April was a whirlwind that marked a third of the year in; it's so strange that the days feel long but the years seem short.
Here's what we've been up to:
Jensen: Is no longer the Assistant Scout Master of a large crew of twelve- and thirteen-year-old boys, but was asked to be the first counselor in the new combined Elders Quorum Presidency. (For our non-LDS friends, he helps coordinate service and visits for all the members of our congregation, and meets with other leaders to discuss how to best aid those in the congregation with high needs.) He's busy, particularly with the new ministering program, but enjoying it. In school, his advising professor has asked him to present an abstract at the International Congress of Plant Pathology in Boston, MA in July/August, and he's nervous but excited for the opportunity (and excited to go eat at the Salty Dog again).
Ally: Turned 24 (woot woot) and was asked to join the LDS Young Women's organization in their ward: she is the second counselor, which puts her in charge of the "Beehives," a large group of energetic twelve- and thirteen-year-old young ladies who love to belt out the Greatest Showman lyrics, which movie Ally has yet to see (sorry, y'all). She is loving her new calling, except for the occasional flashback to middle school drama and the prepubescent attention spans. This month she totally thought she was pregnant, but was not; very difficult, and very disappointing, but she is learning to put one foot in front of the other, even if she cannot see the ground she walks towards.
Both of us: Started a garden! A delightful family in our ward had multiple garden beds and were in need of crazy people who like pulling weeds (cue: us, it's our form of meditation). With them we have planted about fifteen tomato plants, seven pepper plants, summer squash, cantaloupe, and Japanese eggplant (a shoutout to Ally's ancestors). There is more squash to come, as well as zucchini, carrots, and maybe some sweet potatoes. We are ecstatic to have our hands in the dirt again, even if it costs us several mosquito bites each time we visit. There will be homemade salsa, fresh veggies, pickled squash, and oh let the dreaming commence.
And as the thunderstorms of summer roll in, our hearts are settling down into a Texas routine. We are making friends here, putting down roots, and learning that those who settled these plains were tough people, because living without window screens and air conditioning would have been rough!
Thanks for reading, y'all. Have a wonderful May.