Sunday, December 4, 2016

Kansas City, Ice!, and the Aquarium

In November 2015 BYU played Missouri in Kansas City. It is a quick flight there from Dallas so I convinced Mom and Dad to come out and go to the game with me. Even though the game is what took us out there, Kansas City has some great church history sites as well as some great food!

The first stop was Far West where the saints took refuge for a while and even laid the cornerstones for a temple. The persecution got so bad that they were not able to proceed any further on the temple before being pushed out. 

From Far West, we went to Haun's Mill. We got a little lost but eventually got there. We had to do a little off-roading as you can see below. 

There is nothing left around Haun's Mill, and they aren't even sure of the exact spot of the building. It is a very humbling experience.

The next stop was Adam-Ondi-Ahman, and the huge open area around it. It was very peaceful sitting there overlooking the beautiful fields and trees. 

Then we went to Liberty Jail, The Kansas City Temple, and the RLDS temple. 

And of course we had to eat some BBQ! We ate at Joe's Kansas City BBQ (it is inside a gas station!) and Arthur Bryant's BBQ. Both were delicious!

And then of course the BYU football game. Great memories from Kansas City!

Then in December Dana, Jason, and Lucas came to visit us! 

We had to take them to see Ice! at the Gaylord Texan. We had to wait a little while in line but Lucas made it a little more enjoyable.

The theme was "Christmas Around the World" and had different traditions and things from all over the world carved from ice. It really is amazing what they do with ice. They say the bring in 2 million pounds of ice and have 40 sculptors that they fly in from China to come and carve all the ice.

We wore out Lucas by the end of it. 

We had lots of fun at the house while they were here. Natali sure enjoyed having someone to sing karaoke with her. I think they wore out their voices with all the karaoke they sang. Lucas loved Smoochie. Jason put Smoochie on Lucas' head once, and the rest of the time Lucas would say "Bird. Head."

Lucas loves animals so much that we just had to take him the the Dallas Aquarium. It is not your regular aquarium though because it takes you through the top part that has all kinds of land animals like monkeys and sloths and then you go down and get to see the fish and then end by walking through the shark tunnel. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Fun, Work, and Friends

Summertime and a new house means lots of fun and lots of work, and sometimes both! Summer is a great time to catch up with friends and family. 

It all started out with a "man's weekend" in Utah with some college buddies. We stayed in a camp trailer at a campground that had a pool, basketball court, and a pickleball court. If you have never tried playing pickleball, I would definitely recommend it, especially if you are trying to play it in 20 mph winds. Awesome weekend with some great friends. Below is a picture of Sam, me, Phil, Danny, and Rich after eating some great Mexican food. 

While I went to Utah, Natali took the opportunity to go to New York and visit her good friend Leanna. Here they are in Grand Central Station.

And here they are in front of a stained glass window at the MET.

And of course you can't visit New York without going to see a Broadway show. They decided to see Wicked. 

We were able to spend a lot of time with some Jeff and Renee, some good friends here in Dallas. We took a painting class together, went to the Greek festival, and had a water balloon fight at their house before taking advantage of their community pool.  It has been so great to make such fun friends.

And then I had to get to work. Having a new house means lots of projects around the house. I planted a garden.

I set up our home projector and surround sound in our media room.

I tore out some carpet and turned a room into a dance/karaoke room.

Of course, I had to try it out. Yep, still got it.

We got new furniture, so our bedroom had to be repainted. 

And with a new house comes lots of decorating. Natali convinced her mom to come out and help her with some of the decorating and picking out some furniture.

Here is one room after some decorating help from Launa.

Dan and Launa came and enjoyed some nice Dallas weather. Launa helped Natali pick out furniture and decorations and Dan got to fly to Dallas.

And Tracie and Natali really tested out the karaoke room.

Happy to be home owners!

Then in October, we traveled to St George for Tracie's farewell.

We are so proud of this girl for making the decision to serve the Lord. Putting off school, career, dating, and everything else is not an easy thing to do. She will be in Paris, France for 18 months!