Saturday, February 27, 2016

[big news and a little bit of creativity]

Well, hello. I've really not been a great keeper of the blog these past few months. Truth be told, I've had a hard time being a great keeper of anything. I hope to change that. In all areas of my life.

My starting point is this...I will be submitting my letter of resignation to the school district next week. Yikes. 

This year of leave has been the best thing for our little family. It just works for us.

But as much as I've loved being home... As much as I've loved being able to be here when Goosey gets home from school... As much as I've loved getting stuff done during the day (which happens a lot less frequently than it should...)... I've missed teaching.

We're not willing to give up that time together. Or that peace that is in our home when I'm not so stressed about testing and observations and school.

But I miss teaching. 

Over the past 2 weeks, a series of tender mercies have occurred that have led us directly to the next fork in the road.

I will be submitting that letter of resignation. And embarking on my life-long dream of opening my own preschool. What the freaking heck?! Ha! There is an undercurrent of excitement in my home. I know Kenton is smiling so big at this decision. We're all thrilled that this is happening. 

I meet Thursday with our city council for final approval. And with that, the Little Fireflies Learning Center will be up and running fall 2016.

The flexibility offered by teaching from my home is so great. My own hours, my own curriculum, super small class sizes, and the opportunity to teach again! 

This also allows me to continue my work with a couple of different digital scrapbook designers, continue to be "scrapbook mom" for 5 (soon to be 6) missionaries, and most off all, allows me to be MOM. (McKayslin is super excited about pre-school and knowing she gets to help on her days off from school!). the coming weeks/months/years - MamaGoose will look an awful lot the same (only more frequent!) - recipes, scrapbooking, life in general - but with the addition of some fun preschool stuff! 

Yesterday was new release day for Dandelion Dust Designs' latest kit called Thanks so Much. 

I love the colors in this kit and can see it being used so many different ways! So far I've only played with it long enough for one layout, but I have a whole lot of ideas for this one! :)

Sure do miss this handsome boy of mine!

Thanks for sticking with me through all the crazy! 

I'll be back on Monday for #MenuPlanMonday!

See you then!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

[O, youth of the noble birthright...carry on, carry on, CARRY ON]

Firm as the mountains around us, 
Stalwart and brave we stand
On the rock our fathers planted
For us in this goodly land...

...the rock of honor and virtue,
of faith in the living God...

See, this morning, this school morning, my little Goose was very excited to wake up early (we're talking like 4:30 am early!) to go to the temple to do baptisms for the dead with her friend Mighty CK.

I have very distinct memories of my 6, maybe 8, opportunities to attend the temple to do baptisms in my youth. The Idaho Falls LDS Temple is located less than 45 minutes from my home, yet going to the temple was a big deal. Huge. Months of planning, interviews, arrangements - so much so that we only went once, maybe twice each year. 

I loved going to the temple, especially as a new beehive with all of the laurels in our ward looking out for us, helping us, doing our hair all cute after we finished. And we always had dinner in the temple cafeteria. They had the best coconut cream pie.

My memories, however, are lacking in the way I felt at the temple. I don't remember recognizing the importance of the work we were doing, nor do I remember clear impressions or feelings during or after our visits.

Last night, McKayslin asked if I could take her to the temple this morning (I took her and Roo 2 weeks ago (on a Saturday morning) and Luke and I took the girls again last Saturday morning) before school. I might have hesitated. It's so early to get up. It's cold. She has school...

Yet, very clearly, I received the impression that I needed to take her this morning. One of the things I'm working on is listening and acting when I receive gentle nudges to do something good.

It took one text and CK was on board to come along. To be at the temple at 5:30 am. On a school morning. Do you know what that does to a Momma heart? As we prepared to tuck McKayslin in for the night, she shared this simple testimony...

"I like the way I feel at the temple. I really like the way I feel after. I think I need to go in the morning to give me strength and to energize me for my day."

My little barely twelve year old craves temple attendance like I have only learned to do in my 40s. Seriously, how great is that?!

This morning, early, Luke left for work, and I grumbled out of bed and into the shower, where this hymn wound itself so tightly around my heart. I found myself humming, smiling, and excited to be the mom that got to take the girls to the temple this morning. And I knew Kenton was smiling. 

Even though Kenton never was able to attend the temple physically, he was so excited when Bishop McDonald brought him his recommend at the hospital. Luke took a picture and sent me a text. Although Kenton was very sick at the time, his smile stretched from ear to ear as he proudly held up his temple recommend.

I was reminded of a story that Cal shared with me. When they were waiting in the baptistry waiting room one morning, one of the temple workers encouraged the kids to really think of the person they were performing the baptismal ordinance for, and to realize that at that moment, they were acting as missionary companions with those who had gone on before, bringing these ordinances to those who had died without the opportunity to receive them. She shared how great it was that our boys could work together on something so great - Kenton in the Spirit World and Payts here.

And now, my little Goose gets to work together with our Kenton in that same capacity. 

We picked up Mighty CK a little after 5 and arrived at the temple right around 5:30. We entered the temple to find youth already there, filling the baptistry, anxiously engaged in the work of the Lord. I watched as the girls confidently participated in the ordinances. I could see their love of the temple and the work performed there.

We exited the temple in a snowstorm. 

Stopped for some breakfast. Listened to them plan and prepare for their next trip - even making plans for the future when finally all of the friends were 12 - giggling about how we'd have to rent a bus every week. And then I dropped them off at school.

As they tumbled into school, facing the challenges of the day with a renewed outlook, with strength, and with faith, I took a moment for a quick prayer of thanks that I was the mom allowed to bring them to the temple this morning. Because, guess what?! Those blessings were mine this morning, too.

These kids of mine teach me so much...stalwart and brave they stand.

...Holding aloft our colors,
We march in the glorious dawn.
O youth of the noble birthright,
Carry on, carry on, carry on!"

Carry On
LDS Hymns 255
Text: Ruth May Fox
Music: Alfred M. Durham