Thanksgiving Trip Day 3: Thanksgiving Day

Gloria prepped a lot of the food (stuffing, pies) before we even arrived, so there wasn't too much work for us to do on Thanksgiving morning. (We told her to wait for us to help, but she said she got nervous putting things off.) 

Rachel helped peel potatoes: 

So did Lucy: 

This was the look I got after I said something about her beautiful hair: 

There weren't very many serving dishes, and there wasn't a lot of room on the kitchen table, but Gloria made it all work: 

Dinner was delicious: 

And then, just like that, it was over. 

After dinner, these four ended up on the sofa, playing on their iPads. (Yes, we have four iPads, and yes, it's a little ridiculous. . . but we didn't pay for any of them, and it makes my life really easy now that there's one per person.)

We played a couple of rounds of dominos, but then I decided it was time to go outside. Because when it's 70 degrees and sunny, you belong outside. 

Rachel climbed up on top of Steve's shoulders to pick a ripe orange:

I'm guessing people from Arizona aren't nearly as fascinated by the apples and peaches we have growing on our trees here in Utah. But seeing the citrus trees was definitely a highlight of our trip: 

Richard and Gloria:

This picture is better because it shows the blue sky: 

The kids had a great time on their scooters; I'm glad we brought them.

We left the scooters near the fence of the temple grounds and walked in to see the lemon tree:

Lucy picked the biggest lemon ever:

All three of the kids did:

Lemonade anyone?

I can't remember exactly what happened, but Adam was sure he got a black eye and wanted me to take a picture to show him. Such a sad face:

Here is our group standing in front of the cactus garden. Richard and Gloria see wild bunnies running around there when they go walking in the mornings:

The Mesa Arizona Temple was the seventh temple constructed by the church:

The Mesa Temple (along with the temples in Laie, Hawaii and Cardston, Alberta) was built in a style suggestive of the Temple in Jerusalem.

Look at the beautiful green grass:

In comparison, this picture shows the grass across the street. The temple plants ryegrass in the winter to keep the lawn green.

We found the perfect parking lot for riding scooters: 

And even Steve (aka The Bearded man who tells me he is shaving today after he fulfills his dream of going skiing with a beard) took a turn with a scooter: 

The kids were dying to make a gingerbread house, and I was actually impressed to see them work together. Rachel made the front:

And this side of the roof:

Lucy and Adam worked together on the other side of the roof:

And the back: 

I remember decorating gingerbread houses after Thanksgiving dinner in Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas. My Aunt Marilyn painstakingly made one for every single child. Decorating gingerbread houses is one of my favorite traditions. . . although I am very thankful for Costco and their $10 kits. 

Later that night, we went to the movie theater and watched Frozen. If it seems like we've been going to a lot of movies lately, we have. And it's all thanks to Adam. 

The classes at our school in grades K through 4 all use the same behavior system. And I love it. Each child has a clothespin with their name on it, and everyone starts the day with their name clipped to the middle of the chart on the color green. If they are good, they get to "clip up" to light blue, dark blue, and then purple, but if they make bad decisions, they have to "clip down" to yellow, orange, and red. Because Adam had some behavioral problems at the beginning of the school year, I set up a reward system at home to coordinate with the behavior chart at school. I get an email from Adam's teacher each evening, letting me know what color Adam was on at the end of the day. 

I can't remember the details of the smaller rewards (Redbox rental, Happy Meal from McDonald's) because Adam always saves up for the ultimate prize. Eight consecutive purple days earns him a trip to the movie theater, complete with popcorn and soda. Adam can be difficult in unstructured environments, but when he knows all of the rules and their associated punishments and rewards, he thrives. He takes the behavior chart very seriously; his longest streak has been nineteen consecutive purple days. And that is certainly something to be thankful for. 

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