Friday, May 25, 2018

Tears for the Teacher

My tender-hearted daughter was deeply sorrowful the last two nights. With the school year ending, she would never again see her beloved teacher or one of the retiring staff. She wept and sighed for what was lost.

It occurred to me that, while I'm very glad I teach college students rather than elementary students, I doubt any of my students have ever lain in their beds weeping the last day of school because they will miss me. I know I've witnessed many crocodile tears about how they never *ever* plagiarized before and can't understand *how* this could *possibly* have happened. It's not nearly the same thing.

Then again, the elementary teachers don't get to hear the tears of gratitude and love I get to wipe away from their students' eyes either. So, Mrs. Segura, if you happen to stumble across this post someday - you are deeply loved by one adorable little girl.

Thank you. From both of us.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Someone had a birthday last month - JT

Last month, little JT turned 4!

He's big into teddy bears, so he had a teddy bear cake, decorations, and a teddy or two in his gifts.

We spent a little less on gifts this time around so we could do some more activities. He really wanted to ride the horse at WalMart, play on the Nintendo Switch at GameStop, and do a handful of other, store-related activities. We went to the beach at Granbury where he opened up a few beach presents. And of course, many games were played.

A couple weeks ago we finished the celebration. We drove out to Fort Worth - watching movies in the car all the way - where we went (Mario) Go Karting. (That's one reason this post is so late.) Unfortunately, JT decided it was too fast and was just a little too scary for my adventurous 4-yr old. So the rest of us went around the track enough times for me to feel sick to my stomach and a good time was had by n-1 people.

At Cici's pizza, we played arcade games and I helped him win a few games of air hockey.

He was so eager to play Mario games on the Wii U that it was hard to convince him to go with us to the beach. Joy had to convince him that we could do both.

He got a lot of books, and paused opening presents every time he got a book to read it a bit.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Things my kids say - I don't want to get married

Trying on his daddy's hat
We had a lovely time last night attending the 25th anniversary of some dear friends. There was a slide show of happy memories. When they got to some wedding pictures, little John-Thomas pointed out that "She looks like a princess!"

Joy explained that every bride looks like a princess on her wedding day.

JT didn't have to think about that one much. "Then I don't want to get married."

What? Why?

"I don't like princesses!"

But, JT, it'll be your princess!

"I don't like princess! All girls look like princesses when they get married, so I will never get married!"

File under: things to mention in my wedding toast ~20 years from now.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Some Easter pictures

JT was not much in the mood for an egg hunt - he had just woken up from a Sunday nap - but he did eventually get into the swing of it and find some eggs without help.
Pop and Grandma sent the kids some presents to go with their Easter baskets. JT, who was already into teddy bears, has been mildly obsessed since. He sure loves his little bear!

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

A Sunday Confession

Sunday morning I was on a roll. Did some prep for seminary, breakfast in bed for Joy, all the kids bathed and dressed for church, and I even had a few minutes left over to do some extra gospel study before we left. I lounged by the front door studying a General Conference address from 1903, where Elder Abraham O. Woodruff (son of Wilford Woodruff) was telling the congregation to be more diligent about the little things.
If I were choosing a body of men who could be depended upon to always do the right thing in this kingdom, I would choose men who ... uphold the lesser as well as the higher Priesthood; and who are good, reliable men in the respective wards, not men who work only on dress parade. Almost any one will do that, but it is not every one who will get down and dig, who will work in the wards, and labor diligently for the upbuilding of the kingdom of God when probably they are seen only by the Lord. … It is in these little affairs of life that we show our love for the work of God. If we really love the work, there is nothing, no matter how small it may be, that we will not be glad to do for the upbuilding of the kingdom, whether it be seen of men or not. God sees and knows our labors, and he will reward us sooner or later, according to the deeds done in the flesh. Therefore, I pray that we may give more attention to the details of life.
Feeling self-satisfied, I agreed thoroughly. We need more reliable people who will do what they say and do the little things, though unnoticed, to serve and make things work. Absolutely.

We left early for church so I could warm up on the organ before the Mother's Day program. As we entered the hallway, I noticed a speck of something on the floor. Then another couple specks. Then a whole crumbled cookie. ...

At first I thought whoever had been in charge of cleaning the church this week had not been terribly attentive to detail. Then it started to look like they hadn't done a thing! I turned to Joy to comment on it when I remembered.


We had both completely forgotten. We never wrote it on the calendar. I was working all day and night grading papers and had been so feeling rotten at one point I got some substitutes to finish off seminary for me the last week. It was our turn!

Our little family kicked into overdrive, alone there in the church - pick up every speck we can find, put out the rest of the chairs, organize the hymnals, make sure there's toilet paper ... ooo and a couple other things to take care of in there, oh dear.

And this little voice said to me - very smugly - "not every one will get down and dig, who will work in the wards, and labor diligently for the upbuilding [NOTICE THE BUILDING IN THAT PHRASE, DERRILL?] the upBUILDING of the kingdom of God when probably they are seen only by the Lord. … It is in these little affairs of life [I think you missed a little affair over there] that we show our love for the work of God. ..."

Oh dear. I think we got the place mostly-acceptable before church started. If you noticed something amiss, it's my fault. I'm sorry. I'll do better next time. 

Monday, April 30, 2018

First day of preschool

Why? Because he kept asking to go. So we'll let him try it out 3x a week for 2 weeks.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Someone had a birthday - Superstar

Superstar turned 10 years old in March. His birthday was very much a football affair. The table was a football field, the ice cream cake was a football field, and his favorite presents included two new footballs, two pairs of football gloves, an electronic football board game with two teams to go with them (Packers and Cowboys). That Friday he had a couple friends over to help him through the pigskin around. Saturday we had fun as a family. Sunday he asked that we save one more present for him to open. (In case anyone was wondering, the reason he opted to have one cast orange and one cast white is for the Texas Longhorns.)

Before breaking his right wrist just a week later, he was talking about his future career in the NFL.

He has also enjoyed a multi-shooting nerf gun, a Land of Stories book on CD, a set of Five Crowns cards, and a few other presents that escape me while I try to get to bed. I'll have to ask Superstar another time if there's anything else he wants to add. Sorry it's late showing up.

Joy agrees that having friends over was the best part of his birthday.

Actually, the Five Crowns story is mildly interesting (very mild). We don't do face cards, so he has had to use Wackee Six cards to make a deck of Five Crowns. We bought him a set of Five Crowns Jr, which has no face cards, only to discover it's not quite the same game. Phooey. (I mean, the Jr is fun enough, but it isn't what he wanted). So we bought three sets of Rook cards. The first two sets give us four colors, doubled up of cards labeled 3-13; the third set Joy and Superstar recolored using markers to give us a fifth color. So now we have a proper set of Five Crowns cards, which he enjoys having very much.

Speaking of card games, Mom, you might like to hear that he was playing with your Lehi's Dream cards today.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Things my kids say - Mar 2018

Princess has taken to calling Swedish fish "Sweety fishie", or maybe it's "Swedey fishie".

Princess has discovered joke books. Our favorite recently:
Why was Dr. Frankenstein so popular? ... He was always making friends.

The kids have decided they really like listening to Uncle Steve's band singing "It's My Life." Their favorite line is "Like Frankie said, I did it my way." So I introduced My Way to Superstar this morning and explained what he was singing about. By the end, Superstar was concerned and asked if he was a good man or not. I said he wasn't talking so much about whether his actions were good or not, but explained that he was admitted that he was an agent to act and not be acted upon (2nd Nephi 2:14) and was taking responsibility for his actions, whatever they were. He then clarified, "Did he do it God's way too?" I like the way that boy thinks! May our ways always be His!

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Superstar sings

For his class program, Superstar's class did a salute to Nothing But the Blues (that happened to include pre-blues, jazz, and rock). The kids were more or less in costume. Ours told us about a costume as we were walking out the door, for instance, but the speakers were well-prepared in flapper girl dresses, Elvis wigs, Ray Charles sunglasses, and Beach Boy Hawaiian shirts. The songs were fun, the kids did a great job, and I only have eyes for my boy. So here he is doing his solo:

And here he is dancing:
As someone complimented his great singing voice, they generously said that he must take after his mom and dad. Superstar looked over at me skeptically, then replied, "Well, my mom anyway." *HA* True, dat.

You may have noticed the sling. He fractured his wrist over spring break - fell off his scooter racing downhill and took a bad slide. Nothing too serious, especially now that it's protected in a cast. He's a stoic little guy who doesn't complain.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Hi, buds

Yesterday, the barest few buds were on the tree. Today, 1/4 of the tree has leaves. After this week's rain it should be looking pretty good!