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Ten Things of Thankful: Empty Nest, Week #2

As I've mentioned once or twice, John and I are temporarily empty-nesters.  We've now completed week two of just-the-two-of-us. Life hasn't gotten boring yet, though:

1.  Last Sunday, I was asked if I would be the Relief Society (church organization for women) president in my ward.  Today, my name was presented to the congregation for a sustaining vote (which is why I didn't post this TToT earlier in the weekend). To say this calling will keep my busy is an understatement--it is one of the most time-demanding in the ward, but I'm thankful for the chance to serve.  

John 13:34-35: A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
If you are curious about the organization of the church, here is an infographic that explains local leadership:

2.  I brought home 40 pounds of ground beef from Zaycon Foods this week. I'll post another day about the meals I was able to freeze using this meat.  I'm thankful for a freezer full of already-prepared meals, perfect for busy days.

3.  I spent a few hours with my daughter and granddaughters this week.  We went to the park, walked around the lake, enjoyed the playground, watched the birds, went to lunch, and visited the toy store.  I'm thankful I can make memories with them.

4.  Drexel makes me laugh.  Every morning after he eats breakfast, he goes to his crate and drags out the crate pad.  Every evening when it's time for bed, he waits patiently for me to put the pad back in his crate.  Then he's ready to sleep for the night.  I'd prefer the pad stay in the crate all the time, but I'm thankful for his goofy dog antics which give me a chuckle.

I've obviously failed to properly teach the "make your bed" command.

5-7.  July 24th was Pioneer Day, a celebration of the day that Mormon pioneers first arrived in the Salt Lake Valley in 1847.  Some of the pioneer companies walked across the plains using handcarts.  Instead of the "luxury" of having wagons drawn by oxen, the handcart pioneers pulled their belongings themselves.  It was a long, difficult journey.  Years ago, John and I had the opportunity to be a "Pa" and "Ma" to a group of teens on a reenactment of the pioneer trek.  Those few days gave me a glimpse of what it was like--but no one on our trek died, and our journey was only a few days long.  Some of John's relatives were part of the Willie Handcart Company, and although none of John's ancestors died, many of the Willie Handcart Company did.  I'm thankful for the chance we had to experience trek; I'm thankful for the dedication of the pioneers; and I'm thankful for the activity we had at church on Thursday night.  The children had a little parade; there were plenty of old-fashioned games like tug-of-war and stick pulls; and dessert was dutch-oven cobblers and ice cream.

Trek--John securing the water jug
8.  My kids will be shocked and surprised by this one:  I upgraded my phone, and it is now smart.  I'm thankful for technology, even when I'm late jumping on the bandwagon.  Feel free to share (useful--I don't want to get addicted to Candy Crush!) app recommendations with me.

9.  I'm thankful for John.  I've been a bit overwhelmed this week, as I've tried to figure out what I need to do to be an effective Relief Society president.  John assures me that things will work out and I'll be fine, and somehow makes me believe him.  Also, he has fixed meals and been otherwise helpful around the house

10.  I mentioned last week that we would be working on another project this week.  We did prep work last Saturday, and yesterday, we started the fun part!  

Four hours in the hot sun, three Gatorades each, and one broken sprinkler head later (compliments of my oh-so-graceful dismount from a ladder), we are done painting the majority of the trim.

There was one kinda-screamy moment for me, when I caught a glimpse of a small furry something scampering away from a flower pot I was moving.  My first thought was, "R-A-T!"  Fortunately, John had a better look at it, and told me that my eyes had deceived me. 

 A bunny!  A really tiny baby bunny!

I'm thankful for nearly-completed projects, and cute little furry friends. 

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Thanks for a busy, productive week!

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  1. (frist?)

    er… I'm sorry, that photo of painting, there must be a typo, as I seem to have read, "...we started the fun part!

    lol… I'm joking, I'm sure some people think of painting as fun! (this from a person who finds digging a hole to be enjoyable and rewarding activity… guess I shouldn't talk).

    jeez! quick with the camera are we? ( I admire the photo reflexes… I had an encounter with a red tailed hawk that I thought about getting to my camera, but it was over before I could reach into my pocket.)

    1. Frist!

      Well, compared to the scraping off of the old flaky paint, the actual painting part really is fun.

      The bunny ran and hid under the painting tarp, so I had plenty of time to grab my camera. Of course, he was off like a light again when we lifted the tarp, but when he decided to "hide" near the doorstep, I was able to get a photo.

  2. I confess I laughed when I read about the sprinkler head mishap! I kind of enjoy painting, too. I like the fact that you can instantly see results.
    Ohhh, that baby bunny is DARLING!
    Congratulations on being named Relief Society president! It sounds like something that will take a lot of time but will be time spent well.

    1. I'm always good for a laugh, particularly with home "improvement" projects. When we paint, I'm the one to do the big surfaces, then John goes along behind me and makes sure the edges are nice. I'm like you; I want to see the results right away!

      The bunny is adorable.

      Thanks. Yes, it will be time-consuming, but I'm looking forward to getting to know better the women of the congregation.

  3. A baby bunny and grandchildren sure make for a happy week! Made me smile!

  4. Lots of small bunnies in my neighborhood. . .cute, but oh so destructive.

    How fun that Drexel has a sense of humor. Maybe he is just airing out his bedding every day.

    1. Fortunately, we haven't noticed bunny destruction here yet. I think the owls and hawks in the area help keep the bunny population under control.

      Drexel keeps me entertained, that's for sure!

  5. The governmental set up is really impressive... Here I was thinking it was like a committee head or something... this is a big job indeed! But good for you and them! Bunnies... awww, Drexel... even better! one of my favorite apps is photogrid. Its free and allows you to take photos and collage them... kinda fun.

    1. Oh, the church is definitely very organized! You can attend any ward, anywhere in the world, and the organization is the same. You'll even have the same Sunday School lesson. I've been to church services in England and Japan, and knew exactly what to expect.

      I have good women as counselors, so I think things will be OK.

      Thanks for the app suggestion. I'll have to check it out.

  6. Oh my goodness! Relief Society President is a big job! Congrats, I think. :) I have no doubt you will be a wonderful leader. Your way of kindly encouraging others will come in very handy.

    I'm glad your second week without a child at home has gone well. The day with your granddaughters had to help. They are getting so big. Could have sworn that baby was just born a few weeks ago!

    1. It's hard to know what to say. I got both congrats and condolences today. :-) Thanks for your vote of confidence, though. I know I will learn a lot in this calling, and I'm glad for the chance to serve.

      They grow up fast, don't they? Youngest granddaughter even has teeth now!

  7. Sweet baby bunny love him. And your number 8 made me laugh. I finally had my phone's screen fixed this week after not having one for a couple of weeks. I was enjoying the unplugged life, but everyone (family members) were getting a little tired of not being able to get in touch with me. And I'm slowly going through a study of James. Your post made me think of a key theme in the book. "Faith without works is dead." Service does flow from a grateful heart. Glad you took on the responsibility. Know you'll do great.

    1. I don't even know how many years I had my old phone--since at least 2005, I think.

      James is a great book. I like the theme of "Faith without works is dead," as well as the verses that say, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering." As we put faith into action, God blesses and guides us.

  8. Look at you! New phone. I find that having social media on there can be helpful, but sometimes that can make it addicting so be careful :) I learned something new about the history of your church. That diagram you showed looks like an official one from the main website. Do all the churches of Latter-Day Saints have their hierarchies and set ups like this? I think this might be the first time I've heard of what it is like before. Great list of thankfuls. Your babies are so adorable!

    1. I will definitely be careful; it is too easy to spend way too much time online! :-)

      Yes, the infographic comes from the church's website. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is a world-wide church, and is organized on a global scale. So, yes, all congregations are organized in the same fashion, and all classes teach from the same manuals--and are usually on the same lesson, give or take a week.

  9. Cute bunny. I love how you brought home all that meat and then made meals to freeze. I should try that. Then I could get most of my cooking done in one afternoon. Sounding better every word I write. #3 sounded like the perfect day to me. I think we should all have more days like that day. :-)

    1. I've ordered 80 pounds of chicken breast, too, so now I have to gather another bunch of recipes for a big cooking session in October!

  10. That baby bunny is adorable we have so many bunnies too - what a wonderful week you had and Congratulations for Relief Society President - you will do well i'm sure of it. Please do share the recipes wow 40 lbs of chop meat- love to hear what you cooked and froze, nothing like coming home and having dinner semi-done.
    Your granddaughters are adorable and getting big. Enjoy the week!

    1. I will get a post prepared in the next week or two to share the recipes. I've ordered some chicken breasts from Zaycon, too--delivery date is in October--so now I need to figure out meal plans for 80 pounds of chicken!

  11. Congratulations on your Relief Society Presicentcy!! I get it's a big, big thing and I'm sure you'll do just great, like everything you do!!
    I like painting too!! Not the sanding though, I try to let Henk do that. I love making things pretty again... Babies, bunnies and goofy dogs make the world a pretty place too, don't you think?! Have a great week. xxx

    1. Thank you. I have the support of good women working with me, so I think we'll survive. :-)

      Painting is much more fun than sanding!

  12. I'll go check out your post. I won't look at Candy Crush, either, but, like you, Words with Friends is my only game. :-)

  13. What a compliment to you Kristi that the Lord called you to watch over his daughters! You'll be wonderful, I've no doubt. Lucky you, to have counselors! You probably even have a secretary and teachers! I have found being the RS President to be a real character building calling. The Lord is chipping away at my rough corners and stretching my soul. Sometimes it's painful, but often it is sweet. Prayers for your success.

    1. Are you a RS president without counselors or teachers? Are you in a branch? I can't imagine trying to do everything by myself!

    2. I have one counselor, no teachers, or any other helpers. Yes, I'm in a branch that is so small I call it a twig! We have 85 women on the rolls and on a really good day there are 15 sisters at church spread throughout RS, YW, and Primary. On not so good days we have 6. It is challenging, and I totally miss the church I knew both out west and in VA.

  14. What a fantastic post! That bunny is adorable! We have a bunch around here and the kids go gaga over them ever time!

  15. Beautiful photos! Well, of the children - maybe not the dog pad one! But glad the dog is good for a laugh. Animals are pretty amusing.
    Hooray for projects getting done!


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