Updates from the wanderer

Michael has been having a grand time in Europe. I am not sure he is really working very hard there though.
We are receiving lots and lots of lovely pictures of his adventures. This last weekend he got to travel over to France to see some of the countryside over there.

We miss our daddy a lot but are glad that he is really having a great time while he is tdy in Northern Italy.

Wear Good Shoes

Last Thursday and Friday, Lydia attended youth conference. I prepared all her food and medicines and told myself that she would be fine without me anywhere around. I still haven't figured out the right balance of letting her be independent and still making sure that I am there in case of a medical emergency. I am getting better though.
All those years of daily life vs death experiences make it hard to completely let go. Her mobility is becoming less and less so that is a factor too.

When we arrived one of my dear friends was in charge of Lydia's group and all my fears gently dissipated, I knew she would have a great time. Lydia loves quilting and that was one of the activities. She had such a grand time being with friends and learning how to share the gospel of Christ. They did service and had a lot of fun too!

Maliea, Thayne and I hopped on the Metro and headed into the District. For the next 9 1/2 hours we followed Thayne from one exciting exhibit to the next.

He loves the Air and Space Museum. He loves anything that is hands on, so we ran around finding as much stuff to touch as possible.

I think that Maliea really had a great time there also. Even if her enjoyment was a bit rushed by her brother's enthusiasm.

We had a snack then walked to the carousel. The ride before had been packed with children but then somehow Thayne got the whole thing by himself. The conductor let it go around double for him!

We also had so much fun at the American history and Natural history museum. Lydia did not need to be picked up until 8:00 pm that night so we had lots of time to walk around and enjoy the beautiful day. Needless to say our feet did not enjoy that many hours though. Even Thayne started to slow down at the end.
On Friday , I was able to feel comfortable enough to let Lydia be up there the whole day without me being just minutes away. I am not sure I could have done another long day chasing Thayne around DC again. I love that Lydia had a good experience at youth conference and honestly it was nice being in the museums without having to chase him and push a wheelchair. One thing that we have learned is always, always wear good shoes. There is nothing like exploring the city on foot but you don't want your feet to hate you at the end of the day.


Working hard?

Just in pictures of Elder Callihan and his companion sent by one of the ward members who feed them tonight.

It was said that he had some really spicy hot sauce and that is why he was sweating.



This morning my love and I exchanged text messages stating how grateful we were that we were not imbibers. This morning I felt like I had a hangover anyway, that's what crying can do to you. Puffy eyes and a sharp headache were the gifts of released sorrow at 3 am that was an accumulation of lots of emotions.

Thayne has been participating in a summer trial for Destination Imagination. I had been there observing his work and how well he was doing. I wasn't sure at first if he would be a good fit, then I watch how he blossomed with the challenges and how his creative mind was loving it. We started attending at the first part of June and the trial period ended last week. He loved creating an article of clothing out of newspaper and duct tape, then displaying his team's creation, they worked with simple machines and learned how to present themselves and a subject. I was surprised and impressed with how he rose to the tasks.

Unfortunately, the program is about competition and winning is the end all be all. The rejection email came yesterday from the leadership team.
"Realizing the full scope of what a competitive DI team entails, we feel that it would be a frustrating year for Thayne and the other team members.  We want his DI experience to be a positive one, and for his learning to be joyful, and recognize that a competitive DI team will likely not provide that environment.  As such, we have determined not to invite Thayne to a team this year." Part of the email read.

Thayne took this very hard and my momma heart is so sad for him. Rejection, unfortunately is part of life and I can't take away his sadness. So all night he was saying things like, " they think I am stupid" and " I tried so hard but I will never be good enough".

One of the women on the leadership team is a lady from our church. She and I have not been seeing eye to eye on several things in cub scouts and other areas. She sent an email to other people in church behind my back about how I disciplined Thayne weeks ago at cubs scouts and she did not agree, thinking that I was being too harsh. I am trying so very hard to believe that she was fair with all of this, but I fear not.

After raising 4 other kids, you would think that I would have all the answers to soothe my boy. I don't. It is really crappy being rejected. Parenting is hard. The world is hard. All I can do is let him know he really did his best and really that is all any of us can do.



This man is the love of my life. He is kind, loving,an excellent father, and currently in Northern Italy without me. Before Italy it was Yuma, Arizona. Before Yuma, California and before California it was Florida. He has been gone for a good part of this year. To be honest, most of this year and the last has been spent traveling with his job.

I would not be honest if I said I am perfectly okay with it all. This trip my phone is filling up with pictures of amazing sites and yummy food.

The most interesting thing I have encountered in my conversation with others, is how they share my lament but then the statement about money always comes up. ALWAYS! " Oh it's too bad he is gone all the time , but the money is really good right?" The variations on this question all are asking the same thing.
For the record , no he doesn't get per diem. It would be dreamy if he did. He does have a very small percentage more of his pay but money can never be a substitute for his presence. Is this what we truly value, money over togetherness?
He does get amazing food and gelato!

I adore this man! He works so hard for our family. Quite frankly he is happy when he is away from the politics and conflict of the engine shop here on base. He misses us and I am a bit jealous that Italy doesn't have me visiting too. His value to me is not in how much his paycheck is. Money is not a consolation. It pays bills, puts food on the table but has nothing to do with how valuable he is to my heart and soul.

Things will have to shift, our boy is having such a hard time with Quayde on his mission and Daddy gone too. I prayed to have an open and loving heart for this trip; so I could delight in Michael's enjoyment of the country and the food. It is amazing how prayer can take away resentment and replace it with joy. I am so loving the discoveries and beauty that is being shared through the photos. I am grateful for the technology that allows us to be close even when we are an ocean apart.