Here is the latest from South Dakota... It is cold! Steph will be home this Saturday. I am so excited. Melanie went to winter formal last night. Her friends all came to dinner here...there were 12-13 of them. They all wore black but one so I teased them about going to a funeral. We had spent the day at the temple on a youth baptism trip so it was a big, long, day. Sam and his best friend went to church in Brandon and then drove to church in Sioux Falls and went to the last 1 1/2 of 2nd ward...teens wanting more church???? I will leave the reasons up to your imagination! We are headed to the Devotional tonight and then over to our friends to see the finale of Amazing Race.
Well, I finished all the Twilight books, including the online draft of Midnight Sun and saw the movie in 9 days. I have to say, that was the most powerful series I have ever read and I am having a little trouble getting back to reality. Part of me wants to stay engrossed in the obsessive Cullen world. I now understand...
So while I am shopping Monday night, I decide to pick up a copy of "Twilight". I got tired of waiting for one of Mel's friends to drop it off. I took it home and started reading a bit that evening...It is now Friday morning and I have finished "Twilight" and "New Moon" and am going to have to brave Black Friday before going in to work to pick up "Eclipse". Mel, Nate and I went to see the movie Wednesday night after church was over. I enjoyed the movie but as any reader knows... I did not enjoy reading "New Moon". I found it so difficult to read through her pain. I was so thankful that Mel had already told me a bit about their future or I might not have made it through. Even so, it was difficult to read through my own tears. I really do get caught up in books too easy.
I love facebook. I have connected with people I knew in grade school, both high schools, other towns that I have lived in, relatives on every side, and so many others. It is such an easy way to communicate. It has saved me from having to make at least one phone call a day. Case in point...our primary pres was sick yesterday and so I conducted. Later in the afternoon she was on so we chatted for about 2 min and I got her all the info she needed. I also can see what is going on in others lives without having to call them up and I can see the pictures they post. It is like blogging at times...except that many of my friends on facebook are men and they aren't really into the blogging thing like this. I reconnected with a friend from middle/high school whom I haven't talked to in 22 years. She is now an art teacher in the school system. I found another friend from grade school who used to tease me something fierce about being a member of the church and wouldn't you know...he joined 4 years ago. Paul is on it too. He has connected with friends from school and from his mission and we both are friends with our children's friends. Sometimes I find out more from facebook than I do from people. Not sure that is good. I know I sound like a commercial. I am just amazed at technology. I never thought I would talk to many of these people again in my life and it has been so fun to do so!
I know I should be blogging about the amazing things I heard on Glenn Beck this morning or the terrible service we have experienced at restaurants this last few weeks but I would rather talk about my family. Ben earned a Book It award for Pizza Hut so we went tonight...then we spent over two hours on homework! Mel and Sam worked. Mel is off to her friends house where they are getting geared up to see the midnight showing of "Twilight". I know, it is a school night but... and Paul, Nate and Sam are off moving a stove for one of the rentals in the freezing cold. It is supposed to get to 5F. That is mighty chilly. The popcorn sales are in so now I get to stare at it until Thanksgiving...which we are not being traditional this year. I have to work the day before and the two after so we are settling for pizza, popcorn, pop and football. Doesn't get much better than that. I am also on a countdown for Steph to get home. I am thinking of beginning the "Twilight" books tomorrow.
The interstate is closed across South Dakota. Deadwood got 4 feet with 70 mph wind gusts. It is snowing here now too. Winter has hit! I have nothing more to say. I was disappointed with the election in general but I agree with Glenn Beck that we must hold to our values but also unite and support out President-elect. I just finished watching "John Adams". It was a mini-series put out by HBO. I highly highly recommend it!!
Mel and I just returned from Omaha where we attended Time Out For Women. I could blog for miles on this so I will be short and just say we had a great time. My favorite speaker was Mary Ellen Edmunds. If you ever get the chance to hear her...take it! My favorite musician was Jenny Oaks Baker. If you get the chance to hear her...go! Amazing. Today Mel and I got notification that both our submissions had been accepted into the new art show in Sioux Falls titled, "Abstractions". Mel submitted a mask made of mosaic mirrors. I submitted a triptych, acrylic paintings based on Auschwitz. The artist's reception in Nov. 7th. It will be nice to have Mel there with me this time.
Steph spent the last week in New York City. She had a grand time. Went and saw Wicked again and met Glenn Beck and Howie Mandel. She also met lots of business people that I don't know but it was a real big deal to her. She also saw Clay Aiken and Daniel Radcliffe. I am not sure if that is how you spell it?? It is the kid from Harry Potter. She got home late last night and then left this morning for St. George with Scott. They are going to a wedding reception and to see some of his family. She is going to be so tired when school starts Mon. She is going to New Mexico with Scott for Thanksgiving and then he is coming to Sioux Falls during the Christmas break. I am really looking forward to it. Paul and Nate are out shooting at pheasants and Sam is getting ready for work. Mel is at work already and so Ben and I are cleaning house. Sat. have become precious to me since I started working again. I have not found my balance yet but I will adjust soon. I have faith.
Work went well this week. I really like my job. I am watching the first season of JERICHO on my computer through Netflix. It is interesting. It makes one think about being prepared and that is why I wanted to watch it in the first place but now I am caught up in the story.
Tonight we had the adult session of Stake Conference. Elder Jones of the Seventy was here. He spoke on Exaltation and the New and Everlasting Covenant. It was amazing. I am looking forward to tomorrow to hear him speak again. I just finished a new book entitled, "Scheisshaus Luck." For those of you that speak German, do not be offended. I did not realize the title was a German swear word when I checked it out at the library. It was an amazing book though. It was about an 18 year old French boy who ends up a political prisoner in Auschwitz III or Monowitz. My new job is going great. The only thing I do not enjoy is feeding and cleaning up the animals. We have two toads, 4 different kinds of turtles and a snake. Other than that, I open up the three floors and all the exhibits and interact with guests all day. I work on some projects, watch some IMAX movies and tidy. Monday is my day off and the kids are out of school and wouldn't you know...they want to go to the Pavilion. So I will be at work on my day off but not working. Wierd. Melanie is sewing herself a new Renaissance dress and I am so impressed. It will be lovely and she definitely inherited my mother's gifts in that area. I cannot do what she is doing. I am almost finished with a collection of three acrylic paintings for the abstract contest. I will post pictures when the competition is over. Sam got a job at Burger King. He is waiting to hear on another job at HyVee where Mel works. She is really enjoying the work in the bakery. Steph goes to New York next week to interview for internships. She is going to see "Wicked" on Broadway for the second time in 14 months and is also going to meet Glenn Beck. We got approval from the insurance to take Ben to Mayo Clinic next month. He is going to see a pediatric rheumatologist for his leg problem. Nate's cross country season is almost over. The city meet is this coming week. I feel bad I have to miss it. Paul starts a new high council assignment next week. He will really miss Madison. He had grown very close to the members there. So that is the latest update on our family.
I have become disillusioned with the book I am reading: "Not Buying It". I liked her concept and her determination but two things struck me as I read. The author is an atheist who is very liberal and tried to convey those points in her writing which many times did not have anything to do with the economic basis of her book and I was surprised at how many times her sacrifice of not purchasing anything for a year actually hurt, maybe not hurt, but caused discomfort and inconvenienced others. I would like to cut down on purchases of all kinds also but there are times when we need to meet the needs of others. Socializing and friendship sometimes do cost a little money. Also, time spent with family may involve eating a dinner that comes from a box so we can get to the game etc. I am grateful to live in a day and age that we have some conveniences available to us. Nothing beats a home-cooked meal but it is just not always possible. I also keep in mind that the author does not and never has had children!
In less than twelve hours I will be back in the mainstream workforce. I enter it with mixed emotions. Grateful for a job and the money that it will bring but sad to be leaving my days at home where I was free to plan my own time and organize my schedule according to my whims. Now, I wonder, how will I balance working, family, church and my social life??? That is the question of all working mothers. But, I know that I am to do this and with the Lord's help I will be successful. I am excited for the job itself. I am the floor supervisor of the Kirby Science and Discovery Center at the Washington Pavilion. Check out the web page:http://www.washingtonpavilion.org/Index.cfm It is a beautiful facility and I will love being around the arts all day. Sam also starts his new job tomorrow at Burger King. Wish us all luck!
I am reading a fascinating book entitled, "Not Buying It, My Year Without Shopping". A couple decided to go an entire year without purchasing anything but the necessities. Now one will ask, What are the necessities? I would venture to guess that they change with each of us and on any particular day. One day I might believe I can make it on bread and honey while another I would really believe that a diet coke was in the true need category. I am enthralled with the idea nonetheless that we could rise above the consumerism that defines our life. I will read and share and who knows, we may all benefit. We had a family home evening on prophets tonight. Paul shared President Monson's talk from Aprils' conference. Nate shared Amos 3:7. Sam told the story of Samuel the Lamanite and Mel shared a story about President McKay. Ben bore his testimony. All in all it was a good lesson. During conversation, the topic turned to the economic crisis and the fact that the Dow fell over 700 today. Melanie stated that her history teacher told the students to pay close attention to the news right now because thirty years from now their children will be asking where they were on this day. It will be interesting to see how we look back on this time in thirty years...will we have forgotten it like 1987 or will it be remembered like the great depression. All I know is that I am looking forward to conference and am so thankful that we have a prophet to guide us.
I must admit, being new to so many things so fast is a bit of a kick in the confidence! So, I hope all will be patient and understanding when some of us newbies make stupid errors or look like we don't know what we are doing...because we don't. I am waiting to hear on two jobs. Hopefully I will have something concrete by this weekend. The leaves are turning. Fall is my favorite time of year. I was just looking at pictures from the Black Hills at this time last year. That had to be one of the most beautiful sites and drives I can remember. Football is here and I am getting squished at fantasy football. Sam and Mel officially have their drivers licenses. They aren't so keen are driving the tiger truck as it is the rival school's colors. Steph is getting ready to go to New York to interview for internships. Ben is starting a new seizure medication since his is no longer working. Nate came in 7th out of about 30 at last weeks cross country meet. He has another one tomorrow. Paul is painting the trim and front porch. I am off to get a new matte for a photograph.
I only have a few minutes before I am out the door to go visiting teaching. Since I am so new at this, I thought it would be fun to catch everybody up on where we are now and what is going on in our life. Most of you probably know that we had a boundary change in our ward in July. We are now part of a branch that is 10 miles the opposite direction from our Stake Center. It is actually closer to our house. It takes about half the time to get there too. It was a very sudden way to be released from callings though. The adjustment was easiest for Paul and hardest for Mel and Ben. I am now serving in the Primary Pres. WOW. It is sooooo different from the last 7 years in RS. Okay, enough about that. My ride is here...I will write more later.