Conner’s big birthday week is over. It started last Sunday when we celebrated with the extended Tanner family. We decided to do his birthday cake that day and he was not disappointed — candy always wins!!
So, Conner is now at that age where shopping for gifts is tough. Since he’s a mature pre-teen, Dave and I decided that rather than surprising him we would discuss options. We told him our ideas and he had a few days to consider. He ultimately decided on one gift: LEGO Mindstorms. It was a big (expensive) gift but we all knew he would get the most enjoyment out of it. Even though he made this decision of just one present, I wanted him to have more things to open. We took the other kids shopping and they picked out some small (cheap) presents. That was probably my favorite moment. When we got to the store, I told them that they were going to see lots of things they would like. So I told them that today was about Conner and they needed to think about him and what he would like. Audra and Logan did awesome!! Eli couldn’t help getting way too attached to every truck in the store :-). I was equally as impressed with Conner when he opened their gifts; he was so excited and grateful!!
His birthday was Thursday and he got to eat breakfast with Dad, then go out to lunch with Grandpa, and picked pizza for dinner!! He spent the night playing with the kids and their gifts. He was a happy kid and we all loved celebrating him.
Saturday night was his big night. Because Dave needed to be in London on Sunday, our Bishop and family agreed to dress up and come to our house Saturday night for Conner’s ordination. We even had G&G Mac leave church early so they could FaceTime in with us. It was a full house and very special. Dave gave Conner a beautiful blessing. Afterwards when I talked to Conner he said he felt the power. My parents put together a beautiful book containing personal stories of the priesthood in all of our lives which I know he (we all) will cherish forever.
Today was a highlight in my life: watching my son pass the sacrament for the first time. How I wish I could have taken a picture! He was so cute and composed. When he was unsure of what to do he just quietly asked another deacon. This deacons quorum is so supportive and awesome. Two weeks ago 4 members came and sat down with Conner to tell him all about his responsibilities and to help him feel welcome. I have never not had a testimony of the sacrament, but I have also never paid super close attention to it. Well, today I did. I was watching like a hawk at every action and because I was so immersed in it, I was overcome with the most powerful feeling of truth. I know that the priesthood is real and I know it provides order and strength to this earth. I am so grateful to now have 2 priesthood holders in my home (or like Dave said as he was departing for London: “now you’ll have a priesthood holder in the home while I’m gone).
It’s been a wonderful week for our family and we all are so grateful for Conner James!