Friday, November 13, 2015

3 Callings

In July our Ward split. I had been serving as the primary president. This was a very time consuming and busy calling so I was happy to be released and then not immediately called right back into that calling in the new ward. However, I now have three callings.  I have almost always served in Primary. I have been Nursery leader, Sunbeam Teacher and in the presidency for years and years. Almost my entire married life that is where I served.  I was asked to lead the music in Sacrament Meeting and also to play the piano for Relief Society. I have never been given musical callings. I am really not all that musical so these were somewhat of a surprise to me. But with the split of the ward almost all the piano players were seemed to stay in the old ward.  I had played piano at a Baptism a few months before the split because they were desperate for someone in a pinch and I was there as the representative of the primary. I had never played for anything before and certainly not to accompany anyone and here I was suddenly forced to play on someone's special day. It wasn't a stellar performance and I had to fudge my way through a bit because my nerves got the better of me.

My music training is a bit limited! I have been teaching myself to play the piano the last few years.  I took piano lessons lessons for about a year or so when I was about 8 or 9 but never really got very good at it. I played flute in band starting in 4th grade and switched to Euphonium in High School. I credit 4 years of high school band to helping me get into BYU. I remember writing my application essay about band. I didn't play in college. I started to play flute in the community band a few years ago and enjoyed that but really felt like I needed to learn to play piano. So I pulled out my piano lesson books and the Primary songbook and started there. I could read music so that wasn't the hard part. I just had to train my brain to read both the bass and treble clefs at the same time and get my hands to respond. It was slow progress!  I started my kids in piano lessons and it certainly helped that I could play at least a little bit better than they could, that way I could help them.  Still playing primary songs was really difficult for me. I picked one and worked on that one. Slowly getting more accurate. I tried to play for my kids to sing along and it would all fall apart. Having people sing along really threw me off.  But over the years I had taught myself to play a few of the Primary songs. I usually tried to learn the ones that were being sung for the primary program that year.  That is about where I was when I was suddenly faced with playing piano at that Baptism. I could play I am a Child of God, If the Savior Stood beside me, and a few others. So I did alright with prelude music and fumbled through the opening song. Thank goodness there wasn't any musical number planned!

When faced with a calling to play piano, even if it is only for Relief Society, it was a bit daunting to me. I could only play a handful of primary songs. The Hymn book scared me! But I have always been taught to say yes to a calling so I tentatively said yes.  I knew playing for RS would be a great training ground and that I could stumble my way through and the ladies wouldn't be too particular. So for the past few months I have been learning Hymns. Every week I prepare two songs to play. Sometimes I throw in a primary song but I have tried really hard to practice Hymns. I am amazed at my progress. I can actually play Hymns that only a few months before would have been scary to me. My kids get tired of me playing the same Hymns over and over again for a week but I do enjoy practicing.

My calling to lead music in Sacrament Meeting isn't too strenuous.  I arrive to church a little early, grab a program and change the Hymn numbers posted on the board at the front of the chapel and then quickly look at the Hymns that were chosen for the day. In our ward the Hymns for Sacrament meeting are chosen by a Music chair person. Even the organist doesn't get a whole lot of notice. This usually isn't a big deal. I only have to wave my arm but there have been a few times I was bemused by the time signature. Who really knows how to lead a song in 9/8 especially when the rest of the song was in 3/4 and it switched in the middle. I have been told my facial expressions are fun to watch as I lead because they can always tell what I am thinking. I guess I am not to good at faking it. Thank goodness most people don't even watch the conductor and the organist is nice enough to just ignore me when I don't have a clue. How does one conduct when the song starts with a fanfare? I should know such things but I don't. It is all a learning experience for me.

My third calling isn't music, I am a Cub Scout Bear leader. I get to have 9 year old boys over to my house once a week. Ian and Henry have already moved on from Bears. Ian is already an official Boy Scout and Henry is a Webelos scout. However, having had two boys go through cub scouts and having already seen scouts from the Primary President's perspective, it really isn't too difficult. The new Cub Scout program is a bit different but still fun.

So I am kept busy learning Hymns and planning scout meetings. Even with these three callings I still feel like I am getting a break after being Primary President for over a year. Far less meetings and way less daily headache. Besides I get to attend Sunday School and Relief Society every Sunday.

Monday, November 2, 2015


Friday Night was the adult dress up party. 
 Sorry turned out rather dark.
 Here are the kids ready to head out to trick or treat. Sophie wore her beautiful purple Merida dress that Grandma made for her. Sophie was a little leary of going out trick or treating but evidently there were kids of all ages and even adults out in the neighborhood knocking on doors. Halloween isn't just for little kids anymore!
 Henry the crayon.

 Ian wore his dad's El Nino costume. Looked really great in the dark. He got lots of comments on how creative it was.
 Molly was very excited to be Madeline Hatter from Ever After High. I made the wig and hat to go along with the dress she found and just had to have!
It was a successful candy haul and everyone had a good time.


Sophie has never been a really competitive girl. Basketball last spring was the only real sports she has ever played.  Since she is in High School this year and they require P.E. We tried to find a physical activity that she could participate in this fall. She does go on bike rides with us quite a bit and jumps on the trampoline but I thought Yoga would be a good fit for her.

I bought her a new DVD with a lady instructor that does a really good job explaining the different poses and isn't one of those instructors that can fold into a pretzel. She seemed very normal. Sophie seems to enjoy the stretches.

 I am happy that she has found something she likes to do that also fulfills the requirement for P.E.

Ian's School work

Ian is taking a full load of classes from Williamsburg Academy. His Humanities class is studying South America so he had been learning all about Mayan, Aztecs and Incas. 

 He built a Mayan temple out of legos for one assignment.
Tested the properties of rubber for another.

 His STEM class is learning about the human body.  He had to build a skeleton out of paper mache.

These "bones" have been on our porch with a pumpkin for a head for most of the month acting as our Halloween decorations. 
 He made a heart out of play dough.
 And had to get some cardio exercise.

 This boy is really enjoying his studies this year and works really hard on his assignments each day. I thought it would be a hard transition to online classes for him. Sophie had trouble her first semester but I guess having an older sibling who already takes classes made it simple for this kid!

BYU Barbie

A friend of ours gave Molly an old Barbie she had stored away. It was still in the box but from 10+ years ago. Molly was thrilled to receive such a fun "out of the blue" gift.

 We love that her feet aren't bent for high heels. She wears athletic shoes and has flat feet.

 Molly has a number of Barbie like dolls that are Disney Princesses but this is the first official Barbie.

Catching up

October came and is now gone. How does it seem to fly by so quickly!

 We have been doing a lot of the usual and these pictures show the usual state of our house. Ian and Henry, when not on the computer playing Minecraft are noses deep in a book. Sophie flits about from classes and assignments or just listening to music and sketching in her room. Molly almost always has the blocks dumped out all over the floor and is building marble runs or castles for her ponies. There is always a stack of books or actually the books are more likely to just be strewn all around the room.  It is hard to keep up with the clutter and mess these kids create each day.

Having four kids doing 4 different things makes it hard to fit everything in. When they were all little and we did our school work mostly together it was easier to really explore topics and get really into subjects. I don't feel like we do that at all now. Poor Molly gets quite a different early elementary education than the older ones.  I just try to keep the kids on task mostly. They have assignments from their online classes and I just remind them to work on them. I am more of the homework helper now than the teacher. That makes me a little sad but the kids do enjoy attending classes and getting to interact with other kids and teachers. I guess I just miss the simple school days when Sophie and Ian were little and we did school all together mostly and we dragged Henry and baby Molly around the neighborhood looking at trees and birds and plants. But kids get older and they have different needs. Now the kids all have classes, clubs, and sports that pull them in different directions. Which is why I blog a lot less I think. I am more of a spectator and or facilitator and less involved. I don't even take many pictures anymore.

The soccer season ended finally. My afternoons are free again. coaching two teams was fun but really ate up my afternoons. Henry's team only lost two games all season. We just happened to loose the very last one which is the one that counted. His team ended up taking 2nd. It was a hard loss since we had beat that team 3 times already this season. But the day of the tournament that decided the ranks the team got tired and they lost their energy. Plus it was Halloween and everyone just wanted to get to parties and go trick or treating. Their hearts and energy wasn't in it.

Molly's team didn't keep score so they didn't have a rank. But there were 4 girls teams in her level and they easily beat one team each time they played and were well matched with another. There was one team that had a girl who looked quite a bit bigger than our girls and she dominated the field. Molly was scared each time we played them. But the girls all had fun. I am happy the season is over!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Soccer Rules our Lives!

Soccer season is always busy. Henry loved playing last year so had to play again this year. That means two practices a week and a game every Saturday.  I was asked to be the assistant coach for his team and that has been fun but also time consuming. Henry's team is doing well this year. Last year he was on a team that lost most of the time. This year his team is undefeated and at the moment at the top of the ranks. Not that this proves I am a good coach. The kids just have pulled together as a team and play the positions they are given well. 
 Molly too decided to play soccer this year. And I was asked to coach her team.
 They had enough girls in her age bracket to form teams of just girls. So I get to spend time with these little ladies trying to teach them how to play soccer.

I am finding this age and group of girls quite a challenge.  These are very social girls who are mostly Kindergarden age with a few first graders.  Some have played before but mostly they are a new to the sport. I feel like I am "herding cats".  There are a few that especially don't listen and don't like to run. Molly is one of them. They loose every game. Good thing we don't keep score. But at least there is always a fun snack after each game.

Coaching both of these teams means I do soccer 4 days a week and most of Saturday mornings. It is starting to wear on me and my family looks forward to when the season is over and we can return to having actual meals and not thrown together stuff or just cereal for dinner