Sunday, July 19, 2015

An Eagle and an Elder in one weekend

We installed Niko at Paws and headed to Evansville and the Kennedys on Friday, July 17.  This turned into a huge weekend, a celebration of family and love and success and faithfulness.

Here is a picture of Autumn reading to me as we await the BSA Court of Honor. She has become such an amazing reader these days!

The trip down was easy but it was VERY hot when we got out of the car in Kennedy's driveway.  My feet, hanging down for nearly 8 hours, were very swollen and I ended up sitting on the side of their pool and soaked my feet altho the pool felt more like a warm and delicious bathtub but it felt wonderful.

Saturday dawned bright and busy.  The Christensens had arrived on Thursday and Jacob's sister, Beth, had arrived with her  sweet and adorable 4 kids and mom, Kathy.  We headed to their ward and in a very personal and personal Eagle Court of Honor we witnessed Samuel, at 14, receive his Eagle Award for Scouting.

First Peter received merit badges he had earned at Scout Camp so it really was a great family court.

 Soon it was THE moment and Sam was escorted to the front by his parents.  This is such a great moment, 2nd for Cara and Jacob with 2 more to follow!
 Sam's scoutmaster presents the award to Sam.


 Then Sam pins on the parent pins to his mom and dad.
 And naturally we had to get a picture with this wonderful Eagle...and he's such an amazingly kind young man!

Cara served Striped Delight for the attendees.

We had such fun at Kennedy's. There was fun pool time with a synchronized swimming contest between the family, who were paired up.  Ella and I got to be the judges and Ella, kind as she is, decided every pair deserved to receive some award.  But basically I think the stars were Cara and Jocelyn who put on a pure Esther Williams show, including a side dive off the side in unison. Very cute!

And Cara spent so much time on all the food we ate the whole weekend.  There was even quiches for Sunday Breakfast!

Sunday we hustled to church and were met there by Jacob's brother Nate and his wife Lindsey and their 4 kids.....all to witness Cody's farewell talk before leaving on his mission.  Also in the congregation were friends from school as well as his sweetie Holly and her parents.  Cody sounded like a man ready to embark on a very adult mission to the Marshall Islands.  He leaves Evansville on Wednesday July 29 and will spend 6 weeks at the MTC in Provo, hopefully learning at least the basis of the language.  We had given him the carryall for use during this time to hold his scriptures and pens and water bottle and whatever.

We had a talent show Sunday night with the cousins and they put on more like a gong show than a talent show but it was hysterical!  Sadly, we took our leave on Monday morning but happily and with rejoicing know that this family is holding to the rod.

This is a Mission Countdown Calendar I found online.  It's not exactly like the one I saw but close enough.  I decided to make one for Cara and Jacob and kids to count down til Cody returns.  I remember the first few weeks being so lonely.  I had a digital countdown calendar that hung on the frig....X# Days til my Missionary Returns it said.  This calendar will have to be more interactive as each day they will need to find the appropriate block.  So in making one, I decided to make 2 more...for the Stencils and the Eddingtons who are also sending out their firstborn.  I joked that all 3 boys are serving missions that will run through leap they need to add a day.  But no mission is ever exactly 2 years in length.

Before we left for Evansville we got word that our friend Greg Vandersommen had died...he's been suffering for about 2 years from esophageal cancer.  It's sad but at least he's out of the pain.  Later that day I got word that June Rauscher's dear and protective Uncle Joe died.  Just as we were beginning the Eagle Court I checked to be sure my phone was turned off and found I had a message that my friend Patricia Mihalak had died (she had had a heart attack and 3 strokes on July 4).  And Sunday after church I got a text that a man in our ward, Michael Young, had suddenly died of a heart attack.  So within about 5 days, I had 4 friends die. 

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