Widgets Magazine

Jul 31, 2013

First Day of School

We really do use plates around here...
Remember I told you that school started last week for my elementary-aged kids? Prima Donna got up early and made them these cute chocolate chip pancakes to celebrate the fact that Sport is now a 5th grader and Scout is in 2nd. And my little Curly is starting kindergarten. How did that happen?

He is only 4 years old (at least for a couple more weeks). It's going to be weird to have only one pre-schooler around here. We have been trying to potty train Baby Doll. Yesterday I threw out one of my baby car seats. I have had it for a while. OK, it's been around here since Teach was a baby, but I just loved the way it was so easy to click the baby into. I used to have two of them that were just the same. We bought them for Drama Queen and Teach. They are truly the best car seats I've had in all these years. Of course, we didn't really even have a car seat for Bossy. Can you believe I'm old enough to remember being a mom during the days when car seats weren't required?

I don't remember my parents ever having car seats for any of us. We used to crawl all over the back seat and fight and play games and trade seats...

My parents had this old yellow station wagon that my dad bought from somebody he worked with at the school. It was pretty weird. It had the two regular bench seats in the front and then the back laid flat or else opened up for a few more seats. Some of them were actually seated backwards (I never could ride in them because of my carsick problem.) But when the back seat was up, there was a little space between the backs of the two seats. Mom used to put groceries in that area. In my childhood brain it was probably about 15" across. I specifically remember my little brother sleeping in that space on the way home from a trip. He was probably about the same age as Curly is now.

Life certainly has changed in 35 years.

For all of us.

PS AAA is doing a free car seat inspection tomorrow in Murray for those of you who live in Utah. The address is 5207 So. State from 9:30 - 11:30.

I'm pretty sure my old car seat would never have passed. That's why it hit the dumpster instead of being donated somewhere.


Jul 30, 2013

Guest Blog: Steamfest by Drama Queen

So Prima Donna is a complete history buff.  For her birthday, I bought a ticket for her to come with me to this special steam-punk convention that was being held at the Davis Convention Center.  Steampunk is a fantasy culture that is Neo-Victorian where the technology stays steam-powered or clockwork (Think of movies like Wild, Wild West, Sherlock Holmes, Hugo, or Howl’s Moving Castle, or any book by H.P. Lovecraft.)  Of course, once Prima Donna and I got talking about it, we decided to see if we could still order tickets for Princess and Crafty.  Thank goodness, they had reopened registration!

Because of the girl scout swim party, we didn’t get to leave on Friday until pretty late in the day.  It was pretty awesome though to wander around and see all the cool costumes.  We saw everything from angels to Disney princesses and a man in a striped Victorian-style swimsuit.  That first night we went to a panel that taught us all about how to communicate and flirt using just our fan or hat or gloves.  We also sat in on a question-and-answer panel with a local ghost-hunter.  I think our favorite panel, though involved us being read Steampunk Children books and doing yoga.  (I wasn’t brave enough, but the girls got an impressive amount of bending in around those corsets!)

I think the yoga scared Crafty out of her corset, because the next morning she left it home.  Saturday was crazy-long!  We headed off just after nine and didn’t get home til after midnight.  We started out the day exploring the halls.  We found lots of fun stuff for sale, some musicians performing, and even live birds!  We went to several panels including more etiquette, and the manly view on steampunk, and budgeting short films (that was my favorite).  We also learned two new dances  - the Heel-Toe Polka and the Guilderoy.  It was so difficult to dance in corsets!  I was super impressed with the girls. 


We ate lunch in the car, but then ran over to the nearby Target so that I could get some cash back.  We got a lot of funny looks, but it was pretty exciting.  Dinner was the same thing: lots of questioning looks, but we simply basked in it.

For a moment we didn't think we were going to dance
 at the ball and Crafty was heartbroken
Throughout the whole weekend, the girls had this family of boys that they had their eyes on.  (Mom’s done really good on instilling the flirtation mode on them.)  Sadly, none of them really managed to talk much.  However, I had a plan.  See…the final event was a ball.  There was one boy…and Princess really wanted to ask him to dance.  By the second-to-last song, she still hadn’t gotten the guts up.  His whole family was sitting simply watching the performance so I slipped over and tapped him on the shoulder.  After softly explaining the situation, he hopped up without hesitation and zoomed right over to her side.  They looked adorable dancing together.  But then, like Cinderella, we darted away before the clock struck midnight…

Well, we did need to make sure we made it to Menchie’s before they closed!




Jul 29, 2013

Saturday is a Special Day

 

We had so much fun on Saturday! I told you already about Scout getting her ears pierced, but I wanted to fill you in on the rest of the day. Drama Queen took Princess, Prima Donna, and Crafty to Steamfest (and she has promised to post on that one for you), so that left my sweetie and me with the Dog Walker and the little kids.

First we went to the Lowe's class and the kids built an incredibly cute version of RC from the Toy Story movies. After that Sport headed off for his first paid babysitting job ever. My sweetie suggested I lay down for an hour since I was up terribly late the night before. I gratefully agreed. Sport returned triumphantly $13 richer a couple of hours later.

By 2:30 we were looking for something fun to do, so I suggested a road trip. We piled the kids in the van and headed for the freeway. Since it has been Pioneer Day week, we have been trying really hard to live more like the pioneers and their frugal lifestyle. That made our fun day a bit trickier, but certainly not impossible.

Our first stop was the fruit stand. One of the ladies I visit-teach had surgery and I wanted to buy her some cherries. Then we drove a few blocks to the nearest Tesoro for gas. I had a handful of gift cards the kids have accumulated from the Gallons for Grades program and I wanted to use them. We don't have many Tesoros in Salt Lake County any more. After filling up we still had enough for some treats and drinks.

Our next stop was the Provo Splashpad. We had never been there before, but we had heard that it was awesome from my little brother. I encouraged the kids to bring an extra set of clothes which they all did except for the Dog Walker. He had to dry out the old-fashioned way.

The kids loved splashing through the water even though it was a little cold. Baby Doll was nervous at first, but after a couple of minutes she was having more fun than anyone else...except for maybe the Dog Walker. The kids loved teasing him as he sprawled on the cement trying to dry out.

After about an hour we changed the kids' clothes in the van and headed for our next destination, a quick trip into Staples for a couple of things I really wanted before the sale changed. Then we drove to the mall in Provo. The kids were shocked! We rarely go to the mall. I handed the mostly-dry Dog Walker our bag of chips and drinks and we crossed the parking lot to the food court. The kids were so excited to ride the escalators to the second floor!

I pulled out $15 worth of Hot-Dog-On-A-Stick gift cards and ordered each of us a corn dog. While we were enjoying our dinner, I casually pointed out the Claires to Scout and then you know what happened next...Scout got her ears pierced!

After wandering through a few more shops and letting the kids play in the kids' area, we headed for the van. It took us about an hour to get home. Bossy and her boys showed up about 20 minutes later to do sparklers. Then it was time for showers and bed. The kids were tired and it was late, but we had pretty much worn them out having fun and they willingly climbed the stairs.

Except for Curly and Baby Doll...

...the Dog Walker carried them up.

Jul 28, 2013

A Major Milestone for Scout

Scout reached a major milestone today. She got her ears pierced!

Maybe that doesn't sound like a big deal, but in our family it is. We don't allow our girls to get their ears pierced until they are 8 years old (or nearly 8). Mostly I want them to be old enough to make the decision and then be able to take care of the cleaning and turning of each earring.

We haven't always had that rule. Teach was only 4 when she had hers pierced, but that was because we allowed the Drama Queen to have hers done at 6. Then it was me trying to take care of the two new sets of earrings. That's when we made the new rule and it has worked well for the next 4 daughters. We let it happen a couple of months before they turn 8 so they can wear cute earrings for their birthday.

So today we found ourselves in the mall down in Provo. I'll tell you how that came to be later, but we were sitting in the food court, eating corn dogs and Cheetos when I happened to spy the Claires just a few doors down. Since Scout's birthday isn't until November, I probably should have had her wait another month, but since we were there, I casually mentioned that it might be a fun activity.

Scout was totally shocked! I'm pretty sure she was planning to have her ears pierced, she just hadn't gotten around to thinking too much about it yet. We finished our dinner and decided to walk over to Claires and check it out, just in case.

When we walked in the door, she was still pretty nervous, but after perusing the hundreds of pairs of cute earrings dangling from nearly every display, she finally climbed up into the big chair. Dad and the kids wished her well and headed out the door. They really didn't want to watch, and quite frankly, we didn't want the distraction either. Only the Dog Walker remained with us.

She chose a tiny silver star pair and waited nervously while I filled out the paperwork. She kept asking me if it would hurt, a perfectly normal thing in her situation. I assured her that it was just a little pinch for only a moment and that they would tingle afterward. She gripped the arms of the chair until her knuckles were white. The cute salesgirl marked each ear with a purple marker, but she wasn't happy with it and marked them again. When she was finally satisfied, she sought my approval.

Scout was unprepared for the "gun" and the girl quickly assured her that it wasn't really a gun, that's just what they called them, but I think the name is pretty appropriate. She loaded the earrings. I stood close to Scout and took her hand. She braced herself for the count...1...2...3...CLICK!

Her face clouded over, but before she could really react, the other one was in. "That hurt!" she insisted as she jumped down from the chair. I let her choose 3 cards of earrings as the second part of her birthday gift. By the time we were all finished paying and out in the mall again looking for Dad and the kids, she was her usual happy self. She could hardly wait to show her sisters!

I wish all milestones could be that easy.





Jul 26, 2013

Guest Blogger: Educational Blues by the Dog Walker


I haven't got to guest blog in a very long time, because I was busy with school and Mom was feeling a bit tired tonight, so I had to blog for her. Speaking about school, I didn't want to talk about how I felt about it today, because it may sound like that I'm mocking, but it feels kind of true.It happened right today when I was getting some of my educational homework done and that I was a little desperate to be done. I was a bit desperate to make sure my homework was done before the due time. There was a girl scout activity that my Mom had planned for them. I was a little excited about going swimming with the girl scouts and Mom herself. I was having some fun for that while, but some of that time, I was just standing by a wall feeling depressed of myself, feeling like that something was going to happen. At least Mom and Baby Doll just pulled me along to go around the roundabout in the pool. I was still acting a little foolish of myself, still feeling like I wasn't in the mood to have some fun. I probably should've been more supportive with Baby Doll, but at least I got to play with her sometime.

Anyway, later that evening, as soon as we were all settled down from swimming with the girl scouts,  I was just at the moment that my Dad wanted to watch The Sandlot movie that I just bought from Wal-Mart for a five dollar deal, because we couldn't be able to find it very much, ever since the last time we owned it. I only got to see the beginning of it, because that's when Mom was calling on my cell phone telling me that she needed me to come fix some of the homework that she said that I totally did wrong. I was complaining that it's been such a long time that I ever got to see The Sandlot, because it's one of the best baseball movies of all time, especially when it was filmed in Utah. And just about last week at a Bee's game, some of the actors from that movie were on the spotlight at the game. It would've been cool if i saw that, but we didn't have tickets, and besides I had to do some more homework to make sure I was catching up on school.

I was feeling a bit lousy of the way I overreacted with Mom telling me of how I should do my homework. I used to be good at making sure that I did all the homework instructions right whenever I was doing the assignment that was due, but right now, I just feel like that I just want to avoid school for a while and try to find a good job to earn enough money that I could save for a lifetime. I was having a bit of a tissy fit when Mom was saying that I wasn't following the instructions on an educational assignment very well. I guess that she was right about what she said about my attitude causing her to be so angry of the way I feel angry myself about fixing up an assignment at the time I was so excited to watch a movie that is one of my favorites to watch.

Even though I thought that watching was like the best time of the day to do, beside making sure that homework was done. But I guess that I should have thought about it before I've been assuming that's the kind of assignment writing a teacher would accept from any student, like myself. I guess that I have learned something from today that may be prepared for the rest of my life. We do have to learn a lot of things, even thought it's not the kind of learning ability that we expect to have, especially when there's something very educational about some things that happen in some movies, like the Sandlot has educational lessons to learn from. But from now, I've only been learning some educational lessons in reality to make sure that I will manage my life a little. Maybe next time, I should try to think a bit more before I ever throw a tissy fit and feeling anxious to watch a movie that I may either have or not have seen before. I may have some educational blues about this, but I think I'll have to work on how I can get used to the idea of missing something fun and make sure everything on homework is done and to be sure it's all complete and correct. I better get going now. I'll guest blog again soon.

Bike Rodeo

People told us not to do a July Pack Meeting. "It's camping month!" they offered. "Nobody will come." "Everybody takes the month of July off." Despite all that good advice, we planned and held our annual Bike Rodeo on Tuesday night. We set up a bigger course this year, hoping for a larger crowd.

We passed out over a 120 fliers and I was thinking 50 kids, so I wasn't too disappointed when we had nearly 40 show up! Of course we had parents and baby brothers and sisters too. Oh, and some older siblings who just watched.

Sadly, I forgot my good camera so I was only able to snap a few cell phone pics for you. I couldn't possibly send Drama Queen back after it, I had already sent her back for half a dozen things I had forgotten.

My friend, Kevin, was there from the Salt Lake County Health Department as was Officer Wright from the South Jordan Police Department. The Dog Walker and I helped set up the course, but then they took over and ran things for us which was awesome!

The kids rode round and round for nearly an hour before we finally wrapped things up. We still had to move everyone inside and hand out awards. I know, you are wondering why we didn't just give them out in the parking lot. Normally we could have, but this time we happened to have two boys who were earning their Arrow of Light awards and my sweetie does this huge light show with lasers and a large lighted arrow. That wouldn't have worked very well without the darkened room.

Who says you can't have a fantastic Pack Meeting in July?

I beg to differ.





Jul 25, 2013

Pioneer Day 2013

We had been struggling all week for a plan for Pioneer Day. Since my little ones start school on the 25th, we didn't want to stray too far from home. My sweetie thought we ought to clean the garage, but at that suggestion he received a loud veto.

When he got up this morning and everyone was still in bed, he decided to make it just like any other day so he preserved his floating holiday and headed off to work.

When I was the first one up at about 9:30, I was disappointed at first, but then I decided we could still have fun right here at home. Inspired by my sweet bloggy friend, LeAnn at Living Waters, I decided I wanted to share her pioneer story with my kids. That planted a seed that just grew and grew into something amazing!


Fortunately I had convinced Prima Donna and Princess to mix up a big batch of sourdough bread last night. As I was forming the loaves, I wracked my brain to think of something fun to honor our pioneer ancestors. That's when I thought maybe we could add a dutch oven cookout to that rising bread.

And maybe a few pioneer games...could we all dress in pioneer garb? Did we have enough skirts? I started assigning out tasks, then I texted my sweetie and told him the party started at 6:00, pioneer dress recommended. (I also invited Bossy's family, but they had other plans.) Then I got to work.

My sweetie arrived a few minutes to 6:00 and we convinced him that he needed to quickly assemble all of the parts we had prepared for the dutch oven. Princess and I were finishing up the dessert, and yes, we were all decked out like a little pioneer family.

While my sweetie got the coals ready, I shared LeAnn's story. Then Prima Donna shared another story and a song. Then it was time for games. Sport and Princess were in charge and they had scoured the internet. The first one was called "My Little Birdie." We all sat in a circle and someone in the middle was holding a cup of water. That person asked for a color and if you had the wrong color he flipped a bit of water at you. But if you happened upon the right color, that cup of water got poured on your head! Curly got me good. It was so hot the water dried quickly.

Then we played the pioneer version of Ring Toss. Each team had a 15" dowel and a canning ring. They stood 10-feeet apart and tossed the ring to the other party. They had one minute to catch as many as they could. My sweetie and I were the winners with four catches.

The most popular game by far was the three-legged race. My sweetie and I sat that one out, but the kids loved it. Curly and Scout moved really well together, until I said "Go!" Then they couldn't keep it together at all. Crafty and Sport were the hands-down winners although Drama Queen and Prima Donna tried really hard.

We had a few more relays and then a game from Crafty and Scout. They had prepared a button swap game. I hadn't realized that the pioneer girls loved their buttons and trading was a huge thing for them. We each started with 10 buttons and had to make trades until we had 10 unique buttons that we threaded on a string for a necklace. Baby Doll loved this game but she didn't really like giving up her buttons to get one from someone else. I think a few of the girls ended up with only 9.

Dinner was a huge success! After food we decided to crank up Drama Queen's mood music and kick up our heels for a little square dancing. The Virginia Reel was easy enough that everyone could participate. My sweetie and I were in a threesome with Baby Doll and she giggled the entire time.

After we were all sweaty and tired, we pulled up our chairs and had scriptures and family prayer followed by peach cobbler hot from the dutch oven. I have to say, other than last year when we were somewhere far away on our perfect vacation, this was definitely the
best.
pioneer day.
ever!












Jul 24, 2013

Pioneer Day in Utah

Today is a holiday for the state of Utah. It is Pioneer Day and it commemorates the day that Brigham Young first looked over the valley and said, "This is the place!" We have many pioneer ancestors in our family lines and I wanted to share a story with you in honor of this special day.

One of my favorite stories is actually from my sweetie's family tree and it didn't have anything to do with the Utah pioneers. It happened during the Civil War and it goes something like this:

While Alex was away in the War, Mary Ann moved with the children back to her father's home in Chattam Hill. Her two sisters' husbands were also away fighting in the Civil War and all three girls with their children moved back into their father's home with his second wife, Martha Jane. All together there were 31 people living in this house. 

Perhaps their home looked something like this one.
The Union Army, in an effort to win the War, had started the campaign of burning the homes and farms of the people. The people in Chattam Hill could smell the burning coming closer and closer. Martha Jane is the narrator of this story.

We had all just finished breakfast when these soldiers rode up and shouted for everyone to get out of the house. I was speechless with fear. I went first and told the children to follow and stay by me. As all the children and all of us came pouring out, you should have seen the shocked speechless faces of the men. One of the soldiers said, "How many more are there? Where are they all coming from?"

We started counting noses to see if anyone was missing and would have to start over. Then I would ask the children if anyone was missing and they would start counting and moving round to see and asking me all kinds of questions, "What are the men going to do, Aunt Jane?"

Little Jim didn't know where his cat was and wanted to go find her and they all agreed he should. Then one of them said, "Maybe they are going to burn the house down like they did the O'Bryans." Then I had to try and do the impossible, keep them quiet and from going back into the house, for they all remembered something they wanted. They couldn't let it get burned up.

All the time the soldiers were gathering pine cones and chips from the wood shed and piling them under the porch. All this time I was sick. I was never so sick in my life. I wished Mother Nancy was here. She would have known what to do. 

Some of the little ones were using my legs for a hugging post, they were so frightened. Some of the children said to the men, "Go home, we don't like you here!" Another child said, "Go home to your children, we want our papa home." "We want our grandpa home too." "You couldn't hurt us if they were here." "Our soldiers are better!" One of the men said, "That's right, Lad, always stick up for your own side and your own General Lee." The Sergeant said, "We won't hurt any of you, we are just following orders." Then he called out loud, "Is everyone out? Better get out!"

Oh, how I was praying with my eyes opened. What can we do to stop this? Oh, angel of mercy, help us! Then Mary Ann came to the door, our own sweet Mary Ann. One of the grandchildren said, "Grandma!" Then there was silence. There at the door was Mary looking just like Grandma Nancy Pritchett. I always knew Mary Ann resembled her mother, but she was so much like her then that I, too, thought it was the children's grandmother. Merciful heavens, she even spoke and moved like Grandma Nancy.

Union Soldiers but not the ones from the actual story.
It seemed like Nancy had come to save her home. Mary Ann spoke very little, but looked straight at the soldiers; her face and eyes did the pleading. Then the sergeant gave the orders for the men to ride on. They all seemed glad to oblige. Not a thing was touched on the place except the chips and pine cones they had been piling under the porch to start the fire.

Mary Ann later said, "I could not follow the others out. I went to Mother's chair and knelt down and prayed for mother to help me know what to do and say. At first I was frightened. Then I became calm and said, "Mother, what shall I do? What would you do if you were here? Help me to save the home we all love. The home you and Pa built. Where we were all born. A home we need for so many of us." Then it seemed that mother was with me as I went to the door. I was frightened no more. It did not seem like I was speaking, but I was. When the men left, I went back into the room and thanked my Heavenly Father for my many blessings and for his help.

I do believe in the power of prayer and I am grateful for all of these ancestors who sacrificed for us. I wish more of them had written down their stories so we could have them today. That's one of the reasons I blog every day. I always want my kids and my grandkids and my great-grandkids to remember the things we did.
 
Not that they are nearly as cool as this story...

Jul 23, 2013

Utah Symphony for FHE

It's not often that we get a chance to see the Utah Symphony perform in Abravanel Hall. It's just too expensive and the little kids would never sit still that long. So when Princess and Prima Donna were looking for another another classical concert for their music class, I jumped on the idea of seeing the Symphony play at the Draper Amphitheater. The show was free and outside so it would be much easier to keep the little ones kids entertained. Besides, the music would likely be more fun than traditional concert fare.

We decided to make an evening of the event and we took the kids to the new Firehouse Subs for dinner. They let kids eat for free on Monday nights. It was a little crazy and for a while I was worried that we were going to be late for the concert. Then Baby Doll decided to fill her diaper and we had to make a quick trip back home since I never remember to bring a diaper bag any more. One of our goals for next week is to get her potty trained. But I digress...

When we arrived at the amphitheater, there was NO parking anywhere. People were parking clear down the hill on the street, so my sweetie pulled into the parking lot and generously offered to park and walk while we all went in and found seats.

The Draper Amphitheater has an interesting design. It's like a kiva with graduated seating about six feet wide and each step of the kiva is covered with grass. We were really glad we remembered to bring blankets, but next time I'm definitely bringing a hat. Sport was the only smart one among us. We spread ourselves out on a seat near the top and waited for the show to begin. It only took about 10 minutes before the Symphony started to play. My sweetie got in the theater just as they began playing the Star Spangled Banner.

I was not disappointed with the program! We got the Armed Forces Salute which brought tears to my eyes as veterans were asked to stand during their respective songs. I loved the tenderness I saw on the row behind us as a son helped his aged father to stand during the Caissons Song. I was kind of wishing we had thought to invite Grandpa.

We got the fun stuff tonight too, including West Side Story and part of every song from The Music Man. The kids were mostly good and right before the intermission my sweetie sent a couple of the girls to the snack bar for otter pops. They were delicious. The bees thought so too and we had a few tense moments when we thought Baby Doll might get stung, but all turned out well and Crafty took all the wrappers down to the garbage can so the bees soon left us alone.

The sun was just setting as the intermission ended. I snapped a few pics for you because it was so beautiful, but I'm afraid my cell phone camera just didn't do them justice. I was sure wishing we had brought the good camera with us.

We enjoyed the second half of the program.so much that the audience gave them a standing ovation, but I guess they didn't have another piece prepared for an encore, so they just played their last song again which I thought was a little weird.

We only had one casualty when Scout slipped on one of the retaining bricks and scraped up her leg. And the kids only made about 10 trips up and down the stairs for the restrooms. That must have something to do with the fact that they had to try all the soda at Firehouse Subs since they had one of those cool soda machines with about 50 different flavors in it.

It couldn't have been that they were bored...








Jul 22, 2013

More News From Teach in Texas

I'm not sure what has been going on with Teach's email account, but I didn't get a letter from her on the 8th, so I was very excited to get two of them on the 15th. She says she sent one, but it didn't show up here. She just loves being a missionary! The weather in Texas is totally different from what she is used to, but it looks like they are finally figuring it out.
From 2009 - Think she knew it would be Texas?
First of all. It is raining SOOOO much. (: Basically monsoon season out here. I get to drive in it. but earlier this week we got caught biking in the storm. We were soaked but so very happy because it cooled us off. If I ever live in Texas not as a missionary I'm TOTALLY buying a pool because it's basically the only way to cool off around here. We splashed in the puddles too and I've worn my boots two days in a row now. (: It's so so great.

It is so fun to watch her learn and grow and figure things out on her own. I love that about watching my kids grow up and take control of their own lives both in a spiritual sense and in a literal sense. Since most of us struggle with proper diet and weight here, I was glad to hear this story from her.

One more cool thing. So I have been studying the Word of Wisdom lately and I've been trying to be a better soul - you know just in general - and I realized that there were parts of the WOW that I'm not really living. Veggies, fruits, grains, meat sparingly etc. I was praying and trying to figure out a way to follow and live the WOW more fully while not blowing all of my money on fresh produce because our money is VERY limited. I have been praying and trying to avoid sugary stuff... it's hard. But I kept praying for... 3 days in a row. On Saturday night a member called us out of the blue and said she had a casserole for us. (: We went over to pick it up and not only a casserole but she had veggies, and apples and water mix stuff. (: (: It was SUCH an answer to prayer that I couldn't even contain it. I was so grateful because the Lord just blesses us in such simple ways when we try to live his commandments more fully. 
 I don't believe I have ever had an experience like this one, but I think it's awesome that sometimes the words she speaks are not her own words.

We had a few awesome opportunities when we were teaching this week to really let the spirit guide the lesson. One point during a lesson I opened my mouth and literally I was surprised by the words that came out of my mouth. But it opened the door for a discussion about the Word of Wisdom that this recent convert needed to have happen. It's just so cool to feel worthy and able to have that happen. 

Pre-Missionary Days
I still get to hear from her pretty much every Monday although now it is just one email and I have to be happy with that. Her Mission President has asked that they not spend their half-hour online doing an e-chat even with her mom. It was hard at first. I almost felt like I lost her all over again, but I'm good with it now. I want her to be obedient so she is the best missionary she can be. And as she said in her last letter...

I'm 2/9 done with my mission. Odd.

I can hardly wait to have her back home.

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