Thursday, June 30, 2011

Eight-year-old trip

Kamryn and Tiana, our 8 year olds this year, flew out with their moms and baby Edyn to spend a few days doing an eight-year-old trip with Grandpa and GG.  That has been a tradition we do to celebrate that important time of their life.  We were able to show them some notable and fun spots in our mission. 

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They arrived Tuesday night and drove to Wheeling from Pittsburgh Airport in the dark without getting lost (maybe just once). The girls were literally bouncing off the walls when they arrived at the house.  We had filled a gift sack with goodies for them for the trip and made them share everything in it.  They did a great job. 


I’m not sure Edyn was as glad to see us as we were to see her but the last time we saw her she was one day old.  We left for our mission the day after she was born.

Maryn and Natalie had rented a brand new Chrysler Town and Country van so we drove in style.  We drove the girls around our area just a bit and took them out to the Wheeling Ward Chapel before we took off for Gettysburg on Wednesday.  We arrived there in time to eat a bite and then Grandpa took them swimming.  That seems to always be a highlight of our trips.

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We spent the night at a hotel in Gettysburg.  Kamryn and Tiana stayed with Grandpa and GG and Maryn, Edyn and Natalie had an adjoining room. 

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The next day we spent some time at the Gettysburg Visitors Center learning about the Battle of Gettysburg and visiting the Soldiers’ National Cemetery where Union soldiers were buried and where Abraham Lincoln gave the Gettysburg Address.

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From there we drove on to Hershey Pennsylvania and took a tour of the Hershey Chocolate World and visited the Hershey Museum.  

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We then drove on to Somerset PA for the night.  The next morning we drove over to visit with Elder and Sister Brenchley who are serving in Somerset for three more weeks.  Kamryn and Tiana entertained themselves by standing by the busy street and getting trucks to honk at them.  The Brenchleys said they have never been so popular.  We drove on to the Flight 93 Memorial which is just a few miles out of Somerset.  It is always a very sobering experience.

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The plan was to spend the rest of the day at Storybook Forest in Ligonier PA but we got there late and it wasn’t what we expected so we drove on towards Pittsburgh and found a fun center where the girls drove go carts and played miniature golf.  They were good sports and just enjoyed whatever we were doing. 

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We drove on to Pittsburgh and saw the highlights of down town and Greentree where all of our missionary meetings are held, then back to Wheeling for the night.  Saturday we drove to Columbus to the temple and Rod and I witnessed the sealing of Dave and Renee Barker to each other and then Helen, their daughter, was sealed to them.  It was an awesome experience and the girls got a chance to meet some of the ward members.

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Dave, Renee and Helen Barker. Mike Carman, Ashley Groetzinger, Allison Carman, Natalie, Mike Orum, Irene Murphy-Gonzales, Maryn, Edyn, Kamryn, Mike, Tom and Dottie Folmar.  Some of our favorite Wheeling Ward members visiting with our family at the temple.

We drove back to Wheeling via the Amish Country.  We hit McDonalds for the third time on the trip and gave the girls a break.  They were such good sports with all the traveling. 

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Back in Wheeling we went to church and the girls met the rest of the ward.  We had several less-actives there which was very exciting for us.  The last day Rod and I did our service at the hospital and the girls went to Wheeling Park for a fun day where we joined them later.  They hit the pool and waterslide, the paddle boats and the miniature golf.

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Edyn didn’t have so much fun sometimes.  When we weren’t traveling and playing the girls had fun at the house watching birds, blowing bubbles and catching tadpoles and fireflies which they got very good at.

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Nat was trying to salvage my hanging plant.

We had a wonderful time with the girls and hated to see them go.  We really appreciate their moms coming with them and their dads for letting them. We didn’t do as much missionary work as usual but family is what this work is all about, right?

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