Thursday, July 30, 2015

Activity Day Girls Pool Party

We had a summer pool party for the Activity Day Girls today. We
planned it from 1 till 11, and were lucky that the first thunder clap didn't chase us out of the pool till after 1 p.m.

I stopped by and picked up Theresa and Fredika. We ended up with 17 girls at the party!

It was a good thing we had three leaders, as well as some mother's who stopped by.

Heather (with Sheila, on the right) was finally back from her summer break in Utah!

Kaylene, had a special in with Denise (left), and got permission for us to use their pool for the day!

We felt lucky to be the inaugural party on their beautiful newly re-built deck!

The leaders all got in long enough to get wet, but the girls stayed in the water as long as we would allow.

They had great fun jumping off the diving board. I caught Eliza in mid-air.

They all had a unique technique! Loryn had some wings to bolster her confidence in the deep end.

Julia even had a flip-over!

Piper had several different styles.

Paisley assured her safety by jumping into an inner tube.

Rachel was our only certified life guard. We were glad to have her with that many girls! We went through several bandages, but nothing serious.

It was nice that the Links had so many inflatable objects for the girls to enjoy!

Kaylene went beyond the call of duty and made rabbit and butterfly shaped sandwiches. It was fun chewing the ears off my egg salad sandwich bunny.

This was, sadly, my last Activity Day as a leader, but I'm glad to have the excuse to still drop in on their activities from time to time as Primary President!

Under the Blue Umbrella

Suzanne invited me to tag along with her to Ocean City yesterday. Since I'd only been there in March, it seemed like a good opportunity to have the real fun-in-the-sun experience.

But, because I don't want too much sun, I also enjoyed renting a pretty blue umbrella for the day!

Drew and Samuel enjoyed boogey-boarding all day.

The waves were strong enough that they were able to catch a lot of waves.

We took a walk to the jetty and along the boardwalk to get our 10,000 steps in.

The mossy rocks at the end reminded me of Land's End in England.

On the way home we stopped to let the boys drive some go carts.

We also stopped for the ladies at a farmers produce stand where we bought some fresh Pennsylvania peaches!

It was a fun day enjoying some of the best Maryland has to offer!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Pioneer Sharing Time

We had a lot of fun in Sharing Time today at church. The theme was Pioneers, and the children chose items out of a basket and had to answer (guess) whether those items were available on the Overland Trail from Nebraska to Salt Lake City between the years of 1847 and 1869. Those were the wagon and handcart years before the railroad made it to Utah. (Cameras and bison--yes, pineapple and satellites--no.)

I took six instruments and had them guess which ones were taken on the Pioneer Trail.

Guitar, banjo, accordion, harmonica, violin and hammered dulcimer were YES.

Ukulele, sadly was not invented till 1880!

I had fun playing a few songs:

We Thank Thee, Oh, God for a Prophet--harmonica, Come, Come Ye Saints-hammered dulcimer, Praise to the Man--banjo, and How Firm a Foundation with Reagan on fiddle and me on Guitar. Thanks also to Reagan, also for taking these pictures!

Since I've only had a couple of hammered dulcimer lessons, it took several days to work up my rendition of Come, Come Ye Saints. O think it turned out nice. I hope you take time to watch the video and see my proud smile at the end!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Running Shoe Rack

Since my sister gave me a FitBit a year and a half ago I've been averaging about 13,000 steps per day. It takes a lot of effort to get that many steps in each day, and several pairs of running shoes. Suzanne and I take the dogs walking on the fire trail most of the time, and it is muddy, wet and rugged back there. We entertain ourselves by trying to match our shoes, socks and shirts. I'm proud to be the owner of 5 pairs of running shoes.

I'm also proud to have finally organized them in the mud room closet. I bought a rack and sorted through shoe mountain this afternoon. Between Ed and myself, we threw out 5 pairs of old shoes, and I can now easily find the color I want when I come bounding downstairs for my walk each day! It looks like I still need a red and black pair...

Friday, July 24, 2015

Pioneers and Pups

The Pierce's hosted a party in honor of Pioneer Day today. It was nice to have an excuse to sit outside and eat and visit on such a beautiful evening.

They had a terrific turnout and had a few activities specially for the kids, like pioneer limbo!

July 24th is not only the day the pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley in 1847, but also the day we adopted Coda in 2010, so it has extra special significance for us! We love our Pioneer Day Puppy!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Indianapolis Temple Visit

We woke up this morning in Indianapolis to the sound of accordion music. Amanda played the song she is playing for adjudication at the accordion convention in Chicago this week. Several other unsuspecting people in the Residence Inn also had the pleasure of greeting the morning to the sweet sounds of Amanda's accordion!

The main event of our trip was a visit to the Indianapolis temple open house. We thought it would be nice for Nolan to see the inside of a temple. We were surprised how much we enjoyed the tour as well. The temple was so beautifully appointed, and had such a reverent feel. You could tell the people of Indiana were very happy to get a temple in their state. It was a medium sized temple, and much smaller than we were used to, but it was one of the most beautiful temples we've seen.

We also had the pleasure of visiting with Sister Peel, who is serving a mission in Indiana. We knew her parents (and grandparents) in Littleton. We even hosted her parents' wedding reception in our back yard. Sister Peel was just as beautiful and vivacious as we remember her mother at that age!

We said goodbye to Amanda and Nolan and started our long trek home. We were hopeful it would take less than the estimated 9 hours.

Sadly, that was not to be! I-70 was a long line of semi trucks clogging both lanes for a good portion of the trip! However, a late night arrival in Maryland is a small price to pay for such wonderful memories!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Following the Saints to Kirtland

Ed and I stopped in Kirtland, Ohio today to visit some church history sites. It's been almost 30 years since we were last here, and they now have a really beautiful visitor's center, as well as many more restored buildings to tour.

The Newel K. Knight store is still my favorite. They have restored it to the period of the 1830s, and even had a register on the counter showing purchases by two of my ancestors—Edmund Durfee and Albert Miner. I love the reverent feeling of being in a building where so much revelation was received.

One of the new buildings was the ashery. Who knew that processing ashes was big business? Apparently, potash made from ashes was used for a multitude of things. There was also a sawmill, as well as the Johnson hotel and Whitney home to see. The story of the faithful lives of the Whitneys was awe inspiring.

The Community of Christ gave us a nice tour of the Kirtland Temple. We enjoyed sitting in the gardens where a local man stopped and told us that they appreciated the help the Mormon church gives them in landscaping and maintaining the gardens.

We visited the Isaac Morley farm. There isn't much left of it, but the history of the revelations revealed there is truly inspiring, including D&C 76.

Our last stop was the John Johnson farm, where the Prophet Joseph and his family when they experienced many more miracles as well as hardship. The Prophet was taken from this bedroom by a mob and tarred and feathered. 

The home is spacious and beautiful, with a fireplace in every room. It made you wish you had been born 200 years ago!

And look who we ran into tonight! Amanda and Nolan! They had spent the day in Nauvoo, Illinois, touring church history sites there. It was fun comparing notes with them. We met them in Indianapolis and are looking forward to going to the Indianapolis temple open house tomorrow morning together, 

Friday, July 17, 2015

More Cumorah

Julie and I started bright and early this morning with a walk to the top of the Hill Cumorah.

We saw the backside of the hill from the performers point of view.

We had plenty of time to talk and reflect on life at the base of the Moroni statue. But, apparently, not enough time for me to get in the picture!

We walked around the beautiful, new Palmyra temple. Okay, not so new, as it was built in 2000. It seems like yesterday.

The sacred grove was beautiful and filled with walking paths and benches to rest on.

We visited the Smith home. The kitchen was so inviting with all the spices hanging from the ceiling. It was like they were expecting us for supper!

The Grandin Print Shop was much enlarged since Ed and I last saw it 30 years ago. They had three floors, showing exactly how the Book of Mormon was printed for the first time.

We had some really good pizza at Nimas, after which we came back to the tent to relax. Julie cracked open her mandolin and we had a good time playing some hymns and campfire songs together.

It rained pretty hard for a couple of hours, but we were happily snug in our screen tent.

It cleared up in time for a lovely evening at the Hill Cumorah Pageant.

I enjoyed finding my camera did an adequate job of night scenes. Here is King Noah lording it over his people. It was fun anticipating our favorite parts the second night. Fire and water make great theater!