Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Goodbye Grandpa

Where do I start? A couple of months ago my grandfather was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. It hit with a vengeance and Grandpa Thompson passed away last Tuesday. I have been so blessed to have had all four of my grandparents throughout my childhood and into my adult life. I guess I took it for granted that they were always around because I have learned so much about him in the last week since his passing that I just never knew before. For example, while I was aware that he was an extremely talented musician, I didn't know that he played his violin in the San Francisco World's Fair when he was nine years old. Also, I did not know that his work for Boeing as an engineer included helping with the lunar lander and assisting with the engineering that fixed the oxygen problem in the Apollo 13 mission. I also learned this week that the violin my mom plays was originally my grandfather's and that he gave it to her when she was big enough to play an adult sized violin, rather than the child-sized one on which she had learned. I knew my grandfather was an avid family history buff, but didn't know that he had a chair in his back room that was covered in a sheet that came over on the Mayflower. I knew my grandfather loved the outdoors and had been involved with the Boy Scouts for most of his life, but I was not aware of the extensive reach his scouting activities and projects had. I am so grateful for a grandfather who accepted the gospel and grasped the iron rod firmly with one hand, while clinging to his family with the other. He was a pioneer in the gospel and I thank him for the testimony he instilled in my mother so that she could in turn instill it in me.

I am glad I had the opportunity to get some pictures of my grandfather with Liliana with my grandfather at her blessing back in March, while he was still healthy. I will always remember how much Grandpa Thompson loved babies and let us all know that they were the real reason he attended all the family functions (though we knew he loved seeing us too). Though Liliana won't remember him, I know his life has laid a great foundation for her and the generations that will follow.

I am sooooooo thankful for the Plan of Salvation and for my knowledge of it. It has made this temporary separation from my grandfather bearable for my family because we know that we will all be reunited on the other side. Grandpa has simply gone on ahead and will continue in the Lord's service on the other side. I love you, Grandpa, and told you so many times. And even though you weren't the type to openly show affection or emotions, I know you love me too.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Change of Plans

Well, my practicum placement at the preschool has fallen through, so now I'm just taking one class this quarter and we only meet once a week for three hours. To be honest, I'm actually quite relieved. I get to be with my baby and don't have to stress about not spending enough time with her. Things started falling apart a couple of weeks ago when my first placement fell through and then my back-up placement just didn't get cleared fast enough - which worked out for the better since part of my child-care situation fell through at the last minute as well. David's Dad was going to be watching Liliana in the mornings until he had to leave for work a little before 3pm and then a good friend of mine was going to watch Liliana in the afternoons until I got home. My friend had some problems arise at the last minute and wasn't going to be able to watch Liliana in the afternoon and I didn't want to leave her with just anyone. When everything hit the fan Tuesday evening, I just started stressing out and crying. I asked David to give me a blessing. We had a really good conversation and prayed together before the blessing and I knew before he even gave me the blessing that it was the right thing to do for me to pare back and just take the one class this quarter so I could be with my baby. I felt so relieved and everything worked out fine with getting withdrawn from the practicum, even though I was passed the official withdrawal date (since I was without a placement in which to get my practicum hours, there was no way to complete the class, so the school was willing to refund my tuition - for which I am soooo grateful).

This morning David was holding Liliana and she turned, looked at me, and said, "Mama". She has been making the "mamama ma ma" noises for awhile, but I never really felt like she was necessarily calling to me until today. After she said it, she leaned my direction, as if she was expecting me to come pick her up. She was hungry and ready to feed, and since I'm the "food lady", she probably figured she better get my attention!

Later this morning, while I was getting David's lunch together, Liliana was crawling around the kitchen. I realized that things were quiet and looked around to see what she was up to. She had climbed into her bumbo seat (a little foamy baby seat that sits on the floor) all by herself! I took a picture and we'll get that posted on our family website.

Oh, I am sooooo relieved to be staying with my baby. This actually works out so well, because if I am able to get my placement in the preschool/childcare center near my home next quarter, once Liliana turns a year (2 weeks into the quarter), I can just take her to the center with me and pay 50% tuition since I'll be an employee. I had originally been planning to take her with me to the center this quarter, but was informed that the employee discount only applies to babies over 1 and that full-priced tuition was about $340 a week - ouch! Since I'll have completed this other class, my coursework will be a bit lighter next quarter as well. We'll see what happens. Whether or not I'm able to graduate in June now, I know I'm exactly where I need to be and that Heavenly Father will guide me in what is best for me and my family - as long as I'm willing to let Him.