This and That

In most churches, there’s a hired pastor who will give a sermon each week on various topics.  In the LDS church, there’s no hired clergy, and they share the “preaching” responsibilities with various people in the congregation.  Because of this, I’ve been called upon (with sufficient warning — like a few weeks) to give a talk about a gospel topic.  One other unique opportunity happens on the first Sunday of each month.  We call it “Testimony Meeting” and after we do our sacrament ordinance, the bishop opens the floor to anyone in the congregation.  These meetings are often inspiring and fun to participate in. (They can also be very funny as on occasion kids come up and say the darndest things.  For example, a few years ago a girl around 8 years old went up there and proclaimed, “Today my dad and I are praying so we can get along better.”  The best part?  The dad was in a position of leadership in our ward.)

Contemplative Abby


Recently my daughter Abby, who often acts well beyond her years, decided to take notes during Testimony Meeting.  She wrote things like “Brother Smith — importance of families.  Sister Jones — tithing” and etc.  I was amazed at her desire to 1) take notes and 2) listen close enough to actually summarize the speaker’s topic in a few words!  Abby has always been a tender girl who appreciates sacred things, whether in church, nature, movies, and family discussions.  I really appreciate that about her.

Yesterday Jen told Abby she could pull out a dessert recipe book we had and choose anything she wanted.  Abby picked out a cookie pizza that sounded good on paper.  Jen and the girls made it today and it looked good on the pan.  But whoa, WAY TOO MUCH SUGAR!  The girls loved the finished product but I could barely stomach my helping.

Peanut butter, chocolate chips, marshmallows, and SUGAR


We’ve had a bit of sickness around here lately.  Austin came down with a cough and congestion — the doctor called it RSV.  That’s a generic term for most respiratory illnesses, some of which lead to serious problems in newborns.  Luckily, Austin has been fine and is slowly recovering.  Leah picked up a fever and sore throat but we hope she’s recovering.  We’ve had plenty of sicko-s around the house this winter, but in reality it’s been pretty tame for us when compared to previous years.  We’ve been lucky.  The picture below is a frequent sight in our house.  Austin awake, Jen doting over him, and all the girls quickly flocking to participate in the fun.  They aren’t sick of him yet (I’m not either).

Austin -- center of attention

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6 thoughts on “This and That

  1. Beautiful sight to see with all those darling girls loving Austin so much. That will be a treasured photo as the years pass. And Abby, you’re amazing girl. What a great example you’re setting for your sisters and other girls in your ward. Keep it up!

  2. That picture of Abby is so beautiful and the one of all the girls admiring Austin is so cute, what a loved little boy he is! That cookie pizza does look like a sugar overload, but I bet it was good!

    -Nancy

  3. This was a sweet, inspiring post. You have a wonderful family and it is a joy to watch them interact. Thanks for spending time with us today. It was awesome!

  4. I still can’t get used to seeing Jen holding a baby boy in Relief Society. It looks SO foreign!!! Maybe we will get lucky with a girl next and people will say that about us. =) Oh – and BTW – I love to hear that my future daughter-in-law is so reverent in Sacrament. That is exactly what Karsten will need someday…a great wife to whip him into shape. He, he!!!

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