Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's Eve in Longwood Gardens

Three blogs in one day must be a record!   
We really had a great new year's eve.  For Christmas Debbie got Rex a trip to Bethlehem, Pa to a model train museum.  It was really a nice layout, but oops, we forgot the camera.  We stopped back by home and then went to Longwood Gardens.  This beautiful park has over 1000 acres of plants and trees arranged in very unique areas.  They also have a large Conservatory with about 4 acres under glass and very climate controlled.
One of the Dupont family had it built many years ago. (You can look it up on the internet.)  They have every kind of plant imaginable, and at Christmas time they decorate it very nicely.  We took lots of pictures while we were there.  First, we'll show some of the day time pictures we took a few months ago.


                 The front entrance has lots of plants and trees around it

And they usually have some kind of theme event.
This event had some different sounds that can eminate from the forest

Look Closely
You can see the large wind chimes hanging from the tree outside a big tree house (with a large steel frame).

The tree house was guarded by a couple of dragons.

There was some great fall foliage when Bill Thomas was here to visit, and there was much to see with him.

We could show lots more pictures, and maybe we'll post a blog just on the gardens in the day, but now, on to our New Year's eve spectacle.

This is one of the walkways just inside the entrance.  Pictures just don't capture the glow.

This tree had hundreds of clear glass ornaments on it as well as the white lights.

On our way to the conservatory we passed this expanse where they have a fountain show during the day.  You'll see another picture from higher up a little later.

But we just had to see the "G" scale model trains first.

There were several.  Fortunately it wasn't real cold, because these are outside.

Here is that fountain area from the patio of the conservatory.

They had many beautiful trees inside.

Even a gingerbread man tree.


I tried to get the perspective here.  This was a really high room, with a sunken garden and lighted ceiling.  If I had photoshop I would have pieced these together.

The pipe organ at Longwood Gardens is one of the largest in the world.  There are some 10,010 pipes in 140+ ranks, which is 20 some more ranks than the organ in the Conference Center in Salt Lake City.  This organist is friends with Richard Elliot of the Tabernacle Choir.  We had a wonderful visit with him.  It was like a private recital.

His footwork was pretty fancy too!

So with a parting view of the conservatory,

and a view of some more lights,

We say "Good Night" to Longwood Gardens!

Twice in One Day! - We've Moved!

Shortly after we arrived in New Castle, Delaware the President came and asked us to begin working in the office, doing finance and records work.  From that time until last month we have been driving back and forth from New Castle to Broomall, Pennsylvania (a distance of about 35 miles) that took about an hour each way.  A new couple was assigned to our mission, so the President took pity on us and asked us to move nearer to the office, so we did.  Here are some pictures of our new place.  You should have our new address by now.

It is called Newtown Towers, and our apartment has a great view.

It is really a lot quieter than our old place.  It used to be a retirement place, but now they have some younger people here, but most of the people we meet here are kind of our age.
One of the nicer things is that they have several grocery carts available for tenants to use.  It makes hauling groceries and other stuff much nicer.  It has one elevator for the whole building of 45 apartments, so we have to wait occasionally.
The buildings are mostly concrete construction, but they have covered the floors with wooden tile.  They require you to have 80 percent coverage of the floors with carpets of some kind,

So, look what we found in the basement of the Mission Home.  These two oriental rugs were just rolled up and unused.  They had at one time tried to get rid of them without much success.  This one is in our Living Room.

And this one is in our Bedroom.  They are really beautiful, and fairly well match our furniture.

Let's Start the New Year Right!

Well, where to start?  Let's go back to the end of September.  As you know, when the Prophet Joseph Smith was working on the translation, they were in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania.  This was such a great time in the history of the church, and with President Schaefermeyer having been a seminary teacher, he though it would be great to hold some zone conferences there.  So, we had 3 days of conferences (for the 6 zones) and rented buses and took all of the missionaries there.
Here is the sign identifying the site, and this statue of John the Baptist with Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery.

Some local people like to get baptized right here
where Joseph and Olliver were.

This was a really lovely place to visit.  This grove of trees was where the Hale family had their home.

The Relief Society provided sack lunches for us.

Of course, the rains came in the afternoon, so we had a big tent, like the revival tents in Joseph's day, to eat under and then to receive some instruction in.