Saturday, August 20, 2011

Moving on Up

As they say; "The only thing that doesn't change is the fact that everything changes" We are going through some interesting family changes.

Mom and I are finally moving to a new house this next week after 17 years in the same place. It has been very painful trying to sell the house, because people are so cruel in their comments. They have said that the house looks tired. I thought after housing Tracy and I, raising 6 kids, 2 foster kids, 4 exchange students, occasional guests, 1 son-in-law and 1 grand child, and over 25 missionaries maybe it will look a little tired, but very happy. It has been a great 17 years.
We have spent this weekend celebrating with Don and Austin some changes in their lives. Don is moving on to start school and soon to be a father . He is ending his work as a landscaper in the heat of the Phoenix sun and trading in his shovel for school supplies. Don and Leslie are so happy that he will be able to spend more time at home.
Austin has just graduated from 3 months of Marine Boot Camp in San Diego. We were able to walk around the base with him after a few ceremonies on Thurs and then he graduated on Friday. They call it Family Day on Thurs and keep building up the tension by having the recruits run and march in front of us for a couple of hours before we actually get to see them. When they first pulled up in front of us wearing their running shorts I couldn't pick Austin out of the crowd. I though I had the wrong group. He looked so different. He had gotten a little tubby, but was tubby no longer.

They do the Moto Run (Motivational Run) and then go change into their dress uniform to come out and march in front of us. We were sitting in the stands waiting for the company when this recruit limped by and he kinda of looked like Austin and so I tentatively said, "Austin????" and it was him. He hurt his knee on the run and was given permission to come sit with us to watch the others march.
We had a grand time as he narrated the action on the Parade Deck and jealous parents all around us had to wait another hour before they got to visit with their recruit.Austin distinguished himself in a couple of ways at Boot Camp. Within 2 days he was selected as a Squad leader over 14 other recruits based on his energy, wisdom, loud voice, ability to understand directions and help other. They change out squad leaders over the 3 months, but Austin only missed one day as leader. He was also chosen as Prayer Leader. He gave scripture study lessons from both the Bible and Book of Mormon and lead the prayer every night. Probably the highlight of the day was after the Marine graduation we went to a local church and Austin baptized and ordained to the priesthood a recruit from his platoon. The recruits mom went on and on about the positive influence Austin had been in her son's conversion.Bold