Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Drumming on Drums!

Have you ever read the book Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb by Al Perkins? If not, you are missing out on a choice childhood picture book. Go check it out. It talks about "Millions of fingers! Millions of thumbs! Millions of monkeys Drumming on Drums! Dum ditty, Dum Ditty, dum, dum, dum" This week we had millions of monkeys making drums and then drumming on them. We are so blessed in our town to have a fine arts center that has amazing programs for kids that are either free or very reasonable. Case in point--for 2 weeks my girls participated in a kids theater workshop--every day for 2 hours for 2 weeks, they got a t-shirt, snacks every day and a $5 DQ gift card at the end, and it cost $30. Next month my kids are taking week long art classes, choir classes, African drumming classes, and with each they all get a t-shirt, snacks, and $5 DQ card and the classes range from $10 to $15 each. Lots of cheap summer fun. Can't beat it. It is amazing. We are very blessed. So this week they had a free drumming class where the kids got to make their own African type drum. The girls all went and loved it.
Miss E makes her drum. They covered them with a goat skin top. Then the day after they had a big community drumming circle where everyone participated.
Miss E, far left, drumming on drums at the community drumming circle.

Miss A with her drums and cool percussion instruments they had to play.

And Miss O drumming on a drum. Feel the beat. Dum ditty, dum ditty, dum, dum, dum.

Friday, June 25, 2010


Summer is hot here and in full swing. Just some pictures of what summer looks like here.

Miss O investigating at the library story hour. What is really in a drop of water? Kind of scary to see :)
Slip and slide!

Miss E decided she wanted to have a picnic all by herself. Ta-da! She had a basket of napkins and everything.
One of our favorite summer things--putting the sprinkler under the trampoline.

Driving the trains--our neighbor down the street has a whole building in his backyard that is full of trains and train tracks. He is recreating in miniature the Rio Grande Denver to Salt Lake Rail Road line. It is amazing! As you can probably guess, it is one of Mr J's favorite things to go over and visit them. He gets to drive the trains. Super cool!

Monday, June 21, 2010

3-D Cool and Super Dad

Let me just begin this post by saying that Super Dad lives at our house. He truly does, and he got his favorite coconut cream pie Sunday. It was good, and he deserved it. I am very blessed to be married to Super Dad, and thank the Lord every day for him. Love you Ben!
For Father's day I found a website store that makes ties for Dads and their sons. Super cute! Ben was pretty impressed by their quality. Mr J's is a zipper tie--way cool, so he can get it on all by himself and look just like dad. Love it. So Mr J and Ben sported their matching ties Sunday. They got lots of compliments. I think the website was myfavoritepal or something like that. When I ordered these I got a code for %10 off a next order, so if anyone is interested--let me know in the comments sections and I will share because we would definitely recommend them.
We went to see Toy Story 3 on Saturday. It was really fun. Everyone loved the glasses. 3-D is cool! The movie made you laugh, cry, and cheer. Be sure and don't leave right after it ends--it has some awesome extras after with the credits. The beginning extra short was not my favorite, but the movie itself was definitely a 4 star! We will for sure be getting that one when it comes out on DVD--too bad it won't come with the cool glasses, though.

Friday, June 18, 2010

She's home!

After 5 days Miss A is home from girls camp!!! I have missed that girl like crazy! I am so glad she is home. She had an awesome time and now she is home, clean, her smelly clothes are in the washing machine, and my house is filled with her beautiful voice belting camp songs. Life is good!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Final Trip review--Kirtland, Ohio

Okay, last day of trip photos. Are you sick of them yet? Sorry. At least I didn't force you down my basement to look at hours and hours of slides on a pull down screen :) You can choose to look at these or not, isn't technology great??? One of our last stops was to another place significant in the history of our church, which is Kirtland, Ohio. This was where the saints went after Palmyra where we went earlier in the week. Here, as a very poor and humble people they sacrificed to build a house to the Lord, a temple. It is amazing to see what they did with so little--it is a huge building and you are able to go on tours through the whole thing. Sadly, they had to leave this as they did so many things as they were forced west and eventually ended up in Salt Lake City. Currently this is owned by the Community of Christ church and tours are $3 per person.
Looking up at the Kirtland temple.
In front of the temple

The first and second floors are huge assembly rooms and the 3rd floor is office and classrooms.

This is in the Newel K Whitney store located on the Latter-day Saints historic sites down from the temple. This is the School of the Prophets room located on the 2nd floor of the store.
In front of Newel K Whitney's home.

The Whitney Store

They had a lumber yard and an ashery. We are in front of the ashery. They rebuilt these because they said they were key in helping the temple to be built. We had never heard of an ashery before. They would buy people's ashes from their fires then "cook" them for hours and hours and you would get a lye substance--like what was used to make lye soap, then you would "cook" that lye some more and get a substance used to make glass and fine china. They would then sell that and used to money to build the temple.

And this is a picture of what we did lots and lots on our trip--drive! Miss E is holding a piece of pizza in front of her face :) But we all survived, didn't kill each other, and still love each other after 2 weeks on the road. It is nice to be home. Miss A was only home a few days then she had to leave again. She has been gone this whole week to Church camp for girls. She has never been away from home more than one night, so I hope it has gone well. I haven't received any phone calls. I miss her!!! Ben is going up tonight for the last night, then bringing her home tomorrow. It will be nice to have her home again! Then we are gearing up for Toy Story 3 this weekend. We have been reviewing Toy Story and Toy Story 2 this week to get ready :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Trip Review--Niagara Falls, NY and Canada

We were able to visit Niagara Falls on our trip and walk over into Canada. The kids thought that was so cool to be able to go to another country!! The falls are absolutely beautiful, loud, powerful, and wet! It was one of my kids' favorite things and Ben's also. I had been here before with my family when I was 17. It doesn't fail to impress a 2nd time.
A view from the falls on the American side. The American falls are closest, then the Horseshoe or Canadian falls are the bigger one in the back.
Miss E on the American side lookout tower. It was a little windy the day we were there.

We rode the Maid of the Mist which goes right up to both falls, and you get pretty wet, so they provide you with these beautiful ponchos which the kids decided they wanted to keep. So here we are getting ready to board the boat. The rainbow bridge from the US to Canada is behind us.

On the boat in front of the American falls. Mr J just loved the boat ride. I was afraid he might be a little scared with the waves and all the water, but when the water just rained down on you he just put his hood over his whole face and laughed and laughed! He loved it!

After we rode the boat we just walked across the bridge to Canada. We are standing on the international border here on the bridge.

The view of the falls is much better on the Canadian side.

This is a really pretty park in Canada--a very European type feel. It was fun.

Looking at the Horseshoe falls from the Canadian side.

The American Falls from the Canadian side.

Another part of the Canadian Park.
Back on the American side at the top of the American Falls.

The top of the Horseshoe falls from the American side. This was a really fun day. Everyone enjoyed it. Going to Canada was fun. Adults and kids 16 and older have to have a passport, but under 16 just need a copy of their birth certificate. It was funny coming back from Canada, we walked into a building to start crossing the bridge back and they had a turn style thing which wouldn't let you pass unless you paid $.50 in quarters of either American or Canadian as toll for the bridge. I kind of panicked because we just don't normally carry any cash, and I was thinking we were going to be stuck in Canada forever because we didn't have $3 in quarters to get everyone across :) Luckily between Miss A, Ben, and I and a change machine nearby we were able to come up with enough quarters to get everyone back to the good ole' USA! Glad to be home! So just a word of warning if you go, make sure you have enough quarters to get you back! :)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Trip review--Palmyra, New York

As part of our trip we planned to visit some historic sites of our church
We spent 2 beautiful days in Palmyra, New York which was the home of our church's first prophet Joseph Smith. He lived here as a young boy, had the first vision here, found the golden plates which he translated into The Book of Mormon. It was a wonderful faith building trip for our family. What a great place to start--with our Savior behind us. I know He is always behind us and carries us through many things. This was at the Hill Cumorah Visitor's Center.
On top of the Hill Cumorah

Looking out over the beautiful upper NY countryside from the top of the Hill Cumorah

Inside the Peter Whitmer Farmhouse where our church was first organized in 1830.

The sign by the farmhouse.

At the publisher where The Book of Mormon was first published. This was Miss O's favorite place. It was neat to see how they published things back then.
In front of Joseph Smith's log home.

In the Sacred Grove right behind the log house.

The Sacred Grove is an ancient forest where they said the trees have never been cut down. Amazing.

The Palmyra temple. Ben and I were able to go through a session. This was such a beautiful, peaceful place. I am so glad our family was able to go there and feel of the amazing spirit of these places.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Trip review--Northern Pennsylvania

This was by far my kids favorite part of the trip, besides the train for Mr. J, was being with their cousins! We spent several days with Ben's sister and her awesome family in northern Pennsylvania. It is so pretty up there! I don't think I would like their average of 100 inches of snow in the winter, but I loved visiting in the summer!

Mr J and his cousin were like 2 peas in a pod. They could pass for twins--from the back they were impossible to tell apart, and they had way too much fun together.
We swam in Lake Erie. It was kind of cold, but the kids liked it.

We played on the beach.

We ate yummy ice cream cones!

We went to a AA baseball game that went 13 innings, and we only stayed because they had awesome fireworks at the end! The 13 innings were worth it!

Love our cousins! Everyone all ready for church.
Crazy kids!
We loved exploring the campus where our brother-in-law works. It has amazing grounds--nature trails, and this huge gorge with a stream running through it. We enjoyed walking up the stream on the smooth rock bed of the stream.

Along the stream on the campus. Isn't it beautiful!

The stream came to a swimming hole that the kids enjoyed.

Some of them--like Miss E--were even brave enough to jump off the falls into the swimming hole.

Playing 9 squares (not sure if that is the right name) with the cousins.

Doing sparklers

Loving being with our family!!

Ben and his amazing sister. Thanks so much for feeding, entertaining, and housing us!!! We all loved it! We miss you! Come see us soon :)