We are home from an awesome week at the Mitchell ranch. Lyndon worked with horses and helped Clint do cow stuff, and we all enjoyed many hours of visiting. The result of all that visiting is that we made plans to go to Mexico again during the Christmas holidays. As of now, we hope to rent a bus that would carry thirty-four passengers. The driver would take us right to Mexico. This would make the trip much shorter and more convenient than last year’s train trip. Some of the youth from the church Clint and Dawn attend will go, as well as some families from their neck of the woods. If there are any of you out there who would like to join us, let me know. We will likely leave on December 26th again. We will be building another school, in a different community. We will stay at the same campground as before. We are hoping to tackle some other projects while we are there. Exciting!

The best news, according to my boys, is that the swimming pool opened on the weekend. We got home from the ranch around noon on Saturday, and the boys were in the pool by 1:00. We went again on Sunday afternoon. Carter is already doing flips off the diving board. He is like a fish in the water. They all love it.

Sunday morning we worshipped in the new auditorium for the first time. Things are not quite finished, but enough for us to make the move. So we are sitting in this new, shiny room, on the new, shiny chairs, and Carter tugs on my sleeve. I look over and he is holding his bare foot in the air and his big toe is bleeding. I panic immediately. That’s all I need, I think, is for my son, who can’t keep his socks and shoes on, to get blood on the new carpet. Briefly, the thought – how did he cut his toe while sitting in church – flits through my mind as I grab him and rush him out of the room while trying to hold his foot in the air. As I go through the doors at the back of the room, he whispers, loudly – Mom, you’re holding the wrong foot! We manage to get to the bathroom and take care of the toe puncture, and are back in our seats within a few minutes. Disaster averted. I bring a wad of tissues with me, just in case.

A few minutes later, I have this creepy, crawly sensation. It feels like a tick is crawling on my back, I think to myself. I try to ignore it, thinking it is just the tag on the back of my shirt or something else equally inanimate. Finally, I reach my hand back, pretending to scratch the back of my neck, and I feel a little hard bump. I lean across three kids, and try to whisper to Lyndon.

“You need to come out with me. I have a tick,” I say, calmly and quietly.

“What?” he says.

“I have a tick on me,” I repeat, a little louder.

“What?” he says again.

“I HAVE A TICK!” I say, and heads turn. We get up and make our second trip of the morning to the bathroom where he does indeed find the nasty little critter. For the rest of the service I can’t shake the sensation of bugs crawling on me.