Each set of our children got to go on an outing this past weekend. They were both great adventures and I'm glad we got to do fun things with the kids.
The bottom half of the kidlets (the younger ones) were treated to a trip to the zoo. G had the day off because of parent teacher conferences so we loaded up our crew and meandered to Salt Lake for some fun.
At this monkey house (feels just like home) Logan excitedly called me over to see the "skunk monkeys." (See them in the bottom corner?) I thought that was a pretty fitting name for them.
Ellie was sure these pachyderms were just large cows. We've taught her what monkeys and lions and horses and sheep say and look like, guess we forgot an animal.
G was fascinated with this rhinocerous' rear end and told me he would never want to brush his teeth with that toothbrush (notice the creature's tail does look like a nasty old toothbrush).
Josh is much more fascinated by creatures with stealth and deadliness so he has an affinity for wolves and tigers.
Oh, and I was there too. Notice Logan looking weird...yea, that's how he acted in every...single...picture of the day. I do love that kid; it will be so fun to show those off when he is a teenager.
What an adorable set of zoo goers (at least if you ask me).
And the ride home was pretty entertaining as well.
So then it was time to do something awesome with the older kids. We feelt pretty lucky and had scored six tickets to LDS general conference for the Saturday afternoon session. We invited my parents to come with us and I took the three oldest kids to general conference.
We opted to take Trax downtown and forgo the whole parking nightmare. Two of the three oldest DeMoux sprites had never ridden Trax so that was an adventure in and of itself (and Bryce got to act like an old pro on the train).
Even though we left our house two hours before the session, we still cut it pretty close time wise. We arrived at the conference center about 1:30 (we were supposed to be in our seats by then, but we didn't make that).
The kids were not very thrilled to have to wait in the horrendous line with the sun beating down on them (poor dears -- somehow hey don't complain nearly as much when waiting in line a Lagoon).
This was the line behind us once we started moving toward an entrance. It was really nice to have my parents with us. My mom has a way with my kids (actually all kids) so having her influence handy was wonderful.
We listened to conference (ok, the kids listened while doing activity packets I had printed for them because I am nothing if not practical and I know 11, 10 and 8 year olds will likely have a hard time sitting still and not moving for two hours straight).
It was a fabulous session. I particularly enjoyed Elder Holland's talk about the parable of the laborers. I had never thought of that parable in the terms that he shared and I learned a lot (I always do...no wonder I LOVE general conference).
|On the conference center balcony with the Salt Lake Temple in the background.|
Surprisingly (at least to me), when I asked the kids at dinner on Sunday evening what they had learned from conference all three of the oldest kids shared messages that had been taught in the Saturday afternoon session that we attended. I fully expected them to remember a story or phrase from another session (because they were more focused on drawing and word puzzles while in the conference center) but no, being there influenced them more than I thought and that made my heart smile just a bit.
Lest you think we are overly spiritual (insert gigantic laugh here), our kids don't just sit and listen to conference all weekend. We expect them to come and listen whenever the prophet speaks, although we often pull out our conference bingo boards during those talks to help keep them from squabbling (that doesn't always work...like for example Sunday morning when kids were screaming and elbowing each other and crying while we tried to hear what President Monson was saying...sigh).
We also have conference tuned on every radio in the house that weekend so as the kids play and color and eat and whatever else hopefully some bits will sink into their brains while their defenses are down (at least that's the plan). We do ask kids 8 and older to watch one full session; they get to choose which one. Since we took the three oldest downtown that took care of our full session requirement, and we got an adventure out of the deal as well.
|You can tell just by looking at them that they are incredible...at least I can.|
It was a beautiful day and the kids were amazing. They sat quietly and sang exuberantly along to the intermediate hymn ("Called to Serve" which was a hymn we learned as a family earlier in the year so they were pretty pleased to know all the words without looking at the monitor). I really was just so proud of them that I thought I would burst. They are incredible little people.
Both outings were a success. Chalk one up for the DeMoux grown ups, good work US! (High five, honey.)