Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Open House

Sunday was crazier than normal around here. Between two sessions of General Conference, having 19 people for dinner, and inviting all of Ben's family and friends over to say goodbye, I spent more time in the kitchen than I have in a long time.
Jason is headed to Colombia this week--they opened their calls the same day, leave within a day of each other, team taught the same Primary class--and both will spend the next two years in South America.
People, people, people--a rambunctious crowd filling my house with noise and love.

I don't know how many people came, but it seemed like everyone had plenty to eat and time to talk to Elder Denton before he leaves.
One of Ben's 1D buddies.

There were lots of hugs. . . and so many selfies with the man of the hour.

Jeff has a special place in my heart. He introduced Ben to rugby and not only did he coach him on the field, Jeff is Ben's friend. He faithfully watched him play football (even though he's from New Zealand and his heart will always beat on a rugby pitch), and mourned with Ben when a wrist injury from football prevented Ben from completing his senior rugby season. Young men need men in their lives who truly care about them and invest time into helping them grow into respectable men.
Thanks, Jefferson. 

And these girls? All of them are sisters to him (only missing Heidi and Karli). 
Abby and Ashley are McKay's sisters (Ben's best friend, currently serving a mission in Korea), but Ben treats them much like he treats his own sisters--teasing and wrestling and surprising and hugging and loving them.

And of course, his three mothers. There's something incredible that happens in a mother's heart when someone else loves her son like a mother.
Thanks for letting Ben drink all of your chocolate milk, eat your cinnamon rolls, and for loving him.

When the crowd died down, only a few of the best remained. I can never thank these kids enough for being amazing influences in my son's life. I look at each of their faces and think of moments when they forever impacted Ben's life.
They are all off on adventures of their own--finishing high school, college, and his friend Ben (on the bottom left, not confusing at all) is heading to the Lima Central mission in December.

Why is it that tears sting my eyes while I edit these photos, but I was overwhelmed with happiness yesterday? Is it because his room is still a mess and not all of his stuff is packed yet? No, that can't be it.

Tomorrow 9:50 am flight to Mexico City.


  1. Hmm? Not packed and room a mess? Sounds like James. Maybe we need to have a " I'm missing my missionary support group for the next two years in our neighborhood.

  2. God is with you both. God Bless! Chin up buttercup.

  3. Got a few tears stinging my eyes too just now.