Sunday, August 30, 2015

Excursion for the Summer

Tara reminded me that even though we just had a baby, it was unacceptable to not go on at least one trip this summer.  So we headed out and did a short little excursion in upstate New York.  

Watkins Glen
We took all the kids and hiked around Watkins Glen.  It was fun for the kids to see all the waterfalls.

If you look carefully, you'll notice little Ryzen hiking up the stairs.  He was a trooper.  He hiked most of the way all by himself, even though there were a ton of stairs.

KOA Campground in Canandaigua
After we finished hiking, we drove up to a campground, where the kids had a great time jumping on the inflatable balloon.
Since Nova's so little, we decided it would be best to rent a cabin, rather than try to squeeze into a tent. It worked out great.

And what camping trip is complete without s'mores?  Tara and Aria also had a lot of fun singing songs around the campfire.

Joseph Smith's Childhood Home
The next day Tara and I went and did endowment sessions at the Palmyra temple, and after the kids had played a while at the campground, we headed out to see the house where Joseph Smith grew up. When we got there, there weren't any other visitors there, so we got our own private tour with the Sister Missionaries, which was really nice.  As a result, they were able to tailor their discussion to the kids.

The kids got to see where his family would read scriptures together.

And they also got to see the upstairs bedroom where the Angel Moroni visited Joseph.

They thought it was pretty cool that Joseph was able to hide the golden plates under the bricks in front of the fireplace.

Here's a big tree by the house that was likely there around the time that the Smith Family lived there.
Sacred Grove
The kids had a lot of fun seeing the Smith family home. However, when we headed out into the Sacred Grove, Aria started getting tired, and then the mosquitoes decided she was a tasty treat.  As you can see on her face in the picture below, she became quite unhappy. :) Despite that, the rest of us enjoyed seeing the Sacred Grove.  While Tara and I enjoyed reflecting on what happened there, Zade and Ryzen enjoyed seeing the endless number of little toads that were hopping around. :)  Ah, kids.

Hill Cumorah
The next day we went to the church located close by the temple, and then took the kids to the Hill Cumorah. They got to see how steep it was, and enjoyed wandering around.

Then we set off on the 4 hour drive back home. It was a good trip.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Saturday, August 15, 2015

One Mile Race

The kids participated in a 1 mile race this past week.  Spencer and Caleb Neilson joined them and they all had a blast.  Jed Neilson and I jogged along with them during the race to make sure they didn't get lost on the course.  Spencer ended up winning the race (~8.5 minutes), and all the kids finished in under 10 minutes.  (Aria ran the mile in ~9 minutes 15 seconds, and Zade ran it in ~9 minutes 45 seconds.) Not bad for a 7 and a 5 year old. They all had fun and did great. 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Summer Activities

Day Camps
Tara signed Aria and Zade each up for a week-long camp.  Aria got to be in a singing-dancing group that did songs from the movie Frozen, which she thoroughly enjoyed.

Here she is with her teacher.

Surprise, surprise, Zade did a Lego camp.  It was just him and two other little boys, but man, did he have fun.  Here's a pic of the city he built while there.

Black Moshannon
On the weekend we headed out to Black Moshannon and hung out by the beach.  As you can see below, Ryzen gobbled up a bunch of cherries while we were there.

The kids also built this Dr. Seuss-style sand castle.

Even Nova got on her bathing suit.  :)

We also rented a canoe and paddled around the lake, and through the lilly pads.

Lemonade, anyone?
This summer Aria has decided to be entrepreneurial, and opened up her own little lemonade stand.  Somehow she managed to get just about everyone of our neighbors to buy something (including cookies), and earned more money than I thought she would.

Organic Farm Fest
We took the kids to a farm festival, where they got to see a bunch of neat animals, including this owl. There was also face painting, a petting zoo, and other fun activities.

Update on Nova
To our surprise, Nova has been more interactive than we would've expected at her young age.  She's already smiling back at us when we talk with her. It's fun to see her cute little grin.