Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Great Catch Up: BYU Idaho Education Week

I have a really soft spot in my heart for BYU-Idaho and the Eduction Week program. The reason why is kind of personal, but TMI is nothing new here.  

When I first heard about The Power of Moms about 2-1/2 years ago, it took a lot of courage for me just to submit an article, but from the very beginning I knew I was meant to be a part of the organization. I just had this feeling that's hard to explain. Like something was coming. 

After that first article, April was so encouraging. She kept giving me invitations to do different things and to write more, but when she suggested I apply to teach classes for moms with her at BYU-Idaho's Education Week? I thought that was a little over the top. Not only because I was sure they would never hire a "nobody" like myself (with no real resume or decent credentials), but also because of the daunting application process. BYU-Idaho requires their teachers to teach nine different classes, so an "unknown" like myself had to prepare outlines with detailed sources for each class just to apply. 

I didn't really think I would be accepted, but I still felt the experience of applying would be a good one. I knew that if by some chance I were accepted, we would possibly be in the thick of moving around the time of Education Week. The thought of trying to create--and prepare to teach--all those classes in the midst of moving made me sick to my stomach. But for reasons I can't really explain, I felt SO COMPELLED to at least try. It felt like a calling, to be honest. (Melodramatic, I know. But true.) Partly for myself, partly for whoever might benefit from whatever measly thing I had to offer. While I've always had "enough" personal confidence in social settings, I wanted to see if I could do something like THAT with confidence. And I knew that if I had struggled with motherhood despite all the support and resources that I have (I don't mean money), there were certainly other mothers out there needing support and encouragement. I liked the thought of being one more supportive, encouraging voice. 

You know the end of the story: They did accept my application. I did prepare those classes in the midst of moving, and I have never been more stressed and terrified for so many months on end in my entire life. But as cliche as it sounds, once I actually got to BYU-Idaho and started teaching, I felt like I was doing what I was born to do. It was so rewarding on so many levels. 

So of course I had to do it again this year. Those classes certainly had more life in them, and I also wanted a "do-over" of sorts. I compared it to having a second baby. The first time around is so hard because you don't know what you're doing or what to expect, but the second time around you can enjoy the process without freaking out so much. I really wanted to teach my classes again without so much stress and worry on the front end. It was still stressful, but way more fun than terrifying. It was unfortunate April couldn't go with me and Saren again this year, but we had a great experience just the same. These are the pics. 

Rexburg, Idaho is a place you would probably only visit if you needed to go to BYU-Idaho for some reason. Just so you know:
The temple on a hill above campus:
Unlike last year when April and I stayed in military style bunk beds in the un-airconditioned dorms with her sisters (special times, seriously funny), this year I opted to stay with Saren and her family at her mother-in-law's house about 20 minutes out of town. This room is where I spent a good chunk of every morning, refreshing my memory and cleaning up my classes:
I loved the view out that window:

One of the twins:
I took no less than ZERO pictures on campus, but I did catch a few of the super cute teenagers that came to my youth classes. Here they are submitting to one of my ridiculous ideas for getting more class participation:
You had to be there. It would take too long to explain:


The town of Rexburg is a metropolis compared to Ashton where we stayed. Lucky for me, I dig small towns. (It goes hand in hand with my love for Little House on the Prairie. You know, the slow and simple life.) Saren's sister-in-law, Anita, came with her from their Bear Lake family reunion, and one day after missing dinner on campus we found ourselves at THE place in Ashton for dinner--The Frostop:

What you should know about Anita is that she's lived in Manhattan for the last 19 years after growing up in a resort town in Switzerland. She is a self-proclaimed "water snob," but one of the least pretentious people I've ever met. We still laughed our hineys off at this place--especially as we found ourselves sorting through our change to pay the bill:

(Grilled chicken salad.)

Anita and Saren at the homestead:
What's on my cheek?

After getting a late start, Saren had 5 children in 5 years thanks to a set of twins. These are her 4 boys:
Here comes the cool bonus of staying at Saren's mother-in-law's: I got a full blown tour of a real, bonafide potato farm. An Idaho potato farm! How many people can say THAT? I wish I could remember the stats now, but this is a BIG operation. The Loosli family farm is very well known throughout the area:

This may be hard to believe, but both Saren and Shawni (the first two children of NINE in the Eyre family) married men who came from families with NINE children as well. Saren is the oldest in her family, and her husband, Jared, is the youngest in his. Jared's father really wanted at least one of his children to take over the farm, and then everyone else could do whatever they wanted to do. Jared and Saren met on the east coast when she was at Harvard and he was at MIT, so he obviously isn't the son that took over the farm, but I was fascinated by his stories of working that potato farm all his years growing up in that large family. Truth really is stranger (or more interesting) than fiction! Here's one of their many silos that are probably getting filled with potatoes as I type. I think Jared said there are 6 silos this size that will be full to the brim with potatoes:
Their oldest son, ASHTON. (Just put that together on this little trip . . .)


They also grow alfalfa and a bunch of other stuff I don't remember. I couldn't tell you now what is growing in this picture:
You better believe I made a big deal out of the fact that I come from John Deere country:
The entire Loosli clan:





Those are the Tetons in the background. (You'll see much more of those from the other side in my post of our Jackson Hole trip.) 








Jared's mom made us some seriously tasty food while staying at her house. It was nice to go back to such a homey atmosphere at the end of each day:
We even got to celebrate Saren's birthday while we were there:

I just had my little point and shoot, but I thought it did a pretty good job capturing the rural beauty of that place:




Country road, take me home:
If I do it again next year, I think I'll have to bring the whole family along and go up to Yellowstone after.

1 comment:

  1. I like the photos of Idaho. Very "Napoleon Dynamite."

    ReplyDelete

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