Sunday, November 12, 2023

A Week of Thoughts

1. A Budding Composer Unafraid to Explore Her Fears

"I made this song up," Eliza said to me as she sat at the piano.

"Really? Play it for me!" I replied

"Well, there's words to it," she said.

"Oh! Sing it for me!"

"It's called," she began and looked me dead in the eyes, "I Don't Know What to Do if a Monster Comes and Chews Me Up."

"Oh!" I said, unable to hide my surprise. Or stifle my laughter. " ... Okay, then. Let's hear it!"

She then played her melody and sang the lyrics (which were, unsurprisingly, I don't know what to do if a monster comes and chews me up).

I mean, if we're being honest, I wouldn't know what to do either. 

2. People like to hike

I mean, I know not everyone likes to hike, but for some reason I had convinced myself that no one around here likes to hike. So I wallowed for a bit in my loneliness and decided to just start going by myself. And wouldn't you know, the moment I started talking about hiking, four out of four ladies asked if they could come along. Stay tuned. We may start a weekly hiking club.

3. Even Leaders Need Haircuts

Poor thing can't even open her eyes all the way because her bangs get in them. But that doesn't prevent her from being the cutest Mustang Leader ever. Her teacher says she always pays attention and is ready to answer questions. It's true. 

4. Sometimes a Picture can Stop Your Breath

It was about the leaning. The arms. The smiles. The heads tilting towards each other. I had scrolled through 20 pictures of this exact same pose on the CCM's Facebook page, scanning the faces of missionaries in districts I didn't know, searching for the one I did. Picture after picture of beaming faces, but this one stopped my breath. Not just because Kenzie is here, but because this picture tells a story of friendship and bonding in a way the other photos didn't. The other photos were beautiful, and the kids looked happy and ready for their next adventure, but they weren't enveloping each other in the same way these kids are.

She's told me in a thousand words how wonderful her time in the CCM has been - how much she loves her companion and her district and her teachers and the language - but none of them spoke as loudly as this photo. It is a treasure to me.

And now she's said goodbye to all of this, taken off her training wheels, and is somewhere in the heart of Chile fully engaged in the work she was sent to do. I get to talk to her tomorrow (I think) and I can. not. wait. 

5. They Complain a Loud Complaint When I Ask Them to Dress *A Tiny Bit Nicer*, But When Their Coach Asks, They Comply. How Rude.

And also, how wonderful that they have coaches in their lives encouraging them to stretch themselves in more ways than one. Their tennis coach, Coach Huxford, is a force of nature and loves these boys with a passion. We love her, too. So grateful to have these boys honored for their hard work this season around a whole bunch of pizza boxes and soda.

6. She Really is a Studious One. But Her Attention Span Could Use Some Work

Eliza loves to do her homework. And she does it in two minute spurts. She likes to doodle in the corners and color in all the boxes and grab a few snacks and tell me stories along the way. It's quite adorable unless we're trying to get through it a little quicker. Which we always seem to be. I'm brainstorming ways to help keep her a little more focused.

Reinforcements seem to work well.

Timothy mourns the day when his homework looked like Eliza's. He said he'd give just about anything to have math like that again. I didn't tell him he'd feel the same way in five years about the math he's doing now. Growth is painful that way.

4. Who Says Mountain Biking Trails Can't Be Hiking Trails, Too?

Like, actually. I really want to know. Do people say that? Because I've exhausted the hiking trails around here, and we have a whole bunch of cool mountain biking trails. 

As we turned this corner, Eliza stopped in her tracks and said, "Oh wow. Just look at those mountains." She loves the colors.

Mountain biking trails are actually super fun to walk on because they're interesting. They swerve and incline, and if you run it feels a little like you're on a roller coaster. So we did that. With our hands up in the air like you do.

It's a new favorite. And we practiced jumping off the trail for mountain bikers about 17 times and only ever saw one... so I think we're good.

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