Archive for the 'Church' Category

Sunday Evening at Quang’s!

Sunday, July 12th, 2009


It’s been a great day today. Parker and I woke up this morning and got his girls ready for church and we went to his ward (my old ward too). It was cool. Everybody was really warm and welcoming there (well, almost.). Then afterward, we headed back to Christians and had a crazy lunch mixing up a bunch of different stuff. Serious this is why your’re fat action. We’re talking peanut butter and chocolate chips on top of strawberry nutri-grain bars. DELICIOUS!

Click to continue reading “Sunday Evening at Quang’s!”

Palmyra Trip 2009

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

So at the very beginning of April (almost two months ago), Marylynn’s parents came out to visit us and we thought to ourselves, “well heck, they’ve seen our apartment plenty of times, and it’s full of boxes, why don’t we just take them on a little church history trip to see Palmyra?” So we told them our idea and they got all giddy. We went, had a great time and here are the pictures to prove it.

So the night before we left for Palmyra we headed out to Cheeburger Cheeburger in scenic Lawrenceville for dinner.

Grandpa and Buster
I think Grandpa is cutting off one of Buster’s fingers here. I think Buster likes it.

Daddy and Cricket
Me and Crick-a-Lick.

Finn and Mary Barnum
My two favorite Marys.

Mary Barnum and Cricket
Grandma and Cricket. Nice glamour shots pose!

The next day we piled into the car and headed up about five hours to upstate New York to the tiny town of Palmyra. Now if you don’t know, Palmyra is where our Church (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, commonly known as the Mormon Church) was founded. The Prophet Joseph Smith who was called to restore Christ’s church from ancient times was a farm boy in Palmyra. A lot more happened there, that I’ll touch on that later. Over hereis a more detailed account.) Our first stop was to visit the Smith Family Farm.

Palmyra Temple
The Palmyra Temple was built only a few years ago and is right across the street from the Smith Family farm.

Palmyra Temple
Here’s a better shot of it we took a few days later.

The Smith Family Cabin
This is the cabin where Joseph and his family grew up (nine kids in this tiny place!!).

Alvin's Tree
This tree was planted in memory of Joseph’s oldest brother, Alvin after he died at the age of 27 (?). Cool to see how big it is now.

Don and Mary at the Homestead
My awesome in-laws, Don and Mary in front of the Smith family homestead. They built this home later on. I guess the cabin was getting too small…?

All of us inside the homestead
Here we are inside the homestead. Other people have lived here in the past 150 years, but since the church bought it a long time ago, they’ve restored it and re-created what it was like before.

The Family
This is our family.

Smith Homestead and Barn
A shot of the barn and homestead from out back.

Buster Going Into The Sacred Grove
Buster running ahead of us on our way to the Sacred Grove.

Buster and Cricket in the Sacred Grove
Cricket and Buster right when we got into the Sacred Grove. Cricket was grumpy about something.

The Sacred Grove
So this is what we call the Sacred Grove. This is where Joseph Smith went at age 14 to pray to see which church was the true church and he received the First Vision.

The Sacred Grove (sunshine)
“The First Vision” is when God the Father and Jesus Christ appeared to him and told him that none of the churches held the full truth and that they were all in error. Joseph learned here that he would be called to restore Christ’s church as it was established during His ministry.

Log w/ Mushrooms
So, the First Vision took place in early April, 1820 and is often represented in paintings and church films as taking place in a lush, leafy green forest. It was interesting to be there at the very same time of year. The trees were still bare and there was a stillness in the air.

Nature Shot
I experimented with the macro zoom a bit on the camera and got some cool results.

Nature Shot
More macro nature shots…

Nature Shot
I like this one a lot. I used it for the art of my last podcast episode.

Nature Shot
In the early spring, we could see leaves just starting to bud. Mary pointed out to me that it was such an appropriate time for the Gospel to be restored. A time of renewal, new life and hope. I thought that was amazing.

Don & Mary
Mary and Don in the Sacred Grove.

Smith Cabin
The Smith Family Cabin from behind.

Don & Mary @ Hill Cumorah Visitor's Center
After that (was it the next day? I think so. I can’t remember) we went to the Hill Cumorah monument. The angel Moroni led Joseph Smith to the Hill Cumorah where the golden plates were buried. Joseph later translated these plates and that’s what the Book of Mormon is. Today there stands a monument up on top and a visitor’s center below. Every year there is ths hill Cumorah pageant there, where key parts of the Book of Mormon are acted out.

Our Family
Here’s our little family on top of the Hill Cumorah. You can’t tell from this picture, but it’s actually pretty high up. Well, at least higher than I had expected.

Looking Down from on Top
Here’s looking down from the top.

Mary and Marylynn
Marylynn and her mommy are strolling along the ridge of the hill. It drops of pretty steep on the back side as well.

Moroni Monument
This is the Angel Moroni monument on the top of the hill. He’s also the little golden guy blowing a trumpet on top of our temples. Kind of a cool picture.

Cricket, Buster & Moroni
Cricket, Buster & Moroni.

Cricket and Buster on the Hill Cumorah
Cricket and Buster on the Hill Cumorah. Watch your step, guys!!

Flowers on the Hill
Reminders of new life were all around.

Cricket at the Monument
Cricket my sweet.

Buster and Cricket at the Monument
Buster and Cricket at the Monument again.

Hill Cumorah Marker Stone
Hill Cumorah Marker Stone. To read it easier, click to view the original size over at Flickr.

Atop the hill
This paints a clearer picture of the steepness of the hill. I think Marylynn and her dad were talking about me.

Our Family at the Monument
Our Family at the Monument.

Got a few more nature shots on our way down the back side of the mountain. These are blossoms

Cricket going down the Hill
Cricket gave me funny looks.

Budding Leaves
Budding Leaves

On the Trail Down The Hill
On the trail down the hill.

Hill Cumorah Visitors Center
Hill Cumorah Visitors Center

Buster Doubling up on the Audio Commentary
Buster doubled up on the audio commentary in the Visitors Center. Must have sounded awesome in stereo!

Cricket Doubling up on the Audio Commentary
Cricket agreed it was a good idea.

Braille Book of Mormon
Marylynn practiced her Braille with a sample copy of the Book of Mormon… in Braille.

Happy Meal Break
Afterwords, we headed over to McDonalds for lunch. Happy meals made them happy apparently.

Me and Don
Me and Don. I think he was describing his evil plot to destroy the world! Muwahahaha…

Don at the Peter Whitmer Farm
Then we headed over to the Peter Whitmer Farm. Donnie was checking to see how sturdy the sign was.

The Meeting House at the Whitmer Farm
The Meeting House at the Whitmer Farm… and Cricket.

Buster, Grandma and Cricket
Buster, Grandma and Cricket outside the Peter Whitmer cabin

Peter Whitmer Cabin
Peter Whitmer’s cabin. This is where the church was first organized.

All of Us at Peter Whitmer's
All of us.

Inside Peter Whitmer's
Inside the Cabin. The first Sacrament Meeting was held here. OK, well not THE first (that would have been the last supper), but you know what I mean.

Book of Mormon
A replica of a first edition Book of Mormon in the upper bedroom.

Old School Bedroom
The hotel we stayed at wasn’t as modernized as we had hoped.

Don at the Book of Mormon Publication Site
Then we went over to the Book of Mormon Publication Site in Palmyra. And that tall guy is Don.

Inside Book of Mormon Publication Site
They recreated what the publishing offices looked like.

Inside Book of Mormon Publication Site
More inside the publishing house.

Book of Mormon Printing Press
The Book of Mormon printing press.

Buster at the Printing Press
Buster was mr. wiggly pants by this time.

Grandma and Cricket
Back at the hotel, Grandma and Cricket got a few cuddles in before bedtime.

Cricket in her Nightgown
Cricket in her nightgown that Grandma Becky made for her. I love this photo. She’s so lovely.

Kids sleeping at the Hotel
Kids sleeping at the hotel. Buster wasn’t used to the new place and wet the bed… my apologies to the cleaning lady!!

Snowy Palmyra
This snow storm hit as we were leaving. Perfect timing!!

Cricket and Buster
Cricket and Buster love each other at a Dunkin’ Donuts somewhere on the way home.

It was a really fun trip and I’m glad we could do it. We moved a few days later. What a crazy week! But it was well worth it.

Hope Ya Know, We Had a Hard Time

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

Thanks to Mary Barnum and Parker who shared this video with me. I finally watched it this morning and it hit home harder than… well, pretty hard. Beautiful message and very personal for me. Thank you.

Teeth! (and Glasses)

Monday, February 2nd, 2009

Cricket and Buster got new glasses yesterday. There was a sale at JC Penny’s and we needed a back-up pair for both of them. We liked these new ones so much more that they have become their primary glasses. See for yourself:

New Glasses

But the really big news around here today is that CRICKET LOST HER FIRST TOOTH!

First Missing Tooth!

Click to continue reading “Teeth! (and Glasses)”


Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

As I’ve been working on my portfolio site, I decided to scan a bunch of silly drawings I’ve done over the past year or two of people. Often times, during long meetings I like to draw the people around me, especially the ones doing the speaking. So if you go to church with me or worked at VMU with me, then chances are I’ve drawn you. I’m interested in faces and the different shapes and features and how I can bring them out the best ways. I hope I don’t bum anybody out with my interpretations. So, without further ado here’s a bunch of my favorites.

Cricket and Buster

Click to continue reading “Sketches”

In San Diego!

Wednesday, October 8th, 2008

I’m in San Diego on a business trip. Last night we got to have dinner right across the freeway from the temple! Not to mention it was at Islands, which was totally delicious. It was pretty good time. Unfortunately I fly back this afternoon, so it doesn’t leave much time for visiting friends or anything. I feel like quite the jet-setter these days.

I just snapped this pic out the window of the lobby here in the Hilton Hotel I’m staying at. Gotta hand it to my boss, Marc D… he’s the man. :)

Hotel Pool

Christmas Party Pix + Video!

Monday, December 17th, 2007

bunch of pictures and even a couple video clips! And now that I’ve got my killer Gallery plug-in running on this blog it didn’t take me forever to put them up! woo woo!

Check out the photos! …or the videos below!

Cricket sings along to Jingle Bells!

Cricket and Lexi did the “Christmas Dance” (aka hyperactive flailing) without the aid of any music at all!)

Trunk or Treat

Sunday, November 4th, 2007

It has been a really crazy past couple weeks. I’ve been slammed with work, slammed with freelance and had quite possibly the best weekend of my life. I had my 30th birthday, hung out with my best buddy Quang in NYC, celebrated Halloween, went to PA THREE times and yesterday I made a major purchase that may or may not have been a good idea…. But I’ll fill you all in on that stuff later (or not. we’ll see. All we are is dust in the wind… that’s like… groovy). So first things first! Let’s go back a week and take a look at our ward Trunk or Treat!

Click to continue reading “Trunk or Treat”

Pizza Arcades, Sleep, and a new Calling!

Sunday, September 16th, 2007

Yesterday was really fun because Marylynn had me take the kids out of the house (ok, apartment, who am I kidding?) so she could clean up a bit. So I took ‘em to Chuck E Cheese and it was pretty fun, but crowded! The games were fun and it was a lot less “gambling for children” as I remember it from last time I went, but seriously, whatever happened to the Rock-A-Fire Explosion? They were awesome, and honestly scared me quite a bit… It was really crowded with a (THANKFULLY) more diverse crowd than Orange County… It was crazy to see little ghetto kids with do rags and diamond stud earrings, but hey – that’s Jersey, baby!!

Then I took ‘em to Wendy’s for Frosties… which was fun for about five minutes until Buster dumped his frosty all over himself…. yeah. not cool. So I brought them home and cleaned them up and took them out to the park. They played on the playground for a bit and some of our friendly neighbors came by. So Cricket and Buster were playing with these two little boys. And of course, Cricket gets really friendly yelling “WHAT’S YOUR NAME!” to each of them (including their parents). And then Buster started giving handfulls of tanbark and dirt to their dad… it was cracking me up, because he was being really nice about it but Buster just kept on doing it over and over and over… funny kid.

Click to continue reading “Pizza Arcades, Sleep, and a new Calling!”

Easter Egg Hunt at the Players

Sunday, April 15th, 2007

Saturday afternoon, we took a break from Don and Mary’s visit to take Cricket to an Easter Egg Hunt for the Sunbeams at the Players’ house. It was lot of fun and got us in an Easter-y mood.

Cricket getting ready to find some eggs!

Click to continue reading “Easter Egg Hunt at the Players”