Yes, I know my header is reeeally in need of a makeover.
Life has been B.U.S.Y.
A little catching up...
Between school and work, Tom is pretty much always working on something. This last semester he helped teach a Women in the Bible class, and this next semester he is teaching Intro to Islam. He loves his students and will do pretty much anything to help them succeed, if they are willing to put in the work. He is on campus a lot, and even when he's home, he's not really home because there is always so much to do. As always, I am so proud of how hard Tom works. I'm even more proud of him for how hard he tries every day to spend time with me and the kids. He is always trying to balance work/school and family life. I think he does a pretty good job at it.
Joni is still enjoying Kindergarten. I am amazed at how well, and how quickly, she learns (yay for English!). She's definitely got her daddy's brain, not mine. Her teacher says she's very observant of all that goes on around her. If she (the teacher) starts to get flustered or upset, she'll look at Joni to see if she needs to calm down. Her teacher says she's friends with everybody, and makes special efforts to be nice to the kids in the class that everyone else seems to have a hard time with. At the end of each school day, she loves to give me a play-by-play of all that went on. Joni is a very special little girl, and we are so blessed to have her in our family.
Jackson... ohh, Jackson. He's my crazy little 3 year old. He loves to cuddle and give kisses, but then other times he will come up to me and say, "Mom, I just want to HIT somebody." And he does. He has tormenting his sister down to an art. But he's so darn cute, we can't help but love him. Another one of his favorite phrases is, "Mom, you're ruining my LIFE!!!" I'm pretty sure he learned that from a Barbie movie we rented one time when the kids were sick. Jackson knows all of his letters and their sounds, and he loves to count. He also LOVES anything with wheels - cars, trains, trucks, tractors... you get the idea. When it's his turn to pray at family prayer, he prays that Percy, Thomas, and James will be able to stop on the tracks on time and that something (can never understand what) will get out of the way.
As for me, I received the shock of my life several weeks ago when our bishop asked me to be the Young Women's President in our ward. I have never felt so shocked and dismayed. I still wonder sometimes what the heck the bishop was thinking. I'm much too big of an idiot to be in charge of 42 teenage girls. There were audible gasps in the ward the day they called me - no joke. I still feel like a fish out of water, and probably will for some time, but I just keep plugging along. I no longer know what free time is like on Sundays or Wednesdays, and Joni and Jackson do not like all the meetings I have. I'm slowly getting to know the girls, and they thoroughly amaze me. They are so much more put together than I was at that age. I'm pretty sure I am in this calling to learn from them.
We have had a great holiday season as a family. Joni and I made a big Thanksgiving feast together. She was horrified at the "rotten chicken" we were brining and cooking. I think I've traumatized her for life. Tom's parents gave us a surprise visit about a week before Christmas. It was a short visit, but we really enjoyed seeing them. Since then, we have all managed to get sick with colds and flus, but it was still one of the best Christmas holidays we have ever had. We are so happy to have each other, and to have a Savior that was willing to be born on this earth and fulfill His mission.
It has been a good year. Coming home from Jerusalem has obviously been a lot easier than going there in the first place. I still feel like I need to pinch myself sometimes when I am driving around shopping, or when I am able to share the gospel with somebody. I appreciate everything so much more, and I hope that doesn't go away.
Year in review, in pictures.....
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYBODY!