Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Easter (with a ga-gillion pics)

Our Easter morning began with our usual trail of marshmallow bunnies leading to their easter baskets.
Abby was thrilled and kept shoving them all in her mouth.

Thanks to Target's after Christmas clearances (and the grandmas), Easter ended up being a little bigger than I had anticipated. Meh, who cares!
The girls were thrilled with their new "tree house"

Sarah was so excited about her chocolate bunny, 

but most of all about her new "bike" and well, I was pretty excited to give it to her.

Oh, this lil' munchkin at so much candy.

Look ma! Here is where the candy comes out!

Checking out the new play tent.

Sarah was so sweet to share and help Abby find the eggs down low.

But she had to work to get some of hers that were up high.

This one made me laugh, because we've had many discussions about how climbing up here is not allowed, so when she spotted it, she said, "Mommy, but I can't get it, I'm not allowed."
At least she is learning.

 These things are a hit too!
 They push a button and the lights turn on and spin.

The girls also got some adorable swimsuits that I'm so excited for. We are planning on doing swim lessons for Sarah and getting pool passes to the pool down the street this year. Can't wait for summer!
(even if it means I have to get in a swimsuit)

I was really excited to see the girls in their new Easter duds.
 Sweet and simple.
 Perfect for my two sweet little angels.

Hope you had a wonderful Easter!

Nauvoo: Last Day

Thursday was our final day in Nauvoo. I was sad, but really not too sad because I'm planning on taking Ryan to visit on our way to Utah in May, but we were sure to make it another fun filled day. 
Ready for more picture overload?

Here we go!

Wait... but first. A quick story. The night before as we said our night prayers with everyone, Morgan prayed that we would have a sunshine day and that it wouldn't rain. And guess what. It was a beautiful day, no rain, relatively warm and a perfect last day in Nauvoo. Thanks kids for your amazing faith!

Okay, on with the show.
I asked Joan if we could go by the temple that morning and get some pictures. I figured the morning light would be perfect... well... I didn't think about where that sun would be... right in the way.
 It wasn't soo bad, but not the perfect lighting I was dreaming of. The temple was closed this week for cleaning... they were even cleaning the outside, so our photography had to be a little sneaky to block out the workers. 
This is a statue that was made to represent the feelings that Joseph and Hyrum had leaving their beautiful temple as they went to Carthage. It was beautiful and really portrayed the emotion they must have felt. 

After we let the kids run around and try a ba-zillion times to get a decent picture or two we headed over to the Wainwright and Blacksmith shop.   

At the Wainwright shop, we learned about how they made wagons and about the kinds of things they took with them to Utah.
The kids learned how they would be hired to oil the wheels and make sure they spun right.

The next room over was the Blacksmith shop, where Joan's dad, Elder Morgan was teaching about making horse and oxen shoes. Did you know that ox have two toes on their hoof? That they can move separately? I didn't... kind of interesting. 

He demonstrated what making a horse shoe would look like. 

And Sarah was thrilled when she got to keep it!!

Look how tiny and cute it is?

He even pounded out an even smaller one for Abby.

So, so small and cute!

We then heard the story of the Praire Diamonds and each got a ring.

We all felt so special with out little treasures we could take home. 

We then decided that we wanted to go on the carriage ride (we went on the wagon ride yesterday, but the carriage ride had more stories and took you to a different part of Nauvoo)

While we were waiting for the carriage we visited Joan's mom in the visitor's center. 
I have to share this cute little story. 
Sweet lil' Naomi kept wandering off, and over by the bathroom. I jokingly asked Abby to go get Naomi not thinking that she would understand, or be able to. The next thing I know Abby toddles over by Naomi, sweetly taked her hand and slowly walks back with her. It was so cute. My camera card filled up right after this crummy picture, but at least I got one. 
I just love it when my children do sweet little things like this. Of course after the big fuss the moms and Sister missionaries made, the girls kept doing it over and over again. Naomi would run away and Abby would keep bringing her back. Love it!

Here is just a cute picture of Abby in the carriage station waiting to ride.

I didn't get any pictures on the carriage ride, I'm a little bummed because it was beautiful. Guess, I'll have something to take pictures of when we come back in a few weeks. 

After we were done they let us come and meet the horse team, Max and King. It was their first day and they were a great team. 

Can you see how Sarah's face is just beaming? Makes me want to go live on a ranch so that she can be this happy all of the time. 

We had a little bit of left over time before dinner, so we headed back up by the temple to get a few more pictures with different lighting. 

The kids had fun running down this little hill. 

 Spring is one of my favorite seasons, and it was so nice to be out in some sunshine and to see these beautiful flowers. I love how the church takes such care of the Temple grounds. 

Later that night, after dinner we went to the play, "Rendezvous" that Joan's parents were in. It was so cute to see all of these Senior missionary couples preform a cute little play about old Nauvoo. 

I had such a wonderful visit. I'm so lucky that my sweet friend asked me to come along. She is a sweetheart and it was amazing to get to know her a little better and share the sweet spirit of Nauvoo with her. Thanks for letting us tag along Joan!
And thank you Elder & Sister Morgan (who Sarah & Abby called Grammy & Papa). We felt so loved and just like one of the family. I think my girls think that they inherited a new set of grandparents they love you so much. Thanks for your generosity and making space for all of us. We'll be sure to come and say hi on our way to Utah!!

Nauvoo: Day Two

Heres another day in Nauvoo (are you tired yet?)

Early that morning we headed over to the visitor's center to snag some tickets for a wagon ride 
(they're free, you just have to have a ticket to reserve your spot)
Sarah and Emery asked for matching hair, don't they look so cute!

It wasn't raining, but man it was cold. They gave us plenty of blankets to bundle up in, but it was still pretty cold. I wasn't too cold because I had Abby warming me up.
 They were so excited to be on our carriage ride.
 It was about an hour tour where we learned little stories about houses and the people of old Nauvoo.
About half way through the little ones asked if they could be done, and Joan's two little girls fell asleep. It was cold, but I really enjoyed it.

After a long day yesterday of look, but don't touch, we decided we better go to the Family Living Center and learn and do things that the pioneers did. It was perfect because Joan's mom, Sister Morgan was working there that day.  She told us about how the pioneers learned to make linen and wool clothes, bake bread, make candles and other household tasks. 

Here is Abby getting some hands on learning about wool.

Sampling the oven baked bread. Yum!

After we were done there and had some lunch we took a short drive to Carthage to visit the jail. 
 It was interesting to be there and hear the stories about how the prophet was at certain places at certain times, it is amazing to me to think of the courage Joseph Smith had. 

Sarah getting a little taste of what incarceration would be like.

It was another fun filled day.

Nauvoo: Day One

After such a long car ride my girls were a little bit tired. 
So we made sure to let them get a good rest and then headed out to see some sights. 
It was really wet and chilly, but we still had fun. 

We first went to the brick yard and learned how the saints made their bricks for their homes. 
 Most of the saints were experienced in making homes out of logs, but the trees in Nauvoo were not good for building with, so they decided to make bricks instead. We learned how making a brick is a several week process, and it is really amazing to think that it took one family about 2-3 years to make their homes, and only got to live in them on average about 3-6 months before they had to leave. What faith, I don't know if I would have been able to leave all of that hard work behind.

Here are the kiddos climbing... they had a hard time listening in the brick making talk.

After we learned how they made bricks they gave us a brick that they made right here in Nauvoo. Almost the same way as they did back in the 1800s.

We then went to the Lucy Mack Smith home.

We learned a few little tidbits about the Prophets mother and the most interesting thing to the kiddos was the stairs. They were sooo steep! Its hard to tell in the picture, but the steps were a lot shorter than usual (I had to step my foot sideways walking down) and a much higher step than an average step. I guess it had to be this way due to how small the homes were, don't want to take up all of your space with a staircase.

We also went to John Taylor's home and learned about how he joined the church, and heard a cute story about a father's love and that old rocking horse (it is right by Sarah, we're blocking it)
You can read the story HERE from the March 2010 Friend.
As you can tell from Sarah's face, the kids were getting a little tired from looking and not touching. 

We also went to the post office and learned how they mailed a letter without and envelope, went to a the Printing press, and learned about items they carried in their General Store. 

The last stop we made this day was to the school house. 
It was run by a doctor who not only helped with medical problems, but helped to teach the children to read and write.  
The kids were so excited to have something they could touch and play with!!!
The sister missionary there also quizzed us, and showed us some words that people wrote back then (before the doctor/school teacher came) and had us guess what misspelled word it was. 
Here are some that I remember:
youtensils - utensils
bertatoes - potatoes
shouse - shoes
uv - of

Pretty funny. Good thing that doctor came and help to teach them how to spell correctly.

As we were "in school" it started to down pour. We had to run to our car and got soaked. 
That night, my friend Joan's parents (who are the main reason we went, they're on their mission there) did a rehearsal for the play they are putting on in the summer, so Joan and her kids went to that. I was planning on going, but my girls (and myself) were far too tired and cranky. So we stayed home and went to bed early. 

What a fun day. I loved hearing all of the wonderful stories of faith of the pioneers.