Sunday the 21st we headed up for our vacation at Bear Lake. The first one of its kind on the Miller side. And after this, I want to do more like it with them! It was a wonderful vacation. On our way, we wanted to make some stops. Our first was in Brigham City. None of us had been to the Brigham City Temple. It's lovely.
One thing I noticed on this trip was how much Micah loves to take pictures. He tried to get the camera (phone) at any opportunity. He told me that one day he'd like to be a photographer. Then he wondered aloud if there were jobs where you take pictures of different things around the world, take those pictures home, and draw them. When I hear the kids say things about their dreams for the future, it makes me realize how wide open it is for them. We are so blessed. I also wonder how close to (or far from) their childhood ideas their occupations actually will be.
Micah wanted a picture of himself and the temple.
Directly across from the temple is the Brigham City Tabernacle. Luckily for us, they had tours going. This sits directly across the street from the temple. The flower beds between the two is very pretty. If I remember correctly, the tabernacle was built around 1890.
The kids loved being able to roam around the entire building: upstairs, main level, even the stage/podium. We had to keep a close eye on Matthew. Those upper pews are definitely not up to modern code. That kid could lean over for a good look and topple right down to the ground. And he wanted to see everything!
We learned that President Boyd K. Packer designed this motif around the light fixtures. Up close, they are striking in the salmon and teal colors they are painted.
Colin loved getting his hands on the piano and being able to play a few numbers. Micah (and all the kids, I'm thinking) stood at the podium, because it's awesome to do it, right?
A view of the temple from the front door of the tabernacle. (Picture courtesy of Micah.)
The side of the tabernacle.
On our way out of Brigham City, we pointed out to Micah the old Indian school. He'd done his 4th grade county report on Box Elder, and learned about the Indian schools. So he wanted to remember this.
We headed up to Logan and showed the kids the first place we lived as newlyweds. It looks just the same, too. We were on the upper floor, on the front half of the building (the section you see). That was the teeniest, tiniest bathroom I've ever seen. We love to recall how you'd have to crouch a little while using the toilet because the roof slanted right there. And Chad had to bend down in the shower to get his head wet. The shower was so small, that I had to open the curtain and stick my leg out of the shower in order to shave. And the curtain would suck into the shower every time, so that you were constantly peeling the shower curtain off of yourself while showering. And there was the time Chad and I had been swimming and we both got sunburned pretty badly. We both put aloe vera on our backs and shoulders, then fell asleep on the bed. We both woke up later glued to the sheets. That was painful!
We checked out the Logan Tabernacle, but the doors were locked. We went around the grounds.
The Logan Temple was our next stop. We reminded the kids that this was where our family began.
The kids were well versed in the story of Chad's proposal of marriage to me. He walked us all over to the spot where it happened. Micah took a picture of us (and his finger).
Then they wanted us to reinact the proposal. I told them that, this time, it would go without me saying, "I feel sick."
Micah, Mira, Colin:
The hill on the temple grounds is steep, and the kids were running, rolling down it (a la The Princess Bride's "As you wiiiiiish!"). Matthew needed a little help getting back up. It was a scorcher of a day!
Matthew on the bench.
We drove around Utah State and showed the kids the old stomping grounds. Here is the house I lived on at Darwin Avenue. We showed them the campus, Institute, Chad's many living quarters, etc. Chad mentioned something about a cadaver lab he had. When we explained what a cadaver is, and what you do in the lab, the kids were amazed. Colin and Micah promptly declared they wanted to take cadaver labs. I taught them the Utah State cheer. Mira was most enthusiastic about learning it. "Utah State! Aggies all the way! Go Aggies! Go Aggies! Hey! Hey! Hey!"
By the time it was evening, we'd made it to our rental in Dingle, Idaho. It ended up being in a great location. It's so quiet there, just by Montpelier, and only about 12 minutes from the North Beach (the best beach!). After Mom's spaghetti and meatballs, we had a family home evening outside. Kids were flipping over this railing constantly.
Just as we were wrapping things up, Michael Finelli showed up with fireworks. So the kids got to do more sparklers and see some more action.
The next day we went to the North Beach and played for hours. The thing that's so awesome about this beach is that it's shallow for a long way. It's a very gradual slope. So you don't feel so uptight with young kids there. Matthew loved just playing at the water's edge in the sand. d
Above are Colin, Michael, Theron, and Micah. We brought these canopies and had a nice little set up for relaxing in the shade during lunch.
Rachel and Mom
Dad (the photographer)
Shell-collecting was constant. In fact, a couple of cups that had shells in them were lost and there were tears shed. We learned that the shells found in Bear Lake are actually millions of years old!
We played lots of frisbee in this water!
Expensive spa treatment? The kids had a heyday with Michael.
Loving that water.
Me (Nicole) playing some frisbee.
And Matthew, very happy to be in the sand.
We'd noticed the Paris Tabernacle on our way to the house, so we made a mental note to go back and visit. The couple who were tour guides there live right in the area. Again, the kids loved checking out the entire place.
Once again, Colin got to sit down at the piano. It's neat to think about all the music that has been played here.
Mom and Dad happened to stop by at the same time. Mom really enjoyed Colin's piano playing, especially the piece "Valse in E Flat Major" by Durand.
Miss Ella, the last few days of freedom before braces.
Colin working his magic on the piano. We love it!
This evening, after dinner, we all headed to the back (the huge backyard!) and started the fire going in the firepit for s'mores. Now that is a little taste of summer, right there!
Matthew loves marshmallows. Especially the monster marshmallows Rachel brought.
Ella's working on getting her marshmallow toasted perfectly.
It was getting dark, but Colin was hardly done playing. He really wanted to play some ball. I obliged him for a little bit, but he was scaring me with that wiffle ball shooting straight at me!
The last full day was spent first back at the North Beach to enjoy an hour on the big yellow inner tube trampoline we rented. Awesome. That afternoon, we had tickets for the Minnetonka cave. The temperature of the cave is a constant 40 degrees. I hadn't planned on colder temps, so I lay awake a good portion of the night, worrying about how we were going to keep kids warm and happy during the tour. It ended up working out because there were extra sweatshirts at the office we were able to borrow. I just love this picture of Ella and Chad.
Grant, Micah, Mira, Theron, and Doug were all ready to go!
Colin, myself, and Ella
Our family group. Note for next time we go to a cave: close-toed shoes! Ella's little tootsies were freezing.
That night, we'd planned to get tickets to the Pickleville Playhouse in Garden City. Mom and Dad stayed back with Juliette and Matthew (we are grateful!). We'd been having such a great vacation. It was just about to "get awesome up in here," in the words of Bandito. This ended up being the kids' favorite activity.
Micah and Theron had to sit on the opposite side of the theater because we'd waited so long to buy tickets. But they had a great ol' time. Micah tells me he stood up and and boogied to "The Harlem Shake" during the performance. Theron tried to pull him back into his seat, laughing the whole time.
I noticed Colin and Grant especially got kicks out of the gas jokes.
Mira and Kate were having fun. At one point during the performance, Mira turned around, and (referring to the main character, Juanito Bandito) said, "Mom, he is sooo funny!"
Ella and Paige. We almost left Paige at home because we didn't think she'd be able to handle it. Boy, were we mistaken. She sat through the whole thing and was entertained the entire time. Lots of laughs!
This was such a great melodrama. After the show we got a few pictures with the cast. This is with the Sherrif and his love-interest pirate girl. We bought the CD and listened to it quite a few times before we returned home from our trip.
Here is a picture of the front of the house.
The kids nearly adopted this sheepdog. They named her Shelby. I honestly thought she'd go home at the end of the first day we met her. But she slept outside all night and was there in the morning. Probably because the kids were feeding her lunch meat and meatballs. They were in love.
Dad took about a gazillion pictures throughout the course of the vacation. Since this was our last day, we took a whole bunch by this big tree. There is a horse swing hanging from it which the kids enjoyed.
And now Matthew's our budding photographer. He got this of Micah. We're all packed up and ready to head home. We all stopped at the Oregon California Trail Museum in Montpelier. (Didn't get any photos.) Colin played another piano, the kids loved the antiques in the basement, particularly an old typewriter and change counter. Then we had to say goodbye for good to Doug and Rachel and the kids. Boy, it's hard not to know when we'll see them again.
Chad and I decided we'd go home through Evanston, Wyoming. And we really wanted to make a side trip to Fort Bridger. By this time, the kids hadn't bathed for several days (if you're not counting lake water), and we were all feeling pretty ripe. But we managed to pack a little more exploring.
I think one of the kids' favorite places anytime we go anywhere is the gift shop. "Mom, I should've brought my money!" I heard that more than a couple of times. They loved the knives, guns, train whistles, wooden propeller flyers, stones, bracelets, rabbit feet keychains, old coins, etc.
But nothing can beat throwing rocks into some water. I think Matthew could've spent hours doing it.