Nate turned 33 this week. To him, it was no big deal, of course. It is frustrating being married to Nate, because he is a man who prefers not to receive gifts. (Unless you come bearing the gift of a brand new shotgun...oh well) So, I decided years ago that if I wasn't going to buy him guns and such, I would just make him yummy treats instead. Ben and I took Nate out to lunch at Wendy's, and brought him his favorite treat-homemade white chocolate macadamia nut cookies. Then, we made him a birthday dinner feast fit for only the most awesome of dads--homemade breadsticks, fettuccine alfredo, and yummy salad. Then we stuck a candle in a coconut cream pie and called it good. We all ate ourselves silly on Nate's birthday!
This is the second year that I have had my kids involved in the Utah UPSTART program, and I just wanted to say a few words about it here. We love this awesome program! It is funded by the Utah Legislature, and it focuses on giving preschoolers solid reading skills. The program also covers math and science, and it is a joy to use. What I love about the curriculum (besides it being free, lol) is that the material reaches to the 2nd grade level, so it is great for both Benny and Sylvia. For my kiddos, an interactive computer program is perfect, and they think they're just playing "fun games." They have no idea that they're really immersed in learning! It has been amazing watching Ben, with all his little quirks, begin to really understand and enjoy reading. Today, I caught him reading on his own, and I couldn't have been happier! At this point, parents in Utah have to pre-register and get on a waiting list to be part of the program, but I would love to see this type of thing be available to all preschoolers across the state free of charge.
(An artist rendering of proposed Provo Temple, via LDS.org)
Today during LDS General Conference, President Monson announced new temples to be built. Nate and I sat astonished as President Monson explained that the Provo Tabernacle (which was destroyed by fire) would be rebuilt as a temple! We were excited and even a little teary. This restored building will be such a beautiful addition to downtown Provo. Nate just thinks it is neat that both Sylvia and I have sung in a building that will now be a temple. This is inspired, and absolutely wonderful.