Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Winter Wonderland Walk

We took our usual walk today up in the park and then while Rick walks back down and up the hill again, I usual go into the woods. This is the path that I have photographed many times before in all different seasons, because every season has it's own beauty, but today it was unbelievable. The big snow storm we had on Sunday was still covering every branch and twig, I guess because it has been too cold to melt and because we have not had any winds. Anyway it was so gorgeous, I could hardly breathe....AND FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MONTHS, I DID NOT HAVE MY CAMERA! I was sick!! There had been no one in the woods...not even very many animal tracks and the snow was just sparkling like diamonds. At every turn it was more and more beautiful and took my breath away. It was hard walking through the deep snow, so by the time I made it back to our apartment it was almost time to leave for the Temple...but I HAD to go back and get a few pictures. So I grabbed my camera and hurried back up there in the car. I ran back into the woods just far enough to take a few pictures. They don't do it justice...pictures NEVER do...but at least it will bring back to my memory this glorious experience.

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Sunday, February 21, 2010

Feeding the Birds

I have two feeders now, and it is so fun to watch the birds. I especially love the red cardinals. They are so beautiful against the white snow.
I had to take all these pictures from my apt. window, so they are not the best. If I try to sneak outside, they always fly away.

The trick is to have the feeders high enough that the deer cannot get them and out away from any limbs so the squirrels cannot reach them. Very hard to do. I do feed the squirrels dryed corn cobs. If you look carefully at the first picture you can see one hanging from a branch to the left of the feeder. You can also see a corn cob on the ground. However....they prefer the bird seeds :) Oh Well!
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A winter walk in the Woods

I took a walk again on Tuesday after the snow storm. It was so beautiful and quiet...just me and all the animals...I never see another human in here. I think I am the only one who comes here!...but I certainly saw a lot of animal tracks :)

The temple spire across the lake
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Winter scenes

Sleigh rides in Nauvoo.
And yet another sunset along Parleys
The frozen Mississippi at twilight
and the Temple on the Bluff
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Another Valentine Party

On Monday the 15th of Feb. we had another party...just for the Temple missionaries at a quaint little restaurant in an old school in Ferris, Il. about 17 miles from Nauvoo called Farmer's Junction Cafe. There wasn't much atmosphere, but the food was really good, and of course the company was fantastic!
For the entertainment, they had invited Brother and Sister Tufuaku to sing for us. They are Temple ordinance workers from Nauvoo. He is Hawaiian. They met at BYU Hawaii, and they have 13 children. She makes these harps and the instrument he is playing! They have beautiful voices and sang us love songs. Brother Tufuaku has recently returned to the Temple. He was diagnosed with cancer about 5 months ago, and has had a couple of operations and treatment at Mayo Clinic. We think it is in remission right now. He has lost about 50 pounds! I hope and pray he will be all right now. They are wonderful people.
Sister Standifird and the Cutlers watching the Tufuakus sing.
This was not part of our Valentines party, of course...but I just put it in because of the love Joseph and Emma had for each other. This is the statue of them by the Visitors Center, taken after a snow storm last week.
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Valentine's Dance

On Saturday night, February 13th, the single Site missionaries put on a dance and party for all the rest of us in the Visitor's Center.
Sister MacKay took pictures of everyone...
The Rawlinsons were the MC's for the dance and also helped with the floor show.
Just look at that table of goodies!!

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Everything was decorated so nicely!

The dance floor got rather crowded, but it sure was fun! We hadn't danced for a long time, but it all came back...just like riding a bike, I guess.

These are some the cakes that Sister Peterson (a site missionary) made for the drawing. They were beautiful! She had made about 20 of them, and then names were drawn throughout the night . We didn't win any...but it was a good thing because I am eating too many sweets as it is!!

Part of the floor show was a demonstration of the square dancing that the Rawlinson's are teaching the Site missionaries. Sorry this video was kind of dark, but you get the idea. They teach every Monday night. I'm trying to talk Elder Evans into going. Some of the other Temple missionaries are going to do it. We would call ourselves the Temple Squares!!

All the dear Single Site Missionaries who put on this delightful party for us!  We love you!  The add so much to this mission.

Joseph Smith sites

Last week we had a private tour of the Joseph Smith sites that are owned by the Community of Christ. Mr MacKay, who is the director here in Nauvoo and in Kirtland for their church gave us the tour. It was very interesting because we were able to go into the Nauvoo House which is not open for normal tours. This is the home where Emma lived the last years of her life . They now rent this out for families and youth groups, but we were not very impressed.
This is the main room downstairs off the kitchen where they eat.
In all the upstairs there were just rows and rows of these bunk beds. It wasn't very inviting or very clean. It also had a very musty smell
This window in the room which was Emma's looks out over the Mississippi. I wonder what she was thinking for years as she looked out this window. I wonder if she ever wished she had gone West with the Saints.

Walking over the the Homestead.  Under the little building on the left is where the bodies of Joseph and Hyrum were hidden for many years.  Now they are buried, along with Emma where you can see the headstones. 

Going into the homestead...where Joseph and Emma first lived when they came to Nauvoo.

Outside the Red Brick Store

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Looking down from the upper floor of the Red Brick Store into the office of Joseph Smith

Shopping in the Red Brick Store.  Sister Coons and Brother Wallentine

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Grandfather Oak

There is this magnificent HUGE oak tree about a mile from our apartment. I didn't even know it existed until late summer so didn't show it to any of the family who came to visit...and I feel bad about that because it is so beautiful. It is about 17-18 feet around at the bottom of the truck and the limbs stretch out so far, just like big arms. I feel like it could almost come alive and wrap you in its arms and talk to you. Sister Hein, who showed it to me told me to visit it in every season so that is what I have tried to do. Here are some of those pictures.

These first two were taken in late August.

These two were taken in October, after the leaves had fallen.
And here is how it looked today in February with the temperature 7 degrees !
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