Monday, August 29, 2011


Parker's "orange bike" is a hit. Any chance Parker can get to ride it he will. His red bike has been handed down to his neighbor buddy Krey. Whenever he rides it he tells us, "I like my orange bike" and "It's my favorite".

As you can tell from the sandals, brakes is a new concept.

He is getting it though as he has left some skid marks.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

We Love New York - Day 3 - Thursday July 14, 2011

On day 3 of our New York adventure we headed west to Niagara Falls. It was about a 2 hour drive from Pittsford but found it to be well worth the trip.

One of the first attractions we went on was the Maid of the Mist. It was a little boat that took us to the base of the horseshoe falls on the American side. As a souvenir we got some sweet blue ponchos that kept most of the water off.

There were gulls all over the park. Despite the signs saying not to feed the gulls, he couldn't resist and fed them and then chased them.

Another attraction was the Cave of the Winds. It was a walking tour to the base of the waterfall. Upon arriving at the deck there was a sign that read, "hurricane winds" and literally you walked right up to the falls. Melissa was a champ as she braved the winds and water and took Brock up to the deck. I took Parker up to the deck as well. Crazy? Perhaps. But hey its not every day you get to go to Niagara Falls right!

After drying off a little from the Cave of the Winds it was time to feed Brock. We found what we thought was a somewhat secluded spot and Melissa proceeded to change Brock. What happened next was right out of the movies. Almost immediately there were a bunch of Chinsese people swarming Brock. Without hesitation they picked him up and started passing him around like he was a hot potato while taking pictures. I picked up on their chinese and had a good chat with them. I couldn't resist taking a picture of the chinese people taking pictures of random Americans. Parker got in on the act as an older gentleman started chasing him and imitating him. Little did this man know that Parker was running funny because he too needed a diaper change.

We did everything we wanted to at Niagara falls minus the acquarium. Parker was beat and fell asleep during mid-afternoon. I don't blame him. We all were feeling the same way.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Though Grandpa and Grandma are companions in the mission field, Parker did his best to replace Grandma as Grandpa's companion. From the minute we arrived in Ogdensburg, Parker was by Grandpa's side. Not a bad first companion to have.

Soccer has never been an Esplin thing. What is the mission doing to Grandpa?
Parker and Grandpa in Lake Placid. Site of the "Miracle on Ice" - Olympics 1984
The North Pole
At the apartment as Elder Esplin makes phone calls
On the boardwalk in Ogdensburg
The Boldt Castle

Monday, August 22, 2011

We Love New York -July 11-18 - Days 1 & 2

It started with a mission call at Thanksgiving as we gathered around a map of New York.
Thanksgiving 2010 - Cedar City, UT

It continued as we added coins to a hat as a reminder of thetrip that would be coming.

It came and a week in New York left us saying, "WeLove New York". Here is a brief recap of the trip:

Day 1 (Monday night - Tuesday July11-12) Traveland Pageant

Though not able to provide pictures forthese first few days (computer hard drive crash), here is a brief recap.

We hopped on a red eye flight thattookoff at 9PMfrom Salt Lake. Parker's and Brock's first flight was an eventful one.We provided Parker with a Batman "Pack Pack" full of fun things to ease the flying pain. Parker was thrilled and Brock took it in stride. We had a layover in Las Vegas and thanks to a borrowed IPad, Parker was able totransition well. Our next stop was in Detroit. The final legof the flight was to Rochester, NY.

Having arrived in Rochester we quickly picked up our rental car and headed for our motel. The rental car lady (Mazie) was great. Upon seeing our hands full she seized the moment and sang songs to Brock. She was great with Parker and kept calling her "Mr. Parker".

With a little help from some locals we were able to find our hotel in Pittsford, NY. We attempted to get some rest and regroup but after a brief stay we headed out to go to Palmyra and the pageant that was that night. Upon parking at Cumorah we put our heads back and took a quick nap. It seemed to provide enough rest to get us through the night.
We were early enoughtowalkaround the pageant and have a chicken dinner under a big tent. We met some of thecastthat was mingling with the audience prior to the production. The pageant was great. Parker enjoyed it and even recognized the arrival of the Savior. Brock was restless but momtook care of business.

Day 2 - Wednesday July 13

Palmyra Temple

Having rested up a bit we were ready for a full day of church sites. The day began with Melissa doing a session in the Palmyra temple. The boys waited outside and walked around the temple grounds. Parker put his binoculars ("noclars") to use as he spotted Moroni ("Roni") on top of the temple.

Sacred Grove & Smith Farm

After a quick lunch "to go" in the car we went to the Sacred Grove. Parker was our tour guide as he led us through the "sacred jungle". It was fun to see him enjoy running (not in a disruptive way) through the grove in excitement to show us the way. Brock soaked in the peacefulness as he slept in the stroller.

Hill Cumorah

We made a quick stop and went to the top of Hill Cumorah. It was nice to get the perspective of where the plates would have been hidden in relation to where Joseph Smith lived.

Peter Whitmer Farm

Though we had to drive a distance to get here, it was nice to see where the church was first organized and to realize the significance of all of the great revelations and work done here in the early days of the church. With the boys both asleep we took turns going through the tour.

Grandin Print Shop

Our final church site stop was where the Book of Mormon was translated. We were really impressed with this site and felt of the sacrifice so many went to to have this event take place. Parker enjoyed seeing the presses and the process that they went through to do this. We also met up with some friends from Castle Dale who are serving in the Palmyra mission, Elder and Sister Jeffs. We had a wonderful visit with them.

After a full day of walking and traveling it was time to relax a little. We ate at a little pizza place in town and went to an ice cream shop that the missionaries swore was the best ice cream in town because of the size of the ice cream. I think Parker would agree.