Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Niagara Falls July 2013

We made a very last minute side-track in our trip to New York.  We had talked about trying to hit Niagara Falls on the way home, but it was quite a bit out of the way from my cousin’s house.  When we realized it was much closer to the pageant, we decided to stay the last night at a hotel and hit Niagara Falls the next morning.  It really was worth every bit of last minute changes.  I have seen multiple pictures from when friends went, but none of those compared to actually experiencing it in person.  It was another HUGE check off the bucket list.  It was another hot, humid day, so it felt so good to be in the mist.  We took full advantage of the experience and rode the Maid of the Mist.  I HIGHLY recommend it!  The view from below is breath-taking.  A fun little fact about the Maid of the Mist—an 8 year old boy had fallen off his family’s boat way up river, above the falls.  He actually fell over the falls and the Maid of the Mist rescued him.  He was perfectly fine, thanks to his life vest and the quick moves of the Maid of the Mist Captain.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Our trip to New York/Palmayra/Sacred Groove/Hill Cumorah

Another trip we made this summer was up to New York.  Nate had been as a youth, but neither my mom nor I had ever been!  It was another item on our “living in Ohio” bucket list.  My cousin, Patrick lives there, so we got to stay with their family.  It was so fun to reconnect with him since it has been so many years apart.  We left early Sunday morning and arrived around dinner time.  My brother, Branden even flew to NY to stay and sight-see with us.  We had a wonderful BBQ dinner outside and then headed to one of the Finger Lakes.  It was a beautiful time with the sun setting on the lake.  We skipped rocks, and let the littlies play at the park.  Even though the sun was set, it was still SO hot and humid.  In fact, that whole week was so hot!  It didn’t help that my cousin lived in a really old house with no A/C.  Really, everywhere we went those 3-4 days had no A/C.  We tried to be good sports, but living with A/C these last 7 years has totally spoiled me.
Anyways, on Monday we headed into the heart of Amish country and got some yummy Amish baked goods. 

We then went to another Finger Lake to play at their splash pad.  It was just what we needed to help cool down in the heat of the day.  Thatcher, of course, loved it!  I wish we could have just hung out there all day.  On the way home, we stopped at another Amish Market and got goodies and supplies to make sub sandwiches at home.  After Thatcher’s nap, we decided to head back to yet another Finger Lake to cool down again.  We stopped and picked up pizzas to eat at the lake.  Even though it was 6pm, it was still so hot, so the water felt so good to swim in.  The thought of getting out was not pleasant.
The next day was a big one.  We had a whole day of Church History sites to visit.  Our first stop was the Smith Log Home.  We got to see many houses that were some original, some replicated.  We also saw cool barns and gardens.  It was set up exactly how I would have pictured it.  This lead right into the Sacred Grove.  It was so quiet and spiritual.  I only wished I could have sat and enjoyed it longer; it was just so hot, even in the shade!
We then headed to the Original Church Publication Building.  It was where the first Book of Mormon was published.  I learned a lot of very interesting details I had never heard before.  It was one of my favorite stops! 

We had a BBQ dinner at a local park and let the littlies run off some “pent-up-in-strollers” wiggles.  I loved the picture I captured of Thatcher eating the watermelon.

Our last stop on our Church History tour was the Hill Cumorah. We went saved our seats for the Pageant and then went into the semi-air conditioned Visitors Center.  Before the show started, the actors started walking around.  The first one we saw was King Noah.  His costume was amazing!  Thatcher, unfortunately, did not think the same.  He was terrified!  The picture is so funny to look back on.

It was finally time to get to our seats to watch the Pageant.  I was so excited to see it, and it DID NOT disappoint.  The music, the light show, and all the special effects were so amazing.  It kept Thatcher’s attention and he even kept pointing out Jesus (which he learned to say on this trip).  When the show was over, we had made a last-minute decision to stay at a hotel 30 min away, but on the way to Niagara Falls.  We had to say goodbye to the Mitchell’s, but I could not have been more excited to sleep in AC.  It was a nice, quick drive and we all got to take showers/baths to clean off the day’s constant sweating.  Our next day would consist of seeing the Niagara Falls and driving home.  We were all very grateful for a full night’s rest.


I love Thatcher's face--he was terrified 

Trip to Kirtland 6/18/2013

We may have lived in Ohio for 7 years, but I had never been to Kirtland!  The closest I got was the John Johnson Farm when I was a Girl’s Camp Leader.  With my mom living here, it was all the push we needed to finally make a day trip up north.  We started at the John Johnson Farm.  We ate a nice picnic lunch then headed in for the tour.
Our next stop was Kirtland. I finally got to see and tour the Neal K Whitney Store. It was so neat to see all the old houses and properties. It was also very spiritual. Our last stop was the Kirtland Temple. This was actually my least favorite part of the whole trip. It was such a drastic feeling of no spirit since the LDS church does not own it. Our tour guide was not LDS either, and it was very obvious and took away from the tour. I loved being able to see the old architecture, but that was about it.

Ohio Farm Bureau's "Day on the Farm" 6/8/2013

We belong to the Ohio Farm Bureau (mostly just for an insurance discount); it does have many other benefits, one including it’s annual “Day on the Farm.”   Thatcher was too young last year, but it was right up his alley this year.  He is fascinated with animals and tractors.  He got to ride his very first pony and play with bunnies, chickens and goats.  He also got to climb on his first tractor.  I think this is where is obsession began.  We even got a great breakfast including an amazing omelet station.  I love any opportunity to be out in nature and being on a real farm out in the country is just that much better!

 Grandpa Hayslip
Buckeye Bessie

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Thatcher is ONE and OH SO FUN

Thatcher turned one back in November, but the Holidays came and went so fast, I never found time to blog about it.  He is such a different little boy now.  Even though I still call him my baby every day, I am starting to see little glimpses of boy.  He is understanding more and more and never ceases to amaze me. I can say without any hesitation that this past year has been the best of our lives.  There is no other time in my life that can even come close to comparing to the joy of this past year.  Even though it did go by fast, we packed in so many activities, adventures and "firsts".  I am sure Thatcher will not remember any of it, but his dad and I will.  We won't forget the baby coos, his own cute way of army crawling, all the fun swimming and splashing throughout the summer, the look of pure joy on his face at the beach in Hilton Head, the way he knew what to do with a sucker for the first time, or the way he had no hesitation when diving into his birthday cake.  Even though it was Thatcher's birthday, we were the ones who received the best gift ever...parenthood.  Being a mom completes me.  I have never felt such purpose.  I love teaching him new things and I love watching him repeat what he learned.
 For the last time until maybe 18 months, here are Thatcher's stats and milestone:

Weight - 21 lbs-20%  \
                                     String Bean
Height - 30.5 in-67%  /

Points with pointer finger
Size 3 diapers
Wears 9-12 mo. clothes
Hums when I sing to him
Will dance when asked to
Understands "switch hands"
Starting to take his first steps
Holds his hands, palms up when asked "where did she go"
Words: momma, daddy, doggy, bye-bye

Thatcher's Favorites at year ONE:
his dog, Oakley-he says "dog-dog" every time he wakes up or sees him
Singing and music
Food, food, and FOOD
his bedtime blankie
and he is slightly obsessed about opening and closing doors, cabinets, drawers, really anything with a hinge!

 One year birthday pictures

 You would think it was baked with lemons
 First Thanksgiving Dinner
 Decorating Tree 1 of 2