, I was thrilled to finally be at church so I could just sit in a pew and listen. I was anxiously awaiting that Spirit to just calm my troubled soul. Fast and testimony meeting was fabulous, but I hadn't been fully healed from the week's emotions. When sacrament meeting had nearly come to a close, I looked over at Jimmy and said,, "I don't know if I can do this (talking about teaching primary)" It's not that my kids are bad- I love my class. I just couldn't handle ANY kids. Jimmy rubbed my back and encouraged me to do give it a shot. With resolve, I walked to my class ready to teach. When I was waiting in line for the library, two of my students came rushing up to me in a tizzy. They had informed me that another student had erased my entire lesson off the board. I took a deep breath, went to class and tried to  be strong. The moment I grabbed the chalk to start rewriting my lesson, I just lost it. This is why: I was tired, emotional and at the end of my rope PLUS writing with chalk. I HATE chalk. It is a sacrifice for me to even use it. That is why I was so upset when the lesson I prepared was erased- I had to touch the chalk again... So, because of something as stupid as a little piece of chalk, I broke down. Not in front of the class- but I quietly excused myself, then turned into a blubbering mess. When I finally found Jimmy, I practically threw my lesson materials at him and nearly ran out of the building. Poor guy.

A thousand things swirled through my head in the short time it took me to get car. Where would I go? Who should I talk to? What should I do?

I went to my favorite place in the world, a hike where I feel particularly close to God. And, gosh darn it, I put on my running shoes (that were miraculously in the back of my car with a fresh pair of socks). I ran up that hill and prayed and cried to my heart's content.

It was refreshing. I felt cleansed. I was ready to face the world. Until I walked past someone on my way down the hill with my Sunday best and running shoes... I should have gone for the cute over comfort again.

(I know a few of my posts have seemed gloom and doom here, folks. But, I am okay. I am receiving lots of peace through prayer and support from my family. We are in the midst of so much transition that my heart has no capacity for all that's been thrown upon it. We are working through it and getting stronger. Growing pains hurt. But all is well.)


Little Guy's Birthday

The two younger boys have birthdays just six days apart- which made our house PARTY CENTRAL this week! It is unfortunate that thesse pictures are out of focus, because this Little Guy is a heartbreaker! His sweet little smile and cute voice just melt you!

Anyone who knows Little Guy are just enamored by him. It was a good day- we spent the day swimming, eating yummy food and playing really hard. I am so happy we've got this guy for a couple more weeks!