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.

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