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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Onward ever onward...

So on the Sunday that we were here in Missouri we found a church that started fairly early so we could go see some church history sites. We were at church by 9:30 and warmly welcomed by everyone. Getting to know these people for just a short time I found them to truly be so generous and kind. Going to church in an area where it's not prominent is a very humbling experience.

After church we went to see the different sites that were in the area. First there was the grave site of Oliver Cowdery. I have a lot of respect for this man along with Martin Harris, and David Whitmer. Oliver Cowdery was the "first person baptized", and "died firm in the faith."

Now at this point I need to tell you about a new friend that Steve picked up. She's a New Zealander and we like to call her tomtom. She was the navigator that day. After we saw the grave site we went out to Farr West to see the corner stones that were laid for the temple. Following our trusty navigator we soon found ourselves off the paved road, and on a dirt one! Oh, I'ld say for about 8 miles, we found the temple ground (and the paved road right in front of it.)
One of the many dirt roads that we traveled that day.

Here is a story about the this temple site in Farr West, a farmer owned this land for many years before the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints bought it. And this farmer, every year broke his plow blades on the corner stones, and every year he made the comment that he needed to "pull up those rocks" but he never did. It was really neat standing there and seeing these huge rocks placed perfectly in the ground, and perfectly spaced. And knowing that they had to bring these stones a long way to get them to Farr West. (I didn't see any other rocks any where)
The boys and I at Farr West.

After Farr West we went on to Adam-Ondi-Ahman. We decided to follow the sign, but there was only one so we look toward our good friend tomtom and before we knew it we were back on the dirt roads. (what better way to see the back woods of Missouri?)

We made it to Adam-Ondi-Ahman and had a chance to just take it all in. It is really beautiful! And very amazing! HERE is a link to know more about Adam-Ondi-Ahmen. I took some pictures here that turned out really good! For me it's so humbling to stand in a place that Joesph Smith stood in, and to see what he saw. There is some fields that are being used but for the most part is untouched and amazing!

Tim in the trees

Tommy was just sitting and I asked him what he was doing. He said, "Oh, just looking at the lizard" I couldn't see one so I said oh ok... Well sure enough there was a lizard in the tree.

Look at this picture that I got of James and Steve.... PRICELESS!!

In the words of Tommy... "Families are Forever, huh mom?!"

We decided to call it a day after that, and went looking for the highway, but take a guess at what we found??? Yup, more dirt roads! Now my take on this is that our wonderful new friend got tired of having to "re-calculate" after decided to go another way, I think she was purposely taking us out of the way and onto the dirt roads. But now I can say that I really experienced (west) Missouri. Another funny thing... you always know when you get to a church site because everything is granite and black iron and all the signs are the same. I guess it's some comfort to know where you are when you see this familiar sight.

On Thursday I took the boys to see Liberty Jail. What another humbling place! Joseph Smith spent just about 5 months here in the winter time. An interesting thing about Liberty Jail is that after it was no longer a jail it was turned into an ice house! That's how cold it was in this basement jail! Joseph was imprisoned with 5 other men (one of which was Hyrum Smith) He received many revelations here and we have those in the Doctrine and Covenants. This is one of my favorite parts.

"My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes" (D&C 121:7-8)

What a sweet answer from the Lord to the prayer that Joseph gave. The boys weren't as enthusiastic as I was to see the Liberty Jail, but I really enjoyed it. The spirit was there and it made me think about my "trials." I think they are so hard, but they are nothing compared to what Joseph and his family endured. Even though these wonderful men are no longer living, my heart hurt for them and the pain and heartache they went through. These sacrifices were made so I could have the truth. What a precious gift they gave to me!! Original Key to the Liberty Jail.

This is mostly a replica of the original. So the only thing that is truly the original is the floor. But it feels real.

After seeing Steve seeing all the Church History was my favorite part. I can't even explain what I feel. More than anything just thankful. Thankful to the prophet and all that he endured so I can have the knowledge that I do. Thankful to the saints for not giving up. Thankful to my dad for being the "pioneer" in our family. Just Thankful!!

KC Zoo with 1,000,000% humidity!!!

On our last full day together we decided to go to the Kansas City Zoo. I love zoos, so does Steve and so do the boys, so we thought this would be a great thing and we would have tons of fun. Well..... the first hour and a half was fun, but after that it was MISERABLE!!! My heavens! I forgot that we are in Kansas City and the humidity was horrible! (Remember I'm from the dry heat... 100+ degrees? Bring it on!! Add even .5% humidity and you won't catch me even looking outside.) OK, so if it was just the humidity I could deal with it. But that wasn't all. The habitats were ok, but they only had two areas that were a half a mile apart from each other.

So we walked around the Australia area, saw some monkeys, tigers (in Australia?) red pandas, I was actually really excited about this. Camels, kangaroos, sheep, and birds (lots and lots of birds) We took a train ride and saw a construction area, grass lands and some wild scaffolding!
The red pandas. I think these animals are really cool.Feeding the sheep was a hit. (Maybe we should have gone to a farm!)
Waiting for the train to come, I'm not sure the reason for James' funny face.Look at that good looking man! How did I get so lucky?!
This bird is called the Lorkee, and it is really pretty! All the colors really fasinated Tim.

We should have stopped there because it just went down hill from there. We decided to take the half mile trek across the zoo to see what we thought would be some elephants and giraffes. Well apparently these animals are smart because they were no where to be found. So we called it quits and trekked back to the gate to get out. Encouraging James the whole way, just hoping to make it back before he melted.
We had fun because we were together but everyone was happy to leave. My take on the Kansas City Zoo..... I've been to better.

Friday, July 25, 2008

USP, Fort Leavenworth, and clever idea for more privacy

Ok, little known fact about me. I'm kinda obsessed with prisons. Never been to one, and I hope never to go. But I love learning about them, the history behind them and what kind of people go there. (I tried watching Prison Break but I thought it was kind of hokey) Anyway. I went to Fort Leavenworth and as we were leaving we drove by the State Penitentiary and so I flipped the car around so I could get a better look. The pictures aren't that great but it was really cool to see.

On Fort Leavenworth were some BEAUTIFUL homes. Now I know that these home are probably Officer housing, but hey, one can hope.

And you know when you get a hotel room and you and all the kids bunk up together.... well Steve and I have found a way to get a little more privacy..... we went to Walmart (because they are everywhere!!! Want to create a new city, build a Walmart) anyway, we went to the store and let the boys pick out some sheets. Then we tacked them on the wall to make a "fort" This way Tim sleeps for his naps because he can't see what is going on, and the boys are a little more separate from us (hey, we are only here for a week)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Who knew

Missouri had Church history sites but I never knew what else there was. (All the Church history stuff will be another post so you can look for that) And just so you all know.... most of this stuff is for my personal record. I love that you all read and post comments but that's why there so many pictures and so many posts.

So we got to Missouri on Friday and on Saturday we packed the kids up to go to a children's museum, after finding the wrong one and trying to remember the city we wanted to go (for the GPS) we found it. It was no where near The Children's Museum in Utah but it was fun.

The first room we went smelt like pee, so we'll just skip that one altogether. Then (once again) the boys wanted to spend time in a public restroom.... so I took Tim to the infant area.
I took the picture under him while he was smashing his face in the window.

In another area they had as there "Underwater Exploration" and all the stuff was built with Legos. It actually was pretty cool.

James and Tommy in their scuba gear, ready to go into the submarines

There was this other thing. I don't even know what it was called. But you put scarves or little balls in one end and it got sucked through the contraption and spit it out in another place. The boys (Steve included) had a great time with it!

Steve had a great time playing with the Legos, and building a plane.

All the boys playing with Legos, not exactly sure what is up with Tim
Steve with his plane.

And the finished product. It was quickly dismantled by the other little boys who was waiting for all the parts that were on Steve's plane.

There was lots of other rooms but the favorite, by far was the ball room. There had to be at least two hundred golf balls. Then there was lot of things to rolls the balls down.

Tim had the most fun just filling the buckets and dumping them out.

(Sunday we did church history and you'll get the great story later)

So Monday the I thought, hummmm we'll go to the park. So I plugged park into the GPS and up came a bunch. So I picked one and we drove to it.... It was a grass field!! That was the same as the next THREE that we went to!!! I could not believe it... Welcome to the Midwest.

Family Home Evening was filled with a lesson of "loving our brothers" (which Tommy has finally decided that Tim is ok, some of the time) and Steve making balloon things for us to play with.

Tuesday we went to a place called Paradise Park. It was actually pretty fun. There was a ball pit. Now I know what you are thinking - ewwww gross! But they actually clean all the balls every three days and there is a target that you can throw the balls into and it goes into a machine that cleans the balls and then spits them back into the ball pit.
I loved the ball pits growing up and when you're little you don't think how disgusting they are. I'm glad that they boys got a chance to play in one.

My little construction workers.

There was tons of things to climb on, and a little cooking class for the boys
Tim thinking he's big enough to really climb. What ever makes him happy I guess.
James and Tommy making Spaceship cookies. Tim had a great time just playing in the sink and making a mess with water.

There was an area for pretend play. Tim ate the pretend food, and Tommy robbed the bank, as James was trying to be the bank teller.
Wednesday we did something for me. (Ok really all I wanted was the free gift) We went to the Hallmark factory. It was not that great, and if it wasn't for the free gift it would have been a total bust.

We went to a huge Crayola Store and the boys had a great time there (even though it wasn't anything special)

There was a display in the mall (which was across the street from the Hallmark factory) that was called Moneyville. The boys where able to make money with there face on it (they both picked the 1,000,000 bills). Tommy kept robbing the bank. (I hope this is not a sign of things to come)
After getting lost on the way home we finally made it, and as a great treat Steve was already home to greet us. What a long day!! (and week so far - here's to tomorrow!)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

What did we do?

So what did we do in Utah? Oh my.... tons! Besides the Grammer family reunion, we were running around everywhere. We really didn't have a whole lot of down time. There is a lot of pictures, but we had so much fun and I wanted to add it all. So here we go....
Hanging out with family.

Anyone who knows my family would know that that one statement can mean a whole lot! My family is full of crazies, drama, and chaos. And every time I go back and visit I remember why I love my family so much. And now to add our kids into the mix makes it so fun. All the kids get along really well with each other.
Tommy showing off his floaties as we are getting in the pool to swim with our cousins
The boys back at Eliza's house eatting lunch.
Not sure what Tim is doing or what he is looking for...James and Grandpa hanging out.
Tim and Rozalin playing in the fountain. Tim was suppose to be born after Rozi, but he came early, and now he is probably twice the size of Rozi. She is so little and petite. She's really cute.
Two of my sister (Carolyn and Sariah) and I took the kids to Wheeler Farm to feed the ducks and have a picnic. My mom came later and thrilled all the kids with buying ice cream, and helping them all smoosh a penny for a souvenir.Here is the picture of all the kids by the bunnies, taking pictures of kids is hard, especially with so many things going on, you always have kids looking somewhere else.

While we were swimming with the cousins I told James he could sit on the steps while I blew up his floaties, well I guess he couldn't wait, an dhe jumped in. Thankfully Eliza was there and jumped in to grab James. I see swim lessons in his future!!! Very soon in his future!

What did we see.

So James really wanted to see the Mesa Temple. Well, it's three hours away from home so when Steve and I go we drive up, do a session, and drive home. So I figured the Salt Lake Temple would be a great stop. We went to Liberty Park for a picnic, and boy was it crowded! I guess the drum circle really drew people to it. After that we went to the temple and walked around the grounds. Our first stop though of course was the bathrooms, because my boys love to pee in public restrooms. After that we saw the Christas, and the artwork that is there. I'm going to totally give myself a pat on the back for this one.... As we were walking and looking at the picture James reconized most of the pictures on the walls. Like 'Samuel, the boy Prophet', 'Arbraham and Issac', 'Moses', among others. (He does listen to me.....)

James being cool as we are at Liberty parkAt the Christas with the boys.

Until you are there I think you forget how big the Salt Lake Temple is! It realy is so beautiful!! I"m glad we went. I think sometimes you take it for granted that it is here, and forget to just look at it.

My mom making sure that Tim doesn't fall into the fountain. (Thanks mom)
The boys went with the primary with my parents ward to the Church History Museum. It was really great! There was a little tour with activities at each place. In this one they are "auditioning" for the Mormon Tabernacal Chior. It was really cute!
Tim just happy to be out of the stroller
"WHAT - E'ER - THOU' ART-ACT - WELL - THY- PART" Are you? Am I?

The Hunsakers and Taylors

Yeah, they get there own line. Seeing them is an event in itself. We went back up to roy because the Taylors (FINALLY) came back from Germany. They were over there for 3 months while Cayde did some training. Ok, you can all stop feeling sorry for them. Here is a funny thing and because Brianna has already posted it, I guess I can too. The Taylors have one year old twin boys, but I guess that doesn't matter when you have a hot night in Paris. So they came home almost 3 months pregante!!! (That's what you get for not taking me ;) ) The boys of course had a great time and so did the grown ups. Sadly I didn't get any pictures of the Taylors, or of our incrediable "Iron Chef - The Jen edition" This is where everyone brings five things to cook with. Anything they want, and Jen uses it to make stuff for every one else to eat. Totally a win-win situation. And Jen is really good at it! I can't even tell you some of the things that she made because I had no idea what some of the ingrediats were. But boy it was good!!!

And this picture not only sums up the weekend with the Hunsakers but our tim in Utah....

Fun - Food - Friends -Family!! (and messes)

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