Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Birthdays Galore ahead and a Great Week behind

It's birthday time next week for Joe and Mindie on the 1st, Amy on the 2nd and Travis on the 4th. Travis will be twelve, Amy nine, and I'm not telling on the other two.

We had the cutest message on our answering machine Sunday. T.J. was crowned King at his high school Winter Formal Saturday night. He didn’t even plan on going to the dance but his friends talked him into it telling him that he had been nominated for the court. A friend loaned him his tuxedo so he arrived looking great with the girls and boys from the drama group, who form the cluster of his friends.

I didn’t actually get finished but I worked at sorting and cleaning in my office for a couple of hours last week. I came across some starry sticker sheets. I bought them at Vinnie’s sometime and then forgot them. Years ago Michael and Joseph had their college apartment’s bedroom ceiling covered with them. They glow in the dark. Sunday morning about forty-five minutes before I was to leave for choir practice, I received a phone call and was asked to substitute for the sunbeam teacher. “I Am Thankful For The Day And Night” was the title of the lesson. It called for pasting a piece of black construction paper over half a sheet of paper and talking about the creation of the sun, moon, and stars and the things we can see and do in the daytime and night time. It was a tender mercy of the Lord to have the starry stickers. My class was three darling three-year-old boys. I was in the C.W’s home last night to help with preparation for Saturday’s primary activity day. C.W. came in carrying his paper from Sunday’s class. His mom said he has been taking it everywhere – even to his grandmother’s house – and taking it into every dark room to watch the stars and planets glow in the dark. That’s a lot of payback for a little house cleaning. It made me feel like I did an all-star job teaching.
After Joseph recommended the movie “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World” Will told me that David and Fatima owned a copy. The boys invited me to watch it in David and Fatima’s home theater. Will showed it for me and it was excellent acting and great historical fiction. I had heard how horrible the seas and storms were sailing around the southern tip of South America. The ice and heavy weather was portrayed vividly. I wonder if they can do that with just the magic of technology or if they do some on-site filming. Burrrr, it looked cold! Then the scenes about the Galapagos Islands were fascinating. What strange animals and birds naturalists found when they first arrived.

Daddy B.J. and I took a car(over)load to our stake conference temple night last Friday evening. We found a request to go from a Johnny Palmer on our answering machine right before we were ready to leave. Of course we couldn’t say no. Daddy B.J. folded up our heavy afgan and stuck a couple of pillows behind the back seat of the van and slept on the way to make seats enough for everyone else. He had already taken his place before we picked up the last sister. She was amazed when we arrived at the temple and Will let the Bishop out the back. There was a little confusion and Will missed our gathering in the assembly room and missed joining our endowment session. The poor fellow then waited for us and not knowing he was behind actually ended up a full hour or two sessions after us. That just gave the rest of us a good long time to talk and visit together afterwards before he exited the temple.

Our stake suffers the unusual challenge of having its stake conference dates assigned when it is impossible to have its temple night together with the conference itself because of a temple closure. A Friday, Saturday, Sunday combination in a row is customary. Lavina and Cliff range frequently back and forth between their two homes and Sis didn’t know last Friday was our temple night since next weekend is conference. She was in town but I didn’t think to tell her. Sad that the people, who are the most important to us, can be the last people we think of sometimes. On the brighter side she will be going to the Saturday night adult session with me in three days.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A Very Special Valentine's Day

Michael, who reads my blog posting has helped me with additional information. Tiffany and Christ Adams' son's middle name is correctly spelled Isaac. Michael and Jenna's daughter's first name is both Anna and Kate, which is Anna Kate. Now for the latest news:

It is President’s Day, the federal holiday, which took the place of our state’s celebration of George Washington’s birthday. That was February 22nd. Since Daddy B.J. and I have always admired President Abraham Lincoln as much as our founding father and this holiday now salutes both of them, I am content. President Lincoln’s birthday was February 12th, but a number of years ago our national government decided to let all nationally observed holidays except Independence Day, Christmas, Veteran’s Day and New Year’s Day fall only on Mondays. That does provide a three-day weekend in most cases and folks generally dislike going to work on Monday more than any other day so it made a lot of people happy.Friday night was our ward activity for February. It was Karaoke. Will brought Adryann and BrynneĆ©. About thirty folks participated. Daddy B.J. was not among them because he has been tortured with sciatica pain and had received a priesthood blessing directing him to take a vacation for a few days. Well he didn’t precisely follow that counsel because he wanted to serve in his usual responsibilities Sunday in particular. He did get some extra rest Friday and Saturday. I am hoping he will take it easier today also.

Sunday was a momentous day for me. Though our bishop had said it wouldn’t happen during his tenure, I was released from the activities committee. I was sustained as the third counselor in the Primary presidency. Our president, who fell ill in November and was hospitalized for almost two months, is recuperating but not ready to resume her duties again yet. The first and second counselors are both tremendous young newly wedded sisters. Angela Rowe is a mechanical engineer in the shipyard and Sherilyn Voss is a nurse, who works in an allergy specialist’s office. When I was set apart my blessing said that I would serve in this new capacity till the president could return, and then be released with another calling awaiting me. I had wondered how it would work and Heavenly Father answered that question.

Early in January Daddy B.J. asked me to speak in sacrament meeting the second Sunday of this month. Of course I accepted the assignment. . The assigned topic was the temple. Will mentioned to me that the Silverdale stake were having stake conference the first weekend in February and that they would have a General Authority since a new stake president was being called. Will and I took advantage of a “party crashing” opportunity to attend the Saturday evening adult session. The evening’s theme was the temple and my notes provided me with an excellent resource. The new stake president is Eric Gillespie. When our daughter Ruth was about six-years-old Eric and his wife were in a play for a youth conference held up at Fort Warden. They invited Ruth to dress in white and go and sing “I Am A Child of God”. I made the white dress and remember the drive up with Ruthie quite well.
It was some time before I realized my talk would be on Valentine’s Day. Talking of Heavenly Father’s love for us and his greatest gift to all his children being the blessings of the gospel and especially the temple with its sealings of families for eternity really fit. Will came to listen to my talk and it was wonderful to look out and see him smiling at us as the meeting began. The bishop invited me to sit right beside him in the chair usually occupied by his first counselor. That felt strange but it was nice to hold hands during a lot of the program. That was a pretty good visual aid for our very romantic love on Valentine’s Day, wasn’t it? I took the liberty of using another visual aid, which is generally discouraged in sacrament meeting talks. Daddy B.J. gave me a dozen red roses Saturday and a red plastic heart with “I love you” written on it and a plastic stick to insert it with the flowers accompanied them. I held up the heart when I made points about things Heavenly Father had given us because of his love and I said I hoped that whenever we saw a heart we would be reminded of his love. By the way, I gave in to the temptation to buy a miniature rose, which was reduced in price at Ralph’s Red Apple market. Of course it is also red. Hopefully it will live longer than the elegant bouquet.

Sometime back in January I bought a cabinet at my favorite store especially to use for keeping my journals. The little shelves I had been using were becoming overburdened. Will provided transportation home, since the cabinet wouldn’t fit in my car. He and Daddy B.J. carried it to the basement and there it sat till I found time to work on the transfer. Actually I took one of the evenings when Daddy B.J. was in Texas between the 3rd and 5th of February and placed all the pictures that had accumulated from ward activities over the past year and a half into a binder. That was the second such picture history. Those two definitely would have over exceeded the old shelf capacity. To tell the truth, I doubt if anyone else will ever care to look through them but the pictures kept our ward bulletin board a lot more interesting and the activities themselves were labors of love. One of the nicest things about my new journal shelf is that there is lots of room for more binders in the future.
Joseph left a really enthusiastic message on our answering machine about a movie his had watched “Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World”. He said the British accents were so pronounced that he had to read the subtitles to follow the dialogue but that he knew it was the kind of movie I would enjoy. Daddy B.J. says that since he can’t understand English – a foreign language you know- there is no use his watching movies made in England. Perhaps with subtitles he could make it through one.

Debbie is going great guns with her Brownie Girl Scout group. They are involved in their annual cookie sale. Jay is supporting them by preparing gifts for his past and present clients. Debbie and their daughters baked up a storm of homemade cookies for Valentine’s Day. They had a grand time baking and decorating and preparing plates to give to special teachers and helpers at school. Monica is particularly sweet, treating the janitor and crossing guard as deserving of her love and respect as the teachers. Amy found a new tool to be fascinating – the rolling pin. To my great delight they clamored for whipping up “Gramma’s frosting”. Well I learned to make powdered sugar frosting from my mom when I was a girl too. That makes it sort of a tradition, doesn’t it?

David stopped by one evening last week and made a valentine to take to Fatima. He said he had also given her a gift earlier. It does my heart good to see romance flourishing among my children. We love all of you and hope you felt loved indeed on Valentine’s Day.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Boys Are Coming

Did you hear? Did you hear! Tiffany and Chris will be having a new son toward the end of March. Kathryn and Joseph will be having a new son about the third week of June. And Jenna and Michael will be having a son about the fourth week of June. Our tally so far:

It is interesting that if you place Caleb and Ashlyn in chronological order with our grandchildren, Caleb is just before Gent. So it appears it is time to have boys again. After this round of births our grandchildren will be tied twelve girls to twelve boys. My fascination with numbers extends to even our descendants.

Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them:
… (Psalms 127:3-5)

We love you!