Saturday, July 25, 2009

Thank You, Poineers

I am so thankful, especially after our trip to Nauvoo, for what the early pioneers did so I could live comfortably where I live and worship as I see fit. I only hope and pray that I may use their example of faith and togetherness to make the lives of my family and friends better.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Fireflies Lit the Way Home

We saw the Pageant Tuesday night. It was amazing! It told the story of the gathering of those that were fleeing persecution. They just wanted to live in peace and worship as they pleased. It told of the few wonderful years they had In Nauvoo and how they worked together to build the Temple. It also told of them being driven out of the beautiful city they built from a swamp, not knowing where they would go next. But it mostly told of their faith. They knew wherever they were that if their faith continued God would guide and protect them.

When asked what their favorite part of Nauvoo was, all three boys said it was the Pageant.

We were able to spend the whole day yesterday in Nauvoo. It was great. We went to a little show first thing. Then we went back to the Temple. This time with the boys. It wes so rewarding to watch my boys performing such wonderful service! We went to lunch and walked around in some of the shops in town. Then we went down into the historic district and looked in the rest of the homes and shops we hadn't been to. We told the boys to be listening closely. Later we asked them which trade (job) they would do if they lived back then. Austin would have worked in the print shop, Kyle would have worked with Brigham Young building furniture and Josh would have worked as a blacksmith. Jim would have worked with Browning in his rifle shop! (That's a shocker!).

We had dinner and went to one last show. We walked into the big field where there were games and dancing before that night's show but since we had already had the opportunity to see it we decided to get back to the house and start packing for our early start. It was dusk as we walked to our car across the big grass field and as we looked across there were fireflies as far as we could see! It looked like someone had spread out thousands of twinkle lights! We drove down the old river road toward the house and those fireflies were also on either side of the road hovering over the grasses. It was beautiful.

We woke early this morning so we could pack up and get onto our next destination. But before that we went into Nauvoo one last time. We walked down Parley Street toward the river listening to some of the actors tell stories out of writings and journals of those that over 150 ago made that same walk. We paused at the river contemplating how we may have felt if we were asked to do the same.

As we drive west across the Mississippi River I feel I was able to get a tiny glimpse of what those pioneers may have felt. Grateful for the time we were able to spend in Nauvoo, a bit sad to be leaving, looking forward to our next destination and thankful to be experiencing it all with my family.
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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Sacred Carthage

We got up this morning and drove to Carthage, IL. It was a beautiful, sacred place. The Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were taken there under false charges. Two days later a large mob stormed the prison, killed the brothers and seriously wounded another. Joseph fell out the window the boys are sitting by and was shot twice more. I am so thankful to those that sacrificed so much in the early years of our church so we can have the gospel and all the opportunities it brings.

We are waiting for the Pageant to start. I will let you know how it was tomorrow.
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Monday, July 13, 2009

Historic Nauvoo

We made it to Nauvoo this afternoon. We got settled at the place Jim's parents are staying. We had a little time to go into town before dinner. We stopped at one of the interactive areas called the Family Living Center. It was a big hall where they demonstrated how the pioneers made cloth, baked bread, dipped candles, and many other crafts that helped with life around the cabin. The boys made this rope they are holding.

Tomorrow is one of our temple days. We are also going to Carthage Jail. We have limited cell reception and no internet for the next three days so my posts may be few until Thursday unless I can upload a picture when we are in town.
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Sunday, July 12, 2009

A Home Run of a Day!

We made it to St Louis yesterday safe and sound. We were very glad it wasn't as much driving as the previous two days! We went to Dave & Buster's for dinner and some games. It was an appreciated break from driving, hotel, get up and drive some more.

We had reservations to go up in the Gateway Arch at 10:00 am so we really didn't have to rush too much in the morning. Our time to go into FanFest was at 2:00 pm (There was a giant thunderstorm that started around 1:00 pm so we went to FanFest early!)
We took almost 200 pictures today so bear with me!

Josh is standing by the door to the capsule that takes you to the top of the arch.

This is the tiny capsule. Good thing we all like each other!

Here we are at the TOP!

Here is the view from the top looking west and a bit south. That is Busch Stadium where the MLB All-Star Game will be played in two days. You can't tell but they are holding the VIP Batting Practice. A bunch of sponsers and rich people that get to swing at a few pitches on the field.

I had the idea to take this one after we got back to the bottom. Yes, I am laying on the ground!

These were fun to take:

We didn't take too many pictures inside but here are a couple fun ones

The boys took the Steal Home Chalange...

As you can see they are pretty equally matched. Kyle was just a bit faster.

We got out of FanFest and it was still raining. We decided to stop for an early dinner. It stopped raining while we ate and turned out to be such a beautiful evening......the boys Jim decided to have a catch with his boys.

The rain chased all the tourists away so we had the park almost all to ourselves!

A fantastic ending to a day full of adventures!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Toto, I don't think we're in Utah anymore!

I have lived in Utah for about as long as I lived in California, where I grew up. In either place there is variety in the landscape. I love the rolling hills in CA and the towering mountains in UT. I love all the outdoor opportunities the terrain provides. We are lucky enough to live amongst world famous ski resorts and national parks. It is very strange to me drive through miles of nothing just to pass a sign advertising pulling off the freeway to see the largest prairie dog in the world
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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Day 1 - Pictures

Just before we walked into the ball park
Another view of the field from our seats.
One of the MANY great pictures that Jim took of the boys.
The giant scoreboard

Chipper Jones finally got up to bat in the 8th inning. They intentionally walked him and someone else came in to run for him.

A great action shot!

Day 1 - Batter Up!

We got started a little later than we hoped.

It was a long drive to Denver but we arrived safe, checked into our hotel, got cleaned up and headed to the ball park.

We just got done watching the Colorado Rockies beat the Atlanta Braves 7-6. This is the view from our seats. They were pretty good seats (once the sun set) considering I bought the tickets on yesterday! The boys loved it so I guess it was worth it.

The game was fantastic. There were 21 hits and 11 of them were for extra bases! There was one home run. I'd say we got our money's worth.

Tomorrow is a long driving day. I am happy to report that we have Harry Potter to keep us company on the long drive through Kansas.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Trying to remember...

I am sitting at my computer trying to remember how to mobile blog. I hope this works.
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Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy Trails...Hopefully

We are about to go on our first real summer vacation in a long time. Jim has been involved in Scouts for years and that usually takes up all of his vacation time. This will be the first summer Scout Camp is not mandatory for him. Finally, some family time!

Jim's parents have gone to Nauvoo the last few summers to help with the Nauvoo Pageant. This year is no different. They left July 1st to live out there for about six weeks. Each year they beg and plead with their family to come and visit and experience that historical city. Well, now that Jim doesn't' have to go to Scout Camp we get to pack up "the family truckster" and take a road trip. Our intention is to teach the boys about some of the sacrifices early pioneers made for our church and those that followed them. To get them to agree to that we threw in some baseball. Here is what the plan is:

  • Day one will start early. We will drive to Denver. We hope to be there with enough time to check into our hotel, get some dinner and be on time to the Rockies game. I think we can do it.

  • The next morning we will, again, get up early and start the second longest leg of the journey. We drive from Denver straight through Kansas and stop in Kansas City, MO. (That should be a fun day!) We will stay there one night.

  • When we get up the next morning we will visit two places before moving on - Liberty Jail Historic Site and the Independence Visitor's Center.

  • We will then continue on to St Louis, MO that evening. We are staying there two nights. While we are there we plan on riding to the top of the Gateway Arch. (I have to confess, I am not completely fond of heights. Well, I don't really have a fear of heights, it's the falling that gets to me. It's weird. I can be someplace very high and not be scared if there is no way of falling. Empire State Building, Sears Tower, no problem. Ski lift on a slightly windy day, that's a different story! I'll let you know how it goes.) We are also going to fit in some more baseball in St Louis. We will be there for the MLB All-Star Break. We plan on visiting FanFest. That should be really fun!

  • After that, we will continue on to Nauvoo. We are staying with Jim's parents for three nights. I haven't' planned anything for those days (yet). We are relying on Phil and Sally to show us around. The only thing I have planed is a visit to the Nauvoo Temple for us and the kids. I was hoping to have some family names to take but I don't' think I will have that ready in time.

  • We will leave Nauvoo and start the trek home in a more northern direction. We will drive to Sioux Falls, SD, crash, get up the next morning and start driving again.

  • The next stop is Rapid City, SD. We will stay there for two nights. We will hike around Mt Rushmore (which is so far away and really isn't on the way to anything!) and see the evening program. That will be very interesting to me. The next day we will spend some time at the water park connected to our hotel. The boys are pretty excited about that one! I also hope we get to drive around and visit some of the other state parks in the area but the chances are slim. We will have already been driving a lot.

  • Then we take on our longest travel day. Fortunately it is the day we go home. Unfortunately, it is through Wyoming. We will probably break up the day by stoping at the Mormon Handcart Visitor's Center. I hope we do. Being there on a pioneer trek a few years ago was one of my top five most spiritual experiences. I hope to share that with the kids.

I know it sounds like a lot. I am encouraged because our kids have always been such good travelers. I am nervous because they are teenagers. But I think it will go well. We have lots of "in-flight entertainment" to keep us busy, especially through Kansas and Wyoming. I hope to be able to blog every night when we reach our destination so stay tuned...