Monday, June 02, 2008

Fun Highlights: Nauvoo to Carthage MO.

We have had a wonderful trip so far. We have accomplished all of our goals, yet been able to get enough sleep and rest to keep us going. I will only be able to write about some of the highlights because I can never seem to have enough time to write details.

The scenery has been one of the most enjoyable parts of this trip. It is so lush and green. Forests and green rolling hills everywhere. Streams and rivers meander through the valleys. Leif and I have really enjoyed looking at the houses as well. The majority have been historic looking farm houses, most of them having barns and farms. The town centers of most of the towns we've driven through have been old historic towns. Some kept up, others not so. The other fun thing is the friendly people that wave as we drive through.

I've mentioned the Amish carriage; that was really neat. We talked about how fun it would be to do another road trip and not plan anything, just drive and stop at the different places that look interesting. There are many antique shops that I would enjoy exploring...

So that's the drive through Missouri, Illinois, and Iowa.

We stayed in Keokuk, IO. That is a town that is on the opposite side of the Mississippi river from Nauvoo. The drive along the river into Nauvoo was very peaceful and beutiful. And the smell in the air was delicious. It smelled like lilacs, honeysuckle, and rain covered trees.

This trip has been peaceful. Nauvoo was a quiet calm place. We went at the Perfect time. The first day after we flew in Jim and Kathy (my aunt and uncle) met us in Keokuk. We then followed them to Carthage, Il. where we went to Carthage Jail. There was definately a humble spirit there. It was nice to be able to walk around with Jakob and read the different placks that tell the Joseph Smith story. It was also humbling to walk around the jail and hear the story of the marterdom. I felt the spirit reconfirm to me that Joseph Smith is a prophet.

That afternoon Kathy arranged for Leif and I to take the kids to a babysitter near the temple so that we could all go through the temple. My parents and Jim and Kathy did a session. Leif and I did sealings. The Nauvoo temple is beautiful! They built it and decorated it in the timeframe of the 1800's. It is beautiful. It had been a long time since Leif and I did sealings. There was a peaceful spirit.

As you walk out of the Nauvoo temple you are blinded by the bright light that reflects from the sun off of the white temple as well as the cement. The grounds around the temple are beautiful too. There is a statue of Joseph Smith and Hyrum on horseback leaving Nauvoo. We went and picked the kids up and brought them back to take pictures. Jakob was disapointed that he wasn't able to go into the temple. But he was happy to play around on the hills of the front grounds.

We also went to the Lucy Mack Smith home together. Her house was actually built for our relative Joseph Bates Noble. He occupied the home for several years. He had several wives and owned several homes. But obviously this home ended up being preserved beause Lucy Mack Smith lived in it.

Come to find out, Leif had relatives that lived across the street from the Noble family. It's a small world.

During the few days in Nauvoo we spent the time visiting a few of the sites, shopping, eating at the Nauvoo Inn, learning about our family history in Nauvoo, going to the Sunset on the Mississippi show, and going to the show about Joseph Smith in the visitor center, walking the Trail of Hope, and skipping rocks along the rivers edge.

We decided that there are two ways to visit Nauvoo. One is to skim the surface and enjoy the peace of the beautiful Nauvoo; the other way is to dive in and immerse yourself in the history and all that Nauvoo has to offer. We chose the first way, and when you have two very young children that is exactly the best way to do it. we had a wonderful time. I love the history and the people and because of them it brought more beauty to an already beautiful town and scenery.

It has been fun to see the interaction between Jakob and my parents as well as Leif and my parents. Their relationships have grown and it has been a sweet experience.

The last day of this leg of the trip we went to Hanabal, MO. This town is the birth place of Mark Twain. We spent one day there and had an enjoyable day. We started by letting jakob play at the park. That saved us. He needed to be able to play. We then caught the river boat named Mark Twain and floated down the river while we listened to stories and music that represented the days of Mark Twain. Jakob thought it was a fun thing and we all enjoyed the relaxation too. From there we ate lunch and then went into the historic area of town and toured a few of the houses and museums. They were neat, but not exceptional. I think it would have been a lot more fun if we had kids that were 10 or so and we had just read Mark Twain's stories and then came to the town.

The scary event of that day (and that leg of the trip) happened while Leif was pushing Caleb in the stroller. I had put Caleb in the stroller but I didn;t strap him in. This is not too unusual since the car seat is secured to the stroller. But it is a a mistake! When Leif went to tip the stroller back to push it up a step to the sidewalk, Caleb slipped right out of the carseat and fell onto the ground. We were all SHOCKED to see him laying there on the ground. He was screaming. It would have been worse if he was silent. We looked for any cuts, and was happy that there weren't any. But a few minutes later we noticed a large bump on his head. It is definately unsettling to feel a swollen bump on your 7 week old baby;s head. Luckily it was not a black and blue bruise. We tried to get a hold of the doctor but could only reach his wife and the mother of their eight children. She agreed that we didn;t need to worry unless the bruise started to fill with blood or his eyes dialated. We just sneggled him for a while and it comforted both him and us. We felt terrible. But he was fine.

(Side Note: 9:31 PM June 3, 2008 the tornado sirens are going off. But we don't have any sign of a storm... checking the TV.)

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