Brad & Hannah’s Wedding

We arrived in Utah today for a one week vacation to celebrate Brad’s wedding to Hannah. I’ve noticed how peaceful and quiet it is here in the mountains. Ryan and Karin have grown and matured considerably, and the Hyatts have a new deck near the pool. Brad’s wedding will take place on Saturday. They look like a perfect couple — cheery smiles and radiant faces.

    
                                                                              
    

Called as second counselor in branch presidency

I was called as the second counselor in the branch presidency today. I knew I should wear a suit for the occasion (being set apart and all by the stake president), but I didn’t have a matching suit that fit, so I ended up borrowing my Dad’s, which was a little big, but it was all right. I was pretty hot and uncomfortable all day because I’m not used to wearing a suit jacket, but everything went well. I think it is a calling that I can do well in. Everything is just a? issue of time for me.

I need to learn how to prioritize my life — balancing the Suncoast chapter with my ITT-Tech side job, freelance, basketball, Jane and the two kids, the upcoming baby, and of course my full-time RJ job. I am planning to attend weekly meetings on Wednesdays instead of playing basketball. I will start jogging during lunch or something and get my exercise in then, because there’s no other time that I will get that in. My fear is that by trying to do too much, I will end up doing everything mediocre. That’s not what I want.

I have another theory about the multiple activities — at some point, they begin to fuel each other. The leadership skills I learn from being a second counselor will help me do a better job with the Suncoast chapter, and so forth. Maybe I will learn to pray about chapter issues! And perhaps the scheduling of the Suncoast chapter will help me do better planning with the branch.

Avery’s First Day of School

Tuesday, August 8, 2006 was Sally’s first day of kindergarten at Melrose Elementary School. We visited the school the day before and saw her classroom and her teacher, Miss Ruffin. Sally was a bit disappointed to see that Miss Ruffin is not the teacher we talked to at the Open House in June (the one who has the milkweed plants and butterflies in the classroom). On the way home, Sally said, "Why do I have to have a black teacher? I just want a teacher who is white like me." She also wished her teacher had long hair (at least she is consistently superficial). I was quite stumped for a minute or two. We try to embrace racial diversity at home and church. Unfortunately, some of our neighbors are not great examples–the drug dealers on the corner and the lady at the bus stop this morning who was yelling and swearing at us not to touch her fence, for example.

I tried to explain to Sally that we need to have an open mind about people whatever they look like–Miss Ruffin will probably turn out to be the nicest, smartest teacher ever. How would she like it, I asked, if Daddy came home from work and said he’d decided he only wanted daughters with green eyes like him, or if he told me he only wanted a wife with red hair like his? She conceded that this would hurt our feelings. Sally wanted to ride the bus to school, but I convinced her to let me drive her for the first day. We signed her in and got her settled in Miss Ruffin’s room. I joined the PTA and Susan and I ran a bunch of errands (including a visit to the utility office to get our water bill adjusted since Dick has turned out to have awesome plumbing abilities and fixed our toilets–finally!).

Sally’s bus was about 20 minutes late getting her home. Susan and I had our sunhats and cold water, and the walk is short, but it sure was hot waiting. Sally told us the story of The Kissing Hand and said that Miss Ruffin was really nice. She enjoyed eating in the cafeteria (though she only had time to eat half of the lunch we’d packed) and naptime the best. We signed all her papers for her to take back to school–holy papers, this is kindergarten, right? The school seems very on top of things and motivated to make this year a good experience for Sally. I am relieved that the first day is over!