Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tutoring and Teaching

I am lucky to have some wonderful opportunities to stay connected to teaching a little, even as a stay-at-home  mom.  This summer I got to tutor a sweet little girl named Jenna.  We worked together twice a week.  When I first tested her, she was reading at 68 WPM.  By the end of the summer, she was consistently reading in the 120s (WPM) and one time she posted 151 WPM!  She was so cute, every once in a while she would bring little surprises for me, like raspberries or blackberries from her family's garden or bread that she had baked, etc.  It was a pleasure for me to work with her.  At our last tutoring session I wanted a picture with her even though I had come straight from working out and was in no condition to be photographed.  Oh well!  Here she is:
This year I will continue to tutor.  I'm working with the son of a good friend in my ward.  I really enjoy tutoring reading and am excited to see what progress we can make with him.  I also get to teach a writing class again to a home school co-op.  It is a sweet deal: the co-op meets at a house at the end of my street and the moms watch Gabe while I teach their older kids.  Gabe LOVES the chance to get out and play with new kids and I enjoy doing a little teaching.

These little jobs, in addition to learning to coupon (thanks cousin Bethany!) have been a real financial blessing for our family.  (Dave's job, obviously, is the REAL financial blessing!) It confirms to me that Heavenly Father is happy with our decision to have me at home with Gabe and I also feel that we have been very blessed for paying tithing.  I'm so grateful that we are able to be self-sufficient while at the same time being able to spend lots of quality time with our son.

My Birthday

I'm almost a month late in posting about my 30th birthday, but it was a wonderful celebration and I want to get it down for posterity. The day before my birthday, we went with my family to the Western Idaho Fair.  The petting zoo was a highlight once again.

After the fair, we went out to dinner and then got some delicious ice cream at SubZero.  When we got home from the fun we found that our house had been heart attacked by the Young Women.  They had left me heart-shaped love notes and a plate of yummy cream cheese pumpkin bars on the doorstep.  The next day, my actual birthday (Aug. 21), Dave continued his annual tradition of sneaking into his Mariachi outfit in the early hours of the morning and tiptoeing outside so he can throw things at our window until I wake up.  Then he serenades me with "Las Mananitas" and then cooks me breakfast.  This morning it was french toast. Yum!  Later in the morning, I went out shopping for maternity clothes with my mom and sisters and then we all went out to lunch.  That evening we had pizza rolls and root beer floats and then saw The Hunger Games at the movie theater.

For my birthday I asked for rocking chairs for the front porch and I now have two beautiful white rocking chairs to fill up the space that used to be empty out there.  I will post pictures soon!  Dave also got me an ice cream cake (which I had also requested!).

The weekend before my birthday, we invited our backyard neighbors and friends to go out to dinner at Tucanos with us and then go Latin dancing.  It was a blast!  I wish I had taken more pictures of our friends the Howells, especially when Bryan twirled Lorraine over his shoulder on the dance floor!  We are so lucky to have such awesome neighbors.
Also, the week before my birthday, I went to a beautiful lunch hosted by one of my best friends, Cheryl Campbell. It wasn't in honor of my birthday, but it was festive and fun and I want to remember it so I'll include it in this post.  Cheryl made a table out of an old door and pallets and served a lunch with several dishes using produce from her amazing garden.  Every time I am with Cheryl I am motivated to create more and do more--Cheryl inspires me.  It was great to catch up with friends.  We just sat around talking...and eating!...for about three hours.
My wonderful parents-in-law, Robyn and Pete, also remembered my birthday and sent me a raised fire pit so that we can have fires in our backyard!  I am so excited for mallow roasting and Argentine asados!  They also gave me a Home Depot gift card which we are using to buy some supplies for a patio to house the fire pit and some patio chairs.  It will be a fun little corner.  I'll post pictures when it is done!

Also, a shout out to Jenny (if she reads this!) for the beautiful Australian necklace.  I love it and have already worn it a number of times.  Thank you for bringing back parts of the world to those of us who don't get a chance to travel it as extensively as you do! :)

Saturday, September 1, 2012

I believe in divine intervention

So this week I have been taking one of my young women to early morning Seminary because her parents (who aren't members) don't want to take her. On Thursday, I woke up at 6 and got in the car to take her and when I got to the end of my street I had the thought to really fully stop and make sure there were no pedestrians exercising in the dark before I pulled out onto the main road. I stopped and looked down the path both ways and then started to pull out and then for some reason I put my foot on the brake again. Just then a biker zoomed right in front of my car. I hadn't seen her because she was riding on the road and I had been looking on the pedestrian path. Since I was already braking, I was able to stop for her, but otherwise I would have almost certainly hit her. Although I would like to be able to say that I am always such a cautious driver, that is really not the case. I am grateful for the divine inspiration and help given to me this week that helped prevent a serious accident.