She is seriously the only child I know that can do both extremes so well. One day she's sharing with everyone and making up songs about loving everyone and the next day she's mean and fiesty. Sometimes she's a real handful and this morning was one of those days so I'm hoping she does well at the Preschool Halloween Party and comes home in a GOOD London mode.
Here are the girls a couple weeks ago when we went through the Halloween box and put up our decorations. They were thrilled with the witch costume and dad's scary mask. I think (hope) that next year I'll be able to convince one or both to actually be something scary for Halloween.
Here's London trying on an old costume that Savannah wore a couple years ago. She won a costume contest up in Cedar City when we visited JoDee and Shane for Halloween that year.
This is the last installment of my Iowa trip because the next few days we took it a lot easier -- I think we wore ourselves out those first two days!
Sunday was church and chilling which was much needed - and went nicely with the rain that finally decided to come. Their little building's sacrament room was so tiny and cute and I loved the size of their ward compared to our massive size at home. The only downside was a lady who sat in front of us in Relief Society smelled like cats and cat liter and our sensitive pregnant noses almost got the best of us, but we hung in there like troopers and enjoyed the lesson.
Monday we drove to Ames (30 minutes away) to visit my sister-in-law, Staci. She is living with her family while her husband, Rob (Nate's brother), is overseas for the State Department for a year. It's been a while since I've seen her so I was excited because I had never even met her youngest daughter. Her girls are darling as expected and her parents' house was very cool. My favorite room was walled in glass on the second floor, overlooking the gorgeous green backyard. We sat and talked in this room almost the whole time and it just made my soul happy to be surrounded by green. I really think I'm ready to live somewhere more green than Arizona, but that is easier said than done!
On the way home, we ran into some unexpected traffic and had to rush a little to get the Talin's 3:00 kindergarten pick-up time. I must say that Iowa drivers crack me up. Maybe I'm just a psycho-fast Arizona driver, but those people just dink along -- once again, maybe it's just the Midwest. . . I was shocked that there was a minimum speed limit sign on the freeway as well as a maximum -- you only need a max in Arizona and everyone's usually 10-20 miles above that number.
Megan is an Arizonan at heart, and so it was no surprise that she was trying to do 80 while everyone around her was doing 50 and she got pulled over by an undercover cop.
Luckily she was flustered about getting to Talin on time and he let her off, but then it almost killed her to drive the speed limit from there to home. It was actually kind of funny hearing her complain about how she was barely moving, but I knew that cop would just be following and watching her.
That night we went to Famous Dave's for apparently famous ribs that were tasty. Then Megan and I went and saw Elizabeth. We were disappointed for how excited we were to see it. Too many reasons to explain, but let's just say it didn't live up to our expectations.
Tuesday morning we went to the capital which was fun. It's a gorgeous building and I love being in old buildings where you can just imagine the past going on in there. It was cool peaking in on the Supreme Court rooms and other state rooms.
Des Moines State Capital
Pioneer Mural at the top of the staircase.
I fell in love with the library. I don't know why, but I am in love with classic, old libraries and would love to have my own library some day rather than random bookshelves all over the house. I just love reading and love books!
Tell me, who wouldn't love this staircase? . . .and all those books make me giddy. . .
???? who looks smarter ????
Me or Megan???
I just liked this quote
Cool dome inside capital. View of Des Moines from the Capital.
The mall, a good deal on jeans, and a Mexican food lunch wrapped up the morning before we headed to the airport.
It was so much fun being with Megan and just relaxing even though I think I came back more tired, but that's okay. It was a blast and I hope to visit again.
This morning as I was getting ready Savannah was jabbering away at me as usual (I have developed great patience being a mom to a valley-girl talkaholic). She told me that we should have Aidan and Davyn come over and Mimi (Amy) and I could talk or do something while they went up to the room and talked about marriage and college.
Marriage and college???
Okay, they're only 4 1/2, 4, 3, and 2 1/2 . . . marriage and college ???
So that's what they talk about behind closed doors, apparently.
Every year I regret that I do not live in a place that has actual "seasons." I never knew what I was missing until my junior year in high school when my family moved up to Denver and I actually experienced four seasons. I remember the first time I realized why Fall is even necessary - so there are no leaves on the trees when the snow comes otherwise the trees will split with the weight of snow-covered leaves. That lesson came thanks to an early September snow storm that ruined many of the beautiful huge trees in our neighborhood. Then I went off to BYU and just marveled at how gorgeous campus was in the Fall.
Fall is definitely my favorite season: the weather cools off (hopefully), the trees change colors, and the holidays start surrounding you and the air just feels different.
But there is no fall in Arizona. Heck, I'm still waiting to wear a long-sleeve shirt and it's the end of October! But going to Iowa made me especially wish I lived with seasons (maybe not theirs, but something more mild like Denver or Provo).
I mean, can you just imagine what this lane will look like in a few short weeks?
On Saturday, we got up to an overcast sky threatening rain, but trekked 30 minutes to cute and quaint Madison County anyway (never rained on us thank goodness). After all, we couldn't miss the "festival." The only damper on the day was that Tom had to stay home to study and have some downtime - which he never does with his hectic med school schedule.
Only in Iowa would they have corn for the kids to play in. . .
Obsessed with the idea of a funnel cake, I bought one only to find out it is DISGUSTING! So Talin kindly took it over for me -- and ate the WHOLE thing! The background of this picture shows how cute the little town square is in Madison County. At the center lies the courthouse and it's grounds and then, in a perfect square surrounding it, these cute shops line up across the street. The four streets around the courthouse were filled with booths and festival food which kind of grossed us out considering how excited we were for the food before we got there.
The farmer's market at the festival. I loved these squash (?) or whatever they are because they looked like a bunch of geese. I have been entertained and excited by the idea of gardening lately, but this is above and beyond . . . only in the Midwest, I suppose.
THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY
After the festival, we grabbed a bite to eat at a disgusting Pizza Hut. It was very hard to find any restaurants in that small town! It grossed us out and then the waitress had the audacity to try to charge us $7.00 for 4 waters! Water that we never touched because it was disgusting tap water - if you know any of my siblings, you know that we are obsessed with how our water tastes. One of my sisters once decided she could only drink water out of plastic cups rather than glass. Are we a little weird? I don't care as long as my water tastes good!
The Cutler-Donahue Bridge located in the city park.
Maybe not one of THE bridges, but I loved this quaint little bridge in the city park. And I love this cute picture of Megan and her boys (and her cute stomach).
The Tower. We don't know any history of this tower except that it's in the city park and everyone visits it, so we went. I thought it was awesome and the view from the top was amazing. Talin went up with me, but then refused to go down with me helping him so I had to go get Megan to do the mom-thing and carry him down before he went hysterical. In his defense, I will say that it was very high up there!
I figure I should include any pictures of Megan and I together that aren't too bad so that we can actually document pictures of us instead of just kids. This rather artistic picture was taken by almost 4-year old Collin. We were laughing the whole time because it looked like he was photographing the sky, but as you can see, he knew what he was doing.
I LOVE mazes and so I made Megan stop for this on the way out of the city park. We had a race: Talin and I against Megan and Collin. Guess who won? The maze-lover of course! It reminded me of the awesome maze they have at Hampton Court in England.
The birthplace of John Wayne in Madison County.
Holliwell Bridge. This is the first bridge we actually drove to, but it's funny because we both needed to pee so badly that we didn't even get out - I just snapped a photo and we were off in search of the loo. We figured we had three more bridges to go.
Hogback Bridge. I love the inside and it was amazing how bumpy that ride across there must have been for wagons or anything.
The only picture of all four of us. The boys were so fabulously good the whole time for us - especially considering how busy and tiring the day before at the zoo had been.
Collin and I with the cornfields of Iowa.
Cedar Bridge. Right about this time, I was on the phone for a while with Nate hearing about how horrible my children were being at that moment. Lovely. Luckily it passed and that night Nate was in much better spirits and on better terms with the girls as they headed to his parent's house. There's nothing like Grandma and Grandpa when mom's gone.
My nephews love me! Talin and Collin are so stinking cute and good that I told Megan that she's never allowed to complain to me about her boys again! I mean, what kind of 5-year old will just go up to his room, turn on his cd player with classical music or Sarah Brightman and then color for an hour?! He is so darn cute!
Well, I've been a slacker at writing, but I have a good excuse: I've been visiting Megan in Iowa for the past week and enjoying myself without children (well, except her cute little boys). Before sharing my adventures, I must thank both Nate and Amy for making this possible for me. Without their great care of my children, I would not have ever gotten away and felt good about leaving them. Phone calls were interesting and I do feel bad that a few things didn't turn out as nicely as planned (electricity going out, & sick children), but all lived and we're back to normal here now.
*just a note to say sorry if some pictures are repeats from Megan's blog, but I want to have the same memories when I print out my "blog book" someday.
Friday we drove two hours to Omaha, Nebraska to visit their zoo. Megan is a zoo girl; I am not. BUT I will say that if this were MY zoo then I would be a zoo girl because it's the most amazing zoo I've ever been too! I decided halfway through that the Phoenix Zoo is a joke. Yes, it has nice exhibits, but when do you ever see animals up close????? Never! Well, maybe I'm exaggerating so let me rephrase - hardly ever!
This is in their jungle exhibit which was awesome, but I realized that as an Arizona girl, I don't breathe well in the humidity. I did, however see lots of animals I've never seen before - like a sloth looking just like on Diego. This picture of Megan and I was taken by 5-year old Talin -- not bad, but I will agree with Megan that we are at that pregnancy stage where people wonder -- are they fat or pregnant? I'm actually moving out of that this week as I seem to be growing everyday and there is no question now.
The underwater exhibit made me feel guilty for being at a cool zoo without my children because I knew how excited they would be to be in this tunnel with sharks, fish and stingrays swimming around and over us. I loved it!
I made Megan snap like 10 pictures to finally get a good one of a stingray's cute little face. They just looked so happy and cute swimming over our heads - my favorite part of the tunnel.
This cheetah picture was taken without a zoom. He strutted right in front of us -- only about 4 feet away! Now, that's why I'm saying that this zoo is better than the Phx Zoo -- I've only seen the cheetah in the Phx Zoo like twice and one of those times, it was nearly all covered in the bushes except a head.
The monkey-gorilla exhibit was cool too. And yes, I did take lots of pictures of this guy, but he was just so intriguing to me, just sitting there so close. . .
The three-legged momma tiger with her two cubs, born this summer. They were darling and these were Savannah's favorite pictures from the zoo.
After the zoo, we headed over the Winter Quarters to see the temple and visitor's center. Megan and I went on a stake youth trip in the summer of 1996 (right after I graduated) and trekked (by bus) from Denver to all sorts of church sites: Independence, Nauvoo, Adam-ondi-aman, Liberty Jail, Carthage Jail, and Winter Quarters (and I'm sure I'm forgetting other places). So, I was excited to visit again and actually see the visitor's center and temple built near the cemetery.
Working hard pulling that wagon. . . The visitor's center was really nice and fun, but I must say that my favorite part had nothing to do with the pioneer memorabilia. It came from Collin (on the left). Before heading out, we all went to use the bathroom (which we did everywhere being two pg ladies!). So we're all in our stalls and Collin says: "Anyone want to come in my stall? There's plenty of room!"
Once again, picture courtesy of Talin. A little out of focus, but not bad. This is the cemetery across the street from the visitor's center and right next to the temple grounds.
I love this statue. Talin was very intent on explaining that there was a dead baby at the parents' feet, in the ground. It's such a moving statue that makes you remember all that the pioneers went through and it makes you wonder (hope) that you would be as valiant and strong in the same type of situation.
What is it about temple grounds that they are always the most beautiful and peaceful places on the earth? I love this picture of Megan with her boys and the gorgeous flowers.
And I thought I'd end with the temple itself. This is the side view where the flowers and the stain-glass windows are absolutely gorgeous.
Up next on Saturday: Madison County Bridge Festival and, of course, the bridges.
It is really hard to believe that I am 30 years old -- it sounds old, but I don't feel old. I always hear that your 30's are the best, so I'm looking forward to making the most of them!
I just thought it'd be interesting to share a few facts about the year I was born:
President: James Earl Carter Jr. Vice President: Walter F. Mondale Median Household Income (current dollars) $13,572
Cost of . . . a new home $54,200.00 a first-class stamp $0.13 a gallon of reg gas $0.62 a dozen eggs $0.82 a gallon of milk $1.68
Entertainment *Star Wars hits theaters for the first time. *Saturday Night Fever sparks the disco inferno *Elvis Presley dies at Graceland, his Memphis, TN home. He was 42. *Academy Award for Best Picture: Rocky.
Last night my family had a wonderful dinner for me since my mom's going up to Utah today to see our new baby in the family -- Ryder H. Hendrix. Tyler and Gina's fourth little boy who was born in the early hours of Sunday morning. We're still waiting for pictures.
Dinner was fabulous with steaks, mashed potatoes, Italian Sodas, and my all-time favorite strawberry-spinach salad which I will have to post a recipe for later because it's truly fabulous! Dinner was topped off with a strawberry/cheesecake/gelato cake - yum! Good food and good company made it perfect and Amy even got me the cookbook I've coveted for months.
Every time she makes something amazing it seems to have come out of this book and I'm so excited to have my own! If you love to cook, you should pick one up!
Yesterday was the primary program. Savannah said her part perfectly and was darling. For the past few weeks she and London have been holding mock primary programs with their stuffed animals and princess figurines or their bath toys, depending on where they are at the moment.
It all started when she had all her bath figurines lined up and they'd take turns standing on the faucet and either saying Savy's line or bearing a short testimony and then jumping into the water.
"my name is The Little Mermaid and I have faith in Jesus Christ"
"my name is Sleeping Beauty and I love my mom and dad and the church and I always listen to my mommy and daddy. . . "
When they're not in the bath, they make a podium and have each stuffed animal take turns. It's funny because I had no idea they even listened during testimony meetings and knew the "format" of a testimony, but kids are smarter than you think!
Anyway, back to the primary program.
In primary, the kids all got a rice krispy treat for doing such a fab job. Savannah, I noticed, nibbled hers but didn't devour like all the other children. After church, she came out of her primary class with her treat still in tact, proclaiming that she had saved it to share with London. I don't know about you, but I don't know many four years olds that would save a treat to share with their annoying little sister. Savannah was so excited to show London and share.
Now that's a good sister.
The other day Amy wrote on her blog about how mom used to tell us that our siblings would be our best friends when we grew up and we would roll our eyes at her. Along with Amy, I must agree wholeheartedly that that is what has happened and I hope with all my heart that my girls always stay close and good friends like I have with my sisters. I don't know what I would do without mine.
A good sister will put up with your indecisiveness on choosing a picture and then go to an antique store with cranky children to order it for you even though she has a ton to do and is leaving the next day on a long vacation . . . thank you JoDee.
A good sister will be an example of service to you and always inspire you to do things or to be better. . .thank you Amy.
A good sister will make you feel loved and needed and admired, even when you don't feel you deserve it. She will also always be an example of keeping yourself cute and make you want to work harder on that . . . thank you Megan.
A good sister will definitely share her primary treat with you!
Now those are all good sisters and I feel so blessed!