Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Berry picking at the Farm

I was so excited to pick berries with Taryn and Haddie for the first time. We've picked apples and pumpkins before, but there was something about the berries that made me even more happier to pick. Maybe it was the fresh jam I kept dreaming about. Or the possibilities of the yummiest cobblers and pies. 

Turns out, Taryn is an amazing berry picked. You give that girl a task, such as only picking the ripe berries, she will do that task to a "T." She picked every berry in sight and gave tips to the other kids and adults as to which berries were ready to be picked :)  Her goal was to fill her little basket up to the top and that she did. 
I really admire that quality about Taryn. Setting out to accomplish something and doing it with gusto. Love her so much. 

Haddie did a great job at grabbing all the berries at her height level, occasionally asking for help in reaching the "good ones!" She had a lot of fun with her little friends who were there too. They ran up and down the fields and picked a lot of fresh berries. I loved that they shared berries between their baskets as well.

A job well done!

Look at that face! Pure happiness!
I loved the joy that Haddie expressed with every discovery of a new berry that was ready to be picked. "I found an-otter one!" said in the most excited voice ever. And she would wipe around with the biggest smile looking for me to approve of her picking.  

She was a girl on a mission! She wouldn't let me distract her and she wouldn't leave the fields (to have the basket weighted) until she had picked every last berry in sight. 

I think we'll make a tradition out of berry picking. Next year we will pick a day that's not so hot!
Our home teacher came over and gave us homemade challah bread just days after our jams were made. So we swapped a jar of jam for a fresh challah loaf. It was the best combination! 

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Grandma and Grandpa Smith come to visit Summer 2017

Movies with Grandma! 

We loved having Grandpa and Grandma Smith come and visit us in Virginia. The girls love playing so much with them and we felt very grateful that they would fly across the US to see us!

Grandma took us girls to the movies and during our down time, the girls played as many games as possible with Grandma and Grandpa. Soaking up every second!

While they were here, Tyson turned 30 years old! Birthdays are so fun when you get to spend them with family! We had our traditional birthday breakfast, fruit and eggs. I made a smoothie as well but it was awful. Janis, Mike and Tyson didn't say a word but they drank it all. No idea what happened to my smoothie but they were great sports! 

I used the Thai table cloth Janis gave us years ago. I love it!

30 years of this great guy! 

This trip we tried to do things we haven't before with Grandma and Grandpa Smith. Mike requested the Iwo Jima memorial. Funny story: Everywhere we go in the D.C. metro area, people thank Tyson for his service or ask him what part of the military he is in. ALL THE TIME! That day was no different. It's hilarious! Must be his hair cut....or the family hiking backpack he carries around on our family outings. I guess it looks similar to the military ones?! Or maybe it's because Tyson is so young (for the East Coast standards) to have a family. Seriously. All those could be reasons. 

Grandpa and Grandma took us girls to McDonalds for lunch while Tyson was at work. Taryn and Haddie love special outings with their grandparents! And i'm just noticing Haddie's sunglasses :)

You can see the love Taryn has for Grandma Smith :)

Tyson had the idea of taking Janis and Mike to the Air and Space Museum. It's always a blast going there and I really enjoyed hearing about Mike's flying days. I had no idea he was in the Air Force until this trip. I talked with Janis about it for a long time while we were there. It was great!

Mike stood in front of a model airplane he used to fly. I really loved seeing how excited he got to stand by it, spitting out stories left and right. He really lit up being there. Such a treasure to see. 

Grandma is a trooper going place to place with her bad feet. I'm always impressed with what she does in life despite her feet! 

To say that these girls had fun is an understatement! 

Precious moments again. I didn't say a word, just quietly snapped this picture of them. So cute! 

Grandma brought suckers for all of us and kept them in her purse as a surprise for the right moment. Haddie and Taryn were so excited! 

After coming back from the Dulles Air and Space Museum, Mike and Tyson headed off to a Nats game. We were so worried that rain would ruin their fun Father-Son outing but thankfully it didn't! Mike and Tyson got to enjoy a true American experience. Baseball, tater tots and chili :)
They enjoyed every bite and every second of the game. 

One of the nights they were here, Janis and Mike invited some Thailand returned missionaries to join them for a true Thai dinner at Padeak. The food was incredible and it was so fun to hear some stories of the mission. It was a time of my life that I was getting to know my new father and mother in-law, as they served as Mission President and Wife in Bangkok, Thailand. 2 out of the 3 missionaries are in our current ward here in Virginia. Pretty cool! 

We enjoyed so much having Grandma and Grandpa Smith here with us in Virginia. We love when they visit and the girls are always over the moon about it all. This trip was a special one for Tyson as it was his birthday and he got to spend a lot of one on one time with his Dad. 
Making sweet memories!

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Sunflower fields in August

This day was such a strange one weather wise. It was August and COLD! You'll see my girls in their sweaters and I believe it started to drizzle as well. 
We took advantage of this day before our kids started school and where the weather was fantastic for the time of year and went on an adventure!

It's always fun to adventure with friends and this time was no exception. We had so many friends wandering the fields and bouncing around on the blow up slides and jump pillow.

On this day, I was reminded how important it is to teach our children to be light a sunflower, turning towards the light, growing tall and strong. I love that so much and I hope my children emulate sunflowers in their life. 

Taryn loved the chalkboards that you could write on and take pictures with. 

We took home some flowers from the fields and stopped off at a "Swig" like place called Cookies and Cream in Haymarket, VA. It was fun to snack on cookies and sip some Dr. Pepper with coconut & heavy cream but I have to say that my kids were totally wild at that point and were more concerned with playing on the playground than telling me what kind of cookie they wanted. So there were some complaints but I pt my foot down and we made it through!
P.S. I was shaking hours later with how much sugar I had eaten - wow! There's a reason I don't like drinking soda much!

It was at this outing that I was reminded again how amazing the women are that I get to be friends with. It really is fun to gather together, chat about life and enjoy some treats together. It's a total plus that our kids love to play together too ;)
I know that I'm really lucky to have these friends in my life!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Scott Family Reunion Adirondacks -Church History sites

We made it to Joseph Smith's boyhood home and the Sacred Grove. Half of the Scott family came to Palmyra, NY when I was about 12-13 years old. The Palmyra Temple grounds had just been dedicated and the Smith home had just been completed. We actually came by the Smith home at the same time the carpenter was finishing up some last minute touches. He was using an axe, just like the Smith's would have used. The Church wanted the sites to be as accurate as possible, and that meant using the same tools they would have back in the 1800's. 

Coming back here with my children and Tyson who have never experienced this before was wonderful. I had the opportunity to bear my testimony to my little family of the truthfulness of the Gospel and Joseph Smith who restored the truthfulness of the Gospel to the earth in the latter days. We talked a lot about the Visions Joseph Smith had, how he translated The Book of Mormon, and we walked through The Sacred Grove. 

It was a beautiful day in the Scared Grove and we enjoyed out time, walking with our kids and some of their cousins, talking about what happened there. 
There is a peace you can feel, The Holy Ghost, that testifies to you the truthfulness of the Gospel. I became overwhelmed several times with the Spirit as I talked to the kids about the Church. 
It's true! It's true!
(We spotted a little snake, which we joked was Satan in the Sacred Grove. Jacob loved seeing the little snake!)

I loved this scripture that was printed on the wall in the visitors center. Such a great reminder to me as a mom to have patience and use love to teach my children because out of them will grow something great! 

We visited the Grandin Building where The Book of Mormon was first published. We toured the rooms that still have ink splatter on the walls from when the Printing Presses were in use. 

Tyson is shown holding what a first edition of The Book of Mormon would look like. 
It's a miracle that they were ablate find the funds to print The Book of Mormon. It was done with a leather cover and made so beautifully. It was very expensive for that time but I know Heavenly Father had a hand in making sure this book was printed so all could benefit from it. 

Tyson and I heard the story "Miracle of the Plowfield" for the first time during this visit to the Whitmer farm. We watched the video in the Visitors Center and I felt the Spirit so strongly. After such a miracle, it would be hard to deny Heavenly Father, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and the work that Joseph Smith was trying to put forth at that time. 

One of our last stops for the day was going to see the Palmyra Temple so our kids could "Touch the temple" I love the picture right above because Margot was sad and Taryn wrapped her arms around her, and still smiled for the picture :)

One with Cody and one with Brooke

If you ask Brooke to take your picture, she will leave you with a selfie too :)

By the time we toured about the temple, my little family was so done with pictures and walking. I asked them to take a family picture with me and they said NO! Taryn changed her mind last minute and joined me, winning lots of Smith family points for being the only one willing to take a picture in front of the temple with me :)

I love this picture so much! It shows just how vast the Whitmer farmland was, making the miracle of the plow field even more evident that it had to have been Angels who did the work. 

That night we went to the Hill Cumorah. We ate hot dogs, chicken, popcorn and candy. The best way to make sure that all the kids stayed awake long enough for the pageant that didn't start until 9pm.

Jen And I with Abinadi. No big deal :)

That night we had a Fancy cheese party. Megan had bought a bunch of fun cheese, chocolates, fig spread, and crackers for one of the days at the cabin but we never got to eat it. So we pulled it out for the last night we were there. We ate some really great cheese. The night was made even better when we all tried sticking grapes in our upper lip and talking. 
Try it. It's near impossible to not laugh :)

The next morning we the Smith's left bright and early to head home. The girls were troopers! I think they watched Netflix on the kindles for most of the time. They were exhausted, as were we, and we thought it was the best way to spend the 8 hour drive home. 

Thanks for my amazing Parents who put so much time , energy and resources into this Family Reunion. 

Family is so important and special. We know that we can't go too long without seeing family (1 year max!) without going crazy with withdrawals. We're excited for some upcoming family trips our West during the next year we have planned!