Thursday, April 15, 2010

We Went to See the Temple . . .

 


We went to see our church's new temple at an open house this week. We knew it would be beautiful and that we would enjoy our time there, but we did have a few surprises. . . .

For example, we could not have guessed that while Jason and I were looking at a mural painted on one of the walls, Janae and Ben would decide to pretend to get married :)

 


We also didn't know that Janae knew the word "chandelier," but she used it about a hundred times, saying, "We are going to see a chandelier!" We can definitely add that to her vocabulary list.

Janae was surprised to hear that the tour ended with cookies in the chapel across the parking lot from the temple. But after she heard, she passed this information on to everyone she saw :)

Along with the cookies was the traditional "lemon water" but also the less common "cucumber water," which was a big hit with Janae. She loves her "cum-Q's."

 


Finally, I didn't realize we would have the chance to stand as a family and see what eternity would look like as we saw our reflections going on and on forever in the sealing room mirrors. That was the highlight of the experience for me--and really made me realize that I am a mom with three kids.

I am very happy that we can be a family forever.

 


Our facial expressions in the family picture were a bit of a surprise, too, but it is nice to have one of all of us together! :)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Tip of the Iceberg

A few months ago I told Jason what I wanted for my birthday: a Dairy Queen cake. I watched him record my request into his Blackberry, so I was pretty sure he would remember, and that I would get what I was hoping for.

Little did I know, Jason had other plans. BIG plans :)

A few weeks ago he wrote "Lisa's Birthday" on the calendar, blocking off THREE DAYS.

Surely it wouldn't take that long to eat a DQ cake!

Anyway, I soon found out we were going away for the weekend . . . to Whistler. Neither of us had ever been there before!

We arrived Friday afternoon. The kids LOVED the hotel and had lots of fun playing in the pillows and jumping back and forth between the beds. That evening we also checked out the pool, hot tub, sauna, and adjoining restaurant (Old Spaghetti Factory). Pretty fun, and that's without even leaving the hotel!



The next morning we headed out to see the town. Janae got a little sidetracked when she saw her best friend Miga--in giant size :)

 


But we urged her along to the ticket office where we got our Sightseers' passes to ride the gondola up the mountain, and from peak to peak between Whistler and Blackcomb.

Being new to Whistler, we weren't exactly sure what to expect, so when we saw the open ski-lift carts going up the mountain, I got a little nervous (since I was holding a wiggle baby, watching an unpredictable three year old and a very curious five year old). We were very relieved to find that we were in the wrong line--and headed over to the much more secure, closed-in gondolas.

 


We all had a lot of fun, looking down, down, down at the snowy trees, skiers, mountainside, lake, etc. One of our fellow passengers was a helpful woman who told us that when we rode from peak to peak we had to take the glass bottom "Silver Chair," even if we had to wait a little longer for it.

 


She was right! It was amazing. I had to stop looking, though, the more I thought about how high above the treacherous cavern we were dangling, by just a cable. I did continue to run the video camera, though, so I am looking forward to watching the rest now that we are home :)

 


The view at the tops of the mountains was unbelievable. It was such a clear, sunny day, and there was lots of snow.



Benjamin could have played there for hours, but Janae and Alaina didn't last long.

That evening we walked through the village--we found a great park where the kids could play, and a LOT of stores.

There was so much more to see--but we are glad that we at least got to SEE the tip of the iceberg!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A Giant Leap Forward for Our Giant Sea Turtle (and His Little Sister, Too!)

Almost three years ago we registered little Benjamin for his first swimming lessons. He was in the preschool program's entry-level course, which made him a Sea Turtle.

Benjamin had a great time swimming, playing games, and blowing bubbles in the water. When his classes ended, his teacher recommended that he register again for Sea Turtle, since he needed a little more work on some of the skills.

Being conscientious parents who wanted our boy to learn to swim, we immediately signed Ben up for another set of lessons in the Sea Turtle category.

Now, three years later, we have repeated this scenario so many times I can't remember how many weeks of Sea Turtle Ben has endured. He hasn't seemed to notice, though, that he is by far the tallest, oldest, and most verbally advanced Sea Turtle in the pool.

 


As spring came around again, both Ben and Janae showed interest in swimming lessons. Janae wanted to learn to swim like a mermaid, and Ben wanted to swim like a pirate (didn't he mean turtle?).

Anyway, since Benjamin is now in kindergarten, I thought I could register him for the entry-level class for school-aged children (with the much less humiliating title of "Swim Kids I"). Janae, of course, would be a Sea Turtle.

I went online to sign them up, and found that since Ben is not yet 6, he is still in the preschool program, making him--yet again--a Sea Turtle. I wasn't sure how well it would go over to have him in a class with Janae, but I registered them both and hoped for the best.

Last night we had our first lesson. With memories of ballet class still fresh in my mind, I had Jason take the two older kids into the pool for their lessons while I went to hide in the baby pool with Alaina.

Peeking up over the edge of the baby pool, I caught a few glimpses of the Sea Turtle lesson. It seemed to be going okay, but of course I wasn't wearing contacts, and I couldn't really hear anything from that far away.

Jason came to join me, saying Ben and Janae were both doing fine.

Jason's idea of fine is not always the same as mine, but I took a couple of deep breaths and tried to focus on Alaina--it was her first time at a pool.

I kept looking over at the Sea Turtles and couldn't help but notice that things actually did seem okay over there.

Thirty minutes later, Jason went to retrieve our Turtles while I waited in the baby pool. Benjamin and Janae were both so excited, bobbing up and down and laughing happily.

Then Ben started ducking under water and coming up. Not the timid, careful ducking that he'd done in the past--he went straight down and came up like a torpedo. Completely wet--water in his eyes and nose--and he didn't care! I couldn't believe it. Was it possible . . . could it be . . . I didn't even know the name of the class that came after Sea Turtle!

And Janae. She stayed the full half hour, listened to the teacher--she didn't cry, scream, try to leave. Amazing!

It might be too early to say this, but I think by the end of the month we might actually have two Salamanders (I looked it up!).

I'd say it's a giant leap for both of them :)