Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Opening Day at Oquirrh Mountain Temple

Today is the "opening day" (for lack of a better term!) at the Oquirrh Mountain Temple. It is also the last day of summer for the junior high kids. I figured what better activity than to partake in something spiritual before being bombarded by real life in the junior high, so I took Justin and two of his friends, Brett and Victoria, to do baptisms this morning at the Oquirrh Mountain Temple. I'm so excited that they had a chance to not only serve and be uplifted, but also to be among the first to participate in that ordinance at this new and beautiful temple! Not many people can say that they attended a temple on "opening day!" The only bummer was forgetting the camera to record the event!

Along the same topic, we had a great experience on Saturday at the temple as well. I mentioned a few months back that I had been asked to sing in one of the choirs for the 5th session of the temple dedication. It was such an honor to be asked and an amazing experience to be a part of! From the very first meeting we had with all the choir members from all 9 choirs, I was in awe of the talent around me. When we sang just the opening song for that first meeting, I was almost literally blown out of the seat by the pure volume, talent, and spirit! It was awesome! (If only it could sound that way every week in church!) My choir was no different. It was obviously much smaller than that initial meeting, but full of so many talented people! 4 of the 31 in our choir were from our ward, and our choir consisted of 3 stakes! Speaks to the talent in our very own neighborhood! The whole experience was just fun.

We were able to have a practice in the temple before the dedication where we realized just how closely we would be standing to the prophet. I ended up directly behind him, about 1 1/2 feet away. We joked about rubbing his head, being as close as we were, but we were informed that should we get rowdy like that, his bodyguard in the second row was trained to jump over everyone to land directly in front of us and take us down! :) We decided to refrain.

Since I was in the choir, Paul received a ticket for that session as well. He was able to get 3 more tickets for all the boys but Eric. They were sitting in one of the endowment rooms. What a neat experience to have almost all of my family in the temple together to participate in such a great event! The boys were amazed to see me on "TV" and kept commenting on me standing right behind the prophet!

The meeting was really great! The spirit was incredibly strong. I have never sung the choir part of the Hosanna Anthem before, and it was an incredible experience. Many times while practicing that song, I was moved to tears. I know there were choirs of angels singing with us that day! I'm so grateful for the chance to be a part of the dedication, doing something I love that evokes such feelings of the spirit. I also feel very blessed to live where we do as it affords us many opportunities to be involved in experiences like this!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Father and Sons Camp Out

After weeks of wedding planning, the boys were definitely ready to go do some male bonding! The day after my sister's wedding was the ward Father and Son Camp Out. Before going off to get dirty, Paul and the boys had to make a quick stop back at Mt. Timpanogos temple with me. My oldest brother and his wife were sealed in the same temple, and in fact, the same sealing room as Denise and Dale the day before. Paul popped in long enough for that ceremony, and then he and the boys hit the road. It was a small group of campers this year, but they said they had a lot of fun.

Of course a camp out wouldn't be complete without a good breakfast and some goofing around. Apparently Justin told the cook that he could make better pancakes. He was given the chance to prove himself. Unfortunately, this was his result! Better luck next year, Justin.

The boys also had a great time on the lake. They fished, skipped rocks, and rode around in the boat.

Good times for the boys! I, on the other hand, also look forward to Fathers and Sons...it means girls weekend for me! After my brother's sealing and grabbing some lunch with a lot of the family, I headed back home to go out with a girlfriend. We shopped, went to the movies, and grabbed a late dinner. Then I went home and slept in until 10:30! A much needed reprieve after all the wedding madness!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Denise's Wedding

There are so many fun pictures, it was hard to pick! I still uploaded a bunch because I think they are fun. We'll start at the beginning....at the temple. Denise and Dale's engagement was relatively short...7 weeks. They were fairly certain that Dale's temple clearance wouldn't come through soon enough and had planned for a civil ceremony at The Point. About a week and a half before the ceremony, the clearance came through! What an amazing surprise and blessing! They were able to arrange for a sealing in the morning and planned for a ring ceremony at The Point, since a ceremony was already planned there. Besides, Eric was telling everyone he was the ring bearer for her wedding! Here are a few photos from the temple. There are 16 grandkids too young to attend the ceremony, so they were all waiting outside with countless other cousins for the ceremony to end and the bride and groom to emerge.
First....the boredom set in....

Then the creativity and fun kicked in....

With 16 grandkids running around, it wasn't all fun and games. Too many boys, often means trouble. This is so typical...

But then, the bride and groom finally made it outside.

After much running around and loading and unloading, we finally all got to The Point for a quick rehearsal before getting dressed. Here are the cute flower girl (Denise's new step daughter) and ring bearer with the bride before the ceremony.

This is The Point set up for the ring ceremony. We added a white runner down the isle.

So, we were all worried that Eric might bolt instead of actually walking down the isle. This was even better.....don't you think?

Once he got down the isle, he was actually pretty good to stand there quietly with the pillow, even though he did hide behind the best man for a while...

The happy couple.

This was the best part of the ceremony. After much encouragement, Eric finally walked forward with the pillow and promptly covered his eyes with his arm and held the pillow out with the other arm.

Once the ceremony was over, the fun began.

Dinner was yummy, and then it was time for the toasts. I had frantically worked on mine on the way down to the temple that morning, and memorized it on the way back from the temple. If I do say so myself, I think it turned out fabulous! A little bit of sentiment, a little advice, and some good humor. I was seriously glad to get it over with though!

This is the place the children spent most of their night--the candy buffet. The other place was the endless drink bar!

My sister-in-law does wedding cakes, and she did this one. Isn't it amazing?

After the toasts and cake cutting, the real fun began. Dancing....Here are the boys with Denise as the festivities began. Then they all took turns dancing with all of the 9 girl cousins!

As you can see, everyone had a great night! The kids all said, "Let's do that again sometime!" If only they knew how much work it was! I'm so happy for my sis and her great hubby! They are awesome, and I wish them the best of luck!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Pre-Wedding Festivities!

Finally...the event that has kept me busy all summer so that I hardly recognize any of my friends has come and gone! My one and only sister got engaged Memorial Day weekend, and it has been a whirlwind of planning and running around ever since! Huge thanks goes out to all my friends for all of the random help they gave me...from Kim going with me to preview wedding sites, to Amanda and Dawne loaning me tons of scrapbook supplies, to Loralie spending hours with me going through music and helping me while I made the video to show at the reception. You guys are awesome! Thanks!

After weeks of working and seeing very little of my friends and family, it was time for a little reward. The day before the wedding, Denise, "the Bino's" (Bridesmaids In Name Only--guess they really didn't want to wear "the dress"!), and myself--the Matron of Honor (that really makes me sound old!) headed to the spa for a little R & R. We were on a mission to turn "Bridezilla in the Princess Bride"--as one of the Bino's so aptly put it!

Before treatments--don't we look excited?

One of the finished products...matching French manicures.

From the spa, we headed up Provo Canyon for a family cookout. A lot of the family from out of town coming for the wedding got into town just in time to meet us there. Here are some of my aunts, uncles, and cousins I haven't seen for a long time!

My awesome "little" brother who isn't so little anymore.

Denise, the Bino's, friends, my sister-in-law Amy, and myself.

A couple of adorable and goofy boys.

After the cookout, we were on another mission...some kind of bachelorette party....IN PROVO?! Yeah, I know. Not a lot of options. We finally just hit Los Hermanos for some drinks, snacks, some seriously loud and embarrassing singing from the employees topped off with the fabulous sombrero for the bride to wear.

All in all, the day before the wedding was full of fun! The only bummer part came when I realized I had yet to come up with my speech/toast for the next day. AHHHHH!! I seriously began to stress! I haven't been to a wedding in probaby 15 years, and I know I haven't been to one where there was actually a toast made that I heard! I got home close to midnight with no idea! Tune in to the next post to see how it all turned out!