Sunday, October 25, 2015

Marching Band

Emma has been playing the clarinet in the Parry McCluer Marching Blues at school.  They have done a couple of competitions and played at half time shows at the football games.  I think she has liked being in the marching band, but will be glad to have more time after school.  It has been a good experience and I think she has made new friends in band.

Can Emma really play two clarinets?

A beautiful day at the temple

We had a beautiful day at the Washington D.C. Temple yesterday with Bethany.  It is a temple that I have always loved and I was grateful for the opportunity to finally go there.  It was a beautiful fall day and the autumn leaves were so beautiful at the temple.  It was wonderful to spend the day at the temple with Bethany. Being at the temple with one of our children was a great experience.  I can't wait to take each of the children at the right time in their lives and be with them at the temple.  I hope that someday we will all be there together.  What a day that will be!  After going to the temple we went to Olive Garden for dinner.  It was a nice time to visit and spend time together.  As we were driving home we passed the Parry McCluer school bus.  Emma had been gone on a band competition so we called her to see if it was her bus.  Sure enough she was on the bus.  We told her we could pull up along side the bus and she could jump from window to window, but decided she better just stay on the bus.  By the time we got home it had been about a thirteen hour day, but it was wonderful.  I love to see the temple and someday we'll all go inside together.

The view of the temple from the freeway

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Color Run

David was very excited for the fundraiser Parry McCluer Middle School had planned for the Saturday the hurricane was supposed to hit Virginia.  David was so excited to do the color run that he paid half of the $30 he had to raise to participate.  It was rescheduled to October 17th, so we went yesterday and watched him run.  The kids could run as many or as few laps around the middle school yard as they wanted.  They had people stationed around the yard that were ready to dust the kids with color as they ran by.  David was definitely colorful by the end.  After watching the run Joshua decided he wanted to do it also.  David took him on one lap.  It was kind of funny that every time they tried to put a color on Joshua he would dodge it.  Joshua did end up with some color on him and he thought it was fun.  Lydia also got some colors on her.  She and Joshua had fun dusting David with the pink dust he got from school.  They loved the color bomb at the end when all the kids dusted each other.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Our first New York trip

One of the places we wanted to see while we are here was New York.  We went up to see Niagara Falls, and Palmyra August 13th through the 15th.  We went up through Pennsylvania and into New York.  We drove by the Buffalo Bills stadium and took some pictures.  Our boys have been able to see several professional stadiums while we are on our adventure. The first place we stopped was Niagara Falls.  It was an amazing place to see.  It was absolutely beautiful.  It was neat to feel the mist from the falls.  Everything on the Canadian side was done in red.  The people on that side had red rain ponchos.  Everything on the American side was done in blue.  There were lots of blue rain ponchos on our side.  We really enjoyed our evening at Niagara Falls.

Buffalo Bills Stadium

The American side of the falls

The Canadian side 

Wyoming Waite family at the Falls

The Canadian skyline

Not a good picture, but you can see an American boat and a Canadian boat.  The mist from the Falls made the picture blurry.

The end of Main Street USA

We drove down the road and spent the night near Palmyra.  We got up on Friday the 14th and went to the Palmyra Temple.  The children and Neil did baptisms.  I waited outside with the younger children and then we traded off.  The Palmyra temple was absolutely beautiful!  It overlooks the Sacred Grove.  At the end of a hallway in the temple there is a clear glass window that looks out on the Sacred Grove.  When they were building the temple President Hinckley requested that the window be clear so people could see the Sacred Grove from the temple.  It was a beautiful day at the temple with our family.  I loved being there.

After the temple we went to the Sacred Grove.  What an amazing experience!  I loved being there.  While we were there I prayed in my heart that our children would have their testimonies strengthened by feeling the spirit there.  I hope they will each remember being there and the spirit that was there.  We walked the paths and enjoyed the spirit.  I found myself thinking that if Joseph played there as a child he may have gone to a favorite childhood spot to pray. We also went to the Smith's home which is right outside the Sacred Grove.  It was neat to see the efforts the church has put into restoring the site.  

 We went into Palmyra and toured the Grandin Bookstore where the Book of Mormon was published.  It was really neat to see the process of making the original Book of Mormon. The younger children were a bit restless by this point so I didn't get to see as much as I would have liked.  It was quite a process for Joseph Smith to get the Book of Mormon printed.  

Next, we went out to see the Whitmer farm.  The church was officially organized here in 1830.  There was a very special feeling here.  It was beautiful!  When the visitor center was dedicated part of General Conference was broadcasted from the visitor center.  It was neat to see the podium that was used.

It was amazing to visit these church history sites with our family.  I have wanted to go to Palmyra for a long time.  I loved being at the temple and the Sacred Grove.  They were definitely the highlights for me.  

We drove to the Seabreeze Amusement Park after seeing the church historical sites.  We spent the evening playing at the water park and amusement park.  The kids had a great time.  I think most of them liked the water park the most.  There were several rides for the younger children.  The older kids enjoyed the roller coasters.  Neil and I decided that we were getting too old for the shake and spin you around rides.  We stayed until closing.  Joshua and Lydia were getting tired, but didn't want to leave.  We waited too long to reserve a motel room for this trip and couldn't find one open for Friday night.  We borrowed some camping gear from the Peterson family here and camped out Friday night.  It was an adventure to set up camp in the dark.   We got one tent set up and then it started to rain.  It rained hard!  We waited out one of the hardest rain storms I have ever been in sitting in the van.  We decided not to set up the second tent, but just some of the kids sleep in the van.  Neil, Bethany, MaryAnne and I slept in the tent.  We stayed fairly dry.  It was an adventure of a camping trip.  Saturday morning we went to see the State Park we were staying at.  It was beautiful.  The kids enjoyed playing in the water and along the beach.