And then there were 4...

And then there were 4...

Monday, November 20, 2017

Boise or Bust

When we were in San Diego I was planning a trip to the Ceder City temple open house over Veterans Day weekend. Dominik gets baptized this year, and what better way to celebrate than to take a tour of the House of the Lord. I still remember walking though the Portland Temple and I would have only been 4 years old. I remember my dad putting on the little booties and I remember feeling so happy walking through all the rooms so brightly lit up. I wanted Dominik to have the same experience and the same feelings, so I was pretty bummed when I realized we were moving back to the North West and a drive back down to Ceder City wouldn't be in the cards for us. So you can imagine my excitement when I realized that Meridian, ID temple open house was the same weekend as the Cedar City one! Meridian, ID temple is even closer than Ceder City would have been to San Diego!! Win-win in my book!! The drive was only 6 1/2 hours and with the help of my mom and dad the kids did amazing!! We got a fun hotel near the temple and I honestly think the kids highlight of the trip was the hotel pool. We did however drive in an hour or so before we had to be back at the temple so we used the pool as leverage for good behavior. Dominik was all dressed up in his new suit that we bought him for his baptism and man that boy felt like a million bucks. He sure is growing up fast! I'm so proud of the young man he is becoming. He's such a gentle big brother (he has his moments), he is empathetic towards others, and just all around fun to be around. Sometimes I am too hard on him and I have to remind myself that he is still little and needs love more than he needs redirection and discipline. He forgives me of my shortcomings though and I think we are pretty good together! The temple itself was absolutely amazing! The weather left quite a lot to be desired, but the temple more than made up for it. Because of the rain there were canopies covering all the walkways, which was nice to keep us dry, but you had almost no visibility of the outside of the temple. Kind of a bummer! Before you walked into the temple there were YM (probably from surrounding area wards) that covered your shoes with booties. Our tour guide took us through room by room and talked a little about symbolism and what happened in each room; while still maintaining the sacredness of the room. We took the tour with our friends from Okinawa, the Malans, so Dominik and Caleb kind of palled around throughout the tour. I was a little sad about it, but maybe in the end it will be more memorable because he had a friend to share it with. Hindsight is 20/20 right! When the tour was over we visited outside the temple in the little open house area set up. We of course had our pictures taken at every photo op and then we hopped back on the shuttle to our car.
Overall I think the kids felt the spirit and learned a lot about temples. The Meridian temple is georgous inside and out and I'm so glad that we were able to see it. The murals in each of the endowment rooms were my favorite; much like the Nauvoo Temple. Dominik like the baptistery the best and Parker said that the water fountain out front was his favorite...probably because he wanted to swim in it. The rest of the weekend was spent swimming, and just playing with family. We had dinner with the Malan's and then took the long road home. Times like these make me so grateful for family. I'm grateful for my family here on earth, but I'm even more grateful that families can be together forever because of the sacred work that goes on in temples. I'm grateful that I'm sealed to my parents and TJ and I are sealed to our kids. Through the blessings of the temple I have everything I will ever need and want!!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Trick-or-Treat...Smell-my-Feet

Why is it that with boys every cute and whimsical holiday song has to be rearranged to smelling something gross or underwear?!?! Parker is now obsessed with saying "trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat." Pretty much what every mom wants their 3 year old saying to strangers happily passing out candy. Makes you feel like mother of the year right...hahaha.. Well this Halloween was shaping up to be a great one. Over our stint in the military we had a lot of opportunities to be home for the holidays, however, Halloween was never one of them. We had so much fun spending it with friends, but being back with family was such a treat. Brandi and Tyson put on one heck of a Halloween party and we definitely wanted to be part of it. Parker was so excited to have homemade "dog soda" (Mug root-beer has a dog on the logo so now all root-beer is "dog soda"), and Dominik was just elated to be with his favorite cousin Brooklyn. Maylee was just along for the ride. Brandi made a delicious dinner that was incredibly Spook-tastic! I made brain jello and spider salad (didn't turn out as well as I planned...but still cute), and mom brought witches finger cinnamon bread sticks.
Of course the weather was perfect. First time it hasn't rained on Halloween night in 10 years! Our perfect first Halloween back! There was even a light fog midst in the air that made the ambiance extra spooky. The boys ate it up! A few of the houses were over the top spooky and the boys didn't seem phased. At first I was proud of their courage...then I became a bit concerned that they are too desensitized. I guess showing them Hocus Pocus might have been too much for their sweet little spirits. PBS kids it is from here on out!
The night could not have gone better. The kids got their buckets of candy, had a blast, and spent the evening with family...That's a win-win-win in my book! Can't wait for many more years just like this!!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Halloween Preparations

Our final preparations before Halloween was to carve our pumpkins and decorate our cookies. I'm sure the holiday would still come and go, but it just wouldn't feel right to leave these things undone. I'm so glad that we are back celebrating with Brandi because I swear she's the worlds best sugar cookie maker. I mean those things are perfectly shaped!! We got all the pumpkins and Brandi got the cookies with some sprinkles and frosting and we were good to go. I love celebrating these holidays with family!! Jana and Andy came too and boy was it a fun party! The pumpkins and cookies were a hit. Everyone got into the festivities and the pumpkins turned out awesome!! Parker was a die hard and carved until the bitter end. He helped almost everyone carve theirs and then worked hard to carve an airplane into a scrap piece....it actually turned out pretty good!! Parker is definitely my child. He likes to help in the kitchen, and he loved doing crafts! I can't wait until he gets a little older and we can really start making some cool stuff!!
The candles were lit and the boys were so incredibly excited for the trick-or-treating in just a few days!!