Monday, July 25, 2011

Travelogue--with some of my favorite people.

Just returned from a GREAT trip with some extended family members. Bil and Leah held their family reunion in Canandaigua , NY this summer and a few 'extras' asked if we could tag along. We flew in to Cleveland, OH and visited some church history sites on our way to western NY. Our tour guide and chauffeur--Bil. I edited my pictures down to 277 but will only post a few here. I mean, really, who wants to look at 277 vacation photos. (I will email the Kodak link to those interested--just let me know).

Gramma Decker LOVED every minute of it and did really well keeping up with the schedule.

Patty and Krystina taking a nap on the plane.

First stop--Kirtland, Ohio. Lots to see. N.K. Whitney store--

Nails were very expensive and were saved and reused many times.

The saw mill--very impressive.

Look what we saw in the Walmart parking lot in Kirtland.

Kirtland temple. Really impressive to see and touch this building built by early saints. Our tour guide (from the Community of Christ faith) lacked adequate knowledge but Bil filled in.

We also visited the John Johnson farm and learned of the rich church history events that happened there. Next day--on to Canandaigua/Palmyra for the Hill Cumorah pageant. Chris Bjorling gave us a back stage tour. It was really impressive on every level: sets, music, lighting, special effects, grand scope/size, cast of 730 and of course the story itself is very inspiring. Touched hearts. Below I present, cousin David and his daughter Savannah and son Peyton. Too cute!!

David and Gramma Decker

Cousins, Brookston, McKenzie and Krystina.

I know this is a bad picture but it gives you some idea of the cast and stage. It was really awesome.

Sunday, went to church in Chris and Heidi's ward then visited the Peter Whitmer farm.

I didn't get 'family group' shots of all Bil's children but here's a few: JD and Kristi

Eric and Kristin (minus their two youngest)

Hill Cumorah visitor center. Feeling the braille version of the Book of Mormon.

This view is from the monument at the top of the Hill Cumorah. Looking down at the 'set' as it's taken down.

Hill Cumorah Monument with a few of the little cousins.

The Grandin Building in Palmyra where the Book of Mormon was first published. Really a great tour.

An original edition bound in sheep skin. Really cool to stand there and look at it.

This was one of my favorite days--the Smith Family Farm with log home and frame home and the Sacred Grove. The log home has been replicated on the original foundation but the frame home is 85% original.

The frame home.

They took us inside the each home in small groups and the tour guides were great. We learned so much and felt so much. Even the little ones were reverent.The Sacred Grove. It's hard to explain. The peace and beauty and profound nature of this place leaves a clear impression on your soul.

Tuesday we went to the Palmyra Temple. Adults did a session and the youth did baptisms. It was wonderful. Lots of cool stories about how the church purchased the land, etc.

Wednesday evening Bil, Heidi and Chris hosted an unbelievable lobster dinner. Fresh lobster flown in from Maine. OMGoodness.

Krystina and Brookston. LOVED IT.

Bil and Leah's family. Great people.
They hold a family auction similar to the Big Jeppson auction and this was just one of the hot items. A T-shirt signed by all the BYU basketball team members--even Jimmerz. Went for big bucks.

Friday morning it was time to head back home via Niagra Falls. Beautiful, powerful, awesome.

Great way to end the trip. So grateful to Heidi and Chris for hosting this reunion and special thanks to Bil for letting us tag along and taking such good care of us. It was wonderful and I loved every minute. Gracias.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Fourth of July Week and beyond. . . . . .

Who doesn't love fireworks? Certainly not this little boy. Excitement times 10.
Riley was in charge of "lighting" the above fireworks and he did a great job. No children were injured during this activity. We had fun swimming, eating and generally celebrating.

Fast forward to yesterday. Nick and the girls arrived for a weekend of fun and cousin bonding. Some of you may remember last year at this time-------we all gathered together for a sweet time for a few days before Cris passed away. I decided it would feel good to repeat the bouncy house/water slide in the back yard. Not all cousins were here but we still had fun.

This one does NOT like water activities but DOES like ice cream.

Here's the group minus Clara who fell asleep on my bed.

We did crafts----lots of crafts.

I LOVED every minute of it.

Who doesn't love American Girl dolls? Nobody.

Such good buds.

The princesses.

The bouncy house/water slide.

We visited the cemetery this morning.

Look at that face. . . . . . makes me smile.