Sunday, December 27, 2015

12 December 2015

December and where is winter? Idaho is covered in snow, Arizona has cold temperatures and Illinois is warm and green. We were able to golf this entire month.

There is not a month of the year that has more activities than December. We have been so busy with work and events around Christmas. Since the weather has been warm for this month (minus a few days in the 20s), we have had time away from the temple duties to be out of doors.

Deer Run golf course is but 12 miles down the road in Hamilton, Ill. For $8 one can golf 9 holes either front or back. It is a great 18 hole course and good exercise while carrying your bag. Dawn has been my partner and John Massey from Farmington, Utah is my other partner.

Birds are the next interest for this December. The area is full of birds wintering in this area. Geese, ducks, eagles, hawks and pelicans frequent this area on the Mississippi river. Our back yard is full of gold finches, crested titmouse, chickadees, woodpeckers, sapsuckers, wrens, blue jays and cardinals.

Well, I put out a feeder and they flocked in to eat the oiled sunflower seeds. I tried the seed bells but the woodpeckers tore them apart looking for the sunflower seeds.

Dawn and I adopted two sock monkeys for our family this month since we did not have any little ones to spend Christmas with this year. I also created a picture of Stephanie post op following her clavicle repair. Next we put up a Christmas tree we got at the Nauvoo post office left by someone leaving for the season. It was festooned by popcorn and paper chains made in our apartment.

Since we are in home at night we often read after work. I finished a book  Steph recommended “ A View of the Hebrews and followed by “The Mound Builders, Cahokia and Ancient American Archeology. I finished reading the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price since we have been in Nauvoo. I am now reading the 1840 edition of the Book of Mormon without chapter and verse. It is fascinating to read as text. I am also half way through Genesis of the Old Testament.

Throughout the week we often go to the Family Search Center next to the temple and do genealogical research. Dawn has collected over 100 family names and completed all the ordinances for each person. I have about 35 completed. We also have sent names to our older grand children to do the baptisms and confirmations.

Luckily we discovered a local exercise gym here in Nauvoo. Brandon Motley ( a young man  body builder) has invested a tremendous amount of money in equipment and located in the abandoned  Nauvoo grade school right in the middle of town. No more driving to Keokuk to work out at the YMCA.

The events of Christmas have been many. We visited the Nauvoo sites for an evening of celebration following the lighting of the Visitors Center Christmas tree and traveled by horse drawn wagon. We attended the rehearsal of the “Messiah”  in the Catholic church next to the temple. We have had a number of meals and Christmas programs with the combined Site missionaries.

We have also had meals and programs at the Arrival Center just for the temple missionaries. Also, a group of our missionary friends visited a live Nativity near Ft. Madison in an old barn as we were transported by horse and wagon.  It seemed like it never ended as our time was saturated with things to do.

We connected with our family by cards and Face Time. We sent money to each of our kids and asked they take our grand kids to dinner for Christmas. We also sent “Brick em Young” Lego set of the Nauvoo temple to Indy and the Russell kids. (Dawn and I have our own!). I personally sent bird identification books to the young kids hoping they will get a feeder soon. In addition, I purchased them a pair of binoculars to get a view of the birds.

December is spent and so are we! So glad Christmas comes but once a year! Now I can honestly say I am looking forward to a New Year here in Nauvoo.

Woodpecker and Cardinal for lunch

Golfing Deer Run standing of an ancient mound

Our adopted sock monkeys

Steph with reconstruction of her clavicle

Stole another day at the golf course in December

Dawn at Catholic Messiah

Another day on the golf course

Reading material

Dawn with her driver, she birdied this hole across the pond!

Squirrel attempting to steal the bird seeds

At the "Living Nativity"

Christmas dinner at the Arrival Center

Caroling at the temple

Caroling at the Arrival Center

Dawn with her Lego set 

Cold day for golf but no snow!

Our Christmas photo with our tree in the background

Home reading my books

Lighting of the Christmas tree at the Visitors Center

Nativity at the Family Center

Picking up the last of the leaves of  fall

Family File Cards!

Cardinals are many!

Galesburg hospital where Dawn was born

Breakfast after a work out at Motley Gym

Can we get one more golf game before the snow?

Christmas program at the Stake Center

Horse ride at the Ft. Madison barn

Indy with temple Lego

One more Christmas meal!

Beya doing family names in the Bountiful temple

Christmas decorations with our state bird

December evening in Nauvoo