The boy's at camp, Jason, Tyler, Vitaliy
I just love this shot of Jason. He just has this great little boy look...in a good way!
Vitaliy....King of the Mountain!
Tyler (with a weird look on his face) showing us the sights. He was the photographer on the trip and did a great job!
See, what did I tell you...he always has a funny look on his face. I think he does it on purpose.
Climbing through the slot canyons
Jenae just had her hair re-cut and it is shorter. She took the camera and took so many, many, many, etc, etc, etc, pictures of herself. I threw this one in that we took together.
When I first did my blog so very long ago, I named our two new boys Thing 1 and Thing 2. This is Jackson....he must be Thing 3!
For some reason yesterday Sasha, Cali and Jackson pulled out the snow clothes and dressed up in them and played for a while in them. Here is Sasha!
Michael and I were doing Yoga...Royal Dancer Pose... but Michael decided to pose for a picture instead.
This is Jenae right after her hair was re-cut. I just love her new look!
Here is Dad. Happy Father's Day!!! Jenae was posing weird on purpose in this one!
My older boys had a fun filled week at Scout camp. Michael and the Ventures (16-17) went to Coyote Gulch and Lake Powell. They backpacked and water skied, not bad, huh?! Every year that boy gets stronger and stronger. His first real backpacking experience was when he was 14 and carried a pack that weighed over 40 pounds. He had a great time and assured me that there were many spiritual experiences. (That was a concern of mine)
Tyler, Vitaliy and Jason went with the Varsity’s (14-15) to the Entrada High Adventure BSA Camp. They hiked, free climbed, repelled, shot guns and a bunch of other things that boys like to do. They took some great pictures. One of the videos that they shot was of Tyler and Vitaliy and two other boys laying on the ground hanging over this ledge that went straight down….way down. They threw a rock down to show how far down it was. These are things that mom’s just don’t need to know about….at least not until they are all home safe, anyway! They had an amazing trip. They really loved the repelling. They repelled a 30 foot wall that Vitaliy was proud to say he repelled in 13 seconds and they repelled a 120 foot wall. I saw pictures and it was huge! The camp had bikes they could ride so they really liked riding out there. Entrada is in Moab and it is really beautiful there. They also had a shooting range there. (Just FYI, all their activities were run by experienced people who worked at the camp…just saying) Vitaliy had the opportunity to shoot a 350 magnum. The instructor told him to be careful because the gun would kick back. On his first shot his arm kicked back. He turned to the others with a smile on his face and said, “I like that!” He then shot several more rounds and hit the target perfectly. Apparently, he is a marksman. They also spent one day white water rafting. They said it was awesome.
The boys all came home tired but very excited about their trips. It is good to have them home. Each night the Varsity’s had a devotional. One night Vitaliy was called on to pray and he did it in Russian. Yesterday at church one of the boys in their group was asked to tell about their experience at camp during Sacrament meeting. He talked about how Vitaliy prayed and even though no one understood Russian, they understood and felt the spirit of his prayer. It was an awesome testimony to hear. It was obvious to me that the Spirit did touch and teach our boys during their campouts and I am grateful for that.
The younger family that stayed home had a busy week too. I was determined that they were going to have a campout in the backyard but my week started to fill up. I was trying to help Andy get one of his jobs done so he could go to camp with the Varsity’s so I went over there four days in a row to help with cleaning and painting. He never was able to go but the job is almost done. Meanwhile, Jenae did a lot of babysitting for the younger kids. I wasn’t too happy about being away from them each afternoon, but they managed. Finally, on Thursday night we pitched a tent in the backyard. We roasted marshmellows in the microwave and made smores with Ukrainian chocolate (thank you Stephanie for bringing us home chocolate). We brought the laptop outside and watched Despicable Me with everyone as we were sprawled out on our air mattresses. Andy asked me if WE were supposed to sleep in the tents, or just the kids. After all, he had worked so many, many hours all week and was tired. I told him that I really wanted to be out there with them to get the full experience. We did end up sleeping out there and it was pretty comfortable. It was a cold night though, but it was really fun! I would have loved to bottle the expression on Sasha’s face when he learned that he would be sleeping in the tent overnight. He was beyond thrilled!
Okay, I have got to mention the weird food item for the week. Last night, Sasha made a jam, mustard (and I mean a lot of mustard), ham, and cheese sandwich on toasted bread…and he ate the WHOLE thing! It was gross!!!
We had another missionary discussion. Before we set the baptism date I told the missionaries that I wasn’t sure because I had never heard how the boys really feel in their hearts about all that they have learned. I told Vitaliy that he needed to know in his heart that what the missionaries have taught him and what he feels and has learned at home and at church is true, that Heavenly Father has confirmed to him through prayer that it is true and right for him before he could commit to baptism. He then proceeded to express his feelings in Russian. I then felt what the boys felt at camp. I didn’t know exactly what he said, but the Spirit of it confirmed to me that he has a testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Then I turned to Sasha. Now Sasha doesn’t learn like everyone else might and he doesn’t necessarily express himself the same either. But, he is very receptive to the Spirit and I have seen that time and time again, especially with the primary music. So, I had him look right at me and I reminded him of the music he loves at Church and the times he and I have sung “I Am A Child Of God” in his room at night and asked him if he understood the missionaries and if he knew that he was a child of God. Well, I could see the softness of the Spirit come over his face and I knew that he knew he was a child of God. What a great moment that was for me to see! He understands as best he can right now and that is what was needed. The boys will be baptized a week from this Saturday. I am grateful for how the Gospel and the Spirit can soften hearts and enlighten minds…it works on me every day….as long as I allow it to.