Wow, how is it the END of January already?!?!? I guess I've arrived here one day at a time just like the rest of you, but it does blow my mind a little.
So a quick update. Our holidays were good -- not terribly relaxing but good. Basketball tournaments, Kristi's senior project research paper due, moving Keith out of his suite of offices and back into a one-man office, having the missionaries in our home teaching the lessons to a high school friend of Brennan's -- all these combined with the regular festivities of the season kept us moving at a quicker pace than I might have liked, but at least most of those things were enjoyable.
We were able to talk to Brennan on Christmas day, which was wonderful! Our phone rang at 6:00 a.m. with Brennan's cheery voice on the other end telling us "Merry Christmas! It's time to get up!" And then he said, "I'll call you back later!" That still makes me smile thinking about it. He did call later and it was awesome to be able to talk with him and get instant answers to questions, etc. He is happy and working hard and enjoying everything about being on a mission. He is serving in Radcliff, KY which is next to Fort Knox military base. So he has met a lot of military families and learned quite a bit about the military lifestyle. His emails are sprinkled with a few "y'all's" and several "HOO-AH's". He has expressed how much he loves the people and how it amazes him that just a couple of months ago, he didn't know any of them. He is on a bike 100% of the time, and they have had freezing, snowy and icy weather the whole time he's been there. He has crashed his bike several times, broken the shifting gears and bent the handlebars but apparently it still works. In this week's email he expressed how much he loves being a part of something bigger than himself. I just can't tell you what a tremendous blessing this feels like to us. Chokes me up!!!!
Dallin is having a fun community bball season and they are winning games when they thought they might not ever make a basket (Coach Keith has a lot to do with that); Austin is playing well on his freshman team -- he's the starting point guard and is really enjoying it. Last night however, he opted to miss a GAME (not just a practice) to go with our ward's youth to the temple for baptisms. He's one of 3 LDS kids on the team, and the only one who made that choice. He's such a good kid. Kristi is too busy for anyone's good, and is feeling the stress of all of her current responsibilities. She has been accepted to BYUI and is awaiting word from Provo. We have no doubt that she will get in, but if I were her I'd be ready to say, "I'm taking a year off to sleep. Then maybe I'll go to college." We'll see.
Keith and I have received new callings in the ward: I am now the T for our T teacher in RS and Keith is the YM's President. When the bishop called me, he ran down a few of my last callings and when he counted to 15 straight years working with youth or children, he quit counting and said, "Sister Shaffer, I think it's time for you to be with the grownups." It's a whole new world. As for Keith, he's been the 1st counselor in the YM's for a couple of years already so this doesn't feel all that new.
Okay time for work. I guess it's not time for me to be with grownups in every aspect of my life! Here's a pix we had taken the week before Brennan left. I don't know why it's blurry here, but you get the idea. I love these people!!!!!!!!!!