Friday, September 28, 2012

Kirtland, Ohio

Historic Kirtland, Ohio is probably one of the places in my church's history that I enjoy visiting the most. Significant modern-day spiritual events occurred in this area, and one can't help but feel God's poignant whisperings as stories and experiences of the early Latter-day Saints were shared by both missionaries of the Mormon faith and by members of the Community of Christ as well.
The Kirtland Temple
Us at the Newel K. Whitney Store
The Whitney store and many other structures in historic Kirtland have been either restored or reconstructed to look like they did in the 1830s when the Mormons gathered to this city.
Inside the Whitney Store
The Trading and Bartering Room
Newel K. and Elizabeth Ann Whitney Home
The Keeping Room in the Whitney home
I loved this vegetable "cage" in the Whitney's garden.
The Ashery
Chemistry going on at the Ashery
Our summer "vacation" was coming to a close. It was a great trip--lots of walking, wandering and learning. Yes, there was some grumbling and bad moods and too much time together, but there was also laughter, smiles, and memories shared. Some of the best were never captured in photographs--night time swims in hotel pools, finding a high school track where we all ran and exercised together, and of course, the glorious eating (where I didn't have to cook a thing.) 
Heading "home"
I wonder where we'll be going next year.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Palmyra, New York

Our last goal for our family vacation this summer was to visit sites that have historical significance for our Church. So, from Boston we traveled west through upstate New York until we arrived in the quaint town of Palmyra.
Our first stop was the visitor's center at the Hill Cumorah.
After a quick climb to the top we headed to the Smith Family Farm and the Sacred Grove.

Next, we toured the site of the publication of the first Book of Mormon (Grandin Building) in historic downtown Palmyra. We ran into one of Kellie's friends who used to play basketball and soccer with her in high school. She is serving an 18-month mission for our church in this area.
Not far from Palmyra in Waterloo is the Peter Whitmer Log Home where the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized in 1830.
This video tells the story of my Church's beginnings. It will help you understand why we wanted to bring our children here. I believe and know that these things really did happen. Email me if you want to know more.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Dear Rachel (#12)

Dear Rachel,
I love this picture of you and Abby at the Atlanta airport. She was SO excited to see you. Actually, we were all looking forward to our few hours together on the way home from our "Education Vacation".
It was incredibly sweet of you to bring those white chocolate cupcakes to the airport to celebrate your Dad's 50th birthday. They were decadently delicious!
I thought you might like this picture of your most awesome husband.
I'd say we were quite fortunate to realize we had time to take the train to your apartment. It makes all the difference for me now when I picture your home and neighborhood.
The view from your roof was pretty cool. I think our smiles say just how great is was to see you after being apart for a whole year.
School and Fall sports are upon us. Travis is running cross country
and Abby and Kellie are in full soccer mode. Kellie is doing a great job coaching Abby's premier Celtic Storm team. They are currently undefeated. I never tire of the views from their home field at the base of Mount Timpanogos.
One last thing I wanted you to see:
For some reason Abby found it too difficult to walk around to the proper exit of Copp's Hill Burying Ground in Boston. Before I could correct her behavior she had safely plopped onto the sidewalk.
By the way, do you see the red brick line on the sidewalk? THAT is the Freedom Trail. I am sure that some day you will walk it yourself.

In the meantime, enjoy all that Atlanta has to offer so when I get a chance to spend more than a few hours there, we will have much to explore.

Love you!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Playing with Pins: Part 1

Ever since I was a teenager I have been a magazine clipper. Happily I would thumb through the glossy pages and gather ideas for future projects, crafts, recipes, my dream home, etc. I would file these plans away in carefully labeled manila folders. Periodically, I would pull the clippings out as holidays approached, but more often than not they were forgotten and ignored.

Enter Pinterest--my modern electronic filing system. I LOVE it. I am hooked, AND, I actually play with the pins I've collected. Evidence below:
The sheet music magnets turned out perfectly (original pin here).
I made these tissue paper pom-poms for a bridal shower I hosted this summer. The brides' colors were light blue and red (original pin here).
This single-serving chocolate chip cookie is quite a dangerous pin for me because it works and is SO good (original pin here).
I thought this idea was quite clever--scarf organization (original pin here).
Finally, Kellie is sporting a happy "Martha" face because we finally found an efficient way to cut corn off the cob. No more kernels all over the counter and cutting board. Brilliant! (The original pin is here.)

Monday, September 10, 2012


Brian travels to Boston at least once a year for his Virtual Labs so he was really looking forward to showing the kids this historic city during our "Education Vacation."
I insisted that our first stop be the Public Garden. The following day, however, we took a taxi from our hotel to Bunker Hill where we began our walk along The Freedom Trail. The famous words, "Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes!" were believed to have first been uttered here during the battle of Bunker Hill in 1775 when the Colonists resolutely stood their ground against the British Army.
We trudged up the 294 steps to the top of the Bunker Hill Monument in sweltering heat and humidity and were rewarded with spectacular views of the city and harbor.
I never truly understood the term "weak in the knees" until we had descended and began our trek along the trail. It took several blocks for my legs to fully recover. 
The USS Constitution (Old Ironsides) was all decked out for Harborfest.
We walked crossed the Charles River and the Boston Harbor was right before our eyes. I couldn't help but imagine the scenes of that long ago tea party.
One of the most fascinating places (to me) along the trail was Copp's Hill Burying Ground and its curious gravestones.
The Old North Church was just down the street and is memorialized in Longfellow's famous poem, "The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere."
Paul Revere's house was built circa 1680 and is the oldest remaining structure in downtown Boston.
In 1776, the Declaration of Independence was first read to the people of Boston from The Old State House balcony.
I find it fascinating how the city has been built up around this historic landmark.
Abby and Travis are standing on the cobblestone marker that signifies the site of the Boston Massacre. I didn't realize it was basically on the doorstep of the Old State House.
Red Coats and Mennonites were not far away.
The Freedom Trail ended for us at the new State House on Beacon Hill that overlooks Boston Common--pretty impressive golden dome.
Cheers to us for a day packed with history!