Friday, January 20, 2012

Down South

With a four day weekend around Martin Luther King Day, we decided to head south and visit my brother, James, and Kristin and Annie. We don't have fancy modern gadgets in our 12 year old car. Instead, we travel the old fashioned way. We have no movies, no DVD players. Just a good old CD player, a few road games, and most of all the DROWSY version of Dramamine required for each child.

Our car heater would not turn off half way on our drive, and resulted in a car far too hot to travel in any longer. Thankfully we were able to stop at this rest stop and turn the car off for 10 minutes or so to let the car cool down. It was just enough time for the kids to run around to exert some bottled up energy and for Joshua to dump a can of rootbeer upside down on himself in the car. 


All things considering, it was a fairly uneventful drive. If you don't count the child that had to poop, the children that got yelled at, the child that had to pee every hour, and the etch-a-sketch that caused more contention than any of the children combined. Oh and we can't forget the near constant sounds of Primary songs playing for four hours straight that began to get slightly annoying. (Yes, we catered exclusively to the 2 year-old.)

The drive was more than worth it though to spend time with James, Kristin and Annie. What a fun weekend!

Obviously knowing well my love for early pioneer history, and my conviction that I was mistakingly born 100 years late, James took me to this charming, quaint little shop. I wish we had had more time to sit and eat lunch there and I wish I had worn clothes from another century. Maybe next time.
It was a novelty to enjoy a picnic at a park on a January day. Mike went above and beyond making sandwiches and packing lunch for the ten of us; individually bagging and labeling each sandwich variety while Kristin and I shopped and James attended to church duties.
Not only was Mike a swell sandwich maker--he was a pretty adept handy-man. James and Kristin are fairly new home-owners and Mike was the right guy to have around. Mike installed a couple of door locks so Annie can no longer escape, replaced a toilet seat, and fixed a sink. Mike was also a pretty stellar house guest. Every time I turned around he had either Megan or Luke vacuming, and Luke even paper-towel mopped the kitchen floor. They were less than thrilled to not be on vacation from chores.

(I must add-our vacuming and mopping had NOTHING to do with Kristin and James' housekeeping skills, but EVERYTHING to do with our family of seven descending upon their house for 3 days.)

Everyone (Ellie and I weren't there) enjoyed a little hiking around the red hills of St. George. One of Luke's FAVORITE things to do when there, since Mike first introduced him to it when he was barely 2 years old passing by on our way to California.
We enjoyed a visit to the St. George Temple and Visitor's Center. I am always touched by the evidence of President Brigham Young's prophecy "The desert shall rejoice and blossom as a rose." It is applicable to both Salt Lake City and St. George. (Brigham Young declared Salt Lake City to be the place for the Mormon Pioneers to settle and of course had a major part of the settling of St. George). Even though I have an awful tendency to laugh when I shouldn't, I love visiting temple visitor centers.
I wish I had taken more photos. I wish I had a photo of us enjoying a Sunday afternoon at Kristin's parent's house. Her mom was very generous to invite us over and we felt very loved and welcome there.

Many things will simply be mind memories--you can't capture everything with a click of a button. Mike, James, Megan and Luke enjoyed an afternoon golfing, Kristin and I did a little shopping, the adults enjoyed a Mexican restaurant alone, a few of us enjoyed a good card game, some of us went on walks, some of us died laughing over funny jokes, several of us cried at tender memories, and all of us loved being together. It was a glorious three days. We hope we are welcome back. We'll be there.

These two orphans cousins loved playing together and it breaks my heart every time Drew says, "Want go at Annie's house." and I reply, "Sorry, not today. It's too far."
(Cousin Annie and Drew--January 2012)


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