Since my last post, I to meet one fabulous gal: the latest grandchild, Lauren Mae, #22. Because she arrived a week earlier than scheduled, our official meeting was postponed so I could witness the sealing and blessing of Luke and Ethan Hutchings. Lauren was a week old by the time Claire (complete with Ella and Lincoln), Julie, and myself set out for Dallas, TX. We had a detour right at the start when Gary called the night before from the airport, a bit frantic, because he had left his bag that had his work files and scriptures on the security belt. Unfortunately, he didn't realize this until it came down to a choice of fly or don't fly and he chose to fly since he had a definite work commitment starting in Saudi Arabia. We were given the task of finding his forgotten bag the next morning and figuring out a way to get it to him on our way out of town. That delayed us a couple of hours, but we were successful; unfortunately, the bag made it to the Middle East only to get lost/misplaced there. Fortunately, Gary found it in the Bahrain cargo hold enroute back home two weeks later, so he is 'whole.' Have you ever lost your scriptures? Well I have and you feel like your better half is missing!
Speaking of fortunes and misfortunes, Claire had a 'series of unforunate events' almost as soon as we crossed the border into TX. We dropped her off at her good friend/roomie, Aleisha's home, where she planned to stay for one night. That was Monday evening on our long, long drive from ATL to Dallas (just ask Julie how long it was and she'll give you the details). We ended up not seeing Claire until Friday afternoon. She and Aleisha went to 'On the Border' (no anonymous name protection here) and inside of her burrito was buried a 2 inch razor blade which she discovered when she bit down on it! Claire called Rachel who in turn tried to tell me why Claire wouldn't be coming as soon as was expected and all I could picture was that blade going down her throat cutting it's way all the way to her tummy. I nearly passed out myself before I found out what really happened. She bit down on the blade, but did not swallow it. She summoned the waitress who called for the management who somehow managed to make Claire feel like he was suspicious she had 'planted' the razor blade for monetary benefit. Now how is that for turning the tables on the victim? He offered her a $10 gift card for future use. That was the ultimate insult. Corporate the next day acknowledged that they cut tomatoes with a similar blade, even though the manager said they didn't have anything like that in the kitchen. Coverup! The next morning Claire is sick with back pain, nausea, and chills which are symptoms of e-coli poisoning. Off to the Dr. she goes only to find out a few days later that they 'lost' her culture. She did some detective work and found out that it wasn't really lost, the culture was never ordered by the Dr.! All hopes of a multimillion dollar suit went down the drain. Actually, Jason said he would have been happy with $100,000! Claire definitely had a series of unfortunate events but managed to fully recover despite the country doctor's ineptitude. As for 'On the Border', they are probably still losing razor blades in their burritos, so BEWARE!
Claire's absence meant Julie and I only had to share Lauren 50/50 instead of splitting her three ways. She is a total delight and totally cute. She was eating and sleeping and pooping like an expert, and being carefully attended to by her older sisters who quite adore her. Rachel is such a great mom - I loving being the mother of great moms. Truly, I feel like I have 8 incredible moms in the world as my daughters and daughter in laws - each one mothering in their own unique and wonderful way.
We were so glad when Claire finally joined us in Dallas even though it meant a full house at the Crofts! Kate, Taylor, Ella and Lincoln wore themselves out chasing each other all over in tutos and ballerina slippers. I can't say that we did a whole lot other than just enjoying the time to be together but that's really all we wanted to do anyway. I did mange the neighborhood outlet mall a couple of times as well as a $1600 back up accident that was totally my fault, and totally covered by our insurance. And I suspect the insurance company will totally recoup that with increased premiums!
Julie left us early to head back to UT and a couple of days later Claire and I made the long drive back to ATL with Ella and Lincoln who were pretty close to perfect for those 14 hours. More positive proof that there are amazing mothers in this family!
Grandma Jewkes, Lucile, has been with us for a few weeks - spending time between Jana's home and ours...and her computer. She is working on her life history and she has some great stories to tell. She also let me take her to STOMP at the Fox and did we ever have a stomping good time. What a great show - if it comes your way, figure out a way to see it! I enjoy taking walks with her in the morning, sharing good books to read, and just letting some of her goodness rub off. We both just read, 'Left to Tell' a heart-reading story of survival during the Rwandan genocide in the 90's - by Imaculee Illibigaza. It is more than a story of survival - it is a story developing faith in God who she testified 'saved' her from certain death time after time. It is a story of learning to forgive those who did unspeakable things. I also just finished 'A Thousand Splendid Suns' - another very good read. My goal for the next few days is to read 'Three Cups of Tea' for our book club coming up on Friday.
Jacob was home for the weekend - a surprise visit and we always love surprise visits from him. I teased him about being one of the richest members of the family - he definitely has more discretionary income than we do and maybe than you do, too! Jake is having surgery on his nose on Feb 16 as a result of an injury in 2006 when he was elbowed during a basketball game. He went to the Dr. who confirmed it was probably broken at the time, but we're finding out now it was not only broken, it was misplaced. He has gradually developed breathing problems which means he's not sleeping well which means he is tired after a long day at the dental office which means he isn't getting a whole lot done on his academics because he falls asleep! (Jake...correct me if I'm wrong!) So he is going to have his nose broken again, the scar tissue cut out, the nasal passages all cleaned, his nose straightened and maybe even a new nose shape! It will not be fun, but it will be worth it, right Jake?
I'm so glad Gary is back home safely from Saudi. He got back Wed morning and had two days of work with Franklin Covey on Thurs and Friday. He hasn't had a chance to recover yet! He is working way too hard if you consider he also has a very time consuming and stressful job with United Capital as well. Seems like the closer we get to retirement the crazier/busier life gets.
Now that the New Year is here we are on the afternoon block for our church meetings. That's pretty challening for Luke who isn't yet old enough for the nursery and has to endure three hours of adult meetings right smack during his three hour nap time! From the noise level in our sacrament meeting, I would say Luke has some company. I recently read an article by Orson Scott Card on helping children be reverent in church. I like his philosophy on this a lot better than my philosophy as a young mother, but as Lucile always says, you do the best you know how at the time. If you want to check it out, here is the website:
First day of February - 2009 is already well on it's way. Brian (do I dare say it....Big 30 for him) and Beau have already turned a year older in January with Hayden, Gabe, Jenn, and Ella celebrating this month. As for the future, Elder Holland said it just right, 'Faith trusts that God has great things in store for you...faith has to do with blessings and truths and events that will YET be efficacious in our lives.' Didn't we hear the following at the past General Conference: 'The best is yet to come!'
To the Future!