Last weekend we went to Nauvoo, Illinois. We went as a ward family to attend the temple there. It was a phenomenal trip.
On the way we listened to songs from the Muppets movie, Batman - the 1970s theme song, Indiana Jones' theme song (all currently Henry's favorites), as well as Truman G. Madsen's Joseph Smith the Prophet. His lectures are very inspiring and very interesting. I highly recommend them.
We arrived safe and sound. Tummies full of M&Ms, carrots, chips and dip, and PBJs. The boys were ready to play and we were ready to be taught and to serve in the temple.
I loved being with Todd in the temple. Its beauty is grand, and the spirit divine, and being there with my eternal sweetheart couldn't have been more . . . perfect.
The sacrifices the early saints of the Church made to build this temple are truly remarkable. I'm so grateful for their faith and willingness to work and sacrifice. Because of them I am so blessed in so many ways.
I truly believe that if there's one gift I can give to my children that will strengthen them spiritually, fortify them to face the challenges and trials of life, and keep them safe from the world's influences, it is that I will attend the temple as often as I can. I can be their example. I can bring the influence of the temple into my life and into my home. I believe it's priceless, and I believe it's necessary in the world they are growing up in. It's a belief based on faith because they aren't grown yet but I believe it's true, and I hope that I can continue to attend the temple and bless them in this way.
After our session we took our turn babysitting children while other couples attended sessions in the temple. It was reported to us that while we were in the temple Henry had declared at the top of the slide, "I'm gonna slide down--all the way to Delaware!", and then he bounded down the slide. I think Delaware came to mind because his cute little girlfriend moved there last year and he misses her sometimes.
It was also reported that Theo was fearless on the slide and even climbed the ladder all by himself.
Anyway, we had a great time babysitting. We read stories and played with toys in the "arrival center", snacked, walked around the temple, and played on the playground. The kids enjoyed collecting walnuts, rolling them down the slides, and teeter-tottering.
Henry was a good big buddy to our friend, Owen. He took pride in "helping" him walk, bringing him things and even patting his cheeks and kissing his forehead adoringly.
On the way home we stopped by "the Parthenon", a restaurant that's just a jog up from Nauvoo, and across the river in Iowa. It was not Greek, but it was awesome.
Walking in there I felt like I had been transported back to the 1970s: the wall paneling, the booths, the carpet, everything. (Except the giant flat screen TV, which Henry enjoyed watching. They had on America's Funniest Home Videos. I don't know if I've seen Henry laugh that hard in quite a long time. We were all entertained.)
I think most of the customers had been dining there since the 1970s, too. We were definitely one of the youngest groups in there. It was a delight, and the food was nice, too. Theo ate like a Greek God, or how I imagine one would, devouring everything. An entire apple, core and all, a few small pieces of pizza, cottage cheese, garbanzo beans, a large glass of milk, and he still seemed hungry.
That little hungry caterpillar.