Saturday, October 18, 2014

Kirtland 2014

I know the title of this post says "Kirtland 2014" but I just had to sneak in these cute pictures of the girls from last night!
Kaylee (L) and Cambree (R) all smiles.

Oh how I love these girls!

This morning, we got up bright and early and headed to Kirtland to spend a couple hours with my unts and Uncles Jane & Ray and Carol & Ron, who are on a Church History tour this week.
We started our tour at the Kirtland Visitor's Center, then headed over to the Mill and Ashery.

Just around the bend from here is where the Saints used to perform baptisms for the living. (Back then, there was a dam, I believe, for the mill and to help with shipping logs, so the river was about 6 ft deep.) I love to imagine them being baptized here.

The other side of the river, by the Ashery:

Inside the Mill with our crew.

Kaylee helping daddy hold the umbrella. :)

The Ashery. I love seeing it surrounded by the beautiful trees!

Bethany touching the sample ashes in the Ashery:

The Fall colors in Ohio are SO beautiful. They amaze me every day, and serve as a simple reminder of how creative and all-knowing our Creator is. The beauty  of the changing leaves truly fills my soul.

One of the houses for the missionaries:

Every time I visit a Church History site, I love to think about how I am walking right where the saints walked so many years ago. It helps me feel close to them and what happened there. (This used to be the main road through town. The road traveled by cars today is a recent re-routing made to go around the Churches' historic sites.)
The sister in the foreground was our tour guide.

 Sisters and spouses :)

I learned today that the Churches' historical site are 100% donor funded. I thought that was so wonderful, and it made me want to also contribute to building these places that are such an important part of our history and do so much to teach and build testimonies.

After the tour, we said goodbye to my aunts and uncles and headed to the Kirtland temple.

The kids were tired and hungry, so Travis hung with them in the car as they napped and ate their lunch while dad and I walked over to the temple to take a few quick pictures.

This is such a beautiful, interesting building. My voice swelled with emotion as I told the girls that Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery saw Jesus Christ right in this very place. So many wonderful things happened at the Kirtland temple, including visitations of Biblical prophets, visions of angels, and the singing of heavenly beings. And many more wonderful things happened in Kirtland, including other heavenly visions and several important revelations. I'm so glad we live close to this special place and have the opportunity to visit and share it with our girls.

We drove through the most beautiful countryside, including Amish country, on the way there and back, and saw several buggies and one wagon, as well as a few Amish people walking around as we drove. It was hard to tear our eyes away from all the interesting things and gorgeous foliage we passed by!
We can't wait to go back this winter for the Nativity display!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Pumpkin Painting 2014

Our activity this last Monday night for FHE was painting pumpkins. This is definitely one of the girls favorite things do to each Halloween season! This year we took the easy/clean route and painted with finger paints on the porch.

Our little artists:

I love her painting pose :)

Getting into it:


Pleased with the results :)

Kaylee and Cambree had fun in the grass and playing with daddy while big sisters painted.
Cambree crawling to get a dandelion puff:

Kaylee getting tossed by Daddy:


Bethany's completed masterpiece:

Grace's portrait of Jesus. Jesus is her favorite thing to draw, and her favorite name to write these days, and I love it! Grace sure is a sweet girl.

"Grace" and "Jesus" :)

Tune in soon for pictures of mine and Travis' carved pumpkins.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Grace's 5th Birthday

Grace- (while playing with her presents she'd just opened) "I love my new presents! Thanks mom!"

when I asked her if she had a good birthday, she replied "It was the best birthday ever!"

M-what does a horsey say?
B-yee haw!
Any time that Santa or Christmas is,mentioned, she says ho ho ho.

Grace was watching Peg and Cat on the computer. One of the characters came on the screen and my mom asked her "Is that a witch?" Grace replied "No, it's an arch enemy."

Kaylee had her first belly laugh today. It was adorable!!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter 2014

Easter 2014
Our four beautiful girls, all dressed up in their Easter best for Church.
It was fun to plan out their outfits. :) I love my sweet Grace's smile. And the babies love to scratch their faces when they wake up (sillies!). :)

(You can't really see it in this picture, but Cambree's blue dress has little white bunnies on it--so cute and Easter-y!)

The best shot we got :)
 On the way home from Church, we listened to some of the most recent General Conference talks in the car. As Elder Bednar's talk came on, his words about how Christ has first gone through everything we have or will go through in this life--every pain, sickness, trial, frustration, etc.--really hit me. I've heard this truth before, but somehow hearing that He has gone through it first really struck a chord with me. He's been there. He knows how my life feels. It's so comforting to know that there is One who always truly understands us.
After Church, we went for a little walk around the neighborhood. It was perfect Spring weather!
Then, after our walk, we took a short nap then dyed Easter eggs. This was the Grace and Bethany's first egg-dying experience, and they had a lot of fun!

The girls' finished products:

After the egg fun, we all made our traditional Resurrection rolls. It was so meaningful to talk with the girls about the true meaning of Easter (Christ's death and Resurrection: how Jesus' friends put oils (butter) and spices (sugar and cinnamon) on His body, then laid him in the tomb to rest, and how 3 days later He was resurrected and His body was gone (the marshmallow disappeared)) as we made the rolls. Making them is one of our favorite Easter traditions. And this year they were especially yummy!

Then we had a few egg hunts around the house, with Travis and my dad taking turns with Grace at hiding and finding the eggs. They had a great time!

Grace and Bethany got these necklaces in their Easter basket and have had so much fun wearing them around their necks or on their head as a headband. I love my little flower children! ;)
And we finished the evening with a yummy Easter dinner (butternut squash lasagna rolls, homemade garlic bread, resurrection rolls, and salad).
This Easter, I'm so grateful for my Savior, and that because of Him and His atoning sacrifice, death, and resurrection, I can live with Him and my sweet family (that I love so much) forever.
 Happy Easter!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Bunny Fun

This morning, we headed to the bunny event at the Metroparks Farm for some family fun.
First up was visiting the bunnies in the barn. The girls loved petting them!

Sitting on the tractor there is always a favorite:

"ABCDs!" I love how she says that whenever she sees letters! :)

Coloring some bunnies. The girls LOVE to color!

Of course we had to do the fun photo ops (Grace is drawn to these like moths to a flame).
Corny Grace :)

Caterpillar Cambree, our little love bug:

Grace and Poppy:

After doing all the activities in the barn, the girls got their faces painted.
Honey Bunny Grace:

Flower child Bethany. They both did a great job holding still while their faces were being painted!

Then on to a little story time about a quiet bunny...

...which was in the fabulous play room there at the farm, filled with farm-related toys:
Last up was visiting a couple of the barns where the baby animals were:
Grace and the ducklings:

Bethany and Grace LOVED the baby goats, and they loved them!
This little goat kept sticking it's head out at Grace:

HUGS! This girl has no fear of animals, just lots of love! :) (She kept saying to the black goat "Wake up! He need wake up!!")

"Hi Llama! Hi Llama!!"
It was a fun time and a great way to start my birthday celebrations!