With that said, let me tell you a little about what we've done sans Maleen. We dropped her off at 1530 hours (That's 3:30 for the millitary-time non buffs). There was great wailing in the car as one by one the kids realized what we meant by, "Mom's going to Washington for the weekend." See, in the beginning that translates to: "I'm going to miss Mom." Then after a lilttle while the reality sets in: "Dad's taking care of me...I really miss Mom!"
I figured that since we were in Salt Lake, we could visit the temple and have a little calorie-burn time as we walked around the grounds.
We started in the Church Office building, which has the globe on the side of the building. Robyn pointed out that the whole world was right here. I agreed mostly, but I too was already missing most of my world—she was flying away from me right then. We took a jaunt inside to meet Sister Johnson, who introduced us to the mural of the Savior with the "magic foot." If you're unfamiliar with this phenomenon, you need to take a trip to meet Sister Johnson also. She's a very nice grandma who works very well with children and will gladly demonstrate the "magic foot" for you. Incidentally, she's also in charge of taking people up the super elevator and onto the observation deck, where we got this picture.
Salt Lake City Temple as photographed from the 26th Floor Observation Deck of the Church Office Building.
Many of the church representatives there commented on how full my hands were. This would have been comforting if we were just talking about the 4-girl part of the handful. But they were more commenting in an effort to have Dad (that's me) calm the tide of running children. (Apparently it's not considered safe to be running around at full speed on the 26th floor.)
After the 26th floor, we descended to the gardens around the temple, which are in immaculate bloom right now. We got many photographs of flowers the girls pointed out. I had to remind the girls that the flowers are there for seeing and smelling—not just for photographing.
We also checked in on all the fountains and water works around. The girls love the reflecting pool.
Ivory, Robyn, and June as we entered the Temple Square grounds.
June and Robyn at the reflecting pool at the Salt Lake City Temple.
Robyn, Ivory, and June chillin' at the one of the fountains on the temple grounds.
We also spotted Moroni over and over.
Moroni atop the Salt Lake City Temple. Personally my favorite photo I've ever taken at a temple, excluding the one of Maleen and Me kissing at the Seattle Temple.
Ivory didn't want to be in all the other glam shots with June and Robyn, so she asked for this picture. For props she adopted a chain link fence separating visitors from construction taking place on the grounds right now. Specifically she wanted the post with a sandbag at its foot so she could stand on top. (I didn't quite get the sandbag in the picture).
Ivory presenting Blue Steel on the construction fence at the Salt Lake City Temple.
We visited both visitor centers and we really enjoyed the big statue of the Christus. We even made it to the Tabernacle, where we talked about how there were almost 12,000 pipes in the pipe organ (I only know that because I took the tour last week with some clients from FPS Gold's Directions 2009 Conference). We talked about how Daddy attended a conference session with President Hinckley right there in that building. They could see right were he stood at the platform. But apparently by this time Dad had forgotten that we had a camera, so no pictures.
After that whirlwind afternoon, Robyn declared that she was "pooped." We headed for the barn, confident that Maleen would be touching down in Washington by then. We would have to return home for her phone call. The Washington clan lives about as far from the airport as we do, so we knew we had about an hour to get home.
I made dinner when we got home (another area that I admit I take for granted—Man, Maleen can cook!). Since Maleen would be calling any minute, I told the girls we could read books until she called. We got into the first book, the Book of Mormon, and then the second...and the third...and the fourth... At this point I was pretty sure that Maleen was consumed by the fun of Washington and had forgotten to call her family (mourning her absence a thousand miles away).
So, I called her, and of course I got her. Apparently she had only just walked through the door because of horrendous rush-hour traffic... Whatever, I was just glad to have her on the phone and we regaled her with our adventures in SLC that afternoon.
That's where we'll leave it for today. Tomorrow, I'll tell you about Father's Day, which I had early; but I don't want to spoil it for all the other Dad's out there.
P.S. A couple of things I keep hearing myself say:
- "Stop hitting her."
- "Don't look at her that way."
- "Too loud, baby's asleep."
- "Gentle with Daisy."
- "Girls, not inside."
- "Yes, you're beautiful."
- "Anybody need to go potty?"
- "That's why we ask if anybody needs to go potty."