Sunday, March 29, 2015

Arizona 2015!

If you know Jeff, you know that he loves baseball. The Cubs (and the Diamondbacks) specifically. He used to go to Spring Training each year, and we have always said that at some point we'd take the boys down. Now that Jeff has successfully turned them both into HUGE Cardinals fans, and decided they needed to start appreciating baseball too (and see where the Cardinals play), so we headed to Arizona!

What a fun trip! It's a long drive, but we decided to spread it out a bit and see things on the way there and back to break it up and make the trip more fun.

First we drove to Kanab and spend time with Jeff's Grandpa and brother's family. Liam's in a bit of a "stranger danger" phase, so I was worried about how he might do. He hadn't seen Grandpa in a while, but he warmed right up. They loved playing in his yard, with his toys, and climbed right up on his lap and listened to him talk about Grandma (always one of the sweetest thing to hear - that's real love, folks). Liam also became quite fond of his strawberry waffle cookies :)!

Next we drove over to Page, where Jeff grew up. We showed the boys the Dam, the lake and took them out to Antelope Canyon. They are so beautiful - you have to take a tour now, but growing up Jeff and his friends would go out there all the time. Luckily he has a friend whose family owns one of the tour companies, and we got a private tour! Naturally the boys had more fun throwing sand! Before we left town we had to eat at RD's ... still delicious!!

Then we were on to Mesa. We stayed with my aunt and uncle who live down there, which is always fun. We spent time at ASU ... because (shocker!) they are ALL Sundevil's fans also and needed shirts/hats/pencils (we drew the line at the foam finger Liam kept trying to bite chunks out of). Are you getting confused at how many teams they love ... I know, it's hard for me to keep track of too!! 

We went to a Cubs game! It was SO HOT OUT! We wanted warm weather, but we weren't prepared for 90! The boys ate a hot dog, watched a couple of innings and then we went to the team shop to cool off. They were thrilled that they went to the game - they loved it! We didn't break it to them that they only made it through 4 innings - ha ha!

My aunt was so sweet and threw Landon a birthday party while we were there - I can't believe he is 5! There was a banner, pizza, cookie decorating, egg dying, an egg hunt and an ice cream cake ... and best of all presents! He was in five year old heaven!! 

On his actual birthday we went to the zoo. I'm not a huge zoo fan, normally, but the Phoenix Zoo was really, really fun! The boys loved the animals - Landon even rode a camel - twice! They had a splash pad and a carousel - both a huge hit. They loved the animals, and we fed the stingrays, which was so fun!

When Landon was riding the camel he found out his name was Isaac. He was so excited! He told the zoo worker leading him around the story of Abraham and Isaac and then sang him the Abraham verse from "Follow the Prophet." So sweet that boy!

That night Jeff and my cousin went to a Diamondbacks game and I tucked very, very tied kids into bed! 

Before leaving town we decided to tour the University of Phoenix Stadium (where the Cardinals play, of course!). The boys were in all their gear for the event! However, the tour itself was long, and pretty boring ... we didn't even get to see the Cardinal's locker room - just the visitors, or stand on the field (they pull the grass in and out). 

Then we were on to Las Vegas! 

We don't love the Las Vegas "strip" so we stayed out at Lake Las Vegas where it's a lot tamer. We went out for a big birthday breakfast (for me) and then played at the pool. That night we went down to Las Vegas for dinner and to see the Bellagio fountains and go to M&M world. 

Vegas provided us with the BEST vacation quotes from Landon. While walking around there were some girls off in the distance wearing not much more than feathers. Landon thought it was awesome ... he said, "Look at that! They must be chickens!"

Then as we were walking down to M&M world he saw some (also) scantily clad girls who had put on "bunny" ears ... no worries, innocent Landon said, "Look! It's Mickey and Minnie!"

Clearly he hasn't been to Disney Land. Ha ha!

The next day we went to Container Park. There are shops, restaurants and a huge playground in the middle, all made from recycled containers. It was fun and got out all the extra energy the boys had before we drove home! 

We had SUCH a great time! Jeff and I agreed that the best part was just being so disconnected from work and so focused on all being together and having fun. It's always hard to come home from such a fun time ... so on to planning the next trip!!

Monday, March 2, 2015

A Farewell to Primary (for now...)

A couple of Sundays ago the Primary Presidency I was serving in was released. It's funny ... being in any presidency is a lot of work, but I was so sad to know our time had come to a close! (I at least had the dignity to wait until I got in the car to cry, at which point I completely broke down.) 

I love being in Primary, and for more than 5-ish years most of my time has been spent in there. I love working with the children, and I love the people I have served with and gotten to be close friends with as a result.

But mostly? I'll miss Landon. 

I was in there when he was a newly-minted Sunbeam, and I've watched as he's grown into a very grown-up CTR 4. I love watching his face as he learns, and I LOVE listening to him sing (and I assure you ... it's noticeable!). It's so much fun to see him grow and build his testimony. He tries so, so hard to be reverent ... it would kill me each time I had to pick other kids for things because he was trying so hard. So I'd still pick him as much as I could. I love watching his little hand shoot up in the air to answer a question during sharing time.

We knew we were being released a week before it happened, and so (selfishly) I requested that he be the spotlight for the week. And I soaked up watching him beam up at the front of the room.

One day, he'll think he's much too grown up for Primary. He'll be ready to move on (understandably). But I had to record this, so we would both always remember how sweet this time was. How much I learned being around him and his friends. How much he loved being in Primary and learning about the gospel there. And when he is in Young Men's and beyond I hope he looks back on what he learned and uses that as his gospel foundation.

I know I'll still get to sub, and help with talks and such, but it isn't the same as being in there every week. So I'll keep my fingers crossed for a Primary calling when Liam gets to Primary, so I can enjoy watching both of them!

And now, I will happily serve in Young Women's, and get to know a cool group of girls, who I'm certain can teach me so much.