Sunday, April 5, 2015

Volume XI, issue iii, March 2015

The Littlest Leprechaun

Our littlest leprechaun is transitioning into more "adult" ways of expressing himself and leaving some of the "baby speak" behind. This month he said one of our favorites for the last time. It pained me to hear him say "Macaroni and Cheese" because we all adored how he referred to it as "Pony Cheese."

One day before Joy School, I informed him that he'd be going to Abby's house that day. His expressive rose-bud lips opened wide in horror and he exclaimed: "At Abby's house there are people! BABY people! And they hit!" Abby has a two-year-old brother who is currently a "non-hitter in training."

The other moms were green with envy because I was the one who got to have Joy School at her house on St. Patrick's day. These cute three-year-olds were shocked and amazed at all of the leprechaun footprints running up our front walk and over our front door and into our house. When they followed the footprints into the kitchen and saw the dirty dishes that Holden had left undone the night before, they gasped. Knowing that three-year-olds are the most horribly awful and terrifyingly vocal judges of the state of cleanliness of one's house, I usually end up stressing out as I am scrubbing and straightening and fine-tuning the house before they get here. But on St Patrick's Day, I had deliberately decided to let the dirty dishes wait for Holden to get home from school rather than doing them myself because I had concocted a wonderful, awful, grinchy idea.

I immediately said with enthusiasm, "Oh my goodness! Look what the LEPRECHAUN did!! Can you believe he left such a mess!" These professional cleanliness critics were uniformly disgusted and appalled.  I grinned and enjoyed their toddler indignation, knowing that for once it wasn't directed at me or my house.

I Triple Dog DARE You
Our Eve was one of the winners of the DARE program's essay contest. She's like a brunette version Anne of Green Gables, but with a sense of irony.

We got a text from Eric's sister, Noelle, in March asking us to facetime her. When we did, Noelle, Marvin, and Matthew were eating dinner at a restaurant, so they asked us to call back in an hour. When they gave us the fantastic news that they'll be moving to Boise, we all cheered aloud and danced around. Eve cried out, "I knew it! I knew it!

I asked her how she knew it, and she replied, "Well, I just looked at context clues and made an inference." Well, of course you did, Eve! She continued matter-of-factly, "They were eating at a restaurant for dinner. You usually eat at a restaurant whey you're stressed or when you have something to celebrate. I thought that if they were moving closer to us that maybe they would be stressed about moving, but excited to move closer to us." Thanks, my adorable little Sherlock.


When details about her day at school came gushing forth at the dinner-table as they usually do, Eve described an assignment her teacher had given them which required her and a partner to establish a government for their own country. She took a pause between lively adjectives and said, "It was quite intense!"


She leaned forward in her seat as we ran an errand together and asked, "Do you know what caused me great sorrow, Mom?" I couldn't imagine what would cause my cheerfully empathetic little sprite that kind of sadness. She went on, "At the end of a book I just finished they didn't say whether the main character died or not. They implied it. . . but they didn't come right and say it!"

In the following video, you will hear the 5th graders at Madison Middle School belt out what each of the letters in DARE stands for. Listen carefully for how it says that "E" means "I will Educate Me." Nice. I'm going to go and have a stroke now.

Holden's "Real" First Date
Holden has a friend that we refer to as his "Book Buddy." They sit on the bus together and talk about books (and if they talk about other things, I don't want to know about it). Her 16th birthday was this month, and Holden wanted to return a cherished book she had let him borrow with a bookmark that asked her out on a date. He quoted the book and incorporated the exposition into his question. He also made her a giant chocolate chip cookie to sweeten the deal.

It was pretty darn cute if I do say so myself. How could she possibly refuse? (If you're wondering how I got such a cute side-by-side comparison photo when I obviously don't live at her house, I have to admit that I'm friends with her Mom and we text sometimes. . . about our kids. . . and things.)
Holden picked her up for the date after a hearty helping of dating etiquette advice from his parents. I told him that he shouldn't pick her up one minute earlier than he had said he would, which meant that the friend he was doubling with was waiting for him at the restaurant for about three entire minutes. Holden received a panicked phone call from his friend (who was also on his first date) saying, "Where are you, Dude?" Thank goodness I never have to return to such gloriously awkward moments!

Holden and his date were on the opposite end of the stress spectrum and just enjoyed each others company as good friends. (Stop it! Stop thinking that I'm in denial just because I'm his mother! They are really just friends. Stop it! Why are you laughing at me like that?)

Caleb's First Sacrament Meeting Talk
Please imagine our wonderfully understated boy standing in front of a congregation of about 300 people wearing his yellow bow-tie and suit-coat with a constant grin wiggling only at the corners of his mouth and threatening to overtake his face.

Somehow sweet Caleb managed to appear completely somber to the casual observer, even when the audience was cracking up as his dry wit.

Good morning….For my topic I chose “Are we really converted to the church?” We read in Luke 22:32 (read scripture) I thought that was an important message “Art thou converted?” An example of trying to be more converted is when I was told to give a talk for example. I didn’t want to do it but, I tried to stay positive about it. I wasn’t as  converted as I could have been but I did it. . . but I didn’t do it with very much willingness.
Another example is a story about my great grandpa, Orval Hafen.  Orval was in a stake presidency in St. George, Utah that had a small town in Arizona called Mt Trumbull that was in their stake boundaries. He wrote in his journal about three brethren on the high council who were assigned to drive sixty miles on Sunday to visit the saints in Mt. Trumbull. There was a gravel road that was rough on their cars and the branch was so far away from St. George. Two of  them would groan and make excuses not to go.One of them complained that the stake presidency always assigned him to go. The stake presidency found out that this brother had only been once in the past three years. Orval contrasted this man with their youngest high councilor who was always willing to go. Orval wrote that this young man was “always willing to perform every call we have made on him.” Orval then wrote, “Is a man really converted if he isn’t willing to make a sacrifice for [the church]?” I like Orval’s point . Imagine what would happen if people wouldn’t sacrifice for the church. Things wouldn’t get done. People might not come to church and many other things.
My last example happened a few years ago when it was stake conference. I just didn’t want to go because I was about seven or eight-ish  and a seven to eight year old might not have the best attention span. I went and I thought that it wouldn’t be interesting and that it would just be boring but, I was willing to make the sacrifice and it was really nice to me when they spoke. I think that we should try to be more converted and make “sacrifices” even if it doesn’t seem beneficial to you it will be at least to somebody else, and I say these things…..        

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