Sunday, April 16, 2006

Visitors and Beauty and Easter

Wow - this place is just so pretty. I wake up every morning to see the red hills spotlighted by the rising sun and it fills my heart. We've had quite a few visitors lately to share this beauty with - our good friend from California, the Harringtons (their daughter Emma and Ashton have been hanging out since they were babies- went to preschool together, the husband, Chad went to Boy's State with Jared back in hight school and the wife Jen was part of my mothers' group/book club in CA). We had good talks and did some hiking. There are these awsome caves up in the hills right behind our development and the kids never get sick of going up there and exploring and climbing all over the rocks. The sandstone here is full of all these natural handholds and footholds and makes for some very fun and fairly easy bouldering experiences for the kids. Aaron and Michelle and kids were here overnight on their way through to Disneyland and one of my oldest friends who I've been out of touch with for too long, Alyssa, and her husband and 5 kids (twins the age of our twins) just showed up this evening out of the blue and we'll hang out with them more later this week. It's so nice to have a house big enough that we can actuall entertain. And it's amazingly nice to have people with kids come over and be able to send all the kids down to the basement and have adult conversation upstairs, hardly hearing a peep from the happily occupied kids who have their own space and activities downstairs.

We love this house. Of course, I can't help but think of things I wish I'd done a bit differently - I drive myself crazy thinking about how I could have made a room a bit bigger or what it would have been like if I'd realized earlier on that I should never assume that subcontracters know anything. There are so many things that got done flat-out wrong or somewhat wrong that I was worried about while it was happening but I hesitated to say anything because I assumed the subcontractors probably knew what they were doing. Now I'm quite convinced that at least in St George with the building trades here, you have to oversee and question every little thing or you'll end up with a lot of unpleasant surprises. But I'm trying to learn to block out all the second-guesses and "would have" and "could have" and "should have" out of my life. It's just my nature to worry and to second guess and to overanalyze and I need to work on that!

Easter was great today. The kids really got into it. I got this idea to fill plastic eggs with different symbols of the last week of Christ's life and we opened one egg a day and talked about the last supper, the Garden of Gethsemane, Palm Sunday, the tomb, the cross and the resurrection. I was often surprised at how much Ashton knew about some of the subjects before I launched into the story. And even Eliza really seemed to absorb a lot. Easter is really the most important Christian holiday and I'm glad the kids really seemed to grasp some aspects of it this year. Maybe it's partly due to watching Narnia and being able to explain the Atonement a bit better with the help of Aslan and the Stone Table. I love that movie - just got it on DVD last week and the kids eat it up.

We did a fun Easter egg hunt for the kids of the Cliffs (our development - only three families with young kids that we know of - but it was a happy little group). The kids had such a great time finding and then hiding again and finding lots of plastic eggs down by the clubhouse and it turned out to be a gorgeous day (after quite a bit of rain - the wash has been a beautiful little river the last couple days). Then today we had our egg hunt this morning, our eggs benedict, went to church and had a wonderful Easter feast with Jo and Aja and kids. It's so nice to have them right here! They've got their house in great shape thanks to lots of hard work and Theresa's help last week. We're all finally feeling somewhat settled. And Jared got the kitchen trim installed so 99% of the trim is now officially in. Of course, the painters promised to come again and again this last week and still have yet to show so we're pretty sad that our last 7 doors are still sitting unstained in the garage. I must say the day when we get the right doors installed on our master bedroom so that we can actually close the doors all the way will be a great day! I really can't believe anyone could really be as flakey as these painters have been - but we're learning to be less surprised by total flakiness among subcontacters here.

I taught gospel doctorine for the first time today in church - I've had this assignment for a while but with our trips, this was my first time teaching. I loved really delving into the scriptures to prepare my lesson and I learned a ton. The lesson went well and it made me feel good to have so many people come up and tell me how much they liked the lesson afterwards. Our ward only has one gospel doctrine class so it's HUGE - would be nicer to have a smaller class so there could be more discussion, but oh well.

God did some of his best work here in St. George. I love watching Spring unfold here - seeing the desert plants flower and seeing lovely bursts of different colors and bright new green leaves all over. The green against the terra cotta hills makes such a great combination. There are always jack rabbits, chipmunks and lizards to watch down in the wash and the various colors of green mixed with the red of the dirt and the lava rocks strewn across the hills of the wash makes such a pretty composition.

Better run!

Got to run get a crying baby before he wakes up the other guy. These guys have been waking up at night again and it's driving me crazy!

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