To quote Ferris Bueller, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while you could miss it."
I have so much to catch up on, so here's a pretty fast rundown of my recent life...in reverse:
1. Karate belt test and 2. Beowulf:
I already posted about these before I decided to catch up in reverse order. So keep on scrolling past this post and you'll find them.
3. Spring break in Nauvoo:
We drove the kiddos to Nauvoo, Illinois, for a tour of that historic place. We had twelve hours (each way) of bonding in the car. (When I say bonding, of course, I actually mean hearing "are we in Nauvoo yet?" for twelve hours, interspersed with occasional songs.)
We stayed with friends who were very gracious and generous hosts. They even watched the kids so my husband and I could attend the Nauvoo temple. The rest of our activities were very kid-friendly: we went on a wagon ride through the city and saw fun demonstrations of frontier life in the mid-1800's. We also gained an appreciation for the early pioneers who fled religious persecution in Missouri and took refuge in this swampy land by the Mississippi River and made it a beautiful, prosperous city before being forced to migrate westward.
I remember hearing many times that these people endured hardships because of their faith, and that if we have faith we will also be able to endure all that we must face in our lifetimes. That is absolutely true.
As a -- pardon the pun -- side trip, I should mention that during the ride home we decided to read a novel together. I chose Tuck Everlasting, which is on Laura Bush's list of favorite children's literature. (I own all the books on her list.) Tuck Everlasting is a wonderful story that makes you think about whether you would choose to live forever at the same age. It was obviously relevant and very blog-worthy. We had some thoughtful discussions as a family (in-between songs and "Are we home yet?" questions).
4. Homecoming Day:
We traditionally celebrate our son's "homecoming day" with a family picture. You'll see it in my earlier post (below) -- we're in our karate uniforms.
5. Lego my Party:
I mentioned our son's birthday a while ago. He turned the big seven. I remember telling my mom how amazing it was that the little baby boy we brought home is now seven years old. She responded by telling me how amazing it was that the little baby girl she brought home is now that little boy's mom.
We celebrated with a Lego-themed party. In my completely unbiased opinion as the half-brains behind the event, I thought it was fabulous. The cake was easier this year (compared to last year's Star Wars/R2D2 cake). I made the number seven out of Lego-brick shapes constructed of cake rectangles topped with Oreo cookies to make the "bumps". We had freestyle building contests where everyone got an award for something like "Most Creative Use of Green Blocks", etc. We had them team up and race to build something from a pattern. We did the pinata. My husband made a 2-D donkey out of Legos, and they had to pin a Lego "tail" on the donkey. They had to guess how many Legos were in a jar. And so on. We had a fun time, and it was a joy once again to celebrate another birthday with my boy.
6. By this shall men know...
My Relief Society president was eager to know the outcome of my last MRI, so as soon as I left the doctor's office I gave her a call with the good news. She was elated, and asked if she could come by for a visit. We arranged a time early in the following afternoon.
I expected her to come either alone or with her counselors and secretary. However, when I opened the door to greet her I was surprised to find that there were many cars pulling up and parking in front of my house. Women from church were coming by the droves, wearing yellow shirts and carrying yellow helium balloons, and rushing in with hugs and congratulations. One brought a bouquet of yellow flowers. Another brought a platter of cupcakes with homemade yellow icing. Another brought Krispy Kreme donuts with lemon filling. (Someone pointed out to me that the yellow theme was symbolic of the yellow Livestrong bracelet that I always wear.) It was a surprise party -- FOR ME!!
It was so wonderful to share this happy moment with my "sisters." As I absorbed this parade of kind friends, eager to celebrate with me, I remembered an earlier parade. Two years ago, when I couldn't drive and I couldn't even lift my own daughter, these same women were at my doorstep with a continuous stream of service to meet my every need. They were there for me when things were really bad, and now they are here for me while I enjoy a season of good news. Some women could not come to the celebration, but they sent cards and emails, they phoned me and they hugged me the next Sunday in church.
Many thanked ME for inspiring them. I thought it was funny. All I did was keep breathing for the past 27 months. They were the ones who took care of me and my family. They prayed and fasted and exercised great faith on my behalf. They are the ones who have inspired me and kept me going.
Every time I consider all that has been done for me I kept remembering John 13:35: "By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another."
I have been in the midst of many disciples.