Been a little busy this past week! Quayd's "Farewell" was yesterday. It was the day that he spoke in Sacrament Meeting in our ward, followed by a brunch at our home, followed by an open house in the evening. The entire day was perfect! We were overwhelmed and humbled by the attendance of so many friends and family. Seriously, it was incredibly wonderful to feel so much love and support from so many of our closest friends and family.
A little weekend in review...
Liza and Buddy arrived at about 7:30 on Friday Evening. We had so much to do before Sunday that it was known before their arrival that we'd be spending much of the time in preparation for the big Sunday events. As they pulled up, Liza and I had been texting, so I knew where they were. We were waiting outside on the front lawn when they came in. I opened Aylabelle's door and she said, "Grammmmiiiiiiiiieeeeee! Did you miss me so much?!!?!?!?" It was my favorite thing! Then, after lots of hugs and big squeezes, she said, "I need to give Grampie a big hug!" It was about two seconds later that she was asking us to play with her. I'm so thrilled that she is so comfortable and at home in our home.
Liza and Buddy made good time and had even stopped on their way for dinner. Aylabelle didn't nap a wink during the entire trip, but she wasn't anywhere near ready for bed until 10PM. We spend the evening just visiting and making plans for Saturday.
On Saturday, the men set up tables while the ladies were in the kitchen making cookies and sausage and gravy for the brunch. ZJ spent about eight hours baking cookies that she and Grace had been preparing dough for all week long. We had a few friends dropping in throughout the day, which each time, meant a nice little and much needed break! By about 7, we were on top of our game except the last minute things. The tables and chairs were set up in the back yard for 74 people. The food was prepared. We grilled brats and dogs and enjoyed chips and guacomole and fresh salsa for dinner. It was that or pizza. We opted to just stay home and relax in the back yard. Buddy was on his comedic A-game all weekend long. He had us rolling several times!
We had planned to watch Big Fat Greek Wedding when things settled down. However, we had enough drop in company that we never got to the movie. We'd much rather visit than watch a movie!
We did have the strangest scare on Saturday afternoon. Zulu came into the kitchen and was acting so strange. He was tremoring and his eyes were twitching. He kept spooking at shadows and anything near him. Then he started doing this thing with his head, where he'd lie it down then stretch it in a circle upward like he was looking at something. It was so odd. He didn't act like he was in pain, but it was just "off". After about three hours, I found a vet who was open on a Saturday and he took my call. I'd videotaped it and he asked me to send it to him. He called me back and said it was something he'd never seen himself, but he'd forwarded it to three other vets. He said it was called, "Little White Dog Sydrome" and Maltese breeds are the number one victims of it. It was a seizure. I've never seen anything like it. He encouraged us to just watch Zulu over the weekend and see how he did then to bring him in Monday if it continued. It lasted another hour or so then disappeared. The whole four hours, I was praying so hard that Zulu would live through the weekend, if he was dying, because I didn't want Quayd to lose his focus on his talk, because I didn't think that this family could handle losing two dogs in three weeks, because I can't afford another dog right now, because because because I love my kids and hate seeing them hurt. Even Buddy gave Zulu a sypathy piece of jerky! We were all worried! He's fine now and has been ever since. We'll continue to watch him closely.
When the bigs were little and when the babes were, too, Doug would read "The Monster at the End of the Book" to them and they would just laugh and laugh and laugh. I have a new copy waiting just for the right time for Aylabelle. Liza asked Doug to read it to her. OH MY WORD! The book has Grover saying that there's a monster at the end of the book, and with each page that you turn, he gets a bit more insistent that you not turn another page. At the end, you turn the last page with fair warning and find out that Grover, himself, is the monster at the end of the book. "Little old me." And then, he says, "Oh, I'm so embarrassed." It's a hoot to hear and watch Doug read it so animated with all the sound effects.
Fear is something that doesn't happen with Aylabelle. Everything's safe and wonderful in her little world. A bug can crawl across and Aylabelle and Liza will examine it and be happy to see it. No fear allowed! So, this story, especially with Doug's animation, was pretty intense! Her eyes were so big. Three times, she said, "Grampie, I don't like this book." She even tried to get down. I encouraged her to let Gramp finish. She didn't like that Gramp kept turning the pages when he was being told not to! At the end, before he turned the last page, she wasn't sure she wanted to see it. Then, he read the cute little ending. She laughed! She hops down from Doug's lap, takes the book, hands it to me and says, "I love this book!" I think that was our biggest laugh of the weekend!
After Aylabelle was down for the night, we started doing the last minute things and my list kept getting longer. Liza and I ended up going to bed at 1:30. I was still wide-open and Liza texted me at about 1:45, "Go to bed!" Or did she tell me that? I don't remember! I was wide-open yet in zombie mode and kept thinking of little details. I finally made a To-Do list and could rest!
I never sleep well before a big event and especially if it is early. Since we had church in the morning, I set about six alarms on my phone to go off just in case! The first alarm went off at 6 and I was up and at it! I got the sausage and gravy into the crockpots so that it could be heated by the end of church. I showered and got dressed, then just double checked my lists and started getting everyone else up.
At 8:15, Grace went to her one and only practice to sing a duet with Kazlie in Sacrament Meeting just before Quayd's talk. After the first speaker, she and Kazlie sang a beautiful song called, "I Believe" that had most everyone in tears. It's the song that they had sung at her Laurel Training Camp last month. It was so moving. Quayd said that he was even choked up before he began because of it.
Carol arrived at 8:30 to get instructions on what to do. She and Denise were both the kitchen helpers, which shows what great friends they are! I seriously do not know what I'd do without these two great women! I had the table set and most everything ready to be set out when we returned from church.
It was a relatively calm morning, considering the fact that there were
eight of trying to get ready and be out the door that early. Quayd was
stressed over his contacts, which didn't seem to want to go in. Other
than that, he was just focused on his 25 minute talk. We arrived at
church and the chapel was full, the overflow was full and a few minutes
into the meeting, they opened up the overflow into the cultural hall.
Our ward is relatively small and there were several people comment about
how many people were there to hear Quayd speak. I think that's easy to
understand being that we have just moved from another ward and he's
still very connected to so many there.
Quayd was asked to speak 25 minutes and the Bishop told him to be prepared to take more or less time, depending on the speakers before him. The speaker before him went over by ten minutes and I knew that Quayd would not edit his talk to shorten it. He gives a great talk. He'd prepared it during the week and spent hours and hours perfecting it. To be on the stand and no time to make changes, I just knew that our meeting was going over and it did by 7 minutes after the closing prayer. BUT...
His talk was wonderful. He has always had a gift with public speaking and sharing his feelings from the heart. He shared some of his mini-mission experience, his thoughts on the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and some deep thoughts of gratitude for his family and those who've influenced his life. It was definitely a proud parent day for Doug and I.
After the meeting, we were met with many wonderful compliments about both Grace and Quayd. The most common comment was, "Wow, that was more like a homecoming talk than a going away talk. He was so prepared." HAPPINESS!! He really is a good boy, in spite of the fact that his sneakers are in the middle of the den right now and his room was a mess when we got home from church and entertained over 130 people throughout the day. heehee. (I gave him a pass and didn't care one bit! He had more important things on his mind!
I say this not to boast about Quayd, but to note that he really has grown and is preparing and focused on doing his best on his mission. He's taking things so seriously. He's still an 18 year old boy, but he's growing by leaps and bounds. It makes me so proud to see how much he's trying!
Quayd was, as well as Doug and I, very humbled by the support that was shown! If I don't end here, I'll never get this entry done. This day has been insane trying to get the girls ready for camp tomorrow. I'm trying to get to sleep because I have to have ZJ off at 7 in the morning! To be continued...