We just got back on Friday from a six day stay in Salt Lake where we sent my baby sister Esther off on her mission to Richmond Virginia. The whole family was able to be together, it was very special.
Esther's talk was very good then we had a luncheon and took family pictures since it is the last time we will all be together for two years, my brother Don will be leaving on his mission at the end of May.
This is a picture of all of my brothers and sisters oldest to youngest from right to left (Me 31, Mary 29, Lem 23, Esther 21, Don 18, Taft 14, Robert 10, Jesse 6), the eight of us span twenty three years. I love my brothers and sisters, they are my best friends.
The seven Harsh grandchildren with Auntie Esther. Eve was asleep, but did that stop us from taking a cousins picture? Oh no, the picture must be taken! Despite being asleep somehow that didn't stop her from trying to find something special up her nose, Jeff tried to move her hand away but she just put it right back.
Once we had recovered from the first 2/3ds of the day we held an Eagle Court of Honor for Don, he had been waiting a year for a time when we would all be there. It was very good, Allen wore his new scout uniform and said it was the first time he had sat in the Eagle's Nest since he received his Eagle. I was very proud of Don, and grateful that my boys could see their uncle's example.
On Monday, St Patrick's Day, Mary made us all Mickey Mouse pancakes. Then all the girls went shopping with Esther to get those last minute items, it was so fun.
We found a killer hat, I loved it but didn't have any shoes that would match so I didn't get it... ha ha. I made a corn beef and cabbage dinner (a must for St. Patrick's Day). Tuesday morning bright and early we all went to the Temple, I loved talking in the Celestial room with Esther.
That evening she was set apart and then we had a family testimony meeting, all the RM's gave Esther their advice. We all cried, it was great.
Then came the MTC day. It was so awesome to be at the MTC with all of the new missionaries and their families. Allen's little brother Scott is going to the MTC this Wednesday so he might see Esther there. He has been called to the Washington DC North mission which is above Esther's mission.
Esther said goodbye to all the little children before we went in, but it didn't help, when it was time to say goodbye Abby held onto the back of Esther while she hugged everyone else. Esther started to cry the minute she sat down for the presentation they give you. Mary was very brave and said we shouldn't cry but be happy and cheerful for Esther and we could cry later, but I couldn't hold it in, I realized that I wouldn't be talking to Esther three or four times a week any more. Mary started crying as soon as we got into the hall, she's so good. I always wanted to go on a mission, I'm glad that one of the Harsh girls will have gone. I'm very proud of her.
After the MTC we went to Mary's mother-in-laws house and had an Easter egg hunt in her beautiful back yard. Then we said goodbye to Mary and Jeff as they were going back to California and my children and I went to spend the night with Allen's older sister Melanie and their family. They are in a brand new home in Highland, we had so much fun visiting and the kids loved being with their cousins that they hadn't seen since last July. Then Allen came and picked us up and we went back to Cedar City, it was quite the adventure, and just think we get to do it all over again in May when Don leaves... wow! Today is my 31st birthday, I am now officially in my thirties, gosh that is too close to 40 for my comfort! Oh well, time marches on. I hope you all had a great Easter weekend.