Sunday, September 28, 2008

A New Calling

I have been a Primary teacher for a few years.  Today I got a new calling that I am both excited about, and terrified of!  As a Primary teacher, it was fairly predictable... I knew who I would be dealing with each week, how rowdy each child could get, and had sort of figured out how to calm each one down.  I loved the hugs and crayon pictures and "I love you, teacher"s.  I will miss it terribly. 

Now I am the Compassionate Service Leader.  I don't even really know what is expected in this calling, except I will be helping with funerals and new babies!  I will be able to serve with lives leaving this world, coming into this world, and those somewhere in between.  I am really excited to have this chance to be more involved in service, and know it will help me to be a better person.  I'm really scared that I will not know what to do and say.  Hopefully people will be forgiving with me as I try to do this.  Our former Compassionate Service lady was so kind and wonderful... I know that I can't fill her shoes, but I hope mine can at least follow in her footsteps! 

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Summer's Final Fruits

With autumn sneaking in the door, I had to take a few pictures of my summer friends. I have to admit that the yard work is getting tedious, and I am looking forward to putting away the lawnmower. But I know that in a few months I'll be sick of cold and snow, so I try to keep my plants from freezing, as long as possible.

I love this Dahlia... the pinks and yellows blend in such a beautiful way. This plant was a splurge last spring, and I have to say it was well worth it!

My pumpkin plants did especially well this year, and I have 5 large pumpkins turning orange! One for each of us to carve for Halloween. They choked out my cucumbers and zuchini, but they are fine looking pumpkins!!

This is one of 8 giant sunflowers that the kids and I planted. They are about 10-12 feet tall, and the heads are between 12-20 inches across! We are excited to try drying and eating some of the seeds. I think we'll leave most of them out for the birds and squirrels to eat during the winter. It's just so much easier to go to the store and buy a nice, packaged bag of sunflower seeds... but... we do have to try doing it ourselves... just for the fun of it!!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Bloggers Block

I haven't been able to think of anything to post all week!  So.... I thought this was kinda funny.  Maybe I'll have a more exciting week ahead!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

I Love To See The Temple

I had a lovely time riding to Spokane and going to the temple yesterday. Every year a bunch of ladies in our ward take a Saturday, leave the kids and husbands at home, and drive 4 hours to Spokane. It is really fun to have a "girls day". We talk and laugh, shop and eat. The best part is going to the temple together. I am so grateful for the friendships I have in these women. Each year I think of dozens of excuses why I'm too busy to go, but each time I have a great experience and am glad that I went!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I'm Becoming a Geek

That's right... Geek.  First I started a blog... now I've created an account on FaceBook!  I'm not even sure why...I just wanted to see what all the excitement was about, and before I knew it... I had set up my profile and started searching for "friends"!  As I spent my time looking for everyone I've ever known, I realized that a lot of people go in and out of our lives.  Some of them I want to keep in touch with - but our lives take so many twists and turns that we just can't keep in touch with everyone.  It is kind of sad that there are also people that I really don't want to spend the time and effort to contact.  Is this their fault because they are big jerks, or is it my fault because I'm a big jerk?  This is something I will have to ponder. 

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Journey of a Different Kind

This morning I took another journey... down memory lane. A few weeks ago, I got a box of papers from CDC (Child Development Center), containing 8 years of paperwork on Jacob. They were cleaning out their files, and getting rid of old papers.

I started browsing through the pile, and quickly noticed that the newest papers were on top, with the oldest on the bottom. I turned the pile (about 8 in. tall) over, and started at the beginning. They began when Jacob was 2 years and 8 months old. The records showed our first phone call and visit to the CDC, because we were worried about our son. Then came all the tests: physical, emotional, developmental, psychological, and on and on. Next was the confirmation that our Jacob had "PDD-NOD" (Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Diagnosed). What the heck is that?!?! - we thought. Next was more stuff telling us that this was just a "nice" way of saying HE HAS AUTISM!!!!!

A few years later, our son, Erik, was also diagnosed with very mild autism.

As I read through this stuff, it brought back a lot of old memories... not all of them pleasant. But, I was happy to find that a lot of the pain and fear is not inside me any more. This "journey" through autism has been a real challenge for our family and for myself personally. It still is at times, but, thanks to my knowledge of the gospel, I have peace. I know it will be OK.

As I continued to read, there were hundreds of pages of various notes from therapists, aides, teachers, doctors, etc... Every visit was documented, and I was reminded of so many struggles our boys have had, and how they have been strong and overcome so much. I am so thankful to everyone who has provided help and support!

Austism will always be a part of our lives... it will continue to be a journey... I still have a lot of hopes and fears that only time can show me. I have my husband, my family, my friends, and most importantly, my Heavenly Father, who will travel along with me... I'm looking forward to the trip!!!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

It'll cost how much?!?!

The kids have started school, and since our district has such lousy funding, everything costs. I just wrote out a check for $100 for Jacob's "fees" to attend school, and both of the other kids informed me that their lunch accounts need a boost. Lunches cost $2.50 each... X three kids = $7.50/day = $150/month... just for lunch! Erik told me that he has to pay a "locker fee" and "planner/ID card fee" by tomorrow. Both the boys have to have extra shoes for gym, that must stay at the school, and in Emily's class, they are having the parents each "donate" a month's worth of snacks. I thought our taxes were supposed to cover this!! We also have a vacation's worth of credit card charges to pay off, and Jacob broke a tooth eating dinner tonite!! I try very hard to plan a budget and stick to it... but, all the "unplanned" expenses keep throwing me off. I need to plan more for the unplanned!!! Why can't the world revolve around my plans and expectations?

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

More Trip Pics

A beautiful sunset on the beach.

Fun at the Oregon State Fair.

There were lots of decorated onions around the town of Walla Walla.

The Jelly Belly factory tour was a big hit! We especially enjoyed the free samples and the bean-shaped hamburgers and pizza.

We liked watching the sea lions try to knock eack other off the docks in San Fransisco.

Here, we are inside a giant redwood tree in California.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Good to be Home

Well, we had a great trip down the Oregon Coast. Here are a few photos.

It was so-o-o-o cold and windy when we finally reached the ocean! We had to wear our jackets. Erik said "This isn't fun in the sun, it's pain in the rain!"

Tasting cheese at the Tillamook Cheese Factory. We all shared a 5-scoop bowl of ice cream.

Playing in the water at the A.C. Gilbert children's museum in Salem, Oregon. This was a really fun place!

Playing at the Oregon State Fair, in Salem.

Petting star fish at the Oregon Coast Aquarium, in Newport.

Flying a kite during a very windy, sandy picnic on the beach. I can still feel the grit in my teeth! Tony had to throw away his sushi because it was so sandy!! At least it was sunny and kind of warm!