There they were, on the second row in the Rochester New York Palmyra Stake Center chapel. It meant that they couldn’t make a fast getaway at the end of meeting, but it also meant that they could pay especially close attention. Of course, one of the messages in this stake conference was going to come from their mom, but they probably would have been on one of the front rows anyway. They’re like that, the Headlees of Holcomb.
When ten-year-old Kimberly heard President Benson encourage Church members to read the Book of Mormon, she knew that the counsel was meant for her too. Every night since then, with very few misses, she has read from the Book of Mormon. And, just as important, she has read it aloud so that seven-year-old Katie, with whom she shares a room at the top of the kitchen stairs, can also obey the prophet.
Kimberly lives with her dad and mom, Michael and Pamela Headlee, her three brothers, Greg (15), Christian (9), and William (3), and her three sisters, Emily (14), Rachelle (13), and Katie, in a wonderful yellow house built in 1853. Mom has spearheaded the restoration work inside the house, and the family grows fruit trees and a garden outside.
Two years ago Kimberly and her brother Christian attended home school. Their mom was their teacher, and they agreed that all the personal attention they received more than made up for the recesses that they missed.
Back in Bloomfield Elementary School since last fall, Kim enjoys most of her subjects, with science being her favorite. And though she doesn’t think that she likes math very much, she does like her math teacher.
A few months ago a new student came to Bloomfield Elementary from Korea, and Kim was excited to get to know her. As a matter of fact, says Kim, seeing your friends is the very best thing about school.
People are the most important at home, too, and the Headlees do a lot with and for each other. On a typical Sunday, after meetings, the entire family pitches in to prepare dinner. Kimberly peels the potatoes and then peels the apples for homemade applesauce. Mom works on the main dish. Greg sets the table, including places for the one or two extra people who are often invited for dinner. Emily bakes hot rolls, and Rachelle helps with the potatoes. Even dad, who is the bishop of the Canandaigua Ward, finds time to turn some homegrown cabbage into coleslaw. The younger children help when they can, and when they can’t, they do their best to entertain.
Sitting on the sideboard in the dining room all last year was a big glass jar that held the growing travel fund for the 1989 family reunion to be held in Utah. Any extra change in anyone’s pocket or purse went into the jar. For a while Kimberly was the only one who put paper money in, but soon the others began to follow her good example.
Caring about people extends beyond the immediate family. Grandma Steele is writing to a 15-year-old Philippine member and helping her to finish her schooling and gain a better life. With the encouragement of their parents, Kimberly and the other Headlee kids have agreed to let Grandma use the money that she would normally spend on them for Christmas to help the young girl and her family go to the temple.
Kimberly plays the flute and the piano, and her brothers and sisters are also learning about music. The family enjoys singing together at family home evening as well. But the harmony the Headlees are learning to create by caring and by making right choices is even more beautiful.