It was wonderful to Skype with you tonight...we're such a wild and crazy bunch! It was also great to have Derek and Shannon stop in for dinner and a few games before they continued on their way to Houston. Derek had never met Breyer, and doesn't remember Miller. It's been TOO long! Hopefully I've convinced him he needs to find his way here again, and his siblings can come along as well.
Obviously the boys are home. They arrived Thursday from their California trip, having been gone
one week. It's amazing how much you can get done when the normal chores of tending children and cooking and cleaning are not so large. I cleaned out the fridge, while it was so empty, cleaned the stove and microwave, mopped the floor, cleaned the bathrooms, cleaned out the supply closet...and so forth. It's been a productive week.
Breyer and I would spend every evening at the city beach. One night this week she screamed, and ran out of the water because of a snake. Another night it was because she had duck poop on her hand. We've since moved away from the rocky shoreline and hung out more in the center. One night she found a Barbie doll buried in the sand, and cleaned her off, came home and dressed her in a G.I. Joe outfit. Even though she has a princess crown and necklace. Another night she found an Aerobie ring buried in the sand, pink, and brought that home. We do enjoy our beach.
Porter had football practice that began at 6:45 a.m. What a way to warm up to school beginning next week! Poor Breyer was never awake, dozed during the drive, and went back to sleep until 9 a.m. when I'd leave to pick him up. He never knew when he was going to finish, sometimes as late as 10 a.m.
I had to teach today. All month we've been focusing on the importance of the family unit and marriage. Elder Christofferson told a great story about Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a brilliant German theologian born in 1906. He said that "above the Great West Door of the renowned Westminster Abbey in London, England, stand the statues of 10 Christian martyrs of the 20th century, including Bonhoeffer. Bonhoeffer became a vocal critic of the Nazi dictatorship and its treatment of Jews and others. He was imprisoned for his active opposition and finally executed in a concentration camp. Bonhoeffer was a prolific writer, and some of his best-known pieces are letters that sympathetic guards helped him smuggle out of prison, later published as Letters and Papers from Prison.
One of those letters was to his niece before her wedding. It included these significant insights: “Marriage is more than your love for each other. … In your love you see only your two selves in the world, but in marriage you are a link in the chain of the generations, which God causes to come and to pass away to his glory, and calls into his kingdom. In your love you see only the heaven of your own happiness, but in marriage you are placed at a post of responsibility towards the world and mankind."
So I ask you, Tanner, in what way does marriage between a man and a woman transcend their love for one another and their own happiness to become “a post of responsibility towards the world and mankind? I think of my parents, and how the two of them, together, have gone from two people, to nine children, seven spouses, almost forty-five grandchildren...and how their union has ripple effects throughout the eternities. When the anchor threads of marriage and family are unraveled, the tapestry of our nation unravels as well.
I will write you more this week, it is late. Or I'm just tired. I map quested your route from Kansas City to Provo. It's only one hour longer if you take the route through Fort Collins. You should stop by and see your uncle. He would lift your spirits, rejuvenate your sidewalk pounding soles, and boost your necessary creative juices just in time for the new semester. Think about it.