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Look carefully...at the seemingly small moments...in the constant shaping of souls.- Neal A.Maxwell
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thanks for asking
"What was the best part of your day?" Is a question I have asked almost daily for at least the past 17 years.  Recently I commented to 15-year old that no one ever asks me the best part of my day.  He looked surprised and said, "You know, you're right.  What was the best part of your day?"  He has asked me every day since.

I like hearing the best part of the day from others - it helps me learn what matters to them.  I have enjoyed being asked the best part of my day - it gives me reason to pause and think over the day - what went well and what could have gone better.  It has also made me realize that I need to change my question: "What were the best parts of your day?"  Frequently it is too hard to single out just one thing.

Today I liked: hearing 15-year old sing while he did his kitchen jobs; listening to 11-year old play our 5-card equation game with a friend;  eating fresh lettuce from the garden; folding towels still warm from the dryer; the evening breeze; roasting mini-marshmallows over tea-lights...  HOWEVER, today there was a definite best part: my friend is home from the hospital.  Can you just imagine how her family must be feeling right now?




foundations
My friend has been in the hospital (2 hours away) for about two months now.  Her husband has been up with her for most of the last three weeks.  Grandparents have come in from out of state to care for the 7 kids at home.  Friends have been chipping in where needed.  At the final Middle School band concert for the year, their oldest and second oldest, both Student Body officers, received music awards.  At the fifth grade promotion ceremony their third oldest received both a music and an academic award.  They are all good kids continuing to function under difficult circumstances.

Yesterday at church, the two youngest girls were excited to show me their pretty dresses and shoes and to show me the pocket sized hymn book they were holding.  A few minutes later I saw them sitting next to a gentleman happily chattering away.  After the meeting was over I asked Grandma if the girls were coming over Wednesday.  She asked if I were busy Monday.  Dad is coming home and the other grandma is taking his place at the hospital.  The kids need a place to be for the day.  Everyone had a place to be but the 2-year old girl and the 13-year old boy.  Of course I would love to have them.

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14-year old girl was invited to the coast with some friends.  She was undecided if she should go.  I asked about the friends.  If I were her mother, there would be no question, she would not have been allowed to go.  I am not her mother and want to always be respectful of that fact.  I told 14-year old girl that she needs to feel safe in her decision.  "Safe physically, emotionally, spiritually and morally."  I told her that although she is young now she needs to think of, and take care of her grown-up self.

She chose not to go - at least not this time.

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As I watch my friend's family I am impressed with the foundation she and her husband have helped lay for their children.  I am impressed with the strength, courage and fortitude with which they are facing their current circumstances.  Getting to know the Grandparents I can see that the foundation laying started when the current parents were children themselves.

As I watch their family interact with church family and friends I can see the existing foundation receiving extra support.

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I see 14-year old girl seeking a foundation.  I see teachers, other adults and some really solid youth adding their support.


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Very different struggles between two very different situations.  Same bottom lying need for support.  Very different foundations for that support to build upon.  I ache for both.  I worry for one.


midst

"Just because something is in our midst does not mean that we have been in the midst of it..." (Pres. Spencer W. Kimball, Ensign, May 1978)





 
1,2,2,7,10 or (7 - 2) x 2 = 10 x 1
I was scheduled to chaperone the 5th grade science museum field trip.  11-year old did not go on the field trip because of his broken toes.  My day had been blocked out for chaperoning so 11-year old and I were able to spend an uninterrupted day together.  We played games, ate popcorn and toasted marshmallows over tea light candles.  By far the highlight of our day was a game that started out as "Sleeping Queens" (a card game by GameWright and a favorite with my 5th grade math group) but eventually morphed into something entirely different.

The object of "Sleeping Queens" is to win and defend queens through the use of power cards (kings, knights, dragons, potions, wands and jesters).  There are number cards but they hold no value except to be traded in the hopes of obtaining power cards.  Number cards are traded through discarding and replacing from the draw deck.  Singles, pairs and triples can be discarded as well as cards that form simple addition equations.  (for example: 2+3=5, if holding a 2, 3 and 5).  The "morph" started by allowing any mathematical operation, not just addition, in the discarding of cards.  We then decided that queens could be won and lost only through a player being able to make an equation using all 5 number cards in hand - power cards were no longer part of the game.  Then we decided queens were not necessary.  We would deal 5 number cards face up and the first person to make a mathematical equation using all 5 cards would win the 5 cards.  It was fast paced and required quick thinking.  11-year old won the majority of the time.

Tomorrow is a regular school day.  Next week is the last week before summer vacation.  Today was a good ending to 15 consecutive years of elementary school.  Next year 11-year old starts middle school
Lightening the Load
11-year old's 5th grade class earned a field-trip to a gymnastic facility.  They went today.  I received a phone call around 2pm.  11-year old had injured his foot during the field-trip, could I come get him?  From school to pediatrician to radiology to orthopedist to Fred Meyer pharmacy to rent crutches.

Per doctor's orders: no track, no bike rodeo, no field day, no field-trips that require much walking.  Today cancelled most of the highlights of 11-year old's remaining two weeks of elementary school.
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For Family Home Evening lesson this past Monday we read, "The Heavy Backpack." ( https://www.lds.org/friend/2013/06/the-heavy-backpack?lang=eng )  At the end of the story each family member decided one thing s/he could do this week to help "lighten the load."  15-year old chose service, 11-year old chose being kind, I chose being grateful, husband chose being honest and upright.
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When the doctor was giving the list of don'ts he added, "Things could be much worse.  He doesn't need surgery or pins."  The doctor's thinking matched mine.  There was a lot to be grateful for.
I had planned to run errands today but chose not to and therefore was home when the school called.  The pediatrician and orthopedist were able fit us into their schedule.  There was a pediatrician and an orthopedist to go to!...
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The teacher mentioned that he had noticed 11-year old sitting on the sidelines early into the field-trip.  He checked to see if everything was okay, 11-year old said that it was.  It was not until it was time to get shoes on to go out to the bus that the teacher knew there was a problem.

11-year old said that he did not mention his foot sooner because he thought that if he did the field-trip would be cut short and that would be disappointing to the other kids. 

Another item for my "grateful" list.



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