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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Sixth Grade Rocks!

This is my handsome little devil! (Last one on the right)  
This is his soooo cute school class this year.

Yesterday his school had their yearly program where they honor the 8th grade graduating students, and hand out awards for the year.

These aren't just "made up" awards given to make every student feel "special'. They are well-earned, hard-worked-for awards. I had NO idea my son would be getting and award. He got two!

He got a certificate for 5th place in the BYU bride crushing competition. This was his first year doing it, and he pretty much assembled the whole thing by himself. (His partner was a little...uninvolved for most of it.) It stressed him out a lot and I kept telling him that it didn't matter how it turned out because these first few years are just to learn about how to do it, not be perfect. But he is so particular. He didn't want any dripping glue showing. He didn't want any beams off-center, or crooked. No. He does NOT get this perfectionism from me!

When we went for the bride crushing a few months ago, I told him just to enjoy it, no matter how much weight it can take, and that it is going to break regardless! He was prepared to just enjoy it and have fun. He knew the top 5 would get an award at the end of the year. We couldn't believe it when his came in the top 5! It was a really fun day and he is looking forward to it again in the future.

He was also awarded a bronze medal yesterday for his performance on the National Mythology Exam. This was a complete surprise to all of us! How neat to see him go up on stage and get his medal! He was so proud, and I'm sure his daddy and I were just beaming! And, of course, I didn't bring my camera. (I am NOT one of those picture-taking camera moms. Sorry. Can't be perfect!)
Luckily, one of his former teachers was there to snap this priceless picture of the whole class together!

I loved the program yesterday. It made me cry. It gave me chills to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance, to hear a student give a heart-felt prayer; to hear the 8th grade students give such touching speaches; to see the true and caring involvement of each of the teachers there; to see the principal give each student a hug. I knew, once again, that I am doing the right thing sending my son to that very special school!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Lesson from a fledgling bird...

I gave a lesson on Sunday in Relief Society about facing trials with faith, and turning our lives over to God.

And, since I practically live my life finding analogies in every little thing, I thought I'd share the latest. (With whomever might be even still reading blogs, let alone MY pathetic little blog. Hello? Anyone? Beuhler?)

We have a family of blue scrub jays living next to our back patio in a large evergreen. They have become our friends. They let us know when they want us to give them a treat by tapping on the brick wall by their bush. We put the food out, they eat, everyone is happy.

They recently had a young one hatch and it has been really neat to hear him chirping and crying out for food, then hear the mamma and daddy talk to him. He chirps back and they feed him. Sooo cute!

Yesterday, as I was doing yard work very near the tree, the baby decided he was ready to leave the nest. Except, he wasn't really ready because he can't fly yet. But, he was determined NOT to be stuck in that nest anymore. I kept a close eye on him all day long, making sure he didn't fall from the tree, or find himself on the ground where the neighbor cat would be all too happy to have him for a snack.

Last evening he eventually made it down to the ground and his parents were VERY worried about him. We wanted to avoid handeling him, but it became very apparent he was headed straight for danger if we didn't do something. My husband caught him and tried to put him back in his nest, but he wasnt' having any of that. HE jumped right out and fell back down to the bottom of the tree. We tried again to put him back where he'd be safe for a few more days until his wings were ready to fly, but he simply would not stay put. We finally turned in for the night, leaving him near the middle of the tree, and fairly certain he'd be safe there for the night.

This morning we went out to check on him. We could hear his squaking and the parents talking to him, but he was climbing up the vines on our giant pine tree across the yard! We thought, well, that is where they ultimately always end up with their young, so this could be good! But it wasn't good, because the little thing still couldn't climb up the tree, and still can't fly!

He finally ended up back down on the ground and headed toward the house with the very hungry cat! The parents were NOT happy with this, but the little bird wanted to go his own way. Somehow the little guy managed to change directions, though, and ended up in our other neighbor's yard near a lower tree. HE is in some thick underbrush, and I think he's safe for now.

But it made me think about my own life. I have often wanted to go my "own" way, instead of the way I know the Lord had planned for me. I would fight and struggle, and walk my own path. Usually my path was easier, more ideal than the one the Lord had planned for me. So I would stubbornly go my own way, and find myself unhappy, making mistakes, and end up miserable. That is when I would have to finally change course and listen to the Spirit guide me back to where I needed to be. If I had only done that in the first place- listened to the Spirit. It will never take me down a path I should not go!

That little birdie should have listened to his parents who know what the big, scary world is like. They know that his wings needed to grow a bit more before he was to leave the nest. Now they have to put themselves in danger as they try to care for their little one who is far, far from the path.

I hope he will make it back up into the tree again. I hope the Jays know we were only trying to help, and not be mad at us. I hope that I can learn from this and remember that the Lord's path, however difficult it may be, or undesirable at first, is ALWAYS the better way. ALWAYS!