Give Thanks

Jacob:
I am thankful I was able to go on a mission, I was able to serve a mission in Russia.  It was hard because it was a lot of sacrifice.  I grew in faith and testimony, I met amazing people, and had life experiences you just can’t get in the United States.
I am thankful I was able to make the decision to leave a job that I loved.  I loved the work and the people, but there was something missing.  An opportunity came along that was difficult to take; but has proven to be the right decision for me personally, and for our family.

Marcia the Elder:
I am thankful I was able to push my babies out of my body, and it was hard because each one had a bigger head than the previous.  If they had never come out, I would be really uncomfortable!  I love them, and I learned that I can do really hard things, even while enduring a great amount of pain.
I am thankful I have been able to figure out how to work around our family’s particular set of allergies.  It has forced me to be creative and to research different ways to prepare food.  It is complicated and at times very hard to figure out, and I am glad that I have been able to be a resource to others who have come to need to make similar adjustments to their menus.

Marcia the Younger:
I am thankful I was able to make my first omelette, and it was hard because it didn’t make sense to me to wait for the toppings to “melt into” the egg, but I’m glad i learned because now whenever I eat an omelette I can have the satisfaction of knowing some came from me.
I am thankful I was able to not go back to the real school at the building, but I’m glad we are where we are because we are one step closer to getting rid of COVID.  We are first hand witnesses to 2020.

Hinckley:
I am thankful I was able to help Corban do his chores, well, it’s good because I like to do service and when I do what I want, I feel good.
I am thankful I was able to memorize the first paragraph (stanza) of the poem “The Road Not Taken” because it let me earn two blue tickets because it gets me more options, or closer to more options to buying things in the Thurman Store.  The first paragraph goes like this:
     Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
     And sorry I could not travel both
     And be one traveler, long I stood
     And looked down one as far as I could
     To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Corban:
I am thankful I was able to build LEGO houses, because…I’m glad I did it because I like to play with them, and the reason I like to play with them is because I like to make the LEGO people slide down into the seats.
I am thankful that when I can’t find my water cup, I can find my water cup.  If I can’t find it, it is in my bed.  I can find it under my pillow or blankets, because it makes me glad to find it, and I can’t stop it (feeling glad), and I eat my own food, all the food.

Give Thanks

Jacob:
I am thankful for the temple, where families are sealed together forever, and where I married my best friend.
I am thankful for my home office because that’s where I work to provide for my family, it’s where I study and learn a lot, it’s where I do some of my favorite leisure activities like playing chess and writing music.
Marcia the Elder:
I am thankful for the Grand Canyon because nobody fell in!  And because I enjoyed spending a week down in the there hiking among the beauty, while I was in college, and then a couple years ago we got to go as a family* with the Fairlie women!
I am thankful for the hospital where I birthed my children, because there are caring doctors and nurses, and I am so glad that I did not have to clean up the “Lake of Machu Picchu”** in my house.
Marcia the Younger:
I am thankful for libraries because they have lots and lots of books, and I love books!
I am thankful for Compton Park because the bridge is very good for riding your bike over and it has a beautiful “river” there.
Hinckley:
I am thankful for our house.  I love our house because if we didn’t have our house we wouldn’t live anywhere, but we do have our house so that we have some shelter and a place to live.
I am thankful for the school because I need to learn, and the school is exactly the right place*** to learn.
Corban:
I want to do what Hinckley said, but a little bit, a little part:
I am thankful for our house, well, because it has dishes.
I am thankful for Earth because it has a lot of houses, and a lot of people, and a lot of houses for that people.

* This was the only time Jacob had been to the Grand Canyon, even though he lived in Mesa, AZ for 14 years.

** The lake was so named by the midwife, because the older two children named the unborn Corban, “King of Machu Picchu” and he made a great lake during labor.
*** “Place” may be more of a concept than an actual location, because this year our kids are attending school online only. Here is the setup they have.

The “lockers”
   

Give Thanks

I am thankful for my parents for bringing me into this world, and for doing their best to keep me in it, too.
I am thankful for my husband Jacob, I might drive him crazy at times, but I love him.
I am thankful for Marcia Holland, Hinckley, and Corban for making me a mom, and for making me feel joy in more ways than I ever could have imagined.
I am thankful for my sister Ronda for being a great sister and example to me.
I am thankful for dedicated teachers who make a difference in the lives of children.
I am thankful for good friends who know and love me for me, and don’t try to make me be someone I’m not, you know who you are!
I am thankful for Elder Williams for using the priesthood, without whom I’d be unable to be here typing this.
I am thankful for my mission companions who taught me many things about myself, and how to love others better.
I am thankful for the many people that I have had the pleasure to serve with in the various church callings I’ve had over the years.
I am thankful for all the people who have been able to make me smile and think of good throughout these crazy times.

Thank you all of you world helpers!

Give Thanks

Eight years ago today, we welcomed this little guy into our family.

We are so very thankful to have him with us.  Every day he makes us laugh.  Every day he looks for something new to learn.

Today he chose to be baptized in the same way that Jesus was baptized.  There were 8 of us in the room where it happened.  With more than double that attending over Zoom.  I am also thankful for the ability to have virtual meetings where we can be together, and apart, at the same time.

Here he is with Jacob at his birth minute, only minutes before they stepped into the water.

There is joy in my soul today.

Eight Years Ago

I was in false labor.  We had sent Marcia the Younger off with Grammy.  And then, nothing happened for two more days.

Last night Hinckley came running downstairs from bed to show us that he had pulled out a tooth.  And today in class, his teacher was kind to him when he un-muted to share his good news.

Rainbow Aliens

I have spent a lot of time around little humans. All my life. The older I get, the more I wonder what is going on in their heads.

There are (few) moments that I catch a glimpse of a memory that lets me remember a hint of what was in my mind as a kid.

I often ask the little people in my home what they are thinking. I always ask what they dream about, when I go wake them up.

Mostly they don’t answer. However sometimes they do!

There was a stretch of time that Marcia the younger would look at me, grin really big, and say “rainbow aliens.”

The best I could understand, after asking her to describe them, was she was dreaming about light fractals, as seen on The Magic School Bus. Hooray for Ms. Frizzle!

Now, she mostly tells about dreams that involve her kindergarten classmates. And her teacher. Oh, how we wish her teacher could move up to first grade with her…. More stories from kindergarten are in order. At a later date.

As far as the youngest goes, he never answers. Mostly all I can figure is that Corban dreams of milk and Daddy. And probably of trying to be like the older two, too.

Hinckley, though, he always has an answer. And recently, he has to tell me all about his dreams before I can even ask. Sometimes he insists that he has to tell me all the details before I am allowed to say anything. At all.

This morning was one of those mornings.

He dreamed about roller skating. With Marcia. And it “was the best dream ever!”

Gratitude, and a bit of nostalgia

Today is the national marching band championship in Indianapolis.

On this day, I’m especially grateful for all of the opportunities I’ve had to participate with marching bands and drum corps over the last 18 years, first as a performer, and then as a teacher.

I’m grateful to have been a member of the marching band at my high school, and for all that I learned from Dennis Smith, Todd Foster, and others.

I’m grateful to have been a member of the Colts Drum & Bugle Corps, where I learned not only about performance and music, but about success in life, thanks to Greg Orwoll and the rest of the Colts family.

DCI Finals, 1998
(DCI Finals, 1998)

I’m grateful to have been able to teach the front ensemble at my alma mater, and to work with Mr. Smith, Todd Foster, Michelle Sapadin and many others, and to have helped win the first percussion caption award in school history in 1999.

I’m grateful to have quite randomly ended up in Macomb, where I’ve been able to teach the front ensemble and then the full drumline of a great marching band for the last 11 years, with great competitive success. I’ve worked with great teachers like Mr. Wetmore, Mr. Zahnle, Mr. Howard, and Mr. Mattsey. I’ve had great help from former students like Leandro Pelayo, Xavier Zahnle, Allyson Ray, Michelle Kenny, Kelsey Drea, Dan Reem, and Chris Norton.

I’m grateful for all of the students I’ve had over the years, from the seniors at Red Mountain in 1998, to the freshmen at Macomb in 2013. I hope you learn as much from me as I do from you. You are all truly awesome.

Finally, I am grateful for all that I’ve learned and experienced through marching band and drum corps. I truly believe in the Colts mission statement, that “we use music and excellence to teach each other about success in life.” Any success I’ve achieved in life, I owe at least in part to my experience with marching band and drum corps. To all of my friends, teachers, students, and colleagues, I thank you.

…and here’s hoping for many more great years, great teachers, great students, and great friends.

Way to go!!

The question has been asked, “What if he goes for his PhD?”  Well, if he does, we will cross that bridge when/if it comes.  If it does, it will not be for some time.  It would require us to move, there is not a program here for him, and we all know how we feel about moving.  If you don’t know, we hate strongly dislike moving.  Also, if he does decided to go for more school, I can put together a new image.  Easy fix.  But for now, he took his last test this morning and on Friday evening he will walk across the stage and get some fancy paper and a hood.  He has worked hard and it really is a great accomplishment.  Good job Husband!