Thursday, June 6, 2013

Spring Break Road Trip (Part 2)!

Monday we got up and decided to head back up to Nauvoo and see a few more things, especially some of the homes we missed, before continuing on to Carthage Jail and then Indianapolis.  It was such a beautiful day as we drove along the Mississippi River!  We were disappointed that the many of the Joseph Smith sites that are owned by the Community of Christ Church were closed, but we took time to go by them and read all the signs.  Then we went to Brigham Young's home and a few others before getting on our way.

We drove the half hour to Carthage where we visited the jail where Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum were martyred.  It is difficult to describe my feelings while in that place.  I vacillated between sadness, joy, and everything inbetween.  I would have to say I settled on something that I would describe as peace.  Peace that God is in control.  Stillness because I know He is God.  I think it was powerful for the kids to be there and I'm really glad we went there as a family.

We continued our drive through Illinois (where we stopped for a moment in Adair, Illinois) to Cyle and Athena's home in Indianapolis.  Being in the van with the kids was great!  We were listening to audiobooks of the Tennis Shoes series and we were all completely entertained despite the long hours in the car.  Every time we got in the van, the kids would start chanting, "tennis shoes, tennis shoes!"  I don't think they even wanted to watch a movie until our very last stretch of driving when we were almost home.

We thoroughly enjoyed our visit with Cyle and Athena.  They have done their home up beautifully and we such gracious hosts to our crazy family.  On Tuesday we went to visit Cyle at his work and then to the Indianapolis Children's Museum, which apparently is the largest children's museum in the country.  It was really cool with lots of great exhibits for the kids.  We especially loved the water clock, the hot wheels exhibit, and the ScienceWorks area.  It was also super cool that we were able to meet with Ken's cousin Kyly and her son Isaiah and spend the day with them.  It was the first time that I had ever met Kyly and I just adored her!  It meant so much to us that she would take the time off work and take Isaiah out of school to be with us.

The next day, Wednesday, we just laid low and went to a movie.  It was nice to have a down day after the breakneck speed at which we had been doing activities.  That evening Morgan babysat and we were able to have a nice evening out with Cyle and Athena.  How I love being with them!

Thursday we were packing up for another busy day on the agenda.  We were almost done packing the van and Athena was showing Morgan how to use her new blowdryer/curler (way cooler than if her old mom was showing her) when I heard a loud crash from the bathroom.  I thought a shelf or something big had fallen.  I ran into the bathroom to see Morgan twitching (but not in a seizure-type way) on the floor and a huge hole in the wall.  Athena is freaking out as she explained that Morgan had just passed out.  I did my best to stay calm and got her flat on her back instead of being crumpled up against the wall.  Athena ran to get Ken.  I kept talking to Morgan and after about 30 seconds -- a very long feeling 30 seconds! -- Morgan's eyes popped open and in a startled voice asked, "what happened?!?"  She was very surprised to wake up on the floor and even more surprised to see the big hole she had made in the wall with her head.  After giving her some juice and a little more to eat she felt just fine.  We're still not sure what made her pass out.  We're guessing she had her knees locked.  Probably should talk to her doctor about that one...

We finally got on our way.  Drove back across Illinois and the Mississippi River for our first stop of the day in Hannibal, MO.  Hannibal is where Mark Twin lived and set several of his books, especially Tom Sawyer.  We toured the cave (the one where Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher got lost), drove up to Lover's Leap, walked around downtown that had Mark Twain's house, saw an old-fashioned Mississippi Riverboat, and had ice cream.  It was a fun stop that we all enjoyed!

We continued on our way driving through some of the back roads of Missouri.  We stopped at Far West where temple cornerstones had been laid by the early saints.  We were the only ones there.  It was just before sunset and everything was golden and tranquil.  It was so beautiful!  It was neat to read how that area was once a large town of over 5,000 Saints before they were forced to leave.  I would have loved to spend more time in that peaceful setting but several of us had to use the bathroom so we continued onto the visitor's center in Liberty.  Our whole family was moved when they saw Liberty Jail and its walls that were 4 feet thick.  For them, and for me, experiencing that makes sections 121-123 even more powerful as we learned all that Joseph and his companions had to endure.

After one more night in a hotel , we only had 2 more stops on our adventure.  We visited the grounds of the new Kansas City Temple.  I was just dedicated last year and was beautiful!  I'm glad we took a few moments to go see it.  We then headed over to the visitor's center at Independence.  We learned about how it was important for the Saints to build Zion and how we can build Zion today.  My favorite was when the missionary how we could build Zion in our own families.  Cooper confidently raised his hand and answered, "with a hammer."  That provided all sorts of colorful visuals in my head. :)  Ken had to work a change that night, so we were under a deadline and had to get home, so we got on our way.  I think we were all looking forward to sleeping in our own beds that night.

There is something powerful when you have the opportunity to be somewhere and see it with your own eyes rather than just reading about it in a book.  It was amazing to see my kids really become engaged in church history during this trip.  I'm so glad that for the rest of their lives that they will remember this trip, I know I will.


Kris said...

Awesome pics Car! Scary about Morgan. Avery passed out during spring break too. Weird!

Marie said...

I took the church history vacation with my family when I was 14 or 15. Reading this really makes me want to take my own family!! Some of your pictures and stories brought back such strong impressions and feelings that I got a little choked up! You took some amazing pictures too my friend!