Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Chaco Canyon/Monticello, Utah

On our last day, we explored Chaco Canyon.  My kids were tired and done.  They just wanted to go home.  So they didn't enjoy Chaco very much.  I, on the other hand, love history and this was right up my alley!   I thought it was so very cool.

After Chaco, we started driving back to Utah.  We stopped for lunch at a Texas BBQ restaurant.  It was delicious.

We started listening to "Goose Girl",  a new book on CD, as we drove.  The drive was long and the girls were so ready to get home.  So was I.  But things went pretty smoothly.

When we got to Monticello, we stopped long enough to take pictures in front of the temple.  Literally about a 5 minute stop.  Maybe not even that long.  Gabby was tired and cranky and didn't want to cooperate.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

11 is a great number!

Ella turned 11 two weeks ago.  Here are 11 things Ella loves:
1. Spelling
2.  Hershey's chocolate bars
3. Sprite
4. Vanilla Ice Cream with caramel topping
5.  Jumping on the trampoline
6.  The color turquoise
7.  Cheese pizza
8.  the Goosebumps movie
9.  books by Jessica Day George
10.  the song "Hello" by Adele
11.  wearing leggings and skinny jeans  (she HATES boot cut jeans and refuses to wear them)

On her actual birthday, she chose to go to dinner at Freddy's. 

After dinner, we had tickets to Hale Center Theatre to see Peter and the Starcatchers (they were part of our Christmas gifts). It was the first time the girls had been to Hale Center Theatre. The show was awesome! I really loved it! The girls liked it a lot too. Alfredo thought it was okay, but he wasn't familiar with the story.

On Saturday, Ella had a birthday party.  Her cute friends met at our house and we ate pizza.  Then we took them to see Zootopia.  It was a cute and fun movie.  Then we returned to our house for ice cream cake and presents!  She got lots of clothes, a bit of money and a Nerf gun.  She has such darling friends.

Friday, May 13, 2016

My cute girls

I just love my daughters.  I love their very different personalities.  My dad has often remarked that seeing how very different siblings are, despite similar genetics and upbringing (nature and nurture) strengthens his testimony of our premortal life.  We come here with unique personalities and gifts, almost from the moment we are born.  I love watching my daughters grow and develop into such sweet and talented and responsible young girls/young women.  I also love seeing their silliness and their relationship with each other.  They like to take photos of each other on my phone...as well as take selfies.  I often find multiple silly shots of their faces.  Good thing I love their faces!

Here are a couple of shots they've taken in the last couple of weeks:

 Two weeks ago, Gabby had a field trip at school.  My dear friend Sara went on the field trip and texted me the darling photo below of Gabby on the bus with one of her cute friends.  I feel like Gabby has really come out of her shell this year and become much more outgoing and let others see her darling personality.  I am so happy to see her making so many friends and enjoying school so much.
 And Ella got some really darling clothes for her 11th birthday.  Here she is modeling one of the outfits for me!

Bosque del Apache, Albuquerque Temple, Chaco Canyon

Bosque del Apache Wildlife Center:  
Sunday started out pretty rough.   We drove to Bosque del Apache and as we arrived there, Drake's hand got slammed in the car door really hard.  Annette was worried that bones were broken...but thankfully they weren't.  Meanwhile, I had gotten out and was going to head inside with my kids when I realized that Gabby's hair really needed to be brushed.  I grabbed the brush and set my keys down on the seat in the middle of the van.  The kids unknowingly shut the door and my keys were locked inside.  So stressful!!

I panicked for a moment, and then calmed down and asked my girls to say a prayer.  Annette went in to talk to the people inside and ask if by any chance they could help.  And turns out one of the employees there had been a professional locksmith and had the necessary tools.  He kindly came outside, spent about 10 minutes fiddling around with his tools and the sliding door (which thankfully didn't shut all the way...the front part was shut and it was locked...but there was a gap in the back through which he could slide his tools and was able to hook my keys and pull them out...)  It broke my key chain, but we got the car unlocked safely.   Such a huge answer to prayers!  I am and was so very thankful!

The visitor center at Bosque del Apache was pretty cool.  It is a bird refuge/wildlife center.  There were some cool displays telling about some of the animals that visit the refuge.

After spending some time at the visitor center, we drove through the refuge and did a couple of short walks to see birds.  We saw roadrunners, red winged blackbirds, many ducks, and several other birds.  We also saw the cutest turtle, sunning himself.

Albuquerque Temple:
Next we drove to Albuquerque.  We stopped and visited the temple.  Because it was Sunday, the grounds were closed.  It's so beautiful and peaceful...even though we couldn't go on the actual grounds, just standing and looking at it brought peace.  It is such a tremendous blessing to have temples!!

We met a nice couple that had just moved to Albuquerque from Spanish Fork 3 weeks earlier.  They took a photo of all of us and we took a photo of their family for them.
Chaco Canyon:

Next we had a long drive to Chaco Canyon.  A very long drive and a good 45 minutes of it was on an unpaved road.  But we finally arrived and set up camp.  It was quite lovely.

Right by where we were camping, there were ruins!   So incredible!

We made dinner and then we sang Primary songs around the campfire.  The day started out stressful/bad but we received countless blessings.  So grateful for the kindness of strangers, answer to prayers, the peace of the temple, and protection from above!  As well as for friends.  I would never have attempted this trip on my own!