Friday, December 2, 2011

Palmyra Trip Part II

We started out the day by heading to the Hill Cumorah and seeing the Moroni Monument. It was really incredible to stand there on that hill (despite the freezing windy-ness of it) and just feel the history of the place and the strong spirit that was there. This is where the gold plates were kept safe and delivered to Joseph Smith to be translated so the true Gospel of Jesus Christ could be restored. 

From there we drove past the Palmyra temple and on to the Smith family farm. This place was truly amazing. 

First of all, it was amazing that they fit 10 people in that teeny tiny log cabin and felt grateful for their wealth! It made me realize just how much we have today that we are so ungrateful for. It was a great reminder at this very spendy time of year to live simply.

Second, and most obviously, it was amazing to be in the exact place where Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith. Where the Angel Moroni visited Joseph. Where the gold plates had been hidden, translated, protected. Where it all began. We couldn’t help but wonder as we drove around that small town if those that live there now have any idea how sacred this place is—the incalculable impact it has had on the world. Being there made everything real. These aren’t just stories we have been told. Joseph Smith truly saw God the Father and Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon is true. The Gospel has been restored!

Palmyra temple
 Entering the Sacred Grove (Reese was fast asleep)

Wesley lacked wisdom and departed from the log home behind him to enter into the woods to pray

 She slept through Niagara Falls and now the Sacred Grove...

Smith Log Home
 The picture should lend a little perspective. The house was so small. The ceiling beams had a 6'2" clearance.

 Here's the kitchen/living room/dining room. After the First Vision, Joseph came in and leaned over this fireplace where his mother was preparing breakfast. She asked him what was the matter and he replied that he was fine, but he now knew for himself that Presbyterianism wasn't true. From that moment on, the Smith family (and the world) would never be the same.

Carefully climbing the stairs up to the bedrooms
 They were tricky! It made me a wee bit nervous to climb those with a sleeping baby in tow.

 In the bedroom where Angel Moroni appeared to Joseph

The white building in the background is the welcome center, the trees to the left are the Sacred Grove, the cabin to the right is the Smith's log home.
 Smith's land and the path leading to the frame home, the white house on the left.
 I love this picture because of Wesley. So 2 year old. I'm walking ahead with our awesome tour guide, a senior missionary from Orem, UT. We met some really great missionaries on our tours!

 Reese eventually did wake up and join the fun.
 In front of the Smith's frame home, built much later.
 This home is 85% original and underwent crazy amounts of restoration. The walls in this room had to have the plaster removed while retaining the original whitewash. 

This is a replica of Alvin's toolbox where the gold plates were hidden or transported on a number of occasions.
 The hearth, another hiding place for the plates.
 Original floorboards in this room
 The kitchen. The fireplace was the stove and this home had a fancy upgrade-- an oven. Can you see it? It's the tiny door to the right of the stove. They tested the temperature with their hand.
 Behind me to the right is the breakfast table. It was here that Martin Harris broke the news to Joseph that he had lost the translated Book of Mormon manuscript. Right in front of me is where Joseph then spent the rest of the day pacing. I could feel his worry as I sat in that space!
 Reesey enjoying the tour
2 year old + historical tours =

We passed through the Sacred Grove again and then headed on to the Book of Mormon Publication site where a wonderful sister missionary played with Wesley and gave us a great tour. We learned a lot about how the Book of Mormon came to be published and it was really neat to see where it all happened. 

After all of our touring, this happened in about 20 seconds:

I wish I could have taken a video of this... he fell asleep eating his snacks in the car as you can see by the crackers in his hands. Such an amazing trip! I'm so glad we went-- we had a beautiful experience.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Palmyra Trip Part I

One of the great things about living in Connecticut is our proximity to a lot of cool places. Add to that the fact that Eric racks up lots of hotel points and it makes for some great experiences!

Eric took this week off of work to enjoy the holidays and family and we took a quick trip up to Palmyra. We got into Rochester, NY at 4 pm and spent an hour at the National Museum of Play. This place was huge! 150,000 sq.ft actually and the kids loved it. 

When the museum closed we went over to Dinosaur BBQ for excessive amounts of meat and a crazy delicious salad dressing. (Seriously, if you are ever in upstate NY you should go there. Be sure to get a side salad with the house dressing. I think it was a bleu cheesy thousand island mix of sorts and like I said, crazy delicious).

At the football exhibit

Climbing around on a Jack in the Beanstalk play structure

Sitting on a troll's head, obviously.

Playing in the "sandbox." It was a giant area filled with little PVC pellets. Wesley and Reese were in HEAVEN. Unfortunately, we didn't get a picture of Reese going nuts in here.

We wrapped up the day by picking up some Ben and Jerry's and playing in our hotel room. I must say, as much as we hate having Eric travel and all that that entails, it's pretty nice being a platinum member of a hotel chain-- they upgraded us to a giant room. Never gonna complain about that!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

bloggity blog

What was I thinking? I really set a goal to post on the blog once a week and then actually published it for the world to see. I know what I was thinking-- wouldn't it be nice to have some sort of history recorded for my kids where I can have a scrapbook meets journal while also satisfying the grandparental demands for more pictures of the babies!

But lets be honest. Once a week? This coming from the girl who does laundry on a Monday then folds it the following Monday, simply to make space for more laundry.

That being said, I'm working on it. More to come soon I promise. I have pictures from a whole summer of fun! Coming soon: Toronto, Philadelphia, Rhode Island! (Did we go anywhere else? I really can't remember...)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Teeny Reesey

I took Reese in for her 4 month check up the other day. Here are her stats:

Weight: 12 lbs 8.5 oz (between the 10th and 25th percentile)
Height: 25 1/4 inches (75%)
Head circ: 42 cm (between 50-75%)

I should point out that she is really closer to 5 months and being compared to other 4 month-ers for the percentile info, so she's probably on the lower end of the spectrum anyway. She's so teeny. Eric calls her 10% nowadays.

But being small has advantages. Because she doesn't have much weight holding her down, she's quite strong and mobile for her age. She is a champion roller, easily flipping from back to tummy and back, and she almost always scoots her way off her blankets when I set her on the floor. (Not very quickly, but she gets there nonetheless).

With that, she also is showing quite a bit of walking prowess. Observe:


Today I made grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch. I had some tomato soup with mine and I was dipping my sandwich in the soup. I went to rotate the laundry in the middle of the meal and after a minute I hear Wesley calling, "Mommy!! Dripping!! Dripping me!!" My first thought was "Please don't tell me you've spilled my soup everywhere... I should have buckled him down today..."

Fortunately, when I got back to the table, he was just panicking over some milk he'd spilled and that was dripping down his arm a bit. I sat down and he drank more of his milk and I noticed crumbs in it. I thought, "Man, he must really be backwashy today." It wasn't until he picked up his sandwich again that I realized what really happened. It was totally white on one end and dripping milk. Hilarious. He is such a little copycat. The milk was "dripping" because he was trying to be like me and dip his sandwich.

And while we are on the topic, sandwich is one of his favorite words to say. I think because it ends in that satisfying "ishch" sound. Same story with "orange."

Here's some Wesley in action:

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tree Ring Circus

Yesterday I went to a weird store with my sister-in-law where I expected to find things like discount school supplies and really cheap water bottles, but certainly nothing beautiful.

And then I found this. 
There in the middle of a bunch of random children's books was this little gem. The book is called Tree Ring Circus and it is so beautiful! I was drawn in by the lovely cover art. I know better than to buy a children's book without reading it, so I read it to Wesley there on the spot. And when I got to this page, I was sold:
 Isn't it lovely? And the story is darling and enchanting and Wesley adores it. He wants me to read it over and over and tries to memorize it and point out all the different animals.
 I'm smitten. I want to decorate the children's room based on this book. It's beautiful. I love it.

You should buy a copy too. And while you are at it, check out the other stuff this guy does. He's good.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

I'm Reese

Name: Reese

Age: 4.5 months

Favorite foods: Mommy Milk! One time I let her suck on an apple slice and she was in HEAVEN! She also enjoys my knuckles and the occasional binky but fingers and now toes are much preferred. 

Favorite person: Mommy. She will cry very dramatically if someone else is holding her for too long. She'll tolerate a few minutes with a stranger, but don't you dare wander too far. She does love Daddy though too, thank goodness.

Favorite movie: Cars. She doesn't really have a choice here. I was so good about never letting Wesley watch anything on screen but I find it a bit more challenging with her. I still deny her TV as much as possible. :)

Favorite toy: Rattle, the fishies attached to her bouncy seat, and the butterfly attached to the swing

Newest Skills: She has successfully mastered the tummy to back roll (she's been doing that for one month now) and she's getting really close to mastering the back to tummy roll. She's done it a few times, but needs more practice.

Least favorite activity: Driving. She screams like a banshee in the car. It stresses me out to no end. Sometimes she is an absolute champ, but generally she hates it.

Favorite activity: BATH!! This girl loves the bath like no other. She is all giggles and smiles the second I start filling the tub and taking off the onesie.

I'm Wesley

Name: Wesley

Age: 26 months

Favorite question to ask: What's your name? (he asks mom and dad this non-stop)

Favorite foods: tortellini, plain whole wheat pasta, string cheese, mangoes (fresh, dried, and sorbet), peaches, turkey, rice, yogurt covered raisins, broccoli, carrots, fruit snacks, gum

Favorite person: Daddy

Favorite movie: Cars

Favorite toy: Red Van (a hot wheels car of course. He can play with cars for hours!)

Newest Skills: Jumping off the couch, climbing into his own high chair, climbing into Reese's bed, unscrewing lids, taking stairs like a man, he knows his ABCs perfectly and loves to identify letters,

Favorite words and things to say:
"Crashing hitting tires!"
"That's amazing!"
"That's delicious!"
"No Mommy Mommy No!"
"No Reesey Reesey No!"
"Ouch! Son of a nutcracker!"
"Watch this Mommy/Daddy!"
"Let's go do it!"
"Don't like it!"

Wesley is 2!

Oh my goodness, I took zero pictures on his birthday. Whoops.

To celebrate our little boy's SECOND birthday, we went to Kid City which is a really wonderful children's museum about half an hour from us. We bought a family membership for $100. With the pass, not only can we visit Kid City any time we want for free, we can get into (almost) every other children's museum in America. We've definitely gotten our money's worth with that little gem! We've gone to children's museums in Middletown, West Hartford, and Manchester, Connecticut multiple times as well as in Boston and Philadelphia. And the pass is good for a whole year! This is the birthday present that keeps on giving! Wesley had an absolute blast at the museum and then we hit up McD's for lunch. (Something we only do in desperation... I forgot to pack our lunch!) Wes fell asleep hard on the way home, took a good nap, and finished out the afternoon with presents and cupcakes!

Fortunately I just remembered we took some videos! And what's that saying, a video is worth a thousand pictures? :)
Happy Birthday Bucko! We love you so so much!!

Reese's blessing

We blessed Reese on May 15, the day before she was 2 months. It was a lovely day and we felt so blessed to have so much family there! 

  • Clark and Guinevere and their 2 boys made the 75 mile drive from Framingham, MA to be there.
  • My cousin Bethany and her husband Danny and their 4 kids made the 80 mile drive from Danbury, CT
  • My parents Steve and Carma traveled 2,658 miles to come from Las Vegas, NV
  • Eric's parents Kim and Marilyn traveled 3,056 miles to come from Clovis, CA

It was such a beautiful day and a beautiful blessing for a beautiful girl! We were also glad to provide an excuse for Kim and Marilyn to finally take that church history tour they have been dreaming about for years. It's quite a commitment to make a 3000 mile trip and they definitely made the most of it. They put over 1000 miles on their rental car during their week visit!

Thanks again everyone for making that journey to make the day so special!

Little Wesley

Wesley loved trekking around in the snow.
The ice didn't seem to scare him too much.

Wesley is standing on top of the snow on a thin layer of ice.
You can see that Eric has sunk down to his knees but Wesley is
light enough to stand on top.

We don't have a sled, so he rode his bike on top of the ice/snow
down the hill. It was awesome. I'll post a video too.

First time holding Baby Sister

love his little lips

He's such a goof. He insisted on putting on his jammies this way one night and rocked the look quite well

Easter 2011

I sometimes think that he can't take a good picture to save his life...

Found one!

Easter feast-- kid style

He picked out his own clothes here. I bought this  shirt because it was .75, has a truck on it, and it was intended  to be a jammy shirt. The problem is, it has a truck on it, so it's a fave.

I thought it would be fun to do a little photo shoot after church one day.

It wasn't fun. These are the best pics we got.

Wesley is obsessed with throwing clothes around. Unattended laundry basket: beware!

In this case, he just piled them on Daddy.