Ahhhh, school is out and it is time for summer!!!! I love letting go of the rush, rush, rush of the school year and its constraints on our time and togetherness. And the last week has been 90% bliss and 10% WOULD YOU STOP LAYING DOWN IN THE MIDDLE OF THE HALLWAY AND JUST FINISH CLEANING YOUR ROOM LIKE I'VE BEEN ASKING FOR THE LAST THREE MONTHS OF SATURDAYS FOR PETE'S SAKE! So I should probably work on that. It has been so nice for the little boys especially, to have their sisters here to play with them.
Our big news is that Eleanor got her mission call! I am so excited for her! It took her a lot longer to finish up her application papers than we anticipated and I feel like I've been anxiously awaiting the "where" since last October! She is going to Anaheim, CA Spanish speaking. I must admit that I really expected her to go somewhere foreign. I mean, she would have no trouble with culture adaptation -- she really seemed like a prime candidate. And so many people in my family have gone to really exotic places... I also realized that I had truly expected her to go to Japan. It was a hope that I have had ever since we lived there. She had become fluent in the language after attending two years of school there, but had promptly lost it when we returned to the United States. I knew that a mission would be just the thing to awaken the latent language hiding somewhere in the deep folds and tissues. I know I should have had no expectation whatsoever because for my whole life if I really want something and overthink it, it doesn't happen. Fortunately, I'm generally pretty pessimistic so it works out for me. For instance, when I'm pregnant I always anticipate that my baby will be some freak of nature. Every time I've thought, "This time, the baby won't be cute. Our others are cute, we've played the lottery, and we can't possibly win again." So, of course, each one has been absolutely adorable! Or I was quite sure that Matthew couldn't possibly be one of the three candidates chosen for the Masters program at Dartmouth or that he'd get the job here or that I'd ever get married. Other things that I did think for sure would happen like me getting my PhD or someday reaching my ideal weight -- nope! Another really fortunate thing is that the Lord usually prepares me for things. I dreamt we were moving to Japan before we found out, I knew deep down that I was going to become the RS president, and I had a dream last week about Ella's mission call. I dreamt that she was on a floor above me behind a glass wall and opened her letter. She called down "It's Spanish speaking!" I yelled back, "But where?" "It doesn't say!" "What? Just throw it over the glass wall!" So she did and it was just a rough draft of their decision making process and not the final letter at all. It was funny and I told Matthew and Ella about it. Matthew had faith in my vision and so when we did a family lottery of guessing where she was going, he put Arizona Spanish speaking so he was the closest! And also, I wasn't surprised or disappointed or anything when she told me. And she is really excited as well. She admitted that she was a little nervous to go abroad anyway. She also has a few health issues so this will all be for the best, I'm sure. Last week when I was getting a little impatient she told me, "Mom, it has been decided long before now so just relax." So now we just need to get her ready and I have to prepare myself for the reality of not being able to call her -- wah!
Matthew took Charles and Lucy to a concert in Milwaukee so it is just me and the littles. My teenagers are great in a general way, but it is sometimes nice to have them away for a bit. They can be intense!
My stresses at the moment are my garden -- blasted bunnies keep eating everything! My beans were growing like crazy and they just ate them down to stumps. Same with the eggplants. Are they stupid? Don't they know that if they let the plant get big there will be more food? Complete morons the lot of them!!! They've also stripped the bark off of two raspberry bushes and a pear tree -- I have no hope for them at all. Planting a garden is such a mind game for me. I can picture the bounty and the harvest before I even procure the seed packets and bare roots. I dream about the sun warmed tomatoes and crisp cucumbers. I can practically taste the strawberries... oh yeah! They completely uprooted my strawberry plants! It's just destruction, they didn't even eat anything. Mr. McGregor is my new literary hero. Bah humbug!