So, we headed up to North Logan and arrived about fifteen minutes after it began. We walked through the tons of kids... some were visiting, some were eating donuts, some were choosing pumpkins, and they were taking turns at the crowded tables carving pumpkins. It was almost dark and the spot lights were allowing them to see what they were doing. It was cold, it was loud and, mostly, it was fun! Doug and I enjoyed saying hello and chatting with our own YSA kids, as well as others. We were having a great time visiting!
I'm talking a lot of pumpkins!
... and a lot of college students!
As we walked through the crowd, the one thing that I noticed was that these kids were cold! Some were in shorts, some in hoodies, others had winter hats and coats. The pumpkins were stored in a giant metal work shop that belongs to the city...a gazillion pumpkins! But, they were cold, being stored outside. And kids hands were inside them, digging out the seeds. Cold! So, I said to Doug, "What these guys need is a nice warm fire and some hot chocolate!" So, we made a plan, walked around the group and told three of them that we would be serving hot chocolate when they were done with their activity, at our home...not knowing if any one would even be interested.
We texted our kids at home and asked ZJ to get the water boiling in three large pots, Grace to get the kitchen cleaned (they were eating leftover lasagna while we were gone) and Quayd to hurry and finish eating! ha! Doug and I raced to the grocery store and bought styrofoam cups, a couple gallons of milk, two giant cans of hot chocolate mix and two bags of marshmallows. (I had all of these in storage but this was quicker!) We got home, just as the water was starting to boil, and we had five minutes before the kids started arriving for Doug to build a nice fire and me to get things set up.
Within minutes, there were college kids (some weren't even in our ward) in our home, shoes kicked off at the door, all over the upstairs. They took turns playing the piano and I mean, they played the piano!!! We have some gifted pianists in our ward. I told them last night that I'm ready to get it tuned! (It hasn't been since Liza was married because no one plays.) Beeeeautiful music filled our home! They were in the living room, the kitchen, around the table, around the fire, everywhere. It was delightful!!!
I was so fascinated watching them all and listening in on conversations, visiting one on one with some of them. Oh my word, I loved it! It's amazing to me how mature and personable these kids are. They are truly "champions", as Doug calls them. They looked at every photo on our walls, studied our book shelves in groups, discussing the books that we have. They checked out every CD on the shelves, read the quotes on my walls. They were all gracious and complimentary about our home. But, most important... they felt comfortable in our home! It was just fun because they were getting to know us, as well. And they are truly wonderful kids! There was music and laughter and discussions of deep thoughts, as well as the trivial! It was just awesome! And the thing that impresses me the most is that these kids each cleaned up behind themselves and thanked us. Not hit and miss, they all made a point of saying thanks!
Doug and I were both so impressed with them all. After they'd left, we took a quick dip in the hottub before bed and Doug said, "I'm so glad that you listened to the Spirit on that one, Babe. That was inspiration for an extra opportunity to get to know a few more of them a little better." We both learned a few more names by getting to know them more personally. I was thinking, "Heck, that wasn't inspiration, that was just my desire for fun gatherings and being around the kids more!" I absolutely love having these kids over, to feel their spirits, and to get to know them better. Sweet! Our kids were in and out, loved listening to the piano, and enjoyed the laughter too. This opportunity that Doug is having with this YSA calling is the best... for us all! We've had a few comments from friends, like, "Doesn't it just take all of your time? Isn't it expensive? Isn't that calling a lot of work?" Heck no! This is good stuff! We're loving it! We were the ones who are benefiting the most from this experience, I'm certain! Life is good!