Our first stop was at the St George Art Museum. We choose this stop because we hadn't been to any art museums and Michael needed to visit an art museum for one of his scout requirements. We drove past the art museum the first time because the address was wrong on the internet. Lucky for us we happened to notice the sign as we drove by it the first time.
Then we made an amazing discovery! The Jones Home had been preserved and was moved to this location, just outside the museum, for everyone to enjoy!
As we looked at this simple pioneer home we gained an even greater appreciation for what these early saints had to go through. (We're trying to make things work with 6 boys in one bedroom at home but we have our own room and the rest of the house, these pioneers only had a 1 room home! I couldn't imagine raising 6 boys in a small home like this one.) So we know that the calling those early pioneers "saints" was really an earned title.
(A hands-on puzzle)
(Kiddy creation time for Donovan, Michael, Aleky & Quinten)
(Donovan & Michael)
After the art museum we headed to the site of the Mountain Meadows Massacre, between St George and Cedar City. This was an interesting visit because we had to try and explain the massacre to the boys so they would understand. But it's really hard to explain something you don't fully understand yourself. We were able to convey the known facts of the event but we were at a loss to explain why the event occurred. Afterall, it's one of those black marks in the Church's history that we don't like to talk about very much.
(Memorial Overlook Plaque)
(Explanation of sites identified through view finders located on site)
There were 3 different memorials for the 120 or so victims of this unfortunate massacre. It was not a happy visit as we thought about the tragedy caused by the early Mormon settlers. And in our peaceful times it is hard to fathom what would have prompted such a gruesome act.
(Wagon site burial memorial where the initial attack probably occurred)
I'm sure the boys didn't really understand the significance of these sites but they thought it was cool to put a rock on the top of the memorials to show their respect for the victims buried there.
(A second grave site memorial marker where many victims were buried) Incase you are wondering, David is pretending to be a soldier with his imaginary gun.
(A third grave site memorial marker, where many surrender prisoners were probably shot on the trail back to Cedar City)
The next stop was at Tuacahn. Before I met Michelle she had spent a summer working at Tuacahn as a seamstress. We thought it would be fun to stop and take a look at the theater where she had worked. We called ahead to see if we could get a tour but they wanted to charge us for the backstage pass. We decided that it would be just fine to wander around and see what we could see for free.
(A quick pic at the photo booth in the theater lobby; Donovan & Michael)
(David, Donovan, Michael, Aleky & Quinten at the photo booth)
This year Tuacahn is celebrating 20 years of performances and productions. Michelle was able to be a part of this amazing legacy.
(Michelle helped to sew the costumes for these productions, Oklahoma & The Sound of Music)
(Tuacahn stage and seating)
(A view from stage)
(Quinten & Gidean)
Even though we had stood in snow earlier today the boys have looked forward to going swimming. In fact (according to the boys), going swimming is a defining point of any family vacation. However, with the temperature in St George only in the 50's, Michelle and I were hesitant about taking the plunge. Fortunately the resort rules require the children to have adult supervision while in the pool so at least one of us had to go with the boys. So we all decided to head down to the pool together. Michelle and I figured that we could always find asylum in the hot tub.
(David is the first in the pool)
(The younger boys opt for the hot tub first)
Although these pools are outdoors at least they are heated. The water in the swimming pool felt like a cool bath so it wasn't too bad once you got in. The cool breeze still felt cold, especially when you got out of the pool for any reason.
So the boys spent most of their swimming time in the hot tub. David was the bravest of us all and he spent his time swimming in the pool.
Michelle thought it would be great to do a "polar bear plunge" by jumping into the swimming pool after having been in the hot tub. So we rallied the troop and we all jumped into the swimming pool for a quick swim. Since the pool was heated the initial shock of jumping in wore off quickly and we swam around and played as a family for awhile before retreating back to the hot tub.
I tried to capture the plunge on camera but the phones don't take great action pictures and Michelle had suggested that I take a video, after we were back in the hot tub. So the boys encourage Michelle to jump again so that we could take a video this time. Michelle was persuaded but Donovan couldn't be convinced so the second plunge didn't have everyone. But we did capture the video!
After we were done swimming we went back up to the condo to shower and have dinner. The we had grilled chicken, mashed potatoes and veggies (corn and brussel sprouts). The dinner turned out very well. After dinner the kids got to have "kid night" at the condo while Michelle and I went to the temple.
For kids night the boys got to have an hour of time playing on the computer and then they watched a movie ("Tangled") and ate popcorn. They had to be quiet (to respect the other resort guests), cooperate, and the go to bed immediately after the movie and brushing their teeth. The boys were happy to agree to these terms.
This freed Michelle and I up to go to the temple. Neither one of us has been through the St George temple before and we had wanted to visit the oldest active temple in the Church. We made it in time for the last session of the night. It was a small session and we were privileged to be the witness couple. It was great to see this temple and I was checking out the artwork and architecture throughout the night.
We made it back to the condo around 10:15 pm. We were excited to have been through the temple and to have felt the Spirit there but we were disappointed to find the boys awake and quite disagreeable. They went right to sleep once we were home but we had higher expectations for them and their kids night. Hopefully they will be rested enough in the morning so that we'll be ready for THE HIKE TO ANGEL'S LANDING!