The kids had their big day yesterday. Gracie went on the big walk to the convenience store. I still don't get that, but they entire grade walks to a Maverik gas station and gets to buy treats. Go figure? Quayd came home from the Aquatic Center totally sunburned! He put sunscreen on his stomach and arms but didn't want to ask anyone to cover his back. He had a rough night. ZJ went to meet her penpal at another school in the valley. The kids rode to the other school on a city bus instead of a school bus. I think that the bus ride was more exciting than meeting the friend. She said that she got pretty emotional when they met the other class of fifth graders because it was at a park that we've had family gatherings at and she has always had Zaylee by her side. (I think that ZJ is definitely the most affected by Zaylee's absence.) They all had great days though.
After school, Grace told me of her awards ceremony. She was certain that she'd get a special award because she'd read over 7000 pages this semester, more than any other student. Unfortunately, that was not acknowledged. So, after dinner, Doug called the family together and thanked the kids for their wonderful school year, their good attitudes and how hard they try. Then, he presented each of them with an award that I'd put together. ZJ received the "best helper in the family" award. Quayd got the "most excellent, star son" award. And Grace got the "best reader in the whole family" award. They weren't expecting this little surprise at all. As Doug presented the award to each of them individually, we all applauded and cheered for them. Quayd took a proud bow. ZJ was thrilled and Grace just beamed with excitement. Afterward, Quayd said, "Mom, I think that we should do that every year!" I love that my freshman in highschool son still gets excited over the little things!
Immediately after, Doug and ZJ raced off to the school for their big "Rite of Passage", latenight at the 100 year old school. Zeej came home so excited to share tales of the dark "dungeon" and being up on the roof. Doug said that it's hard not to get quezy looking over the edge. Such a fun experience for them. Doug admitted that he was a little sad to think that this was his last time in the elementary school with ZJ. I'm so thankful to have a husband who loves being a father so much!
This morning, we've already had some excitement. ??? Quayd and I were driving to McD's for a bite and noticed Boyd, Mom's manfriend, out walking their dogs. He was by the B's home when we passed him, which seemed to be quite a bit out of the way. I called Wendy and asked her to notice which direction he went from their house. (They live on a corner.) After McD's drive-thru, we drove back in that direction, just to make sure that we saw Boyd heading home. No Boyd.
We drove around for 30 minutes looking, asking everyone we saw outside and calling several friends in the neighborhood, asking them to take a look on their street. Finally, as we drove around one block the third time, a jogger flagged us down and said that another jogger we had asked, had told her we were looking for him. She'd seen him heading west out of town! I headed out west and sure enough, we found him near the edge of the ballpark on the end of town. He was confused and asking another walker how to get home. He he saw me, he said, "Is that you, Sophia?" Quayd touched my heart. He immediately jumped out and took charge. He raced around the fence into the ballpark, took both leashes and then took Boyd's arm, walking Boyd and the dogs back to the road and then he helped him get up into the truck. Boyd was embarrassed. I'd already called Mom and told her we'd found him, so she was waiting at the door for him at home. Quayd hopped out and helped Boyd out of the truck then walked him to the door. Poor Boyd. He tried to make a joke of it and made a fuss over how tall Quayd is getting. Mom said that they will go and get him a cell phone on Monday so that he can call if he gets lost. And Quayd. What a boy. I just love that kid more and more every day. I pray every day, PLEASE let him continue to be the champion kid that he is!!!
Last night, Carol called and told me that Madi had written something on her blog that I needed to she. She'd written the kindest entry about our friendship ~ mine and Madi's, that is. It made me cry! And laugh. I want to share it here because this is my journal and it's not something that I want to ever forget. But, I also don't want to sound like I'm tooting my own horn. So, I'm humbly posting it here, for my own posterity. Madi made my day! I heart her so! It's an honor to be "family" with Madi, Carol and their whole family! First, my favorite photo ever of Madi. Isn't she beautiful!?
Growing up, I also had Sophia and Doug for inspiration.
We have always joked that she is my best friend, and that her daughter Liza is my Moms best friend. But really and truly, she is one of my best friends. I named my daughter after her, and even married a man named Doug ;) Sophia has had many trials dealt to her, and with each one, she always comes out on top, and benefits from each experience. This woman, and her husband, are going straight to heaven- I'd bet my life on it. Sophia and Doug have adopted their three oldest grand kids, and those three kids are the most kind spirited, gentle, well mannered, and loving kids I have ever had the pleasure of having in my life. I have been through many hard times these past few years, and Sophia has been there thru it all. I even called her and Doug in the middle of the night once a few years ago, needing the comforts of a blessing, and advice. There has never been any question as to whether or not I can call them if needs be. I know I can, and they would do anything in their power to make sure I was okay and had what I needed.
Most of my favorite memories have Sophi and her family in them. Countless family dinners, cards, games, movies, trips to Bear Lake and The Ranch, Diet Cokes, Tai Pan...and even memories I can't remember. I was the first baby she loved, other than her own children. No joke on that one. The bologna chunk Utah story, trips to Vegas, the time they came to visit when they were living in Indiana, and of course, everything being 38%. There are hours upon hours of home videos to capture the happiness that two families have created over the years.
Sophia was my wedding planner, and without her and my Mom, my wedding day wouldn't have been everything I had wanted it to be. She always has the best ideas, and like my mom, always knows what to do. She isn't afraid to speak her mind, ask questions others wont, or tell you things you might not want to hear. You know she is going to speak truths when she starts a sentence with.."Madi, you know I love you right? And you know I would do anything for you?" That sentence is ALWAYS followed by a harsh truth. But I love her for telling it like it is, and saying things I really need to hear.
Right now, Sophia has major heartache and drama going on in her life. Her youngest granddaughter Zaylee, has been moved across the country. Reading her blog lately has just made my heart break! I wish I could handle life's hard times like Sophia does. Her life doesn't come to a stop when things aren't going good. She continues on, and does the best that she can do, with the cards God has given her. She understands that everything happens for a reason, and that it is not our place to question why. She inspires every aspect of my life. I want my daughter to grow up to be life her Aunt Taylor, and Sophia's girls, Gracie and ZJ. I want to be an amazing homemaker like she is, and have the ability to make my house a home, where everyone feels welcome and relaxed. Over the years, she has become a best friend. Someone who has always been here for me, and loved me regardless. She inspires me, and I will be forever thankful for everything she has done for me and Makayla.
On Mothers Day, we were at the park grilling hamburgers, and having the most wonderful day. Sophia told me that she was proud of me, and the mother I'd become. Hearing that from her, made my Mothers Day so much sweeter. I'd been having a hard time with Makayla, and her tantrums, and not feeling like too good of a mom. So having her tell me that, was just what I needed to hear, and until now, I don't think she knew it.
I love you Sophia. Forever, and Always.