We got home about last night after sitting on the plane for a whole hour before it took off. They said they had to wait for a map to be faxed to them before they took off. It was disgusting, but what can you do. We did the word jumble and read while we waited. We left in 70 degree weather and got home to a “balmy” 12 degrees. It had been -6 that morning we learned on the news. It was still -4 this morning on our thermometer. It’s supposed to get up to 26 today but I’ll be surprised if it gets that high. Not a cloud in the sky. It’s a beautiful day but cold. We enjoyed the warm weather while we were there at Richard’s and Téa’s.
The dinner Thursday evening was very nice. Darlene was recovering from gall bladder surgery the Monday before. She was still very cheerful. So Mike and his three children cooked the meal with directions from Darlene. It was good to see them. We had a turkey dinner with mashed potatoes and gravy and corn, cranberries and pumpkin pie for dessert. We enjoyed it very much and appreciated their doing that for us.
Friday was kind of laid back. We didn’t do anything special but had lots of time to visit. They introduced me to Bones. I think it was a TV show at one time but had never heard of it or know which network it was on. It’s about an forensic anthropologist and her time who work for the Jeffersonian Institute (a ploy on the Smithsonian Institute) and helps the FBI solve cases. It has a pretty good story line. We also watched some of Psych too. It’s good as well. They both are available with Netflex. We saw a lot of Phineus and Ferb and Agent P too. Anya really like to watch that.
Saturday, Duncan, Cheanna, Emma and Elena had to be to the church by 6:15 am to go in and practice for the Cultural event that night. They didn’t get home until 10:30 pm. It was a very long day for them. At first we were told that only visiting dignitaries would be able to see the performance live. At first they said it would be piped into the Stake Centers, then they said no one had stepped forward to sponsor it so that wasn’t going to happen. So we were content to be able to visit them for a week. It turned out that Beehive Cleaning sponsored it and it was on Channel 13 down there. (More about the celebration later). Anya, Richard and I played a Memory Game. Anya and I each got 7 pair and Richard got 20. I was beginning to wonder if I would get any. Altho’ I still have a fairly good memory, it isn’t what it used to be. Then I taught Anya and Ephraim how to play Chicken Foot. We played two games of that. Then we built some domino trains. It was fun for all of us. Ephraim told me that he watches people doing things with dominoes on You Tube. He showed me how you could make branches–not just single lines. I found it interesting that he had done some research on that and knew all about it.
In the quiet times Dad read, I read too. I had heard of the Giver by Lois Lowry but hadn’t read it. They have the whole series. I was able to start on the third book, Messenger and had read the second book, Gathering Blue. They definitely have different plots but I enjoyed reading them. I’ll have to get Messenger and Son from the library so I can finish the series.
The celebration started right at 7:00. President Monson, and President Uctdorf and Elder Oakes and their wives were also there. There were 4300 youth from the Phoenix Temple district area who participated. They were divided into seven different areas, each with a different colored shirt. The Robinson youth had on red shirts. Richard & Téa saw Emma three times. I did see her once. And Téa was pretty sure she saw Elena. They started out with a video telling about Phoenix and how it was named and settled. A narrator said that an early explorer as he came into the valley picture a huge city rising out of the dessert just like a Phoenix bird as it rose from its own ashes. It told how the Mormon Pioneers settled the valley. It told of the five C’s for Arizona: Copper, Cotton, Citrus, Climate and…. It told of the growth of the Church there and who the first stake president was there. It told of the Good Samaritan Hospital that had struggled and battled to keep the doors open to serve and help all who needed help even tho’ most couldn’t pay because of the great depression. The man who headed the hospital went to the Stake President so see if he could lend him $70, 000 so he could keep the doors open. The Stake President said he couldn’t but he would arrange a meeting with the Brethren and see what they could do. He met with President Grant who told him they couldn’t lend him the money. But he said, “We will give you the $70,000 as a gift so you will be able to keep the doors of the hospital open. ” He also told him that the work he was doing was a great work toward helping mankind. (not an exact quote.) Anyway, I had never heard that story before and probably many others hadn’t either. The church doesn’t advertise its good works.
Emma and Elena did three dances, the swing, the flag dance and The Armies of Helaman. At the end of the flag dance they all ran together standing close together and raised their flags above their heads and there was the US flag waving in a breeze. It was very impressive. They honored all of the branches of the armed forces by singing their fight anthems. There were four youth who represented each branch. One was in dress uniform, another in camouflage, another in every day uniform and then one in there scrungies…very casual wear anyway. They had each person there observing stand up when his branch of the service’ anthem was played. President Monson stood up for the navy of course. He pumped his arms in time to the music to Anchors Away. President Uchtdorf and Elder Oakes wife stood up for the Air Force and Elder Oakes stood up for the Army. It was all very touching. They also had the full time missionaries march in carrying the flags of their countries (we assumed) singing called to serve with the youth joining in too. It was also very touching.
We stayed up till almost 11:30 pm hearing about their day. That was very enjoyable as well. The Super Shuttle was to pick us up at 11:19 (2 hours before we were to take off) and he was 15 minutes early. Anya, Ephra im and I taught Richard and Elena how to play Chicken Foot. We were just getting a good start on the second game when the shuttle called to tell us he would be there in five minutes. It took us an hour and five minutes to drive clear across the valley to Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. We were thro’ security a full two hours before we were to take off. Then you add that other hour. We could have gone to the dedication had we known, but how can you tell?
All in all, it was a very good trip. We enjoyed being there. Found enough to keep us busy doing various things and the food which Richard cooked for us was excellent as it always is. We are thankful we were able to go.