Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Zoo Day

About a month ago our play group went to the zoo.  It is soooooo hot in July.  It might not have been the group leader's best idea.  I can say that because I AM the group leader.  But two other women were brave enough to drag their kids into the heat and come along.  I rode up with a friend, and her kids and mine were the most excited to see the monkeys.  So we headed to the monkeys first.  

My boys mostly wanted to see the new Gorilla exhibit-- still under construction-- because Grandpa Terry is working there right now.  It turns out that the gorilla exhibit is actually in the "Africa" section instead of the primate section.  Go figure.  So we headed that way next.  By that time (about an hour in) we were all drenched in sweat and the boys were losing it.  We stopped for lunch before we got to the Gorilla Construction.  This was taking a break to see the chimpanzees-- also in Africa.

And finally the future Gorilla's home!!!

The boys were shouting "GRANDPA TERRY!  GRANDPA TERRY!" as loud as they could.  Another worker heard them and came over to see what the fuss was about.  I told them we were looking for Terry Herrera, and he went to find him for us.  Grandpa Terry came over looking VERY stylish.

The boys were so excited to see Grandpa Terry at the zoo!

The exhibit is going to be HUGE and AWESOME.

We will visit Grandpa Terry again... IN OCTOBER.

After seeing Grandpa Terry we went to the children's section and did the petting zoo.  We played in a little Indian village for a little bit, but the heat was really getting to everyone.  Micah just gave up on standing all together.

So then it was time for the splash pad at the zoo.  And a ride on the carousel to revive us.
And a few quick pictures with friends before we headed home.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Rest of Utah

It's been awhile since our trip.  So I'm trying to remember everything we did.  One of the highlights for me was going to BYU one afternoon to visit my very dear friend Nora.  She and I were very close during Jared's first year at William & Mary.  It was wonderful to see her and her son Samuel and to catch up.  Meeting Dean for the first time was also a highlight.  He is such a cute baby!!!

Let's see.  Michael, Amber, the boys, and I went hiking around up Payson canyon one morning.  We just parked the car and followed an animal trail and taught the boys a little about marking a path.  There was a day at Seven Peaks water park.  Lots of evenings playing games.

I love getting to spend time with family, and since my family is very spread out I don't see many people very often.  But I was glad to spend a lot of time with Amber and Megan, Mom and Dad, and Eric.  I look forward to our next visit.

I didn't get a picture of me meeting Dean, but here we are saying good-bye.  I love his little outfit.  It used to be Luke's!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Pa's Party

The main reason I stayed in Utah after Jared went home was to attend my grandpa's 90th birthday party.  His birthday is really in March, but the big party was in July.  All but 2 of his grandchildren were able to make it, and it was a big crowd.  It is incredible to see a family that big.  It really gives the words "heritage" "legacy" and "unity" more meaning.  I hadn't seen many of my King cousins in several years.  It's always a bit shocking to see people you still imagine as kids and they have turned into grown-ups.  And it was fun to catch up with people.

A few great-grandkid pictures:

The party was at the Pavilion across the parking lot from a stake center in Bountiful.  There are a lot of air conditioners around a stake center, and the boys spent a lot of time checking out each one.

Cutting the cake:

Before blowing out the candles, Pa said the only thing that could make the day better would be to have Grandma there.  She passed away a year ago, but everyone knew she was there.  We just couldn't see her.

I was glad that my boys remembered Pa.  We stopped at his house last summer and went to church with him.  The boys talked about "driving" Pa's car and eating M&Ms.  That is what they did at his house.  This time they spent most of their time with Pa showing him my cousin's dog and asking him questions about how old his house is.

I wish it would have been possible to get more one-on-one time with Pa.  He is an incredible person!  I am lucky to be part of his family.  He continually imparts a legacy of kindness, hard work, and faithful service.  When I was younger my favorite things about visiting his house was that anything was okay.  No shoes-- fine.  Running in and out of the house all day long-- no one cares.  Pretty much the only thing that wasn't okay was rude behavior.  But I don't think I ever saw him lose his temper.  He also has a way of making everyone feel special and important.  I think he does this by remembering things about people, asking good questions, and listening for a real answer.  He also throws around compliments so easily I don't think he consciously even knows he is giving one.  He will just say things like, "Hi, Beautiful!  How are you doing?"  So glad I am one of his granddaughters.


One day we went down and spent most of the day at BYU.  First we went to the Bean Museum, which is a Natural Science museum full of taxidermy animals.  My sister Amber's father-in-law used to work there, and it was neat to be with Dean on his first tour of his Grandpa's old stomping ground.  I'm sure it was special for Ann, Dean's grandma.  I think the boys had fun.

The museum had been completely renovated and expanded.  There was a large new exhibit featuring the art of President Packer who would sculpt birds and other animals.  He also did many wildlife paintings.  It was probably my favorite part of the museum because I'd never seen it before and didn't know he had those talents.

After the museum we went to the Creamery and had some BYU ice cream.  Yum!  And then on to bowling in the Wilkinson student center.

I don't know where we were, but at BYU somewhere.

Aaah. Nostalgia.  College were some good years.
Go Cougars!

Salem Pond and Hiking

My mom lives very close to a nice pond and playground.  One morning Amber, Mom, Dean, the boys, and I went down to the pond to play.  The boys went into the water with Mom, and I stayed up on the grass and chatted with Amber and played with Dean.  A very pleasant morning.  And then time to go bathe the boys.  Pond water is fun but definitely requires a wash off.

I think it was later that same afternoon that we went for a little hike with Megan's family.  It was a short but beautiful hike called "The Grotto."  The name doesn't fit.  If I was Anne Shirley I'd probably call it Wood's Way or something like that.  

Over the River

And through the woods

To the Waterfall!

There was a bird's nest built into the side of the mountain wall.




Those moments made me want to move to Utah.  What an amazingly beautiful place!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Salem Trip Part 1

My mom and my brother Eric came to pick us up from Mom and Dad Wilkerson's house.  We took the scenic route home and stopped for a little hike.

Later that night Eric took us out on his boat at Utah Lake.  Micah didn't want to go on the boat so he stayed by a sand volleyball pit and played while Luke and I went out on the lake.

This is the view!

Luke was excited to drive the boat.

I couldn't handle it for very long because I get motion sick so easily.  I came back to sure after about 15 or 20 minutes and Amber jumped on for round #2.

After the boat ride we grilled hot dogs and then headed back to Mima and Papa's house.

I will blog the rest of our stay with Mima and Papa later.