Showing posts with label friendships. Show all posts
Showing posts with label friendships. Show all posts

Friday, January 19, 2018

I Need to Take a Breather

            I had quite a full agenda yesterday.  After the sun rose, I drove to Riddle as Jenna had a dentist appointment.  On our return, I stopped at Dollar General for just a few items to add to her lunch and then I took her to school.

            I meant to turn in my assignment before my assessment, but I somehow had allowed myself to become frazzled and instead of submitting the assignment I clicked my assessment and started the quiz. 

            Once the quiz starts, there is no turning back, there are no retakes.  Most tests are timed. I had less than two hours.  And though it is open book, the e-book appears on just one third of the screen and I have to control plus each page I am on in order to view something bigger.  As I had explained in my last post, it is very time consuming.  And while I thought I knew the answers to some of the questions, there were a few that had stumped me. 

            It took all of two hours and I started marking answers just to have them answered but still hadn't checked on whether they were correct.  Time ran out before I was able to find them all - plus I knew I had a luncheon to attend.  I should have waited until this morning to take the assessment!  I doubt I would have gotten a much different score however - but perhaps I would have had a few more right.  I don't guess I'll ever know for certain.

            I had misunderstood the meeting time, for I thought I was assisting with cleaning the church before going out to eat. I have not assisted with cleaning a church building since I lived in Utah.  It is quite different here as it is a smaller building and only one ward meets there.  In Utah the cleaning was always done on Saturday - sometimes by different families, sometimes by organization.  The ward I had attended in Kearns split the work in half with one family cleaning  the chapel and the other the rest of the building.  In West Valley the chapel made about a third of the work (bigger building and three wards)

            This ward is cleaned on Thursdays.  A couple alternates weeks with two sisters - or at least that is how it has been.  But health issues have complicated matters and so there have been requests made for others to volunteer their time.  Aurelia had started at 10:00.  On the average, I am not even available on Thursdays until noon - so I was not there when the workload started.

            Aurelia had invited me to lunch because she wanted me to meet with one of the sisters that she visits teach.  We met at the restaurant that serves Mexican food before returning to the church.  They had the majority of it cleaned already.  I was asked to dust and wipe down the kitchen and doorknobs. 

            The "dusting" reminded me of dusting in the temple.  One has to have a recommend to clean in the temple.  I haven't done it often.  Maybe three times in West Jordan.  It seems like it was a very long time ago.  A white cloth will remain white by the end of the night.  I used a blue micro cloth at the church yesterday.  I did finally manage to find some dust on the piano used in the Relief Society room.  All the dust I had gathered yesterday amounted to less than the size of a fingerprint. 

            One tiny piece of glitter sparkled over the piano keys.  I was excited that there was only one.  I saw glitter ALL of the time when I was cleaning in West Valley. I don't think there was any week I cleaned that I didn't see glitter.  So finding only one glitter speck was really quite refreshing.  I think if they assign workers - even more so specific jobs (that's what they had done in my mom's ward;  my nephew and niece had been assigned to clean the blackboards; someone else was assigned vacuuming and so forth) also I think they might get a better turn out on a Saturday than a Thursday.  Cleaning on a weekday just seems weird to me. 

            Then again, my mom's ward had several hindered people who were/are active.  Those that attend this ward may already have multiple callings.  I do.

            I did not return to the house until just before 4:00.  Today I've been managing online billing, account balances and other information required for credit.  Jenna will be home in one hour and though I have accomplished a lot, I still need my breather.   Tomorrow we'll be going shopping for a car.  Dang! I feel so overwhelmed with missing hours.   

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Christmas dinner

                I don't remember having met Shelly's mother before, but  she seemed to recognize me.  Many of our town's citizens had gathered downtown for the lighting of the tree on December 2nd.  I was making my up 2nd Ave. to the library annex when she spotted me and waved as though we had been buddies for quite some time but seemed to have lost touch.  She asked about Jenna and mentioned the desire for getting Shelly and Jenna together.

          Shelly and her mom had moved to Myrtle Creek last year.  I don't know what time of the year Jenna had been invited to her birthday party, but I know we were already living in Tri City at the time.  It was the first time I had dropped Jenna off at a friend's house without meeting a parent first.  Shelly was attending the same middle school as Jenna but did not return. She has decided to do her schooling online instead. 

                I believe that Jenna and Shelly have hung out together four times since December 2nd.  We even did a sleep over at our house.  Shelly and her mom had gone to an afternoon tea party at the grange where the ward had our Christmas party that same evening.  As Shelly was already there, I had invited her to attend the ward Christmas party and hang out with Jenna.  Roland had volunteered to pick up some neighbors and drive them home and the amount of passengers became more than our car could hold - thus we made two trips and allowed Jenna and Shelly to play together.

                I have tried to remain faithful to the positive challenge and had read each day prior but had forgotten the challenge for day 11. It was before I had taken the girls caroling that I had texted Shelly's mother  to ask if they would like to come for Christmas dinner.  I hadn't realized that was the challenge - to do something unexpectedly.

          After I brought the girls back to our house, we received the following message from a ward member:


          Shelly and her mom did come to have dinner with us on Christmas day.  I had on my tacky cat sweater and was just about to pull it off when they showed up.  Shelly's mom seemed to like it but I was hot and don't do well with long sleeves and food.  Shelly and her mom are always cold.  Before we ate, the girls exchanged gifts.  After dinner Shelly and her mom play games with us.  Shelly's mother really did enjoy herself.

          I ended up giving my Christmas sweater to them. Perhaps I should have asked Jenna first as she said that she liked it.  But I think it will get more use being at Shelly's house.  Roland was okay with it as he hadn't particularly liked the sweater either but had purchased it believing that I really did like it. I wish I had shown the same gratitude that they had.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

The Third Day of Christmas

        My brother had posted the above photo to facebook earlier this month and I thought it I would try doing these myself.  Day Three says to have lunch with someone you admire or run into today.  The chances of me "running into" anyone other than Roland would be slim - though he is someone I do admire.  I suppose I could have just had lunch with him but I actually chose another to come have lunch with me. 

        Aurelia lives  45 minutes away and I said that we could meet halfway - though I'm really not familiar with what eating places are offered half way.  It turns out that she had two appointments in Myrtle Creek and so had planned on being in town anyway.  Gosh, what gratitude she expressed for my rather simple meal.  Well, actually not the meal itself, but the incentive I had taken just to invite her.  I am grateful that I had as we both benefited in a largely positive way.

        Today I will remove three negatives from my life (I am hoping this will be a permanent good riddens) Roland and Jenna have both started Christmas vacation as of last night.  Today is technically the last day of school for this year but I've turned in all of my assignments and so forth for this week.  Because we're all on vacation (even though we won't be going anywhere) I probably won't be posting to my blog again until after Christmas - though I may try.

Friday, August 25, 2017

August 21 Checklist

        Jenna had asked if her friend Kylee could spend the night.  They had planned for Monday night, but workday sleepovers did not work out well when she and Annette we better friends.  I told her it would be up to Roland.  He said yes and   Jenna created a list for the following day.

             Jenna's agenda for Monday, August 21:
 1) [Kylee]
 2) pool
3) eclipse
4) doughnuts
5) library
6) rays/goin’ postal
7) little shop 8 games . . .
9) something scary
10) bed. 

Allow me to explain:  First thing, we went to Kylee’s house to pick her up at 8:30 a.m..  Check off 1.  Next we went to the pool.  When we arrived, there was a note on the door:

A birthday bash is held at the pool each year on the Friday closest to the 21st.  We have missed all three years however. We were in Roseburg this year as I suspect other two as well.   I thought it was cool that the pool was getting an eclipse for its birthday (LOL) It was just Jenna, Kylee and me in the pool.  There were three lifeguards there.  What troopers, allowing us to be there.  They had even allowed the girls to go down the slide that had been turned on. Check off number 2. 

the large slide hadn't been turned on.  They went down this small one

I thought there would be more from the class as we had made reference to watching the solar eclipse from the pool.  Our instructor had a much better view as she was watching from a city closer to Madras.  We had accumulated several pairs of glasses since summer began and Miss J managed to give away all pairs except for one.  I had already given those to Roland figuring there were other pairs in the car.


this was taken earlier this summer

Kylee had a pair - which she had torn in half so that both she and Jenna could watch at the same time.

  Kylee had wanted me to take her home for a half hour or so, but I thought we’d be watching the eclipse first.  I ended up driving to the park by myself as I didn’t know if I’d make it back in time to watch with Roland.  As I had mentioned before, neither Jenna nor I were all that impressed as we had been expecting to see the Corona.  I think a lot of people were as we made our way to Kylee's house and found many with paper glasses on their faces looking towards the sky.  They lost interest before the passing was complete.

courtesy of my brother-in-law (view from Utah)
 The skies seemed overcast.  Not as dark as we had anticipated.  The skies were really smoky that day and the next.  Worse than Medford was.  I had a killer headache – my breathing was almost as bad as it was in Utah.  Even Roland has been affected. Check off number 3.
Now Jenna was hoping I could take them to Happy Doughnuts – which is on the other end of town.  I was willing to drive them there, but did not want to make the drive just myself (I think driving up and down Old Pacific all day is what contributed to my leg becoming sore in the first place) and by the time I got to Ray’s (the local grocery store we call Rip-Off-Rays) there weren’t any maple bars (or many doughnuts of any variety for that matter)  Jaime specifically wanted maple bars because Monday was maple bar day at the Happy Doughnut; oh well . . .) so no check-off for number 4.

I had come home to change my pants and returned for Jenna and Kylee just before 11:00.  I hadn’t planned on adding laundry to the agenda, but realized that it needed to be done.  Kylee loaded my car full of cans and bottles to take to the recycling because each return of bar-coded bottle or can (has to be readable and not bent) add up at 10 cents a can, but I had to go to the library for summer reading before they could turn in the cans. 

It was our last day at the for the children’s reading program at the library and Jenna and I have been volunteering each Monday.  I don’t know how I became the story lady, but I have told stories at each event.  After story time we have had an activity except for the day of the solar eclipse.  Story time felt like an afterthought.  The children were more involved in the activities they had already started - which is okay.  Here are some samples of most of the activities that we did for the last two months:
we offered Lego activities two weeks in a row:
July 24 and 31

Sponge Bobs birthday was August 10

Solar Eclipse activity Aug 8

display case as of August 8

pin the eclipse over the sun

we created fairy gardens on Aug 14

house to go in the fairy garden

learning the planets on Aug 21

this was our last day of summer reading

tiles created on the last day

making slime Aug 21

cover photo for facebook page; rocks painted at the festival

Check off library.  So I took the girls to Rays, dropped them off with the five or six bags of cans, and went to the laundry mat.  I told them I’d meet them at Goin’ Postal – which is just next door to the strip mall (I guess you could call it that) where Ray’s is located.  It’s still a good walk. 

So we were home and up to number 7.  Both enjoy scary movies, though I don’t know why.  Little Shop of Horrors is not all that scary, but because  the plant arrives on the day of the full solar eclipse, Jenna decided they needed to watch it in honor of that day’s eclipse. But they had wanted to wait until it got darker.
 They started working on number 8.  Asking questions from board games mostly.  Kylee did have an opportunity of playing Balderdash with the rest of us as we introduced her to Family Home Evening.  Kylee fell asleep as they watched Little Shop and started from the beginning the next morning (after she had gone to the pool with us again of course - the smokiest day - not a good workout because we did not breathe the air) The girls were well behaved and at a lower volume than Jenna had been with Annette.
We returned Kylee to her house just after three.  I'd forgotten that I had agreed to work a shift at the library, and so had Jenna go with me as I did not have time to take her home.
The smoke had lifted by Wednesday morning.  Back to a better pool workout.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Use Labels for Items, Not People

        I watched the 2016 version of Ben-Hur for the first time last night.  I don't recall ever having made it through the 1959 version without crying, so why should 2016 be any different?  Jenna looked at me after the Chariot Race scene and asked if I was crying.  I cry for a number of reasons each time.  She had excused herself before the crucifixion.  That was heart-wrenching.  

        I had recently met some of my water buddies at the local coffee shop.  One asked what makes one a Jew.  Is it a race? a religion?  It doesn't matter - we're all part of the human race.  He was just wondering.  I'll admit I've wondered about that myself.  I sent him a link to this site.

        I am one who could never be in the Klu Klux Klan or put labels on people - usually I don't know.  I don't know if that would be considered ignorance or miraculous - as in most cases I truly can't tell by looking at a person what race he or she might be - and it doesn't matter.  Why do we insist on putting labels on each other anyway?

        When Ben-Hur started, Judah and Messala are racing their horses - egging on one another.  It reminded both Jenna and I of the introduction to the Prince of Egypt.  In both movies the pair start out as friends, but labels change when groups are divided: Romans and Jews, Egyptians and Hebrews, North and South, Americans and Japanese.

        I thought about countless stories I have either seen, heard about or read.  Some true, some fiction - but all with the same purpose.  Sometimes friendship tear apart, sometimes they end up saving - but are still lost in many cases.
        Best Friends Forever: A World War II Scrapbook, by Beverly Patt,  is about a friendship between two American girls named Dottie and Louise.  Though both are Americans, Dottie is sent to an internment camp and writes to Louise who keeps her letters in a scrapbook along with some other memorabilia. 

But both girls are affected by the war, and when Dottie and her family are relocated, she no longer hears from Louise.  Still friends in their heart, but there is still a sadness of losing contact.

        I watched Friendship in Vienna when in 1988 when it was first created and aired on the Disney Channel.   It is about the friendship between two girls, Inge and Lise - neither understanding the conflict that surrounds them or why both of their parents insist they stay away from each other. 

One day Inge is told she can't continue with her education at the public school.  Lise's brother joins the youth of Hitler and Lise tells Inge to stay away from him as he has become a dark person.  She sacrifices much for their friendship.  Their friendship is torn, but it is because of their friendship that Inge and her parents are saved.

        I thought of examples from before the Civil War - those may have attended West Point Military Academy and fought in the Mexican war found themselves on different sides did not view themselves as comrades but enemies.  I thought about some of the westerns that my husband will watch in which friendships are formed between those that have been told not to be friends.  Sometimes it works to be a blessing.

        We don't always share political points of view.  We tend to use labels - even if it's not meant in a derogatory way - we still call ourselves Jewish, American, black, white, straight, gay, rich, poor, star- and plain-bellied Sneetches (see here) How great it would be if we just saw ourselves as human beings and treat one another with respect and dignity.

For further information about the examples I used see here for " Best Friends Forever: A World War II Scrapbook"  and here for Friendship in Vienna 

Monday, August 7, 2017

Solar Activity - Myrtle Creek

            We have activities each week for the Children's Summer Reading Program.  Today's "Build" activity featured a solar oven and building S'mores. Yum!

            JM took the children outside and placed marshmallows in the oven and explained how it would work.  

          We then came inside and had story time - only it was more of a question, answer and demonstration than straight reading.  We talked about the sun and moon.

            When we finished with the book, Rindy was up with her "Pin-a-Moon-to-the-Sun" craft.  Each of the children were given black paper to create a moon.  After all the moons were cut out, each stood in line to paste their moon on the sun while wearing their solar glasses.  It was really fun.   

            The best part of our activity was returning outside with graham crackers and chocolate to add to the marshmallows - which really hadn't toasted to the melting stage.  But those squares of chocolate certainly got soft in less than two minutes in the sun.  

            Everybody enjoyed their s'mores - particularly Jenna who got to keep the solar oven and all leftover fixings. 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Enjoying Riddle

       The school library will be open three times during this summer.  Yesterday morning was the first day and I took Jenna to return the books we already had and trade them for something else. We had also stopped by Soco to have a meeting with the committee for the  Children's Summer Reading Program.  Jenna asked me if I'd take her to the library in Riddle which was also on my agenda, but it does not open until 3:00 on Tuesdays.  We returned home before we went to Riddle.  I took care of some school work.
       Jenna had wanted me to present my Costco card at the library for identification.  I've had it for over seven years.  The picture is of both Jenna and me.  She had really wanted to be in the picture that day, and I was just going to have her stand in front of me, but the man who'd been waiting to take my picture said that we could both be in it.  I like the picture so I keep the card.  Jenna and I both look very different now in real life.

      After we arrived in Riddle and went inside the library, the librarian told us that there was an activity outside.  We went to the pavilion where the drama coach of Riddle High was conducting a session for eight teenagers who had shown for the activity.  Jenna found one of her friends at the activity.  They both seemed to enjoy themselves.  I took a few pictures with my cell phone.  I have cropped out the other kids as I did not ask permission to post them.

pretending to brush her teeth

the instructor had teens pretend they were walking

in various situations

the last two are mirror mirror.  

Jenna had so much fun hanging with her friend after the activity, she forgot about the library or reporting the other books she read.  We may return tomorrow.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Would You Like to Come for Dinner - Keeping up the (non) Tradition

       The primary had their program yesterday and only one practice.  I didn't understand as it feels so late in the year.  I don't recall there being a primary program this late in the year - not with any of the wards I've been in - including this one.  Last year we had more practice and performed on October 18. 

       This is the first year that Jenna wasn't on the stage as she is no longer in primary.  But as I looked out in the audience, I could see her singing along, and it really made me smile.  I'd have to honestly say that it was my favorite part about having the primary program.  I think the children did quite well for only one practice.

       Growing up, my favorite thing about Thanksgiving was spending it with a different group of people than the year prior as I mentioned here The smallest Thanksgivings I can remember included only 5 or 6 people.  Those were: one year with just my family.  My second Thanksgiving in the mission field: our landlady, her son and his wife, and my companion and me.  And my last Thanksgiving with mom mentioned here

       Three of mom's children and their families were able to meet on the Saturday before Thanksgiving.  There were just over 20 of us gathered in a room between the kitchen and the cultural hall of my brother's ward.  My mom felt overwhelmed by the tremendous amount of people that were gathered there.  Roland, Jaime and I had only played one game one game and could sense mom's desire to leave.  The theater may not have been as crowded.  We had taken her to see the movie: Brave.  She seemed to enjoy herself as she no longer reacted to a possible crowd of people, but had lost herself in the movie. She said she liked it.

       The most people that I've ever had Thanksgiving with was just over 30.  Peggy Bird lived across the street from my mom.  Her Thanksgiving philosophy was the more people, the better.  It was held in a room by the kitchen of the ward building where her son attended Church.  That was a lot of people.   Several years later, Peggy invited my mom and her children to spend Thanksgiving at her house.  That year all of her married children had committed to spending the holidays with the in-laws, which would have made for a much smaller table otherwise. 

       Last year we drove to McMinnville to spend the holidays with Beth and Graham.  It was a nice to see them again, and of course, the meal was superb.  But the drive was long - not as long as if we'd gone back to Utah.  I think my oldest daughter-in-law was quite miffed that we didn't.  It just hasn't been practical or realistic for us to go back for just a few hours and then have to turn around and return as Roland works on the Friday after Thanksgiving.  I suppose he could ask for it off, but still.

       We had invited Annett's family to break bread with us this year, but as we never got a commitment and Nora is upset with us and doesn't even want Annett talking to Jenna at school, it was down to just Jenna, Roland and I. Jenna suggested we go to Home Town Buffet and would be okay with that, though I suspect she would like to have the association of others.  She missed her brothers and cousins tremendously. So we thought we'd try our hand at the community dinner here  in town.

       Yesterday we had two offers for Thanksgiving.  The first one from Roland's cinema buddy.  I had his daughter in sunbeams last year and his nephew this year.  And so we will be having our Thanksgiving dinner with all of their family.  And perhaps next year we can have dinner with the other family that asked after we had already accepted the other.  It will be good to spend Thanksgiving with two of three of Young Women leaders and help Jenna to feel more comfortable about going to Young Women's rather than primary.


Saturday, October 1, 2016

Two Peas in a Pod

Annett and Jenna are like two peas in a pod.  They just met this school year.   I thought it had been the first day of school on the bus.  But Annett does not ride the bus – at least not yet.  Perhaps it was in morning meeting.  I will have to ask Jenna to refreshen her poor old mom’s memory.

Yesterday, I had received a phone call from Annett’s mother, who wanted to meet me.  Jenna and Annett had set up a play-date (is that the appropriate word for a twelve year old?) for yesterday after school.  The phone call from Annett’s mother was the first that I had heard of it.  Isn’t it great when children make plans without consulting the parents?

Somehow the after-school visit turned into an overnighter.  Annett’s mom was right about them.  They are like two peas in a pod.  That’s great!  I hope this friendship will last for a long, long time.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Out of the Blue

          I vaguely remember reading about a situation of a girl who was struggling with maternal issues.  I don't know where I read it or how I had access, but evidently I commented on my own situation, trying to establish some kind of hope.  Two months later my family had moved from Kearns to West Valley.  I hadn't given my comment or the girl a second thought.

          We lived in West Valley for five and a half years before we moved to Oregon.  We've been in Oregon for seven months now and out of the blue I get this picture message and then a facebook request from someone I don't even know.  Turns out to be the girl who had saved my message to her phone and has had it there for all this time.  Evidently my words had left an impact on her end and she sought me out.

          I know I have done that myself.  Recently I sent a message to Jeff (mentioned in this post) although it's been over 35 years since we graduated high school  - at least I gave him something to go on - though he still may not remember me - nor is is it important.  What's important is that he was there for me and I did acknowledge it.  

        A similar situation occured with Maureen who sent me a friend request on facebook.  I did not recognize her name, nor did we have any friends in common.  She lives in Ireland.  I don't know anyone in Ireland.   I messaged her that I thought she had the wrong person.  But she was able to message me back exactly what I said.  

         The description fit.  How many other women with my name did not marry until age 39 and took in three boys and was grateful that she didn't have to go through potty training and had a tubular pregnancy and then gave birth to a girl even though the doctor said that there would be less than a 25% chance of getting pregnant. on and on.  Evidently I had also sent a picture of Jenna.  I don't remember doing that.

          I would not have this vague memory at all if I hadn't read what she had saved.  It is mind boggling to have someone contact you out of the blue like that.  I still don't understand how or where we made the connection.  She still has the same cell phone that she owned back in 2009.  I had gone through three phones and two different phone numbers (I think) in that same amount of time.  I have to delete things or else my phone will clog.  But then again, I still have a "grandma" style phone with buttons.  I don't like touch screen.  They frustrate me.

          I believe that God sends people into your life just when you need them.  We don't always know how we have influenced someone from our past, those we are aquatinted with, or even those we're not acquainted with.  Our thoughts, actions and emotions influence others close at hand and across the sea.  We don't always see it, but God does.  He has a hand in everything.  It is up to us to have the faith to understand the influence he brings to us through others.

          I just hope and pray that I may always contribute in ways that are positive.  I am reminded of this hymn.  I want to incorporate it into my life on a daily basis.  Thanks to modern technology, Maureen and I have the opportunity of corresponding and made a connection.  I am looking forward to many friendships.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

I Can’t Believe You’d Put Me in Band!

       Being in Oregon still feels so surreal to me – like at any given moment I will wake up and be in that cracker box house in West Valley.  Take this morning for instance.  It was definitely cooler than any day that we’ve been here since we had come out for spring break.

        I had dropped by the middle school to ask a few more questions.  The front door was open, and there was a light on one of the offices.  I think I heard a vacuum cleaner in the distance. It was before 9:00 am and perhaps was too early and so I decided to return at a later time.

        I drove to the pool which was still closed. I decided to sit on a bench and read until the instructor and lifeguards started filing in, and then walk down to do some water aerobic workouts.  I took a few pictures from my cell phone (as I had left my camera at home by the computer) before I notice the manager and then the instructor.  As I made my way over the hill and around the building, I couldn’t help thinking how none of this had existed for me just a month ago.  I wasn’t even aware of the existence of this part of the world.

        My aerobics start at 9:00 and go for an hour.  Jenna has swim lessons that start at 10:30. I allowed her to stay home while I was in the water and then returned home for her.  We had twenty minutes of waiting time and stopped at the school to ask the questions and I was also given the forms that I’ll need for registration. 

        After her swim class, we went to the music building which sits between the elementary and the middle school.  We introduced ourselves and I told the instructor that I was interested in putting Jenna in band.  He assigned her the clarinet and she had a four-minute instruction on how to put the instrument together and take it apart and gave her a first ten minute lesson on how to play each note.  He gave us a book and the clarinet and instructed us to return to the school to pay a rental fee. 

        Students are encouraged to practice the instruments during the summer so that they will be somewhat familiar once school starts.  I had been interested in starting Jenna in band when she was in the 5th grade, but when the leadership program was introduced to elementary school she attended in Salt Lake, it appeared that they had dropped the band program.  Now Jenna has the opportunity – which at this time she is not at all happy about – but she felt that same way about my having put her in the dual immersion program and theatre and those turned out to be pluses and band will, too.

        The school district does not offer a foreign language program until High School, but I am happy to say that Jenna will not lose her ability to communicate in Spanish.  Halla, a student who moved to Myrtle Creek from Mexico, speaks no English and so the school plans to assign Jenna as Halla’s buddy.  I AM SO EXCITED!!!!

        Last night Jenna played with friends for the first time since we’ve moved here.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints offers a program to girls ages 8-12 which is supposedly similar to what the boys get with scouts.  The program is called achievement days or activity days.  We had taken Jenna to the church last night and she and Casey decided it would be great to continue playing together after the activity was over.  We brought Casey home with us.  Jenna was sooooo excited to have a play date with somebody – finally.

        I think we had only been home just 30 minutes or so when Casey’s younger sister, Carly knocked at our door.  She had with her Casey’s friend, Callie.  So Jenna, Carly, Casey and Callie played together and Jenna was in her glory.  It’s the happiest I have seen her in a long time, actually. She was hoping her play date would never end.  Of course it did end.  The skies grew darker and Roland’s eyes became heavier and he suggested sending the girls home.  I told Jenna she could walk down the street with them and then return.  I went out to the street to watch her – but it was so dark outside I really couldn’t see them.

        I heard my neighbor across the street and yelled out to her, “Hi, Judy.”
        When she seemed to respond, I had to cross the street to ask her to repeat whatever she had said as I couldn’t hear her.

        I saw Jenna return to the house – along with the three girls she had walked down the street with.

        “You girls cannot walk each other back and forth to each other’s houses all night!” I yelled. 

        Judy started laughing.

        “Casey’s mom wants to talk to you.  She’s right behind us.”

        The girls started playing games on the front lawn before Callie and Casey’s moms walked across the street to join Judy and me.  We must have all been visiting for 20- 30 minutes before Josie and Tara collected their girls and each went in a different direction.  Jenna was beaming and excitedly asked me, “Can I tell you what we did?” and started in with every detail beginning with activity days. It was quite amusing to hear her trip over the names of the other three as she explained the details of “duck, duck goose” and “mother may I”.  I am so happy to see that sparkle back in her eyes!

        This afternoon I took Casey and Jenna to the library for an activity.  We met the mayor – who, as it turns out, is my neighbor from just up the street (next door to Judy) and there was a programs and gifts and prizes and Jenna received a free t-shirt from a drawing. 

        I had planned on creating this post while Jenna and Casey played together, but Jenna asked if I would play a board game with them – which I suppose was necessary as Casey wasn’t quite getting the joy of playing it.  After a while, Callie came over and the three girls played together.  Now Jenna is at an outdoor concert which I could have attended as well, but chose to write this post instead. 

        I did feel a few drops fall down from the sky.  Not a heavy rainfall.  It looks like it could rain however.  It really has been a great experience being here.