Great week! No big commitments, no grocery store fiascos (partly because I've had fiascos at a couple of different stores and don't dare show my face at those ones anymore!), lots of swimming (it's been at least 105 degrees every day this week so swimming is the only outdoor activity option) and reading and getting caught up on things around the house. Had this weekly ward swim party Tuesday that I got set up a couple weeks ago - great to get to know people better. Life's feeling more manageable this week. Ashton read 13 chapters of Harry Potter all by himself one day while listening to the twins and Eliza during naps so Jared and I could take Isaac out for lunch - he's been really needing a special date. We went out for sushi and Isaac was totally excited to try octopus and raw tuna, halibut and salmon as well as some seaweed - he's our most adventurous kid lately on food - and we all had fun trying new things. Gave the boys and Jared MUCH needed haircuts and Isaac got the mohawk he requested - why not?
We went to the weekly street festival downtown in the HEAT and had a fun time watching the kids dance around to some great live music. The twins were really going like crazy - I didn't get the best stuff on video and Eliza wasn't doing her usual great dancing, seemed dazed by the heat and the camera - but here's a little something.
Jared made a final decision on a whole new fleet of truck for Miller Gordon - brand new Freightliners. After 100's of hours of discussion and looking at trucks and talking with dealers and analysis using these great models on Excel that Jared put together, Jared and the two company owners felt really good about the Freightliners and got a good price on the old trucks and a good price on the new ones and the deal is underway. Yeah! No more breaking-down gas guzzling trucks to drag the company down! This is going to make a huge difference and help Miller Gordon really start making money plus cut way down on the crazy maintenance hassles that keep happening with the old trucks. They'll start saving about $30,000 a month in gas with these new trucks' gas mileage! I now know SO much more about semi trucks than I ever could have imagined. Jared's doing a great great job and things are looking up with this company. He does get a lot of calls any time of the day or night with missed deliveries or broken down trucks or other issues that pop up, but he deals with them well and his very many hours of work will hopefully ease up now that the truck decision is made and they've hired on some more part-time help.
Yesterday we went hiking with our friends Justin and Jessica Lanoe at this cool slot canyon with a gnarled tree that looks like a dragon or dinosaur- the kids call it the "Dragon Hike". It was very very hot but very very beautiful and nice to get away a bit. I got to know Jessica Lanoe when she drove me up to Provo for the PTA convention and the Lanoes have become good friends - always up for adventure and have a couple very nice kids (ages 8 and 10) who get along great with our kids. We feel like we're finally really making some good friends around here. Of course our best friends are our neighbors Jo and Aja but it's good to feel like we've got some other people we really enjoy hanging out with as well.
Saturday I went to the temple on my own - somehow I always think I need to go with Jared and logistically that's very hard so I've realized I really need to just go on my own and get there at least once a month. It was a great session and I realized some things that I really needed. I'm so grateful for the temple. Along with other things, I sat there in the celestial room and felt so very grateful - I have all the deepest desires of my heart - a wonderful handsome, worthy, smart, kind husband and 5 beautiful healthy bright sweet kids, a great home, enough money to be fine and opportunities to use my talents and grow. The only real "problem" I have is that I have SO MUCH - too many great opportunities to use my talents, so many wonderful beautiful busy children, such a large house to take care of, so many people I care about that I want to keep up on, etc. What a "problem" to have! Life can really really really be hard sometimes - but I need to count my blessings more and realize that most of my "problems" come from having so much of the very things I always wanted.
Other things I learned at the temple this time:
- watch out more for Satan - he's so real and he's so involved in grabbing away at our happiness bit by bit - we need to be on guard always and cast him out more frequently and more fully.
- are we keeping sacred the outward signs and tokens of the things that matter most to us? In watching us, would others see regular tokens and signs of our affection for our husbands and children? of our faithfulness in the gospel? I've recommitted myself to those simple tokens and physical signs that may seem sort of repetitious or unimportant - things like kissing every kid goodnight every night and telling them how much I love them, kneeling down for personal prayers, having more formal family prayers, dropping whatever I'm doing to kiss Jared when he gets home from work, etc. These tokens and signs of our love and devotion need to be kept sacred, don't you think?
We finished off Saturday with a fun little birthday party for President Hinkley. We learned some interesting facts about his life, played a little quiz game, played a special pin the tail on the donkey game that Isaac made himself, sang happy birthday, blew out candles, ate cake - the kids were so excited. Thanks Jo for reminding me that it was President Hinkley's birthday! What an amazing man - 97 and still going strong! It was fun to learn more about his life and realize his humility and great abilities and how they've worked together to help him be a remarkable person and prophet.
And there you have it for this week!