Monday, March 31, 2014

Spring Break 2014: St George, UT: Part 5

Our last hiking day we spent at Pioneer Park, which was awesome!  About 10 minutes from our condo...and 52 acres of just bouldering and hiking.  Perfect. 
I loved how happy Addy was all week.  She just went with the flow of things so well, and loved hiking "by herself!"  She was happiest when she just got to explore like the big kids.  I love how you can see her sweet little dimples showing in this picture.

Brooklynn found a fun crevice to climb, with lots of fun little places to sit on the way up.

Super kids!!!  I asked Brooklynn why she didn't flex her muscles with the rest of them...she told me she didn't know how.  We have since fixed that little problem!

Again, Taylor was all over.  I actually had to start watching him to remind him he didn't have ropes...and put my foot down on a few climbs he wanted to do. 

Just Taylor, the rock, and the sky.

I found that if I followed the curvature of the rock walls and walked slow enough, I could pick my way up to the top of a lot of places.  It took a lot of time and patience.  I just cannot express how hard it is to know that you can usually do something but not be able to do it for a while.  Its a great motivator to always stay in good shape so that as I get older I can continue to do the things I love to do!  Its even harder knowing that its no fault of my own (for example being out of shape) that is keeping me from doing these things...but from a literal tearing of cartiledge away from bone which is causing severe and acute pain...and there's not a single thing I can do about it but try to "keep off my feet" and endure it.  Sheesh...16 weeks to go.

Rachey was really high up with Andy who is just outside this shot.  She was really scared...but I told her, "okay now smile at me like you own this mountain and you're not one bit afraid!"  She did a great job. :)

Yes, you guessed it...the mountain "was calling."  Seriously.  And he'll probably kill me for documenting this...but...the need to document it is "calling me."  This is the last day for this pair of Andy's shorts.  They were good shorts.  Loyal shorts.  He loved those shorts.  But his need to climb one last wall was their final undoing.  Literally.  He split his seam with one final big stretch to reach a foothold.  (Yes, you know which seam I'm talking about).  The split was about 12 inches long.  Let's just say that he carefully made it back to the car and he was done climbing for the day. ;)  I think the mountain may have called him one too many times.

Not the wisest thing I've ever done...but I knew this was our last day so I figured the pain was worth it and I could recuperate in the car.  I guess that darn mountain kept calling to me too...I was itching to climb, so I just did this one little overhang.  All right....yes...you guessed it...I'm 2 feet off the ground.  And you can see that I'm grimacing smiling.  It was a few seconds of pure agony.  I do miss rock climbing though...I didn't realize how much until there were all these walls in front of me!  Ya, I took a Norco that night so I could sleep.  All for this one picture.  (Thank you Taylor for being my partner in crime.  Andy was slowly and modestly making his way back to the car at this point...ha ha!)

Matthew the conqueror!

Andy and I were laughing because we have seen at least one lizard on every single vacation we've been on.  From California, to Oregon, to different parts of Idaho, to Colorado, to Utah...we always see lizards and my kids think they are the best.  So here is our lizard friend for this trip.  We'll call him Ralph.  Just for fun.

Okay, the best thing about hiking in St. George!?!  I found superman!  Whoa! Who knew he vacationed here too!?!

So of course I had to give him a big smooch...

Tay said that a new family tradition is mom and dad smooching somewhere.  So here we are...my big belly and all.

And here's cute little baby Thuernagle at 25 weeks!  She is quite the kicker...we think she enjoyed St. George too.

Spring Break 2014 St George, UT: Part 4

Part of a good vacation, in our opinion, is NOT scheduling or planning packed days but allowing for down time to sleep and relax.  It's really one of the biggest reasons why we do it.  My calendar is always so filled with appointments, concerts, sporting events, meetings, and lists of things to do it just is so crazy.  And even when we get away, we still have to turn off our phones and ignore emails or we get bogged down.  Andy actually got a few dental phone calls in the MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT, yes at 1:30am...honestly.  So needless to say, we greatly appreciate the dilemma of having "nothing to do." 
 
I documented some of it.
 
Matthew decided he liked golf this vacation.  It was his favorite thing to watch.  Weird.  Really, it's just weird.  Andy and I can't stand watching golf.  But here is Andy being a great sport and watching golf with Matthew.

Taylor, on the other hand, was watching a basketball game in the girls' room.  If I remember right, this was the afternoon that I spent on the couch reading a book and resting while the girls baked us some cookies.  Frozen chocolate chip cookie dough is a vacation tradition.  It's just not a true vacation without it.   

One morning I woke up and found Rachey and Addy like this.  Rachey had the priviledge of sharing a bed with Addy all week.  Addy was either snuggled right up to her in a little ball, or laying like this, perpendicular with her feet in Rachey's tummy or back.  It looks like they had a rough night.  Addy did start out the night with pajama bottoms on...don't know what happened to them, and she must have stayed up reading just like Rachel, because her shapes and numbers book is right there on the bed.  Too cute.  One morning, we heard Addy wake up and she immediately started making the sounds of the minions from Despicable Me.  So we woke up to her little voice saying, "beedo! beedo! beedo! beedo!"  and then, "Wake up!!!"  She is a pill.


This was an afternoon after one of our climbing days.  Matthew had been all over the place...he never naps, but he was so out...drool and everything.


One of their favorite games is "Marco Polo"  except when I'm playing with them.  Taylor thinks I cheat.  I just think he doesn't listen very well.  hee! hee!  But again this vacation was kind of sad in that respect, I couldn't do anything even in the pool, I had to just stay in one spot or move really slowly. 
By the end of the week, Addy was a little fish and loved the water.  Rachel was such a huge help all week.  I think I only picked Addy up one time (which I'm not supposed to do at all for the rest of the pregnancy).  So between Rachel and Andy...I had a complete rest from picking up and holding this cute little 21 month old.  I miss carrying her around though...she's so sweet and cute and fun.

Lainah always loves the toddler pools.  She usually has them all to herself, and calls it her "mermaid pool."  She pretends to be a mermaid, and even tries to swim keeping her feet and legs together like a mermaid's fin.  I bought her a new "ballerina" swimsuit before this trip that has an attached tutu on it.  So all week she was swimming like a mermaid, or twirling around like a water ballerina.  She is so fun.


And no pictures, but one of the things Andy and I enjoy is table tennis (ping pong.)  At dental school, I used to meet him once in a while at the school for a good game or two during lunch or in breaks.  He and a group of friends played every day during their lunch break and got pretty serious about it.  We spent part of an afternoon showing the kids our amazing ping pong skills.  Ya.  They were impressed.  Move over Forest Gump...cuz...the Thuernagles are in town.


Spring Break 2014 St George, UT: Part 3

St. George Children's Museum
 
One of the days we spent some time downtown at Pioneer Square, what a beautiful area!  Andy thinks it would get way too hot for him in the summer, but by the end of the week, I think I had developed a full "crush" on St. George, UT.  What a great place to live, and the heat wouldn't bother me a bit!
 
I think nearly every vacation we go on, we spend at least a part of a day at a children's museum.  Its a great way to get the little kids wiggles out, let them explore and play to their heart's content, and really make them feel like they had a special day just for THEIR interests.
Here we are...waiting to get our wristbands.  The museum itself was in this beautiful historic brick building.  I'm kind of an architecture nerd, so I'm surprised I didn't take a picture of it, but I liked the museum even before we entered it, just because of the building it was in.  And yes, I pretty much wore pink stripes the entire week.  It's okay.  It's vacation.  It's allowed.

First room the kids explored was "the farm."  Lainah thought this cow was so strange.  She couldn't figure out why it was giving water instead of milk.  Rachey and I got a good laugh out of that one. 

The kids loved this room.  Tay was actually a pretty good player in a wheelchair.  Addy just thought it was a cool ride.  Matthew had a rough time getting control of his wheelchair.  He kept stopping too fast and about tipped over backwards a few times.  Hilarious.

And the kids aren't the only ones who enjoy children's museums.  I admit it, Andy and I are both kids at heart...we love them too.  These glasses I had on obscured my vision, shifting everything to the left.  I was shooting hoops like that.  The kids were having a good laugh at my terrible shot.

We wore Addy out this week.  She found the "princess castle" and then found the princess bedroom where all the dress up clothes were.  Instead of going for the gowns and capes and crowns...she went for the bed, and closed her eyes.  Too funny!  It is a cute little bed, and just her size too.

We told Matthew not to worry...he'd grow into that crown someday.  I was just proud that my little super hero was willing to play dress up with his sisters.  They wanted him to put on the dragon costume but he stood his ground.  No way.  He was going to be the King.  Smart boy.

Obviously you do NOT grow out of enjoying dress-up!  These two were so funny! 


Taylor is such a great kid.  He was for sure the oldest kid there that day, but he dived right in and actually spent a lot of his time showing the younger boys how different things worked and helping them build stuff.  It was pretty cute.  He's a great sport.

After the museum, we treated the kids to milkshakes...again I'll have to post pictures when I sinc Andy's phone, but holy cow!!!  St. George knows how to do a milkshake, we stopped at this diner nearby the museum and ordered their "mini's"  They were HUGE!!!  Then back to the condo for relaxing and swimming...and weight lifting.  Yes, Andy and Taylor went to lift for a while.  I'm still teasing them about how huge they are after just one session.  ha ha!

Spring Break 2014 St George UT: Part 2

We spent another day hiking around Snow Canyon, this time I didn't take the big camera with me...so I'll have to post pictures of that day after I sinc Andy's phone...but we found some cool lava tubes, and Andy and the kids explored one of them while Addy and I stayed up top and ate apples. 
 
After a while of hiking, we went to the St. George Temple grounds to walk around.  We try to spend a little time each trip at the nearest temple, its fun for the kids to see them and spend time there.  Andy and I like them to know that pretty much anywhere they go, they can find one closeby and go there.
This picture makes me laugh right out loud.  I don't know what had happened, but Rachel and Matthew had gotten into a little tiff in the car and she was NOT a happy camper.  So, I looked over and said, "just pretend to be super happy and smile for the camera!"  Her "super happy" look cracks me up!  We all look windswept from hiking too...but here we are.

The St. George Temple design seemed like a mixture of the Kirtland, and Nauvoo Temples.  It was gorgeous how white it was against the red rocks of the canyons behind it.  There were a couple weddings there that day, and so the girls got to see the beautiful brides...they loved that part.

Andy said he needed a picture of all seven kids...which meant I needed to go stand in.  So there they are, all seven kids...and mom too.


Addy had to climb all the way to the top of these stairs and pose just like the beautiful brides did.  She loved it up there, she was all smiles and waves.

As of right now, my girls still want to get married in the SLC Temple...I then reminded them of the San Diego "princess castle" temple, and Lainah's eyes got huge and she said, "Oh YA!!  I forgot!  That's where I want to get married, nevermind!"  Too funny.


One of the things that the kids mentioned to me while we were walking around, is how happy everyone was who was at and around the temple.  I'm so glad they noticed that.  There is a wonderful, warm, and inviting peaceful spirit that surrounds the Temples of the Lord...they are holy places on the earth and I'm so glad that my children recognize that.


Spring Break 2014: St. George, UT: Part 1

 
I love Spring Break!  The kids have been looking forward to this trip for weeks, especially Matthew who has asked me ever day for the past two weeks when we get to leave.  Lainah kept asking me when we get to go to St. George.  We've never stayed in St. George, only driven through it...so it was cracking me up how excited she was at going there...when she's never been there before.
 
I didn't have much planned for this trip.  With the condition I'm in with my pregnancy, I am physically incapable of doing much so I was worried that I would ruin it for everyone, but we managed to find enough to do and the kids had a blast anyway.  I just took my time and hobbled around behind them slowly, and then spent a lot of time laying down on the couch when we'd get back in from our excursions.  It worked out pretty good for all of us.
 
Snow Canyon State Park
 
We spent a lot of our time here.  The kids loved scrambling around on the rock formations.  I don't think the weather could have been better...mid 60s all week and sunny with a few afternoon showers.  It was beautiful.
 
All of the kids on top of the petrified sand dunes in Snow Canyon


Brooklynn and Rachel were my helpers with Addy...who kept saying, "Let Go, Let Go, Let GO!!!"  She wanted to walk on her own.


Just being goofy and showing off my 25 week baby belly.


And the belly disappears.  My kids make fun of me that from the front you can hardly tell, then I turn sideways, and it's like, "Whoa!!!  You're pregnant!"  I like to believe that normally I'm a lot slimmer from the front and do actually have a waistline, but I try to be a good sport with their teasing.


Matthew and Lainah were in heaven.  They were climbing and scrambling around to their heart's content.  Finding grasshoppers and lizards, and tiny desert flowers.


Brooklynn kept commenting on how huge the rocks were...definitely terrain they were not used to.


And little Addy finally had her way and we "Let Go" of her...but we watched her really closely, always a step behind.  She just had to climb on her own, just like the big kids.  She'd keep saying "it's ok, it's ok, it's ok" as she was climbing...too stinking cute!!


Rachel asked me if she could skirt around this ravine to the other side...here she is, this is taken with my long lens.


And here she is for real...so far away! 


Andy kept saying that the "mountain calls to me."  He wanted to go climb it.  I have to admit, this was a hard vacation for me.  The rocks kept "calling to me" too...I was itching to scale a wall or two...but had to be content with watching and taking pictures.


Addy had no sense of, "oh hey!  There's a ledge right there!"  So she was very unhappy sometimes when we wouldn't let her walk on her own.  She was all over the place, a cute little mountain goat.


Lainah figured out that she could climb better without her shoes because her toes were "more grippy."  She was actually a natural at it, her little fingers found the tiny cracks and crevices, all the natural handholds that a climber looks for...Andy and I thought maybe we should get back into climbing...it seems as though all of our kids like it.  And Addy thought the hole in the wall was pretty cool.


Addy tried and tried to get up that wall.  She saw Lainah doing it with bare feet and then she wanted to take her shoes off too. 


Matthew was in a 7 year old boy's paradise.  Running, climbing, lizards, grasshoppers...he was having a blast.


Every time we tried to get Addy to smile for the camera, she'd squeeze her eyes together...she was being such a pill!  We were laughing all week at her funny little antics.


And yes, the mountain kept calling to Andy.  Again this is with my long lens, he's probably a good 50 ft up right here, and said it felt weird not having a harness on.  I agreed, and told him to get down.  Sheesh.


The kids had fun with this little crevice.  I taught them how they can use two walls that are close together and literally "walk" up a straight cliff.  They thought that was pretty cool...and again, it made me itchy to climb, its been a long time.


Lainah and Matthew called this little alcove their "secret hideout."  Lainah's face says it all.  They were so proud that THEY found it, and not the big kids.
I didn't get a ton of pictures of Taylor on this day because he was ALL OVER THE PLACE!!!  I just literally couldn't keep up with him, but he scaled about every rock he could find, and had a great time.  I thought they'd be bored after a while, but a few hours later...they were still going.


After a morning of climbing and walking...we came back to the condo for lunch...and then...Addy and I watched the big kids playing shuffleboard down below our balcony while we ate M&Ms.  Now THAT'S what I call a vacation right there.  After a while, we took the kids down to the pool for a couple hours.  For me, the pool was like heaven after all of that walking...


To cap off the awesome day, we grilled and had watermelon.  I think this picture of Addy about says it all...YUM......