Wednesday, October 22, 2014

UEA and time to play

Today, as I write this post, leaves are flying by outside my window.

Fall, glorious fall.  Each morning I look out and find another tree has turned to autumn color.

The crisp, fall air draws one outside to savor each October day.  It was a long weekend off for students as it was UEA, time for the children to play while their teachers go to seminars and conferences.  The grandpa and father had to work, so that left grandma and mother to play along.

They came for a grandma visit and then we were off for pizza in the park.  I like this picture because Ray is used to leading playground games, but the boy in red would have nothing of that for he was the Ninja Master.

Ray tried, but this time someone else took charge.

There may have been a cleft in the rock but cautious Opal refused to be coaxed through it.

Kiwanis Park and the mountain . . .

with the "Y" also in view.  It was BYU Homecoming last week, so the "Y" was lit up nightly.

They also had Monday off, so we ventured out to a charming pumpkin patch just north of 12600 South on 9th East in Draper.

Sometimes when trying to get a great picture . . .

one just needs to keep snapping away.

There was a right colored pumpkin for everyone.

The boys stayed with the traditional.

Opal really liked pulling straw from the bales the best.

Henry and pumpkins are pretty magical.

Finally, everyone had the one they wanted.

I found these Cinderella pumpkins to be charming.

Next stop, Gardner Village and the old mill.

Gardner Village decorates big for every season.

Witches were everywhere.

I love this little family.

They really watch out for each other.  I was glad we had time to play.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

New Phoenix, Arizona Temple

Before leaving Arizona last Monday, we went to the open house for the newly built Phoenix Temple.  It is located a couple of miles west of the I 17 on Pinnacle Peak Road.  It is a smaller temple than the other newest temple in Arizona, the Gilbert Temple, but is also incredibly beautiful.  It sits on the north side of Pinnacle Peak Road amid desert foothills with the main entrance facing east and a golf course across the road to the south.

We watched a short film about the building of the temple and history of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Phoenix area at the Stake Center to the east before being led by our tour guide on a quiet tour of the temple.  Pictures are only taken on the outside of the temple due to the sacred space it is for members of the Church.  My husband served others by taking their pictures for them at the end of our tour.

We were there in the early morning while the moon was still visible and the air a bit cooler.  A figure of the Angel Moroni, an important figure in the Book of Mormon and in the early restoration of the Church, stands atop a spire at most Mormon Temples.

Each temple has commonalities as well as special motifs which are personal to that temple.

The Phoenix Temple uses this leaf motif through out the temple and the oval shape is prominent.  These motifs are also repeated in beautiful inlaid marble floors.

This is the main entrance which is open by tour to the general public until November 1, 2014.

Later in November, it will be dedicated to the Lord and admittance will be for worthy members of the Church as they preform sacred ordinances and make sacred covenants. It will remain a place of peace and spiritual enlightenment like other temples around the world.  Temples have been an important part of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ for over 175 years.

To learn more about this beautiful temple go here.

If you live in the Phoenix area, plan a visit during the next two weeks.  You will be glad that you did.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Want s'more?

Once the highs hit below 90 degrees, it is time for Fall in Arizona.  Fall means lovely outdoor time which translates to a fire in the outdoor fireplace and s'mores.  Unlimited s'mores because that is how Grandpa Glen rolls.  I can hear you say, "A fire at almost 90 degrees?"  Why, of course, because Grandpa Glen also brought out his mister fans to cool off the grandkids as they roasted their marshmallows.

We were so fortunate to have so many family members in town during our long Arizona weekend.  Rachel, in shorts now that she is no longer a missionary, had just returned home that Tuesday from her 18 month mission to Washington State.  It was so fun to hear her talk about her experiences. She was so excited to show us her phone Instagram of the baptism that had just happened in Washington,  someone that she had been teaching.  It seemed like only yesterday that I had dropped her off at the MTC.

My sister, Jolene, was also in town as she was making her way back to New Mexico after a beach vacation in California with her family.  Rachel's older sisters had also been in town to see Rachel but had already caught flights back to school and work.

On can not live on s'mores alone so the Ray family brought homemade humus, salsa, and chips to share.

This backyard oasis that Glen and I created is still my happy place.  I hadn't let the cooler temps keep me out of the pool either.  Swimming laps in this beautiful backyard certainly trumps laps at the rec center.

I just kept breaking out another package of graham crackers and Hershey bars.

I'm pretty certain that Toby may have consumed the most s'mores.  I think he is getting ready for a enormous growth spurt!

Love, love my family!

The missionary excitement continues.  Rachel may be home, but Jenny, in the blue sweater, is preparing to leave for her mission to Chile in November.

My sister, Jolene's boys.  They are both now taller than I am.  Great young men!

It seems like just yesterday that tall Michael was getting home from his mission to Brazil.  Now he is happily married to the beautiful Joy.

Sadie, our baptism girl, made a s'more for her momma.  She is a thoughtful girl.

The hardest thing about leaving family behind for a year and a half or two years, is that the babies grow up.  The great thing about serving a mission is that you will never view the world in the same way.  Your eyes, heart, and mind will be enlightened and expanded.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Sadie's Baptism Day

Last Saturday morning Glen and I arrived early at my son's Stake Center to meet him and his daughter.  This was her special day, her baptism day.  I was early just like I had been for Sadie's older sister, so that mom could get the others ready, take care of the baby, and get everyone to the church on time.

I would be there to help Sadie change into her white jumpsuit while her father changed into his.  This would be their attire as Sadie's father baptized her by immersion with the authority of the Priesthood which he holds.  This ordinance is considered sacred and is not photographed.

Once Sadie had changed back into her dress, she was confirmed and given the Gift of the Holy Ghost also by her father with the assistance of grandfathers and uncles holding the Priesthood.

We believe that Christ was baptized by John the Baptist in this same way.

Sadie's parents had been preparing her for her special day by making sure that she understood the covenants she would make on this day.

This is a very memorable occasion for the child.

Sometimes the baby just doesn't want to be in the family picture.

Or he is hungry and someone forgot his binky.  I love this precious family and enjoy them all so much.

Sadie was blessed to have all of her grandparents, along with an aunt, uncle, and cousins join her on this special day.

Daddy Dave is thrilled to show off his handsome new son who is growing up too fast.

On Sunday, we attended Sacrament Meeting with Sadie's family and watched Sadie be presented from the stand.  As Glen and I exited the building after the meeting, we passed by the doorway of Sadie's Primary classroom.  These two little girls were sitting and chatting together as they waited for the others.  There were ten children baptized and confirmed on Saturday, including these sweet girls.  Glen just had to snap a picture on his phone.  Sadie, we are so pleased for you and so happy to have shared this special time with you. 

To learn more about baptism and confirmation and other covenants made when a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints go here.