crossroad baptist, family, silas

Spring Break in the Valley of the Sun

Two spring breaks (at two different schools in two different states) made for one great visit to Phoenix! Grandpa and Aunt Charis met Silas for the first time and spent their entire break with us. We were so glad they could come!

After a busy, beautiful morning last Saturday, our little trio drove all the way out to the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport to pick up Charis. Allegiant Airlines offers a flight from South Bend, IN to Mesa, AZ for a more affordable price than flying into Sky Harbor. After a round of hugs, she hopped in the backseat of our Rendezvous and rode next to her nephew all the way to Goodyear. It was fun to show her Silas, give her “The Grand Tour” of our house, and tell her about Phoenix. We hung out for a few hours until it was time to pick up Dad from Sky Harbor. Dad arrived complete with his western gear of cowboy hat and boots. “Cowboy Dan” (as he was nicknamed in his 20s) rides again! Although he had a very long day of travel, he had energy enough to practice some music once we arrived home. Silas loved it! He sat on the couch listening to Grandpa play the autoharp while Mommy, Aunt Charis and Grandpa sang.

Dad taught children’s church on Sunday, and he also provided special music on the dulcimer, autoharp, and violin. I’ve missed singing with my family, so it was great to sing in church with Dad and Charis again. In children’s church after a puppet story, dramatization of a historical story with a biblical application, and a lesson about Zaccheus, Dad invited the kids in the class to raise their hand if they would like to put their trust in Jesus for salvation. Two of the children raised their hands and were able to talk to a teacher about God’s plan for salvation. Both boys accepted God’s free gift of eternal life that morning! It was an answer to prayer.

That afternoon we drove out to see the air show at Luke AFB. We found a great spot to park and watch the jets as they flew overhead twisting, flipping, turning, diving, climbing, and being “plane” awesome! (my Dad’s puns are rubbing off on me!) I’m by no means an expert when it comes to aircraft, but Stephen kept us all informed as to what types of planes we were watching. The best part was the grand finale Thunderbird performance. It was incredible to see six F-16s flying in such close proximity to one another. They moved as one. Sometimes the jets flew directly overhead which was so cool!

Monday was overcast, chilly, and rainy–not your typical Phoenix weather. It seems that guests from back East tend to bring eastern weather with them.  Charis and I did some shopping, while Dad hung out at home.

Tuesday began with a tour of the state capitol. I had never been there before, but the museum inside was interesting. Dad was given permission to play violin in the rotunda. It echoed beautifully.

(See Dad on the 4th floor?)


I think it’s fun to know your state’s symbols. Turquoise is our state gemstone, and petrified wood is our state fossil.

Did you know Arizona has a “State Neckwear”? Honest, we do! It’s the Bola Tie, of course!

Next, we drove to Superstition Mountain and toured the ghost-town-turned-tourist-trap of Goldfield.

To top the evening off, we headed to the pizza parlor for some supper while we listened to the mighty Wurlitzer organ play.

Wednesday was another gorgeous day–perfect weather for mini golf. I was going to carry Silas in my Moby wrap, but Dad decided to hold his grandson instead of golfing. So, I ended up wearing the Moby around the course. It was quite the fashion statement.

Thursday was another museum day featuring the Arizona Historical Society Museum, one of my favorites. It showcases how profoundly Arizona was affected by WW2. Its engaging exhibits make it fun to learn. That’s my ideal requirement for a great museum.

Dad was given his own private tour of the Hall of Flame, the largest firefighter’s museum in the world. When he told me that some of the fire engines were “Cinderella” fire engines, he wasn’t kidding!

Thursday night we invited the Horkavys over for a music night. A violin, 2 lap dulcimers, a flute, and an autoharp make for some pretty good mountain music! My favorite song we played was Boil Them Cabbage Down.

Friday was a lazy day. Charis fed and bathed Silas. Then Grandpa graciously babysat while I “taught” Charis how to play tennis. It had been so long since I played that I couldn’t remember the scoring! We played tennis with Elizabethan scoring.

Stephen and I introduced Dad and Charis to In-N-Out Burger that night.

Aunt Wanda made a John Deere fleece blanket for Silas, and it happened to arrive at the perfect time. Charis and Silas were able to use the blanket for the backdrop of their “John Deere photo shoot.”

One morning, as Charis and I were changing Silas in the nursery, she said to her nephew, “You’re like a little present we open every morning.” She summed up what it feels like to wake up with Silas in the house! How can you not smile when you see that little cherub of a face beaming at you? Stephen is not, nor will he ever be, a morning person. But he always has a smile and tender embrace for his baby, even in the dark hours of the morning.

As we were saying goodbye to Dad on the curb outside the airport, Dad told me, “Silas is cute, but even if he wasn’t cute, he’s still a precious boy.” Pitter-pat, pitter-pat went my heart. Not because it was about my baby, but because it was my Dad talking about my baby.

We had a grand time!

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