Mother’s Day Update by Dad

This has been a busy weekend, and I figured I might as well post a quick update. Friday night was the Elders Quorum’s annual Fathers and Sons camp out. It was held at the back (unimproved) side of Camp Lazarus, the boy scout camp on highway 23 not far from our house. It was strange to be so close, but with the trees and the creek with a little water fall not far away, it was fun. Tanner and I have some traditions we have kept up for many years. For example, we always stop for icees/slushies on the way. Of course, we’re used to a 1/2 hour+ drive to 7-11, then 1/2+ to the campsite…here it was 5 minutes to Kroger, 5 minutes to the campsite. I had been asked if any of the scouts needed to cook to earn breakfast, and the answer was no, but in any case I got asked to take care of breakfast and bring the scout grill. Then later someone else asked if any of the young men needed to do a talk for the Communications merit badge, and that morphed into Tanner and I doing a fireside talk on the Aaronic Priesthood. Tanner was a bit freaked out by that assignment at first, but with my encouragement he prepared and he did an excellent job, talking about Mormon and how he was essentially entrusted with the plates at age 10, then became the general of the Nephite armies at age 15. He had a blast all night though, playing with all the boys and leading them in a number of made-up games tromping through the forest. He is a natural born leader, I pray that he stays a good boy and always uses his leadership for a positive influence.

We brought pancake mix and sausage for breakfast, and a few people brought drinks. I have never seen a camp clear out so quick, since a lot of people had sports activities to get to. Even though I was not officially part of any leadership for this activity, because of my assignments and the fact that I didn’t have to rush out, I was able to help take charge and help lead by default. President Cluff came out in the morning and hung out for a while, got to hear about his interviews with the 70 and receiving his call. While packing up my tent, I ran into a tree branch hanging down at just the wrong height and angle. It darn near gouged my eye out. Nothing too serious, but it sure hurt.

Connie got Emma down to the school early so she could go to her band competition. It was sponsored by “Music in the Park,” which basically organizes band competitions between schools, at amusement parks. Last year they went to Cedar Point up in Sandusky, this year it was at Kings Island down by Cincinnati. Emma had a blast, she’s a roller coaster junky. Her friends usually think of her as relatively quiet and serious at school, so I think some of them were very surprised that she had so much fun and screamed so much she could barely talk. I stayed up till midnight to go pick her up. Brad Bushman was one of the chaperones, and he relayed the good news–Emma’s group took 1st place in her class (8th grade concert band), which is spectacular, since there were a ton of schools participating from 5 states.

Last night was also the court of honor for Cody Pickett to receive his eagle scout award. Tanner and a couple of the boys led the flag ceremonies, and I participated briefly as the scout master. I had a pounding headache (due to stiff neck from sleeping on the ground, my injured eye, and lack of sleep), but took a couple Tylenol and felt good enough to pull it off. Needless to say, it was a long day!

I think the kids were concerned that I didn’t buy a “gift” for Mother’s Day. I had to reassure them that I was doing lots for Mom, and sometimes that was more valuable than a store bought gift. I did actually did a bunch of work on finishing her china hutch that she’s been working on, so I think we can move it into the house now. This morning, Aubrey and Alyssa got up and got dressed early, and woke me up to come make breakfast. I could’ve always used more sleep, but it’s amazing how much better I felt after a good night’s sleep in my own bed! We made crepes, with blackberry jam cream cheese filling, and orange juice on the side. The biggest problem with crepes is that you can only cook one at a time, so they’re a little time consuming, but they’re actually easy to make. I made a bunch, sticking them in the oven to keep them warm, so the kids could pretty much eat at the same time. By the end, they were all eating breakfast in the bedroom with Mom. I know some mothers would probably frown on that, but with a good breakfast and surrounded by the beautiful little reasons why she is a mother, Connie was happy to have them there. I almost didn’t make enough though, next time I’m quadrupling the recipe!

Today they had the men help out and take classes so the women could go eat cookies (that’s what Connie said). That was supposed to be for the third hour only, but when I walked in to nursery and counted the 16 children (including 2 or 3 new ones today), I just got down to business helping out. It was wild, but we made it through with only a few bumps and bruises. I just cannot believe how large it is. The bishop’s wife and the wife of one of the counselors are now called as helpers, so Connie is going to split it by age. The ward is growing very fast, as I mentioned there were several new kids. They read in the membership records of six families today. Yes, that’s not a mistake, six! I think that makes seven families in seven weeks! We are losing a few families, but we’re definitely gaining more. And several that have moved have just gone across ward boundaries, so the church is still being greatly strengthened in the general area. It really won’t be that long until we get a ward split, it reminds me of Dayton. I wonder how long till they decide to build a new building…nah, they’ll probably have us going to the Delaware building before that happens, oh well.

OK, Connie made cake for desert on her Mother’s Day. I better go help keep Hallie clean and do some dishes!