Friday, August 31, 2007

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The First Week Of School and Other Musings

Today ends the first week of school. When I used to go to school, all of my supplies fit into a pencil box. This year it cost over $100 getting supplies for my three youngest. One the first day of school each kid had their backpack full (Except for DD, whose backpack is nearly as big as she is. If I put anything in it she would fall right over), as well as 3 full grocery bags carried by DH and myself. Good thing school is within easy walking distance.

I am very impressed with the teachers I have met so far. My kids are enthusiastic about them, too. The future projects sound like a lot of fun. DS#1 loves his Chinese class, mainly because she taught them insults on the first day. They are talking about taking students on a tour of China and he wants to be the first in line. DS#2 talks about science, math, and sports. DS#3 is still excited about P.E. ("Three times a week, Mom!") and school lunch ("Their spaghetti doesn't taste as good as yours, Mom." I hope not).

I found out that DS#3 waits for DD every recess so he can look out for her. He helps her up the ladder so she doesn't fall, down the slide, and makes sure no one pushes her around. (I think I hear a collective Awwwww! from dear readers.) When I asked him why he did this rather than play with his new friends he told me "I'm her big brother, Mom, I am supposed to make sure she is safe. Besides, I introduce my friends to her and they play with her, too." Just thinking about this makes me teary and so proud that he is my son.

DD always says goodbye to her class mates with no reaction from them. Until today. A darling little girl turned to say goodbye to her first. If this relationship develops, I want to invite her for a playdate.

DS#2 is getting a rep on the bball court. Apparently he is very good. We've never signed him up for basket ball before. The earth will end as we know it if I do not sign him up this year. Signup dates are on my calendar. I'm looking forward to cheering. ITM, DS#1 has his first swim meet next week. Those are long affairs but I will be there cheering on a very hard cement bleacher bench.

Lastly, I have two calendars, one on my computer and one in my closet. These will be full of class assignments. No more making sock puppets at midnight, no running to the store in pjs and no makeup because someone forgot to tell me they needed a bag of candy that day or to the school because I forgot to send lunch money, no more missed assignments because I am juggling 4 schedules as well as my own. Power School numbers will be posted on both calendars for weekly checks. This year I will be Super Mom (red cape, blue tights, the whole nine yards), Miss Organization (pencil firmly behind ear), Creative Queen (Make a costume out of cardboard boxes and dryer tubing? No problem, I have those in the craft cabinet.)

Maybe I'd better finish organizing my office first before I can be called all of those things. After I finish the laundry, clean the kitchen, scrub the tub......

Sunday, August 19, 2007

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Sunday Gratitudes

1. My firstborn son telling me that he knows the password # to the adult control lock on our TV. He wanted to be sure that I knew it needed to be changed so he would never be tempted to watch something he shouldn't. All of those Family Night lessons on honesty and integrity have paid off.

2. DD swallowed a Boondocks game token last night. This morning while I took the boys to church my Darling Husband took her to the ER. They took numerous x-rays, fed her vanilla pudding and graham crackers, and sent her home saying they think she will be fine. If the token does not pass through in two days then she is to go back. I'm grateful we have a competent hospital close by. The drs fell in love with DD.

3. One of my best girlfriend's father passed away over the weekend. I am grateful that we know where we were, why we are here, and what happens next. I have to smile thinking of the great reunion he had with his two children who died as small children. He was a great man.

4. Firstborn son made the high school swim team! He hasn't swum (swim, swam, swum?) with a club for two years so the next month will be very hard. He will be fine.

5. DS #2 and #3 are excited for school to start next week. I'm happy that their love for learning has not diminished. DS#1 is a bit apprehensive but I do think he is excited for Honors Science and Honors English.

6. Date night is back in swing! DH took me out last night for Thai food and Bourne Ultimatum. Here is thanks to what we love to refer to as homemade marriage therapy.

7. Quirky family celebrations. This week I have to made Firstborn's favorite meal (buffalo wings) because..........he is OFFICIALLY taller than me. DS#1 has been measuring himself against me all summer in anticipation of this all-important event. After watching his example, DS#2, DS#3 and even DD have starting requesting to compare their height with mine, hoping that they, too, will get their favorite meals and a mini family celebration.

8. Restful Sundays. Oh, yessssss.

9. DH bought a new computer this week. I now will be able to check email every day, blog more often, and see my parents on the Skype phone. Woo-hoo!

10. Today was my first Sunday directing practice with our new ward choir. They are amazing singers and pick up music quickly. I am going to have fun times with this ward calling.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

A Thanks To A Mentor

I received my first calling in my new ward. I am now the Ward Choir Director/Ward Chorister. I love this calling. It is my third time in this calling. My love for this calling requires thanks to someone.

Sister Hadfield was the Ward Chorister when I was a child. She always had a big smile every time she stood up to lead the singing in sacrament meeting. Her gorgeous voice carried clear to the back of the chapel. She was one of the few choristers I have ever watched who had the ability to get the congregation to look at her when she led. It was impossible not to watch.

My family sat in the second row of the center section of the chapel - all the better for my daddy to watch us from where he sat on the stand. From this vantage point, I always had an unobstructed view of Sister Hadfield. I would try to copy her every gesture. Trying to be quiet and unobtrusive, I would mimic with my hands hidden behind the bench in front of us. When Sister Hadfield flicked her wrist then I would flick mine. I practiced the way she would hold out the formatas. I copied her cut-off at the end of the hymns.

During the week I would stand in front of the bathroom mirror and practice the entire lesson: Big Smile to start, constant eye contact, keeping the beat with all of the nuances. I locked the bathroom door for privacy. I'm sure my family knew exactly what I was doing, though. My singing loudly must have been a dead give away.

Now whenever I stand up to lead the hymns I always think of Sister Hadfield. But, last week during my first time leading music in this new ward, I came across a predicament that I do not think Sister Hadfield ever had to contend with. My Darling Daughter (who happened to turn 5 that day) was wondering where her mom went and stood up on the seat to look for me. There she was front and center, 2nd row back, as I stood up. As I raised up my arms to start the sacramental hymn (always a very sacred song) my daughter spied me. Darling Daughter began to wave wildly and yelled "HI MOM!" Everyone started to laugh (including me) and the entire congregation missed the first few words of the hymn.

I wonder what Sister Hadfield would have done? Come to think of it, I am sure she also has stories to tell.