Wow! I don't even know where to begin. What a fun and exciting week. Lots of emotions and LOTS of fun. This weekend was Alex's big farewell. We don't actually leave San Diego until June 11 but next Sunday is Fast Sunday and we don't have speakers in church on Fast Sunday so Alex had to give his farewell speech this weekend. Kira and Justin were already vacationing in Florida so on their way home they separated in Denver. Justin flew north to Calgary and Kira and the boys flew west to San Diego. It was great to see her and especially to see my Grandsons. You have really have a great conversation with Evan now. He talks and talks and talks and I have no idea what he is saying but if I agree with him then he thinks it is great.
Brandon, Alycia and Trevor arrived on Friday and the partying began. Late nights playing Settlers" and visiting. I could make this a very long blog if I gave a blow by blow so I'll just summarize the weekend and share some pictures.
Saturday we all went to the Mormon Battalion Visitors Center. This visitors center has been here for decades but a couple of years ago they closed it and remodeled the whole thing. You wouldn't recognized a thing. It was good before but it is spectacular now. I really want to go back. Anyone, Mormon or not, must go and see it if you're ever in town. Sunday of course was church and Alex's talk. We had invited all of Alex's friends to both church and to an open house at our house that evening. A ton of people came to the open house but a few came to church. One of the coolest was Alex's fifth grade teacher. They had a definite "love - hate" relationship. Alex was in Miss Bosco's 4/5 split class one year and then he had her again the next year. At first he wasn't too thrilled but he ended up loving her and her him. I think she is thrilled with what a fine young man he has turned out to be. I imagine she wondered a time or two eight years ago. I couldn't even guess how many people came by the house that evening. I'll bet it was more than a hundred. Friends from high school and from church. As young as three years old like the Kooyman girls who just love Alex and older than me. A lot of people love Alex.
Before you can go on a mission for our church you need to go to the temple and participate in the ceremonies there. We would normally have done that Saturday but Ben and Sharley had a serious conflict with a Birthday/Reunion for Sharley's grandpa in St George. It ended up being a compromise with Ben missing all of our fun on Saturday and Sharley missing they're partying on Sunday. Ben flew down Sunday morning so he could be here in time for Alex's talk and Sharley drove and was here for the open house. I'm really glad she was able to get here. We then all went to the temple on Monday morning. The earliest they could do Alex's endowment (that is what the ordinance is called) was 9:00. That was good and bad. Good because I didn't have to get up as early but bad because Brandon, Alycia and Trevor didn't get on the road until nearly noon. that made it a late night for them and Alycia had to work on Tuesday.
The endowment was wonderful and after a few pictures in front of our "wounded" temple it was off to our wards memorial day picnic. They had some really good food and even though we were quite late they still had plenty of food for us.
After the picnic we just came home and collapsed on the couch. It was the weirdest thing. I could scarcely move and after a two hour nap I had to force myself to get up. I'm only now feeling somewhat recovered. Tuesday it was back to normal life. I kissed Kira and the boys goodbye Tuesday morning and then it was off to work and Mom took Kira and family to the airport. I miss everyone already. The weirdest part is that next week we head to Salt Lake City to take Alex to the MTC (mission training center). It hasn't quite sunk in. I'm very conflicted. I'm so excited for the wonderful experience he is about to embark on but I miss him already.
Check out the picture of Evan with the musket. He couldn't wait to get his hands on that thing.
Evan at the pump.
Landon at the pump. He really wanted to get into that tub.
Alex and Trevor panning for gold. They had real gold colored "nuggets" in the gravel.
Evan and Alex at the cannon.
After the Mormon Battalion we ate at the "Old Town Mexican Cafe". Good food.
Alex and Ms Bosco.
These four boys have instilled fear in many a Sunday School teacher. One teacher dubbed them the "four horseman of the apocalypse". Alex was the red horse.
Just some of the visitors that came to the church. Some had already left.
Kira and Mandy. Mandy is one of the very first people that we met when we first moved to San Diego. Mandy has been a very good friend of not only Kira but our entire family ever since. I consider her one of my daughters and I'm very excited because she is expecting her first baby. I predict a girl.
Evan was really getting into ping pong.
Alex making the circuits at the open house.
I'm not exactly sure what Evan is doing here. I think I might be getting a spell cast on me with a licorice wand. Do you notice the "future missionary" badge on his chest?
Alex and the Kooyman girls. Do you remember them from the Football game?
Peter and Maren were there as well.
As always, as the evening wound down Halo started up.
Poor Sarah was the only one not at the temple. We also missed Justin who had to work and Serene who was introducing her family the youngest Leavitt grandchild.
Ben, Sharley, Kira and Evan at the picnic. My mouth is watering for another hamburger.
Two years ago almost at this very hour we were taking pictures of Ben and Sharley in front of this temple. This day was their two year anniversary.
Not your normal picture in front of the temple is it? This will be a unique picture for Alex.