Manitoba, Canada, is the “slushie” capital of the world. And on a hot summer day, the Shumsky family really enjoys these ice-cold drinks. Mostly, the Shumskys just enjoy spending time together, whether they’re camping, tobogganing, or playing musical instruments.
Michael Shumsky is seven, and his sister Kaylene is nine. They have eight other brothers and sisters, and they also have four nephews and three nieces. They like having a big family—especially when they go to the local amusement park to ride the bumper cars, because there’s one for every member of the family, and they fill the entire ride!
In their ward in Winnipeg, the Primary is small. Michael and Kaylene are the only members of the Church in their school. “Michael is really missionary-minded,” says his mom, Judy. When the missionaries in his ward had an open house at the church, Michael wrote his testimony in a few copies of the Book of Mormon and did his best to give them to his friends at school. None of his friends were interested, but Michael says that he’s not going to give up.
Both Michael and Kaylene love to see the temple. The Shumskys try to take their whole family to visit the temple in Saskatchewan (the province to the west of Manitoba) at least once a year. Kaylene remembers when she went to the Regina Saskatchewan Temple open house: “I liked all the mirrors,” she says. “You can see on and on in them. It was pretty.”
“I liked the chandelier,” says Michael. He tries to make his home like the temple as much as he can. His dad says, “Michael often cleans the chandelier in the living room to make it shine like the one in the temple.”
“He’s a good helper,” says Mom.
Kaylene tries to make her home better, too. “She’s a peacemaker,” says her sister Stephanie. And she helps her brothers and sisters out with lots of things. Kaylene is really good at taking care of little children, like her brother Nathaniel, who’s three. “She’s mature for her age and very reliable,” says her older brother Daniel.
Not only is Kaylene a good baby-sitter, but she is also a fine artist. Kaylene is in a special art class, and her artwork decorates many of the walls in the Shumsky house. “When I need help in art, she helps me,” says Stephanie, her 13-year-old sister.
Michael likes to build things, especially spaceships. And, being the tallest in his class, he really enjoys basketball, too. “My best sport is basketball,” he says, smiling.
Both Kaylene and Michael try to make their house beautiful on the outside as well as on the inside. They recently helped paint their front steps, and they each planted flower beds outside their house.
Kaylene and Michael are also learning how to play musical instruments. Michael strums away, practicing on his guitar, while Kaylene is learning to play the piano. All the Shumsky children and their parents play musical instruments. Even little Nathaniel likes to blow on his recorder. One thing the family likes to do together is to support each other at music concerts and activities. But the most important things the Shumskys like to do together are to have family scripture study, family prayer, and family home evening.
Whether they are having fun on the bumper cars or taking the long trip to the temple, Michael and Kaylene love being with their family and learning about the gospel.