Saturday, July 16, 2011

The End of an Era: The Hunt Family and Hunt Mysteries

My brother, Jared, took over the family business that we grew up with. Tonight his finace' Heidi is throwing him a farewell party. Jared is selling the business and moving to Alaska. This is a good thing. However, it is a momentous step in our family life. A life without Hunt Mysteries is a foriegn concept for us. This will be good for us. I wrote the following memoir as I took a moment to process my thoughts and feeling on the subject.

July 14, 2011

Farewell to the Coal
Thank You for the Diamonds!

Hunt Mysteries became the refining and defining mark within our family up to this point. Its influence and the roles that we each played within and because of the business sculpted us into who we are today, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Family businesses often start with a small need like making ends meet financially. If they are meant to be and the dreamers are determined enough, one little need will ripen into a vision, and that vision will someday become a reality. This reality will be molded from years of sacrifice, sweat, and tears.

This brings me to the point I want to emphasize through this memoir. One family built Hunt Mysteries. It was then sustained, and maintained by the talented people willing to share and labor in our journey.

Mom and Dad gave their all to the business. They gave their time and their money. Gradually they gave most of their friendship and respect toward each other. Dad gave his civic life. Eventually, mom gave her “room mother” days up for it. Dad sacrificed relationships at Deseret News for the business. Mom sacrificed any potential friendships and outside hobbies…

Heather gave her time and efforts on the home front as she took on much of the weekend childcare needs along with Lena until we were all old enough to go it on our own.

Lena took on the mothering role like it was her own, trying desperately to fill in the missing pieces within the boys’ world that stemmed from “the business.”

Before anyone knew what happened, all of the kids had grown up and were involved in the behind-the-scenes of running Hunt Mysteries. The girls would help cut clues and fold programs. Eventually they were old enough to drive around and pick up programs and tuxedoes. Often they would go to the shows and help set up the tables. Most of the time Lena would babysit for the actors and actresses during rehearsals or shows.

By the time Jason and Jared were barely reaching towards their teenage years they were working right along side mom doing the sound for the shows. It didn’t take long for them to completely take over that department. All of the boys were born with a gift especially for this work. Jason worked in this department off and on through the many years as he struggled to maintain a sense of personal identity and social life and still fulfill his family duty and earn his dollar with Hunt Mysteries. Jared on the other hand defined himself throughout the years by Hunt Mysteries, as if he were born for the business.

Jared was born with independence and determination flowing in his blood, as well as charisma and charm. With these traits and his talents, he has stood by mom and dad faithfully as the vision of Hunt Mysteries became a reality.

Though Jared has never been friend-less, his sacrifice was the greatest of the Hunt children. He sacrificed much of his childhood. He completely sacrificed his high school years, no proms, no seminary, no choir tour… The list goes on.

Nathan. That’s what I named him. Nate. Our baby brother grew up with five parents. We all played one roll in his upbringing or another. Gradually, he followed right in the steps of his older brothers. That’s probably why we call them “the boys.” They were usually together. And if they weren’t, they knew what the other was up to… Some things never change. Nate only know life with Hunt Mysteries.

Looking back, perhaps the greatest sacrifice that The Boys made for Hunt Mysteries was their educational and spiritual possibilities.

As a family, we sacrificed the normalcy that “could have been.” However, we made “what was” work. As siblings, we were close, very close. We all had our rocky spots but somehow we came out still liking each other. We were all in the same boat experiencing the same storm, shipmates.

All of us learned how to, and how not to, run a business. We learned how to work. We learned our individual strengths and weaknesses. We learned how to act in professional settings. We learned how to conduct ourselves in fine dining settings. We learned family loyalty (as dysfunctional as it is at times.) We created our own sort of “normal”, our own kind of Love.

Somehow, mom and dad always found a way for us to travel together. Ways to make memories. Whether it was camping, parties, or great trips, we have many memories of good times together.

We all sacrificed much, sweat much, and shed many tears throughout the refining process of Hunt Mysteries and the Hunt Family. Sometimes it may feel that it was all in vain, that the vision wasn’t completely met, that all was a failure because there were failures. Truthfully, all was not lost! Much was given. But much was received. The key is to find the diamonds within the coal. For in the end, that is the reality. That must be our focus for this new beginning.

Accept the diamonds, allow the coal to be taken away, look forward, and live for Eternity.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Literature Rich Home School Curriculum

My home schooling planning time doesn't look quite so beautiful or delicate as this picture. But it shows the love that goes into it anyway. I've linked to the blog that I got the image from for anyone who is interested in a Home School Planner (Personally, I use my computer. But just in case...)

I just wanted to share how things are going with my home school plans for the upcoming year. My plans haven't really changed from my previous posts. I have however added a few things. Well, more like several things. I found a wonderful website for my family and our style of learning. It's called The Best Children's Books.Org These great teachers have listed several books for every subject that should be taught throughout the year. They have also labeled them according to grade and ages levels. This is exactly what I have been looking for. We have a busy little family. I want to have a stack of books that I can pull from every day organized by subjects. This will make it possible for me to be able to include the littles in our school day. 

Books on Dinosaurs
This website also gave me a clear idea of what subjects are appropriate for each age and which topics aren't. I often feel that I need to cram everything into one year. This helped me get an idea of what to teach for the next few years. 

They haven't added The Classics yet. So I did find a list HERE that lists the classics for children. I will incorporate these as well. 

So as it turns out our curriculum will be very richly "literature based." Jakob loves documentaries. So I have gone through Netflix and found plenty of great shows mostly about science and history. I will also show him the videos based on books after we finish the books. I think it should be a lot of fun. Jakob has watched me looking at the books and he's very excited to get started! My next step is to find out what books my libraries have and don't have, what they'll order, and what they won't. So I still have a lot to do. But I'm getting excited! 

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Flash From the Past and Into the Present

I got a phone call this evening from a man wanting me to give a reference for a nanny that worked with our nanny agency back in the day. That all seems like a lifetime ago...  In reality it was only around five years ago. Leif and I lived in Hawaii in 2004 just after Jakob was born. I was working as a Mommy-Nanny and Leif was a Massage Therapist. I interviewed with a nanny agency on the island at the time and quickly realized that the island could use some new blood in the Nanny Agency department. Thus, Your Child's Nanny was born.

Leif and I gave our all to the agency for the next year and a half or so. Oh, those were good times! We built a great business. It had a lot of potential and was headed in a good direction. It just needed continued and constant attention and money. To make a long story short, we sold the agency in March of 2006 and from that moment on our life was never the same. That truly was the moment that the defining year of our life began. Or maybe, it was when we started the agency? Either way, I haven't really had a moment to look back on that time in my life. So I took the time tonight to look back. Such good memories. Leif and I make good business partners...

And here we are again folks, welcome to Desert Springs Day Spa. I'm amazed that we haven't done this sooner (like years ago.) But now is the right time. It feels right and things are rolling along. It takes a lot to build a good business especially in the beginning. So Leif and I are trying hard to get things in order so everyone will have a great experience at the spa. Tomorrow we will put the Spa Menu together and that is a big deal. Lot's to do! It's different this time. We don't just have one baby crawling around our feet and desks this time. We have three! So it takes more patience and juggling. But it's coming along well. Nothing would be possible without Leif's parents. We are profoundly grateful for their help!! Thank you!

Well, thanks for joining me down this memory lane and back to the present. I hope you've enjoyed the ride!
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