Sunday morning I took the six kids to La Mesa, where C served while waiting for his visa. We attended the La Mesa 3rd Spanish Branch. I thought it was great that the kids could experience a little of what their brother C, has seen and experienced the last fifteen months. The branch president, missionaries and some of the members were so good to us. After Sacrament meeting, Presidente Morgan came over to visit with us. He told us that he remembered C. He got down on the kids level and said this to them, "Most missionaries that have to go somewhere while they are waiting for their visas don't really work hard because it isn't their mission. I want you to know that your brother, Elder Loveland didn't just wait to be a good missionary until he got to Mexico, he WAS a good missionary. We was a hard worker, we could tell that he loved us and we loved him." Made my heart melt. I was so grateful for that tender mercy and that we had made the effort to seek out the branch that morning.
Later that day we headed over to the San Diego Temple and walked around. I loved the tulips and how can you not love that temple? It is beautiful!!
Then we went to the Mormon Battalion Historic Site in Old Town San Diego. It was awesome and the kids loved it there. I was excited to go there after my sister had served there on her mission several years ago. I knew nothing about the Mormon Battalion so I was curious as to why there would be a visitor center. I loved hearing all about it. The faith of the Saints, the vision that Brigham Young had and the sacrifices that were made. It was a beautiful story for which I am so grateful to know now. The kids loved sitting in the covered wagon, trying to scare me like they were going to fall from the watch tower, panning for gold, doing laundry on a wash board, making bricks and looking down a well.
That night B wondered if her tooth was finally loose enough to pull out. I wiggled it and told her that she needed to wiggle it harder. It was bleeding a little. I told her, "I think it might be ready". I didn't really know what ready was since I have NEVER pulled out a tooth. So, I had her get me a tissue and I wasn't really sure what I was doing. I pulled on it a little. She just sat there. It was gross. Then I pulled it down and could tell that it wasn't in there very hard so I told her, "Here we go". I pushed down a little and I had it. I pulled out my first tooth, which was B's first tooth. She was so excited and carried that tooth around the hotel room all night. Fortunately, the tooth fairy remembered. It's been awhile since she has. B woke up to a dollar bill under her pillow and was disappointed it wasn't a quarter. I made mental note of that for the next tooth that will be out soon. :)
And just when I thought it couldn't get any better, I saw a bunch of birds on the beach right there by us as we were leaving that looked like Sand Pipers. They may not be, but to me they were and they were a tender mercy straight from my Heavenly Father telling me that He is aware of me and has given me tools to be happy, to find the joy and reasons to be grateful. I was so grateful for that time with my children. It was the perfect trip. After a couple of hours, we loaded up once again and headed home. My heart was full. We had had a wonderful vacation. I was happy and so grateful that we had been San Diego bound.