Friday, November 11, 2011

I loved this message.

His story was such a great inspiration.  Really the answers in our lives are so simple, we only need the love of god to fulfill our lives. At any point you are in your life you can change who you are and decide to be who you want to be.  Now is the time for us  to start enjoying our lives.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


 This is the first level cell, used more as a holding cell.
 This is the upstairs cell..It was a very dark room with a small walkway and then  a barred up area with a straw bed and a bucket.  In the jail with Joseph on this day was his brother Hyrum, John Taylor and Willard Richards.  After Joseph, Hyrum and John all got shot.  Willard Richards remarkably sustained no injuries as previously prophesied by Joseph.  After John Taylor had been hit Willard Richards dragged him and hid him under the straw bed to hide him from the mob.  This building was the first historical purchase by the Church in 1903 by Joseph F. Smith, who was Hyrum' son.
 These were the only source of light in the upstairs cell.  If I remember right there were only like 4 of these.  They sure didn't provide much light at all.
 When the church bought this to restore it all the old doors and bars had been left in like the attic or cellar or something so most if it was really from that time period it was amazing.
 This is the window that Joseph Smith fell out of once he had been shot, several times.

The day that we headed home we to a detour and went south to Carthage.  It was really surreal to be in the place where Joseph Smith was shot and killed. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Going to See the Temple

We spent one morning just walking around the Temple grounds.  I can't remember were I heard this, but the more times you let your kids experience the temple grounds and the importance of it, the more likely that going to the temple will be one of their future goals.  It, like every other Temple I have seen is exquisite its beauty is in describable to me.  What Joseph Smith and the other early settlers endured to build the first Temple that sat here just completely builds my testimony of the truth of the church.  Why would you chose to go through so many trials if what he had seen in his first vision wasn't true? You wouldn't. Why is it so hard to believe in a living prophet?  It's not!  The bible had living Prophets.  I just can't image being a pioneer and enduring the hardships of leaving everything you own, and being driven out by mobs...It is just so much emotion to take in.  I am so grateful for each opportunity we get to go to the Temple and how the spirit can strengthen me so much, not just me anyone with an open heart!  I am especially grateful for the blessing that come from temple work, like having the chance to be an eternal family.

Our Eternal Family

 My attempt at a picture with my three kids...
 These two are so funny together..A is a year and a half older and they just love to run off and do their own thing together.
 Bryn's ready open up..

 The Z Eternal Family
 The kids and boys were more interested in catching all the butterflies that were around.
 Two Peas in a Pod
 I love this picture of Mark holding Jaylee's hand as the walk onto the grounds...What is said is that before we know it she will be all grown up!
 The 3 musketeers....or naughty teers...Oh boy can these three cause some trouble, what amazes me is that Bryn has no trouble keeping up with them.
 Can you feel the love???
This is the view from the Temple is sits way on the top of a hill overlooking the Mississippi into Iowa.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Hotel Room Fun

I don't know what it is but hotels are always way more fun!  Not like we do anything different in them, and yet more fun.  This one had a pool so we went swimming in the morning and then got ready for the day. 
 These two seriously had so much fun in the window.
 Then they took turns talking into the air conditioner.  My room stunk soooo bad which turned out to be awesome because they were completely booked so i couldn't get a new room, but we ended up getting a discount which is even better!

The Nauvoo Pageant

In July we were able to go to the Nauvoo Pageant with some of our really close friends.  It amazes me the trials that the pioneers went through to bring forth the church.  I am so thankful for their strong testimonies that made the growth of the church possible, I am thankful that Joseph Smith was given the gift from god to translate the Book of Mormon.  Most of all I am thankful to have a living prophet of god.  The experiences we have when we go to Nauvoo always build my testimony and give me such a greater love and understanding for the sacrifices that so many people made for us.  This is just such a wonderful production.

Pioneer Games

A beautiful Midwest sunset...honestly when I moved away from here I was so excited to get away from all the corn, I hated Iowa....but now I have such a great appreciation for it here!  I love it so much and have loved being back here and giving my kids memories where I grew up!

 A little hand cart pulling..seriously the pioneers pushed these through snow, rain, tall grass...can you imagine walking from Iowa City all the way to Salt Lake?  WOW.

 Jj was soaking up some special time with L
 MJ was soooo excited to come..he remembered from last year it was so cute.  He ran in front of us and said come on guys.
 The older girls loved the sack races..little miss Jaylee was so stinking fast too!  She won a ton of the races.
 I love these two together..A is so nurturing and loving with her its so cute.

 The kids made sock puppets and participated in a little show.

 A little more stilt fun..why these are so fun I am not sure..but they ARE.  The pioneers really had some fun pastimes..
 JJ was made because she wanted the little stilts...:(

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Nauvoo Post 1

The last weekend in July my family and our BFF family headed down to Nauvoo to catch the pageant.  If you live anywhere remotely close whether you are LDS or not this is a wonderful product, go if you have the chance it is free fun!  Anyways, Nauvoo is so much fun, it's very simple and the spirit is just indescribable.  I was really excited to share it with people we love.  My friend N and I are "two peas in a pod" according to her husband..It is awesome it was like we were separated at birth.  Her husband and Mark are like two little boys when they get to play together so it worked out perfectly!  Plus all my kids love them.  Oh anywhoo, you get the point we have a butt load of fun together.  We got to stay right in Nauvoo this time and even got R's Military discount, even better.  The weather was awesome.  Again I don't know what it is about that place but every time I go I just love it more and more.

This was where the original bakery was, when they started excavating they found the original foundation to it, that is so freaking cool.
 The Family Living Center has a lot of great activities to learn more about how the pioneers made what they needed to survive, like bread, candles, rope, rugs some of the basics.

This is MJ's future wife..
 Here is how the make the rope...
 Mark is a great "supervisor"
 Bryn is also a great "supervisor"
 Then we ventured on to Pioneer we get to spend time playing like the pioneers.  I am pretty sure they didn't have water fountains. LOL.  This kept him busy for a good 10 minutes.
 Bryn found all the kitchen stuff and went to town! She loves to play babies and kitchen, even by herself.  She plays independently really well.
 A  got all dressed up!  I love all the little dresses and bonnets.
 As soon as he found this wood he went pyro crazy and started to build a fire!  A little boy walked by and accidentally knocked it down and Brecken got so sad he said "Oh my poor fire!"  Well good thing he built it again.
 Of course Mark enjoyed having a man to play with.
 Miss competitive wanted to beat her daddy at the bear races, ok her competitive side doesn't come from me..
 N and L had fun "trying" to walk on the silts.

Here is my little pioneer woman...all grown up.