Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Back to Being Mommy

After my fabulous vacation last week, I spent two days this week being "mommy" to my grandchildren.  Clare and Clint got a getaway for just the two of them.  Gee, I know what that is.
Anyway, being the caregiver for little ones makes me appreciate so much the fact that that part of mylife is over.  Although, getting loves/hugs from this little man makes my heart melt.
 This guy has a great imagination that never quits.  He reminds me of Andrew in some respects. 
 I cleaned the porch a couple of times and that's when the boys seem to notice that the toys are kept there.
 I'm not sure why Brock was carrying around this purse but he was having a great time.  He smiles as soon as I get the camera out but since he then walks toward me, I can't seem to capture his beautiful smile quite like I want to.
 This little chicka was busy with summer school and yesterday with tumbling class, so I didn't get much interaction with her until in the evening when we went back to their house and then she watched a movie.
Today we read some books while Brock napped and then some "Just Dance" on the Wii.

At any rate, I know why women should have their children while they're younger.  Those women who take hormones to have children in their 50's+ are just plain insane.  (I picked out another choice word, but thought I'd be kinder.)  I will appreciate an uninterrupted sleep tonight.  I haven't gotten up to check on anyone so many times in years.
I love these munchkins and had a great time with them.  Tomorrow I can go to work and relax!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Far West

After visiting Liberty and Independence on Tuesday, we headed off to see the other sites we were interested in before making our way to Nauvoo.  The first place we went to was Far West.  The temple site and a Community of Christ church is all that's there.  To think it was once a community of several thousand people. 
I had some interesting observations and feelings while I visited this historical site.  First of all, each of the four cornerstones is in a plexiglass "box" like this. 

 There is also this monument standing at the back of the site.
 Across the street the Community of Christ has this plaque.
 The most interesting thing about visiting this place was that it is holy.  I could feel it.  The temple site is well maintained with the same iron fencing that surrounds all the temples.  There are beautiful flowers planted as well.
The Spirit was very strong here.  Pat and I were the only ones visiting at the time, and both of us found it very peacful and reverent.  It was the same feelings I get when visiting any of the other temples.  It really is a holy place.

The "Other" Temple

 While in Independence, we took a tour of the Community of
Christ temple.  I think the spire is odd, but it's meant to look like a sea shell and you'll see that in the last picture I've got posted.
 A very kind and knowledgable lady named Pat gave us the tour.  There are some beautiful pieces of artwork within.  This Japanese garden is the first beautiful thing I saw.
 This etched glass doorway is representative of the sacred grove where Joseph Smith had a "divine manifestation."  It was very carefully worded.
 Look at the detail.  Can you see the chipmunk?  I found bees and ants as well.  It was very intricate and beautiful.
 This is the Tree of Life.  Three kinds of metals are used for the leaves, but I don't remember which kinds.  It's also much more impressive in person.
 This window is called "the field is white."  The swirling white pieces represent the sickle.  Up close you can see the small pieces of wheat.
This is looking up at the spire while sitting in the sancuary.  Now I can see the shell design.

This was a very interesting tour.  I learned a lot about their beliefs and just how very different they are than ours.  To think that in 1845, it was the same religion.  They began because they believed that the prophet should be a direct decendant of Joseph Smith.  Well, once their prophet no longer had sons, they had to do something else.  Their current prophet has no relation to the Smith family.  In fact, now they have women who serve on their council of the 12 apostles and a counselor in their first presidency is a woman.  They hold "world conference" every three years and no longer use the Book of Mormon as cannonized scripture.  Those are just a few of the differences.

I went to the museum after the tour and overheard the man who was running the place talking to another couple.  He was busy bashing the "Mormons."  He was telling this couple how we are so stuck in our ways and unwilling to bend.  He said we didn't change with the changing world.   It felt very dark and I felt the need to get out.  My husband came in and we stayed a bit longer, but I felt better once I was away from that man.  He was careful to ask if I was a visitor and what my religious affiliation was.   The Savior set up his church on this earth and didn't mean for it to change with the times.  I am so thankful to have that knowledge.  I wouldn't want to be a part of a religion that changes its beliefs because of what is politically correct or acceptable.  I am so thankful for the gift of the Holy Ghost to direct me and help me to know truths!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Kansas City, MO

On Monday morning, we left the house just after a beautiful, much needed inch of rain for Normal, IL.  Andrew, his cousin Tim and Emma Lau were all going to EFY there.  After we got them registered and settled into their rooms, we headed for Kansas City.  I've never been here before and had no idea there was so much to do and see. 

This morning we headed to Richmond where there are a few historic chuch sites.  All of them are self-guided.  This plaque is in front of a vacant lot where a log home used to sit.  The story of Joseph rebuking the prison guards is one of my favorites. 
This is the empty site where the "prison" used to be.
 There's also a church owned/maintained Pioneer Cemetery.  Here is the grave marker of Jacob Whitmer.  It was interesting that most of the markers included the exact life-span of the deceased right down to the days. 
 The cemetery is also the place where the Three Witnesses Monument is located.  The testimony of the witnesses is inscribed on the sides of this monument along with their names.
Next we went to Liberty where we visited the rebuilt Liberty jail.  The jail has a cut away side so you can see how it was constructed.  It is surrounded by the visitor's center so you are inside while you tour.  
The outside walls are four feet thick.  The timbers are the inside walls and between the two is a foot of loose stones.  It would be impossible to escape through a wall.  The floor was some kind of concrete as well.
This is the place where Joseph and his brethren spent four very cold winter months.  It's also the place where sections 121, 122 and 123 of the Doctrine and Covenants were received.
 The ceiling wasn't very high and if you were a tall person, you wouldn't have been able to stand up to your full stature.  The only way out was a hole in the ceiling where food was let down in a bucket.  In fact, if you did escape to the upper floor, there were guards there and even they were locked in as there was no door handle.  The only way out was when a new shift of guards came in.
 Next stop, Independence visitor's center.  This beautiful Christus welcomed you into the building.
 We had another tour, but that will wait for a different post.
Our last stop of the day was the new Kansas City temple.  Of course it was beautiful and it was the perfect way to end our day of touring.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Strawberry Fields Forever

You've all heard of good, better, best. 
How about big, bigger, biggest?
Tom and I picked strawberries today and this one was big.
This next one is even bigger.
 The last one is the BIGGEST!
 Just how big is biggest?  Andrew is holding this one single berry.  The picture doesn't do it justice.
 At these sizes, they fill up the flats in a hurry.  I don't think we picked more than half an hour to fill both of our flats. 
Now the processing begins.  Freezing?  Jam?  Freezer jam?  How about strawberry pie!
No matter.  It will all be DELICIOUS!

FHE @ Bay Beach

Yesterday afternoon we headed for Green Bay to spend our Family Home Evening at Bay Beach with the Gourleys.  It was a lot of fun and no crowds.  We didn't really have to wait in line either which is always a plus. 
Clare & Brock on the helicopters.  Clint and Adam were behind.
 Brock LOVED the jeeps.  He was able to use two steering wheels.
 Adam liked the bell on the jeeps.
 A little smiler waiting outside the Zippin Pippin.
 A train ride with Papa.
 Cami & Brock on the Ladybugs.  Again a steering wheel for Brock.
 Clint & Tom on the Zippin Pippin.
 Apparently there was an Elvis sighting.
 Bumper car fun!
 These four had a great time.  Adam didn't appreciate this ride too much.
 Ready for scrambling.
Adam shooting down the enemy.
 Flying high on the Yo-yo.
 This ride makes me dizzy.
 I think Brock liked the Merry-go-round, but a steering wheel would make this horse a lot more fun.
 Clare & Cami getting scrambled.
Captain Adam.