Dominican Republic New Mission President.

May has definitely been a busy month with school field trips, award ceremonies, trips to the post office for mothers day, birthday & graduation gifts, attending bridal showers, & I cannot believe it's come to an end! One great memory of May was attending President Corbitt & his wife Jayne's missionary farewell. 

Last Sunday many members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints gathered in the chapel to bid farewell to one of the most amazing former stake president (& couple) known to man. 

President Ahmad Corbitt and his wife Jayne have been called to serve a three year mission in the Dominican Republic. I have never been to a former stake presidents farewell, and was very excited as to what they were going to discuss & talk about. 

I was very impressed by what his work in the church entailed. I knew he was an attorney but I'm not one to poke into someone's business & although I knew his job dealt with public & international affairs I didn't think it was to the point where he's meeting major prime ministers of china & other countries! I wasn't aware of all the different dignitaries he met throughout the years & how large of a scale he was on in furthering the view of the LDS church and I think that's amazing! 

It's also amazing to see how the Lord works with the other countries who are having issues right now, and having the right people in place through our contact and examples to everyone we meet. And having them learn more about the church can have a positive influence on their countries to build towards peace with one another, and when other countries know what we're all about their hearts can be softened. President Corbitt is the perfect example of interfaith relations, and in that field where his presence & knowledge with the church will bring a peaceful spirit.
I know that the Corbitt's are going to be amazing leaders and that their missionaries are going to love them. My kids love him, I love him, my husband loves him, everyone loves him! He's definitely one of a kind, and unique in his own right as to build up the spirit in a room. He strengthens, motivates, and encourages others to hasten the work just as he has been doing with people of other faiths for many years. I wouldn't doubt if someday we'll be calling him "Elder Corbitt from the Quorum of the Twelve."

I recently met one of his missionaries through the internet who will be serving in his mission when I wrote this post about him. Sister Schmidt is sooooooo excited to meet them & mentioned to me how reading about him got her pumped for her mission. We exchanged emails, and are now Facebook friends. I told President Corbitt how I already met one of his missionaries via the internet, and how I was was going to keep tabs on him through her! Haha! I'm kidding of course. He doesn't need any looking after because he is so awesome! It definitely is a small world when it comes to the church & I can't even begin to tell you how many times I've met a friend of a friend of a friend that way. Truly amazing. 
So, here's my farewell speech to the Corbitt's since I didn't get to put it on video:

President Corbitt...for the past six years you have been an amazing example of good works to my daughters. Because of that you are going to be a fantastic mission president. The people of Domincan Republic are going to love you for being there, and the missionaries are going to miss you when you leave. I remember when you said how you will "be gone" once you got released from being a stake president...well, in a sense you are. You truly meant your words when you said something about not looking back, but moving forward after your release and that is a great example to be! 

Jayne...I've only known you for a short while, but feel as if I've known you forever. You are such a beautiful soul with so much to look forward to. Good luck on the language, and being the best "mission Mama president" you can be. 

Continue to seek the good in others, and to never forget your purpose in this life. Good luck with your future endeavors for the next three years of your life surrounded with nothing but the spirit...and I hope it'll all be good! 


Noah's First Phillies Game.

This is going to be an easy post because what I have to say about Noah's first experience to a ball game are from the words of Jon's mouth, and Jon is a "to the point kind of guy" where he doesn't give too much detail because he's always "living in the moment" when we go out as a family, and focuses on what he's doing which is good. I have to ask him the who's, what's, where's, and whys whenever he takes any of the kids out on a "daddy/son/daughter date. I personally love taking pictures so that I can document them for my kids, and luckily I'm pretty good at multitasking while having fun so that I can take pictures, and not feel that I missed out on anything.

I wasn't able to go to the game tonight because I only purchased three tickets. I bought these tickets back when school started and because I thought Sierra was going to continue her education at UARTS I figured she would stay home and watch the little ones just like she always has while Jon, Lexie, and I did our "yearly tradition" of going to the Phillie's game while she performs with the Lewis band. 

This was Lexie's last performance playing the national anthem with the Lewis middle school band, and for once didn't play the keyboard! She's always played the keyboard, but decided to do something different this year. She decided to play the oboe, and has really enjoyed learning to play it. Mr. Nichols also seemed a little relieved that he didn't have to haul a keyboard in and out of the bus. He said that packing an oboe as opposed to a keyboard was so much easier! I have to agree!
I was happy to have given my ticket to Noah because Jon and Lexie said he had the time of his life. He was definitely being a little kid having fun, and cheering every time someone hit a home run. When the music would come on he would be singing along with the crowd even though he didn't know any of the words. Everyone was saying how cute he looked. Jon bought him some fries from Chickie & Pete's and apparently wanted everything on the menu. There was also a lady selling cotton candy down the aisle, and asked Jon if Noah would like some. He said to her, "Sure if he'll eat it." She looked dumbfounded and asked, "What do you mean?" Jon replied, " son doesn't have a big sweet tooth, and is very particular when it comes to which kinds of junk food he wants to eat. Every once in a blue moon he'll eat something junky, but most of the time it's grains, fruits, and veggies. The cotton candy girl responded, "Can I clone him!" I began to laugh when Jon told me that moment.   
I'm a little bummed that I missed Lexie's last performance hearing her play, and that I didn't get to go with Noah to his first baseball game to witness this experience through his eyes, but I'll definitely be going with Noah to games in the future so that I can see his reaction sitting in a huge ballpark, cheering on the Phillie's, and turning down cotton candy in person! 
Glad you had a great time son! I love you, and next time I'll make sure this mama takes you out to the ballgame!



**Past times we've gone to the Phillie's game are here and here.

Adventure Aquarium.

The best part of being a mother of a third grader is going on various field trips to be a chaperone. I really enjoy the places we go, and holy moly I couldn't believe how many kids went to the Adventure Aquarium today! Must have been the torrential rain pour we got. I'm cool with chaperoning a few kids, but when you get off the bus, and see that there are other buses with other kids from various schools, I was like...we better hurry up and get inside because we only have three and a half hours to venture this place. Tis the time of year for field trips! 
We were really excited to finally venture out to the aquarium. It was our first time going, and had so much fun. Having a toddler makes it even more fun, and Noah had the time of his life. He loves the ocean, and anything that swims in the water...except for sharks. I don't think it helped him watching the edited for television of Jaws a couple of weeks ago with me. Watching that movie didn't seem to bother him at the time we were watching it, but when we entered the tunnel where you have a ton of sharks swimming above us, and beside us didn't do well for him. He did get over it pretty quick when he realized that they couldn't get us through the glass. After he saw a few scuba divers inside he saw that they were safe, and said he wanted to go in with them. Who knows...he could be a future marine biologist.
There was a shark tank where you can actually "touch a shark" with two fingers, and so many different kinds of fishes! For the first while Noah kept saying, "I want to see a whale mommy. A big whale!" I told him there are no whales here just sharks, jellyfish, and small fishes. He grinned until he saw the clownfishes! One of his favorite movies is Finding Nemo, and he was so excited when he came upon these...
^^^ lovely ceiling display of fishes. ^^^
A lot of "hands on" moments were the highlight of this trip when they were allowed to touch starfishes, sea urchins, and stingrays. I myself hesitated at first to touch them, but then after a while I was like...this is pretty cool! Yes...I was deprived as a child when it came to places like this, but not my kids.
One of our favorite attractions was looking at the penguins, and they are the cutest things! 
I love this shot! It reminds me of the movie Happy Feet when Ramon says, "Let me say something to joo!"
Stole this picture of this cute hippo from another mom, because when we went to see them they were all motionless, & relaxing in the water. 
Kids...they sure are the greatest, and we all had such a fun day today. I'm so glad that we were all able to go as a family too. We all sure had a blast. 
Until next time! Hope you're Wednesday was a happy one too! 

Our Memorial Day.

I remember the first time I began to really understand what the military was all about was when a friend I met back in college mentioned to me how he went to Saudi Arabia. I had just joined the LDS church, was on my own, and was beginning to learn how to truly "unshelter" myself from the world. I didn't quite understand why he went, or what he did while he was there, and when I asked him how Saudi was he said he didn't want to talk about it. I respected his response, and never questioned him about it again. Years passed, and now that I'm older, and understand more about what's going on with the world, war, and our troops my heart just grows deeper. Having lived in North Carolina for two years really helped me to understand even more. Especially when we were living in Fayetteville attending a ward that was 95% military. I grew to really appreciate the acts of sacrifice they would make in order to serve not only within the church, but to our country as well. I saw their willingness to fight, be strong, and to endure no matter how rough it was. There were so many young men & women fighting for our freedom leaving their families behind to make the world a better place. I have learned to appreciate what they do for us, and for the past ten eight years have made sure to remember both the fallen troops of the past, and those who are still fighting for our country today. 

Living in the east has its advantages and we are surrounded by so much "war" history. I love that we live in an area where we can drive 45 minutes to Valley Forge to see Washington's Headquarters, and two hours to Washington D.C. to visit all the memorials. I have become somewhat of a history buff since moving here, and I want my children to know what Memorial Day means to me, and what it's all about. They have learned that's it not just any other day, but a day of remembering.  

On this Memorial Day we decided to go to Valley Forge National Park to visit the sites. I didn't take as many pictures as I did the last time we were here, but let me tell you...I felt an entire different feeling the second time around. I really love this place, and visiting Washington's Headquarters is always so humbling.  

After visiting Valley Forge we did end up driving to the beach. The kids, particular my two younger ones kept talking about going to the beach since...this morning! I guess you can say this was one of the warmest days we've had thus far, and out of all the days for it to be hot it had to be on Memorial Day! Chelsea, and Noah had too much fun. To them it's all about the sand. They absolutely love getting all sandy while building sand castles. 
They mostly preferred digging in the sand more than going in the water. It's probably a good thing because let me tell you...the water was freezing cold!! I took baby steps slowly going in, but the water only made it to my calves. It was so freaking cold! Chelsea is a pretty brave soul, and kept going back and forth to put water in the pails to build sandcastles. You can tell by her reaction how cold the water was...
She eventually got used to it, and just enjoyed the crashing of the waves against her...legs.
^^^ and Lexie just relaxed the entire time. ^^^
^^^ and Noah would get tempted to go into the water which he did end up doing, but after falling while a wave was crashing did not go back in again. (too bad I didn't get that on camera!) ^^^  
Although we had some recreational fun on this day I'm glad we took the time to think of the fallen from the past, and to remember them on this day. 

Every year Memorial day becomes more, and more meaningful to me, and the first thing I want to do on this holiday before any fun is to pay our respects for all who have died. How nice, and peaceful it would be if our troops would return home. But until that day comes I will always, always keep them in our prayers.

And I hope your Memorial Day was lovely too! 

Delaware Art Museum.

A couple of years ago when I rented a car from enterprise they gave me a bunch of pamphlets of places to tour, and see. I really had no interest in them because some of them were in small towns around New Jersey. It didn't interest me then, but it does now. Lately I have been on a quest to seek out fun things to do for my kids for the summer, and that's when I remembered the pamphlets. I ended up driving back to enterprise to request them, and this time I am keeping them. There are so many fun sights to see around our neck of the woods that I totally took for granted...including the small state of Delaware. 

So this past Saturday we decided to check out the Delaware Art Museum. This hidden treasure is tucked away in the beautiful town of Wilmington. It's located in a quaint, residential area surrounded by a lot of trees! This museum was perfect. Admission prices are extremely affordable, and on Sundays the fees are waived! The collection of art displayed is a mixture of Howard Pyle who is a Wilmington Native who died in 1911, British Pre-Raphaelites, John Sloan, and a lot of American art that dates from the 19th Century to present day. 

Here are some of our moments spent at the museum... 

^^^  black and white photos dated from the early 1900's ^^^
^^^ there's a journal left on the table for visitors to sign, and give their thoughts on the curator who displayed these black and white photos. ^^^
^^^ Chelsea is doing a puzzle, and matching up the pieces as displayed in the case. They are called tobacco jars, and are in the forms of birds, and a grotesque. Apparently men would hide their treasures in them. ^^^
^^^ Reminds me of the Armor of God. ^^^
^^^ Thomas Jefferson and the Declaration of Independence. ^^^
^^^ Noah taking a break ^^^
There are sculptures on the grounds of the museum given as gifts in memory of specific artists, and I have to say that the grounds are absolutely breathtaking. There are a few benches where you can just sit, and relax and take in the beauty of this surrounding. The kids and I had a great time taking in this wonderful work of art, and just walking around enjoying the scenery. 
The kids discovered quite a bit including this amazing Labyrinth. 
Apparently it used to be a reservoir. I found Lexie doing some brisk walking, and I yelled out at her from above saying, "What are you doing?" She seemed as if she was in a daze concentrating on her mind or something. And she was! I felt bad because I interrupted her moment inside the labyrinth. She said she was trying to block me out because she said it was actually working! I left her alone, and she completed walking the labyrinth in about 20 minutes. 
Noah and Chelsea found this pile of stone rocks, and Noah was in heaven. I told him that the rocks were too hard to get out, and that they are there as a work of art. 
I loved every minute of this day, and my kids are really beginning to find out what art means to them. They are explorers, and have a big imagination when it comes to creating visions in their head.