Church History Sites 2: Kirtland, Ohio

Kirtland was a lot of fun.  The church has restored a lot of Kirtland to what it was in the 1830s.  You can see the saw mill, school house, Newel K. Whitney store and home, The Johnson Inn, etc...

We took a tour lead by two sister missionaries.  The weather was perfect, and the first warm, sunny day they'd had all year.
The Newel K. Whitney Store was one of my favorite places to visit.  Joseph Smith and his family actually lived upstairs above the store for a short period.
This is a very sacred place where amazing revelations were received.  The Word of Wisdom was received in this home!
 The School of the Prophets met in this room:
Part of the tour brought us to the Johnson Inn, which has been turned into a visitors center.  They have a kiosk there where you can search for people that lived in the area during the time the church was there.  I found my ancestors, which was pretty neat :)
And of course the highlight of Kirtland was the temple.  None of the pictures have been edited so they're a bit dark...sorry.  The temple is also such an amazing and sacred place.  It is no longer owned by our church, but we were still able to tour it.  We weren't allowed to take any pictures, so you'll have to take my word for it that it was pretty cool.  The workmanship was pretty awesome too.  The Spirit was so strong during the whole tour.  It was just amazing! 
We were lucky to get a tour with a small group.  If there's too many people in the group they won't take you to the top floor of the temple because it can't hold a lot of weight.  We had so many little "coincidences" during our visit that made everything just perfect, from having the perfect weather, to being somewhere at just the right time, to being allowed to join a smaller group, etc.  We just felt very blessed that we could experience everything and feel the Spirit so strongly. 

Church History Sites 1: John Johnson Farm

Our Spring Break was in March.  It's different here.  Instead of a full week off Monday-Friday, they schedule it around Good Friday.  So spring break is actually called Easter Break and we're off Thursday, Friday and then Monday...and that's it!

We decided to go explore some church history sites.  Kirtland is only 3.5 hours from our home...yay!  On our first day we drove straight to the John Johnson Farm in Hiram, OH.
Emma and Joseph and their family lived here in 1831-1832.  Some really amazing and sacred things happened in this home.  The 76th section of the Doctrine and Covenants was received here.
This is the room that Joseph and Emma slept in.  One night they were sleeping in a bed like this one with their twin babies who were sick.  Emma was on the bed with one baby and Joseph was on the trundle with the other baby when I mob broke in and dragged him out.  They stripped his clothes off, beat him, and tarred and feathered him.  The mob also dragged Sidney Rigdon out of his home across the street and when Joseph saw him he thought he was dead because he had been knocked unconscious.  When Joseph made it back home, Emma screamed and fainted at the first sight of him.  She thought the tar covering his body was blood.  They worked all night scraping the tar off of Joseph's battered body... 
... Early the very next day, Joseph stood on the front porch and preached to a congregation like nothing had happened.  A few days later, one of the twins died from exposure to the cold the night of the mobbing

Here we are on the steps that the prophet often preached from:
After touring the John Johnson Farm we drove to the home that Eliza and Lorenzo Snow were born and raised in.  It is privately owned so I just snapped a few pictures.
 The Snow home is so charming!
There's a very old cemetery next door.  I was excited to find "Lydia".  She was Lorenzo and Eliza's aunt. 
After our explorations in Hiram we drove north, hoping to find Lake Erie....  It would have been hard to miss!  We walked along part of the shore, but there were dead fish everywhere!  Ewwww!  So we didn't stay long, and we were cold.


My Irish TWINS

Irish Twins = two siblings born within a year or less apart from each other.  

Sam and Kaeli are a year apart...and 3 weeks.  Both born in March.  When they were little they were always very similar in weight, Sam was always just a pound or two ahead of Kaeli.  He was tiny and Kaeli was a chunk :)  So I pushed them around in a double, side by side stroller.  I always got asked if I had twins.  I thought that was silly because one was a toddler and one was a baby, and the difference seemed obvious to me.  I didn't think they'd ever be mistaken for twins again, but ever since we've moved to Ohio they have been!  Both are new middle-schoolers, and now they're the same height!  

Sam turned THIRTEEN this year!  Seriously...a teenager?
He requested apple pie again this year :)  I would much rather make (and eat) a pie than a cake any day!
And Kaeli turned TWELVE!  Which is pretty awesome because she is now in Young Womens!
Sam and Kaeli participated in their first musical, School House Rock.  They had a lot of fun doing it!

I have been so impressed with these two!  As members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints they really stand out as "peculiar" in our new home town.  This play was also performed on a Sunday which they both chose not to be in.  They didn't even ask Aaron and I if it would be alright, they made the decision on their own immediately after they heard the second performance would be on a Sunday.  That decision made it so they couldn't have any major roles in the play.  They also stand out in their dress and language.  Middle School is not an easy time to feel different than your peers, so I am so grateful to them for their examples.  They really are STRONG and meant for this time...and this spot!

Vi Vi turns THREE!

Violet's birthday was on February 9th.  The third birthday is always one of my favorites to celebrate with the kids, because it's the age that they really get excited about it.  Violet was excited to EAT her birthday and blow out the fire :)  Getting presents hadn't really occurred to her, so it was an added bonus!
Those little fingers really worked hard to make three!
Yep, this just about sums it up!
Violet and Aaron celebrate their birthdays just a few days apart.  So Happy Birthday to an amazing daddy and hubby, too!  I just love these two!



...oh the moods of a three year old!  I took these on her birthday:
and my favorite mood of all...


Christmas Break 2012

Yes, I am blogging about Christmas in March!  That should tell you how CRAZY life has been for us since we moved here.  We moved in a week before Christmas...after two long weeks of living in a hotel!  We were so happy to have a home again!  

Here are the kids in front of our new (super old) house...and our goose!  He came with the house and he's growing on me :)
One thing we like here in Ohio is our YARD!  After an impressive blizzard, we had an abundance of fluffy stuff to play in!

And here is our snow-covered house!
This is our garage...we use the term "garage" very loosely here :)  When you're inside you can see daylight coming in between the boards.  The back side of it was used as a chicken pen (we think) so there are boards slid over to close the openings.  A bird lives in there.  How he gets in or out, we're not sure.  But sometimes he's there and sometimes he's not.  It's quite startling when he is, and you've forgotten about him.  We were told that when our property was the pony express stop, that horses were stalled in there.  I can't imagine it being THAT old, though. 
Here are some pictures of the yard.  We have some amazing, HUGE trees.  I see a TIRE SWING in our future!  This tree is one of my favorites, but it's hollow, so I'm worried about it.  It's home to a few squirrels :)
Our back yard borders a forested area (swamp for part of the time) of several acres.  It's pretty dense, but I'm sure that won't stop the kids from playing in there (on non-swampy days).  There is also a creek that runs back there called Koop Creek.  It feeds the Saint Marys River.
We're on two acres.  We can't wait until the weather warms up and we can spend even more time out there!
We love our quirky old house, but we're still trying to get used to some surprises that have come with it.  I'm sure each season we'll discover more issues.  But I guess that just comes with the territory.


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