08 May 2014


Things are crazy busy at the Binggeli House and we are all struggling to keep our heads above water.  Blogging has been neglected, but here are a few updates:

Willie made it to Lithuania!  He spent a few days in Riga, Latvia where the mission home is and then rode a bus to Siauliai, Lithuania, where he will be serving for at least the next 6 weeks.   His first e-mail to us was just great.  He is so full of enthusiasm.  His companion is a guy from Cache Valley (Sky View High School) named Elder Marshall and one of the people he's met already is an American who has a very interesting blog about living in Siauliai and teaching at the University there.  I took this photo from a post from his site about his interactions with Mormon missionaries.  I have read quite a few posts on his blog and have already learned a ton about this cool city where Willie is serving.

James got accepted to the U's Master of Nursing Program and plans to start this fall in the Care Management program. He is looking forward to it and thinks it will open doors to the next part of his career.  He has been taking a statistics class at SLCC as a pre-requisite and took the final exam tonight.  We are keeping our fingers crossed that he gets a B or higher.  If not, he has to retake it this summer.  He took some time off to study for the final and am hoping for the best.  I'm not quite sure how his job-school-tuition-income situation will all pan out, but we are working to make sure it will . . . somehow.

On Saturday afternoon Molly and I visited Grandpa while Jack took a nap.  Molly layed on the window bed and played with my phone and I actually was able to have a nice visit with him.  We usually are a whirlwind of crazy and aren't able to visit for more than a few minutes.  

The fall was on St. Patrick's Day, so he is approaching month two of being away from home.  Grandpa seems to be doing much better.  He is really bored and can only go for walks when not connected to his feeding tube, but he remains pleasant and in really good spirits.  He is diligent in following all the directions his doctors have given him.  His neck is healing.  The issues with his prostate seem fine.  He is working hard in physical therapy.  He has continued to fail the swallowing tests, but seems to be improving and has been able to eat small amounts of yogurt, pudding, and applesauce on his own.  Unfortunately he had to return to the emergency room earlier this week because a nurse at the care center put his calcium pill in his feeding tube incorrectly and it clogged.  After an evening of getting the run-around, he spent the next day at a different hospital getting a new feeding tube put in.  

The two munchkins are crazy as usual.  There birthdays are approaching and Molly asks me every morning if it is her birthday yet.  Jack is talking like crazy lately and is just really funny.  They love to play outside, though we haven't the last couple of days because the weather is crappy.  They are practicing for their school program which sounds like quite the production this year.  It includes songs from Frozen, Despicable Me, the Little Mermaid and even Ghostbusters.  Molly is always singing and Jack has pretty good timing to join in and throw his arms in the air on the chorus to "Let It Go."

If anyone reading this would like to join in their year-end festivities, here is some information:
  • Molly & Jack's School Program - Wednesday, May 28th - 6:00 p.m., Murray High School
  • Molly's Dance Program - Thursday, May 29th - 6:00 p.m., Kearns High School (Molly's class is the second number so don't be late - and there is a ticket charge to get in)
Remind me never to have a semester like this again.  Of the 7 classes I am teaching, I have 6 classes to prepare for (5 different courses, plus one class that meets every day instead of every other day) and I agreed to teach during one of my prep periods so I only get an hour and a half every other day to do all the necessary work I need to do (which means when I want to write a catch-up blog post I do it at 2:00 a.m. after I've woken up at the kitchen table, not finished with the stuff I should do for tomorrow, but don't want to do anymore).  I am also in the process of adopting a textbook for our school next year (with the one other teacher in my department who wanted to participate) and that has been not only stressful to set up online programs, pilot the books, convince the kids to try something new, etc. but tends to suck away any additional minutes I may have to work on everything else.  Today I was in two meetings from 1:30-4:00 with reps from two different publishing companies.  The hardest part is we still just don't know what decision to make and whatever we choose, I'm sure people will not be happy with it.  

Besides school, my sister talked me into doing this 12-Week Healthy Living Challenge with her, a couple of my cousins, and aunt, and a bunch of other people I don't know.  It includes getting daily points for exercise, eating fruits and vegetables, counting calories, staying away from sweets, drinking 8 cups of water a day, etc.  I am pretty much getting a F with the challenge and I moved up from #18 out of 18th place last week to somehow being #18 out of 20 places this week.  I have not been exercising much, though I did buy a pedometer to find out how much I actually walk at school and some days I am able to count that as part of my exercise time.  Though I have been eating less crap than usual and keeping track of my calories has been very eye-opening, I still have little will power to avoid sugar put in my face (like the cupcake at today's textbook meeting). 

To make the challenge more interesting, I also started a sub-challenge with my sister and friend Emily.  This sub challenge is called "Loser Buys Dinner at the Rio Grande."  The loser will likely be me, but at least it has added and element of fun to the competition and maybe, just maybe, I can stay competitive with Emily.  I am taking it seriously, but even on days when I exercise and get all my fruits and vegetables in, I rarely get 7 hours of sleep (another 5 points lost each day).

WHAT ELSE . . . .
We are looking forward to getting to a few of Wyatt and Elliott's baseball games this month, celebrating birthdays, working in the yard, and getting closer to summer.  We are planning a little vacation, too.  If we are lucky, my house may magically straighten itself up, though I'm not holding my breath.  Things are stressful, but we are very blessed and have much to be thankful for.