Sunday, March 2, 2008

I'm 26!

So I am now officially 26 years old. Honestly, I always assumed I'd be married by now, but I guess not. In fact, growing up, I always said that 26 was the ideal marriage age (it's actually pretty close to the average age in the U.S.). This is the first birthday I've celebrated at home since 2004. Since my 19th birthday in 2001, I've only celebrated 2 others at home, counting this one, due to my mission and being at BYU-Idaho for three years. Today wasn't too bad and I really enjoyed the presents I got from Mom and Katie to go along with the present I got from Becky a month ago (she gave it to me before they moved). Mom got me a Kent State basketball shirt, a nice blue shirt, and a new pair of denim shorts. Katie got me the EXACT gold fitted KSU hat I asked for (sent her a pic with size too) =) and a "Captain Planet" t-shirt. Yes, Captain Planet was one of my favorite cartoons growing up. Becky got me a Kent State jacket (seen in yesterday's blog) that I've been wearing as often as the weather has allowed me (it's actually a pretty warm jacket!). My dad gave me a $25 Visa gift card. I still have get-togethers with both sides of the family. Not sure when we're getting together on the Derby side, but on the Ridinger side, we're getting together next Sunday. I can't wait because I picked out a really good cake =).

Anyway, the real fun was, as always, in Primary today. I've said it a million times, but if it weren't for Primary, I'd have a hard time being motivated to come to church every Sunday. I've always said my calling is the best ever...I get all the benefits of being in Primary PLUS I get to do something I enjoy (and need to improve on) and I don't have to put a whole bunch of extra planning or effort into it. So today in Junior Primary (ages 3-7) Sister Horning had a lesson on the address of King Benjamin in the Book of Mormon, which is found in Mosiah chapters 2-4. In the actual story, people from all over the Nephite nation gathered in the capital to hear what was to be King Benjamin's last address. All of them camped out in tents outside of the city and so many came that King Benjamin built a tower so more people could see and hear him. He also had what he said written down so more people could read what he said. To Latter-day Saints, this is pretty much how our General Conferences work...the prophet and church leaders address the entire church at once and all of it is recorded so we can read (and now watch) it again. The Conference Center in Salt Lake holds 21,000 people so lots can see it in person (I've been there on three different occasions), plus it is broadcast over satellite to the remainder of the church around the world. The Conference Center also contains translation facilities which allow the talks to be translated live into something like 80 languages.

Back to Primary, we made "tents" for the kids out of chairs and sheets and had one of them stand on a chair to be King Benjamin. That honor fell on Sam Mars, age 4, who had a rough start to the day, but reminded us that "when we're all done here we should put our toys away." He also asked if "there were any bad guys" in the story of King Benjamin. Unfortunately for Sam, the story of King Benjamin is not much of an action story! Sam was also moving around a lot, so Sister Horning said "Hey King Benjamin, you need to stand still." I added "hey, you're OLD," as King Benjamin gave the address shortly before he died. It was an all-around fun time and got the point across about the story. At the end of the day, the kids sang our happy birthday song to me (usually I'm the one playing it) and I got a little bag of Hershey's kisses, our standard birthday gift for all our Primary kids and teachers.

Notes on the pictures: 1. getting everything set in the tents; 2. the kids in the "pink tent" and Sam (far right) wait; 3. Sister Lisonbee showing Jed and Tony where we are in the Book of Mormon; 4. Curtis Rohal "looking up" where we are in the scriptures in his tent; 5. Sam Mars being King Benjamin while the Primary teachers have a laugh. Every Sunday has something fun; 6. The kids watch from their tents; 7. Tony Jeppson gives his talk while his mom (left) watches with Sister Custer. He did a fabulous job, by the way, and did not need any help reading it. Kids in the Church start speaking in front of groups at a pretty young age!

1 comment:

Becca said...

this has to be the funniest i've ever seen. I would have loved to make tents in primary! i worked in the nursery 3 summers ago and it was a blast. IU havew 2 years till i'm a menace to society so i feel your pain.