Tuesday, August 30, 2011

NIne is Fine

So it's been nine years since we got married. August 30, 2002. This year to mark the occasion we are listing nine things that we love about each other. That's right: I said WE. Alex is making his debut contribution to this blog. He asked me what I wanted and I told him this was it. I may just die of shock!
Here's nine things I love about Alex, in no particular order.

1. Alex incorporates the kids' words into his own vocabulary. We remember some of what the kids said when they first started talking because Alex still uses those words. For instance, Lance used to say bok for milk and oofs for shoes. Alex still says bok and oofs. One day when Luke was little Alex was in the bathroom when Luke knocked on the door. Alex said, "Who is it?" and Luke said, "It's the Kook kook." Every day Alex says, "Who is it? It's the Kook kook." Lacey for a short time added an extra syllable to her words ("watch-a my show") and now Alex adds an extra syllable to his words: "It's time to get in the big-a bed-a." It's annoying and endearing at the same time.

2. He tries to to his best at everything he does. Whether it's being a manager or riding his bike he does everything he can to be the best.

3.He admits I'm right by saying it was his idea. Like when we were in Salt Lake for our vacation: I wanted to go to the Blue Lemon right across the street from Temple Square, but he didn't see any other families there so we went to another place down the street. The kids started to whine about eating there so I said we should go back to the Blue Lemon. After eating a fabulous meal, Alex said, "I told you we should have come here in the first place."

4.He tries to make wrong things right. Recently some friends of ours bought tires from Alex but there was some trouble and they had to take time out of their vacation out of state to have the problem fixed. Alex offered them some free tires for their trouble which they declined. But always trying to make the customer happy, Alex offered to take them out to dinner, which they accepted.

5.He goes out of his way to help people. A guy in our ward brought his bike to Alex to see if he could fix it. Alex doesn't really fix bikes, but he paid for it to get fixed.

6. He's not handy, but he makes enough money to pay people to be handy for us.

7. He is genuine; he does not try to be something he's not. When he's happy, he's happy. When he's mad, he's mad. What you see is what you get. But this quality makes me trust him one-hundred percent.

8. He makes up silly songs for the kids.

9. You wouldn't guess that he's going to be 45 this year. All that bike riding is good for something.

Here's what Alex loves about me in his own words:

1. beautiful
2. understanding
3.support me
4.comfort me
5.love and teach our kids
7.same girl i feel in love with!
8.awesome family
9.(edited for the purposes of this blog-TMI!)

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Sunday, August 28, 2011

A Song is a Wonderful Kind of Thing

I have been in many church callings in my life, but by far my favorite has been being Primary chorister. I have never felt the Spirit like I have each week singing those Primary songs. They are simple yet powerful. They teach the doctrines of the restored Gospel. My heart is touched each week as those sweet children sing so beautifully, and the Holy Ghost witnesses that what we are singing about is true, absolutely true. One Sunday I was teaching the hymn "Praise to the Man" and I told them a little bit about the life of Joseph Smith. Tears were pouring out of my eyes as I gave my testimony of that prophet and restorer of the true church of Jesus Christ. The children sat in rapt attention and I knew that they were also feeling the Holy Ghost in their hearts. A few weeks later my own son gave the family home evening lesson and repeated, almost word for word, what I had said. If he learned that important bit of information, I'm sure others did.

So it is with great sadness and reluctance that today I had to give up that calling to accept another calling. I tried to talk them into letting me keep it until the Primary program in October, but they didn't think it was a good idea. Sad, sad, sad. However, my new calling also has to do with music. I am the new ward music chairperson. That means I coordinate the Sacrament Meeting hymns, schedule musical numbers and supervise the ward choir, among other things. The first and second counselor in the bishopric reminded me that the Lord calls people He need for particular callings at particular times, and I always try to be where I'm supposed to be and do what the Lord wants me to do. But I will certainly miss Primary.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

July 2011

It's been a while since I made a slide show so I decided to make one of our events in July. From Luke working on getting his first tooth out to Family Reunion at the ranch (which included Minute to Win It, Family Fun Run) to more pictures of our Utah Vacation, July for us was what summer is all about.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Super-Dooper Utah Vacation

We recently spent six days traveling through various parts of Utah as a family. That was certainly our longest family vacation, and definitely our funnest. Here are some of the highlights:

Capitol Reef  National Park

Of course we couldn't have a vacation without a bike race, but at least it gave us the excuse to visit a new place. Capitol Reef National Park is located in south central Utah and we passed through several small towns (including Circleville, boyhood home of Butch Cassidy) to get to Bicknell where we stayed at the Sunglow Motel. We arrived on Thursday, and Alex did two races on Friday. While he was racing we explored the town and went into the National Park. I thought it was a good history lesson due to the fact that all the little towns were originally pioneer settlements and before Capitol Reef was a national park, there was a pioneer settlement named Fruita near where the park visitors' center is now. The orchards those settlers planted are still there as well as one of the original homesteads. It was called the Eden of Wayne County. Saturday Alex did an 80-mile race and we arrived at the finish line just in time to see him cross. Here is some of what we saw on the first leg of our trip (Lance was the photographer that day.)

At the Capitol Reef Visitors' Center
One of the herd of buffalo we saw on the way to Capitol Reef

Lovely scenery

Rock formations in the National Park
For the first three days the kids kept asking when we were going to the hotel pool. So when we arrived at the Travelodge in Provo on Saturday, all they wanted to do was swim in the pool. I think if all they had done for the whole vacation was swim in the hotel pool with their new life vests, they would have thought it was the best vacation ever. It was a good idea to get the vests, actually, because wearing the vests made the kids more confident in the water. But before we let them into the pool we went out to dinner at an Italian restaurant called Gloria's that had an accordion player who played Disney songs to keep the kids entertained. Bless him!

Sunday we had a quick but fun visit with Aunt Mary Lou and Uncle Jeff. Then we went to Provo Canyon for a picnic in Vivian Park. I have been to Provo Canyon before, but this time it took my breath away with how beautiful it was; so green, so inviting. The only thing that dampened our great day was that Luke got stung by a bee while he was playing on the playground. He said through his tears, "It's not fair that a bee could sting me for no reason! I was just minding my own business and the bee stung me." But he forgot all about it when we got back to the hotel pool. We had dinner at the Los Tres Amigos restaurant right by our hotel, and we were lucky that my brother Austin could join us for a little bit.

Temple Square
Monday we went up to Salt Lake City to visit Temple Square. We first went to the South Visitor's Center and saw displays about how the temple was built. Then the kids threw pennies in the fountain and made wishes.
Lance said,"I know I can't go inside the actual temple, but can I just go in the lobby?" I said I wasn't sure but we could go over and see what they say. When we got to the entrance of the lobby a greeter said that we could go to a certain point, but then a gentleman at the check in desk waved us in to the lobby. He gave each of the kids a silver token and said, "Now you have proof that you have been in the Salt Lake Temple." They all had smiles from ear to ear.
Luke, Lacey, Lia, and Lance on the steps of the Salt Lake Temple

After that we went into the tabernacle, and it's true: you can hear a pin drop from the podium and it also looks bigger on TV than in real life. From there we went to the Assembly Hall for a quick peek inside. The Seagull Monument is in front of the Assembly Hall and I told Lance about how the pioneers were about to lose their crops to a cricket infestation, but then miraculously the seagulls came and ate up all the crickets. Lance was impressed.

We then went to the North Visitors' Center where there are a whole bunch of paintings depicting scenes from the scriptures. But the best part was seeing The Christus statue. Of that Lance said, "I feel like I'm in Heaven," and Luke said, "This is like being in space!"

Church History Museum
After a yummy lunch at Blue Lemon, we went to the Church History Museum. I could spend a day on each floor there if I were all by myself. The bottom floor had an exhibit of childrens' art. They also had a station where kids could color or draw their own pictures and they would be shown on the "wall." 

The main floor has an exhibit of the history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints from it's early beginnings to the settlement of Utah into the modern age. I wanted to read every detail about every display, but we had to keep moving to keep the kids engaged.

This was a great place to visit the week before Pioneer Day.

The top floor of the museum has an exhibit dedicated to all the prophets since the restoration from Joseph Smith to Thomas S. Monson. I went to the bathroom and Lance looked at the exhibit but the other kids were starting to get restless. Alex thought we should call it a day, but I knew the best was yet to come: the quilting exhibit! Just kidding. There was a quilting exhibit but we passed it up to go to the childrens' Book of Mormon exhibit. This area was very child-friendly: interactive displays in English and Spanish that told a story from the Book of Mormon and a related story about a child's real life. The first display was Mexican dancing. A how-to video showed the children what steps to do and they could dress up in skirts or vests and follow the video. Well, my little dancer, Lacey,spent the whole time doing that. She was in heaven with the twirly skirt and the dancing. I had as much fun watching her as she had doing the actual dancing.
The boys and Lia tried the dancing for a little bit but they went to other displays also. There was the one with the boat that had to do with the journey to the promised land. Lia got in the little truck which had to do with the family who picked up people for church in their truck.

We had to drag the kids away when it was time to go.

Our final stops of the day were at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building and Deseret Book. Lance wanted to stay longer but the baby was getting cranky.

Seven Peaks Waterpark

Tuesday we went to Seven Peaks Waterpark in Provo. It has big water slides and a lazy river, and a wave pool. I thought the kids would be too scared to go in anything but the "tadpole" area, but with their life jackets the boys had enough courage to go on the big slides and Lacey and Lia went in the wave pool and lazy river several times. We rented a cabana and were able to stay the whole day without getting burnt to a crisp. So.Much.Fun!!

We left the waterpark and drove to Beaver to stay the night. We have discovered that it's not a fun trip if you have a crying baby for more than an hour or so. So the last leg of our trip from Beaver to Henderson was about three and a half hours and just about right to prevent a major toddler meltdown. After we got home Alex said, "We should do that more often." To which I thought "It took you nine years to figure that out, but better late than never!"