Fresh off the press tonight, is a picture from your adventures in Tupa. You'll have to share what happened!
There was an interesting article in CNN this week. In regards to "signs" of the second coming of Christ, I thought you might enjoy reading it! "Prophecy loves signs from the heavens, and they will deliver Tuesday with a moonlight spectacle. In other words, get ready for an unusually beautiful moon to grace the night skies next week. There will be a total lunar eclipse Tuesday that will turn the moon a burnt reddish orange, NASA says. It's called a blood moon, and this one is just the first in a series of four consecutive total eclipses. Within a year and a half, North America will be able to see a blood moon a total of four times. The moon takes on this color during the eclipse as it passes through the Earth's shadow, which is the color of a desert sunset. The four blood moons will occur in roughly six-month intervals on the following dates: April 15, 2014; October 8, 2014; April 4, 2015, and September 28, 2015, but don't be mislead in thinking they are commonplace." It won't be too early for you to see it, I think about 5 a.m. in your locale.
Your cousin Naomi made me smile - again - this week when she wrote, "Soeur Carter sent us a challenge. Points were distributed for contacting, getting numbers, etc. and my contribution was an extra 300 points for every male contacted who was over six feet and looked like he could wield a broadsword!" She's hysterical!
Just some thoughts on preparing your homecoming talk, and youth conference presentation. Review some of your journal entries, and mark those that might be appropriate, so your preparation will be easier once you enter our chaotic, always busy lives. You won't have much preparation time, as we have MUCH to do when you return ;-)
The mother of your future roommate ;-) was in Utah this week and spent hours visiting complexes that had openings for six. There weren't a lot of options, and most were on the west end of campus. She and I decided upon one together. You three amigos will have fun. Is there anyone else you want me to invite from your mission to fill the empty slot? (A picture of your new game room ;-)
Porter has started his serious driving skills. **Dad took him to the cemetery, so he didn't have to worry about killing anybody, they're already dead.** They're hysterical together. Dad is THE back seat driver, and has plenty to say with sons behind the wheel. Today in church he crunched our bumper while practicing his backing up skills in the parking lot. He saw the light post, but missed the cement barrier poles, not visible except from someone sitting in the backseat. It was a good lesson to learn. Know your environment before you leave park!
Thursday was Hunter's senior salute unveiling ceremony. The hit of the night was your sister, but I don't think Hunter minded. Sis. Parrish was so gracious in coming to share in the evening! Hunter will be on display in the library (yeah! we love the librarians and they love us), WesBanco (our favorite coin bank, and Hunter's bank), the middle school (he's there now) and a couple of other places they'll rotate his picture in before graduation. I so wish you had applied for this! I'll just have to make my own senior portrait of you ;-)
Friday we picked up the "Hunger Games II" DVD. The boys have waited a while to see it, and are excited to catch you up on a few good flicks you've missed while you've been gone. We're psyched for our 6:30 a.m. summer scripture reading program as well! Okay, maybe 7 a.m.!
Saturday was a beautiful spring day, perfect for the opening day of the baseball season. The morning began with a parade of players (and more candy thrown than given out at Halloween!), opening ceremonies, and a hearty "play ball!" Miller had one of the first games, and played great! Enough so to be given the game ball by the coach. Miller said it was because he fielded ten balls to first base. His coach posted this comment on Facebook, "A great start to the Eastham Black season! Extra inning 5-3 thrilling win over Ohio University! Miller Schenewark knocks in 3 and has 6 assists to lead the way. Proud of his and their defense as they played perfectly all morning!" Your brother lives for baseball practices and games. It's a great motivator to get his homework and chores done. He plans his uniforms the day before. His concept of time is not concrete, so he's always asking when he can play again. He played the pitcher position, which is right next to the pitching machine, the spot where most of the balls go through.
(This is a good picture from a practice...players in that position have to wear the protective face mask.)
And, upon returning home, spent the entire day playing baseball batting balls, hitting the hit-away, and rolling balls off the roof of the house to catch. Unfortunately, he slipped on an untied shoe lace, and misfired the ball. I do believe our number six son is the first to do this!
Sawyer's game was later in the day. I've been asked to keep the team's books again, so I sit by the dug out, and try to keep up with the game. He pitched 85 throws, which was too much, after pitching at Friday's scrimmage. But considering it was the first game of the year, he did great for two innings, okay for one, and was DONE by the fourth. If he's not pitching, he plays shortstop or third base, depending on who else is in as pitcher.
Dad and Porter and Hunter were on the bus at 5 a.m. to go to the regional quiz bowl tournament in Lancaster. There were sixteen teams, and they placed fifth. The two winners were both private schools who will represent Ohio at nationals. Dad came home on the grumpy side because he couldn't sleep on the bus. Remember those bus bumps? ;-) He got to ride with the team because of his coach status with the track team, which was a perk. Mr. Hayes also considers him his back up.
Today was stake conference. It was the first time the ten other units in the stake stayed in their building, and watched from webcast, so they didn't have to travel. Most of those in attendance were from the 1st and 2nd Huntington wards. Hunter had been invited to speak, and did a wonderful job. He had two friends come to listen and one retired substitute teacher. He's also come to watch all the boys play basketball with the missionaries before. And they stayed for all two hours ;-) and those two hours were amazing. "They talk[ed] of Christ, we rejoice[ed] in Christ, [they] preach[ed] of Christ."
We also had an "Eight is Great" event held for those being baptized this year. That would be Miller! He talked about making sure you were here before this happened, and I assured him you would be home for school on your Christmas break. Porter is very excited to be the brother with the honor of performing the baptism. Sawyer sat and figured out a few details, determined that it would be Cooper who baptized Breyer, and then became sad knowing there was no one left in the family for him to baptize.
I know in a few weeks you'll be reading this, but thought it was too good to have you wait. Out of Uncle Aaron's letter tonight, he stated, "Yesterday I attended my final Eagle Scout court of honor as a representative of the Board of Selectman. That is the one thing I will miss. None of my seatmates can be bothered with doing that for the boys. I don’t understand why. More than marching in a parade or participating as a rubber stamp in budget approval processes, the appearance and acknowledgement of a town official at these ceremonies has been the most meaningful thing I’ve done. And whether the boys actually appreciate it is immaterial, because the parents and scout leaders do, to say nothing of the fact that it’s simply the right thing to do." In your leadership position you have the choice to be like most of the board members, concerned with televised meetings and making appearances at "important" events, or like Uncle Aaron, concerned with "ministering to the one." There are many elders that would benefit from your ministering to them one on one, and in so doing will be doing something much more important.
While studying for seminary I was reading In 3 Nephi:22-23 and came across these verses, so applicable to the work you're doing as a missionary. "And behold, ye shall meet together oft; and ye shall not forbid any man from coming unto you when ye shall meet together, but suffer them that they may come unto you and forbid them not; But ye shall pray for them, and shall not cast them out; and if it so be that they come unto you oft ye shall pray for them unto the Father, in my name." There's a difference in praying for them, and praying for them "unto the Father, in my name." Learn about the difference, and apply this teaching of the Savior in your work. He is your best source of help. I can only make you smile once in a while, and send you care packages. We love you dearly!
Mom and Dad
P.S. Speaking of care packages, I was literally ripping off the tape to close your package, when Dad called and read your letter. So I dropped in your requested items. **And according to Uncle Ben, he said that Amazon has a strategic plan in place to employ drones to deliver packages directly to your door! He said that the technology has already been proven - - the only thing holding it up is federal regulation regarding use of air space. Can you imagine getting a package from us, in Brazil, from a drone?