Sunday, June 4, 2017

A test of love and true inspiration

                   Today one of my Sunday school students could not believe me when I told him that I was the oldest of 8 kids. He asked me if we all had the same mother, and then if we had the same dad. I finally said: yes, Ray! My mom had 8 kids with the same man and I happen to be the oldest. It was pretty funny.
                 Being the oldest wasn't always easy, especially while trying to help my mom raise a bunch of crazy little ones.  I never realized how much useful experience I got from helping my mom with all my siblings, until I started having kids of my own. I used to be a terrible teacher to my siblings, I thought they used to be little monsters who weren't capable of learning discipline.
                 Now, being a teacher to my own children has been and continues to be a challenging yet rewarding experience.  It is so much more work than helping my mom with my siblings, that's for sure.  I have no idea how I can be so patient with my kids and still love them after a long hard day of baby tantrums, cleaning of messes and endless fighting. A few months ago, I actually started believing that I had finally figured out how to raise children, and I felt good with my teaching wisdom. That feeling didn't last long because I was recently called to teach the 12 &13 yr olds Sunday School class in our ward, and I found out that I had to re-learn some things and a million others about teaching children.

Last week for the first time in many years, I quietly cried after having taught my Sunday school class.  I felt very disappointed, inadequate, and confused. The kids in my class had been so disrespectful, and irreverent and I had no energy left in me to ask them to stop.
I didn't know what to do, but as the week progressed I felt calmer and my feelings of disappointment started fading. I prayed for guidance and while preparing my lesson the answer came to me.
The theme for June in the "come, follow me" manual is all about the priesthood and priesthood keys. This week the topic was all about the effectiveness of councils in the church. Last night I was reading from Elder Eyring's talk "Learning in the Priesthood" I was inspired to hold a council with the youth. I also invited the President of the Sunday School presidency to come during the last 20 mins of the lessons. His name is Br. Grondel.
I had 15 kids show up and I had them all sit in a semi circle and I didn't let anyone break the circle. I felt the spirit with me as I stood in front of them to teach them. After introducing the lesson and having a little discussion, we held a small council and spoke about the challenges I'm having with them and asked for their support and respect towards me. They came up with a simple list of steps to follow if they misbehave. It was wonderful and Br. Grondel towards the end, talked to the kids with authority and reminded them of the privilege they have to be able to be a part of such a wonderful church and to have me as their teacher.
It's been a good day. I love my calling. For the first time in a long time, I feel like my calling is mostly noticed by my Heavenly Father and Jordan who always sits in the back with Ezra. I don't serve with other adults or meet on a regular basis with a presidency, or receive a congratulations like I used to when I would teach in relief society or in sharing time. It's kinda cool. To be able to serve quietly, without any fanfare has been quite a humbling experience.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

BYU women's conference week

I attended the BYU women's conference this year and Jordan watched all 4 kids.  He did so good, I wanted to remember what the schedule of things he had to remember looked like. I know in a few years, it'll be even fuller. Right before leaving, I received a letter from the kid's school, letting me know that school had been cancelled the rest of the week, due to a virus that sent many sick children home that week.
So,  Jordan's schedule freed up a lot, but it also meant that he would have all 4 kids at home while I was gone. He did awesome! 
 My aunt Josefa, she's my mom's older sister took the bus with her daughter Barbi from L.A to Vegas on wednesday morning. That afternoon, we all drove together to Provo, UT.  My aunt joined the church when she was a teenager but left the church in her early 20's, she's now in her late 60's and recently returned to the church and went to the temple last year for the first time. 

It was a great experience to be able to share a room with my sister Mara and have her as my roommate for 3 nights. It brought back many great memories of us growing together. 

Hannah and Britta were also roomates and we were all in the same group. 
It was so fun to stay up talking and share what we thought of the classes we all went to. 
We stayed at the heritage halls, and my mom's groups was like 2 doors down the hallway. 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

General conference

We did it! Jordan took Massey to a live session for General Conference this year. A couple years ago we thought it'd be a good tradition to take our kids to General conference during their 8th year, we tried last conference but we could not make it work. Massey just turned 9 in February and it was such a great experience for him.  We thought inviting his cousin Nigel would make it more meaningful.  They boys had a great time.  Massey is developing his own testimony of the Gospel in such a natural way. This parent gig is not easy but it's so gratifying and fulfilling.

We spent half the time at Uncle Micah and Aunt Camille's home. We got there on Friday afternoon and they were so good to take us to this fun children's museum. The kids loved it, expect for Ezra, he wasn't a big fan of the water table, he kept frowning the whole time and didn't quite learn to enjoy it. It was cute.

cousin Bradley kept telling us how much he enjoyed watching General conference. Aunt Camille was so nice to let Rebeca set up a whole table with fun treats and activities. I didn't come prepared so this was really great and fun for the kids. 

On Saturday afternoon, after meeting my brothers, David and Rudy at the Cheesecake factory. We headed to Bountiful to visit and spend our last night with our friends Aimee and Brant. 
Our kids get along so well, and Aimee and I feel so comfortable with each other. We have similar parenting styles and simply love each other, despite the fact that we live far from each other. We have so much to talk about. I truly feel bless to have her in my life. 

Having all 8 kids sit at their small table brought so many good memories of the time we used to live in Portland. We did a bilingual co-op preeschool and we would hang out at each others apartments all the time. 4 years later we have twice as many kids and being around each other again made us all feel very happy. 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Soccer season has begun

Zion's youth spring performance

Tonight we attended the Zion's Youth Spring performances with Massey and Rebeca. Jordan took Massey and Rebeca and I went together.  Tara Skouson was very kind to get me two tickets the day of the concerts for the 5pm perfomance so Rebeca and I could go. I found out tonight that she is the company's manager. Her husband had already promised me two tickets for the 7:30pm performance but Jordan told Massey he would take him.  It worked out so well having gone separately, it was a mommy-daughter and daddy-son date. We feel deeply grateful for the opportunity we have to be surrounded by and know such talented people. I currently am taking piano lessons from David Skouson, who directs the orchestra and is a very accomplished concert pianist. To say that this it has been a great experience would be an understatement. The Smith's center is a beautiful building and tonight's performance was really spectacular. Massey and Rebeca very much enjoyed it especially since they recognized a few of the youth from our current ward, "the Dove Canyon ward".  

Papi and Massey being all handsome and happy together
                                                                  Cute Rebequita with Mami
                                             We had to get a picture with this colorful background.
                                                      Rebeca will be 8 yrs old in 4 months.

Love these two!