Sunday, January 12, 2014

     Celebrating at the 

Joseph Smith Birthplace Memorial

Putting up the Christmas Lights at 

 the Joseph Smith Birthplace Memorial

The first thing we did was put lights on the frame that the men built for the covered bridge.  This was my first day working in the lift with Lizzy Arnold and Melanie Billin.  I discovered it wasn't  as scary as I thought it would be.
I found Melanie to be a very good driver of the lift.  It takes practice.

Me in the lift.
Melanie and Lizzy in the lift.  This is a little higher than I dare to go yet.

 Some time during the middle of October, Brent and I working on a maple tree near the front gate.  It was a perfect day to hang lights.  
Brent and Melanie near the Front Gate,

At the Front Gate. 

View from the lift.  Front Gate and the Gator on the ground.

Brent in the lift.  Notice the harness that we have to wear.  It is heavy for me and gets kind of heavy after a few hours plus it is awkward because we are hooked in and it gets in the way.

One of 50 tubs of light that we checked and hung.  There are about 3,000 lights in each box.  Do the math.

Brent hanging lights from the ground.  We worked on many small trees and bushes.
One method for putting lights on a bush was to put the end of the string of light into a cut in a tennis ball
and throw the ball over the bush.  This actually worked quite well, especially when I put a rock
 inside the ball to give it more weight.

Notice the coveralls that I wore to keep warm.  They were a nice fashion statement.

The poles had hooks on the end to help position the lights when you couldn't reach the
branches on the trees and bushes.  It took a little practice, but we learned how to use them.

There were 40 Poinsettias delivered for the residence and the Visitors Center.  They were beautiful but had to be watered and tended every day.

There were many Nativities displayed in the Residence.

Most of the Nativities belong
 to Elder and Sister Johnson who are the Visitor Center Directors.

All of the visitors during Dec. were invited into the Visitor Center to see the Nativity sets and have hot cider and cookies.  It was open until 9:00 every night and there were many visitors who came in for treats.

The children could play with this Nativity.

Tree in the Visitor center

Tree in the Residence.

The following pictures were taken of the lights.

The stable and star used in the Live Nativity, The star is on the flagpole. 

Taken from the stable after the live nativity.

The map in our shop where we planned which trees to decorate and make off when they were finished. We started on October 10 and  finished on November 28.  We did a few lights after the Nativity on the night the lights came on.

Costumes for the Live Nativity

Getting ready for the Live Nativity on the 2 nights after Thanksgiving.

Brent helping build the shed for the animals.
The sheep and donkey stayed the entire time the lights were on.  They were a great
attraction for the children.  It also took some time every day to feed and water them and
clean out the shed.

Visitor Center Poinsettias

Visitor Center Poinsettias

Two of the bushes that the Sisters helped decorate.  We used the tennis ball.

Our daughter, Melanie, visited.  She loved the bridge.  She said it was "magical" to walk through it.
One of our ward members, Rachel, got engaged under the bridge on Christmas night.
We celebrated Joseph Smith's Birthday on Dec. 23.  It was a highlight of our Mission.

This is the original hearthstone from the home where Joseph Smith was born.

The Parker brothers playing "Praise to the Man" on the night of Joseph Smith's Birthday, Dec. 23.  It was a
moment that I will always remember.

The Parker family played during the Birthday Celebration.  It was an honor to hear them.  They are a great family.

The night after the big snow storm.  It was so beautiful

Visitor Center

This is the tree Brent and I did together.  It was cold, but we worked hard.  When it was almost
done, I couldn't go up any higher so Paul helped Brent finish it.  

Fence along the road.  The Young Men and Young Women put up these lights under the direction  of the Shefchiks.

Brent and Bill Shefchik did these trees and Brent and I put the lights along the lane.

Taken from inside the bridge.

Melanie and I put up this little arch over the stone bench.  I don't think anyone sat on it.

All the work was worth it.