Wednesday, December 17, 2008


After seeing nothing but memorials for three days solid now, I have come to the conclusion that some of these just don't make any sense at all!  Some of them are really meaningful.  The Lincoln Memorial is an awesome place, and there are many others that just make you appreciate, and want to give honor to the people they were built for.  Then there are some that just make you say, "What!?  I have no idea what that is supposed to be depicting."  Just so you know what mean, I took a picture of one such monument.  If after seeing this picture, anybody wants to shed some light on it for me, please feel free.  I admit, I am kind of intrigued.  
Both Amber and I have kind of reached that point in this vacation, when you are having a lot of cool experiences and enjoying yourself, but your own home is starting to sound pretty darn good.  I think everybody reaches this point at one time or another unless you REALLY love traveling.  We are still excited about what is ahead, it is just a little harder to get out of bed in the morning.   Plus it is still better than having to go to work 8 to 5, so we are still really happy we are out here.  Home=Good.  Work=Bad!!!

The next picture is a dead giveaway to anybody who has gone and seen the new movie "Bolt."  I saw the archway and just couldn't resist.  For your enjoyment and mine........

"It's a good day to die!"

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Washington DC

Really cool place.  There is just a reverence at the Lincoln Memorial.
Amber in front of the Lincoln Memorial.
Nice of them to remember to name something in Arlington Cemetery after me!
The Hills!
The changing of the guard at the Arlington cemetery.
Wow that is a good looking jacket.  No idea who that could be, but great jacket!
Amber for Amber.
The Hope Diamond.
After everything we saw today, The White House, Arlington Cemetery, the christmas lights in front of the White House, the Museum of Natural History, etc., by majority vote, this was the most beautiful thing we saw today.  The DC Temple is enormous and it is beautiful with it's Christmas display of lights.  Plus the traffic is a LOT better around it than in downtown DC.

Monday, December 15, 2008


Gee Whiz Fact #1: They ruined a perfectly good cannon by filling it with cement! What injustice!
Gee Whiz Fact #2: The trail known as the sunken road was filled up with so many bodies that you could walk straight across from right to left without dropping down. The fallen soldiers bodies filled the entire length and width of this road.

Gee Whiz Fact #3: The bloody cornfield. The entire crop of corn was completely mowed down during the battle through the sheer amount of bullets flying around. Not a single plant was left standing.

Gee Whiz Fact #4: Amber is REALLY cute!!! It's okay, this is Grant typing, not Amber, so I can say that!

Gee Whiz Fact #5: The Burnside Bridge was an area of great loss to the Union soldiers. They lost thousands of men trying to take this bridge. 500 Kentucky sharpshooters were placed at elevated positions along the opposing bank making this part of the battle a mere shooting gallery. The entire first union campany that tried taking this bridge was obliterated with minimal casualties to the confederates.

Gee Whiz Fact #6: When Amber and Brent get bored, they have no problem trespassing in the search of the next great adventure!!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Ye Olde Homestead - Cumberland

In the year 2000! In the year 2000!!

In the year 2000, Grant Biesinger will return to the land of his childhood, but more importantly...THE FRUIT BOWL!!!

Today we backtracked from Hagerstown to Cumberland, MD...see!

These lights are at a Christmas lights show at Rocky Gap State Park. See...

It has been one of those surreal experiences. For years I've had memories of this place far far away where I used to live. Memories of catching garden snakes, and pulling rocks out at the rock pit. Shooting up an old abandoned house with a bb gun. All of the fun stuff that an 8 year old would remember. Now I've officially revisited the land of my memories. We took off at the 68 and went up Long Dr, then Shortest Day Road, turned up Butler Drive and to the house of mischief!Anyway, without making a long story even longer, we went to (deep breath) the Fruit Bowl, Bob Evans, The Bowler, Country Club Mall, Downtown Cumberland, Cash Valley Elementary, our old church, saw the County Market was out of business, and just saw the area in general. Whew! And speaking of the elementary school...

Surprisingly enough, in the mind of a 6 to 9 year old the name of the school got changed to "Trash Alley." Yeah pretty clever. I know.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Maryland Trip Day 2

Carthage!!! After driving a full night and almost the rest of the next day, my cohorts (Brent - Amber's Father, Moana - Amber's Mother, Nick - Amber's Brother, and Amber - My Wife) and I reached a stopping point in our travels to Maryland. This is a picture of Carthage Jail that I took. It was the jail that the prophet Joseph Smith was killed in.
We took the tour and listened to the Elderly missionary who asked that he not be quoted. It seemed he was worried that he was going to be mis-quoted in the Ensign. I'm not sure what that was all about. So all I can say is he talked about Joseph and Hyrum Smith's deaths.

This is the staircase that the mob rushed up to reach the room where Joseph Smith, Hyrum Smith, John Taylor and Willard Richards were being held. The room is up the stairs and to the right.
Next is a picture of a bullet hole in the door. The bullet that created this hole continued through the left side of Hyrum's nose and killed him almost instantly.

He was the first on to fall during the attack. Next John Taylor ran to the window and was struck in the hip by a bullet fired from the doorway, then next by a bullet that came in through the window. The second bullet hit his pocketwatch. Next Joseph Smith went for the window. As he made his move to the window we was struck almost simultaneously by two bullets fired from the doorway and two bullets fired in through the window, mortally wounding him as he fell out the window. This window in fact...

This is a picture of Amber and I outside of the Carthage Jail.

After we were done here we went to Nauvoo to try to see a few of the sights there and to check in to our hotel. The first big site, and in my opinion the most beautiful thing to see here in Nauvoo is the recently reconstructed Nauvoo temple. It is much prettier in person than in any photograph. Nonetheless, here is another picture of it.
We reached the temple just as the sun was setting. It was awesome to see it sparkle in the warmth of the setting sun. Next we proceeded just down the road to see the Mansion House, the Red Brick Store, and the site where the Joseph, Emma and Hyrum are buried.
This is a picture of the sign at the front of the site where their bodies are layed, along with the wording.
“Smith Family Cemetery
The Smith Family Cemetery is the final resting place of Joseph Smith, his wife Emma, and brother Hyrum, Lucy Mack and Joseph Smith Sr., and many other family members and friends.
After Joseph and Hyrum were assassinated at the Carthage jail on June 27, 1844, their bodies were returned to Nauvoo where they laid in state in the dining room of the Mansion House. Fearing for the safety of the bodies, the coffins were emptied and buried in a tomb near the temple while the bodies were secretly buried between the foundation walls of the Nauvoo House. When construction of the Nauvoo House resumed in 1845 they were secretly reburied under a small building (now reconstructed) southwest of the Homestead.
In 1928, Frederick Madison Smith, president and prophet of the church from 1915-1946 and grandson of Joseph Smith Jr., hired Kansas City, Missouri, surveyor W.O. Hands to locate the unmarked graves of Joseph and Hyrum. Once located, they were moved a few feet north and reburied for the final time.”
-Community of Christ
So basically here is a picture of the three different places where their bodies were buried, including their final resting place.
So, the first place they were buried war in the top left of the picture, with empty coffins buried at the base of the tree where the granite gravemarkers are currently located. Then when construction was continued on the red brick building in the back the bodies were moved and buried under where the shed is now, in the far right of the picture. They were later moved and buried under the granite gravemarkers that now correctly mark the final resting place of their mortal bodies.
Here's the Red Brick Store. Lots of history there.
*Sigh* A lot of info, right? It was all fascinating to see in person. It has kind of brought home to me the actual esixtence of a man that I have only ever heard about. Now that I've been to some of the places he's been and seen and heard these things, it all seems a lot more real to me!
It has been a fun trip so far and there is still a lot to see and share. For now you'll just have to make due with a picture of me! Followed up by a beautiful picture of the sunset to wash the nasty taste of my self portrait out of your mouth!!!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Its the time of year...

For Birthdays and Christmas Trees!!

Last sunday, which would be the 7th, I celebrated the 23rd Day of my Birth! It was brought it with a BANG on Friday, with Laser Tagging and Money spending at BoonDocks with my family and Grant and I's awesome buddy Jason!! It was followed by a crazy day out at Jordan Landing Saturday where we watched Bolt with again the amazing Jason, and The Handsomest Grant! Then an all too cool Birthday Party for Grants Brother Garrett later that night(I know it wasn't MY party but it was a riot none the less!) and the fun didn't stop there Oh no we were up unitl 1 a.m. making gingerbread..! On Sunday I was finally allowed to open presents, and as the day progressed I got many well wishes and got to witness the blessing of my newest nephew Asher. As everything is apt to do, the day ended but not without more well wishes and a HIGHLY out of tune, out of sync, out of pitch and I think I heard jingle bells amungst the mass of sound that was my birthday song from my beloved Isaacs. To put it simply I had the best birthday ever!

On to the tree: I wanted to make a traditional tree this year, or as Grant has called it 'White Trash'. Its TOTALLY not white trash and I made him take it back. Now, I underestimated the logistics of a traditional tree and now have more respect for those who would see this as a normal tree. It took me 3 days to put together, not really because it took a long time, just cause.. I didn't think it would take that long and didn't allot it its required amount. Between stringing enough popcorn, keeping the string away from the cat (he stole it, twice!) Making gingerbread, freezing the gingerbread, being impatient and rolling the gingerbread out before it was ready, then putting it away again, and assembling the tree.. putting lights on it, drilling holes in the poor gingerbreadmens head (that actually was pretty funny, good thing Grants got a steady hand) and then just putting it all together, its unlikely I'll do it again, but for what its worth it was fun and looks amazing!!

One of my men
(doesn't he look yummy!)

I know you love my blinds, but you should be looking at the TREE

Merry Christmas!