I’ve felt great pressure to hurry up and record my feelings and thoughts about our recent holiday, but I haven’t been able to organize the plethora of chaos swirling in my head.
First and foremost, the purpose and mission of our trip; to learn about and explore lives of our ancestors. Our genealogy reaches far back in some places, and dead ends in others. This was a chance for us to visit the places where we know our family lived, and try to be detectives in finding others. Why is this so important to us? It gives our life meaning. Knowing our heritage helps to connect us to a family tree of lives, realizing choices and paths not only affect you, but generations to come. There is also a great work to be done for these people. We have believed in Christ and God since the beginning of time, and now that the church has been restored, great ordinances like baptism that are part of the plan can be done not only while living, but for those who have passed on long ago, giving a purpose to this belief of something greater.
One of our coach drivers asked in his thick Scottish accent, “Do you do this in America- visit cemeteries? To tell you the truth, I think it’s all a little creepy.” Sure we wanted to visit traditional tourist spots, but even more exciting to us, was the chance that perhaps while hopping from abandoned cemetery to old chapel we would somehow discover a relative that had been forgotten. A great contrast I found to this was when I saw king or queen immortalized in the form of a statue, monument, or plaque. What about the working class and those who had humble dwellings and spent every waking hour making a life for their children. What makes one life worthy of a statue, and another life worthy of a faded headstone fallen over in a rural country plot. Is not every life equally precious? Yes!
The great traditions of pomp and circumstance were not as impressive to me as the feats of those hard working men and women who laid each stone in the castle walls, or who made meals for the hundreds of hungry soldiers defending and sacrificing their lives in the name of freedom and religion. This isn’t to say that the King sitting on his throne making tough decisions wasn’t key to history. As dad reminded the guides, “We don’t want to just drive around seeing buildings; we want to see how the people lived. Take us out of the city to the little towns and show us how they lived.” And every night before we went to bed, we would meet in our parents room for family prayer and they would ask us, “what did we learn today?” Our replies ranged from everything about tradition, to faith in miracles, to political discussions, to our fondness for eating fish and chips in century old ruins.
I breathed in the wet country air filled with old musky barn wood and cows. I smelled the smoke and wine on the cities that long gave companionship to tumultuous daily life. I savored the flavors of rich cheeses and fresh herbs on warm oven baked bread. I nibbled on bits of delicate chocolate and picked wild berries whose freshness burst in my mouth. I walked where kings, peasants and prisoners walked. My eyes marveled at the mighty towers of aged stones, and my heart leapt at the views of intricately carved symbols, brilliant glass windows, and elaborate tapestries. I sighed at the site of thatched roofs and little old women walking down cobblestone sidewalks in humble shoes worn for years. I ran my hand across stones covered with soft vibrant green moss. I heard bagpipes and violinists in the square that made my heart swell with pride and gave a lump to my throat. “I am having a moment….” was all I could think to say as after each special instant I turned my head to see yet another beautiful picture snapped by my mind's eye. I left a piece of my heart there hoping to return again…and I will.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
What a day!! The search for loved ones is emotionally draining... I just spent all day filling out my pedigree chart in between loads of laundry. The light of my geneology flame is flickering bright! I found some really cool stuff I can't wait to share with the fam which totally outweighs the cramp in my hand from pencil scribbling and the sting in my eyes from staring at the blinding white computer screen for hours. It's pretty amazing and awe inspiring to think of how people are tied together through family lines and that there is such rich heritage to be discovered.
The kids played at a friends house this morning so I could get some work done, and Oliver came home with 6 hornet stings, Addy two. This added some excitement as I tried to simmer down the drama and woe of Olivers hand all swollen and red...but thanks to the calm/quick acting talents of my friend, and the magical Melaleuca oil, all is well.
Tonight Chris took Addy and Landon swimming while I tucked the Leprechaun in bed, and listened to Oliver tell me stories about how dad is a worker(builder) and that not only does he make houses, but he also kills monsters that live in the clouds.
Tade is teething and clingy, Landons hair is too long, Addy is tall and sassy, Oliver is whiney and covered with battle wounds, and Chris is cute and jobless...what more could I want from life? Being together is all that matters...that, and cookies.
The church is true, we have many loved ones waiting for us on the other side, and thanks to my new "do" and "coloring", I can no longer pull my hair back and get away with it...must....fix...hair....every.....day...ugh!
P.S. bangs are sweaty!
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Friday, July 11, 2008
A debate is always going in the conversing that he leads,
a political savvy connoisseur, no party does he need.
Devin likes to share his knowledge, he really is quite smart,
except maybe when it comes to makeup, dolls, and art.
What a good daddy and role model sure,
little Crew worships every skin, teeth, and fur?
Devin makes time to be boys and play with his son,
with ball, tool, or car in hand the fun's never done.
Matchmaker, matchmaker make me a match,
he helped his construction buddy get a Eliza in a snatch.
Devin is an honorable man and such a great guy,
we're glad he's in our life and not a secret spy!
We adore you Devin!!
See you next week!!
Wear your kilt:)
THE FLYING CLUB CUP
This music totally fits my mood lately
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE WEEKEND INCLUDED:
ELIZA & JASON GETTING ENGAGED
GETTING MY HAIR DID......
BY MY INDEPENDANT & BEAUTIFUL SISTER EMILY
WHO WHEN I TOLD HER I WANTED IT BROWN AND BLONDE
JUST TOSSED HER HEAD IN LAUGHTER AND ASSURED
ME THAT "MAHOGANY" WOULD BE MY PERFECT MATCH.
THEN WHEN I TOOK THE TOWEL OFF
AND MY HAIR WAS RED
AND FAMILY MEMBERS CALLED ME-
AND THAT MANNEQUIN FROM I AM LEGEND,
I WAS FINALLY SHOWERED WITH COMPLIMENTS
ASSURING ME THAT IT REALLY DID LOOK GOOD
AND I GUESS
AFTER MUCH THOUGHT AND PRAYER
WITH THE OVER PROTECTIVE SWANS,
LEECHES, MOSQUITOS, AND FISH... OH MY!
MELALEUCA FREEDOM CELEBRATION
DINNER ON THE RIVER
IDAHO FALLS SYMPHONY
(THIS WAS THE FIRST YEAR I REBELLED AND DIDN'T
MAKE MY FAMILY WEAR ALL RED, WHITE AND BLUE, AND FOR THE RECORD,
IT IS PAINFUL FOR ME TO POST THIS BAD PICTURE, BUT FOR POSTERITIES SAKE....)
4 MILE FUN VANDERUN AROUND THE BLOCK
ON DEVIN'S BIRTHDAY...
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEVIN!
FAMILY SERVICE PROJECT
200 HYGIENE KITS PUT TOGETHER
TO BE DROPPED OFF TO THE HUMANITARIAN CENTER
AND DISPERSED TO THOSE WHO NEED THEM MOST.
THE CRAWFORD FAMILY FROM NEW ORLEANS
IT WAS SO GOOD TO SPEND TIME WITH OUR FRIENDS
WHO WERE VISITING...ADDY WAS ESPECIALLY EXCITED!
IT WAS A STUPENDOUS WEEKEND!!
Moments not captured on film include...
early morning parade to watch about 500 cheerleaders and medieval fighters with their fake swords, first year where Cassie didn't have to march in the hot parade leading the band, soggy sandwich tree sandwiches, lots of xbox for the boys, lots of babies and toy sharing for the girls, Trent singing the national anthem spot on, campfire with smores where we discussed landing on the moon (again), bigfoot, and dead transients, grownups night out to mongolian grill for dinner and a movie of hancock where the treats were abundant and the language was questionable, seeing Devon and her adorable girls, looking at pictures of the Crawfords restored home after Hurricane Katrina, heavenly shoulder massage from LaurieKae, playing Spades, Cheri's devilish peanut butter bars, running with Charisa and mom, a great talk with Tony about jobs and life choices, pow-wow meeting about family history and our trip to europe, meeting Sadies beau Jeff, hearing Cruz sing spanish lullabys, seeing baby clem, meeting Jim Risch former governor of idaho, watching the men kill a mouse with a ping pong paddle, cousins playing together, sharing hair dryers, lots of candy, emily's salad and late night tv together, family testimonies, sunday family conference call and overhearing a conversation in a mystery language, my surprise france sign, running through the hallway in my towel....yeah, glad no one got a picture of that.
We missed Aaron, Jairus, Tiffs family, Sam, and Brian's family!
I LOVE MY FAMILY
AND I LOVE AMERICA