Saturday, June 07, 2008

Silver Dollar City - Dino Museum - Jakob's Sick

We've been to Silver Dollar City twice now. The first day we spent with my parents and by ourselves. We all had a really nice time. Jakob's first ride was the kiddy roller coaster. This was his first amusement park ever. So we conditioned him quickly. He survived the ride (Leif was with him) but he didn't want to ride it again. His favorite ride so far is the dumb (hehe Lena really ment Dumbo) ride that goes round and round and up and down slowly. He is just a low key little boy. The craziest ride they went on that day was a water ride. I almost panicked when I realized exactly what the ride was (too late.) Leif and my mom and Jakob went together. They rode a three person raft down a long water slide. Jakob luckily sat in between Leif's legs. They got soaked! Leif LOVED it, my mom enjoyed it, Jakob was pretty much shocked that he experienced it. I was relived that he wasn't traumatized.

The next day we went with everyone in the family. We had a great time playing together and watching the kid's on the rides. I'm not much of a rides person so I was content to carry Caleb in the Moby Wrap and enjoy being with everyone. Although, I did want to go on one ride. It was the rubber tube raft ride through the river. My mom watched Caleb while I rode with everyone. It was a lot of fun.

Jakob started to signs of being sick yesterday while riding the rides. I wasn't too surprised since he was around a lot of kids and riding rides. I knew he was either sick with a bug, or motion sick. He woke up this morning throwing up and a fever.... But I'm getting ahead of myself. Last night we went out to dinner with my parents and then we took Jakob to the highlight of his whole vacation, the Dinosaur Museum. He was in heaven. It was a small museum, but he had a great time exploring. The museum was filled with life sized statues of dinosaurs or dinosaur heads. So he just walked around looking at all the big dinosaurs. His favorite of course was the t-rex. I enjoyed playing with the dino puzzles and books with Jakob. It was a nice family night. We bought Jakob a really big T- Rex. He loves it!

Like I said this morning Jakob woke up sick. So we had to spend the whole day inside. But it turned out enjoyable. We napped and cleaned up, visited with family that came in and out. It was Saturday so everyone stayed away from the crowded areas. So we didn't miss too much. Leif and Jim gave Jakob a blessing this morning. I'm sure he'll be fine. The boys are finally asleep now and Leif and I are going to try and finish our movie (National Treasure) although, the TV just barely randomly shut off (Oh Leif got it working, I'll go watch it with him)

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Ozarks - Branson MO.

The tornado sirens eventually stopped last night. The storms were just north of us. We did get some wind and rain. But nothing too extreme. Jakob was already sleeping in the large closet in our room, so I put Caleb in there too just to be safe. But all was well enough.

Yesterday we woke up and spent the day repacking everything and started on our way South East to Branson, Missouri.

Once again the drive was beautiful. The Ozarks are very pretty. We are staying in a condo resort right next to Silver Dollar City theme park. The condos are very nice. We have a two bed 2 bath with a kitchen as well as washer and dryer. It is awesome! Especially since we'll be here for another week. There is a back deck that over looks a forest valley with a large river winding through it. It's beautiful.

Last night we drove into Branson and drove the strip as we went looking for a place to eat. Branson is full of theme parks, museums, and lots of entertaining shows. We're looking forward to the week. We're going to a dinosaur museum this morning with Jakob. Then we'll go get our week pass for Silver Dollar City (it's a 1800's themed amusement park.) Sometime during the week we hope to go see a show that is similar to the Irish Dancing of River Dance. We will also be here for the National Kid's Festival at Silver Dollar City. It should be a very fun week!!

This is the week of my family reunion. Everyone is coming in later today. Bruce and Chris, Matt, Karin and her kids, Kevin and his family, Jim and Kathy and Doug, and Joann. It will be very nice to be together and catch up again. We all grew up together so we have a strong friendship base.

Well, I need to get this morning started....

Monday, June 02, 2008

Fun Highlights: Nauvoo to Carthage MO.

We have had a wonderful trip so far. We have accomplished all of our goals, yet been able to get enough sleep and rest to keep us going. I will only be able to write about some of the highlights because I can never seem to have enough time to write details.

The scenery has been one of the most enjoyable parts of this trip. It is so lush and green. Forests and green rolling hills everywhere. Streams and rivers meander through the valleys. Leif and I have really enjoyed looking at the houses as well. The majority have been historic looking farm houses, most of them having barns and farms. The town centers of most of the towns we've driven through have been old historic towns. Some kept up, others not so. The other fun thing is the friendly people that wave as we drive through.

I've mentioned the Amish carriage; that was really neat. We talked about how fun it would be to do another road trip and not plan anything, just drive and stop at the different places that look interesting. There are many antique shops that I would enjoy exploring...

So that's the drive through Missouri, Illinois, and Iowa.

We stayed in Keokuk, IO. That is a town that is on the opposite side of the Mississippi river from Nauvoo. The drive along the river into Nauvoo was very peaceful and beutiful. And the smell in the air was delicious. It smelled like lilacs, honeysuckle, and rain covered trees.

This trip has been peaceful. Nauvoo was a quiet calm place. We went at the Perfect time. The first day after we flew in Jim and Kathy (my aunt and uncle) met us in Keokuk. We then followed them to Carthage, Il. where we went to Carthage Jail. There was definately a humble spirit there. It was nice to be able to walk around with Jakob and read the different placks that tell the Joseph Smith story. It was also humbling to walk around the jail and hear the story of the marterdom. I felt the spirit reconfirm to me that Joseph Smith is a prophet.

That afternoon Kathy arranged for Leif and I to take the kids to a babysitter near the temple so that we could all go through the temple. My parents and Jim and Kathy did a session. Leif and I did sealings. The Nauvoo temple is beautiful! They built it and decorated it in the timeframe of the 1800's. It is beautiful. It had been a long time since Leif and I did sealings. There was a peaceful spirit.

As you walk out of the Nauvoo temple you are blinded by the bright light that reflects from the sun off of the white temple as well as the cement. The grounds around the temple are beautiful too. There is a statue of Joseph Smith and Hyrum on horseback leaving Nauvoo. We went and picked the kids up and brought them back to take pictures. Jakob was disapointed that he wasn't able to go into the temple. But he was happy to play around on the hills of the front grounds.

We also went to the Lucy Mack Smith home together. Her house was actually built for our relative Joseph Bates Noble. He occupied the home for several years. He had several wives and owned several homes. But obviously this home ended up being preserved beause Lucy Mack Smith lived in it.

Come to find out, Leif had relatives that lived across the street from the Noble family. It's a small world.

During the few days in Nauvoo we spent the time visiting a few of the sites, shopping, eating at the Nauvoo Inn, learning about our family history in Nauvoo, going to the Sunset on the Mississippi show, and going to the show about Joseph Smith in the visitor center, walking the Trail of Hope, and skipping rocks along the rivers edge.

We decided that there are two ways to visit Nauvoo. One is to skim the surface and enjoy the peace of the beautiful Nauvoo; the other way is to dive in and immerse yourself in the history and all that Nauvoo has to offer. We chose the first way, and when you have two very young children that is exactly the best way to do it. we had a wonderful time. I love the history and the people and because of them it brought more beauty to an already beautiful town and scenery.

It has been fun to see the interaction between Jakob and my parents as well as Leif and my parents. Their relationships have grown and it has been a sweet experience.

The last day of this leg of the trip we went to Hanabal, MO. This town is the birth place of Mark Twain. We spent one day there and had an enjoyable day. We started by letting jakob play at the park. That saved us. He needed to be able to play. We then caught the river boat named Mark Twain and floated down the river while we listened to stories and music that represented the days of Mark Twain. Jakob thought it was a fun thing and we all enjoyed the relaxation too. From there we ate lunch and then went into the historic area of town and toured a few of the houses and museums. They were neat, but not exceptional. I think it would have been a lot more fun if we had kids that were 10 or so and we had just read Mark Twain's stories and then came to the town.

The scary event of that day (and that leg of the trip) happened while Leif was pushing Caleb in the stroller. I had put Caleb in the stroller but I didn;t strap him in. This is not too unusual since the car seat is secured to the stroller. But it is a a mistake! When Leif went to tip the stroller back to push it up a step to the sidewalk, Caleb slipped right out of the carseat and fell onto the ground. We were all SHOCKED to see him laying there on the ground. He was screaming. It would have been worse if he was silent. We looked for any cuts, and was happy that there weren't any. But a few minutes later we noticed a large bump on his head. It is definately unsettling to feel a swollen bump on your 7 week old baby;s head. Luckily it was not a black and blue bruise. We tried to get a hold of the doctor but could only reach his wife and the mother of their eight children. She agreed that we didn;t need to worry unless the bruise started to fill with blood or his eyes dialated. We just sneggled him for a while and it comforted both him and us. We felt terrible. But he was fine.

(Side Note: 9:31 PM June 3, 2008 the tornado sirens are going off. But we don't have any sign of a storm... checking the TV.)
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