Over Memorial Day weekend, we made a trip to St. George. I'd previously made appointments to attend the Payson Temple open house. (Boy, those tickets went like hotcakes online! Everyone wanted to go.) The temple was just beautiful. A friend of mine mentioned that I should keep an eye out for all the apple blossom motifs in them temple. They were abundant. The stained glass, chairs, tables all had vines and blossoms. The celestial room was gorgeous. The temple is quite large. Maybe we will have to see about doing baptisms there sometime. There were so many people in line to go through, we didn't have a lot of time to stop and really absorb it all.
We arrived at Mom and Dad's around 10 o'clock that night and went straight to bed. The next day, Chad and I took the boys to the St. George temple for baptisms. It was Micah's first time there. Because it is an older temple, the arrangement is quite different from more modern temples. We had family names with us, and we did around 50 names, thanks to Chad getting them ready for us.
Our original plan for the rest of Friday was to go to Sand Hollow State Park to swim, but because of overcast skies and cooler weather, we went to the Washington City Rec Center, which the kids love. Chad and Colin spent a fair amount of time playing pickleball. Ella, Mira, and Matthew especially enjoyed the rock climbing wall, just like the last time we came. Matthew got higher than before, and both girls rang the bell. They did this over and over. We went up to the running track and timed each other running it. We tried out some equipment. And then it was time for swimming. (I know I had a picture of Mira climbing, but I can't find it.)
Saturday we drove over to Zion, with Mom along for the ride. Lots of other people had the same idea. The park was pretty full. But it didn't hamper what we did. The kids loved to see squirrels scurrying around. We came home with several pictures of them.
We took a walk on the Temple of Sinawava, or the Riverside Walk. The walk is very pleasant, and Mom did a great job going the whole way. Once we got to the end, there were a lot of people milling around the water.
The children began collecting rocks and stacking them. I believe it was
Colin who came up with the idea. They wanted to see just how many rocks
they could stack.The were pretty proud of their work, and wanted to document it.
Our other hike was up to Weeping Rock, which is short, but uphill. This is a pretty spot, and has a great view.
Look at those cuties!
We love hiking, booyah!
I love this one of all of us:
Sunday, we went to the St. George Tabernacle. We had a tour there, and learned some interesting facts. For example, when it was first being constructed, Brigham Young came to sit down in the balcony, and announced that it would have to be lowered 5 feet because the railing would block the view of those sitting up there. They had a whole bunch of men come in with logs cut to size to hold up the balcony, while the pillars were removed and shortened, and then replaced. Also, the circular stairway (built by Mitt Romney's great-great-grandfather, Miles Romney), was an engineering feat. Apparently, when Brigham Young announced the lowering of the balcony, Miles explained that he'd already constructed the self-standing circular staircase, and it would not be possible to shorten it. That is why, when you go up the stairs, you must walk down several stairs to be flush with the balcony seats.
And, of course, Colin wanted to tickle the ivories while in the tabernacle, as he has done with the others we've visited. He played not only the piano, but he was able to play the old push pedal piano. That takes a lot of effort to play! And it is a little noisy. I wonder if it sounded clearer back when they used it. Micah also played a little piano for us. Each of the kids got to stand at the podium where Lorenzo Snow stood and announced that the law of the tithe would be implemented churchwide, after the drought St. George was experiencing in May 1899.
Matthew got hold of my phone and was liberally taking pictures of all sorts of things.
Monday, on our way back home, we took a deviation in our route to stop by Kolob Canyon. We'd never been here before. It was absolutely gorgeous! By this time, however, the kids had lost all interest in hiking. Unfortunate. Chad and I would have been all over it. We convinced them to go on the shortest 1-mile hike. It provided rewarding views!
Those girls. Love them.
We also stopped off in Cedar City to visit the Frontier Homestead State Park. We love finding these places to check out. Before we even went inside, we went inside a caboose (where the girls and Matthew hung from a rod in the ceiling and swung around like it was a monkey bar), a huge machine used for iron excavation, and an old horse-run hay bayler.
Out the back door there were all sorts of buildings, informational plaques, and activities to check out. This was the best part of the whole museum. The cabins on display were very small, and when I walk inside one, I can only imagine how hot it would get when cooking. Especially in warm weather! Inside one cabin, there was a table full of Lincoln Logs, to encourage some creativity in coming up with your own cabin.
Monday is washing day! And I think, from what I saw, I would be happy to have these helpers! Look at how productive they are.
Colin constructing his masterpiece:
The schoolhouse was pretty fun, especially when Micah had the dunce cap and got a spanking with the wooden paddle by Schoolmaster Matthew Barnett! There was an explanation of the Deseret alphabet, which was fascinating. That alphabet was created for use by the church, specifically to aide those whose second language was English. The symbols look so foreign, and each sound has its own letter. Interesting idea, it just didn't last.
Oh! Bonus picture of Mira's Synergy showcase. I can't believe I didn't get any other pictures. (I do have a video I took.) She did awesome. There were three girls and three boys in the performance, and in it Mira did aerials, back handsprings, and her back tuck. She has worked so hard to get these down. It was awesome to celebrate her accomplishments. She's got the best "guns" in the house. In fact, Micah often makes us giggle because he'll tell Mira to cover up her arms because she puts us to shame with those muscles. He tells her he's jealous. She flexes, and those biceps speak for themselves. She's earned them!