And What Have You Been Up To??

Haven’t posted in awhile – and I have no pictures – so I’ll warn you up front.  Still, I’m feeling the need to say something.  We’ve enjoyed a quiet Sunday afternoon.  Tom substituted in Primary for the 7 year olds.  All boys (5 of them).  I was there for sharing time but left him to fend for himself while I went off to Relief Society.  All I can say is that those boys sure were squirrelly in sharing time!!  I taught the “Teachings for our Times” lesson today – Elder Hale’s most recent talk on Provident Living.  It turned out to be a good hour – lots of interesting and inspiring comments and it was a talk that lent itself to turning to the scriptures, so we did quite a bit of that too.  I probably read and listened to this talk six or seven times over the last three weeks – yet I still had no inspiration last night when I finally sat down to make a lesson outline.  The only thing I came up with was a simple chalkboard diagram with the words “Jesus Christ” in the center, and various scripture references suggested in the talk written around it.  But now, thinking about how the lesson progressed, it was the perfect visual reminder of where the lesson was going.  Like everything else in our lives, Jesus Christ is the way out of all our human troubles.  If we can focus more on Him than on the clothes we wear, or the style of our lives, or how we want to spend our free time – then all those things get taken care of in the right way and we end up becoming better selves – more happy and godly selves.  The power of a good discussion – even the teacher gets taught!!  Even though I love teaching the gospel I have been surprised, this time around teaching Relief Society, at how difficult it has been to sit down and prepare outlines that make me feel prepared.  And oftentimes, it is the lessons like this one today, that turn out the best.  I think about how we are promised that if we are prepared, the Lord will give us the words to speak at the very moment that we need them – and I feel like more than at any other time in my life, this has been true.

Well, this post took a turn I wasn’t expecting!!  Andrew and I have been home for a week now.  Spending time with Mom & Dad Cottle was just the change of pace our family needed.  Having Andrew spend a week on his own with his grandparents gave him a chance to be the “only” kid – which he really enjoyed and probably needs more than is humanly possible to give him day-to-day.  The rest of us had a needed break from some of his more annoying behaviors (it is amazing how strongly he affects the tenor of our family – more so than any other person in the family!).  The next week I joined him at my parents.  I love hanging out with my parents – we have lots of interesting conversation; we take a trip into Richfield everyday (just about)*; we eat out at little drive-ins and fast food restaurants where Dad always seems to run into some one he knows (who knew he was such a social person??); we do stuff around the house, like weed or sew, or paint – but just enough to be fun, not drudgery.  And in between there’s lots of time to sleep and read and there are no major responsibilities like housework or carpools or cooking.  It’s such a nice break and when I go home, I can be freshly appreciative of my life and my family.

While I was gone, our windows were installed (thanks, Mom & Dad, for making that possible).  They look good.  We have some minor finish work (painting some trim, finishing the drywall repair in our bedroom) but it is such a relief to have the windows installed instead of sitting in our garage.  And Tom is grateful that he’s not looking down the barrel of two years of hard labor!!  The only down side is that while demo-ing our window opening, he cut his hand on the drywall corner bead (good thing he had gloves on – who knows what the damage would have been otherwise).  He’s complained all week about the stitches (what a baby!! – just kidding, Tom) and is threatening to take them out himself!!  At least he didn’t fall off the roof while doing the windows last month and now there’s no need to get back out there.  What shall we do next?  Re-finish or paint the wood work?  Plant the garden?  Our options are limited by our funds – but hopefully that will change soon.

Thanks everyone, for your prayers on our behalf.  And thanks for reading all the way to the end of this post!!!

*For those less familiar with Sevier County, see here.

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