Monday, November 14, 2011

Elder Stanley in the Czech Republic

From Stanley’s point of view. Written by Hummer (with some assistance from yours truly).

For some gorgeous background music to really put you in the setting, play this while you read. . . .


Hi, again! It’s me, Flat Stanley.

I’ve been on an amazing trip! It started at home in Arkansas, when Hummer made me my very own missionary nametag. He taped it to my shirt, folded me up, and sent me to Prague, Czech Republic!

This is a map that shows me going to Prague.Flat Stanley's trip to Prague


Hummer sent me to the Czech Republic because his Uncle Duff is serving a mission there for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

IMGP7861 edit for blog


I was excited to become “Elder Stanley” for a few days! Elder Bailey is squishing me with his hand, and holding a Book of Mormon, too.

20111010 Elder Bailey and Elder Stanley


Here I am with Elder Bailey in front of a Kofola truck (and he is squishing me again). He said that kofola is the best drink ever besides root beer.

20111012-1 By a Kofola truck


Elder Bailey took me to Uherské Hradiště.



The Church of St Francis Xavier is in the background. I am tired of being squished. There are lots of cars behind me. I wonder why the road is made of bricks?

20111012-2 In Uherske Hradiste


I went with him to Olomouc next.image


Here we are on the main square. I think the Christmas lights will be beautiful!

20111017-1 In Olomouc on the main square


Missionaries travel a lot! Next we went to Zlin.



Wow, look! There’s the moon! I think that Hummer and his family are probably asleep right now while that same moon shines on them in Arkansas.

20111017-2 In Zlin


Next Elder Bailey took me to the capital of the Czech Republic. Here we are in Prague on the main square, Vaclavske Namesti. I think all those people are gathered to talk about Lepidoptera.

20111024-1 In Prague on the main square, Vaclavske Namesti


In Prague, with Charles Bridge in the back. Hopefully he doesn’t drop me and I get run over by a car like I did before when I was in Arizona! Elder Bailey told me that the Vltava River is under the Charles Bridge. There is a beautiful piece of music written about this river. . . . Die Moldau.

20111024-2 In Prague, with Charles Bridge in the back


In Prague with Prague castle in the back. The nametag is in Hummer’s handwriting.

20111024-3 In Prague with Prague castle in the back


I liked being a missionary for about a week! Thank you, Elder Bailey, for hosting me!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

November 3, 2011


. . . .It wasn’t! : ) But it was very chilly as we met at the zoo. Five of the 3- and 4-year-olds from church came to your party, and their moms and younger siblings.


We had cupcakes with pinwheels.


Your daddy and brothers and sister were there, too, and we all rode the train, and played games, and sang to you.

















Later, at home, I spent some time going through your memory box, holding the gown you wore, touching the little lock of hair that is so irresistibly soft and such a precious tangible proof that you are real.


When I touch those things I am filled with painful longing to hold you again and at the same time awe at the beauty you have brought to my life.


You strengthen our family immeasurably. We are unified in our desire to reach where you are.


President Faust said that we don’t know the extent to which ministering angels bless our lives. I feel certain you are ministering to us in ways we will only know after we too have crossed the veil.

218 with stamp

My heart is filled to overflowing with love for you and your siblings.

So grateful to be your eternal


Note: The party at the zoo was part of a special gift from two very kindhearted people. They are DC’s sponsors through the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, and earlier this year –out of sheer generosity—they  gave our family a membership to the zoo and a gift certificate for a birthday party there. We wondered at first how we would use the party—it would have been perfect for Benjamin, we thought. Then I thought of my Sunbeams, and how they would love a day at the zoo, and the idea to use it for Benjamin’s birthday seemed perfect after all.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Happy 4th Birthday in Heaven!

Dear, sweet Benjamin ~

Today marks four years since you joined our family, and our celebrations have been joyful.




Last night we took 5 shiny balloons to the cemetery, just as the sun was setting. We each wrote notes to you on 4 of the balloons.




(The fifth I tied to the hook near your grave).




Then we walked to the shore of the lake, and released the balloons up into the sky. As we watched them rise we sang I Am a Child of God.







We came home and had your traditional birthday dinner, the No Empty Chairs family home evening lesson, and then carrot cake and ice cream.





We prayed that it wouldn’t be raining today. . . .

(to be continued)