Friday, September 30, 2016

DAY 1659... Apples

Aniston is having a BLAST in Pre-K this year.
She is thriving,
and as a parent that is all I could ask for.

We were lucky enough to go with her on her first field trip of the year this week.
Apple picking at the BYU-Idaho apple orchards.

It was a total night and day difference from this exact same field trip from last year.
Last year she would only stay by my side,
wouldn't play the games,
wouldn't eat the apples,
it was kind of a disaster,
even if I didn't admit it at the time.

This year she didn't want to hold my hand,
she wanted to keep up with her teacher,
she participated in the game actively,
ate lots of apples,
and she just grew up!

I'm so proud of Aniston and her desire to put herself out there,
and to get involved!

She did let me help lift her up to get some apples,
so we'll call that a win!

Benson had a BLAST during the field trip!
He ate so many apples!

Spencer wasn't able to come with us,
so Nana joined the party and saved my life.
We love you Nana!

Benson tried so hard to keep up with the big kids,
but he is just a little on the small side.
It wore on him a little,
but my Mom came to the rescue and kept him occupied.

I love being able to watch my children grow and get involved with the world around them.
I feel so blessed to be able to attend field trips,
dance classes,
church activities with them.
Being a Mom is kind of the best thing ever...

DAY 1658... Star Valley Wyoming Temple

Every time we drive past a temple,
who is 4,
has a difficult time understanding why she cannot go inside yet.
She has wanted to go inside the temple for years and she asks constantly about going inside.

It's hard to explain to her why she needs to wait,
and the importance of the Temple because she is so young.
But as a mother,
if I can make a dream come true,
than I will certainly do that.

We had tried to attend several temple open houses in the past,
but craziness always overcame us and it never worked out.

So when I saw that the Star Valley Wyoming temple was having an open house,
I knew we had to go.

The drive was insanely gorgeous!
There is a reason that Fall is my favorite season.
It's breathtaking!

It was only 2 hours away,
but sometimes 2 hours with kids in a car can seem like a lifetime!
I feel blessed that my children are AMAZING at entertaining one another.

The temple is very small,
but beautiful.

Aniston was pretty excited about the bus ride from the Stake Center to the Temple.
My kids have this thing for buses.

Aniston also got a little upset with people who were using their regular voices because we had talked a lot about how we should whisper in the temple.

There was never a moment so magical or spiritual as standing in the celestial room with my family.
I know that my own family (Mom, Dad, Siblings),
have never all been in the temple together like that.
It was a rare and beautiful opportunity.

I feel so blessed to know that families can be together forever.
There are days where that definitely feels like a curse,
but I cannot imagine my lief without my family.
They are the very best part of me and they are amazing.

Temples have recently become a very special place to me.
I have attended the temple since I was 12,
but without thought or feeling mostly.
I'm not afraid to admit that because while admitting that I am also admitting the new found strength and encouragement and blessings that I have found by attending the temple.

Families can be together forever,
and the temple is the place that makes that possible.

I hope that Aniston keeps her love and her desire to attend the temple alive throughout her life.
I hope that I can set an example for her of how regular and faithful temple attendance can bless your life.

To learn more about temples and how families can be together forever click HERE.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

DAY 1652... Yellowstone

All summer I had been dying to go to Yellowstone...
It never happened.
Work consumed us this summer and there simply wasn't time.

So a few weeks ago we had the Sister Missionaries over for dinner and they mentioned wanting to go to Yellowstone.
They had to go on their P Day,
and members had to take them.
I may or may not have immediately volunteered for the job without consulting my husband.

But we were blessed in our endeavors,
and Spencer's big class actually got cancelled on that day.
It was meant to be.

We were a little nervous to be headed out all day on a trip,
we had spent the night before in the Emergency Room with Benson,
croup will be the death of me,
but he did okay.
Better than expected.
Not great.
But okay.

We LOVE our sister missionaries Sister Baker and Sister Naitoko.
Aniston is obsessed with them,
and their attitude and spirit are just AWESOME!

Yellowstone was totally accepting Fall,
and the leaves were already changing.
It was gorgeous!

Typically we see 2-4 Bison,
but there were hundreds of them out this visit.

Like usual,
Old Faithful is worth seeing,
but never quite lives up to waiting for 45 minutes to see it.

The Asian people around could not get enough of Aniston and Benson.
They took many pictures of my children.
So weird.

My favorite part of the day was when we got to the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.
We had the option of hiking down or not.
Aniston was insistent that we hike down.
So we did.
On the way back up I was DYING!
So out of shape.
But Aniston,
what an inspiration!
She hiked the entire 3/4 mile uphill,
holding tightly to Sister Naitoko's hand,
and she didn't complain,
or asked to be carried once.
She did AMAZING!

My brother just hit his 18 month mark on his mission.
Since he has been gone,
I have felt so much more inspired to help the missionaries.
To feed them and to basically do whatever I can for them.
I send picture and updates home to their families for them,
and they have AMAZING families!
My family will never be able to express our gratitude enough for the people of Ireland and Scotland and for the love they have demonstrated for my brother.

Being a missionary cannot be easy,
but I think it helps when people show them love.

Our Yellowstone trip may have not happened the way we had expected it to happen,
but I wouldn't want to change a minute of it!