3 Inspiring Sons…and their Little Sister »

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Dear Mom and Dad

How are you? I am good. I miss you.

I remember when I was a kid and I used to start all my letters like that. Life was easier then. But I’m still good and I do miss you. A lot. I hope you get into your permanent flat soon so that we can Skype. I wish we could have talked tonight. I have lots to tell you.

Sam cried on the way home from church today. I was so sad for him.

Miss B and I went to Primary singing time today. She doesn’t like the nursery and she’s too noisy to go to Relief Society. So we were singing with the kids and she was loving it. At the end of Primary, one of the leaders went to the front of the room and got a big bucket of lollipops. She asked how many of the kids read their scriptures the past week. It didn’t have to be every day, but they had to have read scriptures at some point. Lots of kids raised their hands. (Background… the theme this year in Primary is scripture study and the leaders had started an incentive program. We’ve been gone the last two weeks as I was out of town last week and sick the week before so we didn’t know about it.)

The leader started walking the rows asking who had read scriptures and handing out lollipops to those who had. She kept repeating that the kids were on the honor system and they couldn’t have a lollipop if they hadn’t read a scripture.


Needless to say, we haven’t read scriptures this week. (Or the past few weeks – months maybe?) And Sam is too honest to do anything but turn down a lollipop.

And too tenderhearted to do anything but cry on the way home because he was embarrassed and hurt. And then I cried with him. Because Primary shouldn’t make him feel sad or left out.

I’m sure the leaders weren’t meaning to hurt feelings and were just trying to give the kids an incentive to read their scriptures. But… every child should have gotten a lollipop. How about something like, “If you didn’t read a scripture, try to remember this week.” Because isn’t this life all about second chances?

I’m shedding a few tears right now thinking about it. I’m all kinds of emotional. Sam shouldn’t have had to feel bad or embarrassed about himself (or our family) at Primary because his mama failed to read scriptures with him. He should have left happy (sucking on a lollipop) and thinking, I’m going to read scriptures this week!

I’d just like to talk to you, cause there is lots more I’d like to complain about. I need some validation I suppose. I’d like to hear you say, “You’re right. They’re crazy.” You can still say that right? Even though you are official representatives of Christ? You don’t have to convince me to see the other side? I just need to vent and poor Jake has heard it all. I need fresh ears.

I cried a whole lot today. Jake wasn’t sure what to do, so he bought me a Coke. I told Sam I’d buy him a whole bag of lollipops. Instead he and Jake made cupcakes, which had blue frosting and sprinkles… Sam’s choice. You haven’t had a real cupcake until you’ve had one of Jake’s cupcakes. They are divine.

The house was a disaster today. I’m not even exaggerating when I use that word. Some friends stopped by to drop off cookies (no wonder I haven’t lost that 100 pounds yet!) and I could have died of mortification. I’d folded two dozen loads of laundry and most of them had gotten put away, but there was still a lot laying around. Heaps of dirty clothes were on the dining room floor (supposedly in piles waiting to be washed), shoes piled in the entry, dishes strewn everywhere, toys, trash… you name it. I thought for a moment about trying to tidy while we talked, but couldn’t figure out how to do it gracefully. So we just sat in my mess and enjoyed our visit. And the cookies were delicious. I’ve got my work cut out for me tomorrow.

Jake leaves in the morning. He’s going to Barrow for the week. And next week we go to Hawaii. I’m ready for some time alone with Jake. We’re seriously considering putting it at the top of our dream sheet for next year. This trip will help us make the final decision. The dream sheet is due on September 1st. Though we won’t know until next Feb/March time where we’ll be going.

Jacob has been studying up a storm this summer. He’s trying to finish Algebra and a Physics class before he leaves next month for Elevation. Then school starts again. He’s also trying to get the approval for his Eagle project. His proposal is to spruce up a recreation area near one of the beaches here. In fact, it’s at one of the places we went to do your pictures when you were here. High School swimming starts next month too. Dang, the boy is gonna be busy. His busiest year yet, especially with him graduating next summer.

Josh turned 11 last month.


He’s still growing at a crazy rapid pace. He’ll be passing me by in height shortly. He got a bow and arrows for his birthday and is on cloud nine. But more importantly, he’s excited to be a Boy Scout now. He has his first overnight campout next month and can’t contain his excitement. He can recite the Scout Oath and Law with conviction. He puts on his uniform with such pride it makes my heart happy.

He’s excited about our trip to Washington D.C. the end of September. It’s going to be a fantastic experience. He’s saved the money he needed and now he’s ready to go. He’s starting on his Citizenship in the Nation merit badge before we go too.

And then there’s Sam. He’s still quiet and shy, unless you get to know him. He’s so crazy smart. He’s really into figuring out how things work. We have a physics kit that has all kinds of pulleys and axels and who knows what else is in there and he’ll spend all kinds of time figuring out how to make things move and work.

The kids all got bikes a couple weeks ago and we’ve been going on family bike rides. Miss B sits up front on Jake’s bike and is in heaven. We really have a great time. We’ve spent all our time just riding around base and on the peninsula though. Jake is nervous about taking the boys out on the main roads. I told him we need to figure it out if we’re going to take the kids across the country!!

Miss B? She’s still the cutest thing ever. She charms us all daily. We honestly could just sit for hours and talk with her. And often times we do. Today the boys were teaching her to say No Way Jose! It sounded like No Way House!

Today was Week 7 of the 52 Dresses project. I’m loving it. And it gets us to church. Because if I’m already getting her up and dressed, we may as well all go. Is that bad?

Did you see the pictures that I did of that tea party I was planning for her? The one that Elizabeth bought all the stuff for me? Click here and you can see them. We had so much fun doing these pictures. The boys thought it was a hoot. Lots of the glass stuff Elizabeth sent me broke in transit:(and so I ended up using the kids’ tea cups. It added a special touch that I just loved.

I’ve been busy with Simply b. I’ve got quite a few workshops lined up over the next couple months. They are my favorite thing to do. I would teach every weekend if there was a market for it! I’m working on putting together an advanced class for those who have already taken my first class and are looking for a little more. I’ve been toying with the idea for a while, but it seems like it’s time to start moving in that direction. I may also do some one on one mentoring for those who might want to go that way too.

Although it’s only July, I’m already projecting to next year. The rest of this year is full and I’m thinking to when we’ll be heading on a new adventure next summer. I’m excited. I don’t do well pinned down for so long. I think that is much of what is causing my angst. I’m ready for a change. Big time.

Love you. Hope you are doing good. Write back soon. We can’t wait to hear about more of your adventures. Oh! And Mom? I want to tell you about pinterest.com. You will love everything about it. It’s the perfect website for you. I think I’ll set you up an account and start filling boards for you. You have no idea how much you will be addicted. I don’t know if you can do it on your mission or not though. But I hope so.

Kids Worksheets - Lovely kids and awesome photography.

Niki - Love you!

Leslie :~D - I'm no mom or dad, but love this post! :~)

Carl and Lia - i just looked at the pictures from the tea party…so cute! what is the physics set that Sam likes to play with? I would love to get our Sam one like that. Our Sams sound very similar!

Courtney K. - I can completely understand the sense of heartbreak at the little incident with Sam. I agree that no child should have been made to feel bad on account of something like that. And I also agree that Jake's cupcakes are the BEST. He could bake me cupcakes every single day and I'd have no issue with it. Hope you have a great day today!

carey anne photography - Way to go, Sam, for being honest!

Dolly - I think it's a sad situation too-when kids don't get a fair chance at scripture treats. Our ward earns beans in a jar for reading scriptures…then treats when the jar us full-for everyone!

*Love your letter to your parents:) Just read a news report of a man dying and waking up in a morgue in Johannesburg. Poor guy had suffered a asthma attack and was locked in the morgue!!! Did you read that article?

Ben and Megan - My poor Sam. I cried right along with him (and you). Tears are still coming as I right this. I would have lost it. It might be the whole pg thing but whatever. That is my sweet boy! Love you guys! Oh and did you hear we think we might be coming up for Christmas? Would love to see you guys!

PS I now want some cupcakes! Ben and Jake should open that dessert shop you guys were always talking about :)

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