Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Wray Reunion 2012: Part II

Monday morning, we woke up early and headed down to the Smith Farm/Sacred Grove in Palmyra.  Again, it was great to be in these sacred places.  We first went on a tour then went into the Sacred Grove.  I didn't take very many pictures and the ones that I did take with just with my point and shoot.

Here is the Smith home.  This is where they Smith family lived when Joseph received the First Vision:

Vince, Paxton and Josh inside the Smith home:

The Wray kids.  This is the room where Angel Moroni appeared to Joseph Smith.

The Palmyra Temple.  It's beautiful!  President Hinckley requested a few trees to be removed in order to have this beautiful scene.

Little Miss Reese...I just love this picture of her

The whole gang outside of the barn  (compliments of Becca)

We then headed into the Sacred Grove.  What a sweet spirit.  In this grove of trees is where Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph Smith.

While we were in the Sacred Grove, we took family pictures (hence the all white shirts and blue jeans).  These last two pictures are compliments of Becca as well.  She did a great job with them!

After a quick picnic in the Sacred Grove, we all packed up and headed to Niagara Falls.  I have been here three times in my life now and for some reason, it is one of my favorite places.  I love the park there and of course the falls are just stunning.   It's just a fun place to be.  Next time I go, I would love to have a passport and go to the Canadian side.

Here is the beautiful state park:

The Falls with Canada in the distance

McKenzi...I'm so glad she was able to come.  We were both really excited to meet her and are so glad that we were able to meet her BEFORE the wedding.  Living so far away, there are just too many in-laws that we haven't met until the actual wedding.  We love McKenzi and know she is just perfect for Chase!

If you can't tell, I LOVE the American flag.  There is just something so beautiful and sacred about it.  Any time we are out and about and I see a flag, I just HAVE to take a picture.

We got to go on the Maid of the Mist.  It's always a blast and we always get way more wet than I expect.  Here is Josh on our ride to the falls:

Jill just having a good time.  I love this huge smile on her face :)

Andrew, Vince and Paige


This is Josh on the way back from the falls...just a little more wet :)

The gorgeous falls:

Josh, myself and Paige

From the observation deck.  The famous Horseshoe Falls are there in the far back...You can get a good picture of them from the American side.

Taylor and Josh waiting for everyone in the park:

We had a great time at the falls and for it being Memorial Day, it was not very crowded.  It was the perfect day to go.  The weather was beautiful and there weren't a ton of people.  We had a great time.  After we packed up, we headed back to Cleveland and spent the rest of the week around the area.  More to come soon...

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Wray Reunion 2012: Part I

Graduation was just the beginning of our crazy weeks ahead.  The week after graduation was spent packing, cleaning and getting ready to move and getting ready for company.  Because Josh's family was coming out to visit for a week and we were moving right after they left, we wanted to get just about everything we could done.  Plus I was still working.  It was a pretty crazy week but we did get a lot done.  Then on Saturday, May 26th, Josh's parents, siblings & their families all arrived in Cleveland.  And so the Wray Reunion began!

We had a great time with everyone and kept pretty busy.  The first day we kept it pretty easy.  We just hung around and talked.  That night we had a BBQ and played some more cornhole.

Even Rylee joined us and played some cornhole.  She played really well too.

Jill & Paige

Josh & Reese

Sunday is when the real fun began :)  We went to Sacrament meeting at church then took off for Palmyra, NY.  It was a fun trip.  Rylee, Reese and Paige rode with us.  It was pretty fun.  We stopped for a picnic for lunch and spent about an hour just looking for a place to eat.  We ended up finding a park that was right on the lake in a small town.  It ended up being the perfect place to stop and eat.  We weren't there for very long.  We quickly packed back up and continued our way.  That night we went to the Hill Cumorah.

Reese and Josh inside the visitors center.

Chase & Taylor

A first edition of the Book of Mormon:

After walking through the visitor's center, we walked up the huge Hill Cumorah.  It is just absolutely beautiful looking out over the area there.

Reese posing for the camera:

We were able to get a quick picture of everyone at the monument on the hill.  From left to right:
McKenzi, Chase, Becca, Taylor, Jill, Vince, Alexander, Josh, Paige, Me, Rylee, Reese, Paxton, Ashley and Andrew:

Josh & I

The beautiful monument.  What a great spirit that is there on these sacred grounds.  It was a great experience to be there.

And Josh doing the thinker....It's very hard to get him to take pictures:

After the Hill Cumorah, we went back to our hotel for dinner, FHE lesson and hang out time.  It was such a great time and is even better being there with family.  As this is where Joseph Smith received the golden plates which he translated and they became known as the Book of Mormon, this is a sacred place.  It beautiful and very peaceful.  Being at these early church sites really makes my testimony stronger as I know that these sacred events really did happen.

And this wraps up day 1 and 2 of the reunion.