Posted by Chad on February 17th, 2016
This week was the first time that any of our kids were on a ski mountain. Before they could go down the beginner hill, I taught them to fall over sideways whenÂ they feltÂ out of control. After that, Alden and Jasher weren’t interested in any of the other lessons. They don’t want to snow plow or turn or stop. They point down the mountain so they can bomb it until they get uncomfortable. Then they fall right over and use their hips as breaks. Jasher only went about ten feet one time and then he wiped out. He looked up from the ground and said, “I’m GREAT at this!”
Eden figured out her turns well enough to go to the “platter” run. I only had her take three runs though. She was going straight down, barely in control. At the bottom she said, “I thought about turning, but I was having so much fun going fast.” So next we went on the regular lift, where I could teach her some respect for the mountain. On the second regular run, we traversed near a “blue square” run. I told Eden she could choose to go that way if she wanted. She thought it sounded fun. Soon, the steep part got herÂ worried. She asked whether she could take off her skis and walk down. We had another lesson onÂ traversing. She decided to keep at it. She started concentrating on her snow plow turns. Then when she got to the bottom, she had a happy memory of conquering the run. After that she didn’t bomb the bunny hill.
I’m trying to remember that everyone has different learning techniques. I like to push myself past my comfort zone to learn new things. So that’s how I taught Eden, too. It made sense to bring her to a hard area of the mountain where her existing techniques would not be enough. Elisa learns the opposite way though. Elisa and I went on the regular lift together to get her to the next level. She did fine but she never really started enjoying it that much. She had a lot of reminders of her first day skiing at Courmayeur, when she thought she wasn’t going to make it to the bottom safely. The next day, she convinced me that we should spend an hour on the platter run. It wasn’t asÂ challenging. Elisa felt comfortable and her form looked really good. She learns better when she is inside her comfort zone. Part of it is that she has a longer memory, and bad experiences haunt her for years. Eden has a shorter memory, so she already forgot most of her fear. Jasher has the shortest memory of all. Right after he skidded to a stop in front of me, he looked up, and apparently withÂ no recollection of why he was laying on his back in the snow, bragged,Â “I didn’t even fall that time!”
Posted by Elisa on February 9th, 2016
Dancing the night away, high stakes gambling, extravagant purchases, exotic travels, crushing victories. Stay tuned for all the juicy details.
Chad and I got some extra time together this week starting with a failed attempt to buy a 1999 Lexus ES 300 we found for sale on craigslist. The car looked like it was in great shape. The carfax checked out but after having a mechanic look at it before we bought it we discovered the engine was misfiring. Problematic. So we decided that we would pop into some dealerships on our way home. This ended in us buying a 1998 Lexus ES300 that had just been traded in. We are so excited! These little old Lexus are such great cars! All of a sudden our tight driving schedule of 3 adults with 1 vehicle is filled with many more options and flexibility! Hooray!
Chad and I also had a great date night at our dance lessons. We worked on the Foxtrot. It felt like we were catching on pretty well. We managed to learn a few steps that made of feel like we were dancing rather than just plotting out steps. It was relaxing and fun. The instructors at Pacific Dance are really encouraging. I feel self conscious about my size (I think I look like an ungraceful Amazon Woman) and they are great at putting me at ease.
Eden and I went on a special trip together to Boise for Jane’s baptism. The drive was actually really relaxing. We arrived in time to meet Jeff and Sarah, the girls, John, Renee and Jordyn for dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. I took the cousins over to Claire’s to get Eden some new â€œdanglyâ€ earrings and we found a set of key chains for them. The kids played together so well. The next day moved from one thing to the next. We were busy. But Jane’s baptism was very nice. Eden was so happy to be there! Then the next day we headed home. Completely worth it.
While we were away. Chad had a poker night with Sean and Olea. A bunch of people planned to join in but they all had things come up. Chad also took Alden to a Chess tournament. Alden was so proud to bring home a trophy for participation. When he called to tell Eden and I we were so excited for him!
Posted by Elisa on February 9th, 2016
We had the missionaries over for dinner this week. One of the missionaries, Elder Hunt or Hunter (I can’t remember which is which), is from Gridley, CA. His family was living there and attended the same ward as I served in, Gridley 3rd. Granted this missionary was 8 years old. I have no recollection of him nor him of me but it was fun to pull out my missionary stuff and reminisce.
It is pretty awkward to have missionaries over. I am not super grounded in my testimony so I don’t have the desire to shout it from the mountain tops. Missionaries have a number of challenges they propose to help strengthen faith. Daily family scriptures. Check! (We are on 220 days in a row!) Family home evening. Check! (with our family planning meeting the night before, it gets done and we look forward to it.) Then there is personal prayer and scriptures. Not checked.
I am much more at ease with where I am at spiritually right now. I am okay with not knowing and not feeling. It is easier. A few months ago when I was super insecure about what I must be doing wrong to cause me to feel so forsaken or guilty or abandoned and unworthy or just not one of God’s chosen, I tried very hard to do ALL the things that would help me feel closer to God. I prayed and felt alone. I read scriptures and felt confused and angry and overwhelmed. I went to the temple and felt uncomfortable and like an outsider. All these things that used to bring such peace, strength and understanding were now the source of great despair, shame and solitude.
My relationship with God is not a priority right now. In Anne of Green Gables Anne says, â€œGod made my hair red on purpose, and I’ve never cared about Him since.â€ I relate a lot with Anne. I have had unrealistic expectations. I thought if I knocked, my way to God would be opened. I believed that God loved me, I believed that He would help me to find hope and peace when everything felt hopeless. I counted on it. I professed it. Then I was left. Alone. Empty. Or at least unable to find my way. So I don’t trust God. I feel like a dog that has been beat by it’s owner and still remains loyal. I keep creeping back with my tail between my legs hoping that maybe this time He’ll acknowledge me. It is just easier on my heart to resolve, like Anne, not to care.