1st--Karcyn's 6th grade English class had a poetry unit. Each child read their poem to the class and the class then voted on which one they felt was worthy of being selected for the 1st Annual Poetry Slam. We were so surprised and excited to learn that Karcyn's poem had been voted in! I actually don't have a copy of the poem, but she wrote about her Grandpa Hough's funeral. She did a super job writing it and reading it. I was very proud!
The boy wearing red in the row behind Karcyn (below) has liked her since the beginning of 5th grade. :) They're good friends. Karcyn is VERY clear that she doesn't date until she's 16. AND...she even asks the kids around her to not say bad words or take the Lord's name in vain because it bothers her. This young man wanted to know what kind of words not to say, so she elaborated as best she could without saying them. ;) To his credit, he refrains from saying those things when he's around her and if he slips, he quickly apologizes.
2nd--Jake had to pick up a marathon packet in the Woodlands, Texas (about 90 minutes from College Station). He left as soon as school was out so he won't be gone all night. When he arrived, he learned that there was some other BIG event taking place in downtown Woodlands. There was NO place to park a small Civic. He eventually found a place THREE miles away. I was NOT happy about that. At all. So as the sun is going down, he had to walk SIX miles round trip in an unfamiliar place. I expressed my great concern over this and Jake told me not to worry--he could always RUN if there was trouble. I told him while that may be true, I was unimpressed with the organizers of both events. This was the only time they could get their running packets. I was totally going to talk to the event organizers about that poor planning with a conflict like that, but forgot to!!
3rd--Read this post to find out about Jake's big weekend!
--This was a big month for Jared. He was in the process of switching job locations and possibly different duties/responsibilities within St. Joseph. He spent three years commuting 100 miles/2 hours of driving each day he had an 11 hour shift in Brenham. He loved his co-workers, but he only committed to two years and working every other weekend was really wearing on him spiritually. He needed to be able to take the Sacrament. There's a reason why we're commanded to meet together oft. Jared was moved up to the Bryan Express Care (instead of Brenham) until he was given a chance to interview/check out the local ENT clinic who was looking for a Physician Assistant. Jared wasn't sure he wanted to make a huge jump from primary care to the ENT specialty. But they were offering M-F, 8-5 hours with no weekends. Kind of hard to turn that down. Still--he wanted to at least shadow them to get a feel for it all. Well, on his days off from the Express Care, that's what he did, and he was paid for it. Finally, on March 6th, the ENT docs/surgeons decided they wanted Jared to stay with them. The only thing really holding Jared back was the big jump in the type of medicine he'd be practicing. He was basically making a career change after 12 years in Primary Care. ENT may only be dealing with things from the neck on up, but there are so many different procedures and instruments! Jared's head was spinning for a while and he felt like a deer in headlights most days. But he made the commitment.
--This is my dear friend, Donna Fruhling. I was assigned to be her visiting teacher in July 2017. She is an amazing woman! She was an Olympic basketball player back in the day. She is also a convert to the church. Her husband was in the military so they traveled all over the world with their kids and then served a mission in Thailand. Donna has cancer and spent some time in Reno getting special healing treatments. It was hard for me to know how to minister to her. Her husband takes good care of her, she can't eat much of anything, so making her a meal is out of the question. She has kind and watchful friends. But after visiting with her in March, during the course of our conversation, she mentioned that she should probably juice produce more because those foods provide great nutrients for her but it's a long and somewhat tiring process. That's when the light bulb went on! I exclaimed, "Donna! That's what I can do for you! I can help you juice your fruits and veggies. Let me be your hands, feet and back." So we set a date for me to come back and we juiced and had a wonderful time together. She even shared her drink. :) I love this memory. And from a visiting teaching or ministering perspective, it took me eight months of visiting Donna and getting to know her before this need ever surface. I know she valued our visits, as did I. But it's only after truly getting to know someone and becoming a part of their life that you are able to "see" things you didn't before.
--I also FINALLY taught Karcyn how to put her hair in a ponytail. It's probably more accurate that I showed her. How does one teach a girl how to do that?? Karcyn's a minimalist (much like her mom) when it comes to her hair. She didn't even like bows or cute little headbands in her hair when she was a baby. She is definitely not a fashionista, which most of me is grateful for! ;) But she's on the tip of turning 12 and she really needs to know how to do this at girls camp this summer! She's going to Colorado for a high adventure camp (from 6/30 to 7/7 and Cooper will be at EFY from 7/2 to 7/7 and Jake put his mission availability date as 7/1, so it might just be me and Jared and the two little boys that week!!) Like I said, I don't know how to teach someone to pull their hair back, so I knelt down on my knees and had Karcyn watch me as I slowly modeled how I put my hair in a pony tail. I did it a couple times and then she tried. Her hair is SO thick!!! She didn't do too bad. She had it down just a couple days later!
8th--Cooper had a tennis tournament in Madisonville about an hour away from CS. He texted that he won his first match! I got another text from him around 11am, while I was running errands to get ready for our drive to Utah for Spring Break. He asked, and I quote, "Can you come down to Madisonville real quick? I need a shirt." Ahhh, so the purple shirt I saw sitting in the dryer earlier that morning was his. Okay, so first of all, Madisonville is not south or down. It's actually northwest. Secondly, it's an hour each way. There is nothing "real quick" about it. Third, this would be a really good lesson about making sure you have everything you need before you go. Do a mental check. I responded to Cooper and said, "Sorry Babe, I can't." To which he replied, "Dang it. :(" He had to forfeit his second match because he got pelted in the crotch. When he got home around 7pm that night and was getting food, we told him to please take his coat off (it's bright orange with a marshmallowy/quilted style). When he did, his chest was bare and exposed. See picture below. Jared asked him where his shirt was. Coop said, "I didn't have one." "Is that why you texted us??" We thought you needed a specific shirt not A shirt!!" Hahahaha! He said he put it in the dryer that morning (to heat it up) and put his coat on to keep warm in the meantime. But he left the house forgetting he needed a shirt. So he played his match with his coat on (haha!!) and won! ;)
--Our friend, Teasha Adams, who came to visit and was talking with JJ. It had been awhile since she'd visited so this was the first time she heard him speak.
--Before leaving for Spring Break, I needed to get fingerprinted to finalize my application to be a substitute teacher. The place you go to is not much wider than a door itself. The space of a glorified bathroom, perhaps. As I walked in, there was a partition off to the left. I heard this low voice ask if I was there for fingerprints. Automatically, I say, "Yes, sir" then realizing I didn't know the gender behind the partition, I quickly added, "ma'am" so as not to offend. There was a slight pause, crickets if you will, and then I heard a firm voice say: "middle finger." I was shocked!! This employee just verbally flicked me off! I was so stunned and embarrassed that I almost missed the next instructions about filling out some paperwork. The worker, a female, was saying something to the guy she was helping, but I was trying to maintain my dignity and focus on the papers in front of me, so I didn't hear what they were saying. Then it was my turn. I tried to be cautiously friendly and not make it more awkward between me and this woman who was clearly in the grind and mode of what seemed like a most monotonous job, in a chair, in a corner, behind a partition in a small space. I gave her my paperwork, she verified it, then she said she'd be doing my right hand first. "Pointer finger," which I gave her. Then she said, "Middle finger." And dawning smacked me up side the head. Oh.my.gosh. She was asking for the guy's individual fingers to scan when I walked in...not verbally flipping me off. I was soooo mortified. Even though nobody but me was aware of this terrible mistake I made. Wow. How could my mind even think the worst of a stranger like that?? It really made me think.
--Jake drove to a couple bookstores in town. He found this little $4 gem (a pocket-sized book on Hungarian words and phrases) tucked in a corner at a second-hand store. He didn't have much hope of finding anything because he came up empty at Barnes and Noble. Once we knew where Jake was going to be laboring on his mission, we wanted to learn everything we could about Hungary's history and culture. So naturally I went to the public library. Such a disappointment. They had books on Romania, Slovakia, Serbia, Ukraine, Austria, and Slovenia. Every country that Hungary is landlocked by. But NOT Hungary. What kind of library is this? What if a child needed to do a school report on the country and couldn't find anything at their public library? I have to say that the library in College Station is one of the FEW things that are disappointing about this town. I don't understand how an educated and well supported college town such as this one could have such a dinky and lousy library. I was able to check out an encyclopedia and we could read about Hungary that way, but still...
--This piece was written by JJ, right before we left for Spring Break. His translation to me: "On Spring Break, I am going to stay at Utah. I get to go see my Grandma and Grandpa."
--This makes me laugh, because JJ is starting to write his name as Jared--which it is. But it was a bit unexpected. I went to help out his teacher one day and she came up to me smiling and said she had asked a question of the class. When she called on him she said, "Yes, JJ?" Before answering he said, "Um, the name is Jared." Silly, silly boy!
21st--As a brand new Beehive (12 year old), this entry in Karcyn's personal progress journal was touching to me. (She let me read it. :)
--Sure love this great state of ours and our flag.
Melanie (Young Women President); Jenn (Stake RS counselor), Steph (RS counselor), Meg (Primary President), Kerstin (RS counselor). Who has the last laugh now, ladies? Haha! They are the best.
As we got ready to leave the restaurant, we found ourselves caught in a spring monsoon. Some of us just went for it. Some of us tried to wait it out, but after 20 minutes or so, couldn't wait any longer as we had to be home when our kids got out of school. We texted each other our "wet rat" pictures.
It looks like I just got out of the shower.
--Calvin found a friend outside our front door.
Look at that large mouth bass Calvin caught right out of the gate.
It headed toward a field on the neighboring property. My search of different snakes after that encounter lead me to believe that it was aTexas Rat Snake indigenous to the Brazos Valley where we live.