Friday, March 28, 2008

Our Journey Through the Desert

Miracle of miracles, for the first time in two years (that's right, since before Stella was born), we took a May family vacation a couple of weeks ago. Having been a new hire at Utah County for six months and then a new hire at Salt Lake County for six months, Tad had not been able to take a single vacation day for a year -- until this month! It's hard to say who was most excited about our trip to St. George, Tad and Lisa or Emerson. Emerson was convinced that we were actually moving to his "grandma's condo in the desert" where he would see snakes, frogs, and lizards running wild everywhere. When he realized our relocation was not permanent, he melted down.
Inexplicably, both kids were absolute champs on the drive, a remarkable fact considering that a thirty-minute drive around town is often enough to get them whining in the car. They watched dvds, stared at countless cows in the rolling pastures on either side of the road, and invented a game in which they take turns patting each other's head and saying "guggie". And once we arrived, the good behavior continued. Stella and Emerson shared a room by choice and actually stayed in their beds, went to sleep easily, and didn't wake each other up. There is hope for an eventual permanent room share!
The only kink in our trip happened moments after our arrival when Lisa leaned down to plug in the kids' night light and smacked her head on the edge of a piano. She sent the kids into a panic when they saw the blood coming from her eyebrow. Luckily, Grandpa Baker had equipped the condo with a great first aid kit, including butterfly closures, enabling Lisa to avoid InstaCare.
Otherwise, this was our most wonderful trip to St. George ever. We swam at the splash pool (both kids discovered the virtues of weightlessness when one wears a life jacket), visited a dinosaur dig site, ate some great food, and hiked multiple times each day. In the final wildlife tally, we encountered three lizards, lots of cool birds, and a scorpion at a proximity far too intimate for Lisa's liking. As Emerson was reaching for a hand hold on some red, craggy rocks, the little scorpion shot out from the very rock he was grabbing and Tad pulled Emerson back just in time.
After a quick, uneventful drive home, we moved on to celebrating Easter. We took it fairly easy, letting the Easter Bunny do most of the work. He hid lots of candy-filled eggs for the kids in our front room and even stocked their baskets with back-up candies. And just as Tad and Lisa were certain that candy was the only significant aspect of Easter making any impression on the kids, Emerson proved them wrong. While substituting for a great class in the Primary on Easter Sunday, Lisa sat behind Emerson in sharing time. When the leader asked if Easter was about candy, Emerson shouted out "NO!" Then, when the leader asked what resurrection meant, Emerson's hand shot up and he replied, "when we die and come back to life again, like Jesus." It's great to know some things are sinking in.
And on that note, we just wanted all of you to know that we are truly grateful for the redeeming power of Christ's sacrifice for us, no matter who we are, where we are from, or what we suffer as long as we believe in him. Happy Easter to all of you!