Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Libby in the Talent Show!

Libby, and two of her best friends, Elizabeth and Ellie (yes - they all have the same name!), performed in the middle school Talent Show last week.  In all the excitement of last week, this wasn't posted in the last week, so it gets a post of its own.  And they deserve it!  Singing You Are the New Day a Capella.  Beautifully done, Libby!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Mary and Kevin Are Engaged to be Married!

Happy day!  The family of eight is about to become nine.

Saturday morning, after getting up at 4 am and driving back from Utah, I arrived in time for Mary and I to go on a little adventure!
Our first clue was to go to Wendy's and pick up some chicken nuggets and another clue.
Then we got a clue at iRepair, where Kevin works.
And then went to the English Garden at the Botanical Gardens.
And found Kevin there!  And then this is what happened!

This picture is great because it looks like Mary is wearing a tiara!  Love it!

They will be getting married and sealed for time and all eternity in the Boise Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 10:00 am on Saturday, August 27, 2016, with a reception to follow from 6-9 pm.  Put on your dancin' shoes and get ready to celebrate.  We are excited for Kevin and Mary!

We laughed today when we were over at Gerard and Michelle's, as we were looking at the picture of all the cousins in 2008.

All the cousins from Nicole down to Brianna are married (except Philippe), and then you have to finish that line, loop around and go all through the next row, and loop again to get down to Mary! She's beating them all!  So Josh, Joseph, and Jesse - you don't have to feel so bad, she's beating a whole row and a half of cousins too!  :)

All good-natured ribbing aside, it's NOT a competition, and Mary and Kevin will no doubt face some challenges, as every couple does.  Every person chooses their own life experiences, and this is what Mary has chosen. The most important thing here is that Mary and Kevin are choosing to make and keep sacred covenants, and in time and eternity, there is nothing more important than that.  All good things come from the Father to those who make and keep sacred covenants.  I have had some illuminating experiences this week that have taught me just how lofty and beautiful the blessings are that the Lord has prepared for his covenant people.  It brings me deep joy to know that Kevin and Mary are willing to enter into that covenant.

Until August, Mary will be going to BYU-Idaho for the Spring Semester, along with Josh and Joseph.  Yeah!  And she is rooming with cousin Kaylee.  And Kevin is going down to Texas to sell security systems for the summer, which will give them a great head start for the Fall, where they will be living in Rexburg and going to school and starting married life.  Many things to look forward to!

Speaking of Gerard and Michelle, we had a wonderful dinner at their house and got to spend a very pleasant afternoon visiting with Michael, Natalie and Colin, who are here visiting from Switzerland, as well as the rest of the family.  Their yard, in front and in back, is magical!  One comes away feeling completely filled with the beauty and loveliness of it all.

Josh and Joseph also started the Spring Semester at BYU-I this week.  Go boys!

Jesse's old companion Maren posted this picture from back in December.  Oh, I miss this girl!

I attended a wonderful retreat in Heber, UT for the Certified Practitioner's of the Healer's Blueprint.  Thank you, wonderful friends!  I will treasure this experience for a long time!
And I also got to go over and see Steve and Teresa for an hour!  Boy, what a treat that was.  I haven't seen them since I was at their house in Indiana in 2012.  I also got to see Matt, Aubrey, Jenessa and Tyler, along with Teresa's parents Dick and Loretta.  I love them!  They are some of my favorite people to walk the earth.

Peter scored his first goal of the season!  Way to go Peter!

Libby is working on her Personal Progress this week, on the virtue Divine Nature.  She made some splendid goals on wrote them out on index cards.  I told her that if she truly succeeds in these goals, they will be life-changing for her.  I have no doubt that she can accomplish them!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Mary's Home

Mary got to spend a week at home during the break between Winter and Soring break at BYU-Idaho.  And that meant we got to see Kevin a lot too, which is a good thing.  He brings a happy and warm spirit with him.

They went to Jump Creek.

I love this picture of them.

Peter performed with the Middletones at a mini-Recital for the families.
Here's "Two Silhouettes on the Shade":
And "Breakfast at Tiffany's":

Josh is watching them perform.  He did a great job with these boys!
Josh will be sorely missed, and not just by us.  He made himself extremely valuable while he was here with everyone whom he interacted.  The lawyer he worked for, Clint, even extended him the job while he was away, so Josh will do the same work over the phone.  The Middletones and Mad Boys will certainly miss him, as will Devin, the friend that Josh would hang out with twice a week.  It's a wonderful thing when you contribute such that the world is a better place because you were there.

Joseph had an incredible week with these people.  He was with this group as part of being a mentor for Get Connected, the freshman orientation program at BYU-Idaho.  He said it was wonderful to work with people where so much love was felt.  This post on Facebook had "Suuuure loooove ya" on it.  I wonder where that came from!  Hahaha
Libby got new glasses this week!
Peter and Libby performed with their Ballroom Dance Company at a local high school this week.  After some questionable dances by the high school team, it was so refreshing to see these teens come out with the Waltz and the Lindy!  I'm really grateful they have such a quality program to work with.

Becca went to prom with Connor.  Mary went over and helped Becca do her hair.  It was gorgeous.  No, she is gorgeous!
One last photo before Josh and Mary go off to school.  Becca barely missed the photo.  She had been with us earlier, but then went to get a Reccomend for her Patriarchal Blessing!  
And now, at least at home, the family of eight has dwindled down to four!  A family selfie after evening prayers.
That's actually a good thing.  Peter and Libby finally get some attention after all these years!
We're so grateful we made the brave move (at least it seemed like that at the time) to have two more children after the whirlwind of the first four.  Take note parents of young children:  at our age, you will be very grateful to have more children left at home!  If you feel you can care for them, don't stop.  It's a wonderful blessing for us to have Peter and Libby at home.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Feasting on the Good Word of Christ

We went down to General Conference!  We got to attend the Saturday morning and afternoon sessions, thanks to a generous benefactor.  Mary sang in the afternoon session with the combined choirs of BYU-Idaho.  They sang lovely arrangements, and executed them beautifully!  We never saw Mary on the big screen, but she was OK with that, having determined beforehand that she was going to sing for the Lord, and not to be seen of men.  The music all through Conference was stunning. Over and over I had waves of chills go through my body as I soaked up the high vibration of that music.  This is Becca, Libby and I before going into the First Session.
The whole group after the first session. Mary was rehearsing with her choir so she wasn't with us.
Catarina found us!  She is a wonderful young adult that was in the Spanish Branch with us when she was 10.  In the background you can see Josh and Joseph meeting up with Walker and his wife Lauren, and Walker's mom.  Walker was Joshua's Zone Leader on his mission, and later his roommate.  They are dear friends.
Walking across Temple Square was beautiful!
In the Conference Center after the 2nd session.
Outside the Conference Center with the whole gang:  Joshua, Bruce, Lorena, Peter, Libby, Mary, Kevin, Joseph and Becca.
What a wonderful experience it was to attend Conference!  We watched the Sunday sessions at Josh and Rachel's house.  They hosted quite a group of us - we had Jacob, Joseph's  former companion and present roommate, with us also.  Thank you Josh and Rachel!

Last week Mary sent us some pictures of her college life.
Thankfully she is feeling better - all the signs and symptoms of the strep and mono are gone.  What a blessing!  Mary cooked!

Guess who had his Eagle Board of Review and passed?!  Congratulations, Peter!  We'll be planning his Eagle Court of Honor here shortly...
Easter Sunday last week was wonderful. Joseph was home for the weekend.  (Surprise, surprise!)  Joshua's t-shirt says, "I'd flex but I like this shirt."

That afternoon (of Easter), Bruce and I got to perform Handel's Messiah with an inter-faith choir from our home town and the one next to us.  It was an incerdible experience, and the performance was great!
Brent conducted and Cindy, his wife, sang with us and was the rehearsal pianist.  They were amazing to work with.  What a privilege it was for Bruce and I to be involved!