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Wednesday, August 26, 2015

So Long, Savi

08.26 Savi home Poor Nicky Snicky had to say goodbye to his sweet girlfriend, Savi, today. He picked her up and a friend took them to the airport. He got teary-eyed a few times last week just thinking about having to say good bye to her for a while. Thank goodness for technology so they can still talk and see each other over the phone.

She is such a sweetheart and has been SO GOOD for him! She’s gotten him to do things that we never could such as drive on the freeway, keep track of what he’s spending, work on math, improve his handwriting, not play video games for over a month, etc.

IMG_8633

To try and cheer Nick up and keep his mind off of how bad he was feeling we took him out to dinner tonight at Cheddar’s. We LOVE their huge tower of onion rings.

IMG_8634 Autumn’s favorite thing there are their honey butter croissants. When she was little she used to call them eggrolls. LOL.

P1130025We love Cheddars b/c they have huge portions, the food is really good, and the prices are very reasonable. It was fun spending time together, and trying to cheer Nick up. I think he’s going to be very sad for the next few months, but we’ll try to do all we can to keep him happy.

IMG_8643 I have to admit that it was SO NICE not having to go to Young Women’s tonight. The youth are starting seminary tomorrow so the Stake was doing a Seminary Kick Off, and I didn’t have to be there. After Autumn’s shower last night she asked me to put foam stick curlers in her hair. This was the result after being at school & daycare all day. I love her perfect ringlets and that her hair will actually hold a curl b/c usually it’s straight as a board.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Rainbow Loom Charms

IMG_4893Today when we got home I made dinner while Autumn got her reading done. Then Savi came over to say goodbye since she is leaving to go home tomorrow. Autumn chose to do rainbow looms instead of watching TV. I think that’s great b/c she’s developing a talent, has something show for her hard work, she’s learning to follow directions, it’s good eye/hand coordination, etc.

IMG_8628She found a bunch of videos by “Made By Mommy” and she made a doughnut, slice of pizza, taco, and ice cream sundae. She’s putting all these little charms on her backpack.

Monday, August 24, 2015

First Day Of Third Grade

IMG_4879 Miss Autumn started 3rd grade today and I am so proud of her. We made sure to get up a little earlier than usual so we could get pictures and so I could walk her into her classroom instead of just dropping her off. It’s hard to believe she’s already in 3rd grade already. When we moved back to Texas she was just 5 months old and that seems like just 2 years ago instead of 8 years ago.

We got her black slip on shoes at Payless a few weeks ago and everyday she would ask me if she could wear them. I told her she had to wait to wear them on the 1st day of school. She was thrilled that today had finally arrived so she could wear her new shoes.

IMG_4890There were no tears from either of us. She hung up her back pack, sat at her desk, and immediately started working on this word find her teacher had made of the names of all the kids in the class. I had to ask her to stop for a second so I could get a few pics. A couple of months ago she had some major anxiety about starting 3rd grade, but after meeting her teacher, realizing her teacher is a kindred spirit, and getting a blessing from Uncle Curt I think she’s ready to take on 3rd grade.

When I picked her up from daycare she everything had gone great and she was excited. Curt called this evening just to check and see how her first day had gone! That meant a lot to Autumn.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Piano Lessons, Dating Lesson, & A “Father’s” Blessing From Uncle Curt

IMG_0416 Mom has been teaching some of the girls at church how to play the piano. That way they can start to learn so when she leaves to come home someone might be able to play in church for the hymns. Here’s what the email said:

“The young lady on the left is “E,” she is 18. Me then “P,” she is the ward chorister. On the far right is “M”. She is 20 and the aunt to “E”. Together they teach the gospel principles class and are the counselors in YW. So many people want me to teach them. I tell others I can only have 3 at a time. Crazy! I feel so inadequate, but I'm the only one they have. Our ward is about 35 minutes from the Temple in good traffic but “E” has never even seen the Temple in person. Sad. I don't know about the others yet. She's the only one I've asked.”

There was also an article written about Mom & Dad in one of our local online newspapers. We miss them so much, but are so proud of them and we wouldn’t want them to be anywhere else. Sure, they miss a few life events since they’re not here at home, but serving the Lord is a much more important thing for them to be doing.

IMG_8574 Autumn & I decided we looked good today before church, so we snapped a quick selfie before heading in to our meetings. I’m slowly getting the hang of this Type 3 stuff.

IMG_8577 Autumn wanted me to get a picture of her “fancy” hair. A lot of times she’ll ask me to do her hair for her, but it’s in the morning when we’re running short on time and trying to get out the door to work/school. Since we had time this morning I was able to fix her hair pretty. This is the outfit and pearls she wore to the fancy birthday party yesterday. She is turning out to be such a beautiful young lady.

I got to teach the Priests (16-18 year old boys) today during the 3rd hour. Bishop had asked me last week if I would be willing to teach them about dating. They wanted a woman’s perspective. I laughed b/c I haven’t been on a date in over SIX YEARS, so I’m definitely no expert. But, I did come up w/ a few things and it seemed like it went over well. First we talked about what some of the guidelines are, and I used these road signs to keep their interest since most of them are just starting to drive.

Then we talked about the “funnel theory” and how at this point in their lives they should just be dating for fun. Once they get back from their missions, that is when they should start to date more seriously and start to “funnel” it down to eventually one girl that they want to marry.

Then to finish it off I had a bunch of candy sitting out on the table and I let them each take one. Once they had picked one I read them the descriptions that I found here (and I changed it to be a girl instead of a guy). We talked about what qualities are most important to look for when choosing someone to spend the rest of eternity with. I enjoyed teaching them and hearing their comments. Now if I could just go out on a date myself so I could try some practicing some of my own advice! LOL.

IMG_8582 Right after church we went over to Curt & Mary’s so Curt could give Autumn a “Father’s Blessing” before school starts tomorrow. The past few years Papa was the one to give Autumn a blessing, but since he’s in Africa I knew we’d have to ask someone else. I brought it up to Autumn a few weeks ago and one day when we were Facetiming w/ Mom & Dad she asked Papa if he could just put his hands on his phone and then she could put the phone on top of her head and do it that way. LOL! We had to explain to her that that’s a good idea, but that’s not how it works.

I had suggested a bunch of different people for her to choose from including family members, our Bishop, home teachers, etc. She thought about it for a few days and then one night when we were eating dinner she brought it up and said she’d like Uncle Curt to do it. I called him to see if he would be willing to do it and he said absolutely.

So, we went over and he gave her a beautiful blessing. The things I remember are that he blessed her to do well in school, but several times he said that Heavenly Father wanted her to know how much He loves her and what a special and choice daughter of God she is. The Spirit was very strong in the room as he gave her the blessing.

I’m beyond thankful to have such an incredible and tight knit support group. It was humbling to think that we had a list of at least 10 different men we could have called to give Autumn a blessing. Anyways, we came home and had some dinner and spent the rest of the evening relaxing.

We worked really hard today on keeping the Sabbath Day holy and making “the sabbath a delight.” ~Isaiah 58:13
I’m so shocked that we didn’t watch ANY television today, b/c that is usually our “go to” activity on Sundays. Instead I blogged before and after church (keeping our family history), we listened to spiritual music, and Autumn worked on making rainbow looms charms (developing talents). It’s interesting with all the craziness and turmoil that is going on in the world that the Church’s focus in the past month has been to keep the Sabbath Day holy.

“Moreover also I gave them my sabbaths, to be a sign between me and them, that they might know that I am the Lord that sanctify them.”  ~Ezekiel 20:12

“And hallow my sabbaths; and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God.” ~Ezekiel 20:20

“Speak thou also unto the children of Israel, saying, Verily my sabbaths ye shall keep: for it is a sign between me and you throughout your generations; that ye may know that I am the Lord that doth sanctify you.” ~Exodus 31:13

When doing anything today we asked ourselves what type of sign we were sending Heavenly Father about how we are honoring His day.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Super Saturday, Tea Party, & Beauty Shop

IMG_8555Autumn & I got up early this morning (6:30 am) so I could take her over to Nate & Riannon’s at 7:00. I dropped her off and then ran to WalMart to get some bags of ice, a watermelon, and a few other things. Then I met up w/ our group of youth at a designated parking lot so we could head up to the lake for our Super Saturday. It’s our big last hoorah before school starts.

IMG_8564 A family in our ward was able to reserve us this super nice pavilion since the husband works for the company that owns it. It was nice to have this as a “ground zero” for the youth to come back to get a drink or a snack when they weren’t out on the boats. I am not a big fan of lakes, b/c I can’t see the bottom and don’t know what’s in them. I was going to go out on one of the boats and just not get in the water, but by the time I made it over to the dock all the boats were already out on the water. So, I just stayed at the pavilion and took care of any youth that needed something. I also kept an eye on all of our stuff.

For lunch we got a BUNCH of huge pizzas from one of our favorite Italian restaurants. They have a restaurant in the city where we live and they just so happen to have one up where we were boating. The kids came in for lunch around 12:30 and we were going to go back out, but by the time everyone at it was already 2:00! So, we packed up and headed home.

08.22 Abbey bday Nate & Riannon were nice enough to watch Autumn for me and also take her to a birthday party of a friend. It was a fancy herbal tea party where they got to bring a favorite doll or stuffed animal, wear a fancy dress, and I even let Autumn borrow a strand of my pink pearls. From the pictures I saw on Facebook, it looks like Autumn had a grand ol’ time!

IMG_8568Even though I didn’t go out on the lake today, I was so tired when I got home from being up so early and being out in the heat. I went and got Autumn at Nate & Riannon’s and we came home. I wanted to lay down and take a little nap, but Autumn had other plans for me. She asked if she could rub my back and lotion my feet. Oh, ok … if I HAVE to! It was so nice. She also wanted to fix my hair and do my make up. It was nice to just relax and be pampered. I’m not going to post my “after makeup” picture b/c I look like a lady of the night. Autumn applied a lot of blush. I’ll have to teach her that less is more. It was fun to have some girl time w/ my girl.

We packed up a bunch of stuff that Mom had asked for (spices, pants, medicine) to take to some people that are going to South Africa next week. Their parents are serving w/ Mom & Dad in Johannesburg, and they only live 20 minutes away from us. They were nice enough to take a 10 lb bag of stuff with them to give to Mom & Dad when they get there.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Shop, Cheer, & Watering

IMG_8549 My boss let me go a little bit early today, so I went and got Autumn from daycare and we went to the store to get some things for a birthday party she’s going to tomorrow. I dropped her off at cheer practice and went to the $1 Store to get some treats for a lesson in teaching on Sunday about dating. I’m teaching the Priests (16-18 year old boys), so I figured candy would be a great way to keep their attention and keep them engaged in the lesson.

Then I came home and watered the plants and cleaned out the big Gatorade drink dispenser I have since we’ll be using it tomorrow at the lake. By that time I needed to go get Autumn. We came home and she showered and went to bed. Since I finished reading the Book of Mormon on the 18th I started reading the Doctrine & Covenants. I read for about 20 minutes and then I ended up staying up way too late watching TV w/ Nick.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Meet The Teacher Night

IMG_8544 Tonight was “Meet The Teacher Night” at Autumn’s school. It’s a MAD HOUSE, so after I picked her up we went to WalMart and got some food for dinner and a few treats for her teacher. Then we went and sat in the car and ate while we talked for a while. Once people started leaving the school we went over and were able to find a parking spot right up close.

P1130020-001 I was so excited when we walked in and I saw who her teacher was. She is always outside in the morning welcoming the students as they are being dropped off. She is so incredibly sweet with a soft and kind voice, which I think will be perfect for my Autumn Girl. I’m so glad that I opted to do the prepackaged school supplies. It might be just a few dollars more to do it that way, but it is so worth it to not have to go around to a bunch of different stores and deal with crowds to get Autumn the supplies she needs. We just show up and it’s all sitting on her desk. DONE!

I was looking back at Autumn’s pictures each year during Meet The Teacher and it literally brought tears to my eyes to see how much she has changed and how fast she is growing!

Kindergarten
1st Grade
2nd Grade

IMG_8548 We made it home with just a few minutes to spare before our home teachers came over at 7:00. I am so thankful for them and they way they interact with and include Autumn in the conversation. We have been so blessed with great home teachers ever since moving into this ward. It means a lot to us.

I got Autumn to bed at 8:00 tonight b/c she’s been up late the past few nights and hasn’t been very pleasant in the mornings. Once I got her to sleep, I tuned in to the Living Your Truth club night. It was a really good one about choosing things that “spark joy.” I especially love these b/c it’s fun to see what other Type 3 women are wearing.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Lunch Love Notes

IMG_8538I remember when I was younger and my Mom would put little love notes in my lunch, and how much that meant to me. I actually had a few minutes to spare one morning last week when I was making Autumn’s lunch (usually we’re in a mad dash to get out the door on time). I was cleaning out Autumn’s lunch box today to put her Tupperware stuff in the dishwasher and this note from last week was still in there! That warmed my heart, and was a good reminder to me to make time to do this more often. It’s just one more way to let her know I love her and am thinking about her throughout the day.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Book of Mormon Reading Challenge

IMG_8537Back in May our Bishop had challenged the youth to read the Book of Mormon this summer before September 1st. I feel like sometimes we have too many challenges given to us at church and I usually don’t participate in them. However, it has been a loooong time since I’ve read the Book of Mormon all the way through, so I decided to do it. I started on May 17th and finished today.

I had to have this schedule to keep me on track and then I am also a visual person so I printed off the Temple reading chart so I could color it in as I went and see how much progress I was making. I also have 20 pages of notebook paper (front and back) filled w/ notes and personal insights.

A few themes that I noticed throughout my reading are the following:

pridecycle-edit

  1. The pride cycle. When they people were righteous they prospered and were blessed. Then they became too comfortable in their prosperity and pride ad other sins started to creep in. Pretty soon the majority of the people were wicked, so Heavenly Father had to chasten them. That led to humility and repentance. Then it starts all over.
  2. The gospel is very simple. These 5 principles & ordinances are mentioned over and over.
    1. Faith
    2. Repentance
    3. Baptism
    4. Gift of the Holy Ghost
    5. Endure to the End

There is a great promise at the end of the Book of Mormon which reads, “And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.” ~Moroni 10:4

I already knew that the Book of Mormon is true, but after I finished reading it all the way through this time I wanted to try this promise. I wanted a confirmation that what I already knew is true. It was a very spiritual and personal experience, but I did receive that confirmation. The Book of Mormon is most definitely another witness of Jesus Christ in connection with the Bible and other Holy Scriptures. I am thankful for the guidance and light it has been in my life the past 90 days.

The Prophet Joseph Smith said, “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Joseph Smith (2007), 64; emphasis added). I know that to be a true statement b/c I’ve personally experienced it.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Fiery Sunset

P1130017The sunset was so fiery tonight. I had to snap a pic in my rearview mirror when we were stopped at a stop light. We got some grocery shopping done and just had a nice and quiet evening at home.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Lei Ann’s Leaving

IMG_8529 I had a busy Sunday w/ ward council before church, and meetings after church. I LOVE these Laurels so much. We are going to miss Lei Ann (the one in the front i the blue jacket) b/c she is heading off to college this week. She has been such a great Laurel’s class president. I’m so excited for her and all the great adventures she is going to have.

IMG_8530After church we came home, had some dinner, and then I took Autumn over to Nate & Riannon’s. I hurried home for our Laurel class presidency meeting at 6:00 and then we went over to BYD (Bishop’s Youth Discussion) at 7:00. We got to know our 4 new youth leaders. It was a great night, and a great way to end a busy Sunday.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Super Full & Super Fun Saturday

20150815_120203_resized We got up early this morning so Autumn could be to cheer practice by 9:00. I’m so glad she gets to be a part of this team and build friendships while getting exercise and being part of a team.

IMG_8489 While she was at cheer camp I went to the temple to do an endowment session.

IMG_8492I picked her up and we went to Costco to have some lunch and do some shopping. We got a bunch of stuff to send to Mom & Dad in South Africa w/ some people who are going to visit their parents who are also serving over there.

IMG_8507 After shopping we came home so we could put away the groceries. We also took a little nap since we had gotten up early and had a busy morning. Then at 4:00 we went over to Nate & Riannon’s to help them put on a shrimp boil. We talked to Mom prior to doing it to get a few pointers and it turned out exactly like the ones Mom & Dad have done before.

IMG_8513 We had such a good time eating, swimming, listening to music, talking, and laughing. Good food, friends, and family are where it’s at.

IMG_8523 Autumn & I left the party so we could go to our favorite local shaved ice place b/c they were having a luau. We got a Big Kahuna w/ macadamia nut ice cream on the bottom and double sno-capped (sweetened condensed milk) on top. It was super delicious!

P1130011There was a group of Polynesian dancers that did dances from Hawaii, Tahiti, & Samoa. After they were done they played Polynesian music and the crowd just got up and danced and had fun. It was awesome to see some people from church there, especially Autumn’s Activity Days leader who is Samoan. It was a super full but super fun day!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Passports & Sprinkler Heads

IMG_8478 There’s a whole long story that goes along w/ this picture, but I’ll just tell the shortened/condensed version. Autumn & I both need passports in case we want to go on a cruise or do any international traveling someday. So, I filled out all the ppwk online, ordered a certified birth certificate for Autumn, and got a certified copy of my divorce decree. I tried calling the local post office to see if I needed to make an appointment, but their phone lines were always busy, no matter what time of day I called.

Autumn’s daycare was closed today for teacher training, so I got to leave work at 2:00 so Nick could go to work (he was w/ her today at home while I was at work). I rushed home, picked Autumn up at 2:30 and we hurried over to the post office b/c they quit accepting passport applications at 3:00. We walked in at 2:40 only to be told that their photo machine is broken!!! I was SO MAD, b/c this was the only day we could do it since Autumn is starting school and I was off of work. If they would answer their stikin’ phone they could have told me that and I could have planned on going somewhere else. They suggested I go have the pics done at Walgreens or CVS, but that wouldn’t work for 2 reasons. One is that the passport place usually won’t accept pictures that aren’t taken at the post office b/c they pictures have to meet EXACT criteria and the picture people at drug stores or WalMart aren’t careful to make sure the pictures meet those specifications. The 2nd reason is that we wouldn’t have had time to go get our pictures and make it back to the post office in time.

I left the post office w/ steam coming out of my ears. I hurried and called the post office in the next town over. By this time it was 2:45, but they said if we HURRIED they would try and squeeze us in. I was SO THANKFUL that there wasn’t bad traffic and we were able to speed and get there by 2:58. We ran into the post office only to see that the line was really long. My heart sank, but we got in line anyways. The post office worker that was doing passports came to check on how long the line was at 3:10 and said that she would stay until everyone that was in line was finished. There was one lady behind us, and she was the last one. Autumn & I finally got our passport pictures and application processed at 3:40! I was SO THANKFUL we made it and got those sent off.

IMG_8480 We came home, had some dinner, and then I went and dropped Autumn off at cheer practice. I noticed that one of our sprinkler heads was broken, so I decided to fix it tonight. This is one of those times when it would be reeeeeeally nice to have a handy husband around. But since I have no husband, I learned how to do it and fixed it myself!!! Woot woot!!! (This is obviously a "before" pic!)

P1130005 I went and got Autumn and this was the beautiful sunset. I just love Texas sunrises and sunsets. Today ended up being very productive.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Hair Cut/Style I’ll Never Try Again

IMG_8476 Tonight Autumn & I went up to Hannah’s house so Autumn could play w/ Kenzie and I could get my hair cut. I wanted to get a “before” picture to compare w/ the “after” picture. Hannah did an A-line cut and cut a bunch of curls off the back, but the front doesn’t look any different. I can already tell it’s a  hairstyle that I’ll never get again, but it was good to try it once just to know if I like it or not. I don’t think the A-line haircut looks good w/ curly hair. Plus, my curls are my favorite part of my hair and they’re all gone. But, it’s just hair and it will grow back so I’m not worried about it.

IMG_8472I texted Lexie this pic of my toes to show her that my Jamberry pedicure has stayed on my big toes for exactly 2 months to the day! I’m impressed b/c I thought they would peel or fall off after a few weeks.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Pretty & Pink Sunset

P1120987 Tonight we had Young Men/Young Women combined activity. We played volleyball at the sand courts in preparation for a stake volleyball tournament that’s coming up towards the end of the month. I’m proud of myself for remembering to get a picture at the BEGINNING of the activity instead of at the END when the lighting is bad.

P1120998 The sky at sunset tonight was so PRETTY and PINK! We tried to work on some skills w/ the youth like how to set the ball, how to pass, etc but I don’t know that it did a lot of good. We’ll see how it goes at the tournament!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Phone Charger Crisis Averted

IMG_8471 Tonight I needed to borrow the phone charger wall plug from Nick. His cord was plugged into it when he gave it to me and I FREAKED OUT b/c this is what his cord looks like. It’s the same on the other end! I asked him if he’s trying to burn our house down!?!?! I took the cord away and told him he has to go buy a new one tomorrow. I’m so thankful these exposed wires didn’t start an electrical fire, especially since he plugs his phone in every night when he goes to sleep!!! I consider a huge tender mercy that I needed to borrow the wall plug so that a tragedy could be diverted.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Emma Love

IMG_8460Emma puppy is so stinkin’ cute, but she has what we call “sewer pipe” breath. She had it even when she lived at Mom & Dad’s house full time. I don’t know how something so cute can be so stinky. We enjoy getting to go over and spend time with her each evening. She’s such a good dog and we love her so much!!!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Meetings & Emma Puppy

IMG_8445 This morning I went visiting teaching at 10:30 and then came home and we got ready for church. I was excited to wear my new Type 3 clothes to church. I got to teach in Laurels and we talked about how the roles of men & women complement each other in families. We had a really good discussion.

Then after church Autumn went home w/ one of the families at church b/c I had BYC meeting after church w/ the class presidents. We didn’t meet at all last month, so it was good to be all together and plan out the next few months.

IMG_8452 I dropped the girls off at home after the meeting and then went and picked up Autumn. We went over to feed Emma and spend some time giving her loves. She such a cute and loveable dog (but I still call her my puppy).

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Cheer Camp & Car Seat Covers

IMG_8390 I got a text early this morning from Karri saying that she wanted to stop by. She had some jackets for Autumn that her girls have outgrown. Her girls were a few doors down at a flag core party, and she was picking them up. They were “kidnapped” out of their beds at 3:30 am and went over there to play games, have breakfast, etc. until 8:00 am.

IMG_8396 After they left we had breakfast and then Autumn got ready for cheer camp. I dropped her off and went to the temple. It was a really small session but was really good.

IMG_8408I went and got Autumn from cheer camp, and she said she had a good time and learned a lot. We stopped at Costco to get a few things, and since we were there we also got a pizza for lunch (and dinner b/c it’s so big and there’s always leftovers).

IMG_8412 We went over to the Marshalls to feed Emma dog, and she was SO HAPPY to see us! She’s just as cute as ever and I’m so glad we’re going to get to see her everyday for a few days.

IMG_8435After that we came home and I decided to change out the car seat covers. The old ones are stained and Autumn picked a big hole in the back of the passenger seat. It looked GHETTO!

IMG_8379 I tried finding some more at WalMart but they didn’t have the kind I want. I found these ones online, there were 17 pieces included, and it was the same price as just 2 car seat covers at WalMart. The only downside is that they smell like airplane jet fuel! They REEK of rubber and gas. I washed them and am hoping the smell will eventually go away. It took a lot longer than I thought and it got dark before I could finish, but it looks great so far.