Dylan (age 13), Jacob (age 19), Mary, and Ed in front of the Snowflake Temple.
One week ago today, on Veteran's Day, my son Jacob went through the temple for his first time. It was an incredible, emotional experience as I watched him take this major step in his life. Sometimes it's hard to accept that he's no longer the green-eyed toddler who used to fit so sweetly on my lap. He still loves a good hug, though!
Jacob reports to the Mission Training Center in Provo, Utah, in just 13 days from today! I'm trying to wrap my mind around that fact, but I still don't think it has sunk in completely.
Jacob with his Aunt Karla and his mom, Mary.
Attending the temple to receive blessings and make covenants with the Lord is something all missionaries do before they report to their missions. It is a very special event for which they long prepare in order to be worthy to participate. I'm so proud of Jacob for the choices he has made that led him to this point in his life.
The day was made even more special by the presence of many family members and friends who joined us in the temple. Several good people from our ward came to be with us, many of whom have watched Jacob grow up and provided love and support to him over the years.
Jacob with his cousins Genevieve (left) and Elyssa, and their husbands Scott (left) and Ross.
We are especially grateful for the family members who traveled all the way from Mesa (a 3-hour drive) to spend a single day celebrating with us before returning home that evening. My sister, Jacob's Aunt Karla, made the trip with her two oldest daughters, Genevieve and Elyssa, as well as Genevieve's husband Scott and Elyssa's husband Ross. It was very special to Jacob to have his aunt and cousins with him for this event.
We were also pleased to have his grandparents (my dad and step-mom) join us. Jacob's sister Sarah and brother Dylan were unable to accompany us inside the temple since they haven't been through the temple themselves yet, but they were both there for Jacob nonetheless.
Jacob with his grandparents, Kathy and Myron.
Sarah met us at the temple so she could tend Genevieve and Scott's three young children--Brooke, Jaycee, and Max (who had traveled here with them)--while Scott and Genevieve were in the temple with us. Sarah is in heaven when she's caring for toddlers and babies.
As for Dylan, it just so happened that the youth of our ward had planned a trip to the temple to perform baptisms for the dead on the very same morning Jacob was attending his first temple session. Thus Dylan rode to the temple with us and then met up with the youth group to do baptisms while we adults were upstairs in Jacob's session. The youth completed their work about an hour before we finished, so Dylan simply waited on the temple grounds for us. It worked out very well!
Jacob with Rob and A'Lece.
Among the friends who joined us were Rob and A'Lece. Jacob had asked Rob to be his escort while in the temple, showing him where to go and helping him learn what to do. Jacob has known Rob since his elementary school years, when he became good friends with Rob's two oldest sons, Bryn and Kyle. It's only a matter of months before Bryn leaves on his own mission.
Table for sixteen!
When we left the temple around 12:30, we all headed over for a Mexican lunch at Cocina de Eva (Kitchen of Eva, or Eva's Kitchen) in Snowflake. I can only speak for myself, but my mini-chimi was yummy! We made quite a crowd, but we enjoyed an hour and a half of visiting and laughing.
A'Lece, Rob, Jacob, and Dylan wait for their food to arrive.
Elyssa, Ross, and Sarah enjoy chips and salsa. Yes, Sarah was with us!
Ed entertains baby Max while Max's parents Scott and Genevieve look on.
I thought I got pictures of Scott and Genevieve's daughters, 5-year-old Brooke and 3-year-old Jaycee, but I somehow just missed them in every shot. I got a couple of good pictures of 8-month-old Max, though!
Soon-to-be Elder Jacob Carter
The time for Jacob's mission is drawing closer very quickly! Before we know it, we'll be packed up and on our way to Utah to deliver him to the MTC. It's an exciting time for our family.
I'm so proud of you, my son!