We celebrated Bennett and his baptism back in May – and he couldn’t have been more happy with the day of attention and love.
Steve baptized Bennett, my mom played the piano, all the primary aged kids sang a song and Hallie gave a talk. (She reminded us that she also spoke at Hunter’s baptism and Hunter should be able to have the opportunity to speak for the next two baptisms!)
Bennett was fortunate enough to have both sets of grandparents by his side to celebrate his special day…
Along with plenty of cousins and friends who love him and support him. (A picture of those we could catch!)
My best laid plans never seem to work out, and as we were driving home from the church for the celebration dinner that we had set up outside, a nice storm moved in. The lights, the tables, linens, centerpieces…it was all for nothing. When we got home, we made a mad dash to move things inside before they were ruined. That’s just how it goes sometimes!
Two months ago we learned that the prophet of our church, President Nelson, would be coming to Phoenix for an evening devotional with President Oaks and I knew at that moment I wanted to be in the stadium when he spoke. Tonight was that special night.
We packed our family (aside from Briggs) into the car and made the hour drive to the Cardinals football stadium and joined 65,000 people to hear the messages that had been prepared. None of my kids had been in the same room as our prophet and this was unique opportunity that we were excited to share together.
Before President Nelson entered the stadium – everyone stood in reverence waiting for him to enter the room. And when he did, Cannon’s face lit up. “That’s President Nelson, I’ve never seen him before.” He then turns to his friend sitting behind us. “Do you see him? That’s really President Nelson.” He’s seen him on television but to see him in “real-life”, as he put it, was so exciting for him.
I was just as excited. Even as he entered the room there was a feeling of peace and confirmation in my own heart that he was called of God to serve as the prophet. His wife shared some experiences they’ve had in the last year as he was called and has served in this capacity and it made me admire and appreciate her even more. Every opportunity we have to hear from them is a spiritual treat.
Hallie’s experience trumps just about everyone’s as she sat on the floor in the front row with her cousins. (They happened to be doing a news article on Steve’s sister’s family and they wanted to film our niece and nephew with their cousins when President Nelson came in – they had the best seats in the house) She was beaming when it was through. I loved her excited voice as she recalled different moments as we made our way back to the car. “During the closing song we waved at him and he smiled and waved back at us.” 65,000 people and she got him to wave.
She won’t soon forget tonight. None of us will.
(Well perhaps Cannon – he’s young and fell asleep!)
Here are two pictures from Deseret News from the event. The first one you can see Hallie and her cousins front and center. The second one gives a good look at the stadium as a whole. 9,000 youth on the floor and 56,000 in the stands. It was a packed house.
I’m the camp director for my church’s girl’s camp this year – its an added bonus that Hallie is twelve and gets to come along! (For girls ages 12-18)
When we first sat down as a committee to discuss theme ideas, we couldn’t help but jump on the Greatest Showman bandwagon since the girls sing it non-stop. Not to mention all the great themes woven throughout the movie that we could build on.
We had our camp kickoff a couple weeks back where the girls were introduced to the theme, we gave instruction for camp, had the girls race to set up tents, fill out waivers and make their payment, as well as vote on different things for camp including camp shirts.
The invite was Barnum’s animal crackers. (I love any calling that I get to design for!)
I’m not sure who had the brilliant idea of dressing up but I tried getting out of it a number of times. Which is funny because I love Halloween and dressing up. I was just looking at the long list of things to worry about and costumes weren’t high on the list. Luckily, there was someone who insisted we dressed up because it made a huge difference for the girls. We made a surprise appearance, with a special and dramatic entrance which included the lights out, a spotlight, Greatest Showman song and a choreographed little number. I was totally uncomfortable but we had such a great time. Camp is going to be fun with these ladies!
I’ve said this before – but there is something special about watching a family reunite for the first time in two years. We witnessed first hand last week the tenderness of this moment when our nephew Max returned from his mission in Taiwan.
The excitement was thick waiting for him to get off the plane and you could tell my sister-in-law was anxious. These next two pictures are the pure joy of a mother when she spots her son making his way through the long corridor exit. I teared up just looking back at these photos – so much emotion as is evident on his sister’s faces. These pictures tell a story on their own.
We had Briggs right after he left so he looked down and said, “I don’t even know who this is!” It’s hard to keep track of so many cousins, especially when they all changed so much in two years.
We saw two other missionary homecomings while we were there…I wanted to photograph all of them! So much happiness and even more gratitude to have them home safely!