Reunion Trip: Day Six



Leslie set up a scavenger hunt that would take us all over Nauvoo. We mixed families and took off. We had the young kiddos so we went on a more leisurely hunt which worked out quite excellently for me!

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The Nauvoo temple. It wasn’t finished the last time we were here! It’s magnificent!

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Statue of Joseph and Hyrum’s last ride.DSC_0793 small

My favorite, FAVORITE stop was the Women’s Garden, just behind the visitor’s center. I had no idea it was there!  You walk around the gardens and are led from statue to statue, following a woman throughout her life and showing you all of the excellence that comes with womanhood. DSC_0798 small

Prayer, learning, compassion, talents, marriage, motherhood, teaching with love… it’s amazing! It’s inspiring! It made me grateful and proud to be a woman and to cherish these values all the more.

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At the end of the gardens is a statue of fulfillment, and you can see an older woman looking out across the generations, watching over her children and grandchildren.

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And when you look even farther you can see the statue Christ in the visitor’s center (hard to see in this picture) and you see that the Lord has been with her through every step of the way. It’s beautiful!

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We also got to get prairie rings.

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Walk the Trail of Hope

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We had such a great day! So much walking and so much learning! My older children were happy to be in the fast, exciting groups with older cousins!


I ended up going back to Nauvoo a little later on with the younger four while Matt took Cayden and Ashlyn to the temple to do baptisms. This time it was rough and hard. I should have realized that after spending hours trekking around that Dylan and other kiddos would not be ready to go again. Mar and Kara were kind enough to take Jackson and Alison while I took Dylan and Megan to the van.

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Megan fell asleep and I think Dylan was relieved to be away from crowds and noise and adult expectations.

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When we got back into camp, Jack disappeared to play with cousins while the rest of us just relaxed. Mar and Kara went to the temple and we built Pet Shop houses with magnets!

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After a bit of resting, we decided to hit the playground… which means a lot of swinging if you’re Megan!

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Alison and Marley dedicated themselves to the fine art of rock climbing!

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These three girls are so sweet!


I had to check my pictures and their dates again. Did we really go back into Nauvoo a 3rd time? Especially since my memories are so clear about part 2? Why yes… yes we did. Matt got home from the temple and was rearing to go. We’d had a good rest at camp, so what could go wrong?

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Within minutes I broke off from the group with Dylan and Megan and we just started walking the streets of Nauvoo. These guys just couldn’t sit through another tour. We climbed into carriages, sampled gingerbread, and then I had the genius idea of going to the Browning House to check out guns. Boys like guns, right? It was cool for the first 10 minutes. But it became a tour, the longest tour in the whole of Nauvoo…. We went from room to room, upstairs and downstairs, listened to the history of gun making, toured the yard, toured the building behind the house. It was the eternal tour. Megan was crying. Dylan was restless. I was dying. Luckily our tour finished just as all of Nauvoo was shutting down. We met up with our group and went back to camp. Where I proceeded to do 6 loads of laundry so that we had clean clothes for the return trip. I was so exhausted. I could barely think! Numb…..

Matt’s mom has a 6th sense  I think. During the afternoon, she’d stayed with me and we played with the girls together at the park.  Then, she took Dylan during dinner. He was so SO exhausted too, and that means he pokes and bothers and bothers. You silly guy! So Matt’s mom took Dylan and gave him some special grandma time.



At this point, our DVD player saved the day. These two were beyond tired! They stayed here….. the entire evening.

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Pass the present was a blast!

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We acted like pirates, we did jumping jacks…

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It was fun to see everyone laughing and  being silly!

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I loved to see my children mingling with cousins, aunts and uncles! I could tell they were comfortable!

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Melissa opens the grand prize- a box of orange sticks!


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We finished off the night (I bet it was close to 9:30/10) with mom and dad telling their history- stories of their early life, stories of their dating, stories of their early married life together. It was enthralling! We hung on every word!

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This picture says it all! A great finish!


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