Monday, July 28, 2008

Back to Life, Back to Reality

I checked my email after being away and had 500 emails to go through!
I have mountains of laundry - it looks like everyone dumped all the contents of their dressers into the laundry room. Oh wait! They did! :)


I have finally finished blogging our vacation!  It is finished!  Check it out - I went through and added plenty of little comments and tons of pictures - enjoy!  It was a life changing event!

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About this crazy picture - Lizzy took it of me in Bartlesville, doing what else? Blogging!  :)

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Saturday

We had a good night's sleep at Kathie's house. Thank you Kathie, and sorry about such a lovely picture so early in the morning!  :)

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You know you have been traveling too long when you wake up to the song "On the Road Again" running through your head.

We drove from Missouri to Kansas to Oklahoma today.oklahoma 2.0 001

We didn't get this sign last time! Someone is obsessed with her photo documentation.

For lunch, we had some hush puppies. Sorry Kathie, but we had to tell the girls the story about you and the "little doggies." :) Love ya, Kath!!!

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Why did we go to Bartlesville? In this tiny town a million years ago, I was born! I haven't been back since my parents moved away before I was two. So this trip was long overdue!

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The thriving metropolis of Bartlesville.

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This was my parent's home, and consequently, my first home. Mama says that she paid less for this cute house than for her current van!!

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Mama has told me many times that when she was pregnant with me she would walk down the street (the town ended about here) and pet the livestock. Well, Mama, the city hasn't grown in this direction - there are a couple of houses beyond yours and that's it. We did notice some newer construction in town, but not in this direction.

We also went to Woolaroc (www.woolaroc.org) while we were in Bartlesville. We saw many animals, the museum, the gift shop, the observation tower, the children's playground, and the petting zoo. I'm putting them in a slide show since there are so many.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Friday - Wandering Around Missouri

We left Nauvoo and very quickly left Illinois.  Then we very quickly left Iowa, which left us to wander around Missouri.  We were using Jason's GPS to guide us to my sister Kathie's house.  It did a pretty good job, except for the flooding and road closures.  There is one thing to remember about using a GPS unit, though, you should always have cell phone reception.  In the middle of nowhere Missouri, there aren't too many cell towers.

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Not to worry, though, we made it!  Here is Kathie's house!  Howdy Kath!

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Here is Kathie playing with Lizzy and Joy.

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Kathie let us stay the night with her.  My sister amazes me.  She is working a million jobs.  She is getting close to having her PhD.  She is in the Primary Presidency of her ward.  She does tons of service and has many hobbies.  She amazes me - she accomplishes so very much.  What a wonderful example you are little sister.

Friday - Until We Meet Again

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This is where we spent Thursday night - in the Marks home.  The Community of Christ person told us that Brother Marks was the Stake President.  They had a lovely home!

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This was our view from the house - the mighty Mississippi River.

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Friday morning, before we all parted ways, we had our family devotional (good job Bec!) and then a group hug!!

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I thought this was a fun picture (from the top, Michael, Beth, Asia, Aurora, Sammi)

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Becca and Aunt Cyndi                                       Uncle Brad and Joy

 

Joy loves Uncle Brad!  Joy has reached the developmental stage of knowing the difference between her family and strangers.  She loves to interact with people, but from the safety of her Mama's arms.  With Uncle Brad, it's different.  She will leap from my arms to go and see him!  Love ya Brad!

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Believe it or not, we hadn't seen all of Nauvoo yet.  So we struck out to see the final few places.  We saw the printing office - highly recommended.  There is so much to learn there!  We enjoyed the Shoe maker - that was fun.  But the one I loved the most was the Tinsmith.  The sister missionary gave us a tour of the home and his shop.  What I learned there was this man made the Angel of the Restoration that they placed atop the Nauvoo Temple.  He spent so much time and effort on it, so it would be perfect.  It was placed on the temple Jan. 30 and the Saints left Nauvoo on Feb. 4th.  Why should I ever complain again about any church service for any duration?  I was deeply touched by the Saints of Nauvoo, their testimonies, their faith, their devotion.  That I could be so faithful!

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A final family picture in Nauvoo, the beautiful city!

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Our final picture of Joy's temple.      

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It seems fitting.  Joseph and Hyrum looking back at beautiful Nauvoo.

Nauvoo effected me deeply.  I hope what I felt of the devotion and faith will seek deeply into my soul.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Thursday - Dinner and the Pageant

 

Since we were now living separately, but our food was combined, we meet at the Nauvoo State Park (across the street from Old Nauvoo) for dinner.oklahoma 2.1 059 oklahoma 2.1 064

Jason out playing                                              Katherine and Lizzy playing

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Beth took Becca under her wing.  Becca is the oldest grandchild.  Being a tween is so far away from being a child who is happy to play at the park (the rest of the cousins).  Beth and Bec enjoyed the pageant pre-show activities together.  Bec had a wonderful time and I didn't worry once (that's saying something!).  Thanks Beth!!

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Yummy dinner!

 

Before the Pageant begins, they have a wonderful program for children!  The pre-show has so many activities for the kids - everything from coloring to dancing to puppet shows to horse shoe ring toss.  Very fun!  Highly recommended!

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Coloring little pioneer stick figures.

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Sam dancing with some random boy and then stick pulling with Jessi

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The Sack Races - I didn't win!

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Joy loves it when I dance with her!              Beth & Kath with Jes and Liz

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Becca and Joy in our seats - Jason and Kathie had reserved them that morning and we are oh so glad you did!

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The parade with bagpipes!

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The Pageant - of course they are terrible pictures.  It was wonderful!  A couple parts really got to me, once when a baby dies and the father is talking to Joseph about how he was holding onto his son by holding onto his anger.  I was also amazed by the spirit of unity that the pageant portrayed.  I'm not sure if the Saints were as unified as I felt, but I just wanted to grab my ward members and give them all big hugs.  :)  But no one warned me about President Hinckley!  His voice is in the program.  It shocked me and the tears started.  He is such a dear man and I miss him.  I wonder if that is how the early Saints felt when they saw Brigham Young speak, but heard and saw the prophet Joseph.  Anyway, it was wonderful!

Thursday - Pioneer Day

Thursday was Pioneer Day - literally (July 24th), as well as our dress-up like a Pioneer Day.  My Mom made each child a costume.  The girls had aprons and bonnets.  The boys had shirts, vests, and caps.  The boys looked like little newsies!Aren't they adorable?  She made bonnets for the babies too.  I wish I had gotten a picture of the babies altogether!

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Due to a small problem, (the Nauvoo house was double booked by accident) we had to leave the Nauvoo House on Thursday.  So we sent the Dads and the children to see the play "Anna Amanda" while the Moms cleaned.  Then we all moved into our new houses.  We were no longer together, but the Community of Christ opened up other historical homes for us to stay in.  The Johnson home, the Marks home, the Rigdon home, and an old bakery.

Afterwards, we went to see Pioneer Past Times.  This is such a fun place for kids. They have games that pioneer children would have played and dress up.

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Playing on stilts.                                 Lizzy and Joy on the fake sheep.

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Becca and Sammi playing grace.

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I made this a little bigger because I just love this picture!  It should be on some brochure somewhere!

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Becca, Jason, & Joy playing Fox and Hens.     Jessi loved this little house to play in!

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My Pioneer Girls

After that fun time, we went to the Temple Accommodation Building.  This was a must-do on Jason's list.  His Grandparents served their mission here in Nauvoo.  They served in this house!  The downstairs was sent up like the other houses in Nauvoo, with period antiques and Grandma Southwick  gave the tours of the house.  Grandpa Southwick gave tours of the temple site.  So this place is very special to him.  The Temple Accommodation Building is now used to explain the purpose of temples to those who are interested in learning more.

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If you have been to our house, you have seen the HUGE picture of the Nauvoo temple on our wall.  It used to hang right here on this wall.  This building was to be renovated when the Southwicks finished their mission.  Grandpa wanted to know what they were going to do with the picture.  They were going to just get rid of it.  Grandpa, being the good old farmer he was, couldn't see that.  So in the back of their truck it went (with the church's blessing, of course).  It graced the wall of their home for many years.  After their passing, it found it's way to my in-laws home.  When they went on their mission, it found its way to our home.  Since it is now a picture of "Joy's temple" (quote by Lizzy Mae Turpin), we intend for it to stay for a long, long time.

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Jason's Grandparents lived in the upstairs of this house when they were here.  So here are the stairs to their place.

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This picture is from the East of the temple.  Isn't it beautiful?

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