Saturday, March 27, 2010

Nauvoo Recap- My thoughts on this beautiful City

As one can tell from the prior posts, our trip to Nauvoo was great. When you are in the actual space of an event, history seems more relevant and close by. And there is a lot of history in Nauvoo. All of it dutifully recorded in personal journals and public history books.

When you visit Nauvoo, be prepared to learn about the way the city lived, interacted, developed. And be prepared for personal stories. Every house, no matter what profession or role it was displaying, had stories about the townspeople that lived there and what happened to them after they left Nauvoo.

The center of Nauvoo, and the center of our trip, was the Temple. Built originally during the 1840's, dedicated in May of 1846, and destroyed by man and natural elements, after the Saints left Nauvoo. Rebuilt and dedicated in 2002.

The families of Nauvoo were all centered on the Temple. The men had weekly or daily shifts to help work on the Temple, or women were making items in their homes that contributed to the Temple. How they must have rejoiced when it was finished, to partake of the covenants and ordinances therein, that they'd worked hard for years to accomplish.

That feeling was echoed in our reason for coming to the Temple, to see John's sister Holly get married. I can say, on her behalf, that she full appreciates the covenants and ordinances of Eternal Marriage- because she's worked hard for years to accomplish that goal. It's not easy to be a single woman in today's world, to persevere, keep hope, keep dating, keep working, and keep your chin up when dating doesn't turn into marriage. But Holly did it with faith rather than doubt. She never gave up on the idea that somewhere there was a man that was as righteous and smart and funny and loving as she was. And there was. He just lived in San Francisco at the time.

The sealing rooms in the Temple are on the top floor. And in that room, listening to the Sealer talk about eternal marriage, and looking at the happy couple dressed in white, it does seem very close to Heaven. Holly and Braden walked in single, and came out a new entity. Joined together, for eternity, no longer seperate, but a new marriage and a new life and a new family was formed in that moment.

The other central theme of Nauvoo was that the Saints were only temporary residents of this city. As persecution mounted, Joseph and Hyrum Smith were killed. As the Saints tried to live in peace, and eventually could not, they moved all the belongings and food they could fit into a wagon, and left their city behind.

We walked along the Trail of Tears, read all the quotes, and thought about how heavy their footsteps must have been to leave a city behind, and their Temple.

Click to see larger image and to see the quote more clearly.

I know God had a plan for these Saints and I know the journey was not easy. I also know the end from the beginning, that some Saints made it to Winter Quarters and Utah with their lives. Others did not make the whole journey and lay in peace along the trail to Utah. I know what lies ahead of them. But they did not.

Did they know the magnitude of the journey ahead? Did they just want to rest away from persecution and hatred? Did they think it would be easier than what they'd endured so far? Or did they fear the worst and think that no place would ever be like Nauvoo again? Did they have pure faith in Brigham Young, nothing doubting, this trip he was asking them to take?

I rejoice in these Saints. They had courage and conviction and faith to go beyond their comfortable homes and follow a Prophet even farther into the wilderness, away from the world they knew.

I've never been asked to walk across the United States. But I have been asked to keep my home pure from the world. To teach my children to love each other and not hate. To love a dozen Young Women not of my family and help teach them how to be strong women of Faith. I've been asked to grow a child inside me and give of my body for it's growth. I've been asked to cleave unto my husband and none else, to be a supportive wife, to build a home that invites the Spirit to dwell. Sometimes these tasks feel quite daunting, and I don't know the end from the beginning.

But I do know there is a prophet on the earth, President Thomas S. Monson, that will give wise counsel this coming weekend. I do know that I have the Lord on my side, and I've welded myself to him and my husband through eternal covenants. And for this I rejoice, even though I don't know what my journey through this life entails.

Nauvoo was wonderful. You should visit. Contemplate the many blessings you enjoy, what you could have endured, and what joy there is in a life full of Service, and a life centered on Temple covenants.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Some more pictures from our trip....

A statue of Joseph Smith, from the Visitor's center

The Monument to Women, located behind the Visitor's center. Statue titles include: Women of Knowledge, Compassionate Woman, Woman of Talent, In her Mother's footsteps, Eternal Marriage. This was one of my favorite exhibits, I loved all the different roles and talents showcased.

We went to the Visitor's center upon arrival in Nauvoo, so my kids were ready to run around and play. Natalie felt the need to put the shattered brick pieces back in place. Sophia ran around saying "What is this statue all about?" for each one. Then I somehow persuaded them to sit on a bench with John and act like they like getting their picture taken.

The next morning we visited the town of Nauvoo with all it's professions and shops.

First up: The Blacksmith Shop. The girls like watching him heat up the metal and bend it. I thought it was amazing how they made the wheels and strengthened them with metal. Sophia liked spinning the wheel as pioneer children did, it was to coat the wheel with turpentine to waterproof it.

We visited the gunsmith shop and bakery, here are some pictures from those homes.

From top, there's a picture showing the bed ropes and how to "sleep tight," some china, a fireplace with dried herbs hanging, the sink cabinet, a 6 cup ladle and sugar auger, baking tools, and the cellar doorway that was underneath the floor.

Next we visited the Family Living Center.

We learned how wool was carded, spun, dyed and all about linseed and other ways of making cloth.

Then we learned about baking. The top pictures are repeats with baking tools, the middle picture shows the bustle oven (wood square in the center) along with huge bread boards. The bottom left picture is a proofing box for rising bread, and the bottom left is the pie cupboard. All the doors are punched tin, small enough holes for steam from the baked goods to escape, but not large enough for flies to get in.

We also learned candle making (from animal fat- ewww), and how it took days to purify the fat, then days to dip the strings and make new ones. Then the finished candles had to be protected so animals didn't try to eat them, and buried in the ground so they didn't melt in the hot summer.

Then came the weaving. This was the girl's favorite part. The senior missionary working the loom let them pull the string back and forth to make the rows.

Last but not least we made rope. They girls got to spin the huge wheel to make it twist into small ropes, then pull the board down the middle to make a stronger, thicker, rope.

Some random pics from a humungous tree stump.
Here are some pictures from the Trail of Tears (the exodus from Nauvoo across the river to Iowa, then onto Winter Quarters in Feb of 1846). The pathway to the River, then a statue of Joseph Smith and Brigham Young, the Mississippi River, and a replica of the boats they would have used to cross.

Some of the landmarks from Nauvoo- Lucy Mack Smith Home, Red Brick Store, Blacksmith shop, a home with a Bustle oven showing (it sticks out the back of the house like a woman's dress bustle), along with above ground Root Cellar, the Temple and the Mansion House where Joseph Smith lived, and a replica of the log cabin where "The Last Leaf" lived as a girl. The Last Leaf is Mary Field Garner, who lived in Nauvoo as a child, made the trek west to Utah, and was the last remaining person on the earth to have known Joseph Smith, when she died in 1943 at 107 years of age.

Last but not least, some random pictures.
On top, the Rendezvous musical show put on every night by the Senior Missionaries.

Sophia drawing on Slate boards at the school house, the girls in Bonnets, and a sign "City uv Josef" from the schoolhouse, which taught all the different immigrants English by teaching them to spell phonetically. Which makes sense...until you consider all the accents. Might not have been the most effective!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


On Friday morning we took the drive to Carthage, IL.

This is where Joseph Smith, the first prophet of the Restoration, along with his brother Hyrum, was killed.

The tour starts with a 20 minute video on the life of Joseph Smith, following that is a tour of the jail.

During the tour we learned about the charges against Joseph, which were treason, given specifically so no bail could be set, except by a circuit judge that lived far away.

Also, this jail was for prisoners awaiting trial. They lived with the family in the same home, including eating with the family. Prisoners had to pay for their keep and food. Friends could come stay with you in jail to keep you company. Which is why some of the 12 apostles were with Joseph and Hyrum at the time.

The tour guide was of the opinion that the jailor was kind to Joseph, because he let him stay in the debtor's cell on the first floor because of the heat of the summer. When he heard there were people out to kill Joseph, He then had Joseph sleep in his room (the jailor's) room on the top floor, rather than the dungeon which had little circulation.

Here's some pictures of the dungeon cell.

And some of the room where Joseph and his friends were staying when he was murdered. The tour goes through the events of the night before, and then a tape recording is played with the sequence of events as the mob decides on the jail and fires into the room.

I've always pondered and thought about what it must have been like to be Joseph. To be taught by the Lord and have him so close to you, to know angels and receive visions and revelations, and to be scorned and persecuted because of it. I can only imagine what it would feel like to be in jail on false charges, to be subject to the laws of the land, yet know you are going to be justified at the judgement bar of God.
I don't really know what it would have been like to be Joseph Smith. But I do know that he was a prophet of God, that he spoke God's message on the earth, and his teachings and prophecies, revealed from God, have brought me peace and comfort. While I worship God and Jesus Christ, I revere Joseph for the difficult task he accomplished in restoring Christ's church.

Wedding Day

The Location: Navuoo Illinois Temple

The Bride and Groom: Holly and Braden

Aren't they cute?

In the morning we had a fabulous luncheon at the Hotel Nauvoo, where Holly and Braden were revered and everyone talked about how amazing they are and how happy they are to be getting married and all that nice jazz.

Then we got dressed, went to the temple, and had a photo shoot. I didn't take many of Holly and Braden, I figured their photographer was getting the money shots. And was better than me.

Here's a shot of our little family of 4.. (for the time being)

I don't look like I'm very close to John, but in the shots where I was closer, my face looked fatter. So I went for skinny over intimacy.
Here's the two princesses.

Here's the Redheaded and the fairheaded Daleys being fancy together.

The other parts of the Redheaded Daley family. See the pink vest on Jonah? Isn't it to just die for?

The Leavens were there too. I got a good shot of Kailey being the bouquet holder. It's like once a girl is a teenager suddenly you can see them as a bride (Sorry Susan, not much longer and they'll be the ones in the white dress!)

"Who's your favorite?" -Aunt Holly

That's Holly's favorite thing to ask my kids. So it's no suprised all the nieces were so excited to be there at her wedding day. She is, after all, the favorite.

When the photographer was done with the kids but not done with the adults, we had to take matters into our own hands and entertain as reverently as possible. Simon Says, formal wedding dress style.

Hooray for Holly and Braden!

Monday, March 15, 2010

St Patrick's Day Preschool

Today we celebrated St. Patrick's Day...a few days early.

For worksheet time we did writing practice with symbols of St Patrick's day: gold, rainbow, flag, pot. And did a Math worksheet with leprechauns and pots of gold. Their journal entry was "If I had a pot of Gold I would..." Some of the girls said share. One said hide it under her bed.

We read about St. Patrick and how he taught about the Trinity with a shamrock, brought Catholicism to Ireland, and got rid of all the snakes in Ireland. We talked about dancing fairies and the leprechauns that repaired their shoes at night, then saved their gold coins as payment in pots of gold.

Then we played St Patrick's day memory, with clipart memory. I printed this image out twice and mounted each card on green cardstock.

After we played Memory, we had Lucky Charms for snack. If I had all the time in the world, it would have been mint brownies. But alas, that didn't happen. Lucky Charms was a hit though.

Then we painted salt dough shamrocks and beads for a St Patrick's day necklace. You can find the recipe here on Alphamom. I made a double recipe. I ended up using four times as much water as the recipe calls for, in order to make the dough pliable and not crumbly. One batch would have been enough for 4 kids, but I made extra bunny beads for an activity on Easter. I made the beads last night, we painted today, and then I'll spray them with clear spray paint and give them to the girls at the next preschool day.

Next we went on a treasure hunt. I used the clues from JesseKateDesigns treasure hunt post. She used real gold coins and then had her kids think of ways to give them away. I used chocolate coins and let them eat them.

For our pots of gold, I used my cricut to cut out Nut cups at 5 and 3/4". Then I used pipe cleaners to make a rainbow handle. 4 qty of 3/4" hearts made up each shamrock on the pot of gold. I couldn't find a whole big bag of chocolate coins, so I bought CareBear coins that were 75 percent off at my local party store. And then gave each child one gold coin each. (Gold Coins were like 1.30 for 5 pieces of candy- such a rip off!)

After the treasure hunt, we read some books, listened to Harp music on youtube, and learned this Leprechaun song.

Sung to the tune of "I'm a little Teapot"

"I'm a little Leprechaun dressed in green. (Point to yourself, find green to point to)

The tiniest man (Hold your hand up to show how tiny he is)

That you have ever seen.

If you ever catch me, so it's told, (Pretend like you're running)

I'll give you my pot of Gold." (Hands outstretched to give imaginary pot of Gold)

That was our St Patrick's day....

On the real one, we'll be driving to Nauvoo, IL

and enjoying a mini vacation!

Friday, March 12, 2010

Preschool this week: Cat in the Hat and Bedtime!

This week we started the vowels for Preschool. Some of the girls are reading, so it was a review, but we did lots of sounding out words during the lesssons.

For our lesson, we listed words with short vowel A sounds (cat, hat, bag, ball, fan, etc). I wrote all the words on the board, we sounded them out, then the girls matched pictures with the words. Then we read Cat in the Hat. And had goldfish for snack, because of the goldfish in the book.

For our activity we made Cat in the Hat Hats.

  1. Take a strip of white butcher paper, about 18 inches by 24 inches.
  2. We glued red strips across (need about 1 1/2 pieces of red construction paper, with 1-2 inch strips).
  3. Then cut 2 inch cuts across the bottom of the paper. These are for easy taping into the hat lid.
  4. Cut a hole in a paper plate to fit onto the child's head. My plates left about a 1 inch circle. See below.
  5. Tape the huge hat together into a tube, then attach the strips inside the plate like the picture shows.

Now go be the cat in the Hat!

For the rest of preschool, we listened to the "Cat came back" song by Laurie Berkner, and acted like cats.

For the rest of preschool we
  • read some more cat books
  • talked about what to do when strangers knock on the door when your parents are sleeping or can't come to the door
  • Learned a rhyme about cats, and put up pictures for each line

Another great idea is to have the kids try to balance things on their head or legs like the cat does in the book.

On thursday we did Bedtime Preschool.

We wrote out short vowel e words (bed, hen, ten, jet, sew, etc), and matched pictures with words. We sang Ten In Bed with ten little cardstock teddy bears. I wrote "10 in bed" on the board, and pointed to it everytime we got to that line, and erased the 10 and wrote the new number every time. The kids held up their fingers and practiced subtracting and counting backwards.

Then we sewed some pillows for our stuffed animals bedtime.


I basically folded 6 by 6 pieces of fabric over, tied some contrasting embroidery floss in one corner, let them sew with larger needles all the way around, stuffed, then sewed close. They did pretty good once they learned to pull the string all the way through.

For the rest of preschool we:
  • read Bedtime books (Good night moon, Max's Bedtime, Ten in Bed popup book)
  • made beds on the couches while they listened
  • talked about brushing our teeth before bed
  • listened to some lullabies.

Wizard of Oz Party Food

*******WELCOME PINTEREST PINNERS! IF YOU'RE LOOKING FOR AN UPSIDE DOWN WICKED WITCH CUPCAKE, you can find the creator and picture at the flickr set here. Or visit her website here: I had her image on my post and never intended for it to go viral. But here you are, looking for it all the same. Send Kelly Sweet Rewards some love on her flickr set. *******

Original post:

For Girl's Camp this year our Stake is doing an "Over the Rainbow" theme. We watched Wizard of Oz for a mutual activity, so the girls were more familiar with the movie before they went to camp. I was put in charge of food. These foods could easily be adapted to a Wizard of Oz party or family night movie party.

First, we had a Rainbow of Fruit. I saw this idea for a St.Patricks Day Party (theirs had marshmallows for clouds). But we did a rainbow of Strawberries, oranges, mangos, Kiwi, grapes and blueberries. I served it with Cream Cheese fruit dip.
Secondly, we had Yellow Brick Road Vanilla Wafers. These are pretty much my favorite cookie ever, so that was a no-brainer. They're pretty good dipped in cream cheese dip too. Not that we did that or anything...

Lastly I made Wicked Witch punch- it's Lime Sherbet punch, with a hat over it. Because the witch melted- get it??? I was so excited about this when I found it on a Wizard of Oz party forum.

(which by the way, is an interesting segment of the population. People admitted to having Wizard of Oz themed guest rooms. I don't know if I'd ever commit a whole room of decor to a movie.)

The Lime Sherbet is a 1/2 gallon of sherbet mixed with a can of limeade concentrate, then 2 liters of lemon lime soda mixed in with ice. So good.

Here's a close up of the hat. It was beaten up a little before it made it into the punch bowl. I used a clean plastic food safe lid for the bottom, then taped on black foam, with a black construction paper cone taped on top. Tape doesn't stick to foam very well, just so you know. I didn't, now I do.

And I'm not responsible for the genius of the wizard of oz cupcake, you can find the flickr set here.

Maybe I'll convince my kids to like Wizard of Oz more, just to make those cupcakes.

Oh and Interesting mom's name is Glenda. When people would hear that, they'd say "Like the Good witch of the North??" No, not exactly. My Mom in a pink ballgown floating in a bubble would quite the sight.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Bridal Shower Shots

In the next few posts you'll see more details of the bridal shower. First, there were some cute ladies, some old friends...

And some newer ones.

We sat around and put the recipes on the cards, then ate some of the delicious food.

Mom Daley was there. And Jonah was the lone bachelor. (All the other kids were off at the park with John and Grandpa)

Then we watched Braden on a computer screen, and Holly tried to guess the answers to his questions. It was fun, it helped everyone get a feel for Braden a little bit (He lives in San Francisco, so just Holly's family has spent time with him.)
And of course, GIFTS! The real reason for a Bridal shower.

Scroll down for more posts about the decorations, food, favors and more!

Good cake, eh ladies?
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