Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Quickly turn it upside down and smile that frown away

About a month ago I got a new calling at Church. I keep saying I want a real calling, so I was excited with the Bishopric wanted to come over to figure out what we are good at  meet us. We have a guitar in our family room. I got is as a present one year and played it a little bit, but have since forgotten how to play. I do love guitars though, and I like having one in the front room. When people come over who know how to play, they pick it up and play some things and I love that. It also does a good job of hiding some unsightly cables.

So the bishopric knocks on the door, we let them inside and they immediately see the guitar and you can almost literally see their eyes light up. They dont jump right into the assessment of skills though. We talk for about a half an hour about life and our history, what brought us to Centennial etc. Then they say, "So what are you past callings?" Lucas has an impressive list to give them. (I know- all callings are important- but it does feel like a job interview) I tell them my last calling was to turn off the lights at the church and make sure the doors were locked every other week. Also to support Lucas in the bishopric of a BYU-I Single student ward.

The second counselor leans his head towards the guitar and hopefully asks "So you are pretty musical then? I see you play guitar!" and I say, "I have no musical talent, actually. I can't read music or sing and I played that about four years ago and can't remember anything." He looks disappointed. And because I feel some sort of maternal need to take care of everyone, I feel the need to make him feel better. I say, "I think my only real talent is working with children."  Relief washed over his face while Lucas' eyes almost get a glazed look as I'm sure he gets a vision of spending the next year in Nursery or as a Primary teacher.

We finish the meeting and say goodbye to the bishopric. Lucas says, "Yup. We're going to be in Primary!" (Primary is like Sunday school and singing time with 3  to 12-year-old kids)

A couple weeks later Lucas comes home from work and says, "The Bishopric will be here in 15 minutes. They want to talk to us. Callings."

20 minutes later I am asked to be the Primary Chorister. Enter terror and trembling.

I AM good with kids, but unfortunately, I am not a singer. And I'm not a soprano or even close to it. I also felt nervous about coming in not knowing the kids at all. I could have said 'Thanks but no thanks. I don't sing." but I firmly believe that if you are asked to do a calling in the church, even if it is a misguided call, you will be blessed to be able to fulfill it if you go into it with faith.

I was super stressed about it for a month before my first Sunday. Stress caused me to have night terrors about it. I dreamed my  mom was sitting with the youngest kids in a tiny chair and yelling out "You're doing this wrong! This is ALL WRONG!" It was horrible. (P.S. My mom is never critical. so that made it worse)

The night before my first Sunday, I stayed up all night coloring posters and making games to help the kids sing some songs and teach them a new one. I was prepared, but not ready. I guess the best way to learn is just to jump in, though. So Primary started and luckily, when it was my turn, it took just over 1 second in front of the kids to become comfortable. Working with kids is a talent of mine, and I just had to rely on it.

We played a Halloween game and sang about 5 songs in silly ways, then I started teaching them a new song. I think the teaching was rough and a little rushed, but for my first Sunday I think it was okay. I'm sure the only people who noticed my transitions were messy were the teachers, but they were all just happy to have someone else entertaining the kids. By the end of my time singing the kids were all happy. Sure, I had to sing a few of the songs out of the book because I didn't remember them, and maybe my 4:4 conducting turned into more of a Nike Swoosh mid-song, but it was still successful. I learned what I will do differently next time. I started learning some of the kids names. It was also really fun. I laughed at some of the things they said and it was fun to come up with an idea that got them so excited. I think I'll be okay.

The best thing about my first Sunday was help I got after prayer. I was so nervous that I showed up to church half an hour early. I sat in the chapel and prayed for help. I prayed that I could focus on teaching the kids and not be distracted with my inability to sing the songs or hit the high notes. Imagine my gratitude when it wasn't even an issue while i was singing. I sang the songs and hit the notes without even trying. And while that may not seem like a big deal to you, it was a miracle for me.

So looks like I'll be belting out songs about Popcorn Popping and Sunbeams 24/7 for the foreseeable future. My frown has turned upside down. I can do this. 

P.S. Lucas got called to be Elder's Quorum instructor. His first Sunday was good. He's a powerhouse and a fearless teacher. He wasn't even worried and when I asked him how it went he didn't even write a really long and detailed blog about it. He simply said, "It was pretty good!" and when he could tell I needed more details he said, " Not the best lesson in the world, but not the worst. So, yup." Sometimes I wish i could tell a story in so few words. (Don't hold your breath)

Friday, October 26, 2012


Things with adoption are going more slowly than I would like. However, that's probably because I feel ready today and these things take time. Waiting for our children makes each day feel longer than it might otherwise. However we have been really busy and continuing to progress.

Lucas is getting really good at his job at the funeral home. He has come home and told me some of the saddest and sweetest stories. I love how gentle he is with the families and I can tell how they can sense his love. I'm so proud of him. He is getting more and more successful and the more families he is able to help, the more our family is helped. So things just keep getting better.

I have spent a lot of time lately on the phone with the county, and different adoption agencies. We have been looking online at adoption profiles for children looking for homes and of course I fall in love with every child. We have to have our home study finished before we can inquire about any of the children, so we are trying to do that as quickly as possible.

Right now we are starting our home study. It takes a couple months, but we are determined to get it done quickly so we can be ready whenever our miracle happens. I appreciate all of the support that has been given to us as we go through this journey, and I am so grateful for my wonderful family and friends for sending me possible situations and anything the hear about adoption.

Soon our home study will be done and we will be able to get farther than falling in love with these children and daydreaming about being parents.

The other day I asked Lucas how often he thinks about adoption and about being a dad and he said, "All the time. Constantly." Oh how I love him. Our children will be so lucky to have him as a Dad.

So keep your prayers coming. Keep sending us situations. You never know when it might be right. Just a little while until our home study is done and we will be "paper pregnant" and we can be chosen at any time. Thank you for spreading the word.


By the way, our adoption blog is being really weird. I am trying to get a new one built and ready and we are shooting videos soon that will have interviews with us and we will tell our stories and show you our home. I am really excited about it. So please be patient while we get our adoption blog up and running again, it will be done shortly. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

If your toilets all break, you're about to lie to a bunch of Baptists.

I opened my eyes this morning to see Lucas dressed in his Sunday best, walking in and out of the bathroom. He was calling my name, waking me up to tell me that he plugged my phone in and set my alarm and he had to leave for work. He let me know that he already took Moose outside and fed him breakfast. His voice got a little stressed as he then explained that he had to leave but unfortunately, both of our toilets are broken.
Understanding but not fully comprehending the problem, I assured him  he should not be late and that I would be fine. I mumbled something about hiring a plumber and that I could just go to the bathroom at church.  His worry seemed like the bigger issue here, so I reassured him that I would not touch the toilets and I would figure something out. He seemed reassured, kissed me goodbye and left for work.  I got cuddled back in my blankets next to Moose and went back to sleep. 

Half an hour later I woke up and desperately had to go to the bathroom. I got out of bed and during the short walk to the restroom, I remembered making a promise about a plumber and about not touching the toilets.  As I realized relief was not just feet away, I suddenly had to go even more than I did before. Eeerrm. I started bouncing around while I tried to come up with a plan that didn't include using a broken toilet.

As quickly as I could, I slid into some jeans, threw my hair into a pony tail and put on a T-shirt. I grabbed my keys and ran to the front door. "Sorry, Bud, you have to stay." I said to a confused and disappointed Moose as I went outside. I locked the door and ran down the two flights of stairs and out into the parking lot. Our apartment complex is next door to a gas station, and though I had planned on driving to the nearby Walgreens, this seemed a better option. I turned and ran across the complex at an inconvenient and steady incline, crossed the road and went into the gas station.
 I greeted the girl at the counter and walked directly back to the bathroom.

Using my leg to kick the door open I looked inside and immediately wished I had tried to fix our toilet instead of coming here. It was FILTHY- a royal pee palace. I may or may not have, but definitely did gag a few times as I wadded up handfuls of paper towels and started cleaning what would be required in order even consider using the restroom. I washed my hands as fast and as well as as I could, forced myself to do my business, and then re-washed my hands while mentally shaking a fist at our broken toilets.

The walk home was much more enjoyable and I realized for the first time that it was a beautiful day. When I got home, I got Moose and took him out to the grassy area outside our apartment. He sniffed a few leaf piles and then heard another dog coming around the corner and took off after him. I yelled for him to stop and come back to me. "Moose, NO! Come back. Hey, Moose-come!"  He looked at me for a second, then  half obeyed and slowed his sprint to a walk, as if I wouldn't notice he was still going away from me. When the owner of the other dog saw Moose coming towards her, she instantly went into full on survival mode.

She jumped backwards behind her dog (who was standing completely still -unaware of Moose-sniffing the grass) and started yelling "THIS IS NOT GOOD! THIS IS BAD! GET THAT DOG! THIIIIIIIIISSSS ISNOTGOOD!!!" she pulled on her dog's leash as if it were trying to attack Moose, instead of being unaware of him.  I was confused at her reaction and walked over to Moose, who had stopped walking to stare at the crazy lady, and picked him up. I was about to apologize because clearly she felt she had nearly escaped death, when she blew up again! "THAT DOG SHOULD BE ON A LEASH! IT IS CENTENNIAL LAW! IT'S AN H.O.A. RULE! I MEAN...PFF..UUGHH. IT'S THE LAW!" I was in shock at how this had escalated in her mind, and just stood there for a second a looked at her. Then after a few silent seconds too long I said, "Your dog is really pretty." I cannot explain this response and I have no idea why I chose that to say, but the scowl disappeared from her face and she said "Your puppy is cute too!" and she practically skipped away.

I waiting until she was around the corner before I set Moose down and we both classified that as a weird encounter.

Once back inside I got ready for church and looked up directions to the stake center, a church building I had never been to before, because it was Stake conference today. I studied the map and the directions seemed simple enough so I figured I would be able to get there and would recognize the church building when I saw it.

I said goodbye to Moose again, locked the house, and got in the car. I got off the highway  at the right exit and started driving down the street looking for a church building. I saw a steeple right where I was expecting and made a quick right and pulled into a parking lot. It seemed a little empty for a conference Sunday, but I just figured everyone was late. I walked around to the first door I saw and it was locked. A nice girl was pulling in to a parking spot and asked if I needed some help. I said, "Sure. I've never been to this building before. It's different than all the other church buildings, haha, Im just looking for a way in."
She looked confused by  my comment but said, "The entrance is just around this way, this is kind of a side way in, but it works." I thanked her, and noticed a beautiful stained glass window as I went in the door. I thought Weird. The church must have bought this building after another church owned it. We dont usually have stained glass windows like that.

I followed the girl inside and as soon as I heard the drums and the electric guitar I knew I was in the wrong place.  This was not even close to an LDS church. Only then did I become aware that the pattern in the stained glass window was of a big cross. Unfortunately, it was too late to save face and get out of there unseen. The girl who helped me had walked in and sat with a group of people, but the pastor was coming towards me, arm outstretched and a huge grin on his face.

He reached his hand out to me, genuinely thrilled to see a new face and said, "WELCOME! Are you new here? We are SO glad to have you!" I shook his hand and smiled. I was now totally embarrassed that I got this far in before realizing I was in the wrong church. Before I could answer he pulled me by the arm over to a table and showed me their program and some pictures of pastors on the wall and invited me to a trunk-r-treat. He was so nice and so truly happy that I panicked.  After his greeting I realized that I had  been surrounded by who I assume are his wife, a youth pastor and his wife, and another gentleman.

They all shook my hand and welcomed me to the service. It was a bit overwhelming and I hadn't even had a chance to explain I had just come into the wrong building. (No wonder the girl looked so confused when I said 'This building is different than all the other church buildings!' haha)

Finally with all their faces smiling and expectant, the first man said, "So who are you here with? Are you waiting for a young lady or a young man?" And then for some reason I can't explain I replied, "...a girl."
Great move, smarty pants. Couldn't I have just said, I'm actually just looking for the LDS church? BAH!

"What's her name?" More smiles. They wanted to know who to thank for bringing a visitor.
And because I'm so quick on my feet I say,

"I dont know."

Awesome! REALLY Genius! 

They look really confused and nobody says anything. Then, as if I can't control it, I tell another lie, "I just met her at work. She told me to meet her at the church on Yale. Her last name is Taylor." Seriously, how does a person get this creative? Somehow I thought of my OWN last name!

They say, "Hmmm Taylor, huh? I dont recognize the name from here. Taylor. Hmm, well why dont you come inside and stay and maybe she'll come." and then one guy hands me a form and says "Will you fill out this visitor form please?" They are all so nice and smiley, and I feel guilty so I smile and start to fill it out. Question one: "Last Name". Great, my "friend" is Taylor. I'm such an idiot. How is this happening?

I write my name is Amber Thompson and fill out the other questions, then leave the form on the little table. The people are still trying to figure out who Ms. Taylor is and inviting me inside. They finally ask me, "What does she look like?" and I spit out, "About my height maybe? My color hair?"
More lies?! More horribly uncreative lies? What is wrong with me?
Realizing that I now had them looking for ME while they hunt for this mysterious "co-worker", I try to get an out and say, "You know, I dont even know if I'm at the right place. I havent seen her. She just said go to the church on Yale."

They said "Well that's here then. We are so glad to have you...." 
I say, "I should just go outside and wait, or maybe I'll call her and see if this is the right place." I go outside hoping to just dash away, but THEY ALL FOLLOW ME.

I pretend to text my fake friend who looks like and is me. I wait a second and then hold up my phone as if it had the answers and I say, "Ah! Yeah my friend is at the Mormon church! So I'm at the wrong place! Sorry about that! Thanks!" And they looked at me like I had punched them and as I walked down the path to the car they yelled after me, "Bring your friend Taylor back here! We are a lot different than Mormons! You'll like it!" and I waved and said "Bye!"

Then when I got in the car I took off my pants because they were on fire. Then I drove around the corner to the LDS church to make up for my Lies.  

What a weird morning.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Um, you guys.....this girl is TWELVE YEARS OLD. And she wrote those songs. I'm obsessed. I may be responsible for a huge chunk of these video views, but seriously. If I could have any talent, it would be to be able to do that. Also, When we watched the next two I laughed until I cried. Repeat.