Sunday, July 17, 2011


In June Britton was able to attend his first day camp. I have rarely seen a boy so excited. Some days can be REALLY long for him. He doesn't have many friends in the neighborhood. Many are at day care & the rest are girls wanting to play dolls. His brothers are enough older that he often gets left out. A few days away with fun focused on him was just the type of thing he needed. One of his friends Tim went also & he had a great time.
Jers turned 38 . His favorite movie is cars & since Ashlynn LOVES birthdays & parties & would appreciate fun decorations we celebrated with a cars theme. Jers & I both agree cars 2 was kind of a let down. He celebrated the day before his birthday playing golf, going to cars then him & I going to dinner at Texas road house. He was at scout camp for his birthday, that's why we celebrated on the 2nd and 3rd. J.D. is such a great man he does so much to bless our family. We would all be lost without him.

NAUVOO we love you!!!
So I decided we had to get out of the house this weekend I was going stir crazy to say the least. I do not enjoy tent camping but it is affordable. so we loaded up after work on Friday & headed to Nauvoo.

We stayed at Nauvoo state park. The great thing about camping in the mid-west is you camp in a park with grass not a pile of dirt. We had nice hot showers, flushing toilets, so other than the spiders it wasn't too bad. The best part about the tent sleeping is Ashlynn doesn't really remember ever sleeping in a tent so she LOVED it & thought it was the funnest thing ever.

In the morning she kept saying "mom we are having a picnic." Jers made a mountain man breakfast. It was yummy however I forgot salt & pepper so it could have used that for sure. I loved that we didn't have to do dishes .

The main reason I wanted to go to Nauvoo is to do the 3 mile trek . I wanted my kids to at least have a glance at what the pioneers had to endure. With pioneer day coming up & living so close to so many pioneer sites I have so much appreciation towards them & the many sacrifices they were willing to endure to do what they felt was right. So Saturday morning we went & picked up our handcart and off we went.

Daxon was a trooper & stayed with the cart for most the trek. J.D. made it possible to finish. We would have died without him.

Some very small hills when Alyssa & I were pulling needed help to get up. Others like in the picture below needed help to not roll down too fast.

Ashlynn was in the cart a lot. However when she was out she LOVED it. Just out wandering doing her thing, getting all dirty. She was really fun. Alyssa eventually decided she wasn't going to die & that it would be okay to at least try to enjoy it. At that point we started to get a few smiles from her.

It was so HOT & humid we stopped to take lots of water breaks. The kids all enjoyed these.

Alyssa is pulling & smiling it is a wonderful moment. In all seriousness she is an amazing kid. I don't know how her momma would survive without her.

The last 1/4 of the trek Alyssa & Riley left & ran back to the end to rest. Ashlynn fell asleep. Britton was sure he would die but somehow he made it & I thought he did amazing. He was so tough the whole time. Dax kept right on with the cart to the very end.

After we cleaned out about 30 water bottles from our cart we got to clean it up. Ashlyyn didn't budge as we scrubbed away.
Going on the trek was so much fun. We had a great time however
after 3 miles we were more than ready to be done. We also had all the water in ice we could drink, food, treats & we stopped every time nerves started to flare. How those pioneers made it with a full cart with so little to eat I don't think any of us will ever fully understand or appreciate. I am so thankful for the pioneers & the willingness they had to do the right thing & not complain even when it was hard. Often I will do the right thing but I may complain even if it is only in my head. It was funny towards the end of the trek a horse buggy of people were going by & the people all started taking pictures of us. I thought we are in Nauvoo they know what we are doing but still take pictures. Imagine being a pioneer with your kiddos & handcart full of stuff traveling to Salt Lake. I am sure they got many stares. I am thankful we had this opportunity even if for a ever so tiny glimpse of the thankfulness I have for not having to pull that empty handcart with 5 children more than 3 miles:)

After the trek we went back to camp, cleaned up and went over to Nauvoo where we played at the make believe area. Ashlynn & Britton loved this place.

Ashlynn played in this house forever & didn't want to ever come out.

These 2 just ran from 1 thing to another competing with one another.

I was surprised how much Britton wanted to play make believe. He thought all the old pioneer things were pretty cool.

Ashlynn kept wanting to ride the animals & change outfits.

After about an hour everyone from Daxon & older was tired of the heat & decided to go to one of the indoor places.

Ashlynn was not happy about this decision. So we took her kicking & screaming.

Sunset on the Mississippi

This is a fun play & the kids loved making hats to be in the parade.

Before pageant starts they have tons of pioneer games- The area where they had dancing Ashlynn kept going up to dance & was asked to dance by some 16 year old and here response was priceless. She timidly looks down walks over to me & hands me her sno cone straightens her shirt walks back over to him & holds out her hand. It was adorable to watch she was laughing & smiling & twirling with this really tall kid dressed like a pioneer. I really wish I would have had the camera.
We went to Nauvoo 2 years ago with J.D.s parents & it was so much fun. I just think it is such a great place to visit.
The pageant has lots of inexpensive food also. We kept buying the kids sno cones & pop so the heat wouldn't get to them. It was a great weekend & although I still have tons of work to do today to clean up from going I am so happy we went. It was a great weekend getaway.


  1. You are amazing and always do such fun things with your kids. Nauvoo looks awesome!

  2. It looks like your fam had an amazing time in Nauvoo! I would love to do that. The pics of your kids are priceless. I'm glad Alyssa survived. (smile.) Great blog! Love ya, Rae. p.s. Houston says Thanks for his itunes card. He was very excited. Thanks!!!