Sunday, May 20, 2018

End of March, Beginning of April: Haggin's sealing and Jane's baptism

We returned from our trip late Friday evening March 29th, Scott's mom picked us up from the airport, bless her heart. She did so much that week and a half for the kids, we're grateful she was able to come and spend time with them as she lives out in NC so we only get to see her about once a year. Friday afternoon was the Haggins sealing at the Oquirrh Mountain Temple. It was beautiful and we were so happy we could be there with them. Here are Mark, Stacey and Kira outside of the temple just after their sealing. 
Nora and a couple of school projects:
Saturday was general conference so we got some fun snacks and the kids pulled out some games and coloring activities and we hunkered down at home for the day.
Sunday was Easter and as per tradition, we hid laminated construction paper eggs around the house with clues on them, and the kids followed the clues to find their Easter baskets (which were hidden in our bedroom closet). As a family they got a new Hank Smith cd (motivational speaker for teens) and some fun snacks plus a Dollar Tree gift (jump ropes, sidewalk chalk, frisbee etc). I like getting them chips because it takes up a lot of room in their baskets (i like sun chips because there's not as many ingredients as some others and they don't have msg).
After we did baskets we got set up for conference again.

And we went for a walk in between sessions and played at the field nearby for a bit.
Lizzie likes her selfies :)! She's a true teen!
The next week the kids were out of school for Spring Break. We took grandma hiking one day to Rocky Mouth Trail.

There's a Savers near the trail so we dropped in and I let the kids each pick a book. We love books!
Tuesday my good friend Lindsay was moving (they lived in South Jordan and are moving to Bountiful area) so we asked to have her kids over for a few hours to play which would be fun for us and which would allow her a few hours sans kids to get things done.

One day Grandma helped Jane and Nora go through their drawers and get rid of clothes and roll up everything else nicely and put them away. I love doing this. It's nice to do it a couple of times a year, just go through everything and get rid of stuff because we always have too much.
Grandpa Smith flew in Wednesday and Granny, Becca, Blake and Bella drove out Thursday evening  so they could all be here for Jane's baptism on Saturday. We LOVED having all the family with us!
 I got us tickets to go to the Jordan River Temple open house Friday morning as it was renovated and would be rededicated.

Friday afternoon I took mom to meet an old BYU roommate for lunch. We found a Thai place in West Valley (in between our home and the roomies home in Toole) that was very good!
Snapped this picture Saturday morning before Jane's baptism. Love it!
Mom and Angela helped me clean and do food prep for the luncheon we had after the baptism; they were awesome!
The program was filled with family members doing talks, prayers, music etc and it was beautiful! So grateful for all the family for pitching in.

Uncle Fred and Luann were able to make it and it was fun to catch up with them.
Fred gave Elisabeth a little lesson on how to arrange your own pieces; he's so good at that!
Once everyone took off we cleaned up and then headed to the bowling alley for a some lazer tag and bowling.

Lazer tag was actually super fun! We'll have to go againn sometime.

I'm horrible at bowling so I mostly watched and cheered. It was fun to be with everyone, hanging out.
I loved Elisabeth's bowling moves :)!  Just look at that leg!

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Europe Trip: Rome

We got back into Rome Tuesday night and went straight to our "hotel", more like a flat, but totally remolded, beautiful and spacious. The owner was so kind and stayed up late waiting for us to get in, then showed us around, told us to help ourselves to food in the fridge and on the counter (we share a kitchen with a couple other rooms) and then pulled out a map of Rome and showed us an ideal walk for the following day where we'd hit all the main attractions. We woke up Wednesday morning and took an Uber out to see the LDS temple being built in Rome. It was about a 30 minute car drive (32 euro or so which was a lot more than public transportation, but we only had a day in Rome so we didn't want to take the bus/metro both ways).  The temple and visitors center and surrounding area is almost done. The construction worker we talked to said they should be done by this summer...then shortly after we got home from the trip we found out they plan to hold the open house next year in eary 2019 and the dedication should be in March. 

After the temple we took the bus/metro back to our flat(took about an hour to travel home), rested for about half hour and then went out again for our grand walk through Rome :). Lots, and lots of people around, lots of people selling things on the street or doing some sort of entertainment trying to make some money.
Rome felt very noisy and crowded compared to Salzburg. Salzburg still had a lot of tourists, but not like Rome, and the people are more quiet in Salzburg and they don't honk horns and they aren't as aggressive and in-your-face. But we still enjoyed our walk, we enjoyed seeing the history and eating gelato :).


I was super excited when we found one of Scott's old favorite gelato spots (he lived in Rome for 6 months during his mission) and learned they have even more flavors and they had probably 20 vegan flavors!! Now I could eat it and not worry about getting a stomach ache after!

St Peters

Uh, we did not want to buy these bracelets, or any bracelet for that matter, but like I said, the people are a lot more aggressive and in-your-face so we came home with a couple of matching elephant bracelets some African guy was selling in front of St Peters, plus 5 matching beaded bracelets for the kids :). The guy actually stepped closer and looked into my wallet as I was paying him and asked for 'bigger money'. And his wallet was full which I know because he showed it to us, when he was explaining that he wanted 'bigger money' like the ones in his wallet. I wanted to say, 'hey, why don't you share some of that with me!' But I didn't.

Outside the Colloseum. We didn't actually go inside St Peters, Vatican or Colloseum this time around (we did on our honeymoon nearly 15 years ago), because we only had a day, the lines were crazy long and we'd seen it before so we just took pictures and walked on.
In total we walked around 13 miles, or so my watch tells me.
Here we are finishing our night at the Spanish Steps. 

We headed for home and grabbed a late dinner near our flat. They served us a HUGE appetizer and by the time we finsihed that we were full and so barely touched our dinner. Our waitor was a little concerned and mentioned it twice that we didn't eat much, but we told him that we honestly loved the food but were too stuffed (and we didn't ask to take it home because we were flying out the following morning).

All in all a wonderful trip! We loved spending time together whether it was in the airport, on the plane, on a metro or train, or walking around a lovely city. I really think we should try to get away a little more often now that our kids are getting older, maybe once every year or every other year, and it could be anywhere. We loved visiting and walking and hiking and biking and eating wherever we wanted and not having to worry about kids getting too tired etc. Just us! And we LOVED salzburg and would love to go back again someday.