Vitaliy and Andy in their whites...me...mostly white.
Sasha has such a sweet, sweet smile!
We had to get Michael in a picture too! They all look so good in white!
I had to take this shot. They pulled out all the aprons and they were trading wearing all of them around the house. I just love these guys!
This is Vitaliy bribing me for two pieces of gum. He said he would let me take his picture for two pieces of gum...I said two, he said three... I said one....he said, "okay, two!"
Okay, I just loved this shot...Jackson in his little short shorts with his apron on running around the house...he is sooooooooo cute. I still look at him and wonder how I left him for so long!
I was the photographer on the hike. I am always thinking ahead to the Scout slide shows so I want lots of pictures. This is part way up the hike. Vitaliy stayed in front for the hike until we passed our second rattle snake. Then, I wanted Sam to be in front because he has a better understanding of the dangers of snakes...even though that doesn't seem to stop him from trying to catch or kill them. At least he has more experience with poisonous snakes. Gotta love these boys...they were so good to me. They made a guard rail out of their bodies and arms so I could cross the bridge without being afraid.
This is at Indian Campground. From there is was two and a half miles back down without much light. As we got near the bottom, it was very dark. The boys didn't care, they manage themselves just fine.
This is the group that went hiking. I love the Scouting program. It is a great help in raising boys. They say it is easier to build a boy than to fix a man...Scouting is the way to go!
Vitaliy and I were heading out the door to help Andy on a job. We painted and cleaned and painted and cleaned so more. Vitaliy volunteered and didn't complain once....he didn't volunteer again, but he didn't complain once and I believe he even enjoyed helping out....great kid!
It has been a full week, especially this weekend. Yesterday was the big day! Vitaliy and Sasha were baptized last night. It was a great baptism ceremony. Elder Costa gave a beautiful talk on baptism in his broken English. He is a great missionary that we have from Brazil. He has a great spirit about him. Andy baptized Vitaliy first. Just as his whole body went underwater, his left foot popped up so Andy had to dunk him again. This time, to be doubly sure he did it right, he held him down just a bit longer. It made everyone laugh a little because it seemed he was holding him under water a little longer than he should have. Michael baptized Sasha after that. They got it right the first time. Sasha was so light for Michael that he just pushed him straight down.
It was really exciting to see them all dressed in white. As I was pulling out the white jumpsuits I wondered what they would think of them. They aren’t exactly stylish you know! They ended up thinking that they were pretty comfortable.
After the baptisms, my amazing friend, Angie, gave them a talk on the Holy Ghost in Russian. She did a beautiful job and ended with her testimony. It really doesn’t matter what language someone bears their testimony of the gospel in, the spirit of it is always discernable. I am so grateful to her for the many, many times she has translated for us. She has been translating for us since the boys came for their hosting last fall. I was so glad they were able to hear that talk in their own language. Because both the boys are over eight and it was a convert baptism, they were confirmed and received the Holy Ghost today in Sacrament meeting. My brother’s family, my Mom, and Tiffany and Jeff were able to be there. It was really beautiful to hear the prayers that Andy gave the boys as they received the Holy Ghost. After that, Vitaliy was sustained by our ward to the office of a Teacher. After Sacrament he was ordained to that office of the Priesthood.
Seeing that it was fast and testimony meeting today, both Andy and I bore our testimonies and so did Michael. You know when it is your turn to do it. Your heart beats so fast in your chest, if you don’t get up and do it you know you will regret it for sure!
What a great blessing these boys are to our family! They have changed our family dynamics for the better and I am grateful for that gift that we have been given.
We finished the evening on Saturday night with our good friends, Garth and Taffy and their family, by having our pre-fourth of July fireworks show. Everyone loved it! This year some aerial fireworks are legal. Our friends had bought a couple of those so we sat on our driveway with these huge and beautiful fireworks going off over our heads. The kids are all looking forward to another night of fireworks tomorrow night. It is fun to share these new holidays with them and explain to them what they are all about.
We should be headed to the temple this week to have the boys sealed to our family for time and all eternity. We just have to make sure the temple has a slot for us to do it and the other kids get their temple recommends. I can’t wait! The baptism was wonderful. I can’t even imagine what the temple sealing will be like. All my children get to come in the sealing room together….it will be…how should I say…Heavenly!!!
The rest of the week went like this…Michael and Tyler spent the week at Timberline Leadership training camp as staff members and of course, they had another injury this year. Our neighbor, David, was also staffing and fell and split his knee open. The boys took great care of him, got him to the hospital and all is well. Their family needs extra prayers this week as their oldest son, Devan will be having open heart surgery this week so please include him in your prayers.
I was able to go on a hike this week with the Varsity troop….that would be Tyler, Jason, Vitaliy and Andy’s group as they hiked up and behind the “G” mountain to Indian Camp. It is a constant straight up hike of five miles. I probably shouldn’t have started my hiking this year with that hike because I was pretty sore, but….it is an amazing hike and we have amazing youth in our ward. These are great young men that get better and better every year!
My prayers and thoughts go out to my friend, Steph, as her and her husband are back in Ukraine to get their boys…Steph…I am thinking of you always and pray that all will be well. You are an amazing person and I know things will work out just as they should!!!