The biggest news of the week: Joshua Wayne and Rachel are engaged!!
Now just to be sure you don't get mixed up - this is not our son, Joshua, this our nephew Joshua, who is Bruce's oldest brother's son. (Joshua Bruce - you are banned from dating anyone named Rachel. Anyone named Rachel that likes Josh - sorry).
We're so happy for these two! They plan to be married on August 29th in the Salt Lake Temple. Josh started talking about Rachel last December when he visited at Christmas and New Year's. On New Year's Eve, when we thought he was asleep at 2 am, he was actually talking to Rachel on the phone for an hour and a half, keeping her awake as she drove home from a New Year's Eve Party. If you know the men on Bruce's side of the family - they like their sleep - so I knew right off she was someone special to Josh for him to do that for her! He just kept saying, "She's a keeper. She's a keeper." We are so excited for you two!
For the proposal, Josh put a trail of balloons up to "R" Mountain near Rexburg. At the top, he proposed.
And here is the hug afterward! Does that make you cry, or what? It did me.
ANOTHER happy announcement, although not nearly as important or eternal, but still, fun enough.
Remember this? The nest in the barbecue?And then this?
Well, this is what we found last weekend!
These little bitty things are nothing but feathers and beaks! They don't even have their eyes open. Their bodies are just tiny with a whole blur of feathers around them, and then the beaks!!
This is today, which would be Day 3 or 4 - not sure exactly the day they were born. What a treat to see these little things up close an personal. Not being the tree-climbing type, I've never seen anything like it before!
Last Friday we had team parties for both the soccer teams that we coach. For Mary's team, we had a fun time at the local pizza parlor. Mary won the award for the "Outstanding Defensive Player" on the team. Congratulations Mary!
For Joseph's team, we had a picnic at the park. (We went from the pizza parlor to the park).
To adults reading this post: Have you ever tried doing the monkey bars as an adult? If you haven't, you can't really appreciate what these monkey-children are doing! They are strong! :)
These picture of Peter and Libby makes me happy.
A pick-up soccer game ensued, with siblings from all the families out on the field running around trying to put some moves on their other siblings. This was one of the most fun things I've done in a long time - to sit and watch all theses brothers and sisters playing soccer together. And they were good too!
Ty (tall blond to the left), whose high school team won the state championship, had just gotten back from the airport just hours before, having served a mission to Toronto, Canada. When they drove up to the park, he told his dad, "I think I'll just stay in my suit." There was a moment's pause when he saw the kids out on the soccer field. "Oh, they're playing soccer. I guess I'll change..." Ha ha I got a kick out of that.
Josh gets ready to boot the ball.
Ty told me later that he was surprised at what a good defender Jesse was!Here's Peter with his shoes off. No surprise. And he complains every morning that he has no socks to wear. (Do you see the socks in the background, randomly strewn about? Uh-huh - that's what I'm talking about.) And he wonders why he has no clean socks??
Unfortunately, Joseph was not able to attend because he was at a track meet. He came home happy though, because he ran a PR in the 1600 meter - 5:00 minutes flat! He was expected to come in 23rd, and he came in 17th. (Yes - there were that many guys that ran under 5:00). Not bad for a freshman!
On Saturday, the Church held a special "Día de la familia" for all the Hispanics in our area. They think that about 3000 people attended. They asked us to give kids horseback rides. So from noon to five-thirty, this is what we did.It was really fun to see members of our Spanish Branch. We haven't seen many of them since last October, when we switched back to our regular English branch.This is Sleepy River McGee, affectionately known as Mackee.This is May. A lot of kids wanted to ride her because she's small - only about 13 hands, so she wasn't so intimidating. The weather was perfect for this. It did pour down rain for about 20 minutes, but that had the effect of driving people inside the Church where they had all sorts of displays set up about the different auxiliaries, and messages about the Church. Many of these people would not have gone inside had it not been for the rain. The Lord had it all planned out! After that the sun came out and it was perfect weather again.
I had the great joy of seeing Miriam again, one of the sisters that was baptized while we were serving in the branch. She and her son had recently immigrated from Argentina and were introduced to the Church by a friend. She moved about a year ago, and I have not heard from her, but she told me that she was going to go through the Temple to receive her endowments on the 16th of May. What joy!! We hugged and hugged, and felt the joy that comes from a sisterhood in the gospel.
Earlier in the day, Jesse had hurt her ankle in her soccer game. It wasn't one single thing, it just started to get progressively worse during the game to the point that she couldn't put any weight on it or step on it. I used lavender essential oil on it for the next two days. This morning, she walked in from doing the milking and said, "Mom, look at this," and she was walking without any problems. Lavender essential oil - where have you been all my life? I feel like a heel (no pun intended) because my sister has been telling me about lavender for years, and I haven't tried it. Now I'm sold. It's a real blessing because Jesse has a Dance Recital this week and I was really worried about her foot being ready for that. I'm very grateful that the Lord has provided such wonderful natural remedies for us to be healed.
Yesterday, the testimonies in our Sacrament Meeting were as powerful and sweet as any I've ever heard. There is precedent in the scriptures for passing out when one is so filled with joy, and I swear one of these Sundays I'm just gonna keel right over and they're going to have wake me up with Peppermint essential oil. I love hearing honest, sincere, beautiful testimonies.
The words to the Hymn, "Nearer my God to Thee" struck a deep chord with me yesterday. Had I never read them before? Of course I had, but yesterday, they just leapt off the page at me. Hear these words:
Though like the wanderer,
The sun gone down,
Darkness be over me,
My rest a stone.
(here is the commitment)
Yet, in my dreams I'd be
Nearer my God, to thee.
(here is the hope)
There let the way appear,
Steps unto heaven;
All that thou sendest me,
(and the gratitude)
In mercy giv'n;
Angels to beckon me,
Nearer my God, to thee.
(And then listen to this!)
Then with my waking thoughts,
(gratitude and hope)
Bright with thy praise,
Out of my stony grief
Bethel I'll raise,
So by my woes to be,
Nearer my God , to thee,
Nearer my God, to thee,
Nearer to thee.
(italics and commentary added)
These words mean a great deal to me. Through any trail, we can praise God and be grateful for all that through mercy is given, and then with the experience and knowledge we gain from that trail, we can build an altar unto God in praise. And thus, be "Nearer to God."
One last word - if you haven't already heard it, listen to Elder Bednard's talk at the CES fireside last night. It's a must-hear.
And one last picture - one of my all time favorite pictures ever!