Thursday, April 11, 2013

Spring Break and Conference Weekend - 2013

Usually spring break is the time we do big family trips. We've done Mexico, San Diego, LA, a massive road trip to Washington, Oregon and Northern CA, and San Francisco. Since a lot of our summer vacation is devoted to time with extended family, we've made spring break our time for fun travel with just our own nuclear family.

But we did a big trip to the Bay Area for a wedding during Christmas break and we're planning an epic road trip to the East Coast as soon as the kids get out of school this spring. So we decided to stay put this year for spring break. And it turned out to be SUCH a nice spring break!

The weather was gorgeous pretty much all week and we loved seeing the daffodils come out in the front yard and going on walks to see all the little buds starting to pop out on the trees. We slept in and made our favorite foods. We had a little read-a-thon and spent some good time at the library. We got haircuts. We went on a huge bike ride one day and a little bike ride another day. We played all our favorite board games and went to a great neighborhood pot luck dinner.We spent a day in Salt Lake where we enjoyed a great art exhibit at the church museum featuring wonderful art by teenagers, learned a lot at the planetarium and saw a wonderful IMAX movie about butterflies with my parents, and went swimming at my parents' condo building. And I had a chance to get this new Joy of Reading Kit done for Power of Moms (just launched yesterday - check it out if you want).

Beautiful flowers and art near Temple Square
 Here are some of the kids' favorite works of art from the international youth art display at the museum - some pretty talented kids!

This one is called "An Eye Single to His Glory."

Love the artistry and symbolism of this one - the gospel and the love of God (represented by the flowering Tree of Life) brings us great light. But we have to plug it in.

Loved this image of valiant young women holding up their light for all to see.
These kids can't get enough of their Grandfather (and Grammie who, as usual, was busy making nice food for us so she wasn't in the picture...)

Towards the end of the week, we were stuck at home for a couple of days because we needed to be here while contractors finally worked on replacing our water main. I was frustrated about having to be home-bound during the kids' break when there were so many little excursions I was hoping to do - and the stress of coordinating different contractors and negotiating escalating prices was not fun. But the kids had a great time playing with neighborhood friends and being outside so much. They LOVED watching the excavator at work as they dug trenches for new pipes and were super excited when we decided to have the excavator also dig a hole for the in-ground trampoline we're saving up for in the back yard. We got the hole we needed for the trampoline but perhaps even more exciting, we ended up with a huge dirt mound that was an instant magnet for all the neighborhood kids who had the greatest time playing "king of the hill," burrowing through the hill, and sledding down the hill using an old sled. We're thinking we just might have to keep the hill (but maybe some grass on it would cut down on the serious dirt the kids are covering themselves in daily now!).
See the twins in the tree watching the excavator? They were out there all day. And the lovely "fort" the kids built of scrap wood?

This hill has become the most exciting thing in the neighborhood!

We finished off Spring Break with a wonderful Conference Weekend. SOOOOOO nice to just relax and enjoy conference together and to have Jared all to ourselves all weekend since there were no bishop meetings. We watched all four sessions (some of them at slightly different times thanks to DVR) and Jared and Ashton had a great time together at the Priesthood Session.As soon as we turned on conference, the older kids went and got paper to take conference notes and the twins settled on the floor with a bunch of puzzles to work on.  It was gratifying to see that the kids knew just what to do w/o being asked (so marvelous when good practices are in place after so much sometimes painful repetition!). Eliza took copious notes as usual and asked some great questions. Ashton took sporadic notes as texts on his phone and had to be reminded a few times to wake up and listen. Isaac wasn't much of a note-taker but had insightful comments and questions here and there. Jared and I sat there soaking in the togetherness and the great words that were spoken and we came away uplifted and armed with new resolutions.

Light, Peace, and Hope seemed to be themes woven throughout this conference - just what I needed emphasized. I especially loved the talks by Elder Scott (how everyone in the family can and should work to create a Christ-centered home), Sister Wixom (building up children; turning off technology), Elder Ballard (the priesthood and how it belongs to all of us), Elder Clayton (great thoughts on marriage) and Elder Holland (doubt leads us to find truth; we're always working on our testimonies; fan the flame of our faith while working through out doubts). We had a great discussion about chastity following Elder Bednar's talk. The kids loved President Monson's story about playing with fire and obedience. themes of conference that I heard were peace and light.

There were so many gems shared and so many things I realized I needed to work on. But this little gem by Elder Scott helped me feel peace when it comes to figuring out how to move forward without being overwhelmed:
"We need not worry if we can’t simultaneously do all of the things that the Lord has counseled us to do. He has spoken of a time and a season for all things. In response to our sincere prayers for guidance, He will direct us in what should be emphasized at each phase of our life. We can learn, grow, and become like Him one consistent step at a time."

Sometimes staying home is just so very very nice!


Eyrealm said...

We loved it too! It was so fun to be able to spend some time with the Looslis! What a stellar group!

Kristine said...

I'm so glad you had a fun and relaxing Spring Break. If your travels take you through Kansas City this summer, you are always welcome to stay or stop by our house if your schedule permits. There are lots of Church history sites here as well.

shawni said...

Love it. Love you.


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