Making Friends:

Sariah-Lynn, Solomon, and Sondra Neas of Lakeland, Florida

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Sariah-Lynn (9), Solomon (7), and Sonnie—short for Sondra—(5), have many loves: their family, the gospel, their friends, and music. They like other things, too, as you will see in these pictures. But their family comes first, and they are grateful for the temple and the opportunity to live together forever.

The Neas family, except for Stephen (21), who is living in Manhattan, New York. Seated are Solomon on Grandpa Turner’s lap, Grandma Turner, Sonnie on Dad’s lap, and Sarah (16); standing are Suzanne (15), Seth (11), Mom, Sariah-Lynn, Simon (17), and Stephanie (19) holding her son, Christian.

When Stephen visited the family, this picture was taken with Solomon and Sonnie, who miss him very much. He is thinking about moving back to Florida, and the rest of the family is very happy about that.

Sonnie, Solomon, and Sariah-Lynn in front of the Orlando Florida Temple. The whole family, except Stephen (who was on a Korean-speaking mission in the New York New York South Mission) went to the temple open house on Sariah-Lynn’s birthday. They were invited to meet with the temple president, President Jack F. Joyner, in his office. He showed the children pictures that had been taken of the temple while it was being built. He also told the older children, including Sariah-Lynn, who was old enough to attend, to listen for angels at the dedication because they would be there, singing along with the choir. Sariah-Lynn, Solomon, and Sonnie can hardly wait till they are old enough to go to the temple and do baptisms for the dead, as Simon, Sarah, and Suzanne do.

At first the neighbors in the area did not want the temple built there, because they were afraid it would spoil the quiet they enjoyed. So not building a visitors’ center was a condition that the Church agreed to. Another was that the upper level would not have its outer lights turned on at night. But a few months after the temple was dedicated, some neighbors called to ask that the lights please be turned on at night because the temple was so beautiful!

Heather (white shirt, blue shorts) and David (green shirt, black shorts) Zipprer live next door to the Neases and are good friends. They often get together to play basketball. Here they are playing with Sariah-Lynn (white shirt, orange shorts) and Seth (white shirt, blue shorts).

Sonnie’s friend Maria Camille Knight lives near Crystal Lake Park, where they are playing in this picture. They are in the same kindergarten class at school.

Grandma Early often comes to see them. Here, she and Sonnie are showing the picture album of Sonnie to Christian, Sonnie’s nephew. Sonnie loves to help take care of him.

All nine Neas children love music and attend(ed) special schools. They have to work extra hard at regular school subjects to be able to stay in Rochelle School of the Arts. Sonnie holds the peanut plants she grew after learning about George Washington Carver. Her teacher is Mrs. Taylor.

Solomon’s class made strawberry jam and sold it at the Plant City Strawberry Festival. He was the class’s top salesman. Much of the artwork on the program for a play about it was his. His teacher is Mrs. Bruestle.

Mrs. Howes, the music teacher, helps Seth play the bass xylophone, while Solomon plays the bass bars, Sariah-Lynn the congo drum, and Sonnie, the alto xylophone.

At least forty lakes are in the Lakeland area. Solomon, Sonnie, and Sariah-Lynn like to feed the ducks and swans at Lake Morton.

At home, they have a lovebird, Sweetie, a tankful of fish, and three cats—Pooh, Tigger, and Seymour. Tigger enjoys watching the family’s comings and goings from a favorite spot, the top of the fish tank.

A crane at Lake Morton.

In Sariah-Lynn’s class’s unit on Egypt, they read The Egyptian Cinderella, then chose a fairy tale, rewrote it as they thought it might have been told in Egypt, put it on the computer, and illustrated it. Here Sariah-Lynn is showing her story, “The Egyptian Little Red Riding Hood.” Her teacher is Mrs. Young.

Sariah-Lynn loves to play with Heather and David Zipprer and with Holly Pearson and Donna Hanser, Primary classmates, at Crystal Lake Park. Here, she is on the spiral sliding board at the park. She also likes to play duets with Suzanne, and sing.

Sonnie likes to color in her new coloring book, “How to Draw Birds.”

Singing time in Primary.

Solomon likes to camp with Dad and Seth. He also likes to read and play computer games.