Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Church history stops on the way to New Hampshire

Our first church history stop was in Winters Quarters  in Omaha Nebraska
(The kids had already seen Salt Lake in previous visits)

We toured the visitor center, ate a picnic outside, and walked through the cemetery and temple grounds.  Most of the deaths there in 1846-1847 were children under three.  I think it's appropriate that the celestial room of the temple looks out onto the cemetery.

 Monument at the cemetery
 Monument at the visitor center

Our next stop was in Nauvoo.
We stayed in a hotel, but Grandma and Grandpa hosted us by feeding us wonderful, homemade meals and planning out a jam-packed day that included a temple trip, two performances, an oxen ride and as many sites as we could fit in (blacksmith, brick maker, school, gun shop, Lucy Mack home, red brick store, gravesite....)   My parents live right in the middle of the village, so it was easy to split up to go look at stuff, take a nap, get a snack, reconvene for meals.  We felt very spoiled.  See photos on July 2nd blog post on beautiful Nauvoo (I wish I had more photos).  The shows were great!!

Just 25 miles from Nauvoo is the Carthage jail.   It was difficult to understand the tour guide in our group but I told Michael, sometimes it takes more effort to hear and feel the spirit.  I'm glad eye witnesses recorded in their journals what happened so we can read about it.

 In the bedroom where Joseph and Hyrum were killed by a mob

Jessica and Michael outside the Carthage jail

The next historic stop was in Kirtland.  We toured the LDS visitor center, Newel K Witney Store and the temple.  Again, our tour guide was hard to understand, but she had a sweet spirit about her.

Everywhere we went, I wished we had more time.  We could only hit the highlights because we can 8-10 hours of driving that turned into 12 hours in the car with stops and road construction.  We were pretty tired when we reached out hotel each night.

We did make one unplanned stop (not church related).  At a rest area map, Jessica noticed that Niagra Falls was only 20 miles out of our way en route to Palmyra.  We decided it was worth the detour and got there just before sunset.  We had to stay on the American side as only half of us had passports, but it was still breath-taking.  I didn't know it was a life-long dream of Jessica's, so she was elated.

                Sacred Grove
                   Smith Farm  - log cabin where angel Moroni appeared to Joseph

Our last church history stop was Palmyra.  We spent the morning at the sacred grove, Smith farm and temple grounds, all withing walking distance. 

 Palmyra temple

After hiking to the top of Hill Cumorah, Trevor said "this is a really steep hill...can I roll down it?"
 Jason with statue of angel Moroni in the background on top of Hill Cumorah

Next stop....New Hampshire!!!


Here are the temples we stopped at on our trip to New Hampshire

Winters Quarters, Nebraska Temple in Omaha
where saints set up a temporary village to use as way-station in 1846 on the trek west
Today there is a visitor center, pioneer cemetery, and temple

The stained-glass was done by the same artist who did the stained glass in the Palmyra temple and Nauvoo baptistry

                       Jessica and Jason

Nauvoo temple, stunningly beautiful on the hill over looking Nauvoo.  It is very large and a huge monument to those early saints who gave their all to building Zion.  I did an endowment session with my mom and Jessica & Michael while my dad went with the boys and Jonathan to do baptisms.

Kirtland Ohio temple
We were able to tour the inside of this temple.  The reorganized church (Community of Christ) owns it and does a great job of keeping up the building and grounds and has a lovely visitor center.

Palmyra New York temple
We walked around the outside.  This temple has beautiful stained glass depicting the sacred grove.  It sits up on a hill and looks down on the sacred grove.  Likewise, you can see the temple through the trees of the Smith farm.

                         View of Palmyra temple from the Smith Farm

I'm looking forward to seeing the Boston temple, the closest to our new home.  It's closed for three weeks right now, but we'll go next month.  It looks beautiful.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Nauvoo the beautiful (happy birthday mom)

Happy birthday, Mom.
I'm blogging for you!

We loved our stop in Nauvoo.  Thanks for the wonderful meals, mom and dad,  for getting us tickets to performances and being great tour guides and especially for going to the temple with us.  That was the highlight for me!

               Michael, Jessica, Gma and Gpa

 Group photo at the visitor center
 We went on an oxen ride
 One big happy family
 Talented young adult street performers (also put on show in PM)
 Curtis got a kick out of the non-standardize spelling in the school house
 Mother and son (Trevor) posing next to statue in the Women's Garden
Demonstration of rope making in the family living center

Jason's Choir Concert and Graduation

I took lots of photos and video because I know you would have wanted to be there:)
Jason did an awesome job.  He performed in three different choirs and had some solos and performed a duet with his pal, Josh.  He also had four costume changes.  Each choir did songs from a different musical.

Jason as the Grinch, displaying his most valuable male vocalist award

I couldn't download the videos directly.
Neil helped me put Jason's solo and duet on you tube.
Sorry for the poor sound quality.  It cut out when I changed the zoom.

Some graduation photos:
It was so nice of Jessica and Michael to come over for the big event.

disregard the video--I don't know how to delete it

Goodbye to the NW

Saying goodbye before heading East the middle of June

 To my sister Brenda and Andrus cousins

 It was hard to say goodbye to Janelle and Pam, who are like sisters to me

 We spent the our last Saturday in Oregon in Medford, first a baptism trip, then playing with cousins at Neil and Pam's

Playing at the water park in Meridian, Idaho

 Dodge Grandparents Ellen and Elmer

 We spent the night at Elmer and Ellen's house in Boise
 We stopped in to see Velvet and Carl in West Jordan then drove to Keith and Robyn's in Grantsville
 Curtis riding cousin Bailey's horse
 Curtis playing with cousin Andy

 Michael and Jason trying out Keith's jeep

Next stop: Nebraska enroute to Nauvoo