Saturday, July 31, 2010

Almost Missed: July Edition

Here's a couple other random pictures from July:

Here's Annabelle and her oldest friend, Parker. He came over a couple times to play and she's always so fascinated with his binkie.

Jared and I planted sunflower seed from MeMa while Daddy was off on High Adventure. A few days later, a bunch of them sprouted and Jared was really excited. Daddy had to transplant them to our empty garden, so they could have a fighting chance.

Jared was really interested in Greg's binoculars, so Greg took the chance to show him how they work.
Bellie loves Gerber Puffs now. We told Jared they are apart of Annabelle's baby food. So, whenever he can, he feeds them to his sister.
One of Bellie's new favorite places to crawl is underneath and in the chairs. She's strong enough to scoot the plastic ones around, but she just climbs into the wooden ones. She really enjoys it--- until she realizes she can't get out.
She's also pretty good at using sippy cups--- even though she's not too sure about the liquid inside...
Here's a couple of amusing kiddo shots...Yes, they are really THAT entertaining...

Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday Video: ABCs

The same day Jared belted out PB&J, I got him singing the ABCs. He sung part of the alphabet for the first time in Seattle. My sister and I couldn't believe what we were hearing. He got about half-way before I had to prompt him. So, we've been working on it since. I was so excited to finally get it on camera...



Oh--- we started potty-training last night. He just keeps growing...

Monday, July 26, 2010

Growing S'monkey

S'monkey is a nickname Jiji gave Annabelle; it's a combination of smiling monkey.

Annabelle has grown so much over the last month. She's figured out how to crawl now. When she's faced with anything but tile, she'll crawl on her hands and knees. However, if she's on tile, she'll do the same motion but with her torso on the ground. It's a cross between the two, so I call it her hybrid crawl.



She loves to crawl under the table and play with the straps to the chairs. See if you can find her...

While in Seattle (which I finally finished all the backposting, so enjoy and comment), she learned how to pull herself to stand {seen HERE} and she has become a pro now. She hasn't quite figured out how to move and hold on at the same time, but that's okay. She's in mid-pull in this picture.
Another one of her favorite places to crawl to is the bottom of the stairs, and since she can pull herself up...
she has plenty of fun there. Let's just hope it takes her a while to figure out how to get to step two. Knowing her, I probably have less time than I think.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Another Feature

Since Jared has a pretty sweet video below, I thought I'd give him a few days before I post another one. :)

However, I can't contain my excitement on how Mule 'n Nag got featured for the second time---so it's not a fluke!

This time it's on {Sugardoodle.net}. If you haven't heard of it and you're LDS, you're welcome. This site has AMAZING resources for almost anything you can think of church related.

Anywho--- we're listed on the blogs page {HERE} and she features a reminder I made so we'd remember to write {Uncle Elder} on his mission {HERE} or scroll down on the home page to "Everything Else". I thought other people might like to use something like this too....

How SWEET is that?

Another SWEET thing... I talked to Gweg today and he comes home TOMORROW... almost there!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Jared Sings: PBJ & IBS

Like I've mentioned before Jared likes to sing. Now that his words are easier to understand, his solos are that much more fun. Most of the favorites are still there, Sunbeam, Beaker and Mahna Mahna. He also loves ANYTHING from the band {InsideOut} (they introduced him to Mahna Mahna) including the smash hit {Peanut Butter & Jelly}.

I discovered how much he loved this song before vacation, but the first video was hard to hear and far away. A couple days ago, I got him singing right to the camera. He also sings a little bit of Itsy Bitsy Spider. I know it'll be hard, but try to enjoy it!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Playtime

I got these gems when Annabelle and Jared played together for the first time. By the first time, I mean actually playing with the same toys. Jared's going through the 'mine' phase right now (woo hoo--- NOT) and it's rare to get him to not freak out when Belle wants to play with him. Which she really likes to do because she adores him and wants to be/play with him so she'll do her hybrid crawl to get to him.
They started posing for me and I thought this one was really goofy...
By the way---if you haven't noticed I've post-blogged about most of our trip. I still have a few stories to tell AND now I have my birthday celebrations to write about. One day I will catch back up and I have a feeling it'll happen this week. ;)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Three Days of Birthday

I haven't got around to talk about my birthday. Honestly, since my birthday was the day after getting back from vacation---it wasn't too great. Greg noticed how bummed out I was when he got home, so he decided to make my birthday last three days! I know, I know, he's a great guy--- he was also trying to make up for the fact that we couldn't quite afford my birthday present :(

Tuesday: Like I said, it was rough. It was a good thing Greg bought some beautiful roses to greet us when we got home the night before. Greg got home a little early, but did yard work. He wanted to get some done before we went to the pool with friends. Since he was out in the yard, we didn't get out for dinner in time, so we went to Whataburger. Not my first choice for a birthday dinner, in fact, I broke down in the drive-thru lane... So, we get home, snarf our food and get ready to go to the pool. We invited a bunch of friends to come over, but due to sickness and it being mutual/scout night for the ward--- only one showed up (thanks Lana, you don't know how much that made my day). When we got home, another friend stopped by for a surprise visit filled with flowers and chocolate. They stayed to play Wii and that was the extent of my actual birthday.

Wednesday: We went out to dinner to the restaurant I wanted to go to the day before: BJs. It was oh so good. Greg also taught Jared how to say 'happy birthday momma' and he wouldn't stop saying it---oh so cute.

Thursday: Some friends watched the kiddos while Greg took me shopping. We were on a mission for certain items lacking from my wardrobe. The whole time out he was really sweet; he didn't complain at all and gave his honest opinion.

All in all, I had a great 'birthday.' I'm so grateful for the amazing man I married and it was really nice to have him mostly to myself before he went gallivanting off on High Adventure for eight days.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Friday Video: Birthday Grasshopper

So--- I have A LOT to backpost about, so stay tuned over the next couple of days. We survived the whole trip and have BUNCHES of stories to tell. I promise I get things up soon--- especially since I'll start forgetting cute stories. :)

I had a birthday this past week. We ended up celebrating over a couple of days because my actual birthday was the day after we got back from vacation. I usually call this the 'Let-Down' day because it's usually a not-so-fun day filled with time outs, tantrums, and wonky naps.

Gweg was able to come home a little early that day, so sweet, and we spent the end of Belle's nap time outside with Jared. Greg had a burning desire to get rid of our wildflowers who got a little too wild for our taste. While we were out there, the three of us noticed a grasshopper and Jared started pointing at it and talking. So, I took a video.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Randomness in Seattle

Other than ALL I've posted, we just hung out in Seattle. All kidding aside, we spent some of the days just relaxing and being with family---which was what the whole visit was all about.

A couple notes from the pictures:
  • Annabelle and Jared loved playing with their second cousins, Glenn and Taylor. Well, mostly Tay but Jared learned how to fight for his food with Glenn. ;) Jared loved chasing Taylor around and yelling her name. He was really sad when they went home. We enjoyed hanging out with their 'rents too. :)
  • The picture of Jiji balancing Belle is a recreation picture. He did that with me when I was a baby. I just need to get my hands on it...
  • There's another nostalgic moment of Jared playing with Transformer animals that I remember playing with. He loved those and I seriously contemplated 'borrowing' them--- I even remembered how to transform them. :)
  • Belle really discovered her mobile self while in Seattle. She even tried a few times to pull herself up to stand---I know--- the girl who barely knows how to crawl-- what can I say, she's adventurous. One of the pictures is her getting into diaper stash and the mess that followed.
  • Not in pictures: Before everyone came out, Pops took Meg and I out on a Daddy/Daugthers date to see Eclipse. We actually had a lot of fun. Meg and I met Pops at the theatre, so I got to drive the Beamer. I didn't realize how much fun that was to drive until I drove a particularly curvy road on the way back to my parent's house. It was awesome and I almost bagged myself a suicidal bird. I liked the movie the best out of the three adaptations; which makes me excited for the last two. :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Uncle Elder Reports

This fine young man, also known as my baby brother, Parker, Park, and for the next two years Elder Jackson, reported to the Missionary Training Center today to prepare to preach the gospel to the people of Ohio.I think I've mention how excited, nervous, proud, happy, etc. I am for him. I'm excited to hear about the ups and downs, mostly I'm excited for the people who get to learn about the gospel from Elder Jackson.

One of the best parts about being a big sister is watching your siblings make choices you know are good for them. I'm so honored to be the big sister to three AMAZING young adults.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Waiting to Come Home

We're all home and in ONE piece--- I think! It's my birthday---yikes---but as it is also a recovery day---I thought I'd post about how yesterday transpired.

Yesterday was another long and crazy day, but this time I didn't get puked on (score one for Mommy) so I consider it an overall success. Even though the overall theme of the day was.... waiting... and waiting... and waiting some more...

We actually went to the airport about an hour early because Cheryl and the Great-Grandparents had a flight out that morning too. I could only imagine how strange it was to see our caravan going into the terminal (my parents helped us until security). When we checked the bags, my big bag was just overweight by a few pounds. I knew if I took my temple bag out it would solve the problem, but I didn't think I had another place to put it. I couldn't check another bag because I already had the large suitcase, a small (filled to the brim) suitcase, Jared's car seat and the pack-n-play as our checked luggage. Luckily, Jared's car seat has this awesome zipper travel bag and Mom and I both had the genius idea to put it in there. First crisis of the day averted. Sweet.

Security was easier than last time because we had done it before and we had two extra hands (Greg helped me through the first time). The only hitch there came in waiting for someone to escort our nice stroller through because it can't fit in the X-ray machine. Whoops.

After loading everything back together, we made our way to their gate with just a few minutes to spare. That's when the hardest part of the day came: waiting another hour for our first flight. Toddlers plus waiting never ever has a happy outcome. If it does, fill me in, I really wanna know that secret.

The mistake I made was letting him out of the stroller, I thought it was a good idea because he'd be stuck in an airplane the rest of the day. So, I strapped the monkey on his back and all was well. He was content playing with his cars and new Buzz and Woody until he realized there was a whole airport out there for him to explore. With a half hour still to wait, Jared began screaming 'i wanna go walk' like full blown Jared scream---and that's loud. So, I tried putting him back in the stroller--to actually go for a walk--- but that didn't work. I had to keep breathing and telling him we can't walk away from his stuff while he's doing his best impression of a dog trying to escape his leash. It was funny, but I was far from laughing in the moment.

I was on the verge of tears when I got him to calm down. As I was sitting there, wondering if this was a sign of the rest of the day, another passenger came up to me and told me how beautiful the kids are. She also said, "I just have the feeling your little girl is going to be a MECHANICAL ENGINEER the way she intently looks at things and tries to figure them out." I told her that she just made her Daddy really happy because he's an engineer---when I told this story to Gweg last night, he lifted up his arms and said 'woo hoo.'

We had three flights just like last time. Seattle to Kansas City, KC to Dallas and Dallas to SA. We only changed planes in KC, but we had a two and a half hour layover. I'll get to that in a minute.

Flight 1 was awesome. Both kiddos feel asleep. How SWEET is that? Especially since it was our longest flight. I was so surprised and happy that I joined them. This was the only flight we had another person in our row and she was amazingly nice and fell under Belle's spell once we all woke up. And when we did wake up, I turned Jared over to the power of the portable DVD player and Cars. :)

The layover was better than waiting for the first flight. The funniest thing about that was changing diapers and fitting the stroller in the world's smallest Women's bathroom. We spent the rest of the layover finishing Cars, starting Mickey and eating Teddy Grahams. Belle also enjoyed showing off her crawling skills (after Mommy picked up anything and everything in her path).

Flight 2 and 3 were both just fine. I had marvelous people help me with the kids and folding the stroller so we didn't hold anyone up. Jared watched Mickey and when that was done, he asked for Looney Tunes. While he watched this, he started to laugh and giggle. I got video of it... but I was excited that he likes the classics. :) Annabelle ate, played, and napped like she wasn't on a plane... it was nice.

Another interesting thing was changing diapers while waiting in Dallas. I didn't want a repeat soggy diaper from the trip out and since the airplane changing table is a size meant for premies, I deciced to chance him right there in the seat. The looks I got... but I could see no other option and it worked. He didn't wiggly and wasn't over-soggy when we got home. During the third flight, we were all exhausted, so much so that Jared passed out again. Before he fell asleep he got wiggly and asked me to 'hol han peas.' Tell me what Mom would resist that question? So, I held his sleeping hand (and body) with my left arm while trying to keep the world's wiggliest baby from dive-bombing into the aisle. :)

When we landed we took our time to get off the plane, only to find out that Daddy wasn't there yet. Yay more waiting---I mean, boo. We got to baggage claim, I wrestled all four of our checked bags off the belt and started changing the kiddos into jammies--- it was almost 10 by this point.

Daddy arrived and we were all glad to be going home. Happy to enjoy almost a week with him before he heads off to High Adventure for eight days... my next adventurous undertaking...

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Uncle Elder



What a full and happy day. My little brother gave his 'farewell' talk in church and was set apart as a missionary today. Yet another reason why I'm glad we extended our Seattle trip. It felt great to be there to support him; plus, it was really neat to hear his testimony yet again. At one point during Uncle Elder's (what I'll be calling him on here until he's done), Jared looked up at him and said, 'unca pawkew.' Luckily, it wasn't loud, but it was cute.

After church we had just enough time to eat and get to the stake center for the young man to become a missionary. His appointment was right in the middle of the kid's nap time so they fell asleep on the way there. I was worried they'd be really grumpy, but they weren't. In fact, Jared got really excited when we entered the High Council room and saw individual pictures of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and the First Presidency. He, of course, started naming them off. He did it a couple times once he saw the reaction everyone gave him. I really need to get it on video... The blessing was very sweet and powerful and the Spirit was definitely there.

We then spent the rest of the day packing the whole house for tomorrow; the folks, siblings and the missionary are driving down to Utah tomorrow for the drop off on Wednesday. I was actually able to sit with my missionary brother and help him pack and organize. It was really nice to have that time with him. He's become such an amazing young man and, I know I've said it before, but I'm excited for him to preach the gospel to the people in Ohio. I'm also grateful for the example he's setting for Jared. Our Gma snuck a few pictures of the process and now I'm glad she did because it's a wonderful memory.

With that, church, and just finishing our packing, it's been a long, but very rewarding day. I love our family, I love the gospel and I'm so so grateful that prayers were answered and this visit happened.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

New Things



Today was a CRAZY CRAZY day spent getting the rest of soon-to-be Elder Jackson's things together. Beehive clothing, JC Penney's, lunch and a Train Shop for Great-Grandpa all before nap time---well, the last one happened during nap time because Jared was sufficiently tuckered out from playing in the kiddo area with Aunt Meggie at Beehive clothing and trying to climb on the luggage shelves at JCP.

We then headed back around the sound, partly so the kids to nap longer and partly because it was simply gorgeous, over for more shopping at Target. The local Target is attached to a mall and right outside the Target entrance is one of the mall's playareas--- shaped at a train. Jared was in heaven! Jared, and a few adults, went straight there while others did shopping. Each had a few things to do, so Jared was able to play for a good stretch of time while Annabelle made friends and showed us her new skill of pulling herself up to stand! I know, she's growing SO fast!

After a few minutes back and the house, we went out one more time to actually eat at Ivar's. :) This ended up being a new experience for both Jared and I. I already knew we'd both be fine with just shrimp because I had given it to him before. Well, not only did he eat the shrimp but he tried and enjoyed the calamari and fish. Jared likes the fishies. I was feeling particularly brave, as well, so I tried it all too plus Meg's salmon. I know, the fish hater tried fish. Here's the crazy part, I liked it. I guess the better the fish is, the less fishy-tasting it is--- who knew? Now, I don't like it enough to eat it all the time, but I'm more open to the possibility of it coming into my house now.

It was a nice day to end the adventures in Seattle. Tomorrow is meant for church, relaxing, packing, and Parker becoming an missionary. :)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Water Babies--- and adults?



With HOT being the theme over the last few days, the combined forces of Great and grandparents decided to get a water cooling system or slip 'n slide pool. I know, how could they use this without swimwear? Well, the folks had a random pack of lil' swimmers Jared's size and he wore some jammy shorts. And Belle, well, she just roughed it. Meg, Park and I decided to be bold, and a little silly, and got dressed ourselves. I borrowed (and eventually inherited) a swimsuit from Meg.

Everyone was so excited to see Jared in it that it all got set up during his nap time. It was ready for him; we knew he would love the slide and be in the water the whole time---or so we thought.

The combination of waking up from nap time, being excited about a pool, and cold water didn't work well, at first. He would not get in the pool and H-A-T-E-D being put on the slide. He didn't even like it when Park, Meg, and Mommy (yes, you read that right) all showed him how the slide works. Gma got some sweet video proof of us all breaking the age limit...

All he wanted was to fill his cup and maybe dump it on people. Once the shadows started to move, it was a different story. Jared became more daring. And when he saw Park, Meg, and Mommy in the pool he finally realized it was safe.

Annabelle joined us shortly after. She loved playing with the toys and splashing in the water. We didn't have the same diaper luck or outfit luck with her. So, she swam in a normal diaper and a onesie. When all was said and done, the diaper was far from normal.

It was a great solution to a hot day and it'll be fun to see an older Jared and Annabelle try out the pool when we visit them another summer.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The REAL Beach Day & Blue Island



Since Seattle's going through a 'heat wave' right now we decided to take the kiddos to the beach. Which I'm normally prepared for, but since I packed for weather through today, I decided not to bring the swim stuff. We went anyone and it ended up being a lot of fun. The water was pretty cold, it is the Northwest after all, so we didn't miss anything. Z was the only one brave enough to get in the water. Props to Crazy Uncle Zak. :)

Jared spent the whole time happy as a clam playing in the sand. I'm sure he would have been happy there all night if I had let him. He found the nearest unclaimed sand toy (don't worry, we found the owner and gave it back) and played... and played... and played some more...

At one point, I took to get him out to the water. I don't blame his apprehension--- the seaweed made it very unappealing. Jared wouldn't even touch the seaweed and, as soon as we hit the water, he said 'mama cold up' followed shortly by 'ew gows'--- so, we went back to his little beach area and had a grand ol' time. He enjoyed getting his feet buried and burying Oba's feet. He also made a pretty cool sand wall with Oba & Jiji.

Annabelle wasn't too sure of the whole thing. We brought her out to where Jared was playing. In the pictures you'll be able to see the quick mood swing from when I put her down. She was fine until she got sand on her hands and didn't know what do it with it. Then, she looked up at me and did her little whiny cry. She then spent the rest of the visit in the shade with the great-grandparents and Uncle Elder. :)

We then capped off the evening at Blue Island Sushi--- such a fun place to eat! We even crammed ELEVEN people in a booth and had some fun and not-so-fun moments. The not-so-fun moment came when Jared decided that the Edamame shell was to be eaten--- so he tried--choked---threw up all over himself, Oba, and I--- took a drink and then went right back to eating. Definitely not a fun moment, but I'm very glad his gag reflux is good. I'm so impressed how he went right back to eating too.

Since it's hot here (side note: it's not as HOT as home, but it feels hot because no one, except for the elderly, has AC up here. It's hardly ever needed). We moved Jared from the third floor to the bottom floor with Aunt Meggie. I wish I had my camera when I went to get him this morning. He and Meg were so cute sleeping... I bet Meg's real grateful I didn't. :)

The agenda today was to relax, attempt to fix Mom's car and make one of our new {favorite dinners} for everyone.

Mystery Solved

We recently discovered what got to the dinosaurs....

The kids and I are still in Seattle. We extended our stay because we wanted a little more time with the crew, especially Park and the great-grandparents/aunt (we only see them once a year).

For now, here's a cute one I caught yesterday :)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Forever

We've been having a great time here. I've got lots of stories to tell and pictures to share. But this was the main reason for coming up.

My brothers went through the temple for the first time on Saturday. It was one of the most cherished moments of my life to be in the Celestial Room with my husband, parents and brothers. We only missed Meg. :) I am so honored to be their sister and witness their devotion and commitment to the Lord and the gospel.

One of my brothers, in talking to Greg and I, pointed to my parents and said, "that's you in 20 years." My response, "I sure hope so."

I love family and I love the gospel. It has definitely been a good trip.

Monday 'o Fun: Ferry & Downtown

What do you do in Seattle when you don't have the funds to do much? Lots of free/inexpensive things like go the beach, go to parks, and go for a Ferry Ride--- which is exactly what we did yesterday.

It was the same ride we took {last time} and Oba missed it again. She was the only one of the group who had to work today--- retail! We had a really good time, in fact, it went by really fast this time. Jared went exploring with Gweg and got a runny nose to prove it (it was really windy---we were on a boat). Annabelle really wanted to crawl around and we had none of that... the closest she got was sitting in the chair.

After the ride, we made the short trip over to {Ivar's} to feed the seagulls that make a permanent perch there to mooch. It's so fun because they encourage you to feed the seagulls. We actually brought fries with us because we made lunch for the ferry ride. Jared had fun and Belle was really wiggly (which meant she was excited too)... but that was only half of our day.



The video shows Jared's pure enjoyment of feeding the seagulls. He's trying to earn this bird's trust and the bird is desperate enough to fall for it. Obviously, he gets really excited when the bird makes his choice. :)



Next--- part two of the day--- a visit to Dash Point Beach & Playing at the Park...

Monday 'o Fun: Dash Point Beach & Park

After letting the seagulls finish the fries, we decided to head back to Federal Way and meet Oba somewhere. The somewhere ended up being Dash Point Beach. The tide was way out so we walked as far as we could. Jared had lots of fun with the mud and 'col waer.' Nobody went in the water because it was way too cold--- but that story was different today. :)

Since we couldn't get in the water, we decided to burn more energy until dinner time by going to the park. The beach and the park in ONE DAY---Jared was definitely in heaven. :)

In fact, We all had fun at the park...
even the adults...

Jared loved the slide the most...
And Annabelle went on a swing for the first time.
She seemed to like everything but the change in direction part--- check it out in the video:


When we got back to the house, relaxed and had dinner, we decided to finish off the fireworks from yesterday. We saved a lot of the small ones, like snakes and flowers, to show Jared. We lit the first flower and he screamed and cuddled in my legs. I held him for a couple more attempts, but it only got worse. So, he went back inside with Oba, where he screamed at the window some more. :)

After calming everyone down, we did a Four Generation pose with Granni and Annabelle.
So that's the tale of our pretty busy Monday after the Fourth. Quite a day, but it's full of memories. :)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Our Fourth Fun

Our Fourth of July was filled with lots of activities... starting the night before with a few appetizer rockets...
First, we went to church where all four Jackson siblings bore their testimonies. The day before Dad teased that it would be a Jackson Family Testimony Meeting... he was right. I'm so impressed by the people my little brothers and sister and turning into; that includes everything, not just their amazing testimonies of the gospel.

Funny Jared Story: The kids have a flip book of gospel pictures and one is a picture of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Every sacrament, I sit Jared on my lap and we reverantly flip through the pictures and when we get to the first presidency and quorum pages, I say there names. This Sunday, when we got to the apostle page, Jared named them all---except Elder Anderson. I think it's because he has a lot to say with Christofferson---which is the cutest one he say. I promise to get it on video soon.
After church, we made cookies for the week (which lasted a day)....

Hung out with grandparents and great-grandparents...
Enjoyed drinks and snacks...
Played Apples to Apples where Pops won (even though he complained the most about playing it :p)...
And a little SingStar Abba & Queen...
Then, a few of us made the trek down the woody hill to the beach where all kinds of explosives were shot off. It was so fun; I even had few turns with the punk and held my first (and last) bottle rocket. The crew bought some awesome things, one of which was especially made for underwater. So cool. AND from the beach, we were able to see parts of three or four other shows... which made the night that much better...After surviving the trek back up, we finished the night with good ol' S'mores and Peanut Butter Cup S'mores (instead of plain chocolate use a Reese's PB cup--- it's heavenly). I know the picture is blurry, but I like it AND it's a rare one with Glenn. :)Is there a better way to end Fourth of July celebrations? I don't think so.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Someday

If you grew up in the {LDS Church}, there's a pretty good chance you've sung "I Love to see the Temple" a number of times. I thought about that song a lot today, especially the line "I'm going there someday." Today was someday for BOTH of my brothers. And, because of the generosity of family, we were able to be with them. These are the pictures we took right after the session:

It was one of the most special experiences of my life. The covenants made in the temple are not secret, they're just incredibly sacred. It is a special place where the Spirit of the Lord is always present. The cares of the world wash away and it is always so refreshing to go to the temple.
I was able to be in the temple with my eternal companion, my parents, my brothers, most of my grandparents, and a very special aunt and uncle. My Dad couldn't be an escort to both at the same time, so before we came out to Seattle, Z asked Greg to be his escort. I know it meant a lot to Greg to be there for him (and Parker) and I'm happy that he was able to have a special memory with my Dad and brothers.

To see the four of them together {speaking of---where is the picture of the ya'll together, Jiji? Still on your iPhone?} made me realize how grateful I am to have worthy Priesthood holders in my life. Not only that, these marvelous men (along with DeDa and Grandpa Jay who is across the veil) are setting good examples for Jared. And that means everything.

I also thought a lot about my parents and what was going through their minds to see three of their four kids in the temple. I thought about their examples of faith and testimony which has led all four of us to have our own testimonies of the gospel of Christ. I'm so grateful for their examples and thinking of them and looking at my brothers made me excited to be in the temple with Megan, Jared and Annabelle someday.

After the session, we met the rest of the group outside for some pictures. I'm so glad we did this because we took pictures that won't be able to happen again for another couple of years since Park reports in 11 days. :) Then, it was off to dinner at {XXX Root Beer}. They have amazing home-brewed Root Beer, go figure. We sat at the largest circular outdoor table I've seen. I swear, we were going to start talking about Camelot and how to protect England. :)
My cute boys being the goofs that they are!
Annabelle loved the big table; she showed off her hybid army crawl/regular crawl and visited everyone around the table. You'd think Greg and I would worry about the potential germs, but it took the resident Micro-biologist to pick her up and request a highchair. What a good Great-Grandad! Then, she was able to enjoy tickles from her uncle.Funny Story: I inadvertantly ordered the largest sandwich on the menu, the Traffic Ticket. No where on the menu it says how big the sandwich is and then it comes out covering the generic plastic serving basket. Everyone had a good laugh because it was ridiculous! Luckily, Z & Park are NEVER full so they helped me. :)

All in all--- it was a great day and I'm so so so grateful that we were able to come out and be part of it. :)

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