Last travel before Christmas

After getting back from our Thanksgiving travel last week, this week I was off again traveling for work. I went to Florida to attend the annual CHREC conference that I’ve been going to for years. At work I’m responsible for managing the research relationship that we have with the lab at BYU that I worked in when I was in graduate school. I have calls with them fairly regularly and I attend meetings in June and in December to see them report on their work and to give some formal direction to what they research in the coming year. This December conference was held at Kennedy Space Center. I was the only person from NI that attended. I had a great time. The conference was actually at the center and we had to get badges and everything to get on site. The room we had the meeting in wasn’t much to look at but it was cool to be there. We had our conference dinner at the Space Shuttle Atlantis exhibit. I was like a little kid in a candy shop there! I spent more time looking around and taking pictures than eating. We had the whole facility to ourselves and I figured that I could eat any time but having the whole place basically to myself probably would never happen again. Being there reignited my childhood excitement for space exploration! I had a great trip.

Space Shuttle Atlantis. What an inspiring site. Visiting here recommitted me to my goal of becoming an astronaut. I was getting chills the whole time I walked around this magnificent machine.

Space Shuttle Atlantis. What an inspiring site. Visiting here recommitted me to my goal of becoming an astronaut. I was getting chills the whole time I walked around this magnificent machine.

Sitting in the space shuttle cockpit mockup at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor complex. We had dinner here as part of the CHREC conference and we had the whole place to ourselves! It was awesome!

Sitting in the space shuttle cockpit mockup at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor complex. We had dinner here as part of the CHREC conference and we had the whole place to ourselves! It was awesome!

While I was gone, Sarah had some adventurous nights with the kids. In fact it kind of started the night before I left for my trip. Eliza started waking up in the middle of the night crying and would end up sleeping in our bed. This happened a few times but she got back out of it and is sleeping in her bed again now.

James and Eliza laughing together

James and Eliza laughing together

We catch James a lot looking at the tree.

We catch James a lot looking at the tree.

Eliza had a few good prayer experiences this week. She lost her special bracelet on Thursday. Sarah helped her pray to find it and she was able to find it. She told me about it when I got home and clearly remembered what had happened. She also got to pray that I made my flight connections (which were kind of tight) and also that Benjamin would be safe during his school lockdown this week. She says the best, most simple little prayers. I love listening to her pray.

Eliza made this arch all by herself

Eliza made this arch all by herself

Sarah waded through mountains of laundry this week. We had a lot to do from our trip to Utah and it seemed like there was a never-ending stream this week.

After getting back very late on Thursday evening (actually Friday morning at 2:00 am) due to some crazy something that the airlines pulled, it was finally good to be home. We’ve had a pretty good time at home these few days too. Friday I just slept in and got to help the kids get up and dressed and ready for the day. I put in a few hours at work and called it good. We had a pretty normal day that day. Eliza and James went to music class with Sis. Fife and Sarah ran some errands.

Us with the missionaries at the ward Christmas breakfast.

Us with the missionaries at the ward Christmas breakfast.

James was less than thrilled about Santa

James was less than thrilled about Santa

Eliza was apprehensive but I think she still liked it.

Eliza was apprehensive but I think she still liked it.

Saturday we had a kind of crazy day again. After many changes, we had finally settled on going to the temple on Saturday. We also had a ward Christmas breakfast in the morning that day. We got up and ready to go pretty well and made it to the breakfast only a few minutes late. Sarah and I were helping with a silly skit of the 12 days of Christmas so we had to send Eliza and James off to sit with a family in the ward while we sang our song. Eliza had been really excited about sitting on Santa’s lap so after we finished eating we went and stood in line. She was excited about it all the way until we were next in line and we were starting to walk up to Santa and then she kind of froze up. She did end up sitting on his lap but didn’t say much and we just basically got a picture. She was cute about the whole thing though. After the breakfast, Sarah and I went straight to the temple and Eliza and James went with home with the Larsens. They stayed at their house until that evening when we got back from the temple. It was great to be able to attend again in San Antonio. We got to go to the temple while we were in Utah last month but it was good to go to our temple.

We put out our shoes for St Niklaus on Saturday night.

We put out our shoes for St Niklaus on Saturday night.

On Sunday morning St Nikluas had filled our shoes with goodies.

On Sunday morning St Nikluas had filled our shoes with goodies.

We’re excited for the Christmas season to truly be upon us now. We watched the First Presidency devotional tonight with the kids and it just brought the spirit so strongly into our home. Eliza and James helped us put up the ornaments on our Christ tree this week (well some of them at least) and Eliza has been so cute and excited about moving Mary and Joseph on our advent calendar. We hope that we can remember Christ this month and keep him as our focus.

Grandma Huggard made this dirndl for Sarah years ago. Now Eliza can wear it.

Grandma Huggard made this dirndl for Sarah years ago. Now Eliza can wear it.

James always looks sharp for church.

James always looks sharp for church.

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