E discovered he had a loose tooth last week and has had fun wiggling it. Last night I brushed his teeth for him and told him to rinse. He spit into the sink and then said, “I think my tooth just came out!” Sure enough, there was a teeny tiny tooth in the sink. I had brushed it right out. He was very excited!
What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas judging by my blog. Or in other words my blogging time which was once called Keeping-up-with-my-15-year-old’s-algebra is now known as We’ve-moved-on-to-geometry!
But we actually did go to Las Vegas in March and I’m just now getting around to blogging about it. It was a very quick trip. DH’s aunt was there for a conference, so his mom decided to fly in for a fun weekend with her sister, and invited us to drive down and meet up with them. (Which always sounds like, oh, fun, a road trip! Then the logistics of work schedules and children and lots of driving make it a little more complicated!)
Miracle of miracles, DH was able to get someone to work for him that Saturday so we could be gone for 48 hours. We left Thursday night after cello lessons and drove straight through, pulling in around 1 a.m., which with the time zone change, we kidded ourselves, was only midnight! By the time we got checked into our room and actually fell into bed, it did indeed feel like the 2 a.m. it was in Utah. And of course children woke up at the crack of dawn.
Little A is getting to be like her big brother and doesn’t want to smile for the camera, but was at least happy to hang out with Nana. All those Facetime calls are making Nana familiar.
After watching the dolphins play underwater, we watched them interact with the trainers and get fed.
D especially loves tigers and was thrilled that they had two tiger cubs there, one orange and one white. They were quite playful and watching them made his day!
Then we hiked and hiked and why does everything on the Strip feel like it’s a mile away from the parking garages? Finally we made it to the Cheesecake Factory in Caesar’s Palace where Nana took us out for a late lunch (a belated birthday meal for DH.) We watched the fish in the aquarium while we waited for a table and drank chocolate milk.
The lighting was really weird.
We also watched the animatronic fountain show before hiking back to the car.
Nana and Aunt S had to get ready to go to a show, so we said goodbye at this point and headed back to our hotel. Little A fell asleep in the car and stayed asleep once in our room, so I took the opportunity to rest with her. E was determined to swim so C, D, and DH went with him down to the outdoor pool where they lasted for only a few minutes because the wind was quite fierce just then. It was warm compared to home, but still not quite hot enough for outdoor swimming.
We had stuffed ourselves at lunch and still had quite a few leftovers so we didn’t even need dinner, but ended up at Nana’s hotel where we could spread out a little. She had a kitchenette and a living room. We should have stayed there! There was a basketball tournament in Las Vegas that weekend and we had a terrible time finding a nice and affordable room, especially when we were looking last minute. We found The Hobbit on tv and ended up watching the rest of it. I think our lack of sleep the night before was catching up to us.
We convinced the boys to get up and catch the water show at the Bellagio before heading back to our room to bed. But again, because we had to park so far away and walk out to the street, we missed half of it. I don’t think the boys even cared. Since we were there, I wanted to see the gardens inside. They were still decorated with a Chinese New Year theme.
I also really loved the Chihuly glass sculptures in the lobby ceiling.
Across the way, the Eiffel Tower!
And no, it’s not like almost being in Paris. I don’t care what the ads say. Nothing in Las Vegas feels like the real thing.
The next day after breakfast, we headed out to Red Rock Canyon conservation area. It was nice to get away from the city. We walked around the visitor’s center and exhibits before driving the 13-mile loop. It was pretty warm and looking at the time and knowing we had a long drive ahead of us we didn’t feel we could spend the time it would take to do any hiking. Maybe next time.
So we said our goodbyes and hit the road, missing the quickest turn off back to the I-15. Then we needed gas so DH told me to look for a Costco or Sam’s. We finally found one, but it took a very long time to get off the freeway and back to the Sam’s Club that looked oh, so close from the freeway, and then it took forever to get gas there on a Saturday. Then we needed a recharger for our cell phones which were down to almost nothing battery wise and our other car charger was toast. So we stopped at Walmart. Then we were starving, so we stopped at Smash Burger for a late lunch? dinner? Then we finally hit the road. 6.5 hour drive, plus the time zone change adding an hour, stopping in Cedar City for gas and snacks, at Grandma’s house to pick up my cello, and we pulled in our driveway at 11:15 p.m. And it was the night we switched to Daylight Saving’s Time, so DH got about 4 hours of sleep before he had to head back to work!
Seriously, it was good to see Nana and Aunt S. And D says the tigers were worth it.
We didn’t do much for Easter this year. DH had to work that Sunday. (Recurring theme around here.) The boys, or maybe just C, really wanted to color some eggs, so we broke out the dye the night before. Little A was quite enthralled with the whole process.
I was surprised that E let me take his picture. That was my one and only chance though, because he wanted nothing to do with photos the next day. (Some day we’ll look back and say wait, didn’t we have five children that year?)
I never did find an Easter dress I liked for Little A, but she had a dress she got for her birthday that she hadn’t worn yet, so it can count as a new Easter dress.
Here she is showing off the big poufy skirt, and A is modelling his new suit. He went to Prom at Liahona Academy. All the distance ed. students ages 14 and up were invited. But those not yet 16 couldn’t bring dates! I was really surprised that he wanted to go, but he said he had a really good time. He got to see a lot of people he knew from youth conference in the fall.
He’s needed a new suit for a while now, so we hit the Easter sales at JCPenney’s and got a pretty good deal. He’s outgrown the young men’s department so we had to move into the men’s. They have a “Super Slim” fit that was just perfect for him!
D finally got his Webelos badge and Arrow of Light!
What a process!
He turned ten a year and a half ago in November. For most of last year he was the only Webelos scout in our entire stake. (They met as a stake for cub scouts and boy scouts because there were so few boys downtown.) Knowing there was a change in requirements for all cub scout badges coming last June, the leaders didn’t do much in the first half of the year towards earning the Webelos badge, and that was when they even had Webelos leaders. Most of the time, D would dress in his scout uniform, show up to scouts, and be put in with the Bears doing the same activities he’d done the year before. He got some great experience being a leader, but not much else.
If we hadn’t been trying to clean up the house and get it sold, I would have (and really should have) done much more with him at home, but it was beyond me last year. So then we finally moved to a new ward and stake, and there are 11 boys D’s age!!! Needless to say, it’s a whole different world out here. They do scouts on a ward level (for obvious reasons) and there are some really strong scout leaders. The boys are loving it!
But I was quite alarmed when I looked at everything D still needed to do to finish up his Webelos badge when it was already September and his birthday was fast approaching. His leaders were great though, and thankfully one of them told me that the boys have until six months after their 11th birthday to finish the Webelos badge. She also told me that he could have done half of the old requirements and half of the new, since there was a change in the middle of the year. That would have been helpful to know a few months back!
I knew we could finish up the Webelos badge, but they make a really big deal out of the Arrow of Light ceremony, and he really wanted to earn that as well. About six of his friends received their Arrow of Light shortly after we moved in and he really wanted to have that same experience. They had a lady come with her hawk and falcon to do the Arrow of Light ceremony.
I thought we would for sure have plenty of time to finish all of the requirements, but in our typical fashion, we were frantically finishing up requirements the week before pack meeting was scheduled. But it all turned out well and he has moved on to Boy Scouts!
Pinning the Webelos pin on Dad:
He got a real arrow that she had made. It looks a lot cooler than the standard yellow plastic arrows his two brothers have! Plus someone in the ward makes these really great wall hangings for each of the boys to display their arrows on.
We went through the Provo City Center Temple open house way back in February. It was one of those crazy weeks for DH. I don’t even remember what happened, but he ended up having to work and not being able to come with us.
(As an aside, he got to talk to some Secret Service agents last month and one of them had worked a total of 375 hours in February. That’s over 90 hours per week. He hadn’t had a day off in forever. So maybe I’ll quit complaining about how much DH has been working lately! He had two 80-hour weeks in a row, but nothing close to 90-hour weeks continually.)
So we slept over at Grandma and Poppa’s house after my cello lessons one Thursday so we wouldn’t have to drive all the way home and then back to Provo the next day. We had to make a morning run to Walmart because D forgot his Sunday pants (and tie) and only had a pair of jeans with holes in the knees. We thought maybe going in the morning on a school day, it wouldn’t be so busy. Wrong. It was crazy. And cold. We stood in line down in the parking garage for a Very Long Time. It was mostly peaceful though. I think everybody felt the sacredness of the building we were about to enter into and it radiated back to the waiting line. I just wish DH had been there. Little A did not want to be put down, so A, C, and I traded off holding her until our arms were about ready to fall off.
At last it was our turn to sit down and watch a short video about temples and then we had to wait some more. At least we were sitting now and it was heated. Finally we were able to walk through the temple. It was amazing to see what the old tabernacle had become after fire 5 years ago destroyed all but the outermost walls. It is always wonderful to be able to walk through temples as a family (six of us anyway), for we know that it is only through temple ordinances that we can be together as a family for eternity. It is one of our greatest blessings.
E and Little A were getting pretty wiggly, but there were enough items of interest to point out to keep them engaged. As soon as we were outside though, E had had it. He didn’t want his picture taken. He didn’t want to stand still at all. I would have liked to walk around a little bit more and see the outside, but he was done. So we got a few pictures and then had to be on to our next destination. Because if we’re going to be in Provo, we should do All The Things.
Lunch took forever, and then we were late for our appointment at the BYU Museum of Art to see the Norman Rockwell exhibit. If it hadn’t been the very last weekend to see it, I would have just gone home and come back another time. Without DH to help me with the two youngest, I was exhausted with two big activities and crowds of people. Everything took a lot longer than I thought it would.
They got to pose for their own Saturday Evening Post cover:
Here are the few pictures I took at the temple. This makes 150 operating temples around the world!