Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Sacred Grove

After we got into the Sacred Grove, we got a couple of nicer photo ops.

It was a really neat place to be, especially with my most favorite people in the whole world.
And!  There was a stream to boot!

Such a pretty girl...

Joseph Smith Farm

Another must-see among the Palmyra sites is the Joseph Smith Farm.

The first stop outside of the Visitor's Center is the log home.

These tours are pretty neat--they're part peek-into-the-past type information about life in general of the time the events took place and part super significant information about different events that shaped the church as we know it today.

After the log home comes the frame home, which is also very neat.

Inside, while we were listening to the different accounts that took place there, Elliot got wiggly and we just set him on the floor (we'd left the stroller in the car since the paths were all gravel and it'd be a pain anyway).

Those mobs wouldn't have been able to handle all of this.

Even the barns are interesting there.

Even though Kendra was less than enthused, we have to post this one because it's actually our first photo as a whole family of four.

Pretty neat stuff!

The Hill Cummorah

After Niagra Falls, we all headed the 100 or so miles due East to Palmyra.

We started our time there at the Hill Cummorah Visitor's Center and then trekked up the hill.

It's a surprisingly steep climb, even with the nice, smooth, paved paths.

There's a pretty neat statue thingy at the top.

Elliot got carried up the whole way by doting older cousins (and he's 17lbs, it's no small feat).

We just hung out at the top admiring the different faces of the statue and such.

These two were a riot to watch all weekend long, they're less than 5 months apart in age.

But it was pretty windy and brisk, so we didn't stay up there too long.  There's a way back down that more winds through the trees and is less paved, but I opted to carry Elliot back the paved way we'd come.  I actually had a really interesting experience because he was pretty fussy at the top of the hill, he was cold and he was past due for a nap, poor guy.  I got him bundled pretty well and held him close and he almost immediately just passed right out in my arms.  I didn't have the heart to set him down in the stroller and expose him to the win, hence inching back the paved way because I couldn't see my own feet with him bundled in my arms.  It wasn't easy but it made me think of the pioneers and all the hardships they faced.  I wondered how many women carried babies bundled in their arms because they didn't have any other choice and didn't have paved paths to make the way easier with a warm, comfortable building at the bottom waiting for them.  It made me grateful for all the little conveniences that I tend to take for granted every day.

Grant and Kendra took the scenic route though.

From there we headed into town to check out the Grandin Printing Press, where the first edition of the Book of Mormon was published.

It's a pretty neat tour with a lot of information and even some awesome original paintings (including one that happens to be Grant's very favorite, it was awesome that he got to see it there).

Kendra did her thing where she just charmed the pants off everyone there.

Be sure to check out the press if you ever make it to Palmyra, it's awesome!

But Kendra's highlight of the day?

The acorn she found along the way.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Oh my CUTE!

This picture was taken during our recent reunion with Grant's family.

But it has absolutely nothing else to do with our trip, so I'll just give it a post of its own.

Nothing like snuggling with a couple of your own babies.

Thursday, October 27, 2011


 I hope my mother-in-law will find it her heart to forgive me for pausing my posts about the reunion to do this one instead...

 The first significant purchase we made as a family after our car (which we didn't get around to doing until a few months after we got married) was our camera.  We had a baby on the way, after all, and basically we wanted to have amazing pictures of her from day one.

Our goal has been to take pictures at least once a month and since I've had something to blog at least once a week since we started this, I'd say we're doing pretty good.

Most of the time, our pictures are just to keep up with that goal.  This is one of those times.

"Does this baby make my face look fat?"

But we also know how to have a little fun.

"No, Mom, your technique is all wrong, you seriously need to get the thumb in there, too."

I can't say it's nothing special...

Because most moments in our family feel pretty darn special.

Pictured: Love.

So here's to goals and keeping them and making memories forever.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Niagra Falls

This past weekend we met up with Grant's family for a reunion that began in Niagra Falls.  We packed up our "little blue car" (Kendra always refers to it as such) and away we went.  I was a little nervous about the drive because the most direct routes were all little highways and back roads through towns--I was so skeptical I totally considered adding 100 miles to our journey by taking the interstates around, and I didn't know how my kids would handle the drive.  But it turns out my anxiety was for naught, because the drive was super smooth, we made awesome time and both kids handled it great.  And, the East is just beautiful in the fall.  Behold:

And we didn't even pull out our big guns for her until were over 2/3 of the way there.

"I've got my binky, my sheep and the Lion King.  Hakuna Matatta, people."

After some sleep, some breakfast and a good run for Mommy, we bundled ourselves up and threw everything in the car to make the walk over to the falls.  We were less than a mile away, it was awesome.

"DAD!  Will you keep up, please?"

When we told Kendra that we were going to go see a waterfall, she somehow knew what that meant and was chomping at the bit to get there.  In fact, she was so excited that when we turned the corner and came upon a small fountain, she gleefully declared, "WATERFAAAAAALL!" and jumped over to it.  So we got a kick out of explaining that oh on, we're going to go see a BIG waterfall.

"That's a little more like it."

We also got to hang out with these guys the whole time.

He looks more like Seth and less like the Unibomber sketch from the font, I promise.

We had already decided to brave the chill (it was the of the last week of the tourist season) by hopping on the Maid of the Mist.  We originally planned on just doing it ourselves, but when we got to the observation deck, Kendra saw the boats and got really excited by them, so we let her come with us while lots of loving family members stayed with Elliot (who apparently is a tourist attraction in and of himself).

Unfortunately, even though we arrived at the jetty (dock) just after a boat had departed and had lots of time on our hands for capturing the moment, Kendra was too excited and distracted to stay still long enough for a good picture.  This was the best Grant could do:

"I was promised a boat!"

Being the last week of the season, the boat wasn't crowded at all.  In fact, we were able to plant ourselves in a corner against a wall and it was empty enough that we had an open view of the falls.  Which are not pictured because there was so much water spraying around every where.  But it was pretty amazing.  And Kendra really got a kick out of it.  If you ever go to Niagra, you have to ride the boat because you can't see the coolest, most spectacular falls from the American side, you have to either be in Canada or hop onto a boat that will take you right up in there.  Pretty awesome.

You can kinda get the idea from the observation deck...but seriously, pay the $13.50 and get a really good look from the boat.

So much fun!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Kendra and the Rabbits

A couple of weeks ago one of the local farms had a little festival that advertised a petting zoo.

This was the main reason we went, and the petting zoo really turned out to be just a pen of rabbits.

But she loved it.

Like, had to physically carry her away while she screamed after staying there for over half an hour, "loved".

Above: one happy camper.

Many older children there gladly let her pet the rabbits they held, it was very kind.

But she still got a pretty big kick out of holding them herself.

Just so darling.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A True Richardson Baby

As if we weren't convinced by the family resemblence...

We gotta keep up the tradition!

This seriously doesn't faze this one at all.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Big Sister

Kendra kind of adores her baby brother.

"Using the embroidery on this pillow as a map, our point of entry for the heist will be here."

Even when he pulls on her hair.

Seriously.  He did this over and over while she played with him and she stayed there for over half an hour.

She even shares her toys.

Ariel and Flounder aren't just any toys, either.  This is serious love for her to pull these out.

Though sometimes he's not quite interested.

"Mom?  Isn't it a little early for me to be emasculated by playing Barbies with my sister...?"

We'll see how it holds up when he's grabbing for the toys... 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

"I'm just the luckiest Mommy in the whole world!"

I say that to my kids at least a dozen times a day.

And I mean it.

Even on a day like today...which has passed with much weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth.

I know I'm biased, but our kids are awesome.

They rock my world, at least.

I've heard that boys really love their mommies, and here's something that Kendra never, ever, ever did.

I absolutely love it.

And did you catch that little glint in his eye?  I swear, it's just for me.

And speaking of rocking, Kendra was delighted when we showed her our MP3 players and how to put the buds to her ear and wala!  Music!

So we played some of her favorites for her.

Here's her singing along (though she's usually much more enthusiastic when she sings along).

Any guesses what that is?

Hint: you've probably heard the original before and the cover is from a movie I've mentioned here.  But if you're still stumped, click here.

Yep, like I said, I'm just the luckiest Mommy in the whole wide world.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Just layin' around...

We sure do love this little man...