Since our last blog post, we have had a lot of special visitors here in Nauvoo. First, Greg and Rachelle Hymas and their children came on May 26th and spent a few days with us. It had been so long since we had seen them that they had had two new additions to their family that we hadn't met before, Max and Isaiah. We very much enjoyed getting re-acquainted with them.
Soon after Greg and Rachelle left, Julie came on June 11th with some of her family: Marisa and Jud, Jen and Michael, and Marci and Marc.
Just as Julie and her family were leaving, our kids and grandkids came. And after our kids left, LeVae and Kip Heiner came and spent a couple of days visiting Old Nauvoo. While they were here, we had a chance to take them to an old-style Amish dinner served in an Amish wood-working shop. The food was great and the atmosphere was authentic!
Our kids began coming on June 13th. First, Jill and her gang and Jami and hers arrived. The next day Jeff, Jodi, and Jason showed up. It was such great fun having so many of them (30!) with us for several days.
On Monday Jan and I had our "Prep Day" and were able to visit several of the sites with everyone. First, we went to Carthage and enjoyed the spirit there. Being where the Prophet Joseph was martyred was a meaningful experience for all of us.
On our way home from Carthage, we stopped at the Hamilton Family Cafe and more than doubled their clientele that afternoon!
Having family around us just wouldn't be the same without a little "fun 'n' games"! So Monday night we participated in the Bingo Championship of the World, thanks to Jill's planning and preparing.
During the next couple of days, everyone visited historic sites and attended Old Nauvoo programs, including watching Grandma and Grandpa perform in Rendezvous in Old Nauvoo and Sunset by the Mississippi. In fact, Austin and Dylan even got to dance with Grandma on the Sunset stage.
Dylan marched with the other children and the Nauvoo Brass Band in the Children's Parade.
Going on carriage and wagon rides with Grandpa as the teamster also seemed to be a hit.
Meet Abe and Ike . . .
. . . and Duke and Dan, our two new oxen.
No visit to Old Nauvoo would be complete without a stop at the Family Living Center. Here everyone learned how to make barrels, rope, pottery, candles, and even brick-oven bread!
I'm quite sure that the favorite site for the grandkids was Pioneer Pasttimes. Bailey remembered this place from last year and couldn't wait to dress up and play "pioneer mommy" again!
Mitchell enjoyed making the bear climb the ropes.
Of course, all the kids--and some of the grown-ups--had to show that they could walk on stilts.
And the girls had to show off their latest bonnet fashions!
But I think the highlight of our family's visit was just being together again, eating dinner, and enjoying one another's company.
Heavenly Father really knew what He was doing when He created families. There's no more enjoyable place to be than with our family. Thanks to all of you for coming and making our mission even more special. We love you!!