Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter 2011

You would think that after spending the day at Busch Gardens yesterday the kids would have slept in this morning. We were not so lucky. The kids were up bright and early this morning and eager to see what the Easter Bunny had brought them.
The Easter Bunny was good to us this year. The kids all got new Sunday clothes and LOTS of candy. Tommy was so funny this morning. It took him a minute to figure out what was going on. At first he thought he wasn't supposed to pick up the eggs. Every time he grabbed one I would say, "Tommy, what did you find?" and he would drop it like it was a hot potato. It's always fun watching the kids get all excited about their little prizes. It brings back memories of fun holidays we spent together as a family when I was a kid. It was an added bonus this year having Grammy, Grandpa, Beth and Brian here this year. It will be a fun memory for the kids.

Later this afternoon between our family, Joe's family, and the two Padilla families we had about 30 people here for dinner. It was a party! All the cousins had a great time together. It's always more fun spending holidays with family.

Spring Break 2011

Spring Break this year was extra special. Joe's parents flew out and together we drove up to see some of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints historical sights. First we drove to Palmyra NY to see the Joseph Smith home and the Sacred Grove. It was snowing when we pulled up to the visitor's center. (We knew April weather in upstate NY might be a little unpredictable but we weren't really expecting that!) No worries though. We put on a few extra layers and started on our tour. After visiting the homes we walked into the Sacred Grove.

All of us in front of the "Smith Log Home"
Grammy, Grandpa, and the Kids standing in the "air space" where Moroni stood when he appeared to Joseph in his room.

Everyone in front of the Palmyra Temple.
Inside the "Smith Frame Home"

For a short time the Gold plates were hidden under the bricks in front of this fire place.Grammy and Grandpa in front of the "Alvin Tree"

Emmy and Dallin walking toward the Sacred GroveI wasn't sure if the kids would actually be able to appreciate most what we were seeing or doing while visiting all these places. For several weeks prior to our trip we devoted several Family Home Evening lessons to learning more about the people and places we were going to visit, but I still wasn't sure it would "sink in". But as we walked into the grove the presence of the spirit was undeniable. We stopped at a quiet place and read Joseph Smith's account of the First Vision. Of course the adults were all tearing up but I was a little surprised when I looked over to see Becky tearing up. When her Dad asked her why she was crying she said it was because she was feeling the spirit. Then he asked her what she thought the spirit was trying to tell her and she answered that she felt like the spirit was telling her that Joseph Smith's account of the First Vision was true.
As a parent there is no greater gift than to see the seeds of faith and testimony begin to grow in your children. It was definitely a highlight of the trip for us.

Our next destination was the Hill Cumorah. It was still pretty cold. Lucky for us we got to drive to the top. (It's a pretty steep hike.) It's the tallest hill in the area and the view from the top is beautiful.

After Cumorah it was time to head for the Border! The Canadian border that is. The next stop on our trip was Niagara Falls. We stayed on the 47th floor of the Hilton. We had floor to ceiling windows in our room with an amazing view of the falls. We did a little swimming in the indoor pool, had dinner, did a little shopping, and walked down to the falls. (At least as close as we could get with out freezing to death.) It was overcast and there was a lot of mist from the falls that prevented me from getting a good picture but they were absolutely spectacular! It was so fun being in Niagara, but I think we decided if we ever go back it should be in the summer when it's a little warmer :)

Next on the travel agenda was Kirtland Ohio. We had a really neat experience in Kirtland. My father-in-law has some "friends in high places" who introduced us to Brother Karl Anderson, a well known member of the church and authority on LDS church history. He was gracious enough to guide us through tours of the Kirtland Temple, John Johnson farm, Issac Morley Farm, and other historical sights. He also invited us to have dinner with he and his wife and a group of couple missionaries at an Amish farm. Liz and her husband (an Amish couple) graciously opened their home to us and we had a wonderful time visiting with them and learning about them and their beliefs. Our kids really bonded with some of Liz's grandchildren and it was definitely an experience we won't forget.

Becky and JJ with sister Joyce Anderson.
Emmy posing in front of the original table that Emma Smith owned while she and Joseph lived in the Whitney store.

After Kirtland we headed home to get ready for Easter. The kids had fun coloring eggs with Grammy.

The Saturday before Easter we all piled in the car again and drove down to Busch Gardens in Williamsburg. We had a blast! It was nice to finally have a little warm weather too!

Uncle Brian was the hero of the day when he won this for Dallin!

Emily got to visit the Easter bunny! (Dallin was in line too but he chickened out:)

It was such a great Spring Break week, filled with lots of fun memories.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

They're Hooligans I tell you......Hooligans!

These boys.....Don't let these sweet faces fool you......they are becoming evil little partners in crime.

Earlier today, while I was upstairs, Tommy got into the pantry and spilled cereal all over the

About an hour later I was in the kitchen and I heard a ripping sound coming from the couch in the family room. I went to investigate and this is what I found......

Dallin was playing with my scriptures and ripped out over 100 pages!!! I just about died when I saw this mess. Let's just say it wasn't a real 'banner morning' here at the Walker's. Hopefully the rest of the day goes a little better.