So the big news for us this week is that I completed and submitted my application for the astronaut corps this week! The applications are open again for the first time in many years and I have wanted to do this for years. The application process was simpler than I thought it would be. I had to update my resume and upload it to their site. I had to get an official transcript from BYU and I had to get some people who were willing to be references for me. After I submitted that, I just had to answer a few questions about my pilot experience (which was obviously easy. . . no experience) and that was the whole application. The application period ends in February and then NASA will look at the applicants at that point. After the first cut, there will be a series of interviews and other activities and they will announce the new astronauts in 2017. So it’ll be a while until I know. I’m thrilled that I have actually reached this goal in my life. Anyone who knows me knows that I have wanted this since I was a very little boy, and I finally made it to this point. I have done everything I know how to do, and now I just have to wait!
This week at home we have been busy getting the last few presents arranged and packages sent off to family. Sarah has been very busy with this and I’m proud of the effort that she has put into making our gifts meaningful this year. We’ve had some late nights this week but I think it was worth it.
Eliza has had fun playing with her friends this week. She has been over at friends houses several times and has had a great time. We had the Larsens over for the evening on Thursday so that their parents could go to the temple. Both James and Eliza had a good time with them while they were here. It is good for James to be with them so that he can get more comfortable around other people. He still struggles a bit with us leaving him places but he is getting better.
Eliza has been super cuddly and nice this week. She will just come up to Sarah and say “I want to cuddle with you mommy!” or she’ll come up to me and grab my legs and say “I love you daddy!” It is the best feeling ever. She is a little sweetheart.
James is starting to fight back a bit against Eliza’s oppression. He has started hitting her this week and they have started yelling at each other. Most of the time they play together well, but sometimes, especially when they’re tired, things can get a bit crazy. They tend to lose it around 4:30 each day and start giving Sarah a run for her money.
I had a camp out with my scouts this weekend. We went out to Pedernales Falls state park and did a short little backpacking trip for their camping merit badge. The weather was beautiful. We got to leave a bit early because the boys got out of school early on Friday. This was nice because we got to hike in the light instead of in the dark like we had to last year. It was a bit chilly at night but Saturday morning was gorgeous and we had a good second day of hiking. It is a lot of fun for me to work with these boys. They were so accepting of the slower boys in the group. There was one boy in particular that was a bit slow and they always had at least one person back with him talking and encouraging him. I don’t think that they planned it but it just worked out that way. We ended up camping with a group of Webelos scouts from Houston. The boys had planned a fireside and they invited the other boys to participate with us. Each of the groups did skits and we had our normal spiritiual fireside. I don’t think the others were LDS and I was proud of our boys for reaching out.
Our friends the Sorensens came over on Saturday to watch the BYU bowl game with us. They called us last week to see if they could come and we were excited for them to come. They have a son that is James’s age and he is super cute! We had a good time just hanging out and watching the game together. It is fun to have good friends.