One of the unexpected highlights of our Christmas Season was when Andrew received an e-mail inviting the two of us to meet with our recently called stake president. Initially, our feelings were a mix of curiosity and panic. Soon after taking our seats in his office, he called Andrew to serve on the stake high council. Rather than go into my feelings, I want to share my observations pertaining to Andrew's reaction. And because I feel certain that Andrew doesn't read this blog word for word like he once did, I feel bold in my desire to describe what I saw.
He was emotional. Tears filled his eyes. He swallowed hard as he attempted to find the capacity to articulate his thoughts. He was the picture of humility as he expressed his feelings of inadequacy. In the same breath, he verbalized a wholehearted commitment to serving. We made a few jokes about his age as it would seem that he is rather young to fill this spot. Andrew was reassured by our stake president that this call came to him "rather immediately" after being sustained the new stake president. I remember he talked about the high council members as being his future best friends and shared that it is a special brotherhood. For me the most important feeling of that encounter was a sweet reassurance that this call was from Heavenly Father and that I need to support and encourage him as best I can.
December 20, Christmas Sunday as we call it, he was sustained by the members of our stake and set apart. His Dad, Bubba, Mom and brother Mike drove up to our ward, attended sacrament meeting with us and then came to his ordination. During Sacrament, the kids sang with the primary. Forrest was adorable and surprising as he joined his older brother and sisters on the stand. Lottie kept her arm around him the entire time. Being a Mom has very sweet rewards. I sang with the choir. I nearly succumbed to emotion while singing the song, "Where you there on that Christmas night?" but thankfully I held it together.
After the meeting, Doug (best known as Bubba around these parts) set Andrew apart as a high priest and then the stake president followed with setting him apart as a high councilman. The kids were there and did really well considering that this was a time to be reverent and reflective. Here are a few photos taken that morning of the children in their Sunday best and of our family after Andrew was set apart.
Christmas carols and neighbor gifts:
"We Wash You a Merry Christmas!"
My kids were kind to indulge my cheesy nature as we delivered a few of these to our neighbors/home teaching families/etc. Wearing their elf hats, we went door to door and sang "We Wash You a Merry Christmas" before handing them these soaps and a Christmas card.
Eliza's school choir concert:
Last Thursday, Eliza sang with her school choir. After waking up early each Wednesday to go and practice, it was about time that I got to watch her perform. :) They did a great job and I could tell that Eliza enjoyed herself. Nanna Teresa came up that afternoon and had dinner with us before we went to the school. It was fun to have her in our home. My Mom also joined us for the performance. I tell my kids often how blessed we are to live so close to family.
(The above video features the CUTEST song ever.
Eliza can't get over a bad case of the giggles.
It's probably the best thing I've posted on youtube to date.)
SNOW BOY!!!! (Oh boy!)
The week leading up to Christmas, we received buckets and buckets of snow! And it is so beautiful. These photos are from two different storms. The children have had an ample amount of time enjoying it. The most recent storm arrived while Andrew was traveling. That left me with the job of shoveling our driveway as I couldn't get the snowblower to work (of course!). I felt a lot of appreciation for Andrew in those moments as this is a job he typically takes care of. What a good guy he is.
We were delivering a few of Eliza's bears yesterday and I couldn't handle the beauty of where I live. I love these mountains and the trees that line our streets. I'm thankful for our life here.
Forrest preferred driving his trucks through the cookie dough instead of cutting fun shapes.
Lottie visits the North Pole (at preschool)
"Open presents!" It was adorable. He then proceeded to rush the wrapping paper scraps to the trash. I'm not sure what his train of thought was but he seemed urgent. I tried to explain to him that we needed to wait and open them together on Christmas. Together we wrapped them back up. The other kids were at school so nothing was spoiled.