Thursday, July 27, 2017

Arizona Cousin Time

What was left for us to do in Arizona after we had seen the temple?  A lot of cousin time.  Sammy woke up June 7 in the morning with a puffy face.  I don't know if he was having an allergic reaction, or if he was just reacting to the unbelievable heat that he had never experienced before.  It was pretty alarming, but it had mostly cleared up by afternoon.  
 We had a lot of important water play to do.
 There was almost no opportunity to nap in Arizona.  Grandma and Grandpa's house was always filled with kids.  Sammy kept dropping off to sleep on people's laps.
 One hot, quiet morning, Grandma took us to the International Wildlife Museum.  This is an interesting museum of taxidermy animals from around the world.
 I expected it to be a little bit macabre, but it turned out to be very educational.  There were even scavenger hunts for the kids, which helped to focus our exploration of the museum, since there is way too much to see in one visit.
 In spite of the kids being very tired after the museum (and much whinier than usual in the car), we still managed to get in a swim with the Hoefferles in the afternoon.
 All of the extra pool time was showing us that we really needed our own sets of goggles, instead of relying on the loaners at swim lessons all of the time.  New goggles should be sported all of the time, right?
 We celebrated Miss Peyton's sixth birthday with a great big cousin party.  Don't think that she is wearing the crown just because it is her birthday.  These girls love everything princess and pretty.
 Our first attempt to swim in Palo Verde Pool (only a couple of blocks from Kent and Annette's house) was thwarted by a thunderstorm, so we had to go for a second attempt.  This one was much more successful.
 All of the fairly competent swimmers did a bunch of group jumps into the deep end of the pool.
 We had lots and lots of fun.  Sammy decided that he should be counted among the competent swimmers, and I ended up putting him back in his floaties when he went to the 15 inch deep toddler splash pool because he kept attempting to follow Ryan in headfirst.  Sammy has the skills to go in, but he doesn't have the skills to get himself out.
 Sammy hadn't even gotten fully clothed again after the pool when he fell asleep on Grandpa.  Grandpa looks like a baby hostage in this picture, doesn't he?  I promise I took the awkward baby off of him as soon as I had a picture.
 One swim a day isn't always enough.  After a brief rest, we went to see Uncle Fred at his apartment complex.  Although the tired kids insisted that they were too tired to swim, the sight of the pool changed their minds, and they were all in the water almost immediately.
 Uncle Fred, who is like the pied piper with kids, exhibited a previously unrevealed talent for making balloon animals.  In the heat the poor balloon animals were not long for this world, but they delighted and amused while they lasted.
 And, just like that, our Arizona time was gone.  We left the next morning for Phoenix and the airport.
 The flight felt long, but we got home in moderately good spirits.
 All of the traveling may have made some of us a little crazy. . .
 . . . or just plain silly. . .

 but we are going to miss all of the fun we had with these characters-- I mean cousins!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

B's Primary Talk on Reverence

Being reverent means being quiet during a prayer, and being quiet during sacrament meeting.  I am quiet during prayers because it shows Heavenly Father that I can be close to Him.  Being reverent is choosing the right.
My mom and my dad show me how we can be reverent.  We have prayers every time we eat, and personal prayers, and night prayers, and morning family prayer.  All the prayers help me have a time to practice being reverent.  

I be quiet to be reverent.  We fold our arms so they are not wiggling and playing.  Close our eyes so it can look like we’re in heaven.  Bow our head to show Heavenly Father He’s important to us.  

I know that we can be reverent during the prayer.  Being reverent is choosing the right.  I know Heavenly Father and Jesus love me.  

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.  

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Tucson Temple Time!

Temple worship is an important part of our faith in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  For many years, the closest temple to Todd's family in Tucson, Arizona has been in Mesa, Arizona, two and a half hours away.  Todd's parents have been temple workers in the past, but the drive has become prohibitive due to health issues over the last several years.  The Knights, and most of the saints, or church members, in Tucson have been praying for a temple to be built closer to them for a very long time.  When a Tucson temple was announced in October 2012, we knew that it would be an important temple for our family.  Ground was broken for the temple in 2015, and we have followed the construction eagerly.  When dates were announced for the open house, we bought plane tickets so that we could be there and experience it in person.  The day finally arrived!  On June 3 we flew from Seattle to Phoenix.  
 We were a little early for our flight, but there is plenty to see in an airport.
 Sammy actually got mad when we got on our plane because it became impossible to look at other planes when he had his seat belt on.  This was his first flight where he was required to have his own seat.  He was not a fan of sitting solo.
 We picked up a car in Phoenix and drove to Gilbert to see our friends the Broadbents.  They had a family of birds nesting in a wreath on their front door.  I can't imagine that ever happening in our house, where the door swings open and closed about a hundred times a day, but it was over a hundred degrees there, so maybe they keep the door shut more often.  Sammy was hilarious in the heat.  He kept looking at his hands with an expression on his face that said, "What is this feeling?!"
We spent the night at Colette's house, since Annette had just gotten back a week at girls' camp, and needed some uninterrupted sleep.  Sammy didn't settle down well in a new environment, surrounded by excitement, so he was tired on Sunday.  He refused to go to nursery without me, and when he was so clingy that we gave up on nursery, he was too noisy to keep in relief society.  We ended up in the foyer amusing ourselves with selfies and waiting for church to be over.
 We spent some of the afternoon with cousins at Colette and Jacob's house before going to Grandma's house for dinner, and the rest of our sleeps in Tucson.
Every day that we were in Tucson, all of the Knight children were up at the crack of dawn.  We are not used to such early sunlight, I guess.  All of our bedrooms are on the sunset side of our house at home, and even when the sun is peeping out from behind the clouds before 10 a.m. (which is rare), the trees block direct sunlight from reaching our house before about 8 or 9 a.m.  That isn't to say that our kids don't normally get up early.  They do.  Normal early is 6:30.  Tucson early is everyone up before 6.  Oh, well.  This way they all got to enjoy playing outside before the heat became unbearable.  We even made it to the playground at the park a couple of times.  When it got hot, we just played with water on the trampoline,
 Or in the kiddie pool.  Sammy loved the little pool.  He would have stayed there all day.
 We went from yard swimming in the morning to pool swimming in the afternoon.  All of the Tucson pools are free to kids under 18 all summer, and only $2 for each adult.  We met the Campbells and Justin and Marie and their girls, Peyton and McKenzie, at the pool.  Sammy did a lot of spontaneous sleeping on this trip.  Sitting in the shade at 104 degrees is not very cool and restful.  He did wake up and let us swim eventually.
 I have cute nieces and nephews.  Rachel looked like a zombie when she took her goggles off.
 After swimming we went back to Grandma and Grandpa's house for some games.
 I believe that Ryan had turned into some kind of a zombie, too.
 Our big event for Tuesday was a trip to the actual Tucson LDS temple, which was open to all for several weeks before it will be closed to the public, and only open to temple recommend holders who are church members.  This means that kids under age 12 won't be permitted inside the temple.  My kids were very excited to see what the temple is like inside.
Although the Tucson temple is much closer than the Mesa temple, it is on the opposite side of Tucson from where Grandma and Grandpa Knight live, and Tucson is a huge, sprawling city.  It was a significant drive to get there.  We amused ourselves in the back seat with selfies.
 We have way too much fun.
Sammy fell asleep on the way there, and stubbornly refused to wake up until he realized that all of his cousins were there, too.  He is very attached to his "tuzzins."  The temple was beautiful inside and out.  It was a very special experience to be there, and well worth the trip for us.  We didn't get any pictures outside, since it was 104 degrees outside, and we were trying to keep the kids from drying up and blowing away like tumbleweeds, but we did get a family picture next to a print of the temple in the reception area outside of the temple doors, which was cooled slightly by hard working mobile a/c units.  
After the temple we were cooking in the heat, so we went for Eegees.  Eegees is a big part of what makes Tucson tolerable.
At Eegees, Grandma handed out a paper for the kids to write down their memories from this important, long anticipated day.  I'm so glad we got this opportunity to focus on what is really important to us.  In temples, our families can be sealed together for time and all eternity.  There is no parting for us at death if we have been married in the temple. Coincidentally, our Tucson temple day coincided with our eleventh wedding anniversary.  Here are a couple of ancient pictures of me and Todd on the day we were sealed in the Logan, Utah temple.
 Weren't we cute?
 Marrying Todd was the best thing I have ever done.  I am thankful to know that we get more than one lifetime to be together.  Time would never have been enough.

Winding up the school year

To wind up the month of May, and most of our school events for the school year, we started with science class and swimming lessons.  
 Sammy discovered that he can fit into the short lockers in the pool locker rooms.  This has only resulted in a few smashed fingers.
 We had a trip to the dentist.  No new cavities, and Eloise has her first loose tooth!  It has a grown up tooth already coming in behind it, so it had better come out soon.
Our Tuesday piano lessons have turned into guided tours of the Nielsons' yard.  There is an abundance of alpine strawberries that are ripe, and Sister Nielson will open the shed and get out her kids' old skateboards for the Knights to play on, if they ask.  
 We got together with another homeschool family who we don't know well to take apart some appliances.  Then we had a picnic lunch and some cookies in their back yard, where they keep goats and chickens, which were Sammy and B's favorite thing about this adventure.
 Sammy never seems to react appropriately to pain.  He came in from outside one day, announcing in a cheerful voice, "Mom! I got hurt!"  I saw that he was still walking, noticed that he had a dirty diaper, and didn't think anything of his proclaimed injury until after I had changed him.  He popped up from the changing mat and told me again, "I got hurt outside!"  and held up his hand.  His thumb was swollen almost to the size of the rest of his hand!  After asking a few of the right questions (not an easy thing to do with a two year old), I managed to understand that he had gotten hurt by a bumblebee, which he had tried to pick up.  The stinger was gone, but he wanted a band aid anyway.  "Bumblebee hurt my pinger!"
We went to a library program about life cycles of butterflies and ladybugs for Dorothy, who is fascinated by ladybugs.  It was fascinating, and age appropriate for my kids.  Most of the audience was in the two and under age group, so I think it went over their heads, but I learned some things.  Our library system is the best.  
 We had a warm, sunny day.  The thermometer crept up to brush against 80 degrees, so we went to the beach park.
 Temperatures stayed warmish, so Todd and most of the kids thought it would be a good time for jumping on the trampoline with the sprinkler underneath.  Sammy and I weren't crazy.  It was way too cold and shady for sprinklers.
 Sammy doesn't go down for naps at home anymore, but he frequently takes car naps.  Sometimes he stubbornly stays asleep, even when we are at piano lessons, where he could be playing.
 We wrapped up our history curriculum for the year with a famous person report.
 Jared did Genghis Khan.  He got really into it.  It was fantastic.
 Eloise was King Arthur.  Sammy was her page.
 Dorothy was Mohammed.
And just like that, we were done, sort of.  Some of our school activities go on all year.  We won't be done with swimming lessons for another week, and piano lessons go year round, but our two "school" classes, science and history, are done until fall classes start.  Eloise has finished kindergarten, and Jared is done with second grade.  B recently started reading short words, earning himself a library card, but we probably won't start kindergarten with him until January.