Thursday, February 27, 2014

Feeling so blessed: Gilbert Temple and Chihulies

 A new temple for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was built in Gilbert. Before the building is dedicated and used for worship by members, there is an open house for any and all visitors who'd like to come inside. It is a golden opportunity to take my children to the temple and give them an idea of why I love it there.  The temple is a holy house of worship where I have covenanted with God to obey His commandments and serve Him throughout my life. It is where I was married to my incredible husband and which allows us to be a family for eternity. It is a place of calm peace where I feel Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ's love for me.
It was a delight to have my parents here to tour the temple with us.

 The Gilbert temple is absolutely stunning. It is built and crafted beautifully and with care. But the most important part is that it is a house of God. I feel the Spirit of God when I am there.

The super good news is that a lovely temple is being built in Phoenix, not far from our home!

After our tour of the Gilbert temple, we visited the Desert Botanical Garden. I've been wanting to take my plant-loving dad there for years. Surprise bonus...there was an exhibit of Dale Chihuly's blown glass! I've loved his art work since I was a teenager. He's from Tacoma, Washington.

 My mom is so awesome. She makes suckers. She made them for us when we were kids, and now she makes them for her grandkids.

 Contemplating the universe.

 Love birds. xo

 In case you're wondering...don't touch the Chihulies. If you do, security will be on you in seconds. That's what we've heard.

 Playing in dirt with a stick. Gotta love it. Each kid had a turn with the stick. It was a sad moment when we decided to leave it behind.

We turned around at one point and found a lady taking a picture of Hazel! She loved that Hazel was all dressed in white and matched the white Chihulies amongst the cactus skeletons. And of course Hazel was being her cute, delightful, dancey little self, which made her irresistible. The lady was right, it looked cool, so we snapped the same picture!

We had sooo much fun with Grandma and Grandpa in the garden amongst the nature and art.

Check out these cool Chihulies. I think they're the best of the whole exhibit. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Feeling so blessed

 Sweet Hazel turned four! She is a delight and a joy! She is cheerful, positive, feminine, and quick to obey. She likes coloring, making paper crafts, pretending to be Elsa from Frozen, loving on Elias, helping me and she started sounding out words just before her birthday. She is such a precious girl and I love her so much! She lights up my world.

Elias Grant was blessed by Aaron, my dad, my uncle Neal, and a few close friends in church. It was a beautiful blessing that helped me feel Heavenly Father's love for Elias and gave me eyes to see the wonderful potential he has in his life ahead. It was very special to have my parents and aunt and uncle here with us.

I love this little boy and my wonderful husband who blessed him.

I've made blessing outfits for all of my babies. It's been an act of love for me to put my time and effort into creating their white outfits for their special days. I have two little white dresses and one little white romper from the older kids. It came down to the week before Elias' blessing and I had the fabric and pattern, but not the time to make it. In an effort to simplify and reduce stress, I decided not to make the blessing outfit. Elias would wear the one I made for Carter. However, when Friday rolled around, I realized that I couldn't let this one go. It's been a special tradition for me to make these outfits for my babies. If I had only three little would feel like an incomplete collection, and a failure, of sorts, to me. So I decided to work like a madwoman and sew Elias' blessing outfit. Aaron was supportive. He was willing to put aside other plans and take care of meals while my parents took the older kids out for the day. I sewed like crazy, far into the night Friday night. And continued sewing on Saturday. I finished it Saturday afternoon. Now I have my complete collection of four little white blessing outfits, to remember their special days and how small they once were.

He is precious, sweet, squishy and heavenly!

Caught reading on a relaxed Sunday afternoon.

 These brothers love each other so much. Carter is sweet to Elias and Elias thinks Carter is so fun and funny.

Sweet, sweet, sweet!

Happy New Year 2014!

 Happy New Year! It's 2014 and we're off to a great start! We visited the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson for two days and partied at the hotel on New Year's Eve.

Jumping on the beds?


We enjoyed seeing the animals, plants, and the lovely weather. We actually heard what the fox says. He whimpered like a puppy.

This ram provided some laughs ("What? Why do they sniff each other?") and then some education and more laughs for our children.
 Our purpose for the trip was actually for Aaron to shoot a friend's wedding at the Desert Museum. His wedding photos were warm and enchanting.

Aaron and Lily took some beautiful photos on our trip.

They have a really neat raptor show where the birds fly right over your heads in their natural setting. It's more natural and less choreographed than other bird shows we've seen. We really enjoyed it and Aaron and Lily got some incredible photos.

I think this is the most incredible photo! The bird is flying directly toward the camera! It's keen eyes and sharp beak look intent on getting us! And look at the shape of those wings. Who knew their wings took that shape in flight? Cool.

Lots of fun. Happy New Year!