Sunday, May 31, 2015

Like a Lamb to the Slaughter

May 24 - 30, 2015

Sunday 05.24
When we woke up that morning Kurt said, "Today is the day that changes our lives forever."
The nerves completely accompanied that statement.
I kinda went through Vale 1st in a fog. And then church was over. We drove to Nyssa. I asked Kurt how he was doing {he has been completely excited and ready to get to work throughout the waiting to be set apart process - unlike my constant desire to puke.} He said he felt like a lamb going to the slaughter. I couldn't have described better myself.

The missionaries asked me to play the organ again. My hands were shaking so badly - nerves from what was going to happen - I had to exercise a lot of inner focus to get it together so I could play the hymns. After the sacrament I sat down with the family. The missionary conducting turned the time over to President Timmons. He announced the names of the Branch Presidency, asked for our sustaining vote and then they went to sit on the stand. The presidencies and their wives all bore their testimonies followed by Elder Cole {from the mission presidency and he is over the Spanish missionaries.} Kurt gave a powerful testimony. It was a witness to me that spirit has no language barriers. Kurt translated my testimony because my faith is not strong enough for the gift of tongues yet. Austin loved Sister Gonzalez Spanish, "She has the best Spanish here!" Chelsey Mendez gave her testimony in Spanish, it was simple but I was so jealous {in a good way!} I want to be like that!!

Directly after sacrament meeting we went down to the Stake President's office to have them set apart. Austin came with us plus Cindy, Bill and Jeff. Julie stayed out with the kids. I was grateful because I wanted to actually hear the blessing. Kurt said as soon as they placed their hands on his hand he felt the weight of the calling. The first line of the blessing was the work will be hard & you will know where to focus your efforts.

President: Kurt Romans 
1st Counselor: Antonio Gonzalez 
2nd Counselor: Chris Mendez 

Branch Presidency plus Stake Presidency
{P: Alan Peterson, 1: Ron Jacobs, 2: Alan Timmons}

After our meetings we had a delicious meal that Sister Gonzalez had prepared. She has a generous heart. It helped the branch instantly bond and feel like a family. It is going to be a blessing to belong to this group. I have NO DOUBT that this will be hard and a lot of work. But I also have NO DOUBTS that this will be a choice time in our lives, that we will be stretched and grow and therefore blessed beyond measure.

 And Kurt can be quoted {many times} saying, "Let's Get to Work!"

It was also Vale's graduation. So after leaving Nyssa at 5 pm we headed straight to Amber's house for her grad party. By this point my head was going to explode. I had been sneezing a lot with allergies coupled with the tears and exhaustion {up till 1 am finishing a grad picture slide show} and extreme emotions it was a deadly combo. It was fun to see the Alberts again. We made plans to meet for a day trip to Anthony Lakes this summer. Hopefully we can make that happen.

Kelli's grad was our other stop. We were able to visit longer but about 9 pm I had to pull the plug before my head shattered on their lawn. Lots of meds before passing out.

Monday 05.25
Memorial Day, Karen 28th Birthday and my 35th. I knew specifically what I wanted to do and what I NEEDED especially after the intense Sunday we had. Day Trip with my family to Strawberry Lake. That is my happy place in Oregon. We packed a lunch, sweatshirt and left our house at 10. The day was completely PERFECT. I can't think of one thing I could do to improve it. The weather was perfect, we were worried about it being too cold {we had never been to Strawberry that early in the year} but after getting our bodies warm with the hike to the lake it was perfect. Thankfully because Kurt had accidental left his sweatshirt at home. The absolute BEST part of the entire day is that the kids were amazing hikers. The hike to Strawberry lake has always involved tears, dramatics and major diversion to reach our goal. Not this time. Jane jabbered happily in the back pack carrier and Lucy was an "expert hiker" {as she called herself.} It made the whole day so enjoyable. After a short rest at the lake we hiked to the falls. It never disappoints.

 Before the hike right after lunch 

 Lucy was certain that every log was meant for her to sit on and so we had to try them all out. 

We stopped for milkshakes on the way home at "Austin House."

We got home around 8 pm. Kurt and Austin went back into town to help take down the flags. I started feeling all the effects of sickness from the day before. I really think it was a tender mercy to have good health at Strawberry all day!

I think the kids were slightly tired too.

Tuesday 05.26
Happy 60th to my mom. What a wonderful lady and truly the sunshine of our lives. She celebrated the day in the temple. I was grateful I had the chance to go that evening also.

I have been encouraging the kids to start going through things {throw away, give away!} Emma tackled the large job that was her desk. Yikes.

I met Maria for lunch - without kids - that is the beauty of summer when you have children old enough to babysit. The lunch was very needed, on both accounts. True friends are a blessing from God.

I was home for but 40 minutes and then left for the temple with Christy. Kurt was in Fields that day working on some pivots so I invited her to go with. It was stake temple day and Ethan Forsberg had had surgery earlier that day. It would be a perfect opportunity to stop and visit after the temple. Surgery went well and now they are waiting on biopsy results + 4 weeks on crutches.

Wednesday 05.27
That morning Emma had her first non-family babysitting job. She babysat for David and Leah Atkinson. Kurt and I were at a Robotics meeting at 4Rivers. We picked Emma up on the way home. She said it went well. The kids had enjoyed the games she had prepared. I love excited babysitters and its so great to see the babysitting kit from Activity Days in use!

I took Emma back to the school and she helped the teachers clean up their rooms for summer and then went to dance with the Robins. We picked her up that evening from Parma. There was less of the push for the littles to sleep on the way home {love you summer!} but Ruth still did. That girl likes her sleep {which is interesting because she was the hardest baby for sleeping.}

Kurt had his first presidency meeting. He also had the opportunity to talk with the High Counsel. He is excited to work with his counselors.

Thursday 05.28
I worked in the shed {sorting and organizing and throwing away} all morning and early afternoon. While I was organizing the shed the kids were practicing a play they had written {even though they were suppose to be helping me.} "Sherlock Aplartments" {and no that is not a typo.} I'm sure opening night will be coming to a theater near me {family room} very soon.

Then we got the little girls ready for their clogging pictures. The actual picture happened during Women's Conference and we missed it so I thought it was super nice of them to have a make-up day just for us.
We picked up Jonathan, Baylea and Cayson on our way back home so they could play.

 I was craving some popcorn balls so I made a few batches. 

When Kurt got home I went and did some visiting teaching and he took the Forsberg kids home. 

Friday 05.29
I spent most of the day at the computer editing pictures and up-dating the blog. It takes a ridiculous amount of time. Keeping a record is important I keep reminding myself. In between we ate, read some books and cleaned. When we work together as a team it makes mom so much happier. I sure hope they can learn that {and save our summer!}

That evening Kurt extended a calling. He always comes home, "There's so much to do."

Saturday 05.30
Emma and I left that morning for her ballet recital. Marti took Spencer to baseball practice. Then Kurt dropped off Jane and Lucy with her when it was time to leave for the recital and took Spence {Austin and Ruth} with him. They picked up Grandma Romans on the way and Cindy met them there. Meanwhile Emma went through the dress rehearsal, I sold tickets, DVDs and gave back pictures. I like being there for the dress rehearsal because it allows me to take pictures close up and then I can just watch during the show. Emma and I ate lunch at Subway {its becoming a tradition} and bought safety pins {need to pin a belt to her costume.} And then it was time for me to leave so they could get ready for the show to start.

They presented the ballet of "Charlotte's Web." Each class danced a piece to tell the full story. It was great and so well done. Ballet 4 was Fall Leaves, Tap 3 was The Band, Ballet 5 was Rain. Emma did such an amazing job. She was so well prepared {she practiced daily}, confident and a graceful leader. I could watch her all day. It was great not having the little girls there because I could more fully enjoy the show. At the end Miss Amber presented awards for those who had the most practice points. Emma received an award. Its great to see hard work paying off. BRAVO Emma Lynn!! We love you amazing, hard working, diligent dancer.

Kurt took Grandma Romans home and the kids and I went shopping at Wal-Mart {gasp! but it was only a few blocks away} in prep for our trip to the coast. That evening we started washing and cleaning out all our camping gear. Getting excited to get away!!

~~~Romans Reflections~~~
- When your sisters peels a cucumber like a banana and tries to trick you and you just don't care.

- "I miss knitting. I should knit a few dish cloths." {Kurt}
- Austin came up with the saying: P.S.-Y-cho {it spells psycho}

Friday, May 29, 2015

Saying Good-bye {school} & Shouting Hello {summer}

May 17-23, 2015

Sunday 05.17
We are soaking up these Sundays with Kurt around knowing it is a limited addition.

 Jane loves to lead!

We followed the same pattern as last week. After church was done we rushed the kids home and then turned around to attend the Spanish meeting. Kurt was speaking today. I also got to play the organ again. Kurt got me a set of headphones and a missionary translated the meeting. Kurt did a great job. We had a Stake YM/YW meeting at 2:30 followed by a Ma/Pa trek meeting. In our presidency meeting we were assigning kids to their famlies. It was a big and long job. We decided to stay until we got it done meaning we got to the Ma/Pa meeting late {very.} Luckily the kids were still alive when we got home!

Monday 05.18
The 1st grade end of the day science continues. That's about all Ruth talkes about. Mrs. McDowall says that Ruth has a problem solving mind.

She is also very excited to move and all the changes that will be happening the next few months in our family. She was searching the house for boxes so she could start packing. I encouraged her to go through her closet and throw away unused items and trash.

Spence enjoying the train they made yesterday during our meetings. 

 Jane was sooooo adorable leading the music in FHE!

Meanwhile the end of our lesson {on supporting our local leaders i.e. their father} the kids ended up in a group hug on the floor. "Embrace the Chaos Mom!" Apparently we have a family motto.

Tuesday 05.19
Spencer had his field trip to Swan Falls. Kea watched the little girls so I could go. Mrs. White had asked me to drive some other parents over. I was too embarrassed for them to ride in our car so Kurt graciously let me take his pick up. In the end the Martins are the only ones who rode with us. We went to Swan Falls dam {attended this field trip with Austin when he was in 2nd grade. Memories}
He wouldn't smile with me so I didn't either.

 Spence was very interested and like most things very anxious to learn. 
I enjoyed spending some one-on-one time with him. 
 Our group that toured together
 At lunch we played his new {Scholastic book order} game, "Who Would Win." 
After we finished eating we grabbed Spence & Ayana and headed home. The benefits of driving home with mom is that you can stop at Sonic for a cream slush treat :)
 We had to pause at the top to take some pictures of the beautiful dam below. 
 This turkey would still not smile in a picture with me!

I was happy to see my little girls. Jane came with me to Austin's piano lesson. She enjoyed playing in dad's pick-up while we waited. 

 That evening Kurt and Emma Lynn attended the Stake Daddy Daughter Dance in Nyssa. The theme was "Always have Courage & Be Kind" {from the new Cinderella movie.} They had a wonderful evening. Emma was excited to come home and tell me all the details, especially a necklace with the night's theme on it. She couldn't believe that she had danced more with Kurt that evening than I have our whole married life. ;)

Wednesday 05.20
Ruth's field trip and also Emma's talent show. I asked Mrs. Bodily if Emma could go first so I could leave right after. She danced with Claire from their ballet 5 class. They were sooooo nervous. Performing in front of peers is hard. They were giggling afterwards that they had forgotten a bunch but the fact that they did it makes them winners.

I had invited Jonathan and Brittney to come to the zoo with us. We met up shortly after Emma finished and headed to Boise. When we got to the zoo we met up with Mrs. McDowall who had Ruth with her. We enjoyed a few exhibts before Ruth started to get worried about the time. She was very anxious to make sure she met back up with the bus and her classmates. When it came time to meet them she choose to join them instead of stay with us at the zoo longer. So it didn't really feel like a field trip with her but she was happy. Got to ride the school bus both ways, hang with her mom and play with friends. So that's all that matters. The rest of us enjoyed the zoo longer before headed to the park outside the zoo to eat the lunches we had packed. We left with just enough time to head back and pick up the kids from school. Great times.

After dropping off the kids at home I turned around and drove the girls to Star for dance. While they were in class I made a return at Michaels and got lost at Seagull Book - it was my first time and I loved it!

The poor mailbox has to take my driving abuse :/

Thursday 05.21
Spencer had his talent show this morning. He and Emma had filmed a video {on Monday.} A tutorial of how to climb a tree. "3 Easy Steps" He was funny while it was playing, he covered his face the entire time.

 After some grocery shopping we headed home to get ready for the Art Sale and BBQ that evening.
These girls never make life dull. 

Cayson came home from school with us while his parents were reviewing Ethan's CT results with the doctor {and scheduling sugery.} I'm gladwe have had a lot more interaction with Cayson and his family this school year.

These two friends had their last art lesson together. Maria is moving to Texas. We will really miss their family but so grateful they could attend art together while they could.

They finished this painting just in time for summer. 

We went back to the school for my long standing favorite Art Sale and BBQ. I did miss having the mariachi band come and sernade us though.The little girls still got up and standed regardless.

The kids are always so excited to show us what they have been working on throughout the year. 
I'm always excited to have new creations on the walls.

Friday 05.22
Last day of SCHOOL!! We finished up teacher gifts and headed to school for awards.

 Ruth got the BELLE award for her love of reading books in both languages. 

Spencer got the THINKER for being a problem solver in class.

 Emma got the TURTLE award {animal theme} for always taking the time
 to do her best and not rush though her work. 

During that time 1st grade was also having their talent show. So I was going  back and forth. I finally saw it, a video {Mrs. McDowall had taken at school} how to draw a person. Just like Spencer she hid her face in her hands during the entire video. Funny kids. It should also be noted that Lucy went with Ruth as soon as school started and didn't leave her side all day.

Austin's awards were at noon. I had one hour. But I knew it wasn't enough time to go home and set up for the SCHOOLS OUT PARTY {which was what I do every year on the last day of school.} So Jane and I went to the Dollar Store to get some balloons and a few other supplies so we could be ready quickly after arriving home. Austin received the INTELLECTUAL award for being a brilliant and very successful student.

When he was finished we went up to 4th grade to help with their Minute to Win It Games. They are always fun to watch and play.

It should also be noted that Jane consumed a few succors and smarties to maintain a smile through 4 sets of awards, a talent show and minute to win it games with no nap. Really she did great. 

And just like that SCHOOL's OUT for SUMMER!!!

We rushed home to get the party started. I had the kids wait outside while I got everything set up.

Using Sharpie highlights all the Prep schoolers were signing each others shirts. 

The traditional cutting through the ribbon to signal the end of that grade

Finished FIRST with Flying colors

Torn up THIRD

Finished FOURTH with finese

 Soared through SIXTH in style 

 Using the steamers we dance to "Schools Out" It really and truly has become the freedom anthem for us.

A crazy amount of junk food before we got started on bubbles, post-it stick-it game 
and our annual Summer Day Bucket list. 

The taste of FREEDOM is real and nothing ever tastes so good. Today I jump for JOY! 

Emma's school friend Kimberly was getting baptized that evening so we got ready to go to the Ontario Stake center to support her. Emma found out early this week that she was getting baptized and has been talking about it all week. It has been a cool experience for her. The whole event was just another preparation for our soon-to-be calling in the Spanish branch. They had prepared a huge meal for afterwards. There truly is a sense of family among them. I'm grateful we could go and support Kim and Emma could be involved in a small way.

The kids made and slept in a fort as soon as Emma got home. That is becoming another tradition for the night school gets out. I'm glad they like each other. The boys ended up finding more comfortable places to sleep at some point during the night.

Saturday 05.23
Kurt and Spencer left early that morning to ride in West Fall to help move cattle. Of course there is no picture because I wasn't there. ;)

Emma was finishing up graduation party decor for Amber and I was scanning pics of Kelli for a slide show. Ruth was busy making a cardboard dog house for the new dog she had received the day before at the schools out party. 

We loaded up the decor and a suit clad Austin. He had his first youth baptism temple trip that afternoon. I really really really wanted to be with him for his first time. But I couldn't hold him back from this opportunity to go with the youth. Again a lesson in apron string cutting. I know I will have the chance to go with him at some point and I am looking forward to it. 

We went to Amber's and set up the decor Emma had put together. 

A little after 4 Kurt and I headed to the temple. We were anxious for the peace as he would be set apart the following day. The temple never disappoints, especially when you are prepared. The blessing are unmeasureable.

 ~~~Romans Reflections~~~
- While we drive selfie
- group project Austin made during Science this week. It was second overall for distance.

- Emma's science project that she spent a lot of time working on.

- What a monkey. Sure looks safe.

- Lucy went down to the barn with the kids when they went to feed. When they got back to the house she came straight to my room, "Mom, as I was walking I could feel Heavenly Father with me." A few days later one of her older siblings said something about being scared and she quickly replied, "No I won't be scared because I know Jesus is with me."

The world is a stage

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