Monday, April 20, 2015

It's make-up-your-own-title day! (No, not REALLY)

I know, I know, it's been a few days. But not SO terribly many as it COULD have been ...

Let's see.
Michael's done with his CRAZYHUGEEXPENSIVELONG test. In a couple months, we should learn if he's passed it. (Just FYI, this test only has a 42% pass rate. Yowch, right?)

Bubbles is in the middle of potty-training. She's doing pretty well ... Mistakes are still happening, but nothing horrendous.

Last week, one of my "baby" cousins turned 22. And she's THISCLOSE to graduating college.
I also got to have a lunch date with one of my friends that I hadn't seen (in person) for what feels like ages and ages. We had a great time. I've missed her bunches.

We cleaned the church (we had traded our assignment last week to this week).
I have to say that cleaning WITH kids takes a LOT longer ... but Bruise and Bucket are learning (bit by bit) how to clean the church bathrooms decently.
Yes, we opt for cleaning the bathrooms and the drinking fountains instead of the kitchen and vacuuming classrooms.
(Now, July-December, we'll have the other jobs to choose from -- washing the windows, vacuuming/sweeping the chapel, cultural hall, hallways ... and some other things. But, as for me and my house, we prefer the bathrooms.)

SO ... Michael can actually clean the bathrooms, kitchen, vacuum the classrooms assigned, AND clean the drinking fountains (that's the BEST one, really) in around an hour by himself, so he says ...
It took me, coaching Bruise and Bucket, on the wiping down the sinks and toilets (Michael was in charge of refilling toilet paper and paper towel dispensers and, for the most part, mopping), it took us almost EXACTLY one hour.

On Sunday, when we were walking into church, we ran into Brother D--. He made such a point of thanking us for COMING and CLEANING at the church (it's a nearly random assignment given to at least two families each week. Our family might be assigned to help clean maybe four times a year?) ... but it was pretty apparent that folks aren't showing up or doing their work.

I could rather tell that, since in the Nursery, we have PILES of sawdust where ants burrowed through earlier this month. (I should just take Michael's key and give that room a DECENT vacuuming sometime during the week) And, when I was scrubbing the toilets, they were hosting quite a pink ring of mineral-sediment in each and every one of them.
(When you have someone in the other ward remark on how good the toilets look ... I mean it's flattering, but it's also rather irritating. This is the Lord's HOUSE ... it SHOULD be taken care of.)

So ... yeah. And Michael got home from a meeting last night feeling frustrated.

Pretty much all of it really boils down to the fact that a good majority of folk in the ward (and don't get me wrong, I love my church. I love my ward. But we're none of us perfect. Apparently, here's an area in which a LOT of us can aspire to show HUUUUUUUUGE improvements. Just sayin'.) are not taking their responsibilities/duties seriously.

I mean, yes, sometimes there are times when a teacher just WON'T SHOW UP for church, leaving either the Sunday School presidency or the Primary Presidency skedaddling to find someone to take his/her place OR squeezing two classes together.
It's understandable when it's an emergency ... but just NOT showing up for a calling that you agreed to do (and it's not like there's NO ONE who could pitch in and sub. Heck, I just typed up the list of Primary substitutes into a pdf for my Nursery co-leaders.), it's not responsible.
(And I say this as a woman who LOVES to sleep in.)

I see Michael busting his butt to TRY and be a good steward (as called for, being an Elders Quorum president) to all the families assigned to his care (Not all the families come under the stewardship of EQ. Some are assigned to the High Priests' group in the ward). And ... well, he can't do it. Even when I'm at my most supportive, there simply aren't enough hours in the day/week/month/year/century for him to administer to each family on his own.

And, well, he tells me that there are three brethren in Elders Quorum who are consistently doing their Home Teaching.

Yes, you heard me.
THREE.
A SINGLE DIGIT ... yeah.

I've offered that, if I'm asked to speak in church in the near future, to issue a call to repentance.
(I can do that, since I do strive to do my Visiting Teaching. I feel intense guilt if I haven't reached out to my Visiting Teachees each month. Because, dang it, they DESERVE to know that Heavenly Father loves them, Jesus loves them, and they have at LEAST two sisters in the ward who know and love them and are willing to help out. Besides, Home/Visiting Teaching also is a great act of service to the High Priest Group Leader/EQ President/ Relief Society President, since THEY need to be able to know how we can best serve those in our ward's boundaries ... and, if they don't have the time/ability to visit each and every family/sister, how can they have ANY chance of knowing about those needs?

It just irks me.
And maybe it's got something to do with the fact that we haven't been home taught since before my friend Kim died (her husband, who's since moved out of the ward, was one of our home teachers. Our other home teacher is ... in legal trouble/having a crisis of faith. So, yeah, it's been a few months since we've had a visit. I GET that people are busy. But, when you're putting other priorities before serving the Lord, I have a bit of a problem with that.

Right now, I don't really know who my Visiting Teachers are.
And I get that whoever I've been assigned to are probably just really busy ladies ... but, at the same time, it's sad that they feel that I don't even rate a call/text/email/Facebook message/whatever.
I mean, sure, I'm doing okay. For the most part.
But, well, what if I weren't? Who would I call?
(Okay, I'd call my mom. But, when my mom passes, I'm going to be UP. A. CREEK.)
And I do have some friends in the ward, too. Like our RS president ... she'd make sure that I was taken care of.

But what of the families/sisters who DON'T have a friendship established with the RS President or someone, anyone else? That's RIGHT THERE what Visiting Teaching is all about (and Home Teaching, too). It's helping the good shepherd by going after and checking on all His wandering (and not-so-wandering) lambs.

And, from my experience of Visiting Teaching, I KNOW that it's not always easy. There will be sisters who don't WANT visits (or even ANY contact from the church). When that happens, you just write letters or send texts (if they're cool with that) and let them know that you're there for them, that you care, that they're not alone or forgotten.

One gal (who I met by being assigned as her Visiting Teacher) was rather flabberghasted when I visited, Michael in tow as my VT companion, since I couldn't get hold of my assigned companion. We had a lovely visit, which started a friendship. ... She was flabberghasted because, when she asked if we had any fun plans for the coming weekend/spring break (in a couple days), I told her that Michael and I were getting married the next day. (It was true. And it was a HUGE reason why I wanted to be SURE to visit her before we went on our honeymoon. Because VT is a priority to me. Not just because of numbers ... but because I'd feel AWFUL if any sister assigned to me felt lonely, forgotten, or neglected. That's NOT how Heavenly Father would want her to feel.)

So, yeah, I can't really wrap my head around why so many folks in the ward aren't reaching out to those they've been assigned stewardship over. Even if you're only able to make contact once every couple months, it's SOMETHING.
If I had more time, I'd be about ready to just print out cards saying "If you need anything, please give your Home Teachers ________ & ________ a call at, respectively ___-___-____ or ___-___-____. Or contact your Visiting Teachers ________ & ________  at ___-___-____ or ___-___-____. They'd love an opportunity to get to know, love, and serve you! ... And if they don't, give me a call at ___-___-____ or email me at ____@_____.___ and I'll set them straight at what a wonderful opportunity they're selfishly neglecting. Because you're awesome! And they should know that!"

But that might be a little, oh, passive-aggressive and overly forward, I suppose.

But, yeah. It's irritating that things like this happen.
(Since, in regards to the cleaning the Stake Center, Brother D-- is no spring chicken. Nor is he in the best of help. He shouldn't have to pick up the slack for all the people who aren't pitching in their share. *SIGH*)

But, well, it's sucky. Because I love these people ... but I also, at the same time, want to give them a GIANT kick in the bedonk-a-donk to get them into gear.

Yeah, I shouldn't talk about this aloud. Or else you're going to hear me bellow that "If we'd just GET IN GEAR and DO STUFF, we'd get blessings, y'all! And I FREAKING NEED blessings! If we'd just DO our CRAP, we'd receive more! THIS is the reason why we DON'T HAVE the SEALED SECTION of the GOLDEN PLATES! I'M TRYING to get my CRAP DONE! I'VE STARTED READING MY SCRIPTURES DAILY! NOW YOU GUYS NEED TO STEP IT UP!!!!!"

And, well, that's not the most Christlike way to address people.
Regardless of whether or not it might be true.

But, yeah ... that's about where it stands.

So ... besides that, I am toning my hair with my awesome purple shampoo. I left it in for, like, 25 minutes the other day. And Michael was impressed at how much blonder/more-platinum my hair looked. So I'm leaving it in longer today. Worst case scenario -- my hair will be a little on the lavender side. Oh, boo. (Honestly? I'd be kinda thrilled.) And I FINALLY got around to giving myself a manicure. Most of my nails (fingers and toes) are a deep nude. But my big toes and my ring fingers are sporting nail strips. Mint green with a cream/dusty rose floral print. The nude ties in with the shadows on the pinkest parts. If you care. Which you might not.

Oh, I've been talking to Bruise and Bucket about puberty.
The other day (Friday morning, before school), I was telling them about their (soon-to-develop) secondary sex characteristics [e.g., body hair, Adam's apple, breasts ...] but I also mentioned menarche and (Bruise was HORRIFIED at this) nocturnal emissions.

But, hey, at least they're aware of what fresh hell their bodies have in store for them.
I did tell them that they really didn't need to discuss this with their school chums or anything ... since it's really something that families should discuss. BUT, with all the fun-fun-fun of upcoming Sex-Ed classes, I figure that I should cover my bases as to human development and gospel doctrines and morality and expectations NOW, while they still listen to me, right?

So, that's most of our week in a nutshell.

And, from discussing with the kids this morning (about accepting God's will, even when we DO have righteous desires ... we have to learn that He does know more and will give us all what's best for us to learn. And I mentioned how we prayed [and fasted] that Kim would get better and come home to her family and us ... and that it ... ... didn't happen.
Bucket crawled into my lap and gave me a big hug. Which was nice, even though she's solid for her size (that girl, I swear, is all bones and muscle. Good for her, right?).

But, yeah. It's not fun when I drive by the road that Kim's family's old apartment is on. Or I watch some clip from Jimmy Kimmel and think that I should share that with her ... and I .... can't. But I'll deal.

I just, you know, I thought I'd be older. A LOT older. ... when I started losing friends this way.

I know it makes me sound all petulant and childish, but I don't LIKE it. Not at all.

Well, I'm going to go load the dishwasher or something. And wash this application of purple shampoo out of my hair.

THEN maybe I'll enlist Bruise and Bubbles to help me build a blanket fort where we'll eat ice cream until it's time to go pick up Bucket.
Though I'll probably be DONE with effort after I load the dishwasher and do some laundry. Or something. They house will wait another day for cleaning, I guess.

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