Monday, July 22, 2013

Dear Mom, You are amazing.

week of July 15-21

This week you spent many hours caring for mrs. tapa’s children while mr. and mrs. tapa packed up their house and moved. I was amazed many times at the love you showed all of us – it must have been a bit hard hosting us while taking care of them. Thank you for doing so many fun things with us along with the requisite diaper-changing and timeout-administering! :)

On Monday DC and Fluffy left very early for scout camp and were gone all week. The tapa children weren’t here yet, and you spent hours sewing with Hummer and Rosebud, making a rag-quilt and a “monster,” respectively.



I love your sewing room in the morning. Such a peaceful place.



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Some fun things we did after they got here. . . .

little bit of geocaching

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little bit of picnicking and playgrounding

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please pardon my bad hair day – still getting used to styling without humidity :)

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50 pts to any Snowflakians out there who can name these parks :)

We went swimmin’.





I love this one. It looks like Hummer is about to set sail with his nostrils catching the breeze. :)

We enjoyed local entertainment – Thursday Night at the Park fiddling and a melodrama entitled The Pithy Plight of Poor, Pitiful, Penniless Pauline.





On Thursday, your temple day, Exacto and I took everyone for a walk.





Exacto as a beast of burden

Exacto worked pretty hard all week, actually. Baby sitting, helping Grandpa with the wood (as a wage earner :), practicing the piano, and slaying rabbits (picture available upon request).


isn’t my nephew adorable? :)


You worked hard, too, cutting hair and making more monsters.



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I am inspired by your loving willingness to watch those three little cuties for almost a whole week in order to help their parents, even when you had company. That is awesome. I want to be more like you.

Thank you for all the fun things we did. It was a great week.



Saturday, July 20, 2013

Day 60 - { a temple in Fort Collins }

When we were deciding where we should move for DC’s occupational therapy studies, and once he had been accepted to CSU, we looked at all the pros and cons of what we thought our choices were, i.e. Colorado or Arkansas.

(Note: this ended up being kinda funny, because a few weeks after we chose Colorado we received a rejection letter in the mail from University of Central Arkansas. Turns out we didn’t have a choice after all! haha)

One of the biggest pros for moving to Colorado was the fact that a temple had been announced for Fort Collins.


I love the temple.

Temples are different from normal church meetinghouses. They are reserved for special ordinances like baptisms for the dead and weddings. We believe that if both spouses are faithful, a temple marriage lasts beyond death.

(To read more about why Mormons build temples and what goes in inside temples, visit here).

When I am in the temple, I feel close to heaven. The worries and stresses of life are diminished, because the work we do there brings an eternal perspective. I feel an equal bond to all five of my children – it feels like the separation between us and Benjamin is almost non-existent.

"Everything that occurs in the temple is uplifting and ennobling. It speaks of life here and life beyond the grave. It speaks of the importance of the individual as a child of God. It speaks of the importance of the family and the eternity of the marriage relationship."

—Gordon B. Hinckley

I often get very clear answers to prayers there. I always come away feeling stronger and happier. Worshipping in the temple brings me closer to Christ, and gives me more strength to live like Him.

The Fort Collins Colorado Temple was announced by President Monson in April 2011, and by the time we thought we might move there the site and plans had just been approved, in February 2013.

No one knew yet, though, when construction would begin.

Then, on our third Sunday in our new ward in Fort Collins, the bishop announced during sacrament meeting that the groundbreaking has been scheduled for August 24!!

We were so excited we drove to the temple site right after church. It is a lovely spot, right now mostly open fields. Nearby is a newly built neighborhood, and also nearby is horse property. Below are a few photos of the temple site.

When we lived in Tallahassee, our closest temple was the Orlando Florida Temple, a four-hour drive away.


Our closest temple while we lived in Arkansas was the Memphis Tennessee Temple, a 2 1/2 hour drive.


Our closest temple right now is in Denver, 1 1/2 hours away.


This temple site in Fort Collins is a ten-minute drive from our house. I can’t even say what joy I feel about the thought of being so close!

It used to be our weekly tradition after church to go visit Benjamin’s grave. I’m thinking a new tradition of visiting the temple site every week and seeing the progress as it is built is going to be just the thing!

I have dreams of being asked to help with music for the events that will take place, of our boys getting to participate in the cultural celebration, of crocheting altar cloths,  anything we can do to help will be such a privilege and an honor!

100 days of gratitude tag[7]Thank You, Heavenly Father, for bringing us to this place where we will live so close to Your house. Thank You for temple blessings that bind our family together for eternity!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Dear Mom, I love Arizona.

week of July 8 - 14

Such a fun week with you and Dad! Thanks for all the great adventures!

Monday was The Sinks and Monsters University


Even though the house was emptying fast as everyone headed back home, a few of us headed out to see “The Sinks”, a locally famous spot that is really quite interesting.


The boys did their job of risking their lives for the sake of exploring and I did my job as a professional worrier.

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10 pts if you can find all three boys in the above picture

and 50 pts for the one below! go ahead! zoom in. . .


Rosebud REALLY wanted to go with them, but this was as far as we went. (See tiny Fluffy to the left and Exacto to the right of my kneepit?)

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While we waited and tried not to bite our nails, we walked around the rim and found a cool tree.


Rosebud and her sweet cousin A




The boys finally emerged from the depths and something funny happened. Fluffy was excited because he had found some pottery shards (a not-unknown thing to happen around these parts). He said they were different from any others he had found.

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Uncle DJ took a look at them and started chuckling. Apparently they were clay pigeon shards from the indigenous target practicers. Oh, well. :) It was hot and we were thirsty. We went home.

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Later  that day we went with my baby brother and his lovely expectant wife to Monsters University. It was great! I liked it just as much as Monsters Inc. Thank you so much for the marble slab ice cream afterward, too! mmhmm.


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Tuesday and Wednesday was our trip to Tucson. It was so good to be back! I am a die-hard Sonoran desert rat. I think I always will be.

We took a little detour to stop and see the Gilbert Temple, which is under construction but nearly finished.


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I was glad for the opportunity to look around as we drove and see if I could ever be happy living there in Gilbert. It’s kind of funny right now in the family, as several siblings are starting to finish school / choose a place to settle, and it’s like a massive Red Rover game as we all try to recruit each other and persuade the others to move by us. Two are showing preference for Gilbert. . . .I dunno. . . .

We stepped right back into my childhood and visited Aunt Alba and Uncle Charles. They even still have one of the birds they got when I was a little girl.


I loved being there again, a place where I have countless happy memories of birthdays and Christmas Eves and Thanksgivings with my cousins.


It was awesome to have my children there now, too. (Although I think the bird was glad when we left).


Other highlights from the Tucson trip. . . .

Showing my kids the two houses there where we had lived. (Both a little worse for wear!)


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The school I attended for Kindergarten through 8th grade, Carden of Tucson.

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My Bailey grandparents’ grave.

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No photo, but next was dinner at Macayo’s (YUM) and a great evening at the Gaslight Theatre (anyone out there from Tucson – you know it was awesome. :)

Topped off the next morning with a visit to Saguaro National Park

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The chapel where I was baptized when I was 8. (Tucson North Stake Center)

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And the prospective temple site!

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It’s not official yet, but if everything goes through, the temple will overlook this view.

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And these mountains will be behind. Gorgeous!


I just want to snap up some property close by RIGHT NOW and move there and stay forever! (Gilbert is lovely, but my heart is simply previously engaged. . .  :)

Thank you for teaching me to love the temple, Mom. I love your face in that picture.

Other adventures from the week:

Joseph and Lori’s baby shower, held right here in the front yard. (I have much to say about Joseph and Lori’s baby, but the time is not now. Suffice it to say that I am very, very excited about his upcoming birth.)


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Luann’s wedding. Luann has always been one of my favorite cousins – we are both extreme bookworms. :) I was so happy to be here to be able to attend her beautiful wedding in the Snowflake Temple. (Wasn’t it so romantic and sweet, Mom?)

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Your 16th birthday! (backwards :)

We got to bring you breakfast-in-chair (since you had been awake for hours – haha).


And, since you took a little nap before lunch, we brought you lunch-in-bed!


After church we had some lovely time together.




Your birthday dinner.


And the sparklers you had received as a birthday gift from your visiting teacher. Thanks for sharing! (Rosebud’s first – it was awesome)




So fun to share your birthday with you! I love you!