Jacob stayed busy this July. He had a big business trip to Arizona and ended up on the stake youth trip to Palmyra NY. But we didn’t think that was busy enough so we loaded up the minivan and drove to Ohio between those trips to take in the sights at Kirtland.
We drove up through West Virginia. Staying the night in Charleston where we enjoyed the walking trails next to the river and swam in the hotel pool that we had all to ourselves. We checked out their local market. Seeing my crew together holding hands is just the sweetest part of my day when it happens. I know one day, maybe it has already come, we will be too big to do this.
The next day we checked out the campus of the Capitol. They had an awesome museum dedicated to the history of the state. Isaac spotted a quilt with chickens on it and a quilt that matched the one MeMe made for his bed. Jacob found a piece of coal so big it was used as a desk at Appalachian Power for some time. We love hands on museums full of horns and pictures, a walkway like you are in a mine and some wax figures that made us jump when they started talking.
Then we drove right on to Kirtland so we could arrive in time for the Hymn Festival. We arrived with amazing timing. The sister missionaries gave us a lovely tour of the buildings there. We toured the Whitney Store where Joseph and Emma Smith stayed after they no longer felt safe in their first home in Ohio. That building was where they held the school of the prophets. Anna helped out the missionaries by reading a testimony for the tour group and helping later to explain how the saw mill helped the town. She was attached to their hips the rest of the tour chatting and asking questions. Mattie was a good little guest and took it all in from the carrier and Isaac and Eliza practiced their looking but no touching. It is a challenge at 4 and 2.
I always enjoy the older home recreations. The lovely kitchens and cozy rooms. I came home dreaming of putting a kitchen garden right out my front door too. I hadn’t even heard of an ashery until we toured one and that was the way Newel K Whitney made his fortune for his family and how he helped the church. Anna’s favorite room was the testing room full of chemical glassware, where they tested the final products before shipping. We are just a whole family full of nerds.
We just had enough time to grab a bite to eat after the tour before heading to the Kirtland temple for a special evening Hymn Festival. I really really loved being in that building and it was so nice to experience the music in there. We sang the songs the saints sung during the dedication of the Temple including Adam-ondi-ahman and the Spirit of God. Eliza wasn’t sure what we were doing trying to make her sit in a pew on a Tuesday. But the building was lovely and so was the music. I am grateful we were blessed to experience that building in a way that was so positive for my family because we probably wouldn’t have made it through another tour. I love my kiddos but we are still a young family.
The hymn festival ended with just enough time before sunset for us to drive to the shores of Lake Erie to see the sun rest on the horizon. The park was even called Sunset park, a grassy hill above where the waves were crashing the rocks. The wind that evening was constant. My kids nearly blew away. I’ve never seen a great lake. It was vast, reminding me of the ocean instead of a lake. I’m really grateful we get to keep growing and having new experiences together as a family.
The next day we traversed the farmland of Ohio. We stopped at Smucker’s factory store. Anna was Smucker from the Jelly Kingdom in her play this summer. So we pretty much just stopped for her. The kids couldn’t keep from hugging the Pillsbury Dough Boy. I remember him being a lot smaller though.