July 31, 2012

"Family Vacation???"

Dal didn't get a "Family Vacation" at the end of his Senior year like all of the other kids because he had an incredible job opportunity making some VERY good money helping install turf back east.  Sooo, maybe our one-day trip to Las Vegas can kind of take the place of that. . . kinda!

 Before we left, Dallin put the finishing touches on the rock waterfall he "re-made" in our backyard.  We love it!  Then we headed south to Las Vegas.  It was a surprise for Erika since she had NO IDEA what our plans were...
 Our first stop was the Las Vegas Temple.  None of us had ever been there except for Dad, just after it had first opened many years ago.  Even though Dad had got the driving directions for the fastest way to get there,  he conceded to my assurance that "Heidi  TOLD me how to get there..."  It was the LONG way!  Oops!!
After walking around the temple grounds we headed to The Venetian Hotel where we parked.  Then walked partway to the M&M Factory before we realized we didn't have enough time...turned around and walked BACK to The Mirage (across the street from The Venetian) to see the Dolphin Exhibit.  Erika LOVES dolphins and it was a great surprise for her!  We loved it, too!

After lots of pictures and videos there, we walked a short distance to Treasure Island and Gilley's BBQ Restaurant.  It was really good and splitting dinner plates worked out nicely.  Lots of food, and not too expensive. . . then we walked back to The Venetian and Phantom of the Opera.  Yep!  Erika was surprised again!!  And we ALL loved the show!  An excellent performance all the way around, and we had really great seats too!  The entire day was perfect, we even hit a couple of the water shows at The Belagio as we walked back and forth to the M&M Factory.  What an incredible day!!  Hope these memories tide us over for two years!!

July 27, 2012

Dallin's Mission Preparations. . .

The last two weeks have been "interesting!"  Difficult, realizing that Dallin will be leaving for his mission soon, and that he will be gone for TWO YEARS!!   It did NOT help having Natalee move to Mapleton, Utah all at the same time, however she has a really good job in Provo working at Nexus Paincare.

Last year, after some mother/son "discussion" and not seeing everything eye-to-eye, we came to the agreement that it would be very beneficial to BOTH of us, for Dallin to give me a hug every 20 minutes to help ease some of the hurt and frustration I was feeling as he was exerting his independence.  He was very gracious about it all and would jokingly ask, "Do you need a '20 minute' hug?"  His friends thought it a bit weird, but Dallin always gave me great hugs before he left for BYU.  And those hugs have been even MORE important now.  He has been very accommodating of my needs.  I think it has helped him a bit, too!

 One of the mornings Rod and I picked a lot of tomatoes from our garden...just in time, too!  We had just opened out last jar of homemade salsa from last year!  And Dallin has always been good about helping make salsa . . . even though I did have to wake him up to come help!  What a good sport!!

More mission prep stuff. . .

One of the FUN things Dallin got to do was get some booster shots.  He was just SOOOO thrilled!

 We went to Salt Lake City for the Henry Grow Family Reunion being held on Temple Square the end of July.  We also went to the Jordan River Temple and did a session there.  The reunion was VERY cool!  There were 3,000 in attendance out of 9000 descendants.  It was pretty amazing to know that nearly everyone we passed was a "cousin!"

It was amazing for Rod and I to sing in the "Grow Tabernacle Choir" . . .  probably the closest thing we'll ever get to singing with The Mormon Tabernacle Choir!!  And it was fun to have some of the kids there with us, too!  We enjoyed dinner in the Conference Center "lobby"...feeding over 1200 people in a very short amount of time.  Brandon, Tannya and Nikki, plus Kristy were there with us.  Also, Linda, Monty, Cambria, Josh and Lynlee; Dan and Janet, Cory, Jessica, Deanna, Rebecca and Kyle were also there!  And then we headed back to the Tabernacle for the Grow Fireside.  But the highlight of the evening for ME was getting to play the Tabernacle organ after the fireside!!  TRULY Amazing experience!!  (Thanks, Ken Udy!)

July 15, 2012

Freakish July Rainstorm!!

We had just finished an enjoyable Sunday dinner, sent Kristy and Katie Olsen off "into the sunset..." as they headed back to SLC, and then the heavens unleashed a double whammy rainstorm, complete with hailstones at one point.

Dallin and Harrison LOVED running around in the first wave (no pun intended), and the 2nd wave was painful as the hailstones pelted their heads.

Sunset Blvd was closed off when it formed a small lake all the way across!  Pretty amazing stuff!!


Mom’s Moment
July 15, 2012

Have you ever noticed how a car GPS can be compared to our lives and the way we live them?  Well, neither did I until this morning when I heard the analogy on Music and The Spoken Word.

Think about it a minute.  When we are driving somewhere and we take a wrong turn, does the GPS shout, “YOU IDIOT!!  What were you THINKING!!  Now you’ll NEVER get there!”  No.  The GPS simply says in a matter-of-fact voice, “RE-CALCULATING…” and proceeds to find you an alternate route to get to your destination.  It might take you longer to go the “detour” sort of way, however, if you don’t stop driving, and follow the directions, you WILL eventually get there.

The same is true with life.  If you make a “wrong turn,” it isn’t the end of the world unless you give up.  The shouting in our head often says things like, “YOU IDIOT!!  WHY did you do that?  Now there’s NO HOPE for you!  You’ll never be able to fix THIS!  It’s the end of the road!” 

What we need to realize is that the TRUE GPS, also known as our Savior, Jesus Christ, is lovingly saying, “Re-calculating…just keep trying; don’t stop ‘driving’ just because you are in a rough patch because of taking a wrong turn.  Trust the directions; follow the course I’ve set, even if you stray from the most direct route, you can make it back to the presence of the Father because I have paid the price for every one of your detours.”

We need to remember that our experiences and choices do not define us.  They are the things that help us learn and grow.  We are given commandments to live by to help us know the most direct route, with the least amount of detours.  However, every road CAN lead back to our Heavenly Father IF we accept the Atonement of Jesus Christ, repent, and do what He has commanded us to do, whether it be from the beginning of our trip, partway through it, or close to the end. 

I hope, when we make mistakes, we will be a little kinder to ourselves.  Rather than condemning us, perhaps we should quietly remind ourselves that we are “RE-CALCULATING…”

July 8, 2012

Nikki & Grandpa. . .

It has been a fun week of LOTS of things. . . Dallin's birthday (and surprise visit from Erika AND Erika's parents), Brandon, Tannya and Nikki coming down and staying with us, the 4th of July festivities, Dallin's mission call, and NIKKI and GRANDPA TIME!!

July 6, 2012


I slept in this morning. . . until my cell phone kept ringing and then I shot out of bed!  Sure enough, it was the Post Office calling to tell me that Dallin's mission call had arrived.  I threw on some clothes and rushed to the Post Office!  (Dallin was still asleep on the couch!)

By the time I returned home, Dallin was awake and eating a bowl of cereal.  I asked if he had fun watching the fireworks display last night, and then asked if he'd like to see some more fireworks...then I slipped the mission call packet from behind me and set it on the table.  He was speechless!

Plans were quickly hatched to rearrange Dallin's work schedule so he could open it this evening before we all headed to Tuachan to see the production of Hairspray.

The day went by rather slowly, but also fast!  Suddenly it was time to make something for dinner (chicken tacos!) and see if Dal was going to make it home.  5:30 he was still at work...6:00 Dallin called to say a large truck got stuck in the car wash, and the car behind smashed into it...broken windshield, mayhem at the car wash and he would be lucky to make it by 6:30 when everyone would be showing up.

6:30 p.m. and friends and family are gathering in the backyard...6:45. . . no Dallin and no phone contact. . . 7:00 p.m. and I finally call the car wash land line.  "Yes, Dallin is still here at work...there was a problem...oh, he's supposed to be there right now opening his mission call...oh, well I'll talk to the manager and have him call you back..."  I was SO glad it was Tori Gates Hafen who answered the phone and understood what was going on!!

Just as I was telling everyone in the backyard what the latest update was, Dallin called and said he was leaving and would be home in 15 minutes.  A cheer went up in the backyard!!

Dallin pulled up and made it into the backyard to say hi to everyone, ran in the house to change his sweaty work shirt, grabbed a bit of chicken taco, then ran out into the backyard.  Hooray!!  It was FINALLY time for the grand opening of the mission call packet!

I was running the video camera and, at one point, told Brandon jokingly, "Go stand behind Dal so you can read where he's going!!  You can mouth it to me!!"  Well, Brandon did exactly that. . . the only problem was that as he mouthed "Can-a-da" to me, my lip-reading skills saw "In-di-an-a" and I was SO worried that Dallin would be disappointed!!  He got very choked up as he read the letter aloud, pausing every few words:  "You have been called...to serve...in the...Canada-Halifax Mission..."  I couldn't believe it!!  I yelled, and then I ran, AS I yelled, to give Dallin the biggest hug!!   He has been called to serve in the exact mission I served in 35 years ago!!  It was SOOOOOO cool!!  And we are VERY excited for Dallin!!

The first phone call I made was to a family I taught in my first area, who joined the church after my mission, and with whom we have stayed close friends!  They have stayed at our home, and it feels like Dallin will be going to his mission with "family" already there!!

And Dallin is excited, too!!