Joy is very infectious; therefore, be always full of joy.

~ Mother Teresa

Monday, November 30, 2009

Manhattan New York Temple & Lunch

We said a little prayer before we left the hotel, asking for the Spirit to go before us that we may find our way and be safe, and off we went! We bought a day pass to ride the subway and hopped aboard!

I loved all the mosaic murals on the walls at each subway station - granted some of them were - ahem - "artsy" and well I liked this one the best! I love historical anything!

The local #1 train was not running, so we had to take the #1 express beyond where we needed to go and then catch it back to where we wanted to get off. It was an adventure and a half... and a great way to "get our feet wet" to subway traveling!

Uh... I think we missed the train!

We ended up at Times Square waiting to get back on to go back to 66th. It was fun!

Hey Times Square! We'll be back for YOU later! ;)

Subway travel! Wahoo!

The subway was filthy... but in a railway kind of dirty. It was hard to imagine how many people ride these trains everyday and how many OTHER trains there were! Amazing! New York has a whole city practically UNDER it's city! LOL

WAHOO!!!!! WE MADE IT!!!!!! And when we emerged from the subway...

We were met by a familiar friend!
It was neat to see angel Moroni in the midst of all this "world". The temple is an interesting building... half of it is the Museum of Folk Art. It was pretty cool though!
Across the street from the temple is Julliard! Sweet!
So after our subway adventure post nap time... Patty and I were feeling quite hungry! We decided to find food before entering the temple. One problem... we didn't know what was good and close by! As we started walking to look, a man passed by me. I felt strongly impressed to ask him for help and when he turned around he had a missionary name tag on!!!
This Elder was delightful! He gave us TONS of ideas, tricks, tips and whatnot! It was a huge blessing! (After all... we had only known we were going to New York just over 24 hours now! LOL) At the start of our conversations, he recommended a place a few blocks up that had great sandwiches. Then we proceeded to talk all about the places to see and what not to bother with and our hometowns etc. He invited us to come back to the temple in the morning for Sacrament Meeting! Apparently their chapel was on the 3rd floor of the temple! (HOW COOL IS THAT!?) They were having a "meet and greet" for all the neighborhood to "come and see what the Mormon's are all about". We said we would try. After about 20 minutes we snapped some photos with him and said goodbye. (and thank you!)
We started walking in the direction of our restaurant destination, when we realized we could not remember the name! Uh oh! We kept walking... and finally Patty said to me..."OK... I think I know the name... but I don't dare ask anyone! I think he said 'Big Dicks'! " We both burst into giggles and agreed we would only ask if anyone knew of a great "hole in the wall" that served sandwiches, pizza etc.
A block later, there was a really tall, but nice black man whom we asked... and he replied "oh yeah! Big Nick's! It's across the street right there!" Bwahahahaha! Ah good! Big Nick's! That's the place!! Whew!
It really was a little hole in the wall! It was this tiny little place... but it was packed with people for being about 2 in the afternoon! And now we know why!

We were seated and it took forever to decide to order! The menu was huge and full of yummy things to choose from! Talk about variety! When asked what we wanted to drink, Patty asked if they charged for ice water. Our cute waiter looked SHOCKED! He leaned back and asked "Why? you pay for water where you come from??" (imagine a thick italian accent) It was really funny! So, we both got our waters - for free - WITH a pitcher just because he was worried about us out of towners that have to pay for water! LOL We ordered a Philly Cheese steak sandwich to share and half fries/half onion rings. I also wanted a hot cocoa... so I got one! :) Talk about a meal!

HOLY CAMOLEE!!!!!!!!!!! This is THE best sandwich I have EVER eaten!!! The steak melted in your mouth! (How in the world do you get steak to melt in your mouth? Marinate for weeks?) WOW! It was SO good! Fresh American cheese, grilled onions and mushrooms on a home baked garlic subway. TO. DIE. FOR. I would go back to New York JUST to have another sandwich! LOL The onion rings were wonderful too! They were minced up onion made into rings so they fell apart in your mouth when you bit into them... no onion pulling out of the batter... ah! So good! We asked for mayo and ketchup and a bowl and made Fry Sauce... our waiter was very intrigued! LOL
And on a funny side note... my hot cocoa was DIVINE! I kept saying so to Patty. It had whipped cream with cinnamon sprinkled on it... oh! yum! About half way through our meal... Patty says "Hey Heather... look on the shelf over there!" There, embarrassingly enough, was a box of Nestle Hot Cocoa!! Huh! Whatever. It must have been the New York water! (bwahahaha) It was STILL the best cocoa I have ever had! *WINK*
This was our waiter (which, honestly, I think he owned the place too) He was very kind and when his co-worker told him to smile for the photo he replied "Dis is my smile"! LOL!
We walked back to the temple with really full bellies, falling in love with New York City! The people were SO nice! They look you in the eye and smile! If we were looking at our map trying to figure out where to go, they would ask if we needed help! I have never experienced anything like it! Hate to say it... but my home state people, heck most west coast people, walk around afraid to look at each other or talk to each other I swear! It was very eye opening to experience outside of Happy Valley culture like this! I liked it a lot!
When we arrived at the temple things only got better! The temple is GORGEOUS!! It was almost as if we were the only ones in the temple the way we were waited on! We asked if we could do initiatory ordinances so we would not be all day in the temple and could explore NY a little bit more. They gave us the clothes and we headed to the dressing room to change. A sister quickly came and asked if we would consider doing Sealing ordinances instead. They needed more help! We agreed and she ran off to get us clothing. We hurried to dress and were guided upstairs to the sealing rooms. They were in the middle of an ordinance so we waited outside the door, drinking it all in. I was suddenly overcome with joy and peace and tears filled my eyes. Almost at the same moment, Patty turned to me and said "this family needed us to come all the way from Utah to New York to get their work done today!" I smiled through tears and said "I know! I feel it too!" It was very cool!
There was a lovely Spanish speaking couple in the room with family names. They did half the names in Spanish and half in English. It was SUCH a neat experience for me! I grew up speaking Spanish all through grade school (Spanish immersion) but rarely use it now I am an adult! I closed my eyes and tried to figure out each word (as I never learned any religious type terms in a public school!). I loved it! It was very enlightening to hear it that way. I understood more than I ever had before.
After we were done with the ordinances, the sealer asked the sister if he did the Spanish OK. She said yes, that he had spoken really well. I said, "yeah... your accent was great!". He smiled and told us he doesn't speak Spanish!! He reads the words and the Spirit helps him with pronunciation! I was covered in chills! This truly is the Lord's work! And it IS worldwide! I have always KNOWN that... but I guess I had just never really *realized* that. If that makes any sense! (talk about breakin' my bubble big time huh? LOL)
After the sealings, the sealer took us to the Celestial Room. It was AMAZING! SO beautiful! I felt so honored to be in the Lord's Home that day... and it was small and quaint and elegant and truly FELT like His home! As we were getting ready to leave the celestial room, the Temple President came in and talked to us. He was from Mapleton growing up! It was cool. He invited us to Sacrament Meeting the next day as well! I decided I really wanted to... but knew I had to wait to see how I was feeling after no sleep and prowling the city all day before I committed for sure! LOL

I can't wait to go back! I LOVE the Manhattan Temple!!

THIS was the BEST reason to go to New York! Though I am not sure any other temple dates Patty and I have from now on will be able to compare! Ever! *GIGGLE*

Sunrise in New York City

I used to think my passion of nature was sunsets...

After this spectacular view as we rode the Air Train from JFK to the Long Island Railroad I am not so sure it is not a dead on tie! WOW! What a sunrise!!

Patty's Daughter and boyfriend
It made me so happy!
God truly is the best painter there is!

In the concourse of Penn Station after our ride on the Long Island Railroad

Welcome to the streets of New York City!

What a beautiful day!!!!!!!!
We arrived in Penn Station near Madison Square Gardens about 7 am-ish. We found our hotel a block or so away from the station (which BTW the blocks are more like 4-5 of our blocks! LOL) and we asked if we could drop off our backpacks. Because Patty was a Flight Crew person from Jet Blue they let us actually check in! And they sent us to go have breakfast...even though we would get the buffet breakfast the next morning for free too! It was perfect! (yeah! for small blessings! one less cost for my trip!)

We dropped off our stuff, ate breakfast and then the young'uns headed out to explore! I took this picture of Patty's stuff...mostly because the poor girl had packed a baglike backpack with a pull tie on pockets... and it was NOT user friendly! Every time she needed anything she practically had to unpack the entire thing! It was hoot! We giggled a lot about her bag!
We older less spry adventurers headed up to the room after breakfast! LOL! If we were going to be given a chance to rest before playing we were going to take it! And since neither of us could sleep on the plane (unlike the young'uns) we crashed for 4 hours! *blush* Yes. You read that right. I flew to New York to take a nap! *grin* GO ME!
We got up about 11:30am (NY time) and called the temple to see if we could come, and if we could come in street clothes.
Of course they said yes... in fact she practically begged us to come! So off we headed... onto the streets of New York City in warmer clothes than church clothes... and down into the subways below!! What an adventure!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

I ran away! :)

Last Thursday (the 19th) I received a phone call from my FLYSistah Patty. We had discussed for months about getting together and going to the temple. She lives 45 minutes away... and it just never seemed to work out. Well... both have had some dark times in our lives as of late and she had always said to me (as she works at JetBlue) : If I ever call you and say let's run away... just tell me you would say yes and we would fly away to go sit on the beach in California or somewhere and cry ok? I always laughed and said I would! Of course I would! That's what friends are for right??

Well.. she called and said, " Wanna run away? How does New York sound?" I was in shock and still digesting... that's when she said... "we would leave tomorrow night at 11:40pm!". She offered for me to use her Buddy Passes which would cost me $45 for a pass. We would share a hotel room with her daughter and boyfriend (daughter was taking boyfriend to NY for his B-day and it made more sense to stay overnight - so we were "chaperoning").

Yep! Jestin told me to go! He said it was a once in a lifetime adventure and he basically didn't let me back out! ('cause well... I always WANTED to go to New York... but I never really THOUGHT about going to New York and I was a little nervous to say the least!) LOL

We packed a backpack, and off we went! It was only my second time flying...EVER (the first was a quick hop to Reno for Jestin to attend a convention 10+ yrs ago) so IT WAS SO EXCITING!!!

Towards the middle of the flight Patty showed me the channel I could watch to see where we were and how high etc. I was pumped! I had been watching out the window as the lights seemed to suddenly disappear and had wondered where we were...

TADA! We are passing over the Great Lakes Now! (isn't that so cool??)

And we were going 556 mph at an altitude of 34,887 ft! Wicked cool to think about! I LOVE TO FLY!!!
I kept checking our status and location after that... It was fun! Plus... even though it was an all night flight and I should have been sleeping... Um... yeah... excited! Nervous! On an airplane that hits turbulence here and there! Seat that didn't recline. Yeah. No. I didn't sleep. LOL

I think this is a photo of Pennsylvania...

And we start our decent just a bit...

Welcome to the east coast Heather! You haven't been here since you were a small child!

Watch out New York City! Here we come!!!!!!!!

Thank you PBS Kids!

The other day as I was working at my computer, I let Caleb play on his Daddy's laptop on He loves Super Why and all the games on that site! He asked if he could "make a book of pictures" for his best friend Jesse. I gave him paper and crayons and he used the computer chair as his desk. I was busy with my back to him when he made a very disgruntled sound. I turned around to see what the dilema was and was SHOCKED!! This is what he had written!!

He was upset because the "e" wasn't the right way! HE HAS NEVER WRITTEN A LETTER IN HIS LIFE!!!!! He is 4! He can't write his name... and he is just barely learning his letters!! I was so surprised!! He had copied the words off of the website he had been playing on! And he was upset about the E ?? LOL I know a certain 2nd grader who STILL gets his E's not quite right! :)

I made a huge deal out of it, texting to Jesse's mom and his grandma the picutre of it and reading to him their responses and we hung it on the fridge like Grover reccomends ;) ... well... so cool! Now he wants to copy letters all the time! What a fun LEAP in his development! He is learning to write his name as we speak! LOL! And his mommy is just so excited for his new found interest in learning! *GRIN*

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Keep scrolling

So... I have added a ton of new posts to my blog that I have missed the last few months. I put them in chronological order... so sorry *blush* if you wanna read them... just keep scrolling. Old and new are mixed together! Tee hee hee

Fun Visitors

Aunt Jenny and G'ma Annie came to see us the other night... The kids LOVE to see them both!

Jenny as usual was typical magnet for who gets to sit by her and talk to her first... it is so great that they love her so much and that she pays so much attention and love to them too! They love to "play" with her!

The flashlight from her purse became their own hand puppet show! It was a riot!

And Sophie as usual cuddled right up on her Grandma! She loves my mom so much!

Thanks for coming to play! And thanks for the massages! We love our message therapist/nurse aunt! If any of you need a good massage therapist LMK! I will get your her info! She is AMAZING!

Crazy Hair Day Oct 2009

Slow in posting... sorry!

Cam LOVES crazy hair day! He had the best of 3 style!

Spikey in back.
Slicked up "nerd" in the middle.
Super tall wave in the front.
= a very happy 7 yr old! :D

Everyday...about 3 pm

These cute girls climb up on my bed and watch out the window...

How they know that "their kids" are going to be home soon I know not! :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

New Calling

Jestin received a new calling. He kind of knew it was coming... only because he was in the bishopric meeting where his name came up (the joys of being the assist. ward clerk) and he was then asked to leave. A few days later he got a call from the Stake President's office.

He is feeling completely inadequate and unqualified for this position. It has been a long week to say the least! LOL

Jestin has been called as the new Elder's Quorum President.

I must admit it has been a call full of blessings already. When the Stake Pres. asked if he would accept the call he could barely get his answer out. But as he did, a really neat thing happened! The only way I can describe it is that a conduit from heaven opened up and rested upon Jestin. He seemed full of light. He was asked to seek revelation and select his counselors in less than 2 days time. He was diligent in seeking them. He and I reviewed the ward list and he came up with 13 names. He then carried that list around with him in his pocket all the next day. Later in the afternoon he asked me to go with him to the temple to be sure...

It was hard to get there in the first place (isn't it always when you are trying to go?)... and then we went clear to the AF temple (our favorite) and it was closed for cleaning! We decided to drive to the new one around the point of the mountain and missed the last session by mere minutes! It was a long wait... but the whole session was worth it. He knew without a shadow of a doubt who should be called - even though he did not know either man very well.

On the way home we stopped at the bishop's work and Jestin presented the names. He got complete approval. He then called the Stake Exec. Secretary and gave them to him. It was amazing, but after the names were passed on... the light seemed to lessen. It was not as intense as before. It was an amazing experience I will treasure always!

The men and women that are called to work in this church are TRULY called of God. I *know* it with all my heart. And though I still am in awe that Jestin is called at this time - I know it is Heavenly Father who needs what he can give right now.

The light returned in full force when Jestin was set apart on Sunday. He seems to have more spirit to him than he did before. I don't know if that makes ANY sense! Really though... he just does.

I have been blessed with some quiet whisperings of my own in regards to my responsibilities in this new calling as well. I am called to tend to our home and family. I am called to keep our home "a home of order" so that Jestin can receive revelation here. I am called to be his support and pick up his slack as he has picked up mine the last few years. And I am excited to do so. I look forward to giving to him... as he has given so much to me. :)

We are so utterly humbled and thankful for the opportunity to have our family sacrifice and serve this ward. We have been given so much... and it is truly a tender gift to be able to give back. We love the people of this ward and look forward to getting to know more and more of them. We just pray we are "enough"... but we know with the Lord, and the help of all those around us, all things are possible! :)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Emmalee's 12th Birthday

Emmalee's Birthday was on a tuesday. She had a pretty good day! After school Gram and Millie came down and went with her and mom to Walmart to buy her her first makeup. She choose some mascara, eye shadow and lip gloss. We also got her a bag to keep it in. When we got home Aunt Millie, the anestisist (sp?), taught her how to care for her face and gave her really nice cleansers etc. She looked so grown up!

After dinner, Mom's homemade Wingers, her fav!, Dad and Mom had to go to a meeting with the Stake President. (ha ha) We were gone for over an hour so we decided to give her the gift from us instead of waiting for her friend party.

Jestin had found her a REALLY NICE bike on KSL that just needed the brakes repaired. He got them all fixed and then the next day she and her Daddy did some major cleaning on it to make it look all brand new! She was thrilled with her new bike!

She even used her birthday money and bought herself a bike lock so it would be safe when she rode it to school!

So, she got to celebrate her birthday on her birthday, a friend party on Friday and a family party on sunday! She had a full week of fun!

She had just a few friends over for a party - We could not afford a fancy party or lots of people... so Emma used her own money and paid for her and just a couple of her MANY friends to go swimming at Provo Pool. (Of course it was snowing like crazy and really cold... but they enjoyed it anyway! LOL) She really struggled with who to invite... this girl really has so many good friends! We love where we live!

She requested an Icecream sandwich cake for her Friend party

Then on the Sunday mom made her her favorite meal again - but this time it was homemade chicken noodle soup and homemade rolls. She was so pleased! Following dinner we had a family her birthday party. She was super spoiled and had a good time! We are so blessed to have family close by!

Aunt Millie gave her this awesome new purse. Super cute!

She recieved these knitting and crochetting kits (she LOVES yarn)

And for dessert we made her pumpkin pie and homemade icecream. She was such a good sport about having to keep it simple this year! I just love this kid SO much! We are planning on taking her Grandma's and Grandpa's with us to do baptisms for the dead the week after Thanksgiving... and Mom promised her a shopping day just us when some of these elusive checks come in... :)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY SWEET GIRL!!!!!!!! I dont know what I would do without you!!!