Sunday, January 31, 2010

Please Pray

TJ's student teaching has been going really well.  Last week one of his instructors from the Institute (which oversee all the seminary student teachers) came to observe him.  This happens at least once every two weeks throughout the school year, and always before he has spent a few minutes after class talking about how the class went.  He usually offers encouragement on what's going well, and encourages TJ to do a little better on some other things.  Anyway, when he came this week, all he could say was "Home run.  Keep doing home runs every day."  He really couldn't come up with anything for TJ to improve.

Which is not to say that he really does hit a home run every day.  It is to say that we're getting close.  Brother Valinga, the guy who is in charge of hiring, is coming to observe TJ a week from tomorrow, February 8th.  And based on what he sees, we could be looking at an early hire date--this spring as opposed to this summer as we thought.  This is terrific news in every sense of the word, as you can imagine, and TJ is excited and feeling a bit of pressure.

Your prayers would be so appreciated.  Please pray for TJ's students specifically, that they may have a deep desire to learn from the scriptures, to participate and contribute in class discussions, and to testify of what they know to be true.  Please pray that TJ may do his very best teaching on Monday the 8th, and that Brother Valinga may be impressed that TJ is ready to go full-time. 

The past year and a half since TJ left his job as a choir teacher to pursue this dream of his has been such an awesome learning experience for us.  I've learned that there's nothing I care more about than having TJ at home, participating in family activities.  For him to have a steady income would be great.  Medical benefits would rock.  Paid vacation, oh the joy!  But nights and weekends off, consistently, so he can serve in the church and in this family, will be the greatest blessing of all. 

Thanks for your continued love and support over the years.  We have felt the power of your faith and love sustaining us.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Love Actually

I just finished watching Love Actually (edited) for the umpteenth time.  It's way up on my list of favorites because I laugh and cry every time I see it.  Even after all these viewings, it never fails to touch me. 

What movies touch you?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Bright Idea

Yesterday at lunch, TJ had the girls almost convinced that the Mommy they were looking at was actually just a robotic substitute for when I go on vacations.

"It's true!  Mom left for the Bahamas this morning, but before she left, she turned on this robot here so it could take care of you kids.  Whenever Mom feels like a break, this robot just takes over everything so Mommy can rest."

I know, wishful thinking on everyone's part.  The girls kept protesting, and TJ offered to prove it.  He said, "during naptime today, I'll show you that she doesn't sleep in the bed, she plugs herself in to recharge and she stands in the closet."

So, while he was putting the girls down for nap, I got ready.  I found a power cord that TJ uses for his razor with a nice little input.  I plugged it in and then wondered where to attach it to myself.  It would be really convincing, I thought, if it was not just tucked into my clothes, but actually going into my body somehow.  My nose was the perfect size.


I jerked the cord out and laughed through the pain, amazed that I hadn't percieved the flaws of my plan before being electrocuted.  I tucked the cord under my sweater and stood in the closet, preparing to keep a straight face as I listened to the girls' whispers of amazement when they saw that Daddy had been telling the truth.  Hmm, maybe it is time for a little break around here?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

To All the Mothers

To all the wonderful women who assist me in nurturing my children, I send out a heartfelt thanks.  You know who you are.  You're the ones who volunteer to tend the kids (and mean it.)  You're the ones who will sit with a whole pew of rascals so I can sing in the choir.  You smile and say sweet, forgiving things when I'm absentminded or neglectful.  You volunteer to hold the baby while I do Sharing Time.  You refuse to cast judgement when children are misbehaving, when I'm late, or when the house is messy.  You teach the children in school and at church.  You listen to my talker, watch my twirler, and cuddle my snuggler. 
Some of you are mothers yourselves and remember what it's like to be in this wonderful, crazy part of life.  Many of you are mothers who have not been blessed with children yet, and so you just can't know how valuable you are.  Without your mothering, our family would not be the same.  Even TJ and I are touched and strengthened by your love.  When these children grow to be loving, caring people, it will partly be due to you.  Thank you for the hundreds of quiet ways you serve me and my babies.   I could never do without the many mothers in my life.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Naomi's Fourth Birthday

For Naomi's birthday this year, we decided to take a trip to the dinosaur museum at Thanksgiving Point. And then we spoke to Naomi in such a way that she came out convinced that she had chosen a family outing, instead of a party with friends. I know it sounds terrible, but since TJ spent November and December working 70 hours a week, Naomi was just as Daddy-starved as the rest of us.
So we used our Christmas money from Grandma and Grandpa Dick to buy a year pass to Thanksgiving Point and we all went down to see the dinosaurs. After the museum, we came home and enjoyed Naomi's very feminine dinosaur cake.
It has been such a wonderful year with this sweet girl. She has put on at least six inches and her hair has grown from a bob to halfway down her back. She had her lazy eye fixed in December and is more stunning then ever. She has potty trained like a pro and has breezed into her position as older sister with impressive ease. Having both older siblings at school in the mornings has presented a challenge for Naomi, but I've come to really enjoy our one-on-one time, and she has learned to maximize opportunities she doesn't get otherwise. For example, she gets free reign over all the toys, including the forbidden realm of Ezra's room. She also loves having Paul to herself. His facial expressions--ranging daily from Mute Terror to Longsuffering Tolerance to Happy Greeting--indicate that he's getting used to her tough love.
Naomi loves to make people laugh, throws scary temper tantrums, gives dozens of hugs and kisses out of the blue, and sings her own theme music when we challenge her to do something really fast. She loves to dress up in princess dresses and dance to fancy music, loves being read to, and is getting really good at coloring. She will do chores if there's an immediate reward, but otherwise she'd rather poke her own eyes out with a stick. She requires less sleep than Eliza, and when we ask her why she's not sleeping, she says the ticking of the clock keeps her awake! Now she skips nap altogether and we're all a lot happier.
Naomi and I have one year left before school, and I intend to treasure it. She is such a joy to have around and I'm so grateful I get to be her mom!