We are back from our vacation now. I will post some of the highlights:
On Friday 8/8/08 Michael and I rode the Amtrak train from Fort Worth to Oklahoma City. That was interesting. All was good except the food from the cafe car...note to self...next time bring own food!! We got into OKC around 9:30pm and was picked up at the train station by mom and dad. We loaded into their van and drove straight through to SLC. We got in there around 5pm on Saturday afternoon. We were pretty exhausted but still chatted with Dean and Julie for awhile and gave the grandkids hugs. Julie pulled an all-nighter Saturday at Savers.
Sunday Julie slept for a few hours then we all got up and went to church. They have 1pm meetings. Julie and Dean are in the nursery but Michael, mom, dad, and I went to gospel doctrine then relief society or priesthood. Julie came to get me at the beginning of RS and said that Caleb wanted "ga ga" So I went with her back to nursery and then on to Caleb's nursery after a bit. I didn't really mind as I really enjoy being in the nursery.
On Monday the day was planned and we were going to work on the basement all day and then go to a Burke family picnic that evening. Dad made a contraption out of 2X4's for holding up the sheetrock on the ceiling. We got the ceiling of both bedrooms done. They are going from a 3 bedroom 2 bath house to a 5 bedroom 3 bath house with an extra office down in the basement (besides the already finished family room). It will be really nice when it is finished. We worked until about 5 or so then cleaned up to go to the picnic. It was in Mapleton at the park there. It was nice to see everyone again but we really missed Megan (I hope she is feeling better now) and Heather (I hope the little kids are well now). We will have to get together more often when I go to Utah.
On Tuesday Michael and I headed up to Ogden. Our first stop was the mission office. He expected a lot of people to be there but the temple was closed that week so the only people there were the office staff. He was pretty disappointed that he didn't get to see President and Sister Joyce or any of the other missionaries. After that we went to the mall to go to "Quilted Bear". It was in the process of moving and both stores were closed...bummer again. We went to try to visit a few people. The first one we found home was a lady. When Michael had taught her she had a husband too but they had since split up. It seems that when Michael taught them they didn't have the kids (they were in foster care) and in order for her to get them back she had to get rid of him. Kinda a complicated situation but she seemed to be doing fine. She lived in a VERY poor section of Ogden but the kids seemed to be happy. We then went back to the mall to get some cash (the only BOA ATM in the mission is in that mall) and went out to eat for lunch at Maddock's. That was my favorite meal of the trip...it was delicious. I highly recommend it if anyone is up in that area...it is almost up to Brigham City. After lunch we went down to visit another family. This was a member and Michael (and a lot of other missionaries) had spent a lot of time with a pick ax and shovel digging out his basement. He had nothing but nice things to say about Michael...but everyone we ran into said the same thing. It was good to know that the members there loved him so much. After we got done at this house we went down to Syracuse. There was a family there that Michael wanted to take out for dinner. We got to their place and they were actually home!!! They had a family thing planned but after talking with us for awhile she decided to call and cancel with her family and spend the evening with us. That was really great...I loved visiting with them. Interestingly enough...I found out she works with people in the adoption process so we had a lot to talk about since the Jossie's have experienced it. She always wondered how it worked out after the placement process so I was able to tell her how it had worked out with the Jossie's...at least the ups and downs I know about. We went out to eat at a little restaurant in Eden...over on the other side of Ogden...through a canyon. It was a beautiful drive. Michael got ribs...they were delicious...much better than my steak.
On Wednesday Julie had a dentist appointment in the morning. I babysat (they slept a lot of the time) until she got home. Then in the afternoon we all (except Dean) went with mom and dad to temple square. I went to the SLC temple last time I was there and have recently been to the genealogy library but haven't really spent time in temple square since I was a kid. We toured the Conference Center, Tabernacle, Assembly Hall, and 2 Visitor's Centers. Well, some we toured, some we just went to. We also went to the Legacy theater and saw the Joseph Smith movie. It was so good to see all those things. I didn't realize there were gardens on the roof of the conference center. All the things we saw strenghtened my testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
On Thursday Michael and I headed back up to his old mission stomping ground. Julie wanted to come too since that was our last day in town. So we traded Julie's car for mom and dad's van and headed up to Logan this time. We stopped in Ogden to look for a well that we could fill up Julie's 5 gallon water containers with. It was the best water and free...definitely better than PG water. It took us awhile to find it but we finally did. By the time we made it to Logan we were hungry. We stopped to invite a family to lunch with us but they were not home. We ate lunch and it was good but the kids were pretty restless so Julie and I left with the kids to go across the street to the tabernacle while Michael got boxes and paid for the meal. He met us there and we went on a tour. We got to see the baptismal font too...it was tiled in different shades of green...different than I expected but beautiful. We also saw the statue on the grounds. It was kinda cool...there was the father of the family pointed out the Logan temple to his son and we could follow where he pointed and sure enough...there was the temple. I had not been to Logan since Wayne and I were sealed there...it was good to see it again. After the tabernacle we got back in the van to see if we could visit people. We stopped at about 6 houses but only found 2 home before it was too late to visit more. The first family we visited lived in a house in town but also had a farm that Michael would work at. They were a very nice family. The other family we went to see was one that had lived in Virginia when 9/11 happened and he had lost his job because it was in the towers. So they couldn't find another one (he kept getting told he was over qualified for everything he applied for) for 1 1/2 years. That was when they decided to move "home" to Utah but she admitted that she likes it better in the other places they had lived. It was really enjoyable talking with all the families we visited. After this house we drove by the temple...it was dark so lit up beautifully. Then we went to Brigham City to Dean's parents house to visit them. By the time we got there it was after 10pm and they thought we had decided not to stop. But they were up watching the olympics so we visited with them for awhile. We finally got home around 1:30am.
On Friday we decided to leave around noon. But we were hungry so ate at Village Inn with Julie, Dean and the kids before we left. We ended up leaving around 1:30pm. I asked if we could stop by 4 corners as Michael had never seen it and wanted to. That was about 20 minutes to get to and 20 min back so ended up being an hour out of the way but it was nice to see it again. I was pretty small when I had seen it as a kid. We took some pictures (hopefully one of the ones that I took of mom and dad will be good enough to use for the 50th). We drove all night again and got here to Texas around 10:30am Saturday morning. Wayne was at work but Daniel was up so mom and dad got to see him. It was a good trip...mom and dad...THANK YOU SO MUCH for taking us.