Thursday, July 24, 2014

Traveling with the troops

We are enjoying our major summer vacation right now - traveling through the midwest on our way to Nauvoo, IL.  Our church owns a historic town there where they have restored buildings and put on musicial productions to celebrate the sacrifices of the pioneers moving west in the mid 1800's. We are currently in Kansas City, MO where there are a few more church historical sites to visit.  If we gave our children the choice between Disneyland and Nauvoo, they would choose Nauvoo. 

We take a big vacation like this every other year.  Every year would be too expensive!  Not to mention a lot of work. Just a few days before coming on this trip, in a moment of busyness, mostly due to getting ready to go on this vacation, Deanne said, "I need a vacation.".  I looked at her and she realized, "Oh yeah, we are going on one in a few days."  That just goes to show you that we don't view our family vacations as a "vacation".  Thus, the need to take a parental vacation after we get done with the family vacation.

That doesn't mean we don't have fun or enjoy being with the kids doing things in new places.  It's just full of work and logistical challenges.  But with those challenges comes many humerous circumstances that even we could not anticipate.  Here a few so far:

Kids hiding in the shower.

The look of an overcapacity hotel room.
1.   We can never tell the front desk at the hotels how many will be in the room.  We normally get two rooms, but we still exceed occupancy limits in each room by about 4 or 5 persons.  We can't legally reserve more rooms because you have to have someone over 18 years old in each room.  So either way we are against fire codes. We are in a Days Inn in Liberty, MO and we had the owner come in to look at a poorly installed bathroom door knob.  As I was with him in one of our rooms, Deanne asked with a little panic, "Does he have to check both bathrooms?"  I soon realized the cause of her concern.  She had packed about 5 kids in the other bathroom and shut the door to hide them while the owner was in the other room, afraid that when he saw the entire group, he would kick us out.  He did notice a few extra bodies around and becuse of the multi-racial mix, he must not have assumed we are all one family.  He asked, "Are they here for a picnic?"  I quickly saw a way to steer clear of our code violation and said, "Yes, we are going to a park for a picnic!"  Eviction avoided!


2.  Each morning we stuff the extra sleeping bags, blankets and pillows from the floor sleepers in our extra car so we don't tip off the housekeeping staff that we have so many bodies in the room.  We ended up bringing two cars because just before we left we had trouble with the transmission in our bus and didn't have time to get it fixed.  So the Impala in the forground is our daytime storage while we pile everyone in the van in the background for our small day trips.

3.  We visited the LDS visitors center in Independence, MO.  They have full time missionaries giving tours and information regarding the church.  They play a video about how families can be together forever that features a family who loses a grandparent. In her introduction to the video presentation, one of the missionaries invited us to watch a video about a "typical Mormon family like ours".  We had seen the video previously and we knew that the family in the video had 3 children. So at that point I whispered to Deanne, "A typical Mormon family like ours....minus 15!"

All in all, the trip is going very well and we are very thankful for the pool.  The humidity in the midwest makes it feel like a sauna to us rocky mountain dwellers.

More of our relaxing vacation later...


Thursday, July 3, 2014

Pool fun at night

 Three teenaged boys... a pool... a 14 foot ladder.... and a ball.  Nevermind that it was 10:00 at night, Creed, Pierce and Casey were gong to have a "swim".



Landing in about 40 inches of water, they had to almost do belly flops or back flops to avoid hitting the bottom too hard.  After they were safely back inside they devoured an entire loaf of mom's homemade bread making toast.

Stray Pony

Most people have stray dogs wander into their yard. We had a stray pony this week. The grass was greener....
Deanne loves having thick green grass.  But in her love for living things and as act of charity, she told Casey to go move the pony to another part of the grass - so he didn't eat it bare in just one spot.


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

In His Own Words

Last week Hyrum was asked if he would like to give a talk in Primary. Of course, he said yes but in Hyrum style it was with jumping and extreme excitement. Sunday morning we sat down on the couch, I with pen and paper and Hyrum dictated what he wanted to say. I am of the opinion that these talks are for my children and I should allow them to say what they want to say. If they get too off base I will redirect them back to the topic. Hyrum needed no redirecting. We wrote his talk and in church he got up and gave it with confidence.

Here is Hyrum's talk. I added some ands and tos but otherwise this is in his own words.

Jesus keeps us safe from bad guys. The bad guy is Satan. When we do bad things that Satan wants us to do then Jesus helps us repent. Jesus wants us to repent and have the Holy Ghost. Jesus wants to see us again. We need to follow Jesus so we can live with him and Gideon.

Jesus wants us to be happy. Some ways to be happy are to clean our room and our bed. Go to church. Be nice and have bread. We can be happy when we play outside and do what mom and dad says. Jesus gave us the Priesthood so we can be happy.

I am happy that I will get to talk to Jesus when we are dead. I love Jesus. In the name of Jesus Christ Amen.