Today is my last full day here in Utah. I head home tomorrow.
Before leaving today, I met up with Mr. Spock's grandmother - Grandma E as we call her. I picked her up and we went out to lunch at Olive Garden. We had a very lovely time visiting, reminiscing, catching up. What a wonderful woman. I'm so glad to have had her in my life. I still try to call her on her birthday, on Mother's Day, and around Christmas. She always loved me - no matter what happened between Mr. Spock and me. I soon headed back to Jen's because I needed to pick up the kids from school.
I had planned on taking Taylor out on a "date" while I was here. He is getting so grown up and I can't believe he is 15 now. So, we were going to go to dinner and a movie. Soon, it was Jonah too, which was totally fine with me. But, then as the day went on, I thought about how I wanted to see all the other kiddos too so I called each of their moms and asked if I could take all of them out to dinner. Ari was going camping with Papa and her mom and dad to go deer hunting so she wasn't able to come, nor did Colton come. Angie picked up Julie's kids and she met me at IHOP in South Jordan. Taylor and Jonah waited with me in the van until they arrived. It was so incredibly sweet watching what happened when Ang drove up....
The kids all jumped out of their respective vehicles and started hugging and loving each other! It was so wonderful seeing the incredible love and excitement they have for each other. There were no cares in the world. There was no contention. They just loved each other and were glad to be together. It tore at my heart and brought tears to my eyes. It was just so sweet.
We grabbed this cute picture before heading into the restaurant. Yeah, okay, so the sun was blinding all of us and being the dorky photographer I am, I didn't even try to change where we were standing, etc., because I wanted the restaurant in the background!. And...it's too bad Jonah's head is kinked off to the side in the shadow of Breanna's head...the smile on his face is just priceless!
We got seated and all the kids were coloring, laughing, having a great time. We took these cute quick pictures of all of us:
I was just so glad to be with all of them and to see them all interacting together. It was an image in my mind that I will never forget. After we were done at the restaurant, we all piled into the van and headed down the Bangerter toward Julie's house. Man, have things changed over the 16 years since I moved away from Utah! It is just amazing the amount of growth there has been!
As we approached the new Oquirrh Mountain temple, I asked the kids if they wanted to go up to the temple and take a picture of all of us. It was a resounding 6 to 2 vote of no. I was saddened! Oh well. We did, however, have a special learning moment while we were driving past the temple. I asked how many of the kids had been able to go to the temple open house or dedication - of either the Oquirrh Mountain temple or the Draper temple. They all raised their hands. There was a flurry of quick comments among them. I then asked each of them what their favorite part was, starting with Noah the youngest up to Taylor the oldest. One by one, each of these sweet children had a favorite room or part of the temple. One said the baptistry. I asked why and he said because he liked how the font was on top of the oxen. I asked how many oxen there were and he knew - 12. I asked why there were 12 and he knew - because they represent the 12 tribes of Israel. Most of the others all said their favorite room was the sealing room. I asked why. And, again, each of them replied because of the "forever" or "eternity" mirrors. They remembered these mirrors because they were able to see their family going on forever and ever in them. I was so touched by the faith and knowledge of these young children. It was hard not to tear up while I was driving. Lastly, I asked Taylor what his favorite room was and he told me the Celestial Room. I agreed with him that that is my favorite room in the temple - because it's the most beautiful and represents us being in our Heavenly Father's presence. All of the little children remembered that room too, once the mention of the big chandelier was made. I was so touched that even as young as they were - 5, 8, 10, 10, 10, 11, (and 15) they remembered the sweet and simple touches of this sacred building which made an impression on their young lives forever. Oh, the goodness of the gospel!
We finally got to Julie's and the kids all ran around in the yard while I visited with Julie for a few minutes. She showed me her almost finished basement which is coming along very nicely. Brian was working on the texture for the ceiling. I saw the deck that Brian built and it was gorgeous. I'll take two, please. I love the colors she's painted on the walls since I saw her house last and the little lamps and new touches really add warmth. Soon, it was time to move on. Two kids down, three to go, before heading back to Jen's. So, off we went to Kurt and Ang's. I visited with Kurt and Ang for a few too short minutes and then headed out since Taylor had made plans to play "Night Games" with some of his friends. We arrived back at Jen's and she and I went and sat on the front porch and watched the kids. Oh, the joys of youth!
What a fun evening. We soon got cold and headed inside. I packed my suitcase and got ready to head home in the morning.