My oldest son and his companion enjoyed singing together while serving a mission as companions in Brasil. How I miss that young man! I couldn't be more proud of his choice to dedicate 2 years of his life to serving the people of Brasil and sharing his love for the Lord.
I have been bad at updating my blog for the past few months. Ok, it really has been more than a year or two since I've kept it up decently or at least monthly. Bad. BAD BAD. I have new inspiration, though, and hopefully I'll get much, much better at it very quickly.
My oldest son has left to serve a 2-year mission for the Lord! He'll be serving for the next 2 years (minus the 3 weeks he's served thus far) in the Campinas, Brazil area. What an honor for him and for our family to be involved with supporting him in this kind of work!
He recently spent Thanksgiving (as part of his 6-week study time) at the Missionary Training Center (MTC) in Provo, Utah. While he did experience some of the customary homesickness that day, the greater portion of his day was dedicated to receiving spiritual nourishment, providing physical nourishment for others, and providing inspired music for even more. Now that's not a bad way to spend a holiday!
HERE's an article that describes some of the physical nourishment he and many of the other missionaries-in-training were able to provide for others. (I'm almost positive I can see him in one of the later pictures included with this article. Or maybe that's a mother's wishful thinking.):
HERE's another article that describes the source of some of that spiritual nourishment he received:
That last article also refers to the inspired music in which he was able to participate. He was part of the MTC choir which provided the music for the meeting mentioned in the article. In his weekly email and in a subsequent letter he sent to our family he mentioned what an amazing experience it was to know that the music and the entire meeting were being broadcast to MTCs all over the world. He said he knows now that the reason his Brazilian travel visa did not come before it was time for him to start his mission was because the place where he is supposed to be is right there in the Provo MTC, singing with the choir. He wrote to us that he has received a special assurance that he is in the right place, at the right time, singing with what the director described to their group as "the best line-up he has ever seen" in that MTC choir.
I, too, have received a similar assurance. It is not easy to say good-bye to your young man (or young woman) and send him off, knowing that you won't see him at all and will rarely speak to him for the next 2 years. It can be downright painful to be separated from him this way at times, in all honesty. The reality is, however, that there is no other place in the entire world I would rather have him be right now and no other thing that could possibly be more important for him to be doing. For this reason, I have decided to take the advice of my sweet friend Peggy whose wise counsel inspired me not to count down years, months, weeks, and days until he returns home, but instead to count up the days, weeks, months, and years he has given in service to the Lord, to everyone who is affected by his mission in one way or another, and specifically to the people of Brazil.
Here's to 3 solid, energetic, dedicated weeks of service! Here's to my own 3 weeks of being a missionary mom!
I'd like to not find out about any more trilogies or series books until all the books in the series have been published. I practically devour books when I get into their stories and it's very difficult for me to wait for authors to complete and publish their follow-ups. So many series these days are written not so much as independent, complete books that build on or add to related stories but really more as one really long story that is broken up into several books. I am not very patient about waiting to have access to the next part of the story. Sometimes I think the authors aren't able to do their best work, as well, because they are feeling pressured to get those other books published in time to satisfy eager fans. Hmmm. What's the solution?
http://youtu.be/iywUZHAepmo (Check this link on Youtube. I can't get it to post correctly in the story. It's part 6 of 7 sections from the movie Major League 3.)
When my oldest son was about 3, people kept telling us that he should be in commercials and we should get an agent. So we got him an agent. Why not? Not much happened for a couple of months, then we got a call one night that we could be paid extras in a movie if we could get to South Carolina by the next morning. (We lived in NC at the time.) Since I only had the two boys at the time, the youngest being 1&1/2, it was relatively easy to just go. My parents were in town just then and went along with us. All five of us were extras in the movie Major League 3 - Back to the Minors. Woo hoo!
The team for which we were supposed to be rooting was called the Buzz. Too bad our agent hadn't told us that. We were filming around Halloween time and I happened to have bee costumes sitting out at home that fit both of my boys. I've always wondered how much screen time the boys would've gotten if we'd shown up with two adorable little bee boys in full costume. Certainly at least as much as the bare-bellied Hog rooters and the three men in tutus, I would think.
We filmed at a ballpark for several days, shooting most footage inside the park and a bit out in the parking lot. I especially enjoyed the times when Ted McGinley was there. His character in the movie was not so likeable, but the actor was quite a handsome guy. Now we can watch the scene in the parking lot where he steps off the team bus and the bee mascot drives past on a motorcycle and we know we were right there, just outside of the frame that made it to the screen. (On a video clip I found on Youtube, that part is at 2:48.)
A few minutes later, at 7:04-7:08, I found a clear shot of the boys and me. When you see the Budweiser sign and hear people chanting, "Hog, Hog, Hog," make sure not to blink or you might miss us! While most people are surely focused on the grown men wearing hog noses, no shirts, and pig-ear headbands, I tend to look just a couple of spaces over to the right of the screen. There we are - me wearing a white shirt with my hair back in a french braid, nearly-bald Griffin in cute denim overalls on my lap, and sweet John-Michael wearing a royal blue ballcap and standing near my right knee. John-Michael spent a good part of that scene being blocked by an older lady on the row in front of us. Why didn't I think to have him stand up on the bleacher next to me? Honestly, it probably had something to do with the fact that we were all so cold. We were supposed to look like we were at a summertime ball game, but it was actually late fall and the air was quite chilly. Between shots, I attempted to keep the kids warm by holding them as close to me as I could. I imagine they would've been much warmer if they'd been wearing those bee costumes. Way to go, agent lady.