Sunday, September 14, 2014

apparently, i'm a cry baby.

Ok...I can finally blab my news across cyberspace.  After serving in young women's (our church's organization for girls 12-18 year olds) for 3 years, I was released today.  I've known it was coming for a couple of weeks and have already shed my fair share of tears over this, despite Chris' insistence that I should be celebrating.  (He really was very confused that I would be crying over something that made him so darn happy!)  I have loved this calling to death.  Yes, it has taken a lot of my time.  Yes, sometimes it makes me want a nap.  But I have been working with my three oldest daughters and a group of 30 spectacular young women (and women!) that you just can't help but love.  When I went into young women's, the teenage years scared me.  I wasn't close to any of the girls in our ward that were older than my own girls.  Within a very short period of time, I was able to get a glimpse of our Savior and Heavenly Father's love for each of these young women.    Their love for these girls was contagious and it is what has made the last three years so stinking awesome.  And that love is what made me sob all day long.  It was pretty ridiculous.  I can't imagine a ym president carrying on like this, but in my defense: I tried to stop crying.  Really.  And now I am writing about this without crying, which I see as a pretty big victory.   Lilly and I have even made plans for this Tuesday night. (I would normally be at our weekday activity until 9 pm)  We are making cookies and playing the electric ukulele together.  I tried to get her to invite dad, but she says he doesn't play the ukulele.  I guess he can make the cookies?

What really got me to pick myself up off of the couch (Autumn was sweet enough to cuddle me all better without any of the judging.  Hannah made it very clear that I cry too much. Maybe so, but shush. ) is my new calling.  I decided to start working on it and that just kind of made things all better.  My new calling is amazing.  Not YW amazing, but pretty amazing.  As in, I told my dad that I was going to request this calling whenever they released me from YW.  The kicker?  I didn't even have to request it. (which is good because I probably wouldn't have actually asked for a calling.)  Heavenly Father is that cool.  I am the new ward family history coordinator.  Which is fancy talk for a made up calling that I get to figure out.  I am to work with the adult and youth consultants and get our ward on fire, blazing through their family history like never before.  Pretty amazing, eh?   Family history, here I come!  Which also means that next February...I'm going to rootstech.  Again. I love, love, LOVE family history.  I also have a very strong testimony of the blessings that family history work can have on teenagers. (ok.  it blesses all of us.)  So put all of that together and it makes an amazing calling.  I am thrilled!

My little rays of sunshine on a kind of hard day?
•The sweet sweet yw that acted sad enough to make me cry more.
•Lilly's response to my release: So we're going to need to pick you up from relief society after church now? (like I'm in primary, needed a parent to pick me up)
•Walking into the chapel (straight from a mtg so I didn't get to see what my girls chose out for church) and seeing little Lilly, dressed up like a mini "Sister Dunford", who is a scarf loving sister missionary from the neighboring ward that Lilly LOVES.  She could have gotten away with murder in that outfit with all of its adorableness.  (Although that would be highly inappropriate with her being a missionary and all!)
•a pile of thank you's from the yw thanking me for small acts that I have done over the last 3 years and realizing that the cards were really just a short list of the many promptings that I have received  from their Heavenly Father, who knows them in such a personal and loving way.
•having my new visiting teach-ee share a quote that summarized my feelings and brought me peace:
"There seems to be something inside of us that resists endings.  Why is this?  Because we are made of the stuff of eternity.  We are eternal beings, children of the Almighty God, whose name is Endless and who promises eternal blessings without number.  Endings are not our destiny." Dieter F. Uchtdorf, I love you. And these tears are because I am made of the stuff of eternity.  Ha. :)
•hearing Rachel refer to the yw changes (I'm just going assume that she was referring to my release and enjoy this moment here) as someone ripping out your heart, stepping on it, poisoning it and putting it back in.  A. Did she just say she is going to miss me??  That's what I heard...  B. That is pretty much how I felt.

Friday, September 12, 2014

the good, the bad and the downright cute.

And here are our uniforms that have arrived so far.  Lilly spent an afternoon in tears after finding out that her jumper was backordered.  The end of September seems as far off as Christmas to a 6 year old that just wants to wear a cute outfit.  Cute, right??  I have a laundry hamper just for them (theoretically.  I found towels in it today but I will get everyone trained.  Soon.)

Yesterday was a kind of sort of eventful day.  I heard a crash right after the girls had left to seminary.  Apparently it is easier to pull out of the garage if the garage door is open.  Go figure.  My car was stuck in the garage, I cancelled appointments and waited for a very nice garage door repair man to help free my car.  Today I got the estimate.  $1600 with the charge for freeing my car.  (it took a while  and was definitely worth it.)   Who needs a trip to disneyland when you can replace panels on your garage door, right?  Or college.  Or piano lessons for 9 months.  Plane tickets to Korea.  There are so many other things I rather spend money that I don't have on.  Everyone tells me to make her pay the bill, but she actually doesn't have $1600 sitting around.  Anywho.  Just kind of a bummer of a deal. Of course, I'm thrilled that she didn't hit another car.  I'm thrilled that nobody was hurt.  I'm thrilled that this was a rather minor event.  I'd be more thrilled if it wasn't costing an arm and a leg to fix.  The end.  And I am done with my rant for the day.  Maybe.  I actually can't promise that.

On a good note.  We only have 2/sort of 3 soccer games tomorrow.  Two of the girls have byes and one is opting for a bonus game because one game just wasn't enough.  ;)  It was actually a little sad to have Elise walk into the room and say "So...Who  is coming to my game tomorrow???" when there is no game tomorrow.  Apparently she didn't get the memo.  And I may have discovered that lavender is pretty delicious when sprinkled into bread.  I wish I could share it with the two of you that read this.  Chris was pretty bummed because it makes one loaf off limits to him.  I guess he should start liking lavender, eh?  Nah.  I don't like to share anyway.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

sunday recap

Today was a nice and slow Sunday.   My poppy seed muffin adventures (did I tell you that I'm attempting to make breakfast this school year??) turned out pretty tasty.  I've decided to first try out an unhealthy version before adding in the weird replacements and critiquing myself for being a bad cook.  If I can make it yummy with a ton of butter, I can then move onto whole wheat and applesauce.  Step 1 is complete.  Yummy, unhealthy muffins are done.  Half of them are frozen for breakfast on the go while the other half are for breakfast tomorrow.  The best part? (Besides the taste!) I made them while we cooked dinner so it didn't take up extra time or mess up the kitchen again.  I love that I have daughters that enjoy pitching in when it involves food.   :)

The darling sister missionaries from the neighboring ward took Rachel with them on their missionary efforts.   She  got to bike around town with them and they happened to be eating dinner at Rachel's friend's house.  I'm actually a little jealous.  Lucky girl.   Our sisters (yes, we are just adopting them into our ward) are kind of amazing.  Seriously.  We have been so blessed to get to know them more.  I love sisters!!  There is the tall and lovely Sister D, whose family we stalked while in Utah.  They are just as amazing as their daughter.  Surprise, surprise.  Then there is the short, sassy and sweet halfy (Asian) that was baptized as an 18 year old.  And is now out serving The Lord.  Basically, they're overflowing with the light of Christ, which makes them pretty darn fun to hang out with.  We can't hang out with elders quite so readily. I'm sure they're overflowing too.  It's just different.  

Ok, so all of that was lovely.  Church was wonderful.   Our walk to the park?  Fantastic.  The most exciting part of the day (the poppy seed was a close second) was receiving my personal progress award in young women's today.  I have spent the last three years serving in young women's and have slowly plucked away at this achievement program that is designed to help our 12-18 year old young women strengthen their testimonies and grow closer to their Heavenly Father.  It has experiences that the young women work on in 8 different values.  We do 6 experiences and then a 10 hour project that incorporates that particular value.  Yes, this is designed for teenagers.  I may not actually be much of a teenager but I am a daughter of our Heavenly Father, and I'm pretty sure it was designed for them.  ;) I have been blessed by the strength that this program has offered me.  I have been able to build new habits, work on breaking a few bad ones (killing my diet coke habit/exercising was my knowledge project!) and have learned a lot while studying my scriptures.  The biggest take away that I got from working on my personal progress was that we are blessed when we obey.  I know there are some young women out there that don't like working on personal progress simply because they don't like being told what to do.  Yeah.  There is kind of a lot of commandments, standards, guidelines and advice that is given to us through our prophets and scriptures.  I've found that when I try my hardest to listen to do this and obey, I am blessed in miraculous ways.  I love the saying that says "obedience brings blessings.  Perfect obedience brings miracles." This doesn't mean that we're perfect, but instead that we are trying are darnedest.  I've seen countless miracles as I have worked on my Personal Progress and I'm sure that I will continue to see more as I work on it again.  (With 6 girls, I think I should finish it at least twice as I work with them, right?

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

My poor neglected blog...

I just happened over to my blog and noticed that it has almost been a full year since my last blog post.  In my defense, this last year has been a doosy.  I have cried more this last year than I have any other year in my life.  I have struggled, I have been stretched and I have grown.  Quite honest rye, I couldn't blog because it was just too raw.   I am grateful to have made it with a few shreds of sanity left and think that this next year will be much better.  So here I am, in an attempt to bring my blog back to life.

School starts next week at the Kang Academy.  We have had an increase in funding (we partnered up with a local charter school to receive a curriculum stipend for each of my elementary students) so we are doing a few new and crazy things.

Uniforms.  Yep.  No, I am not a control freak parent that wants my girls to look all neat and tidy. No, I don't want to take away their individuality.  I am actually encouraging their individuality because they came to me and asked if they could wear uniforms this year.  I've let them all choose pieces that they love. Lilly wanted a jumper, knee high socks and a matching headband. (Sorry, Lilly.  No $13 headband for you!) Chloe wanted skirts, blouses and cute little Japanese Schoolgirl ties.  I can do that! I did not get Elise the gryffindor tie that she requested simply because I'm trying not to encourage her obsession with Harry Potter too much. I'm already considering putting all of the Harry potter books on a high shelf during the day just so she can do some school!  (She has reread the series countless times and is always reading one of the seven books) I am thinking of surprising her with a gryffindor tie for Christmas.  We'll see.

Lab kits.  I always put off science labs because we are missing this item or that item.  This year, we have all of the lab items in a handy spot and we are going to rock science.  We love apologia science like crazy and will be studying swimming creatures and land mammals. Apologia has a great way of  going into great detail with their science books while still keeping it interesting for all if my girls.  It is meant for k-5 but I think it is even good for middle schoolers.  Normally we order just one of their notebooks and make copies every lesson.   (Or just skip it because I'm too lazy to make copies) but this year, our sugar daddy charter school is buying notebooks for everyone.  Wahoo!!

History redone.  We've done story of the world for my older girls and they loved it.  My you gees have whined with it a little more and just haven't loved it.  My girls love literature so we are trying beautiful feet's history this year.  I haven't used them in the past because it can be kind of pricey to buy all of the accompanying literature BUT I think it's going to be spectacular.  I may have a history of judging a book by its cover and I'd say it works for me about 95% of the time. Every now and again, cute graphics are just a front for a pro communism book about a red balloon.  Anywho.  I think the literature used by beautiful feet is amazing, even if I haven't actually held it in my hand yet.  I have seen the cover, and that's like the same thing.

The last two pieces of our curriculum that throw us over the top? Korean (cute korean literature included!!) and Ukulele lessons.  I know I don't have pictures for this post, but just close your eyes and imagine my adorable daughters playing the ukulele IN THEIR UNIFORMS.  I know, right?  This year is going to be amazing. There is no way around it.  And, I'm going to have a lot more free time pretty soon, which will have to be a good thing. But more on that later.  (Or I'll cry some more.)