Sunday, March 29, 2009

Introduction to the follwing posts

We recently traveled to Moab, Utah where my husband participated in a half marathon. This is his third year running it and he loves to have something to work for which keeps him going through the winter and kicks off his season.

Since it was spring break for both the kids and my husband, we wanted to get out, and he wanted to go to Nauvoo, Illinois. This is a historical place for the Mormon people, and while we have been there several times, we love to learn about our ancestors who lived there, and explore our religious history. The sacrifices made by our forefathers were complete and a sweet spirit can be felt there. So, we packed into the car and traveled the opposite direction from Moab. As a brother lives relatively nearby, we were able to spend some time with his family. As it turned out, we made it for a birthday party and a baptism. We decided to take our cousin along with us for the three days we spent in Nauvoo.
We learned some great things from him. We learned that he REALLY likes to swim in the pool - night and morning. He was a little bothered after we swam before breakfast, showered, and had breakfast that we weren't going swimming again after breakfast! We also learned that he REALLY likes buffets. I think we will be happy if we don't see another one of those for a couple of years at least!

We were grateful that we were able to be part of such a special occasion for him and his family.

The following posts include several of our activities and explanations regarding our trip. Yep - in other words - a travelogue.
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Statue, Nauvoo Temple and Carthage Jail

This is one of our all time favorite statues. It is of Joseph and Hyrum Smith overlooking the city of Nauvoo,in front of the temple they were working to complete. As Joseph and Hyrum headed to Carthage Jail, where they knew they would be murdered by angry mobs, they must have stopped for one last look of the city they had built, and the people they loved.

The Nauvoo Temple

Carthage Jail
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Red Brick Store

Although we've been to Nauvoo various times in the past years, we've never seemed to have the time to visit Joseph Smith's Red Brick Store. What an interesting building! We learned that its name is not because of the bricks which it is made from, but rather from the color of the walls inside the store. Ox blood and buttermilk were mixed to create the interior paint - which is where the name of the store came from. Yes, a little trivia there.
Today's largest women's organization in the world - the Relief Society, was organized in this simple room. Additionally, the first restored temple ordinances were also performed here. Amazing events which have strongly impacted my life began in this small room.

Ancestors and geodes

We had the chance the visit the lands and title office in Old Nauvoo. There we found that one of our ancestors was a tenant in this spot. He later owned various acres in the outlying area of town. While I've always known that several of my ancestors were Mormon pioneers and that they lived in Nauvoo, it was a thrill to be able to see where they actually lived! This spot is actually on the land that is at the foot of the temple (towards the River) on the very right hand corner.

We heard that near Nauvoo, there are places one can go to dig geodes out of the ground. After several phone calls, I was told that due to the previously wet weather, that it was too muddy and we weren't as prepared as we would have liked to have been. So, we decided to scrap it. We found (on the handy GPS) that there was a nearby Geode State Park in Iowa. So - we took off with hopes of seeing some great geodes or something. Well - it was more like a name. However, at the park office, we saw a really big geode, and then noticed that a couple had been built into the stucco work of the building.  


Apparently the kids had their hearts set on finding some geodes. We finally found someone who let us dig through his pile of rejects (after we saw that the creek WAS indeed very high and not very passable.) Here we are working as geode gleaners. We did find some cool fossils in this pile as well.  
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Chuck E Cheese had a blue screen that the kids loved.

We traveled to Nauvoo Illinois and spent a couple of days there. We toured several different centers. Here the kids learned to make rope, candles, bread, rugs, pottery and much more - pioneer style.


You may notice that we added a child in several of these photos. The girls' cousin joined us on our trip. We loved having the chance to play with him and get to know him better.
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Bologna, pedis and the kick off party

I never buy bologna - don't know why - just don't. One of my kids begged me to buy some for our trip. Since I packed all of our food for our drive out on Sunday, here was my kid's first introduction to bologna.

They loved it!


We stopped in Missouri and saw my brother's family. His wife and I stopped for a pedicure. (Yes, with the baby)

And what kind of a birthday is complete without Chuck E cheese? We celebrated our cousin's birthday with him ALL week long. This was the kick off!
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Master Key and the race

So, our friend booked a room for us for the race. When we went to check in, the key they gave us didn't work. When we went and asked for a key that worked, they gave us a master key!

Here are the after the race pictures - he did great - just a couple of seconds slower than he did last year.  


We spent some time with some family and the kids had fun playing together.
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The Hike before the race

We headed to the race in Moab early so that we could spend some time hiking. A friend recommended this hike and we loved it. We crossed the river somewhere around eight times, even though it said we'd only cross it three times. It was beautiful and we loved experiencing the early spring - except for the allergies.

Someone who shall remain nameless lost this little stuffed animal on the hike - it decided to go for a swim - our handsome hero saved it!  

Our kids discovered the magic of snake grass whistles on this hike. Oh the nostalgia!

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

New Years Eve and Sledding Pictures

Our camera broke right after New Year's Eve. Since then, I've just been using my phone for simple here and there pictures. I was thrilled to pick up a new camera yesterday and find that I could retrieve all of my old pictures still. As you can tell by some of the following pictures - my camera was on it's last leg. Anyways - here are the pics - thanks for the fun memories to all in them!
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Monday, March 16, 2009


Most of my friends know that I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Recently topics regarding the "Mormons" and our beliefs have been cropping up in the news and in controversial debates. I have many friends who ask me questions about what we believe as well. I found this short clip which touches on the importance of our temples and wanted to share it with my friends.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

What is this thing?... and the sugar trail

Some friends invited us over for dinner tonight. Just as we were leaving, our oldest child noted an interesting contraption on our friend's countertop. It had a lid which had been cut from a can dangling from its magnet.
Our oldest child was fascinated and asked - "what is this?" We replied that it was a can opener.
We never realized that she has never seen an electric can opener before as we just use the manual ones. She didn't believe us when we told her and even tried to demonstrate.

On another note, my husband went to the local Costco yesterday to pick up some groceries. I added several food storage items to the list, one of which was sugar.
He picked up a 25# bag of sugar and proceeded to continue to shop. After he'd woven up and down several aisles and across the store, an assistant manager of the store contacted him to let him know that his sugar had a sizeable leak. Apparently he'd left a sugar trail throughout the entire store. The manager's response was that at least he'd been easy to find due to his sweet trail!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Foiled plans

Several years ago, I met two friends. We went through some pretty crazy times together, and found that together, we have an amazing propensity for silliness and fun - as in laughing so hard that I wheeze, and someone almost has an accident.

Unfortunately, the silliest friend moved away, leaving just two.

We decided that we needed a reunion. We schemed and planned. We'd planned to travel to the friend, but it just wouldn't work. So we planned for her to come here. It was working. We planned more and I cleaned and cleaned - all last week. We completely cleared our schedules. She was supposed to arrive on Tuesday.

Tuesday morning, mother nature decided to flex her muscles, brought in a blizzard, and I got the phone call. The roads were closed and our friend had no way to access the airport.

We were devastated and depressed.
However, since we'd cleaned and cleared our schedules - we decided to carry on. We ate some amazing food, watched our bonnet and tea movies (yes - the English ones where the ladies are all wearing bonnets and drinking their tea,) relaxed, and laughed together.

It was pretty amazing while it lasted, yet, tomorrow, I'll be back to cleaning my house again.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Pay it Forward - Giveaway

While life continues with its busy monotony, I've thought about what I could blog about that is new. Not much as time continues its never ending ebb and flow.

My sister in law has been the recipient of service in the last months due to a sickness related to a tough pregnancy and mentioned Paying it forward. She put the challenge out to her readers to do the same.

Here are the rules:
3 names will be drawn from those who leave a comment on this post, and they will receive a handmade gift from me during this year. When and what will be a surprise. There's a small catch though...Post this same thing on your own blog and then come back and leave a comment telling me you're in. The deadline for commenting is March 16, 2009.

I think opportunities to reach out are all around us, sometimes we just need to look a little more closely - I'm in for the challenge!