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Thursday, August 28, 2014

“Guess Where We Are” & The Sister Missionaries

IMG_4500 Mom got up early this morning & drove down to Austin to visit her grandbabies.  She texted us this picture saying, “Guess where we are?”

IMG_4501 Dad texted back saying, “Guess where I am?”

IMG_4497 Autumn & I texted back saying, “Guess where we are?”  Don’t worry, I was stopped at a stop light … don’t take selfies or text while driving!  I was glad I was able to leave work 15 minutes early, b/c I for sure needed it!  Thursdays are our crazy day, and today was even crazier than usual.  Autumn’s cheer coach sent an email saying the girls needed to bring their buckets and pom poms to practice tonight.  They have their first game on Saturday, and she wanted the girls to practice w/ their pom poms so it wouldn’t throw them off on Saturday.  So, I had to rush home and get those, and also drop off some FedEx stuff from work at the FedEx box.  I did that, picked up Autumn, had her eat some left over pizza (which she is disgustingly showing off in this pic), and dropped her off at practice.

P1120136As soon as I dropped her off, I went and picked up the sister missionaries and we went to Braum’s to have a little meeting.  They have been asked by their mission president to meet w/ each of the auxiliary presidents in their ward.  We talked about ways they can help the young women w/ missionary work and how we can help them.  Sis. Carlson (left) & Sis. Parkinson (right) are so sweet and just adorable.  It made me miss my days as a sister missionary.  It was a good meeting and I’m glad I got to spend time w/ them.  I dropped them off at their house and still had 45 minutes to kill before Autumn needed to be picked up.  I went home, read more of my “Roses” book, and enjoyed the quiet.

I got Autumn at 7:45, we came home and she showered, and went to bed.  I stayed up until 12:00 and finished my book!  I’m so glad that tomorrow is Friday and that it’s going to be a long 3 day weekend!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Prepping For Young Women In Excellence (YWIE)

P1120131 Tonight was my first activity as YWPres.  There’s A LOT more that goes into being YWPres than being an adviser.  As an adviser, I would have just shown up tonight and helped however I could.  But as YWP I had to send a bunch of emails before tonight to make sure we had all the materials we needed, organize who was doing what, etc.  But, it all worked out even though it was a labor intensive activity.  We had all of the girls make an invitation to Young Women In Excellence (YWIE), which we will be having in a few weeks.

P1120134 We also had them take half of a poster board, fold it in half, and write a word that fills in this blank; I am …  For example, I could say I am “worthy” and then the night of YWIE I could bring a picture of a temple to go along w/ my word.  They are supposed to think of something that they excelled in this year.  I just adore this group of girls, b/c I used to teach of them in Primary back in 2010!!!  Wow, that makes me feel old b/c it seems like that was just a year or two ago.

P1120135Here are some of our cute Beehives working on their words.  Us leaders painted a huge sign that will hang above the stage that says “I am …”  I’m really hoping everything comes together for YWIE.  Autumn had fun watching the girls paint and running up and down the side walk to burn off some energy.  We cleaned everything up, got home at 8:40, I put Autumn to bed, and then spent the rest of the night making invitations for the girls that weren’t there.  Again, something I wouldn’t have worried about as an adviser but that I know need to worry about as the president.  It will be so nice to have a MM Adviser & Secretary called.  I’m excited to meet w/ my presidency soon so we can go over 2 pages of notes of things I’ve thought of that we need to address.  I’m thankful for this calling already, and have noticed that my prayers have changed for the better lately!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

My Last Single Adult Meeting & Reading Roses

 IMG_4499The quality of this pic isn’t that great b/c I had to crop this way down to just include the sky and not all the roads and buildings, but I LOVED the sky this morning.  Most of it was dark and cloudy, but then there was this really bright spot w/ all sorts of varying levels of light.  So pretty!

IMG_4498Tonight was my last Stake Single Adult Committee meeting, since I won’t be able to do that AND be YWPres.  I am going to miss being on that committee w/ some really great people.  It’s too bad that the reason I’m not leaving the SA Committee is b/c I got married!  LOL!

After the meeting, I came home and stayed up way too late reading more of this book.  I had started it a few nights ago and got about 1/3 of the way through.  I read another 1/3 tonight.  I’m going to be tired for sure tomorrow!

Monday, August 25, 2014

First Day Of Second Grade

IMG_2430It as the first day of 2nd grade for my little Autumn Bug.  I have to admit that I’m a little bit impressed with myself … we got up on time (instead of hitting the snooze button 3 times), we both got ready, and I even had time to throw some cinnamon buns (from a can) into the oven for a special breakfast.  We went outside to do our traditional first day of school pictures.

IMG_2439  I kept asking her if she was sure that this is what she wanted to wear for her first day and if she wanted me to fix her hair pretty.  She kept saying that she was happy w/ her choices, so I left her alone.  This definitely not what I would have chosen, and it has been hard for me to give up control about things like that.  I just have to remind myself as long as she’s modest and looks semi-decent, then it really doesn’t matter and isn’t worth getting into a power struggle over.

IMG_4495 I had asked her last night if she wanted me to walk her to her new classroom, or just drop her off outside.  I thought for sure she would say to just drop her off, but to my pleasant surprise she said she wanted me to walk her in.  So, we left super early b/c I was NOT about to mess w/ trying to find a place to park and dealing w/ the wretched traffic.  We got there right as they opened the school at 7:30.  We had to stop and get a picture next to this cute bulletin board out in the hall.

P1120126 We got into her classroom, and her teacher had the kids go to this interactive board where they touched their name and moved it to the box they wanted for their lunch choice!  Pretty fancy & high tech!

P1120127 We snapped a quick picture w/ her teacher, I gave her a hug and a kiss and said goodbye.  Just like that she’s an official 2nd grader!  When I picked her up after school I asked her about her first day, and she really didn’t have a lot to say.  I had to drag the answers out of her, but the gist is that it was great and she likes her teacher.

After dinner tonight I went and got my haircut, b/c it is too long and I want it shorter.  It looked a lot shorter when I left, but after I got home and washed it and styled it and let it dry, you can’t even tell that I got a haircut!  I got Autumn to bed, threw some brownies in the oven, and then Shannon came over at 8:30 to go over YWPres stuff.  We talked until 11:00, and it was really informative and helpful.  I will miss getting to serve w/ her on a weekly basis.  She was such a wonderful YWPres, and even more than that she was a great friend that I came to know and love.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

I’m The New Young Women’s President (YWP) In My Ward (Congregation)

P1120121 Today at church was a BIG & life changing day.  I was called to be the new Young Women’s President (YWP) of my ward (congregation).  All of the positions in our ward are unpaid.  I will be in charge of 22 girls from the ages of 12-18.  I am thankful that I’ve already been serving in YW for the past 2 1/2 years, b/c I already know and love the girls.  That was what I was referring to in this cryptic post from Thursday, 8/14.  Bishop Atkinson had asked me the night before at our Wednesday night activity if Mom & Dad had heard back about the BYU Jerusalem Center yet.  I told him they weren’t selected and the plan as of then was that they would submit their papers to go on a mission in March.  He told me that he had been feeling like he needed to call me to the position, but if we were going to be moving out of the ward in a few months then it wasn’t the right timing.  But now w/ this change in my circumstances, he felt it was right to call me.

We had a good discussion about how I will make it all work w/ Autumn and putting her first and foremost.  The Spirit was so strong and we both just KNEW it was the right thing, so I accepted.  I’ve had quite a few amazing and powerful tender mercies already and have been keeping those in my personal journal.  This is going to be a huge commitment and responsibility, but I have great counselors that I will be able to delegate things to.

Right after sacrament meeting, my counselors and I went to the Bishop’s office and were set apart for our callings.  Bishop said some amazing things in my blessing that I made sure to write down later so I refer back to them when times are hard.  The Spirit was definitely present when my counselors were being set apart as well. I just hope and pray that I can be a good YWP!!!

Anyways, Sis. Lee has been saying for the past 6 months that she had a feeling she would be released soon.  So, while she was gone to Utah for 3 weeks this summer I printed off 80 pictures of the the YW and her, and put them in this Project Life mini album.  I had all the girls and leaders sign little cards for her and we presented it to her in YW today.  She is such a phenomenal woman and I have been so privileged to serve with her and to learn from her example.  I have some BIG shoes to fill and am doing all I can to stay close to the Spirit so I can have the guidance & direction I need.

P1120125After church, we came home and just completely vegged out.  We got in our jammies, had lunch, played some games, colored in coloring books, and watched TV.  I took Autumn over to Mom & Dad’s at 4:00, went and picked up Nancy, and we went to a regional Single Adult meeting we were asked to attend.  With my new calling, I won’t have time for any other callings so I’ll have to get released from the Stake Single Adult Committee.  I am glad that was my last meeting.  We planned out the dances & major events for 2015.  I dropped Nancy off at home around 7:00 and went over to Mom & Dad’s.

Dad gave Autumn a Father’s Blessing, which is a tradition that started back when I was a little girl.  We always got Father’s blessings before the start of the new school year, and it was such a great help and comfort.  I’m thankful my Dad is able to do the same for Autumn.  After she had her Father’s blessing, I asked for one too, just b/c I can use the added strength and comfort.

P1120130 We came home and I got Autumn right to bed since tomorrow is her first day of 2nd grade and I wanted her to have plenty of rest.  Shannon brought this Willow Tree figurine over to me today after church w/ the sweetest note.  This figurine is called “SOAR” and I’m hoping that’s what the YW and I will do together.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

2 Swim Parties & The Hotter ‘N’ Hell Hundred #5

IMG_4487 I got up this morning and went to the 7:30 session at the temple.  Mary was going to go w/ me, but her alarm didn’t go off.  I’m kind of grateful, b/c I ended up just sitting in the celestial room for about 40 minutes.  I am trying to get some answers as to who I need to put in 2 callings, but no answers were coming.  I still didn’t get the answers I need, but that’s OK.  I guess the Lord has His own timing, and I’ll know when I’m supposed to.  I’m not very good at being patient, so maybe He’s helping me learn some lessons.  I posted this silhouette picture on Facebook w/ this scripture, “Yield yourselves unto the Lord, and enter into his sanctuary, which he hath sanctified for ever: and serve the Lord your God..." ~2 Chronicles 30:8

I stopped by McDonald’s to grab a few $1 breakfast burritos (by the way I’m a fan of the new chorizo burrito) for Nick & Autumn.  I dropped them off at home, grabbed my swimsuit, and headed out the door.  I stopped at Kroger’s to get a can of peach pie filling and a bag of frozen raspberries.  That’s all you need to make the most delicious fruit salad.

P1120088 Usually we have our Super Saturday w/ the youth at the lake, but since there’s such a drought in Texas right now, there is just a big mud hole where the lake used to be.  So, instead we went to the Berrett’s house to swim and play and eat.  It was so much fun and the youth and leaders seemed to have a really great time.

P1120114 Super Saturday was from 11 – 2, and as soon as we were done I rushed home, picked up Autumn, and we sped down the freeway to Costco.  I had ordered a cheese & a combination pizza.  It was a ZOO there, so we hurried and got our pizzas and sped to Mom & Dad’s house for another swim party at 3:00.  We had invited 3 families over (Dakins, Poultons & Kraus’s) w/ kids that are all going to be in 2nd grade at the same school as Autumn.  That way the kids could spend some time together before starting school on Monday.  Everyone brought some food to share, and we just ate and swam and visited.  It was super fun!

P1120116The kids are all going to sleep super well tonight b/c they were swimming and playing for 3 hours!  After everyone left at 6:00, Autumn & I ran up to Winco to get some Lego candy for my lesson in YW tomorrow.  We got home at 8:00 & she was out like a light the second her head hit the pillow.

IMG_4489 Dad texted me these pics this afternoon after he had finished the Hotter ‘N’ Hell Hundred cycling event up in Wichita Falls.  I’m so glad he’s able to do fun things like this w/ Uncle Robert & Aunt Sandy.  What fun memories & what a great tradition. 

IMG_4492This is the 5th time year he’s done it!  What a guy!  We’ll be so glad when they’re home safe and sound tomorrow.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Sofia The First Board Game

IMG_4485We had NOTHING on our schedule for tonight, which was SO NICE!  Mom & Dad were up in Wichita Falls b/c Dad is riding in the Hotter Than Hell Hundred tomorrow.  Autumn & I had a nice quiet night at home.  We watched a movie and played her Sofia The First board game a few times.  I wanted to stay up and finish my book I had started, but I was smart and went to bed at 11:00 instead.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Meet The Teacher Night

P1120078Tonight was “Meet The Teacher” night at Autumn’s school, so as soon as I got her from daycare we went over to the school.  Her teacher seems really nice, and I’m so excited for the great adventures and learning experiences Autumn will have this year.  She already knows at least 3 kids in her class from  last year!  I can’t believe she’ll be in 2nd grade!

Usually Autumn has cheer at 5:45 on Thursday nights, but since it was Meet The Teacher night in the whole school district, her coach moved practice back to 6:45.  So, we went to Subway and shared our favorite foot long sandwich and talked about the new school year.  Then I dropped Autumn off at practice, came home, cleaned my room, did some dishes, and read a book before I left to get pick her up at 8:15.  It was so weird having a quiet house all to myself!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Rips In The Sky & Mimi The Master Seamstress

P1120075 When Autumn & I were leaving the house this morning, she noticed there “rips” in the sky and pointed them out to me.  We both LOVE cool nature things like this.

IMG_4480Tonight Mom had the Activity Day girls over, but only one showed up!  Mom taught them how to make a cute little fabric pinwheel that they then attached to a paperclip to use as a bookmark.  Autumn got to make one, too.  I love it that she’s getting to learn fun things like this from “Mimi the Master Seamstress.”  I didn’t have Young Women’s tonight b/c we’re doing our Super Saturday event this week.  It was so nice to not have to rush off to Young Women’s after dinner.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Papa & Autumn At The Perot Museum

IMG_4465 Dad called me this morning to ask me if Autumn had anything special going on at daycare today.  I told him no, and he said he was going to go surprise her and take her to the Perot museum!  I am so thankful to him for doing fun things like this that create memories.  I asked him to please take a few pictures and text them to me.  He really came through and took a bunch!  I’ll include his captions below.

IMG_4469 She is a gem.

IMG_4470 And worth her weight in gold.

IMG_4471 Kid’s area is for kids and she is growing too fast!

IMG_4472 But not too old for lunch.

IMG_4475 Maybe she is an athlete like her Mom (NOT) and can outrun this dinosaur???

IMG_4476 Look at her go!

IMG_4474 Selfie!!!

IMG_4466 Her favorite thing were these frogs you could see for free outside of the museum!  LOL!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Puzzles, Planners, & Pie

P1120063 Today after work/school, we went over to Mom & Dad’s for dinner and had taco salad.  Autumn helped Papa wash the Corvette.

P1120066 After dinner she laid on the floor and put together these 3 puzzles.  She needed some help at the end to do the Snow White one, so I laid on the floor w/ her and we finished it together.

IMG_4459 We had to run to Target to get a planner, b/c trying to keep all the stuff I have to do on my phone just isn’t going to work anymore.  They didn’t have any, and as we were walking over to the dairy section to pick up a gallon of milk, Autumn was talking about Project Life and I stopped in my tracks, gave her a huge hug, and told her she’s a GENIUS!  I had forgotten that I bought the Project Life planner a few months ago.  So now all I need to do is get it out, fill in the dates, and start organizing my schedule.  Autumn always has to stop and sit on the big red balls in front of Target.

P1120069 This was the gorgeous fiery sunset we got to see on our way home.

P1120072 Liz came over tonight at 9:00 to bring me a piece of Village Inn pie that she brought back from Colorado.  She even brought Blue Bell vanilla ice cream to go with it!  YUM!  We ended up talking and laughing and catching up until 11:00.  I had Nick take a picture for us, and we were laughing so hard!  I had him take 2 more b/c in this one I look like I have quadruple chins b/c of the angle he took it at.  The rest of the pictures were worse than this one b/c Liz was pulling faces.  We were laughing so hard by the end of it that our stomachs hurt.  I’m shocked we didn’t wake up Autumn.  I just love Liz to pieces and am so thankful for her friendship.

IMG_4463When I went to peek in on Autumn before going to bed, I started laughing b/c her bed was covered w/ dolls and toys and stuffed animals.  She cracks me up!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Rodney The Roadrunner Is Back

Can I just say how much I LOVE my ward?  I always look forward to Sunday School b/c the lessons are phenomenal.  I always leave there feeling like I’ve had a spiritual feast.  Sis. Lee taught the lesson in Laurel’s today & it was on the subject of Chastity.  That can be a really awkward subject to discuss, but I love how she presented it.  She had a saucepan & inside that saucepan were quotes from the scriptures and Church talks she had found.  She said the subject of chastity is a “hot topic” and can be “saucy & steamy” sometimes (hence the saucepan).  LOL!  We each took a quote, read it out loud, and then just had a great discussion.  I love our Laurels and their testimonies and insights.

After church we came home and had lunch, relaxed, and then went visiting teaching to Zulema at 3:00.  Autumn was thrilled b/c she brought her Fancy Nancy game to play w/ Ashley.  We rushed home and our home teachers came at 4:30.

P1120057 When we got to Mom & Dad’s house after our home teachers left, we saw Rodney The Roadrunner walking around in their front yard.  He was really far away, so I had to zoom in as far as my camera would let me (which is why this is not the best quality picture).  It was so funny to watch him run around and then stop and peck at the ground looking for bugs.  We haven’t seen him in a while, so we were super glad he’s back.

P1120059 I stayed up WAY TOO LATE (2 am) a few nights earlier this week to read this book.  Maybe that’s why I’ve been so tired lately!  It was good, and I really like Leila Meacham as an author.  It’s an easy read but there’s always a twist.  Plus, the books are long so it keeps you involved in what’s going on.

P1120053Mary wanted to borrow Downton Abbey, so we took it over there on our way home tonight.  They were just sitting down to play Scategories, and they invited Autumn & I to join them.  We had so much fun and laughed so hard at some of the answers.  We didn’t stay too long b/c it was 8:30 and I needed to get Autumn home to bed.  We love the Johnsons and are so thankful they’re our “across-the-street-neighbors.”

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Temple, Fancy Nancy Game & Lowes March

IMG_4453 Mom & I went to the 7:30 session at the temple & had a neat tender mercy relating to the last name of a person who had submitted the names we did.  It’s always so wonderful to sit in the celestial room and just bask in the Spirit that is there.  I didn’t really get an answer to the questions I went there with, but I know the answers will come in time.

IMG_4454 I had to get a picture of the pretty red hibiscus on the east side of the temple.  I REALLY need to look into how to grow these at my house so I can enjoy them everyday.

IMG_4456 Mom dropped me off at home and Autumn & I had breakfast and then we got to work!  We cleaned the bathrooms, vacuumed, and did about 3 loads of laundry.  After we were done she asked me to play her Fancy Nancy game with her.  She won once, and I won once.

P1120051 At 11:40 we headed over to Lowes to see the local High School marching band (the biggest one in the world with over 800 members) march through the main aisle at Lowes.  I guess they do this every year, but we never knew about it until Karri told us last night.  We happened to walk in as the same time as Deckers & Zulema, so we stood by them.

IMG_4458It was so much fun, and I don’t know why but I got REALLY emotional and even cried a few tears.  It really surprised me!  Anyways, after all that fun and excitement we stopped to pick up some lunch (Mom wanted Taco Bell) and went over to Mom & Dad’s house.  Autumn & I went swimming for a while, but then a big storm came in so we got out.

She wanted help finishing her Elsa Rainbow loom doll, so we worked on that together.  She did what the video said and I got to push the pause and then play button.  She used this video tutorial and it worked out great.  Autumn had a minor meltdown at the end b/c one of the bands broke and I had to tie a knot in it to keep it from coming apart.  She was DONE by that point, so I took her home and put her to bed.  9:00 am church comes early, so it’s good she gets lots of sleep.  We’ll be switching to the 1:00 church time soon (our stake switches at the start of the school year, not in January like a lot of stakes do).