Sunday, July 31, 2011

Julia Visits the Dentist

Julia had her first dental visit last week before we went camping. I had been getting her excited for it for the past week so she was really pleased to be going. We praticed before hand how to open wide and talked about what the dentist was going to do so everything would go smoothly, and it did! Julia did great opening wide but her mind would wander and we had to keep reminding her to open wide again. I think towards the end she was getting a little  annoyed at having people poking around in her mouth and it looked like she might refuse to open up, but she just paused, thought about it for a minute, and then obeyed.

Afterwards she got a Tinkerbell sticker, a bouncy ball, and a dental goodie bag with a new Dora toothbrush, so she left happy. And now she has 16 beautiful clean teeth (she still needs four molars to come in) and likes to pretend she is at the dentist when we brush her teeth. She'll lay down on the floor like she is laying in the dentist chair and let me brush her teeth, which is a lot better than the struggles we used to have before the appointment.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


(In the collage: top left- Smith Family Farm and Log Home, below- Peter Whitmer home, bottom left- Palmyra temple, bottom center-E.B. Grandin printing room, bottom right- Smith cooper shop where the gold plates were hidden for a time, top right- the Sacred Grove.)

Last weekend we went up to Palmyra to see the Hill Cumorah Pageant. We got to Palmyra early and saved our seats (even though the website says your not allowed, everyone does it). Then we headed into Rochester to see Ryan and Rachel, who graciously let us stay with them for the weekend, and went out for BBQ. I was glad we got to stay the whole weekend because it gave Julia and Liam lots of time to play.
Then we got back to our seats and had a little less than an hour to wander around and see all the cast members in their costumes. Julia's new favorite phrase this week has become "What's that Mommy?" or (I like this far less) "What's that Mom?" and she used it a lot during this time. Robert's favorite moment of the night was during the pageant as I was explaining what was going on in the pageant to Julia I told her, "Look, there's Jesus!" and she repeated "There's Jesus!" then, "I want to see Jimmer!"
The next day we went back to the Hill Cumorah and climbed up to the top (it's not all that big, it is a "hill" after all). Our seats from the night before were right on the front of the second section, smack in the middle. Not too shabby.

But I'm getting a little ahead of myself. The next day the first place we went to was actually the Smith Farm. Julia had a bit of a meltdown at the Smith Farm and Sacred Grove because she wanted me and only me to carry her and I told her she needed to walk or let Dad carry her. I didn't expect her to be so upset, but then it sort of became a thing of principle to not give in to her tantrum. So here she is between the Smith Log Home and the Smith Frame House crying for me...
And here she is at the Smith Family Frame House crying and running away from Dad. I think it will be fun someday to tell Julia what she was like when we visited the place where the Restoration began. This home is actually the original home, unlike most of the other buildings that are replicas built on the spot where the originals used to be. This is the home the family lived in when Joseph and Emma brought the plates back from the Hill Cumorah.

The Smith Family Farm. In the distance you can see the Smith Family Log Home, where the Angel Moroni appeared to Joseph in the upstairs room three times. This picture is taken around where Joseph stopped and saw the Angel Moroni again after Joseph was working in the fields the next day and his father, seeing how tired he was, told him to go back home.
On the path up to and in the Sacred Grove.
After the Smith Farm we stopped by the Palmyra temple and improvised a family picture.
That's when we went back to the Hill Cumorah like I mentioned before.

Afterwards we drove into Palmyra to see E.B. Grandin's print shop where the Book of Mormon was first printed. The church has done a really good job of preserving the building and making it look just like it might have looked in the 1820's. It was bigger than I thought too. I was expecting a one room setup, but it was a three story building with a bookstore, a couple offices, a printing room, and a binding room. Plus, the church bought the building next door as well and combined the buildings, so the part that used to be next door is all information displays. After seeing all that went into making the books, not to mention all the translating that went on before, I can better appreciate how the early Saints must have been ecstatic to finally be able to read the Book of Mormon.
Julia fell asleep on the five minute drive to the printers and amazingly stayed asleep when we transferred her to the stroller, and then stayed asleep through the whole tour of the building. Not only that, afterwards we went and ate lunch at a little Chinese takeout place nearby and she stayed asleep. Then we transferred her back to the car and drove half an hour out to Waterloo (formerly Fayette), NY to the Peter Whitmer farm and she still stayed asleep! She must have been really worn out.

Do you know how Joseph knew the Whitmers? I had to ask, but when the sister missionary told me the story it did sound familiar. David Whitmer and Oliver Cowdery had met in Palmyra after David Whitmer visited for a business trip. When Oliver went down to Harmony, PA to meet Joseph for the first time he stopped at the Whitmer farm and told David Whitmer where he was going and that he would let him know if there were any truth to the stories about Joseph. Not too long afterwards Oliver wrote to David Whitmer and told him he was convinced that Joseph was telling the truth, that he really did have an ancient record he was translating, and it was God's will that Oliver be the scribe for the translation.

This is the Peter Whitmer Farm, where Joseph finished translating the Book of Mormon, the Angel Moroni showed the plates to the three witnesses, and the church was organized on April 6, 1830.
I'm so grateful we got to make this trip and see all these places. The things that happened in these places have changed our lives and the lives of millions of other people and have eternal significance. And we got to see where it all happened, that's pretty cool!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Odds and End Utah

Some random events from our trip to Utah:

We visited Mike and Marybeth and had a playdate with their kids.
Went to the zoo.

We went to the parks.
We celebrated my Grandpa Ramiro's sort-of birthday. He was orphaned as a tween and didn't know when his birthday was. So when he was a little older and applying for a job they said it must be around St. Peter's day since his name is Peter. So from then on he celebrated his birthday on St. Peter's day. It was only in the past 10 years when he was applying for citizenship that they said he needed a birth certificate, so they tracked one down turns out his birthday was actually in August. But he has been celebrating in June all his life, so we still celebrate it on St. Peter's day.

Julia picked up an entourage of my little cousins.
We also checked out the Salt Lake City library. They had a book my library system in Arlington didn't have that I've been wanting to read, so Reah checked it out for me and I read it over the weekend before I had to go back to Virginia.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Park City

We had a Sunday picnic with some of Robert's family up in Provo Canyon to get out of the heat. Turns out it was the hottest day of the year so far and everyone else had the same idea. We kept passing all the parks looking for an open table but they were all taken. So Mom Wheat convinced us to turn off at Vivian Park and just kept driving up and up past the park and random houses to a park I had never known existed and that many other people evidently didn't either because there was plenty of open space.
Afterwards we headed up to Park City with Dad and Mom Wheat. It was gorgeous with all the "spring" flowers finally blooming late this season. Julia loved riding around (very slowly) on the four wheeler with Grandpa. She's still a little confused on the difference between a four wheeler and a snowmobile however. Below, I went running and the only other people I saw were Julia and Grandpa going for a ride to meet me.
After we came back down to the valley we stopped by Jeremy and Sarah's house for a play date with Eli. They went crazy together, it was cute. They are moving to Pittsburg this month so maybe we'll see a little more of them this year.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Hiking the Y

Julia and I joined the Wheat's (Dad, Mom, Jesse and Lauren) for the Fourth of July weekend. To start off the weekend we headed to Provo and hiked the Y, ate lunch at the Creamery on 9th, and stopped by the BYU bookstore. Ahh memories. I asked Julia if she wanted to go to BYU and she said "Yes!"
The view from the top!
It's a short hike, but pretty steep, but we all made it up eventually.
After we had taken a group picture I let Julia out of the backpack and she wanted to climb on the Y. So I followed her as she climbed from the bottom of the Y up to the upper trail near the top of the Y.
When we got to the bottom Grandpa put Julia and the backpack down and she said "I did it!" Such a trooper.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Sandberg Reunion

At the end of June we had the Rex Sandberg Family reunion at the Ranch. Friday night we had the traditional campfire and hot dog roast. Below, Robert roasted hot dogs for all of us while I made sure Julia stayed out of the fire.
Julia loved playing with Kirsten and James and still asks to see them.
Here she is collecting rocks in her cowboy hat on our little hike. Everyone else was clearing out a stream from brush while Julia, her grandma and I had a little snack and then headed back for a nap.
And some more playing on the playground. We go to the park everyday at home so I guess it shouldn't surprise anyone that she kept asking to go to "the park" (the swingset) to play.
Saturday night Julia helped her grandpa out MCing the talent show. The show was short and sweet this year, but that was probably a good thing since we didn't start until 10:00 pm.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sandberg Reunion Group Pictures

My dad has a big family; he has four brothers and five sisters. Now that I am a mother I am amazed that my grandmother did all this raising a kid thing ten times. Knowing that I can have patience with just one child right? They had the Rex Sandberg Reunion in June while we were visiting in Utah. Rob and I try to make it every year because it may be the only time the whole year we'd see some of my extended family since there are just so many.
Here is a group picture of the group (although some people had already left by then) on Sunday morning in front of the Ranch house. My great grandpa Joseph Clarence Sandberg built the left section of the house and he bought the right section from his brother George for 50 cents and then moved it in pieces from where it had stood to it's current location.

Here are some interesting comparision pictures. The first one is just the left side of the house in 1940 before the additions to the house took place. The people are standing perpendicular to where our modern day group is standing. If we stood where the people in this old picture are standing we would be inside the kitchen (notice where the chimney is). And this one is about 1955 from the same angle as our picture. In the picture are my great-grandfather, great-grandmother, grandmother, a great uncle and my oldest uncle, Don.
My Dad and all his siblings (acting a little goofy).
With their spouses.
And our Robert Sandberg Family picture.

Bug Hunting

My mom got Julia a little bug holding container so while we were in Utah we went bug hunting. At first it was a little slow going. When you actually want bugs it's kind of hard to find them. After a while though we managed to catch a couple potato bugs, a couple lady bugs, and a small flying insect. After we were done bug hunting we took them inside. The next day the bugs had disappeared from the container. Oops, at least they will survive a little longer than they would have done in the bug container.
Michael also had a bug container when he was little, which my mom still had, so he joined along in the bug hunt.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Knott's Berry Farm

A view of Knott's Berry Farm from where we rode on the top of the Stagecoach.

Before we got to L.A. I was toying with the idea of taking Julia to an amusement park. I was sure she would love it. Whenever she is on the swings at the park she always tells me "higher, higher" and throws her hands up like she is on a roller coaster. So Wendy suggested Knott's Berry Farm since it was free for Julia and half the price of Disneyland for me. Plus I'd never been there so it would be an all new experience for both Julia and I. Below, Julia gets a bearing on the layout of the park.
Of course Julia did love it. Not only did she go on every ride she was tall enough to go on (which granted wasn't a ton, maybe 12?) but she went on her favorite rides 2-3 times. And she learned the appropriate response is to scream with delight on the fast rides. Well, maybe she would have done that anyway because she usually screams when she gets really excited. She was definitely worn out at the end of the day.
The only other person who was available to go with us that day was Woody. He gallantly became our photographer, videographer, load bearer (backpack carrier), and even a nice chair in the shade during the shade-less Peanuts Characters show (seriously, you'd think they would put a cover over the amphitheater for the show that is especially for kids and has no natural shade). Don't worry, we let him come on all the kiddy rides with us too, although sometimes he had to sit alone.
Julia's favorite ride was probably the Carousel, and her favorite animal to ride was the zebra.
Riding the train. It was hard to get her to sit still on this one since we didn't have seat-belts like the other rides and she was well aware of it.
We did manage to get a picture with Snoopy!
Here is a video of crazy Julia riding a couple rides and bouncing in the bounce house. I especially like how she throws her hands up in the air at the end of the first clip to imitate the kid in front of us. At the end of the second clip she saw the Ferris Wheel and was pointing out that she wanted to go on that one, which unfortunately we didn't because she was a couple inches too short for it still (it was a pretty open seat).