26 June 2009

Pillar of Salt?

"The Cousins"
Unlike Lot's wife...looking back can be fun!

Thanksgiving morning in Grandpa and Grandma's
backyard, 1999.  Left to right:  Doug, Ty, Scott,
Jeffrey, and Call.

Into my hearts treasury
I slipped a coin
That time cannot take
Nor thief purloin,

Oh, better than the minting
Of a gold-crowned king
Is the safe-kept memory
Of a lovely thing.

~ Sara Teasdale

Thanksgiving morning.  Same place...same people, 
same rakes and wheelbarrow...
 same love.  Year:  2008

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow
Creeps in this petty pace
from day to day.

~William Shakespeare

20 June 2009

Secrets. Numbers 102-104

(Photo Circa 1998)
Hats made by a very young Anne Marie

Several years ago our children gave Kris a small book
 entitled "101 Secrets A Good Dad Knows."  The
 Chapters include 'secrets' such as:

*How to Put a Worm on a Hook
*How to Shinny Up a Tree
*How to Pop a Wheelie
*How to Skip a Rock
*How to Slide into Second
*How to Find the North Star
*How to Rescue a Baby Bird
*How to Head a Soccer Ball
*How to Coo through Your Hands

After posting the photo above, I thought secret #102 in 
the book could have been "How to be a Good Sport."  

Robert Rowan, Marie's Father

Ten thousand high school students in Kansas were
asked what question they would ask their parents
and want an honest, direct answer about.  Eighty
percent replied:  "Do you love me?"  The next most
asked question: "If you had to do it all over again,
"Would you have me?"  How vital it is for fathers to
give their children a sense of personal worth, to let
them know they are loved and needed.
~Robert L. Backman

Secret #103 that a good dad knows, is how to 
raise a daughter that would never dream of
having to ask such questions.  

(He also taught me how to shift 
gears on a motorcycle.)

Dale Hyer, Kris' Father

The words that a father speaks to his children in 
the privacy of home are not heard by the world,
but, as in whispering-galleries, they are clearly
heard at the end and by posterity.
~Jean Paul Richter

Secret #104 that a good dad knows, is how to live
a life where lofty and poetic phrases such as the
one above become a reality...not just a grouping
of pretty words and thoughts.  Though Dale
passed away twenty years ago...his words are being
heard by his posterity.  His son shares them 
with our children.    

(He also taught Kris how to polish his shoes.)

~One Father is more than
a hundred schoolmasters.~

Happy Father's Day!

13 June 2009

To Build Faith

Kirtland, Ohio Temple

Because we are members of 
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
we wanted to take our children to visit some of the sacred
 and historical places significant to the history of the Church.
Six years ago we took our oldest two children, promising
our younger two we would do the same with them in time.
  Last week we returned from keeping our promise.
  Following is a little 'tour' of our travels.

Nauvoo, Illinois Temple

 Of course, it is our prayer as parents, that the memories
made and feelings felt together as a family while walking
some of these paths will help in building and securing faith.

Palmyra, New York Temple

Our very own Church History "Tour"

Oh, How Lovely Was The Morning!

Oh, how lovely was the morning! 
Radiant beamed the sun above.
Bees were humming, sweet birds singing, 
Music ringing thru the grove,
When within the shady woodland 
Joseph sought the God of love.

Humbly kneeling, sweet appealing,
'Twas the boy's first uttered prayer.
When the pow'rs of sin assaling,
Filled his soul with deep despair;
But undaunted, still he trusted
In his Heav'nly Father's care.

Suddenly a light descended, 
Brighter far than noonday sun,
And a shining glorious pillar
O'er him fell, around him shone,
While appeared two heav'nly beings, 
God the Father and the Son.

"Joseph, this is my Beloved;  Hear him!"
Oh, how sweet the word!
Joseph's humble prayer was answered,
And he listened to the Lord.
Oh, what rapture filled his bosom,
For he saw the living God.

~~George Manwaring

Joseph Smith wrote about the first prayer he
 ever offered aloud, here in the Sacred Grove.  
We know that the sacred events he describes taking place 
 here in the grove really occurred.  From the first time I read
 Joseph Smith's personal account in its entirety as a young
 woman, I have never doubted the reality of his testimony. 
We know he was a Prophet of God.  We know God is real
and that Jesus Christ truly is our Savior 
and Redeemer...and that He lives.

Music Ringing Thru The Grove

"Bees were humming,  sweet birds singing,
Music ringing through the grove."
                        (Turn your sound up.)

12 June 2009

Sacred Places

Palmyra, New York Temple
Atop the Hill Cumorah

Call and Ty phoned their Grandma Hyer
and Grandma and Grandpa Rowan
from the top of the Hill Cumorah.

Walking down Cumorah's Hill

This is the room where the Angel Moroni appeared
to Joseph Smith repeatedly as a young boy.  Many places
have been built upon original sites.  This is the
 Joseph Smith Sr. family log home.

Fayette, New York
April, 6, 1830
Organization of:
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

This is inside the reconstructed home of Peter Whitmer. 
 It was built on the original site.  

Kirtland Area

Although this was our second time visiting Kirtland,
we could have stayed and stayed.  It was one of my 
favorite places.  The area is rich with Church History,
it is beautiful to look at, and the sacred spirit
that exists here is undeniable. 

The Community of Christ Church (which owns the Kirtland
Temple) has built a new visitors center since our last visit.  
Following the movie they present to visitors, the curtains in the 
room open to unveil the beautiful temple standing directly
 in front of you.  They have done a beautiful job.   

Significant truths revealed here:
Doctrine and Covenants, Sections 41-44 for sure.
70 and 72 probably
The John Johnson Farm

Significant truths revealed here:
Doctrine and Covenants, Sections 1, 65, 67-69, 71, 73-74
76-81, 99, 133

Not surprisingly, all of the historic Church sites have
been restored and are maintained in the most
expertise and beautiful manner. 

This is the room inside the John Johnson farm where the twins
were sleeping on the night that Joseph was tarred and
feathered.  He would have been sleeping in a small trundle bed
such as the one above with one of the twins. 

**The Church has restored all of the painting on the floor and wall
to its original coloring.  In some of the rooms one can look
at a section of the original wood that reveals the original color.
A matching color was used during renovation.  It is a very 
colorful home which was a a sign of prosperity.

Outside the John Johnson farm.  The porch is the actual
porch that the Prophet Joseph stood on and preached
from the morning after being tarred and feathered.

On Wings and Wheels With A Few Stops In Between

Well, there's only so much one can
do on an airplane, ya know?

'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free,
'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.

When true simplicity is gain'd,
To bow and to bend we shan't be asham'd,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning, we come round right.

~American Shaker Hymn          

Then WHAMMO!  From the sublime...to the
oh-so-worldly!  Fun fun stop at the Rock and
Roll Hall of Fame, located in Cleveland, Ohio.   
When we were here several years ago the special exhibit
featured the Beatles.  As you can see from the
sign on the building behind the boys, this year
it was Bruce Springsteen.

On the road again...

Oh, I've got a mule and her name is Sal
Fifteen miles on the Eerie Canal.
She's a good ole' worker and a good ole' pal,
Fifteen miles on the Eerie Canal.

We've hauled some barges in our day,
filled with lumber, coal, and hay...
And we know every inch of the way
From Albany to Buffalo.

(So do we.)

True To The Faith

Nauvoo, Illinois Temple

True to the faith that our parents have cherished,
True to the truth for which martyrs have perished,
To God's command, soul, heart, and hand,
Faithful and true we will ever stand.

~~Evan Stephens

Blacksmith Shop

Oh, I'm sorry.  Were you under the mistaken
impression that these guys folded their arms
and walked around reverently for a week?

Oxen like the pioneers would have used. 

 With the Mississippi located in the background, this spot
 is just in front of Parley Street which many of the Saints 
walked down on their way to cross the river, beginning their
 historic, heart wrenching, and hope filled Trek West.  A simple 
'Trail of Hope' is also situated  here with numerous markers
 describing the many personal and painful stories.
   A sample:


~~Some had covers drawn over their wagons while others had
only a sheet drawn over a few poles to make a tent.  Sometimes
these rude tents were the only covering for the while keeping
the watchman post in the darkness of the night.  I wept over the
distressed condition of the Saints.  Toward the dim light of
 many a flickering lamp have my eyes been directed because 
of the crying of children, the restless movements of the aged,
 infirm and mournful groan of many suffering from fever. 
 These have made an impression on
my mind which can never be forgotten.  (Gilbert Belnap)

~~...here we all halted and took a farewell view of our delightful City.
We also beheld the magnificent Temple rearing its lofty tower towards
the heavens.  My heart did swell within me.  (Newel Knight)

~~My last act in that precious spot was to tidy the rooms, sweep up
the floor, and set the broom in its accustomed place behind the
door.  Then with emotions in my heart...I gently closed the door
and faced an unknown future; faced it with faith 
in God and with no less assurance of the ultimate
 establishment of the Gospel in the West
and of its true, enduring principles, than I had
 felt in those trying scenes in Missouri.  (Bathsheba Smith)

~~I was in Nauvoo on the 26th day of May 1846 for the last time,
and left the city of the Saints feeling that most likely I was taking a final
farewell of Nauvoo for this life.  I looked upon the temple 
and City as they receded from view and asked 
the Lord to remember the sacrifices
of his Saints.  (Wilford Woodruff)

~~We hurried to pack some food, cooking utensils, clothing and
bedding, which was afterward unpacked and strewn over the ground
by the mob as they searched for fire-arms.  Mother had some
bread already in the kettles to bake.  Of course she did not
have time to bake, so she hung it on the reach of our wagon and cooked
it after we crossed the Mississippi River.  (Mary Field Garner)

~~Without fire and something warm to eat, all would suffer through
the night.  Seeing no other way, I emptied a large valuable chest,
highly prized, split it up with the hatchet, and soon had a warm
supper; then in the freezing storm, we crowded into our wagon 
and remained there through the night.  (Benjamin F. Johnson)

~~As Sarah Leavitt and her daughters tried
 to comfort her sick husband, he began to sing, 'Come Let
 us anew, our journey pursue...'  He
sang that hymn as long as he had strength to sing it and
then wanted Elisa, one of his daughters, to sing it.  He died
without a struggle or a groan.  (Sarah Leavitt)

On June 24, 1844, the Prophet Joseph Smith, with his brother Hyrum,
and in company with seventeen other men, left Nauvoo for Carthage,
on what would be his final horse ride, to answer charges against him 
for "riot."  When they arrived at the intersection of Mulholland and
 Wells, Joseph gazed at the beautiful Temple, then looked toward 
Nauvoo and the Mississippi River and said, "This is the loveliest
place and the best people under the heavens.  Little 
do they know the trials that await them."  

Calm As A Summer's Morning

On June 27, 1844, Joseph and his brother Hyrum were 
martyred.  His prophetic words: "I am going like a lamb
to the slaughter but I am calm as a summer's morning.  I
have a conscience void of offense towards God, and towards
all men.  I shall die innocent, and it shall yet be said of me--
he was murdered in cold blood," became a reality.

Praise to the man who communed with Jehovah!
Jesus anointed that Prophet and Seer.
Blessed to open the last dispensation,
Kings shall extol him, and nations revere...

...Hail to the Prophet, ascended to heaven!
Traitors and tyrants now fight him in vain.
Mingling with Gods, he can plan for his brethren;
Death cannot conquer the hero again.

~~William W. Phelps

Sitting by the graves of Joseph, Emma and Hyrum.

The graves of Joseph, Emma and Hyrum are located to the
right of Joseph and Emma's home in Nauvoo.  Over-
looking the Mississippi, this is a beautiful and peaceful place.
We stood here and read several excerpts from my father's
journal because he served his mission in the Northern State's
Mission.  He both began and concluded his mission in
this hallowed place and relates many special experiences in 
his journal, including an all-mission conference which
 took place in part in back of this home on the lawn.

(We ended our week by visiting Niagara Falls,
as you can see in the last few entries below.)

11 June 2009

Didn't Really Need To Shower Today

Ya just can't go to Niagara Falls and not take a
ride on the Maid of the Mist.  They are nice to
hand out the blue poncho's.  They helped.  
A little.  

A Day in CanaNewdaYork

So far, so good.  Eventually,   
they got drenched.

Did you know that Niagara Falls straddles the Canadian-
United States International Border? (Yes, we had to show
our Passports.)  This means that the Falls are both in the
Province of Ontario and the state of New York.

I did not remember that these are the second largest falls
on the globe--next to Victoria Falls in South Africa.
(I still love our "little" Yosemite Falls that sit right
here in our own back yard.)

On our way to the top of the
Skylon Tower for dinner...

At the top of the tower.  It rotates all of the way around
about one time every hour.  The view was
okay, I guess.  

Time To Head Home...

Hearts plenty full...
It's time to head home.  

09 June 2009

Changing Seasons

Friendship isn't a big thing.
It's a million little things.
(Call and friends following H.S. Graduation)
How did it get so late so soon?
It's night before it's afternoon.
December is here before it's June.
My goodness how the time has flewn.
How did it get so late so soon?

~~Dr. Seuss

Are we not like two
volumes of the
same book?

~~Marceline Disbordes-Valmore

Ty Rowan Hyer
Grandpa and Grandma Rowan
as he completes Junior High.  Teal
cords represent placement
on the honor roll.  
Derek and Ty...buddies for the
last eight years.