Sunday, November 14, 2010

Temple Groundbreaking

Yesterday we had the amazing opportunity to attend the Groundbreaking Ceremony for the Gilbert Temple. We weren't originally going to go, but when Dad got an invite for VIP parking and seating, we jumped on the chance. It was a beautiful day for a groundbreaking, the weather was gorgeous, it could have been better if there were a few clouds. There were a lot of people there as were expected, but it wasn't too bad.

I love how they had the golden shovels all lined up with pictures of the temple on them, a really neat touch.

The choir did a great job. I love the picture of the temple, its going to be a magnificent building! Hopefully they'll get it done super fast and not take the 2 years they have planned.

We just thought that we got to sit in cool seats, but then it kept getting cooler. They were recognizing all of the dignitaries in attendance and not only did they call out my dad, they had him stand up too since he was representing the city of Mesa. That was cool. Then when it came time to ceremoniously break ground they had all of the Church officials go, and then they were having the dignitaries come up and they called up my Dad to come and have a turn. It was a very neat surprise for him, and it will be a wonderful memory for him and a highlight of his time in office. Dad got to shake hands with Elder Costa and Elder Walker. 

It was a great day and then we rushed off to Abigail's 2nd Birthday Party.  It was a wonderful marathon day.  I love temples and having them so close to me.  Sometimes I feel a bit spoiled to have temples so close.  They spoke of people that travel days to attend the temple.  I have one 5 minutes from my house and soon another one about 20 minutes from my house.  I hope the saints in the area realize this and take full advantage of the wonderful blessings they have so close to them.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

When stuck in Charlotte...

So on our way home, it first appeared as if it would be no problem getting back to Phoenix. Somehow between our flight from Orlando to Charlotte everyone decided to head to Phoenix that day and basically suck up all the empty seats that we were to use. We were starting to get really nervous that we would be stuck in North Carolina till who knows when. Our nerves were getting to us after like the 3rd or 4th flight that we didn't get on, tears were starting to flow and fear was starting to set in as we bounced from gate to gate that had flights to Phoenix flying out of. Carly called and told her boss she wasn't going to make it to work on Monday, I was about to call my sister and see if she could sub for me on Monday. We were getting to one of the last and final flights of the day, I decided to go and stand by the gate so that I could over hear everything that the gate agents were saying, there was a small glimpse of hope and so I went and got my stuff and Blaine and Carly. They started paging people on the stand by list ahead of us and some of them weren't coming. Miraculously we got onto the flight and we were on the same row. It was the last row of the plane, but it was a seat home. We barely made it on the flight, they closed the door after the guy behind us. We didn't even know when the flight was to land in Phoenix, and that really didn't matter, we were making it home that day! We quickly called our families to let them know of our good fortune in the like 2 minutes we had to use our phones before we had to turn them off before the plane took off.

I don't think I will ever fly on the back row again, it was quite interesting. I can't complain too much because it was a seat on a flight and we weren't going ot have to campout in an airport with no luggage because everything went with Emilie and Irving since they can check their luggage for free. The one good thing about that airport is their bathrooms. They have bathroom attendants whose full time job is to keep their bathroom clean. Carly and I would have a great laugh each time we used the restroom. We used Valerie's happy bathroom. Her slogan is, "Everyone pees happy in Valerie's Happy Bathroom!" She had the funniest things to say as people were in there. My favorite were her songs she sang. There's nothing like sitting on the toilet having a hilarious black woman sing "You are my Sunshine" Blaine told us the mens restrooms weren't as entertaining as the womans with their attendants. So if you're ever stuck in the Charlotte Airport, use the bathroom and get a good laugh!

Yes, another trip to Florida!

During October break I had the opportunity to go to Disneyworld with my cousin Emilie and her little family, and her brother Blaine and his wife Carly.  It was kind of an interesting group that I went with, but it was tons of fun.  Emilie had her 7 week old baby and 18 month old daughter, so I was kind of the nanny at times and helped with them. Then with Blaine and Carly it was their "honeymoon" and I was the tour guide.  We all stayed in the same condo and had our own rooms so it was all good.  I was also the designated driver and chauffeured them in the soccer mom van around town.  We had a great time and would do it again.  It was my first time in like 5 years having to buy a ticket to get into the parks and that hurt my bank account, not used to paying so much for a little piece of paper! 
We went to Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party (Thanks Brad for helping us get the discount tickets!).  I love going to the extra parties and seeing all the fun extras they bring out.  I was finally able to get my picture with Tarzan and Jane.  My camera did something funky and it didn't turn out very well :( Irving happened to get one with their camera and then tragically during Halloween weekend it got lost, and she hasn't found it yet, I hope she can find it!  Such is life and we move on.

The Haunted Mansion looked really cool during the party, they kind of go all out.  The cast members working at the Mansion during the party get their hair and make up done to look creepy.  Outside they have Madame Leota talking with the guests and just adding to the funness of the night. 

I love, love, love Mickey's Boo to You Parade.  It starts off with the Headless Horseman riding down the parade route, that is a really neat site to see.  Most of the characters have Halloween costumes on and it is super cute.  One of my favorite parts of the parade is the Haunted Mansion section.  They have the guy with the lantern and the dog and then some gravediggers.  The gravediggers do the coolest thing, they take their shovels and scrape the ground in a circle so they spark, it is so cool.

They have a bunch of trick or treat trails so you make out with lots of candy.  The quality of the candy is so much better this year than it has been in the past.  Brisa had fun trick or treating after she learned what you do.  She thought it was the coolest thing to be able to hold out a bag, say trick or treat and then have people put candy in your bag.  We got the best candy when we left, Werther's Mousse candies.  If you thought Werther's Originals were good, wait till you try this.  A think chocolate shell with caramel mousse inside.  They are delectable, we went to all the people who were passing those out so we could get quite a few.

This year I actually spent some time and money and enjoyed Epcot's International Food and Wine festival.  I had never tried any of the samples.  I don't know why I never did because they were so good!  I tried baklava for the first time, delicious! Food is good and even better when you sample different countries.

Another super cool thing in Epcot is in the Germany Pavilion they just opened the most divine shop ever, Karamel Kuche (Caramel Kitchen)  It is partnered with Werther's and oh my goodness, so good and bad for you! I won't even begin to mention the delicious goodies inside so as not to torture anyone!

Blaine got to be one of the volunteers during the Backlot tour.  He had fun getting tons of water dumped on him, check out the video to see his acting debut.  Hollywood Studios is so much fun because of its 3 best attractions, Rockin Rollercoaster, Tower of Terror and Toy Story Mania.  The fast passes for TSM run out super fast and you basically have to be in the park within the hour it opens to get one, that never happened since we were park hopping.  TSM  is a must and so we had time and sucked it up to stand in the 80 minute line.  It is so worth the wait, so make sure you plan time to ride it.  We walked into the line and as we were another group was leaving and the lady looked at Carly and said "The line is really long!"  Really you think the line is long?  It only says when you walk in that it's an 80 minute wait.  Didn't you read that as you walked in?  People are so silly when they are on vacation at Disneyworld.

We had a great time and like everything good, it must come to an end.  Getting home was quite the adventure!  We flew standby because Irving works for USAirways and we could fly cheaper.  We left for the airport at 5am to try and make the 7am nonstop back home.  Emilie and Irving barely made that flight and the rest of us would had a family (Carly and I now curse their name j/k) not barely made it through security and ran to the gate, grrr.  Oh well we got on to the next flight to Charlotte to connect to a flight to phx sometime that day.  As we waited the hour for our flight we met this guy.  He was a very happy newsstand dude.  Every time someone bought something he sang them this awesome song or some variation of it.

I love the guy's reaction to the dude singing to him, it was like, did that really just happen? Thanks to Carly for sneakily recording that on her phone as it would be much needed the rest of the day.

Grandma's Wedding

Since Grandma's Wedding was almost a month ago I figured I should finally put some pictures up.  I don't have too many, that wasn't my job for the day. 
Tex is so in love with my Grandma right now, its so cute.  The bishop who married them had to tell Tex it wasn't time to kiss her yet, he had to wait!  Tex also wrote a poem for Grandma that he read during the wedding, super cute.
Here's the beautiful cake I made for the wedding.  I think it turned out quite nicely.
Here's some of the gorgeous flowers my mother made for the wedding.  Watching everyone in the family get ready for this wondrous occasion was hilarious.  My dear Aunt Becky finally had a wedding to help plan, since she has 4 daughters and guys are lame and they are all still single.  The day turned out wonderfully, except for the part when we were introducing all the families to kind of get to know everyone, his son that lives here, they go to Mt View.  It was funny to hear all of us gasp as they said that, since we are a Mesa High family!  I guess we can forgive them for that, it's just funny how things like that are a non serious issue, even though its not a serious matter, it just makes for fun conversation.