Friday, September 22, the girls participated in their school dance festival and fundraiser. Bethany's class performed a mix of songs from the 80's including Thriller, hence the zombie.
Caitlin and Mary's classes both performed
It was a beautiful evening, and I particularly enjoyed letting the little kids play on the playground while we watched the others perform. Sam was a big help with that. I am so grateful that he was willing to come with me. Grandma Martha enjoyed the evening with us too. Sophie enjoyed her lap.
Olivia's class performed square dances. I can remember learning the do-si-do when I was in elementary school in Oklahoma. I didn't look that pretty though.
I wish I were a better photographer so you could really see how beautiful and red the leaves on the mountains are. Saturday morning we woke up to Fall in the valley too. Yellow was starting to appear in the trees, and the air was the most perfect kind of cool, just right for opening all the doors and windows, which we did, not just to celebrate Autumn, but because William was trying to microwave his own breakfast and burnt his pizza beyond recognition. I was upstairs cozy and reading with Sophie in my lap, but was called down by panic and screams. Bethany had to show Sophie how to crawl underneath the smoke. It was kind of comical, owing to the fact that the house didn't actually burn down, having found the already overcooked pizza, just in the nick of time, or before the thirty-nine minutes of cooking time that still remained on the microwave timer. The burnt pizza sat out on the back porch the rest of the day as a reminder of the morning's events. Several people stopped to wonder about what it was.
I continued to clean my room, forced the girls to work on theirs, and then sent them off to a Primary service project.
In the evening we drove to Spanish Fork so the kids could be part of their Harvest Moon Hurrah, held on the lawn of the Spanish Fork library. I had never heard of such of a thing, so I braced myself for the cost, and was so happy to learn that all the activities were free. The music lesson kids, minus Kyle who was enjoying the day at Lagoon, with his best friend David, were invited to perform on a hayride with their teacher Jessica Knight. I love the way Jessica provides opportunities for them, even as beginners.
My only expense was two bags of this amazing kettle corn. For some reason, everyone was starving by the time we opened it. In our awkward frenzy to eat it, we left enough on the ground to feed another family.
These things have been around since the beginning of time, and were still the favorite activity with my kids.
For the past two Sundays we have met in the stake center, rather than in our normal meeting house. Last week we had Stake Conference. Elder Dalin H. Oaks spoke via broadcast. As usual his talk was spiritually uplifting and full of good humor. He made at least two important points, both of which probably shouldn't need to pointed out, but apparently needed to be pointed out. One: the LDS Church is a politically neutral institution and doesn't endorse any political candidates. Loving that one. And two: single adults often feel left out or out of place at church or church activities.
So being a single myself, of course I was attentive and appreciative. But maybe because I am so often surrounded by my children, I evaluated my own impression of single life in the church and thought, it's not that bad. Then I went to a meeting alone.
September 23, early in the morning, I was so grateful to watch my over-eight kids, dressed in Sunday clothes, walk over to meet Granddad and Judith. They were going to accompany them to the Brigham City Temple dedication broadcast. When they returned, I left the oldest kids in charge, and left by myself for the noon session.
I arrived thirty minutes early and sat in an empty, perfectly situated row. As the chapel filled, the rows in front of me filled up quickly with those obviously less concerned with ergonomic perfection than I was, and the rows behind me filled as well, but with the emergency exit mentality people, that would usually be me, those suffering from a kind of panic disorder that comes from too many years of bringing small children to long meetings. And as I sat there I became increasingly self conscious of the fact that I was alone on that long, perfectly situated aisle, to the point that I started to stare people down as they walked by, hoping the catch their eye so I could grab them by the elbow, and pull them on to my row, and beg them not to leave me sitting there by myself. Which I eventually did. I thought; I either have the obvious look of the social pariah A.K.A single woman, or I look so matriarchal that everyone is assuming that I can fill this row of twenty seats single handedly with my bounteous posterity. I made a promise to myself that I will never assume that the person sitting by herself wants to be left alone again of course whomever I should saddle up next to with my ten children, will probably wish that I had.
Monday we were back in to the swing of our very busy weeks. I am grateful that Jessica has been willing to drive out to our house for lessons now. The girls have two hours of musical theatre practice on Monday afternoon. We make it home just in time for Jessica to arrive. She stays for an hour and half. I love hearing the lessons as the rest of us eat dinner and do homework. She is helping Bethany get started with the cello that she is playing in the school orchestra. Kyle sounded great last night on the banjo. He has definitely caught the spirit of Pete Seeger.