Ok, back to summer for a minute… After our adventures in California we traveled straight to Utah for some BYU camps and our annual family reunion at Bear Lake. Dave had to get back to work, so we dropped him off at the airport to fly home and the kids and I braved the rest of the long trip by ourselves. That’s when I came to grips with the fact that I think I actually like driving for extended amounts of time with my children trapped with me in a car.  That’s when I wrote this post about our in-the-car speeches and the exhilaration of having my kids all to myself. 2012-07-08 iPhone summer 56241Despite the fact that I backed into this rock trying to find the right entrance to the hotel late at night:2012-07-08 iPhone summer 56198(We went back and took a picture in the morning.)…it was a great trip. The kids were in Heaven that the hotel offered free breakfast and man alive, let’s just say they took full advantage of that.2012-07-08 iPhone summer 56196 Then we headed out on the road again.2012-07-08 iPhone summer 56219 After driving past the St. George temple hundreds of times in my life, I decided it was time to take a stop to get a better look at that thing.  2012-07-08 Saint George 53716 Boy howdy, was it ever beautiful.2012-07-08 Saint George 537182012-07-08 Saint George 53732 We had the very kind missionary man in there tell us all about the history of that building.  2012-07-08 Saint George 53721 It is the oldest temple still actively used by the LDS Church.  It was the third to be completed and the first one built in Utah. When they started building they were disheartened to find that the foundation they had planned on was completely swampy and unstable.  So they took tons and tons of lava rock from the nearby mountains and crushed it with a cannon (that one behind them above) to make a firm foundation. I loved that story.  It reminded me of my mom’s favorite scripture in Helaman 5:12 that she’s had all the grandkids memorize: “And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.” Oh man I love that.  How I hope Dave and I can help create some great solid lava rock for these children to build up their faith in Christ on. The sweet missionary guy also told us all about how they ground up quartz rock as a plaster for the outside of the temple.  He gave each of the kids a special rock to remind them of their special day at the temple. 2012-07-08 Saint George 53727They were pleased as punch about that. We love looking at all the different languages the Book of Mormon is translated into at temple visitor’s centers.  The kids each decided which one they hoped to learn to read if they happen to get called on their missions to that place some day:2012-07-08 Saint George 53729Yeah, Elle is super adventurous and picked English…maybe she’ll go to England. I love finding the Romanian Book of Mormon.  When I went on my mission to Romania all those years ago only a portion of it was translated.  I love that they have the whole thing now.2012-07-08 Saint George 53728I don’t like that I can’t read much of it anymore though… My favorite pic:2012-07-08 Saint George 537332012-07-08 Saint George 537352012-07-08 iPhone summer 562152012-07-08 Saint George 537432012-07-08 Saint George 537452012-07-08 Saint George 53720 Next we were off to find a place to hike. See why I love these trips so much?  I can do whatever I want :)  I’ve wanted to take our family to hike around the canyons in Southern Utah for a loooooonnng time so I figured this was my window of opportunity. 2012-07-08 summer 53787 Problem: It was over a hundred degrees outside and we had no water bottles left.  So although we did take this gorgeous red road up into Kolob Canyon, this is about as far as we strayed from the car:2012-07-08 summer 53750Elle was infatuated with the red roads but I promise we never saw another car the whole time we were in the national park so I figured her idea of a road picture was ok.2012-07-08 summer 53757 We listened to majestic music as I forced everyone to ohhh and ahhh at the beauty surrounding us.2012-07-08 iPhone summer 562302012-07-08 summer 537622012-07-08 summer 537842012-07-08 summer 53770Before I dupe anyone into thinking it was all rainbows and butterflies, I’ll have you know that within the first five minutes I got hopping mad at bad-attitude Max. Because seriously, who knew that fifteen-year-old boys don’t really love to stop every five minutes for a picture??  I told him he’d regret not being in this picture:2012-07-08 summer 53755 I’m sure he has lost a lot of sleep over that one. At least I had some willing girls:2012-07-08 summer 537792012-07-08 summer 53772 I loved how they had Lu pose:2012-07-08 iPhone summer 562342012-07-08 iPhone summer 56238 Max and I made up.2012-07-08 summer 53778Love that stubborn fifteen-year-old. And man alive, I love that canyon too.2012-07-08 summer 53780Next time we’re hiking it:) Finally by nightfall we arrived where we were staying for the night: Dave’s sister’s house close to Provo.  We stayed there last summer as well and had so much fun.  Carol Lynn is one of the very most kind people I know.2012-07-08 summer 53828 We’ve started a tradition of playing Rummikub when we get together.2012-07-08 summer 53825Then sweet Carol Lynn tucked us all into bed. To get some sleep before another big day.

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  1. Gotta love including the little "tiff" along the way. Road trips are somehow full of those! Gorgeous pictures. The scenery ones are almost as good as the kid ones!

  2. Okay, I just have to comment, LOL!The St George temple was a frequent stop for my family growing up. Did you hear the story about the two steeples? That part cracks me up. I've never seen cars in Kolob Canyon either, but it so gorgeous up there! Love, love this whole post! 🙂

  3. What a beautiful batch of photos… the sites and the people!

    So curious where you find Elle's shorts. I have a tall almost-teen and we struggle to find shorts that are long enough for her and also appropriate for school. Any suggestions?

    Thanks so much.

  4. 12Your pictures bring back great memories! I attended college at SUU (in Cedar City) and made many trips to Kolob. And I was married in the St. George temple. I love southern Utah!

  5. Too funny, it must be a mom thing to love "trapping" your kids in a car because my mom LOVED doing that to us too :). She said it forced us to talk to her for hours on end when that often seems like the last thing you want to do as a teen :).

    Great pics from your trip, looked like a blast!

  6. I love all of your trip pics. I just upgraded to a dslr, hooray! What aperture setting do you use for your scenic shots?

    I travel a lot with my kids. Originally it was 6 kids, including 3 5 year olds. In the 7 years since I started driving cross country with them we have had a daughter get married and a son leave on a mission, so this year I traveled sometimes with just the 3 11 year olds and sometimes with their 16 year old brother too. I LOVE our trips together. Sure, we have our cranky moments, all of us. But we make such memories too. We listen to books on cd and talk about the places we've been and listen to crazy music and I feel bad that my husband can't be there with us, and grateful that he makes it possible. (This has been an unusual year, but we've logged 12,000 cross country miles together!)

  7. We used that exact scripture this morning! I am having my kids memorizie it as well!

    Love your pictures! Love that you share the tiff with your son. My life is a struggle so I don't always know how much is appropriate to share!

    Glad to see that there are a few struggles at your house-so I don't feel so alone!!

  8. We used that exact same scripture this morning!

    I am also going to have my children memorize it–as well as myself.

    Thanks for letting us know that you struggle as well.

  9. You gotta LOVE St. George huh? I am a St. george girl, born and raised and was sealed here in that beautiful temple! Love all of your pictures and your cute kids! I am a mother to 5 kids with my oldest twins just turning 6 so we stay busy, but i love to read all of your motherly advice on here! Thank you Thank you! ps. i also have been reading "I didn't plan to be a witch!" Your mom is AWESOME and i can totally relate to some of the things in her book!

  10. LOVE St George & the Temple and Kolob section of Zion. Next time you pass that way, take the New Harmony exit and go west (several miles) to the Cemetery where you can safely pull off the road and look back to the east. You get an incredible view of all five of the Kolob "fingers" (best in afternoon/evening when sun is shining on them to bring out their color) but a stunning view anytime.

  11. I have a question for a Question and Answer post. I want so very badly to raise my daughters with self esteem and confidence. I believe having that will help carry them through a lot of trials they will encounter. What advice do you have on this subject?

  12. Hey Shawni I am on a road trip with my kids alone right now. We are at Gma's playing rummikub too. We love it. Gorgeous photos of the St. George temple.
    Thanks for sharing.

  13. Oh and to go along with my question I just asked about raising confident daughters, I do have to say that the young womens program, the personal progress program, and the for the strength of youth pamphlet are all WONDERFUL tools to aid our girls. Just wondered if you have any wise words to add to those great things listed above that we are blessed with.

  14. The verse you quoted was very appropriate in my life today as we are sheltering in New Orleans in preparation for Hurricane Isaac. ". . . Mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf." Amen.

  15. The timing of me reading this blog post was amazing…I read it and then that same week in R.S., my R.S. president decided we should play Jeopardy instead of have a lesson (random, I know).
    For 500 points, the question was, "What was the first temple to be opened in Utah?" (or something like that.) Thanks to THIS blog post, I helped my team get in the lead (even some of the girls on my team from UT didn't know it, or guessed other temples…I was pretty bossy in making them guess my guess, lol).
    So, thanks…never know when a blog post you randomly read one day might come in handy. 🙂

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