End of August...
I met Nori Mason down at BYU and we attended Education Week together. The classes were amazing. The first one was on organization. She basically said to get rid of half of what you own so that there is less to organize and then have a place for everything. She also talked about the importance of being early and to plan an extra 20 minutes in to handle last minute emergencies so that you are always on time. She talked about the importance of establishing routines (exercise, meals times, Visiting Teaching, Temple attendance, paying tithes and fast offerings, etc.). She said to do what is sufficient. By small and simple things, great things come to pass. The next class was taught by a woman who has 12 children. She was Mother of the Year in 2011 and her husband was a mission president in Texas. Her class was on the importance of teaching your kids to love the Lord, pray, read the scriptures, have Family Home Evening, and to have wholesome recreational activities together. She said to keep trying and to do the best you can and then turn the rest over to the Lord. No one is perfect, but we need to keep striving to do better. The next class was on the effect of different parenting styles: Controlling, Permissive, Nurturing, Anxiety (reactive), Overprotective, Democratic, Organized, and Spontaneous. He said the best parenting approach is to individualize to each child. Our job is to do the best we can to teach, train, respond to needs, and to turn the rest over to the Lord. Next we went to a class on Food Storage. Last, we went to a really interesting class on the effects of using family history work in the State prison to help inmates change their lives. The presenter told of many incidents where working on family history truly changed hearts.
It was very tender.
Super fun week. Luke started junior high at Lehi! Tim got to go with him on his first day. He did great. They did a tour of the school, decorated his locker, made comics on an iPad and had chocolate milkshakes. It was just the seventh graders. His teacher Mr. Lindberg said to expect him to be a bit grumpy when he came home the next day, because there would be eighth and ninth graders, and it would be a lot more noise and crazy, but he wasn't. He came home happy all week. I've heard and seen that he kids at Lehi treat the special needs kids like celebrities, which is cool, and says a lot about them!
We visited Rick's new apartment in Logan. He found a table, chairs, lamp, end table that someone was just throwing out. They are in good condition, it is crazy they were being thrown away, but I guess that's what happens in College towns where people have to move quickly. Good thing for Rick because his apartment looks awesome and has a comfy feeling in it. He said it reminds him of his mission apartments. I think your Dad got a picture. It is on the top floor of a three story building. You would love it! We went to dinner and had a nice visit. He is working hard everyday, paying for his own car, apartment, utilities, and saving for college. The ceramic you made for him is sitting on his dresser. It is weird to me that he is so grown up, but I like visiting with him as an adult. He is very wise and I am learning a lot from him. Read his missionary journal and he says in it how he misses you. Hard to believe it will be four years until you are together again! It was neat for me to see the growth that happened while he was in Japan doing a variety of things, some of them hard, but you can see the growth that came from it.
After a good visit with Rick, we went to Bountiful for Nick Fower's reception he married a girl who grew up on a farm in Washington. She has long red hair and freckles. They were married in the Salt Lake Temple (same as us). Not sure how they met because Nick goes to U of U and she goes to BYU (rivals), but they make a cute couple. We saw many friends we knew in Japan. Bishop Koelling and his wife, the Folsoms, Nori Mason was there, and Jaylynn and Christine Anderson. They lived in Mitaka when we were in Koganei-shi and they gave us wooden bunk beds that we still use today. We used to meet at Nogawa Park all the time. They had two boys and we exchanged babysitting a lot. Anyway, they know Brian's mission president and his secretary, Sister Bodell because they were in the same ward in Sandy. Small world, right?
We had dinner at Grandma Stout's house. Tim showed her the slideshow from the Choate reunion. It was fun. She made a pot roast. Heidi and Ken came over too. Tim, Ken, and David gave mom a blessing. Then, David asked for one so they gave one to him too. Rick and Shauna and John came over too, which Todd loved of course.