Adding Family History to Our Vacation

Our family recently went on a trip to Southern California. There were three things on our list: Disneyland, the San Diego Zoo, and my favorite The Mormon Battalion Historic Site in San Diego’s Old Town.

Yes, it was fun to go on the new Guardian of the Galaxy ride at California Adventure, to have everyone laugh at me and my terrified face as we went over Splash Mountain, and to see the koalas and pandas at San Diego Zoo, but the part of the trip that meant the most to me was when my children go to learn about their fourth great-grandfather, Zemira Palmer.

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Mormon Battalion Historic Site

The Mormon Battalion Historic Site is located at 2510 Juan St., San Diego, CA 92110. It is free to the public and open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The last tour is at 8:00 p.m. I was afraid we wouldn’t be able to go because we had spent the majority of the day at the San Diego Zoo and the children were exhausted from walking, but I really wanted them to go. I knew they shared information about their ancestors and I wanted them to see it.

When we walked in, two beautiful young women (missionaries) asked us if we wanted a tour. We went into the front waiting area.

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Front waiting area at the Mormon Battalion Historic Site

It was a lot of fun because the pictures on the wall talked to us almost as if we were in some kind of Harry Potter movie.  The young man on the bottom right-hand corner represented Zemira Palmer. He was the narrator and took us through the journey.

First, we started in the room that represented Mount Pisgah, Iowa, then we moved on to Fort Kearny, Kansas.

At Fort Kearny, my ten-year-old son got to dress up like a member of the Mormon Battalion and carry a gun that they would have carried.

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After Fort Kearny, we followed the Battalion on their journey of over 2000 miles to San Diego. One thing I learned is that the Battalion stayed in San Diego for over a year later and helped the people learn to make bricks, irrigate, and so many other things.

Outside, my boys got to pan for gold, make bricks, and wash clothes like the members of the Battalion did. It was a great, interactive way for my children to learn about their great fourth grandfather Zemira Palmer. As the missionaries told the story, I also supplemented with additional information that I knew about him. It was the highlight of my trip.

 

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Zemira Palmer was born 9 August 1831 at West Borough, Frontier County, Canada to George Palmer, Jr. and Phebe Draper. Zemira was the six child in a family of 7 children. His father passed away when he was two, and his mother Phebe met Brigham Young and joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Many years later, Phebe remarried a man named Ebenezer Brown. Ebenezer enlisted and Phebe followed to become a laundress. She mended and washed the clothes for the Battalion. She also cooked for the officers.

Zemira was fifteen years old when he volunteered and was assigned as a personal aide to Col. Allen, which included caring for his horse and shining his boots. The Mormon Battalion march was very difficult. They dealt with cold, heat, lack of water, sickness, and even problems with wild bulls. There were also soldiers from Missouri; some who had helped drive the Saints from their state.They made it to the Pacific Ocean at the new settlement of San Diego in January 1847. The war ended and they never had to fire a shot. Zemira, his mother, and his step-father all re-enlisted and stayed one more year in San Diego. Phebe taught school to the children of the area and Zemira and Ebenezer made adobe bricks and helped build new buildings.

The Mormon Battalion made a good impression on all the people with whom they had associated. After their enlistment was up, they traveled north to find work before coming to the Salt Lake Valley, They were employed at Sutter’s Mill during this tune and were there when gold was discovered. It is said that they paid the first tithing in gold. They rode mules all the way to the Valley. When they finally arrived there was a great family reunion. It had been three years and they were glad to be with the family and the Saints again. Zemira was now 18 years old.

Later Zemira married Sally Knight and they had 12 children together. He was a strong man who did amazing things because he exercised his faith in his Heavenly Father.

Running My First 5K

Two months ago I decided I wanted to run my first 5k. I ran one twenty-four years ago in junior high and didn’ t really like it. Ever since then, I have shied away from running. However, I’ve been reading The Ultimate Weight Solution by good old Doctor Phil McGraw and I’ve been working on the “keys to weight loss freedom.” He is very blunt, but it is part of the book’s appeal for me who needs to be hit over the head with something.

He says, “Nothing will stop you from being anything other than healthy, vibrant, in shape, this will happen because YOU make it happen.”

I have always known that I am the one who is in control of my lifestyle and my weight, but it really “clicked” this time.

He says, “The most important relationship you will ever have is with yourself. You’ve got to be your own best friend first, accepting and loving yourself from the inside out, before you can be truly happy and before you can live with purpose and passion.”

I have decided I want to live a life of ‘purpose and passion.’ Dr. Phil encourages his readers to set ‘realistic’ goals. I set a long-term goal and a short-term goal.

My long-term goal is to lose forty pounds by December 31, 2017.  On April 22, 2017, I set the goal to train three days a week to run a 5k on June 3, 2017.

In order to achieve this first goal, I downloaded a couch to 5k app on my phone and used it three– sometimes four– days a week to train. I hoped by doing this I would lose one pound a week.

At first, it was hard to train because the weather in April was crazy here in Utah. It was warm one week, snowed another, and rained a lot. However, I got up at 6:00 in the morning, checked the weather and decided I would run rain or shine.  I had my faithful chocolate lab, Koda, as my running partner and we would go.

This last week before my race, I started getting shin splints in both my legs and they really ached. However, today I ran anyway. I was not able to run the entire 5k, but I ran until my body said, “Hey you! I hurt! Stop! Stop!”  I would walk for a minute then pick up the pace.

I was inspired by Wonder Woman. I know it sounds corny, but as I looked for races to run I found that Smith’s grocery store was sponsoring a “Super Hero” run to raise money for Primary Children’s Hospital. My husband and I and our boys love superhero movies. I find them fun and inspiring at the same time. I knew “Wonder Woman” starring Gil Gadot was coming out the day before I would run the race. I found this photo.

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I told myself I could have courage. I could be confident in myself to finish the race. I dressed up today with my Wonder Woman t-shirt and my awesome Wonder Woman socks and I ran. I ran with courage. I did it! I really did it!

Here are some fun pics:

 

The app even printed out a certificate of achievement for me.

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Now, my teenage son plans to join me and we are going to run a 5k on Independence Day. I also plan to run a fun night run with glow sticks and a Harry Potter themed 5k in July. The same company that made the app has another app to encourage me to run faster.

Guess what? After all of my training, I am down seven pounds and I am on my way to my end goal in December. So, the next steps for me to continue on to my forty pound journey are:

  1. Run three more 5ks this summer, maybe more!
  2. Learn all I can about nutrition and plan my meals and snacks.
  3. Reduce my sugar intake for 75 days until our 17th anniversary in August. Then I will indulge in a delicious piece of chocolate cake. I am hoping it will be “too rich” and I won’t be able to finish it all!

Here we go! I will have courage because I love myself and I am in charge of creating my life. I want to live with ‘purpose and passion’! We are off for my reward of seeing the movie. I am glad my husband agreed so easily. He says, “Wonder Woman is the most important movie of our time.” I can’t imagine why. 🙂