Wednesday, August 26, 2009

S.L. Part II--if you're still interested

Here is another activity section for children. This one was in the Church History Museum. It was perfect. They had an area where they could build temples with fancy blocks, dress up in manger scene clothes, they had CTR stencils in a million languages, a pretend hospital nursery with dolls etc., and here and Drew and Madelyn drawing stained glass window pictures that you can hang up on the lighted board. Madelyn colored about 15 window pictures! We stayed here for quite awhile!

We were able to go on tours of the Humanitarian Center as well as Welfare Square. They were absolutely amazing. I had never been to either of them. First of all, did you know that 85% of all we donate to Deseret Industries is given to those in need? That's only 15% that stays in the stores! They had these HUGE blocks of compressed clothing that they just ship overseas or wherever the need is. Before we went into either facility, they start the tour with a video. The video and the tour are just very inspiring. All of us are so rich. Even when we don't have much according to the worlds standards. We have more than we deserve. In one of the videos it showed that a mother had a new baby and they didn't have anything. In fact, the baby was wrapped up in newspapers to keep warm. It also showed a family that lived in a car. Those things made an impact on my children. We teach them about gratitude and about how we are so blessed and have so much that others aren't able enjoy, but this brought it to life for them. It just made me want to go on a Humanitarian Mission and bring my whole family along!

Here is a huge pallet of Beef Stew ready to be shipped out from Welfare Square. Welfare Square was also quite impressive. I couldn't believe how much bread they were baking!! They have a whole store where people who go through a sort of qualifying process are able to go and pick out what they need. All of the things they do there are funded by Fast Offerings. Amazing. And pretty much everything in the store is made by the church. Even those that were working at these centers were in a training program so that they could move forward and search for a job to provide for their families. It was amazing to see and I know that our religion is a religion of action. After our tour we were able to sample church cheese, church chocolate milk, and church bread. Pretty good!

We went to a park in downtown Salt Lake that we had been to a few years earlier. It had a spray park and the kids were able to let loose and cool down! Of course I wasn't allowed to stay dry there either!

Here is our family posing in front of an Ellis Island backdrop. Some other fun things we did were: visited This is the Place, we got to go to the top of the Church Office building, went to a bluegrass concert at a park not far from our condo, visited the Church History Library--way cool too. At the library I was able to call down a microfilm from one of my great-grandpas that was converted to the gospel shortly after the martyrdom of Joseph Smith. He knew Brigham Young and was part of the Mormon Batallion. He was an amazing man and I was able to see his journal writings in HIS handwriting. I have it typed up and bound in a book, but it was especially neat to see it firsthand.
We all had a good trip! Thank you Grandma for letting us stay with you!! It was a memorable and meaningful experience.

Our Mini Vacation!

Our family went on a little excursion....over a month Salt Lake. We had a really fun time and were able to do lots of interesting and fun things!! We were able to have Jed's Grandma come with us and that made the trip extra special. We stayed in a Condo down there and Grandma insisted on sleeping on the couch. We tried to get her to take the room, but she was immovable. Drew and Madelyn wanted to "camp out" with Grandma in the living room, so they were able to have some good late night chats!! :)

We didn't waste any time when we were there, we were constantly going. Grandma was amazing and always said she was doing just fine! We took tours of several of the buildings there, this picture is of little exhausted Hannah and I on top of the Conference Center. That building is SO impressive. The gardens on top of the building have grown so much since the last time I saw them. I've taken a tour of the building before, but you learn new things every time and just get re-amazed.

In a couple of the buildings we toured they had children's play areas. This is the one at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. Hannah loved this little red car, it's not the best picture, but it shows her enthusiasm! While we were at this building we watched the amazing film "Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration." We also learned about and got to play around with the new family search program. Amazing!! It shows your family line with all the information INCLUDING whether they have had all their temple work done. Everything is in ONE place! It hasn't quite made it to our area yet, but we are anxiously awaiting!

As for this picture, just call me Robert Boyd! Ha!

We got to ride the Tram downtown to go to the Gateway Mall. The ride over there was a blast. The kids loved it, they were so excited to ride the "train." Grandma had always wanted to ride the Tram too. At the Gateway Mall they have a lot of outdoor water fountains that you can play in. The kids had a lot of fun, and of course Jed wouldn't let me stay dry!! It felt great to cool off!

Drew's favorite part of the whole trip was getting to touch the temple, seriously!! If you ask that is what he will tell you. It was fun to see the temple because we had been reading about church history for months and had been teaching the kids some of the things we learned. It was neat because the temple meant something to them. Did you know at one of the S.L. Temple dedication a woman delivered a baby in the temple? That was one of the crazy facts we learned in one of our FHE lessons. The baby was blessed in the temple later and named "Joseph Temple Bennett." :)

It was such an amazing trip. We're so glad we were able to go. It is just so nice to get away and do fun things with the family, even if it is just a few hours away!!