On our flight out to Phoenix, both Cody and Jaden were suffering with a slight fever. We contributed this just to a result of the 4-year-old shots they had received a couple days prior and assumed they'd bounce back to full health soon. By the end of the trip, we realized a different truth-- Jaden and Cody had both picked up hand, foot, and mouth disease. Blah! The worst part about it was that we took them to a couple different touristy spots and unknowingly spread their germs around. Our apologies go out to the patrons of Legoland that day. :(
Thankfully, Cody and Jaden felt decent enough with some medicine to enjoy our time at this Legoland Discovery Center. It truly was a very unique place. After receiving two Lego Jr. sets for their birthday this summer, Jaden and Cody have become huge Lego fans, so they could really appreciate the center's activities.
Even though we got advance tickets online (with specific time reservations), there was still a fairly lengthy line to wait in. Aunt Kim came up with some fun races for our active kids to do to pass the time.
Finally after getting in, we were told to stand on a Lego dot to await our factory tour.
We filed into this room where the kids used a control panel to select their own animated Lego minifig features.
Then we toured a fascinating Lego village.
At various locations, the kids could press a button to make some of the Legos move. Here, a minifig construction worker started jack-hammering the street after Abby pressed the button.
Each of the Lego buildings was so detailed. I am so impressed by the people who put these creations together.
Occasionally, the lights would dim and we could see the Lego city nightlife.
This spot allowed the kids to use controls to race these ships across the water. So fun!
Next, we rode a small Lego-themed ride.
Quite likely, one of our boys' favorite spots was here in the Lego Workshop. Jaden and Cody followed directions to build a small helicopter.
Unfortunately, we weren't allowed to keep the final Lego creation, but the boys still enjoyed building.
Our next stop was free-building with these gigantic tubs of Legos.
Cody tried out the Build & Test station in which he could design his own Lego car and then test its speed down various ramps.
Both boys enjoyed this earthquake Lego table. They could build something with Duplos on this green mat and then turn the dial to simulate an earthquake. A successful builder would make his creation withstand the shaking ground!
Another favorite spot was the 4D Lego movie theater. The boys were quite surprised when water sprinkled on them from above!
At the end of our visit, we went on this ride that gave us an opportunity to shoot at various Lego villains and collect points. I'm not sure our boys really grasped the concept of how to aim their laser gun at the villains, but they definitely had fun with it regardless!
As we were leaving the Discovery center, we briefly walked through the Lego store and got to meet this Lego guy and his extremely excited co-worker. :)
On Sunday, we had the joy-filled opportunity to witness Ben's baptism, the primary reason for our trip! Here is the cutie-pie with his loving Grammy prior to the service.
Andrew and Sarah asked both Matt and Kim and Jason and me to serve as sponsors for Ben. Of course, we were honored and readily agreed! It was neat that Papa could be the pastor to baptize Ben, too.
This moment always puts tears in my eyes. What a joy to know that Ben is a beloved, cherished, and forgiven child of God!
Our many post-baptism photos:
|the baptism family and sponsors:|
Jason, Amy, Abby, Andrew, Sarah, Ben, Kim, Matt, conked-out Nathan
|the beautiful new family of 4|
|Ben's two sets of grandparents pose with the Arizona Walquists|
|The whole Walquist-Schleicher crew|
One final outing that Andrew and Sarah planned for us was to an absolutely delicious new sweet-spot in Phoenix. I hope that they expand to the Houston area soon!! This dessert shop was called the Baked Bear, and it featured build-your-own ice cream sandwiches. We could choose any two types of cookies or brownies for the top and bottom of our sandwich, any variety of ice cream for the inside, and select from a wide array of toppings to add to the yummy sweetness.
Now doesn't this dessert just make your mouth water?!
We were all instant fans!!
Because this shop had only been open for a few weeks, the line for ice cream was very long (stretching far outside the door), and the whole establishment was fairly packed. Hands-down worth the crowds and wait, though!
We ended the trip with a somewhat successful grandchild photo for Grammy and Papa. Perhaps the pics are just getting easier because the kids are all getting older, but quite likely it was due to the fact that they had all just finished their delicious ice cream. We were excited that every child's face was visible in this pic and that only Ben is showing signs of slight distress. Success! :)
|Ryan, Jaden, Ben, Papa, Ian, Cody, Grammy, Nathan, Abby|
Thanks for being such wonderful hosts, Andrew, Sarah, Abby, and Ben! We loved our time with your family and were honored to be a part of Ben's big day.