Monday, July 29, 2013


I missed writing my weekly Sabbath Sentiments because we were on vacation.  We went to Nauvoo with Scott's sister and her family.  And it was the most fantastic, inspirational, and wonderful trip.  Nauvoo is simply amazing.  Pictures and words don't do it justice.  It brought the stories of the Mormon pioneers to life.  It made Joseph Smith real (although I knew he lived before it was just more tangible.)  It strengthened all of our testimonies of the gospel.

Here is our trip - in pictures.  (I took over 200 photos but I'm only going to post about 20.)
 The crew (minus Whitney) - Scott, Me, Stacey, Shasta, Whoppers,
Key Lime Pie, Kotten Kandy, Banana, and Licorice
 We learned that oxen are castrated bulls - who knew?
 This beautiful statue reminds me of Kotten Kandy because
she is always learning and loves to read (especially her scriptures!)
 Key Lime Pie's violin talent is awesome!
I hope she never stops learning and growing!
 When I was a little girl I was in a live-statue performance.
I was the little girl in this statue on the right.  My mom was the mother....
Grandma T made my dress for the statue - and I also used the dress for my baptism.
The whole darn family!  :-) 
Whoppers, Shasta, Stacey (Scott's sister), Licorice, Whitney and Banana 
We were able to attend a session at the Nauvoo temple.  It is BEAUTIFUL! 
Stacey and Scott are related to the Scovills who owned this bakery.... 
Scott loved playing the old pioneer games.  He was really good at this one! 
Kotten Kandy got the ball in the hole.... 
Key Lime Pie was amazed that with a little bit of tugging her bear climbed the rope. 
Kotten Kandy, Banana, Whoppers and Shasta all try walking on stilts. 
 Teenagers eating dinner.
Whoppers and Kotten Kandy had to dance! 
As we walked down Parley Street, we felt the sacredness and the sadness of the pioneers who had done the same things in February 1845. 
This statue of Brigham Young and Joseph Smith looking over the Mississippi River was incredibly inspiring. 
We can't imagine what it would be like to leave Nauvoo with no warning.
It was neat to see the Mississippi River.  Not only is it important in the history of Nauvoo, but we also spent the trip listening to Huckelberry Finn by Mark Twain on CD.  Huck and Jim spend a LOT of time on the Mississippi River. 
 This is what the sun stones on the temple look like up close.
The carriage ride was truly wonderful!  We hear amazing stories of the Mormon pioneers and we also saw three small fawns.  They were so cute and close and quick. 
Elder Hatch was our tour guide.  He was FANTASTIC!  I told Scott that I wanted him to grow up to be just like this guy.  So we had to get his picture.  Actually, Scott and I decided that we wanted to someday serve a mission in Old Nauvoo!  The couple missionaries there get to perform and share stories all the time.  It would be right up my alley.  And Scott said he'd love it too! 
At Carthage  there was a wonderful statue of Joseph and Hyrum Smith.
They are truly role models to me!
Joseph was murdered here. 
Cousins about to do temple work...  
 Cousins learning to do the polka.
Key Lime Pie loved the dancing before the Nauvoo Pageant. 
 Kotten Kandy was really good at learning to make a rag rug.
She is a natural.  (I tried twice and failed miserably.)
 The Nauvoo Pageant was MARVELOUS!
I wish I had taken more pictures of all the shows we saw.  They were all terrific.
The spirit of God was present in all of them, and at the same time we 
couldn't help smiling and tapping our toes to the beat.  It was fantastic!
 This is the little home we rented for three nights.
It's called the Hopper Home.
 This statue of the Smith brothers is right in front of the temple.
We know that temples are sacred.  We are grateful for them!
This was truly an impressive vacation.  Thanks for inviting us Pughs!

Sunday, July 21, 2013


On Saturday we had a Book of Mormon-athon at my house!  I invited all the young women to participate.  We had 7 girls show up, and we read over 50 chapters!  We read all of Mosiah and 29 chapters in Alma.  I hope the girls enjoyed the time as much as I did!  They were all motivated and got a lot read.  I just hope they finish reading the entire book so they can pass of their Virtue projects....
Today Scott and I gave talks in the Lebanon Branch, and Key Lime Pie and Kotten Kandy performed a musical number.  It was fun to visit such a neat branch in our stake.  Everyone was friendly, and we felt very welcome.
Our talks were about strengthening our families in the gospel.  I spoke about adventure stories and how much I love reading a good adventure story (like The Lord of the Rings, etc.).  I explained that I had begun an adventure 18 years ago when I married Scott.  Like all good adventures, we have a quest:  Creating a Celestial, eternal family.  And we have a great cast of characters:  Scott, Me, Key Lime Pie and Kotten Kandy.  We have dragons and trials:  personal trials and tribulations.  But we also have a plan to help us get through:  the plan of salvation.  I think it went OK.
Driving into our sub-division is awesome right now.  It is BEAUTIFUL!  Every time I turn into Osprey Cove, I am greeted, on both sides, with corn fields.  And yes, "The corn is as high as an elephant's eye!"  It makes me want to sing and smile and take pictures.
Did you know that Wheat Thins has some new flavors?  I bought some for the Book of Mormon-athon.  It was fun to try the new flavors.  My favorite was the Sun-Dried Tomato and Basil.  Scott enjoyed the Honey Mustard.  The Spicy Buffalo wasn't bad either.....
Kotten Kandy also made some tasty BYU mint brownies.  YUM!!!!
Key Lime Pie went to her first teen party - complete with music, water balloons, volleyball, boys, girls, pizza, etc.  It was bitter-sweet for me.  It means she is growing up, which I don't want her to do.  But it also was a lot of fun for her and she loved hanging out with a bunch of her friends that she made while on the trek.  Is she really old enough to go to parties and hang out until almost midnight with a bunch of teenagers?!  At least I trust them all.  They are good kids.
I just finished reading Key Lime Pie: A Culinary Mystery by Josi Kilpack this week.  It was a fun, easy read.  Key Lime Pie read it first and was anxious for me to read it so she could talk about it.  She had never read a mystery novel before so it was a lot of fun.
I can't wait to read the other books in the series.  This one kept me guessing right up til the very end.  I was so surprised to find out who was behind it all.  It was fun.
I also finished reading 1984 by George Orwell this week.  Wow!  George Orwell's classic was incredibly visionary.  It is hardly fathomable that this book was written in 1948.  Things that we take for granted today - cameras everywhere we go, phones being tapped and recorded for the government, bodies being scanned for weapons - all of these things were described in graphic detail in Orwell's book.  Now that we have the Internet and the government spying on it's citizens with webcams, etc. you can see how this culture can develop into the Orwellian future described in 1984.  If you've heard such phrases as "Big Brother", "newspeak", and "thought crime" and wondered where these phrases came from, they came from this disturbing book.  It is a sad, and frightening view of what could happen and some of it is already happening.
Honestly, I don't want my daughters reading 1984 until they are a lot older.  I don't like the "romantic" part.  It is not moral, despite the fact he tries to make it so.  But at the same time, I learned a TON from reading this upsetting novel.