Sunday, June 30, 2013

swim team 2013

Summer is off to a great start with swim team practices in the early morning every weekday from 7 to 9.  McKinley, Reagan, and Brady all have friends on the team so it is really fun for them while they improve their swim skills.  We had our first meet on Saturday morning and we walked away with a lot of red ribbons.

 Reagan and her friend, Henley - proud of their second place finish.
 Brady and his friend Raleigh took first and second place.
 Brady and Preston are swim buddies too.

 Of course, we love the Lloyd twins and are so glad to get to spend time with them.

This gal took first place in the 50 breaststroke.  Not bad considering that due to cheer practice, girl's camp, cheer camp, and being sick for a week with Bronchitis she has only been to about 5 practices.  Way to go Kiki!

Friday, June 28, 2013

8 on his Eighth

I could not love this little guy more.  
There is so much to like about him.  
Here are eight of my favorite things about him on his eighth birthday.

1.  He has so much enthusiasm for everything he does.  Whether its being a new cub scout or trying a new sport he is genuinely excited to try anything new.

2.  He is friends with everyone, and a good one at that. 

3.  No one is more OBEDIENT than Brady.

4.  No one TRIES HARDER than Brady.

5.  He is absolutely, positively CRAZY about his dad and wants to be just like him.

6.  He loves sports.  Watching them, playing them, talking about them.  First thing he does when he wakes up in the morning is look up who won what big game the night before because he probably had to go to bed before the game was finished.

7.  He is our little "executive secretary".  He reminds us of things we need to remember:  "Tanner is your phone in your pocket? (before Tanner jumps in the pool) and "Mom, don't forget so and so's birthday is Friday and we need to get her a present."  All this week he has consulted his twilight camp packing list to make sure that he has everything he needed packed up before I even got a chance to think about it.  He does the same thing every day with his gear for swim team.

8.  Because he is so darn on the ball, he is super independent and self sufficient, an attribute that comes in handy when your the caboose in a family of 7.

Happy Birthday Brady Maxy Poo.  We love you so much!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Out with the old & in the with the new

Well just about the time that one son finished his Eagle Project and is preparing for his final merit badge and board of review, another is turning 8 this week.  And because he turns 8 this week, he was eligible for twilight camp.  I don't think you can find a boy more excited to be a cub scout.  This guy was THRILLED when we found his big brother's old blue shirt, applied the patches with our ward's unit numbers on it and picked it up from the dry cleaner.  He really can't wait!  He also had a fun time at his first day of TWILIGHT camp with all the other boys his age.

Here we go again..... (sigh).

Saturday, June 22, 2013

God works in mysterious ways

Our Stake President, heard through the grapevine about a baptism that took place a couple of years ago in our ward and knew that our son, Tanner, had played a small role in the baptism. He asked me and Josh (the convert) to write down the series of events that unfolded and send it to him for a project that one of the 70 was working on. I am not sure of what the plan is to do with the account but this is what I wrote and I thought it might be a good thing to add to my blog. It really was a great example of how this is the Lord's work and sometimes He is clearly at the helm working miracles behind the scenes. 

If there is one thing I know, It is that Heavenly Father works in mysterious ways to bring about his work. In 2011, Brother Josh Edwards found his way to the fullness of the gospel and my son, Tanner, was able to play a small part in his finding it.  I should start by telling you that Josh had mentioned to his wife some weeks before he even would meet Tanner that he wanted -no, NEEDED - to make God a part of his life. Josh had never been a religious person until this point but something was changing within him.

At the same time, Layton (Josh's 14 year old son) must have been feeling something similar. He had become somewhat acquainted with Tanner as they were both members of the high school swim team. Layton had been watching the "Mormon kids" at school. There was quite a few of them at Prosper High School and he knew a few personally. There was something different about them. He wasn't sure what exactly it was but he was interested. One day, without any previous discussion about the church, Layton told Tanner, "I think I want to become a Mormon, what do I need to do?". 

Within a few weeks, discussions were taking place at Layton's mother's home (Layton's parents are divorced) and Layton was progressing well. Tanner was able to attend and play a role in many of those discussions with the missionaries and spoke of the spirit that was there as testimonies were born and gospel principles were taught.
After a few discussions, Layton went to his father and expressed a desire to be baptized. He needed his father's permission since he was a minor. Josh was uncomfortable with his son joining a church that he knew nothing about so he asked to take the discussions too and expressed a desire to attend Sunday services.

Josh describes what happened next:

"After visiting church a few times and months of lessons, I felt I was ready. It was the first time I would be baptized into any faith at 31 years old."

He tells of the first time he attended the block of Sunday meetings:

" I felt at home. I knew I was in the company of friends and genuinely nice people. Looking back, I know it was the Spirit I felt. " "Feeling the change inside myself was gradual at first. It wasn't until my baptism that I knew there was no looking back. When I felt free of my past and my many mistakes I was able focus and look to the future. I felt the weight of guilt and addiction lifted off my shoulders. I knew that I wasn't alone and I was literally a new person. CTR became my mantra with anything and everything."

Shortly after Josh was baptized, his wife Jennifer joined him in his new found love of the Gospel. Their two daughters, Ella and Livia have since been baptized as well. Josh gave Tanner the honor of baptizing Livia. It was a day Tanner will never forget.

Josh has grabbed hold of the gospel and held tight. My husband and I have marveled at him and how committed he has been to the church. We have observed him being one of the first to serve when called upon and have heard him bear testimony that has left us in awe. I just don't think he could soak up any more gospel light than he has in such a relatively short amount of time. The ward has grown to love him and his sweet family so much and we are so grateful for the events that brought them to us. He currently serves as the Sunday School secretary and does a terrific job. It warms my heart every time I see his glowing countenance and beaming smile in the hallway on Sunday. The gospel changes lives. Living the gospel makes people happier. The Savior loves us. When we want to make Heavenly Father a part of our lives, he will find a way. Whether it is through something they discover on the internet, being tracted out by the missionaries, talking to an LDS next door neighbor, or through a fourteen year old swimmer on the high school swim team. Heavenly Father's will make it happen. I have seen it with my own eyes.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Kiki at cheer camp

Kiki went straight from Thursday night of Girl's camp to cheer camp the very next morning bright and early.  She learned alot and is getting to know the other girls on the squad better and building friendships.    We were thrilled for her on the second to last day when she was nominated for All American Cheerleader.  The NCA coach that nominated her mentioned that she had terrific motions.  It was a great experience for her and she seems to be enjoying it.

Getting ready for EIGHT

Thank you to the Amazing Toni Elmer for these great photos.

Girl's Camp 2013

Haven't posted in awhile but I was off at Girl's camp for a week and was busy getting ready for Girl's camp before that. Here are some highlights.
 Prosper 2nd ward girls - Minus the YCLs.
Me and my besties.  Brent calls us "Shahna and the S/Cheris"
 (Cheri and Sheri)

All dressed up for the crazy stake leader skit on Tuesday night.  Man alive we made fools of ourselves.
 4 of the cutest little beehives in the world.

 Got lots of chances to catch up with old friends like thos one, Heather Perdue.  I have known her for over 25 years.
 McKinley, not to be confused with Annie Oakley.
 Grandpa Stevens would have been proud to see this girls in action.

 This was part of the Thursday night program.  It was so incredible and maybe I will get a chance to post more detail about it later but Brent was nice enough to come up and help light the tree for the "Tree of Life" on Wednesday night.
 Got to know these two fun ladies much better and have decided they are keepers.  Anne and Julie made all the long hours so much more fun!

 Sheri and I spent the entire time doing crafts and facilitating a service project with the girls.  Love this lady with all my heart.

 We decorated the craft area.  here are some pictures of the cute girls working on our file folder service project.  We made educational file folders for local children's hospitals to use with long term patients who have to miss a lot of school.
Overall, it was a fantastic week.  I am so grateful for a supportive husband who is always willing to step in and make it easy for me to take off with friends and do things like this.