Sunday, July 28, 2013

Jesus Once Was A Little Child

 The Washington DC Temple Visitors Center has a fantastic special exhibit that portrays the younger years of Jesus Christ. The Exhibit is called "Jesus Once Was a Little Child". The images capture the early years of Christs life as they are recorded in the scriptures. I was truly moved by the pictures. I I think it's really important to remember that everyone starts life the same way. We start by learning to crawl, walk, run, talk. We have parents who are there to help train us. They teach us how to work, love, worship. We owe a lot to our parents. They give up so much of their life to help us have our own. I owe a lot to my parents who have been there for me in every aspect of my life. They have helped me grow to be the woman I am today. Parents are the one who help us the most in life. I know that Mary and Joseph were divinely called to raise Christ just as much my parents were designated to help raise me.

Memorial Weekend

 Memorial Weekend this year was going to be time for Kara and Megan to spend together. To start off the weekend, I took Megan to her first concert. Get out your cowboy hats and boots everyone, these girls are heading to Kenny Chesney's No Shoes Nation Tour. I was fairly surprised at how many of the songs I did know. We had a great time line dancing in our seats and singing along.
 The next day we headed to Wolf Trap for one of my favorite Memorial Weekend traditions, the President's Own Marine Corp Band. This year they did a medley of Ragtime which was amazing.
 And what weekend would be complete without Fireworks!!!!!!!!!
Thank you to all the men and women who serve our country. You are the real heroes of our nation and deserve to be celebrated.

From Cumorah's Hill

I was so excited to be able to come up to the Hill Cumorah Pageant. I have been meaning to come to this pageant for a couple of years but was never able to make the trip. This year I was so excited to be able to come.

Megan Arnett and I were able to obtain excellent front row lawn seats. It was a perfect view of the magnificent stage that was very reminiscent of my travels to Central America. While sitting on the lawn one of the performers came up to speak to us. He told us that he was playing the role of 3rd Nephi.  Hat was pretty cool to meet him. He came back over and introduced us to his two sons but he introduced them as he great ancestors Nephi the 1st and Alma the Older. These were three of the key players in the pageant.  How fun to meet them and feel their testimonies of the Gospel as they were portraying these amazing prophets of old.

The pageant was great.  I enjoyed seeing how they portrayed iconic Book of Mormon stories.  The staging is quite impressive, almost. Broadway style in nature. 

I was able to reflect on my testimony of the Book of Mormon as I watched the pageant.  I know that the Book of Mormon is a true book and the messages, stories, and doctrine contained in it are true. I was especially moved at the end of the performance where Christ is standing on top of the hill in glory with the words of the second coming playing overhead.  I had chills come through me and I knew that the spirit was bearing witness to me if the truth of this church.

Friday, July 19, 2013

DC McLean Stake Youth Temple Walk

The McLean Stake sponsored a youth temple walk for all the youth in the stake. The idea was to walk 14 miles from one of our stake's ward buildings all the way to the temple. The purpose of this was to help give the youth and parents an appreciation for the temple, the blessing it is to have a temple so close, the importance of the temple in your life, and the willingness to help give to the church temple fund to assist those who have to travel farther to attend the temple and partake in these sacred ordinances for themselves.
I was so excited to be able to spend the day with the youth. It turned out to be a perfect day for a walk. The spring weather was just the right temperature and everyone on the walk was in such a positive spirit. I attended as a chaperone to walk with the youth to encourage them and make sure they stayed safe. I found a group of Beehives who were so adorable. We sang Disney songs, girls camp songs and once the temple was in site, two miles out, we started to sing church songs which of course included, "I Love to See the Temple." I was very touched at how these girls helped each other out. They would give each other piggy back rides and took turns carrying each others back packs. They did not want my help in any of this just encouragement and direction on where to go. I was very impressed with the youth. Every group I came across was very enthusiastic and supportive of each other.
At the end as we were climbing the hill to the temple there were so many parents cheering us on the way. This only helped to boost the youth even more and I think they could really tell that there are so many people, both in this life and the next, that are cheering for them to come to the temple and make it a goal in life to go inside someday. I could not have imagined a better way to spend a Saturday than walking to the temple.
Here is a video that was filmed of the walk and some of the emotions that it stirred by the participants. Also, a news article about the event.

Meridian Magazine - McLean Stake Youth Walk 14 Miles to the Washington D.C. Temple

Ireland Day 7

Made it back to Dublin for out last day in Ireland. It's so sad to think that this trip is fast approaching the end. But, there were a few more sites to see. I was really wanting to see the Post Office where many people took refuge during the Easter Rebellion that led to Irelands freedom from English rule.
A visit of Trinity College is a must. Such a beautiful and historic campus. 
The Book of Kells should be considered a wonder of the world. I can't believe the time and artistry it took these dedicated monks to write and decorate the pages of such old books. The library was fascinating. I really hope that with all of our technology today we don't ever stop making books. 

Dublin Castle. The European Union is meeting inside right now. 
It is worth the flight to Dublin to visit the Queen of Tarts and try some of their delicious tarts and deserts. Yum!

If your a Mormon, this kind of seems like an oxymoron but it's really a fun bar. Later that night we came back to the bar for some amazing Irish Music. 
I loved how they have all of these old Sweet Shops all over the country. They are so stinking cute!
It would have cost you 1 penny to cross this bridge, famously known as the penny bridge. 

St. Stephen's Park was in full bloom of tulips everywhere. I love springtime flowers. 
I was super excited to see St. Patrick's Cathedral. It was absolutely breathtaking inside. We stayed for Evensong and the boys choir did an absolutely amazing job. 
Guitarist Dave Browne broke the Guinness World Record for longest musician playing guitar 114 HOURS Live. He really knows how to play. It was a great way to end a trip to Ireland. Singing Irish music in an Irish pub. They also played many songs from the states. I will never forget Sweet Home Alabama and Cotton Eye Joe with an Irish accent ever again. 

It was a wonderful trip and I'm so happy to have been able to come to Ireland and enjoy spending time with Diana Smith. I had so many amazing adventures on the Emerald Island. 

Ireland Day 6

Time to leave the countryside behind and head into the city. Today we drove over for a tour of the Waterford Crystal Factory. It was fascinating to watch these amazing artisans at work making beautiful crystal pieces. Every piece is hand crafted to meticulous detail. Oh to be rich and afford fine art like this.

We walked around the town for a bit and found the most amazing chocolate shop. Thank you Lily Obrian for some of the best desert of the trip.

A day isn't complete without stopping by a castle. I even had fun just lying in the beautiful green grass of Irelands rolling hills. 
If you know anything about  me you know what a bridge like this means to me. 

Ireland Day 5

Today's adventures took us around the Ring of Kerry. A beautiful Peninsula drive with magnificent views of mountains, valleys, and coastal areas of Ireland.

We took a little boat ride out to the island where in 500 b.c. monks lived. This island is about 8 miles off the coast of Ireland. It's not very big as you can tell with little vegetation. If you miss this island the next land sighting would be the USA. Yikes! There is another island near this one that is literally covered with birds. It is the second largest migration spot for these huge white birds. The white spots on the picture above are birds.

The rest of the drive around the Ring of Kerry was just breathtaking. Here is the Ladies View and a waterfall that we hiked over to. I loved spending the day in Irelands lush hidden gems.