Monday, December 21, 2015

With All My Love

Dear Elder Schenewark,

*Please give us instructions for receiving your Christmas call...which site you'll be using, and when? We're on central time...I think you're four hours ahead of us?

Do you still not receive blog posts?

The boys are done with school. Friday at noon the schools called it quit and sent everybody home for a couple of weeks rest and relaxation. We've been watching old Christmas movies off the computer, addressing Christmas cards, decorating and sewing.

Today in church I was sustained as the new Relief Society president. It's official. I've known for a couple of weeks, just waiting for a few things to come together. It's always funny watching people's expressions when leadership positions change. Unfortunately I was near the front and didn't have a view, but I did hear a few gasps. Your father was teasing Breyer. "Last chance, Breyer, now's your chance to veto the vote!"

I've already had the former Relief Society president called as my new family history and temple adviser, specifically to help investigators and new converts work on family names to bring to the temple. The missionaries will be submitting me five names for her to begin with in the morning. She's also in charge of monthly temple trips for sisters who can go during the day.

The former secretary was called as my young single adult adviser, specifically to help me contact so many names on the ward list in that category of single between 18 and 30. I have 300 sisters on the list. Can you imagine having at least three wards instead of one, in Granbury, if they all came with their families?

I loved these thoughts from Ezra Taft Benson: "Let our personal lives, our homes, and our work performance reflect our Christlike character. So live that others will say about you, "There is a true Christian!" Wouldn't that be wonderful? To be thought of as Christian, and not a member of the Mormon cult?

Three of your brothers played basketball games...Porter Tuesday and Friday, and Sawyer and Miller on Saturday. I don't really care whether they win or lose, but sometimes getting to either end is fun to watch. Porter's team pulled out a squeaker Friday evening, Miller wasn't able to carry his team to a win, and Sawyer helped his team pull away for the win.

The cub scouts went to a nursing home this week and sang Christmas carols. It's one of my favorite activities of the year. I was on the piano. 

Fun tidbits on your family?

We all discovered Miller had a secret...He wears his favorite socks for more than one day. They stay on for two or three days. We're trying to convince him how pungent they smell, with a lot of crust, when we notice.

While listening to Christmas music, specifically Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, your father asked Breyer, who is the most famous reindeer? She answered, Bambi. Good times!

If you walked into the house your sister would ask if you'd like to hold baby Jesus. She wants to make sure everybody has a turn. Next, she'd ask you if you'd like to hold the baby lamb. She's so sweet.

Porter can disappear into the bathroom for extended periods of time. It's his relax-away-from-the-siblings routine. Dad's started calling him on his phone, which always goes with him, asking him if he needs a ride home, as he hasn't seen him for a while and wondered where he went. Your brother might be getting the hint

Dad bought the Christmas tree last Saturday, we got it into the stand on Sunday, and finished decorating it Monday for FHE. It's beautiful. Breyer still hangs all her ornaments on the bottom branches of the tree...just like last year's tree!

The boys LOVE fishing here now. Sawyer and Cooper are having a contest, as to the number of fish caught. Sawyer was behind, then tied, then pulled ahead by one.

In the news this week? Ken Niumatalolo decided to stay at Navy after considering BYU
Late last night, it was announced that BYU hired the former Cougars running back Kalani Sitake as its football coach. This was announced after its 35-28 loss to No. 20 Utah in the Las Vegas Bowl, billed as the holy game in sin city ;-)

Your uncle at Colorado State University made the news as a faculty member poring over 18th-century newspapers for a book and online repository focused on accounts of slavery from colonial America.

"Buoyed by an eight-month, $33,600 fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Assistant Professor Zach Hutchins of CSU’s Department of English plans to read 1,500 issues of newspapers published between 1704 and 1760. He’s already read approximately 4,500 issues — and completed all but two chapters of a book about representations of slavery found in articles and advertisements. Hutchins became interested in the topic while completing his Ph.D. at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and working as an editor at its Center for Documenting the American South. Hutchins is one of only about a dozen CSU faculty who have received this type of NEH funding since 1972, according to the organization’s database.

“I think the reason the NEH was excited about this project is that these are resources that are vastly underused,” he said, explaining that people relied primarily on newspapers for information and entertainment during the 18th century, not the books we now hold up as classics. And the papers were even an important source for those who were illiterate, as they were often read aloud in public spaces.

“Colonial newspapers helped shape the public’s understanding of important social issues, like slavery,” Hutchins said, “and this project will restore an awareness of their centrality in our effort to understand what enslaved Americans experienced during the colonial period.”

Also in the news this week was Uncle Aaron!

From left, attorneys Stephen A.

"Those who think lawyers have it made after passing the bar exam need to think again. There are challenges aplenty, especially for solo practitioner lawyers and lawyers working in small firms who face an unlevel playing field when trying to compete with larger law firms that have more resources and staff members at their disposal. To support these lawyers, Northborough attorney Aaron Hutchins launched Borough Barristers last year. While local bar associations assist all lawyers, Borough Barristers provides professional development, education and support to solo practitioners and small law firms while focusing on the MetroWest borough communities." Excellent!!

Dad found the Arizona Tempe mission picture on line...thought you might like to see it! (Sorry I can't get it any larger!)

Know of our love for you. I read this from Ezra Taft Benson, and thought of you today (actually more than once, but specifically with this quote): "Walking in His way is the greatest achievement of life. That man is most truly successful whose life most closely parallels that of the Master." While you're on your mission I would venture to say that you're currently most truly successful. We're so proud of you! 

Be sure to let us know about Christmas!!! 




Bachland :) said...

Give Elder Schenewark a long distance hug from us during the call.

MarieC said...

Give Elder Schenewark our regards on the Christmas call.

You will be an AWESOME Relief Society President!