Sunday, January 15, 2017

First 2017 Road Trip Part 2

We spent most of the week in Utah enjoying mostly mild winter weather and warm welcomes from friends and family. We were dumb and forgot to take pictures of most of them!

On Monday, we spent time at the BYU Store in Provo. Mike said he doesn’t think he had ever spent that much time in the store. Just in case he has forgotten over the last nearly 18 years, his wife likes to shop. In the basement, we ran across this amazing Salt Lake Temple built of LEGO built by David Jungheim of Inspired Bricks

Almost 35,000 bricks and close to 9 years' work. Wow. 

Hallie is in search of a BYU sweatshirt that is smaller than her current one, and she didn’t find one at BYU, so we had to run in to Costco. No sweatshirt there either. L We then went to Orem and visited with our friend Jordan, another former Belle Isle missionary. It’s great seeing these guys growing up and having lives after their missions! We forgot to get a picture! In the evening we took some time to see how gymnastics is done at AirTime Training Center in Springville before having dinner with Hallie’s cousin Brett and his family in Lehi. Landon quite enjoyed AirTime, and Mom and Dad enjoyed meeting Wanda Fredericks who is the Boys Team Director. Wanda did not know we were coming and spent a bit of time with us talking about the program she runs.

Tuesday Hallie and the kids spent time poolside at the hotel while Mike worked. Later they got lunch, and then in the evening the kids got some time away from Mom and Dad at the Wilkinson Student Center with our friend Katelyn from Belle Isle Branch while the parents dined at La Jolla Groves in the Shops at Riverwoods. The salmon that the parents had was super yummy, and the service was just right! The kids had a great time with Katelyn, and the night was topped off with yummy ice cream in the Wilk from the Creamery. No photo of Katelyn though. . . . 

On Wednesday Hallie and the kids drove to look at the area, and it rained the whole time! So much for the snow that we were expecting to have in Utah. Ugh! Meanwhile, Mike did some more work. Later in the afternoon, they all went up to Salt Lake City and visited with our friend Elizabeth and her kids at Temple Square. Hallie hadn’t seen Elizabeth in 12 years, and it was so nice to catch up and watch the kids play and learn in the North Visitors Center. We got so caught up that we forgot to take a commemorative photo! 

Then we drove up to Bountiful and had dinner with Christy Young and her family. Christy was Hallie’s very first mission companion outside of the MTC. It is hard to imagine that 20 years have gone by since these two were sharing the gospel out in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia! The kids had a magical time together, and as we were leaving Landon asked if we could come back again tomorrow. One day we will come back again. This time we remembered to get at least a few pics. 

We then met up with our friend Christine at The Dodo in Sugar House and had the restaurant’s famous toll house pie. Sorry to have missed Brian and the three boys. For the lateness of the evening our kids rocked the good behavior. Small favors. Christine is a true inspiration to Hallie, and we love being taught by her. Apparently we don't love taking photos of her though. 

All too soon our time in Provo was over, and on Thursday we hit the road for home, just in time for the snow to start back up. Huh. Fortunately, a few hours down the road, the snow cleared up and the precipitation turned to rain. On Wednesday, Eliza's birth mom, Zoraida, had contacted us on Facebook. Eliza made her a cute picture.

We stayed overnight in St. George. Hallie and Landon had the chance to visit her relative Glenda. Hallie loves Glenda, and Glenda has always been so supportive of Hallie. Landon again was very well behaved and we are so grateful!!! We had dinner and dessert from Culver’s (which was a favorite in Michigan), and brings joy to see it in Utah.

We spent most of Friday on the road to California. We caught up to the rain outside of Las Vegas, and it continued with us off and on through to the Antelope Valley. We were glad to be home after a long seven hours, and the kids couldn’t wait to get on their scooters or skateboards. Thank you to Carrie and family for taking care of our Fergus while we were gone.

Saturday marked a return to our normal routines, at least in the morning when the kids went to gymnastics. Because there was a meet in Las Vegas this weekend, practice was cut short. Mike and Landon went up to Mike’s office at CLU to work (Landon has quite a bit of homework to make up), and Hallie and Eliza went to CLU to participate in the Girl Scouts’ Cookie University.

We dropped the kids off at Chuck E. Cheese’s so they could celebrate their friend Anthony’s brother Braden’s birthday. The grown-ups went on a date to Costco (woo hoo!), where we bought a wagon to haul of those Girl Scout Cookies Eliza is going to be selling. Contact us starting February 4 if you want some. The kids had so much fun at the birthday party, and we are grateful for the Custers and their invitation. Marilyn is so good to keep Eliza on a lot of days so Hallie can run home and grab lunch before she has to do crossing guard, and Braden and Eliza have become fast friends.

We topped the evening off with pizza and a movie, which we switched to Saturday this week. The kids watched Norm of the North while the parents Skyped with Diamond and her boyfriend Caleb. We love being able to catch up with her and to see her beautiful smile on the screen. Cute couple!

Today was our first real Sunday since the start of the new year. Mike had Ward Council at 7:00 a.m., Hallie had choir at 8:30 a.m., and the whole time in between Hallie spent trying to convince Landon to get dressed, eat breakfast, and get ready for church. The morning was a bit chaotic. Church went well, and Hallie met two kids in her Primary class she had not met two weeks ago. The six, six year olds have a lot of energy.

Hallie had choir again after church but missed it due to a phone call from Diamond right as she was walking out the door. Diamond beats out singing hands down, and that says a lot because Hallie sure loves to sing!

In the late afternoon we went to Grandpa and Grandma O.’s house where the kids played with Alie and had a lot of fun. We are happy to be able to go and spend time with them when we can. Alie loves having the kids over and the kids love being able to play with Alie. 

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