As we spend our first December here in Arizona, our family has been experiencing the local Christmas traditions.
Top most on our to-do list was to visit the Mesa Arizona Temple arrayed with hundreds of thousands of Christmas lights.
This beautiful Temple sits upon 20 acres in downtown Mesa. The crowds were large last night with well managed activities through out the site.
It was fun to be with the family, especially the grandchildren who's eyes lit up as bright as the glistening lights.
As 3 year old Noah circled the pools of water, he repeated exclaimed "Can I get wet?! Can I get wet?!"
"Noooo!" responded his mother as she reached out for him, accompanied by the laughter of the nearby crowd.
We were just glad he asked FIRST:)
This temple has significant meaning for our family. Built in the 1920's, Grandfather Sorensen, a master carpenter was called from Salt Lake City to come to Mesa to help with the interior workmanship of the temple.
Mr. Cactus' father, now 92 years old, often recalls coming here as a young boy with his family.
In the days before air conditioning, he remembers the intense summer heat, and how grateful he was when his mother returned to Utah with the children once school started in the fall. Grandfather stayed and worked, adding great detail to the magnificent interior rooms.
Winter is well worth waiting for, where the lush grapefruit, lemon and orange trees are decorated in an abundance of lights.
The palm tree lights reach high into the sky.
Viewing the manger scenes helped us remember the true meaning of Christmas, as we celebrate the birth of our Savior.
Children, in their perfection, sense the truth so readily.
As we slowly made our way back to the car at the end of the evening, 2 year old Kayla waved to the temple and sweetly said "Bye, bye Jesus".