I love exploring other cultures! The gyros were amazing, the dancing was entertaining and the floors were dirty.
I love these little guys! They are always in my backyard- so beautiful!
Can you see my little boy hiding in the girado? I was trying to get him to practice swimming and he wasn't having any of it...he wouldn't even come for a treat-he means business.
Jenny's cute Pom and Jenny's buff legs
Can you tell I thought I was so tough? Haha...Anyway see below for my personal favorite: Landen and Taylor's duet! If you ever ask Landen to sing a song about Spiderman (or anything for that matter) he will just make up a song on the spot- it is seriously hilarious. He even makes up songs about Aunt Christina :)
This week has been crazy....good, spiritual, challenging, enlightening and crazy. As you know, Grandpa Reg passed away one week ago exactly so I flew here to AZ on Thursday to be with my family and go to the funeral. Family events are definitely going to be missing grandpa, especially since he comes to EVERY single one of them! The funeral was very, very touching. I cried quite a bit more than I thought I would. He was a true hero in many ways, as represented by the Veterans' service, the number of people in attendance and the people whose lives have been bettered due to his example and testimony. I took several awesome pictures and will be emailing those to the family because I'm not sure I want them to be posted on a blog for anyone to see. Anyway, it was good to see my family; I love you all!
This morning I woke up to a call from my dad saying that my grandpa had passed away. I was sad of course, but thanks to the Plan of Salvation (http://www.lds.org/) I was immediately at peace. I love my grandpa and know that he is at ease and no longer suffering from physical infirmities. (Below are some pictures along with the pic of him on my dad's bday blog- Emily thanks for letting me take some off of your blog since I don't have all my pics here in Utah :)
There are so many incredible things that my grandpa did while on this Earth, but one that I am particularly amazed by is the program he started years and years ago to get people off of drugs and alcohol. He has had a hand in helping thousands of people change their lives for the better and grow closer to God...which is ultimately what our purpose is here in this life. What an example to me. I remember one specific occasion a few years ago where this guy asked me out and before we went to our date we stopped by a meeting he volunteered at. The meeting was similar to an AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) meeting in the sense that each person sitting in the circle introduced themselves and spoke about how their week went in regards to the addiction they were trying to overcome. After a short while I put the pieces together and realized I was sitting in one of my grandpa's meetings! I decided to speak up and ask if anyone knew m grandpa, Reg Lewis. Sure enough, the second I said his name the room went silent. Everyone there knew him, loved him and felt largely indebted to him. One person said to me, with a look of awe on her face, "Reg Lewis is your grandpa? I love him so much and he has changed my life". Each person said something similar to that and I was so humbled and grateful to be his granddaughter. The following week, my brother Josh and I wrote him a card telling him of our experience and our gratitude to him and brought it to his work. He of course was overwhelmed with love for us and got a little teary-eyed as he sometimes did.
Another experience that stands out to me is when I was in 4th grade I became ill at school one day and since both of my parents were unable to come pick me up, grandpa eagerly volunteered and came all the way across Mesa to come get me. We went to his house and I fell asleep in one of the bedrooms. I remember waking up to him standing over me with a serving tray that had chicken noodle soup, crackers and Sprite. I could tell he was so excited to serve me and take care of me that day. We hung out the rest of the day just grandpa and I. That is a memory I will never forget.
I know that my grandpa is with our Heavenly Father right now. I also know that through the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, families can truly be together forever, throughout the eternities. What an amazing knowledge that is!
September 8th is one of my favorite days of the year! Words seriously cannot describe how much I love my dad! I remember growing up, all of my friends would always say, "I love your dad! I wish he was my dad!"...a lot of them actually ended up calling him dad for years. This man is so loving, so kind, so fun, so funny, so cool, so humble, so generous, so AMAZING! One of the many stories about my dad that has truly molded me was when I was about 12 years old, the neighbors down the street only had one car and it broke down so my dad decided to give them one of our two cars for months! I remember being annoyed at the time because of what a hassle it was, but in retrospect I am so grateful for that example of selflessness and charity my father portrayed.
One huge thing that everyone knows about my dad is that he is FUN!!!! I can honestly say I have never met a dad that is even close to as fun as my dad! About 5 years ago my dad called me and said, "Are you sitting down?" and I said, "Yes....why?....." he said, "I got us Billy Idol tickets close to the stage!!!" I was so excited!! In attendance at the concert was myself, my dad, my sister Alicia, our friend Amy, my dad's friend and his daughter. We laughed and had so much fun the whole night! Security moved from the stage for a second so in the true nature of Christina I ran down to the stage, reached up my hand and said, "Billy!!", he heard me and crouched down to put his hands on my face and make our foreheads touch as he sang me the song! It was pretty awesome! Security made me go back to my seat and when I got back up there my dad and everyone else was laughing so hard. We went out to eat afterward and had so much fun the whole night!
There are too many stories to even post, but another thing I always have loved about my dad is that he was so accepting and loving to all of our friends we'd bring home. He understands and lives the true meaning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He would always make sure to show extra love to those who wouldn't normally be accepted. For example, two years ago we had a bbq and pool party where we invited several people. My friend invited his sister and her boyfriend to it knowing that they would feel so loved and comfortable there. The girl and her boyfriend both had severe drug problems along with tattoos and piercings everywhere. Some people may look at them and judge them, but my dad immediately hugged them and told them he was so happy that they came- and he meant it. They in turn talked about how loved and accepted they felt and how much they loved my dad.
Never are there more than a couple days that pass where I don't talk to my dad. Every time I talk to him he reminds me of my great worth and makes me feel better about life and more motivated to do the right thing. He would literally do anything for his children and grandchildren. I am so eternally grateful to my Heavenly Father for such a wonderful, Christ-like and loving dad!