We started out Monday with nitrile glove water balloons. That quickly devolved into the boys morphing into chicken headed creatures. They were delighted the gloves could still fit on their heads with a bit more coaxing than last time. Everett won the gold medal when his glove also made his nose stick up like a pig's, the popping noise his nose made when it was freed from the glove still makes me laugh. Silly boys. Right after piano lessons from 10-11 am we packed up to visit Justin at work. Sunday Evelyn begged Justin for a chance to "come see him at work to play in his office and eat at Jimmy John's." Lucky girl got all those items checked off her list. We had some lunch first...I am amazed that Josie can pound down an entire sandwich all by herself! She ate more than Phillip! After lunch we admired how well the crane operators across the street were moving concrete and supplies about at the construction site. The kids quite enjoyed using Justin's office supplies to make him a new rash of art decorations. The favorite supplies were: stapler, stamper, word corrector, colored marker strips, hole punches, and paper clips. Everett wrote a sweet poem on the white board, "My Dad is as brave as a tiger and as sweet as candy (heart) Everett PS. this is 1,000% Everett's writing." Phillip not to be outdone drew an evil poop emoji with words, "evil, angry, Daddy, devil, poop emoji!" Josie drew a robot, her favorite character to draw! We passed a couple of Justin's coworkers on our way out. I think stunned was a good descriptor word. I miss our celebrity status earned in Justin's office at Cabela's, visiting there was always fun.
The little girls and I made a large batch of salt dough for our Make-It Monday time. We separated the ingredients into smaller bowls so I could mix up various colors of the rainbow for each bowl. I love the recipe we use, makes a very soft and pliable dough. Our kitchen table was covered the rest of the week with play dough and the accompanying toys. We managed to keep the table clean for 3 entire hours on Tuesday! Hooray for us.
Most of Tuesday was spent deep cleaning our house. We started the torture upstairs making sure all the bedrooms were presentable. We worked for an hour downstairs until the kids mutinied. I sent them out to swim while I worked on the smaller, harder areas to clean. Evelyn and Josie helped me mop the floors! In spite of the photos, they seemed to enjoy the work. At one point Everett commented, "Mom it seems like you're having a terrible day, your face is mad and we're not listening!" Yep, that about covered it. The sister missionaries were supposed to come over for dinner but did not show up. It worked out fine since Joe and Kat were also due to arrive any moment. I warned them that the missionaires might be around, that I had no nefarious intentions on their souls. Joe and Kat pulled up around 7:20 pulling a trailer filled with all their earthly belongings. They sold or got rid of everything else! Those two are on an adventure to see Europe for the next 6-12 months. Kat settled into the little girls room with their two cats Violet and Lily and dog Samwise. We were quite concerned about how Vader would take to little Samwise. He was a nerd bonker for a while but then calmed down. The two had little spats here and there but otherwise tolerated the other just fine! The girls were quite taken with the cats! We enjoyed carnita burritos for dinner. Joe and Kat were exhausted after that long drive. They turned in after settling in.
We did not do much on Wednesday. Amelia spent the day with her Harry Potter nerd friends at Ruby's house. Some older teens made fun of Amelia's nerd group. She retorted, "Well, I was reading 240 WPM in the 2nd grade and read the entire series in 10 days!" Take that teenagers. I hear the kids enjoyed watching two Harry Potter movies, drank warm butterbeer, ate pizza, and played Gatcha Life (Amelia's newest obsession). At home Ryan, Owen, and Taylor all came over to play. Joe and Kat got to see our house in normal operation. I sent the boys over to the Payne's so they could play on their huge water slide. I hear over 14 kids were at the Payne's home. Joe jumped into the pool after Josie's nap with all the kiddos. Everett loved how high Joe could launch the kids into the water. We went to Moreno's for dinner so Joe could try out a Sonoran hot dog. My kids were puzzled over Joe drinking beer for dinner. It's hard for them to understand that not many people actually believe what we believe as members of the Church of Jesus Christ. Joe pounded down three plates of good, authentic Mexican food! He approved! We all had a chance to sign the trailer, Everett was upset he only got a palm sized space to decorate. Josie drew her famous robot. Those two drove off into the sunrise around 4 am headed to their next adventure.
Urban Jungle was calling our names! We used our Pogo passes to enjoy 90 minutes of energetic trampoline park play. Jacob tagged along for the afternoon. Our house already turned back into it's normal cluttered mess. Evelyn lost half of her toys because she refuses to pick up her messes. I started boxing it all up when she throws a fit.
Amelia's friend Makayla came over Friday for the day. The girls made pina colada lollipops as a diversion. Half the neighborhood ended up in our pool as well! Happy to open our doors! Saturday Amelia went with me to food shop at Walmart. She left her lollipop in the van, when we came back it had completely melted. It was a very hot day. Justin helped the Russo's pack up their storage units. We are so sad they moved away, especially Everett. The boys worked hard mowing the lawn with Justin. We quite enjoyed a long session in the neighborhood pool. I saw Courtenay taking photos and video under the water while on vacation. My phone can handle the water so we took some fun videos and photos while swimming! I was not feeling very well, three headaches in one week. Uck.
Amelia gave her first sacrament meeting talk on Sunday. She spoke on Family history using Elder Bednar's Oct 2012 talk. She did so well that the bishop said he can't wait to have her give another talk. I was impressed she spoke clearly and loudly! Yeah! She looked darling with cute curled hair. Here is her talk:
A couple weeks ago I was asked to give a talk on Family History. Elder Bednar gave a talk in General Conference, October 2011, entitled “The Hearts of the Children Shall Turn.” My remarks are based on his talk. How important is family history? Elder Bednar describes Joseph Smith’s experience with Moroni three years after the First Vision. He said: Moroni’s instructions to the young prophet ultimately included two primary themes: (1) the Book of Mormon and (2) the words of Malachi foretelling the role of Elijah in the Restoration “of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” Thus, the introductory events of the Restoration revealed a correct understanding of the Godhead, emphasized the importance of the Book of Mormon, and anticipated the work of salvation and exaltation for both the living and the dead. This inspiring sequence is instructive about the spiritual matters of highest priority to Deity.
We knew of the importance of temple work even before the church was restored! If we look at the number of temples in 2011 when this talk was given, the church had 136 temples, and just 8 years later, there are 209 temples. That’s progress!!!
Elder Russell M. Nelson has taught that the Spirit of Elijah is “a manifestation of the Holy Ghost bearing witness of the divine nature of the family” This spirit of Elijah affects people inside and outside of our church. People want to know where they come from. My mom loves to watch the show Relative Race on BYUtv. It is a program that follows contestants across the USA in search of their lost family members. Why is finding our family such a drive in today’s world? We want to know where we came from. My own name is a daily reminder of where I come from. I am named after my mother’s two grandmothers. I get Amelia from my Great-Grandma Amelia, my middle name is Jean which both my Great-Grandma’s share. All my siblings have family names found in our history. We talk about these ancestors so we know where our history comes from.
We have temples, we have the Spirit of Elijah urging us on. How do we get the names from our family to the temple? That is what family history is all about! It is the process of researching our past, uncovering names and connections in our family trees, then entering that information into FamilySearch. Family Search then helps us figure out which persons need temple work completed. Who can do all this needed research? I now turn back to the words of Elder Bednar.
“I now invite the attention of the young women, young men, and children of the rising generation as I emphasize the importance of the Spirit of Elijah in your lives today. Many of you may think family history work is to be performed primarily by older people. But I know of no age limit described in the scriptures or guidelines announced by Church leaders restricting this important service to mature adults. You are sons and daughters of God, children of the covenant, and builders of the kingdom. You need not wait until you reach an arbitrary age to fulfill your responsibility to assist in the work of salvation for the human family.”
When I read this quote, I immediately went to FamilySearch and found some names. I feel excited to find names and take them to the temple. I went to the temple for the first time in February to do baptisms and confirmations for people in my family line. That was an amazing experience for me. I felt excited, nervous, and peaceful! Elder Bednar promised the youth if we respond to the invitation to engage in the work of Elijah that “you will be protected against the intensifying influence of the adversary. As you participate in and love this holy work, you will be safeguarded in your youth and throughout your lives.” Ummmm, yes please! I’d love any protection I can get!
I’d like to bear my testimony that I know this Church is true, that Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father love us, and that Joseph Smith restored the true church to the earth. I know that the sealing keys of Elijah are on the earth today. I’m grateful for Elder Bednar’s promise to the youth that if we participate in Family history work, We will be protected from Satan. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.