I am falling farther and farther behind. So school started and then a few days later Austin turned 8! We celebrated with Grandma, Grandpa, Uncle Alan and Aunt Jessica a couple of days prior to the birthday. Jessica’s birthday is the day before Austin’s so we had a double celebration on the 17th since that is what worked with everyone’s schedules.
On his birthday, Austin woke up and opened presents before school and had a space-themed party with three of his friends after school. It was a lot of fun. We started off building rockets. Next we played a tag game that Austin figured out. One person was a bad alien and then half the people were good aliens and half were astronauts. The bad alien called out, “aliens” or “astronauts” and the corresponding people would have to get to the other side without getting tagged. There was also something to say to get everyone to try and cross. I think it was “spaceship”. After the tag game there was an obstacle course that each kid did. It started with Russ launching them into space from the trampoline. They then had to throw their rocket through a hula hoop, race to the other side of the yard while avoiding meteorites (tinfoil balls that were being thrown at them), survive the pull of a blackhole (put head on bat and spin around five times), avoid an alien attack (chased by others in alien masks), jump into the spaceship (through the hula hoop) and back onto earth (onto the trampoline). We timed each of the boys and they seemed to really enjoy it. We then opened presents and ate cake.
Three days later was an even greater day. Austin choose to be baptized and it happened on Sat the 22nd of August! He had been so excited for his baptism and was definitely prepared for this important step. He asked his dad to baptize him and to confirm him a member of the church and give him the gift of the Holy Ghost. What a blessing to have the priesthood, the power of God, on the earth so that we can receive the saving ordinances of the gospel. I am grateful for a wonderful husband who lives worthy to hold the priesthood and bless the lives of others through the power of the priesthood.
Austin was interviewed by Bishop Alan Ward on Sunday the 16th and was found worthy and prepared to be baptized. At 3:00 on the 22nd we met at the north chapel for the baptismal service. There was one other girl getting baptized as well. We had wonderful family support and are so grateful for family in our lives. Alan had to work, but Jessica came as did both grandparents and Lori with Heidi, Elise, Melissa, Kelli and Whitney. The support of friends and ward members was great too: Lana Lee (his preschool teacher and the Relief Society president), Mrs. Larson (his 1st grade teacher) and her husband, Brigham Ward (his great friend) and his dad (our Bishop), Sheri Pugh (primary president), Oaine Foy (his great-aunt and primary teacher). It was a wonderful service. Grandma Pincock played the piano and Aunt Oaine led the music. We sang Baptism for the opening song. Brooklyn said the opening prayer, Austin and McKinley sang When I am Baptized and then I gave a talk. The primary president gave a brief presentation and the Bishop made a few comments. Austin was then baptized.
I have witnessed quite a few baptisms, but when I saw my husband baptizing my son, I felt the spirit so strongly I couldn’t keep from crying. It was a wonderful event to witness. After the two baptisms, Grandma Daniels gave a talk about the Holy Ghost and then Russ was able to confirm Austin. We closed with the song, The Holy Ghost and McKinley gave the closing prayer. I know that Austin made the right choice and that through his choice the gate was opened that allows him to walk the path leading back to God. He is a great boy who wants to make the right choices in his life and is sensitive to those around him. He will do great things as he stays close to God and allows Him to guide his life.
The last thing I need to mention for the month of August is soccer. Austin and Brooklyn both were in soccer this year. This was Austin’s third year of soccer and he has really improved in his ability to track the ball. It is fun to see the progress. Brooklyn inherited my competitive trait and hustled to keep up with the ball.