Where in the world was this picture taken?
Our first full day in Provo we had the privilege of visiting the MTC - the Missionary Training Center of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was AWESOME! We ate lunch there and attended Sacrament meeting. The boys had no complaints about the lunch, with the endless supply of chocolate milk and green jello, and all. And, I think they were pretty star struck being in the presence of so many full time missionaries. It was cute.
Sacrament meeting was interesting because it was mostly in German! Todd's parents serve in a branch presidency over the German speaking missionaries, so that's why we were able to get this sneak peek into the MTC. I truly felt like I was in a sacred and very exciting place. The Lord is truely hastening His work of Salvation!
I have to admit: after a long day of travels the day before I kind of conked out during the German sacrament meeting. In a warm coat, with a full tummy and a sleeping Theo on my lap I could. not. hold back the sleepers.
The boys loved the giant map (above) and loved to make guesses as to where they would serve their missions some day. Though a mission is what I want for them it's hard to imagine letting them go away for 2 whole years!
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The next day we went sledding with Aunt Lisel and our crazy cool cousin, Canyon.
Lisel and Canyon
Hen, Theo and Dad racing
IT WAS SNOW MUCH FUN!
After sledding we spent the evening with my siblings nieces and nephews at my parents house sans my parents. I really missed them! (They are still in Guatemala serving a mission, and will return home the end of June.) We had lots of fun. We ate a pizza dinner and played games, and the kids went to town playing with all of my old toys. I guess we were having too much fun for me to take any pictures.
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The next day was Christmas Eve . . .
This is the boys just after they found out Santa would be making at stop at Mim and Bub's house.
They were like pin balls!
Santa sang Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer and Jingle Bells, and gave each child a present. Then he opened it up for Q&A. I don't think any of the kids had questions, but Aunt Becky had a good question about her sore foot. Good thing Santa knows a lot about feet (wink, wink)!
Could Theo be any happier? And Henry, always down to business. They were super sweet to each other. It was darling.
After Santa left we were on to other Christmas festivities including our family trivia game, the yule log and sharing with each other what we're most grateful for. (This year I didn't start bawling--I was so proud of myself!)
Bub shared a wonderful story about a Father and a Son, symbolizing the great love of The Father and the Son in offering a sacrifice for us. (I'll need a copy of it!) Henry was right by his side, soaking it all in. What a tender moment.
The boys left out magic reindeer food (oats and glitter) and got dressed in their Christmas PJs.
Christmas morning was wonderful, as usual.
Bub made a delicious breakfast and the children opened presents.
Yes, Mabel did come with us on the trip! She's not pictured mostly because she was either sleeping or being held by me when I took pictures . . . except on her birthday (scroll on to see more).
We spent the day hanging out and the boys got to drive in Bub's mini convertible. They love almost running each other over in it, practically playing bumper cars with their bodies. It makes me nervous!
That evening we wanted to drive up to SLC to see the lights on temple square. The car ride was less than pleasant and it was freezing. We found a parking spot and ran to the gates while we heard the 5 o'clock bells ringing.
As we approached the visitor center we saw a sign saying that it closed at 5 o'clock. People were being ushered out the doors, and we were not let in. It was such a bummer! We had only wanted to see the Christus (and use the bathroom), and use the bathroom, but it wasn't going to happen.
My cold and grumpy and very-much-needing-a-bathroom kids weren't thrilled about picture taking, which sort of made it all the more fun for us parents. Can we torture our kids anymore??
So, with grumpy kids we made a speedy trip around the square and got back in the car. Ah, well, better luck next year. I'll have to admit I felt one of the foolish of the 10 virgins making it late to the wedding. It wasn't a good feeling!
Back in the car we went, and headed home to Provo where we enjoyed more time, fun, and food with family.
Gingerbread sled decorating with handsome cousins, Jake and Cole!
Silly Henry, Sophie and Theo. In the background: uncle Zac and Mim holding baby River!
The children were able to stay in the "Red Hotel" as they call it, aka Mim's red bedroom.
Each night we read stories to them before bed.
On this particular night we read The Polar Express and they pretended that their bed was an engine. They all chugged along--and got their final wiggles out--while Todd read the story.
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The day after Christmas we went up to Soldier Hollow for sledding. The scenery was beautiful. Living in IL, I had temporarily forgotten how picturesque UT is.
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The next day was Mabel Lorraine's 1st birthday!!
We celebrated by eating cake with family.
It was so fun, and she loved it.
Henry helped her blow out the candles but she needed no help eating her cake.
We love our little Mabel!!
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Todd and I also went on a date to the Museum of Art on BYU campus and saw the exhibit Sacred Gifts, which was amazing, and enjoyed some pizza from Marble Slab.
Aren't we a handsome couple???????!
We laughed and laughed after looking at this photo. It was a bright, bright sunny day.
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On our, I believe, last full day in Provo we:
ate at Apollo Burger
golfed at Trafalga with my brother, Andy, and his family
(They have 5 awesome kids, and 2 on the way. Yay!)
. . . and jumped, flipped, swung, and climbed around Lowe's Xtreme Air Sports in SoPro.
I felt like I was back in the "good-ol-days" tumbling around my old gym, Perfect 10, except I'm hardly in any shape at all to do the same tricks. Despite that, it was so much fun. My secret goal (well not anymore) is to be able to do a round off back handspring when I'm 30. I can only say now that if I really want to achieve that goal I'll have a lot of work to do in the next 2 and a half years! Let's see if I can do it!
This was our children on the ride home from St. Louis. All tuckered out. We loved and lived up every minute of our Christmas in Provo.
And when I got home I was surprised to find this little Lego also celebrating the birth of the new born King on bended knee.