Andrew was worried about getting lost in Rexburg so I made sure to have addresses for all the attractions we wanted to see. Turns out that in Rexburg addresses are for pussies. We could see the temple long before we arrived in town and easily found it from the highway.
If I had thought about it earlier I probably could have arranged a babysitter for the girls so that Andrew and I would have been able to do a session but the trip was too spur of the moment to think about that, I guess. Instead we just enjoyed walking around the grounds and admiring all the lovely brides who were hurriedly getting married before the next semester of school begins. Rachel was awed by all the lovely dresses.
She is very much into princesses and “getting married” lately. We went to the park the other day and played prince and princess—I was the prince and she was the princess. We probably got married about 70 times. Wake up, rescue each other, get married, move to a new castle. Wake up, rescue each other, get married, move to a new castle. What else is there to life? I don’t know.
It was so windy. I hear it’s always windy there. Miriam thought it was hilarious and kept gulping and laughing whenever it blew in her face. It was like a never-ending game of “blow in the baby’s face.”
We had to sit for a while and stare out into the nothingness that surrounds Rexburg. We’ve been surrounded by metropolis for so long that wheat fields looked oddly foreign.
On one side of the street is a temple and across the street was a combine harvesting the field. It was an odd juxtaposition, but I suppose a fitting one for Doctrine and Covenants section 11:3.
Behold, the field is white already to harvest; therefore, whoso desireth to reap let him thrust in his sickle with his might, and reap while the day lasts, that he may treasure up for his soul everlasting salvation in the kingdom of God.
I haven’t seen a golden wheat field disappear into the horizon in ages. It was fun to get to explain to Rachel about how wheat grows, how it’s harvested, what parts we use, and how what we use it for. Flour and wheat don’t really seem that connected to a 3-year-old. Trust me. We teach the Sunbeams (the 4-year-old class) at church and today our lesson was on being grateful to our Heavenly Father for food and clothing. We talked about food and where it comes from and how Heavenly Father designed the earth so that we would be able to work for our food—you know, a “sweat of their brow” kind of a thing—but that is such a wonderful gift that he gave us such wonderful ways to find food.
We brought in some of Rachel’s play food for props and had the children select a piece of food from a sack and then we’d discuss it. They did pretty well with fruits and vegetables but then one child pulled out a slice of cheese.
“Where does cheese come from?” I asked.
“The store!” chorused the children.
“I know because I just went shopping at Wal-Mart with my mom and we bought cheese there,” one boy explained.
“Well, we do get cheese at the store but it comes from somewhere before that. Just like apples come from trees before we buy them, cheese comes from somewhere before we buy it. Does anyone have any other guesses about where cheese comes from?”
“Yes, but how? How does He give us the cheese?”
“Well, He just makes it and then brings it to the store,” one child suggested.
“Actually, cheese comes from an animal. It’s an animal with four legs…”
“No, not a zebra. It can be black or white or…”
“Well, zebras are black and white.”
“Yes. But this animal can also be brown and it says moo…”
Obviously I was getting desperate by this point in the game. The children still didn’t bite.
“Cows make milk, not cheese,” I was told.
“That’s true. We get milk from cows and we make cheese out of the milk. Isn’t that cool?”
Heads nod all around.
“And who gave us cows?”
“Yes, so who should we thank for our cheese?”
The next item pulled out was an egg, which had the children equally puzzled. For a minute I had them all completely convinced that eggs grew on trees. Four-year-olds are so gullible. I also may or may not have touched lightly on the everything-is-made-of-corn-and-that’s-bad issue.
“Oooh, corn! Where does corn come from?”
“Yes, it grows on stalks and looks kind of like really, really big grass. What can you do with corn?”
“You can eat it!”
“Yes. You can eat it a lot of ways. There’s corn-on-the-cob and popped corn. You can grind it up and use it to make corn bread. You can extract the glucose and make high fructose corn syrup, which is lurking in nearly everything you eat. It’s an amazing plant, and who gave it to us?”
That’s right. I sometimes wonder why they let me around impressionable younguns, though I know that the only children who really manage to pay attention in our class have mothers who think similarly to me so they probably won’t mind if their children come home saying “Hey, Mom! Sister Heiss says there is high fructose corn syrup hiding in our breakfast cereal, isn’t that fascinating?”
Anyway, I digress. I wasn’t talking about today. I was talking about Rexburg—the trip that happened last week—and how I was glad to have the opportunity to show my daughter a real wheat field. She’s very well versed on where meat comes from due to all the butcher shops sprinkled around Cairo and farm animals penned up on various the balconies throughout the city, bleating their little hearts out before they’re slaughtered. Yes, she’s very good at knowing where animal-based products come from.
For some reason I enjoyed explaining about grain far better than talking about a dangling goat carcass.
When we were finished playing in the field we called up Andrew’s cousin (by step) Lindsey. I’ve never met her but she recently had a little baby boy, Talmage, and we figured this would be a good opportunity to get acquainted.
Lindsey is as sweet as she seemed on Facebook and Talmage is a little doll. My girls had fun terrorizing the poor boy and making good use of all his toys and books.
Rachel even took a picture of Lindsey. Considering it even has part of her face in it, this is a pretty good shot for Rachel!
We left Lindsey’s and headed to BYU-I. It wasn’t very far away because, you know, this is Rexburg and nothing is very far away. We took a lovely walk through the botanical gardens, which are fantastic, although they had no ducks—we were hoping for ducks. The best thing we found was a statue of geese.
There were random statues all over the gardens. We almost had Rachel convinced that this one was Mr. Tumnus.
She was especially interested in the turtle shell, though. “But where’s the turtle? Why can’t I see inside?” she asked.
We spent a lot of time chasing Rachel around. She was the self-proclaimed leader and was constantly turning around to tell us to go faster and to follow her.
We spent quite some time rolling around in the grass and looking at the pretty flowers.
We also walked all the way to the library. The students we encountered were very kind in giving us directions but no one ever bothered to tell us that the library is closed on Saturdays. Maybe they thought we needed to return a book in the book-drop, though if we didn’t know where they library was in the first place why we would have a book to return is beyond me. It wasn’t a wasted trip, though, because Rachel found her friend from the Orem Public Library. Who knew he had a twin brother living in Rexburg, Idaho?
When we were trekking back from the library we kept giving Rachel goals to keep her moving since we had only brought an umbrella stroller instead of our “two-girl roller,” as Rachel is fond of calling our new jogging stroller.
We told her to run to this building…I have no idea what it’s called…and she did. But she ran to the far right when she was supposed to run to the far left. We made her run over to us and she was exhausted by the time she did. “I just want a ride in the roller,” she said when she made it over to us, so we pulled Meme out and let Rachel have a break from running. She ran for a long time!
Walking around the BYU-Idaho campus was kind of otherworldly. Since the buildings are all named after famous Mormons they share a lot of names of the buildings on the BYU-Provo campus, so there was a JFSB and a Benson Building and a so many others. It was like we had entered an alternative dimension.
We, unfortunately, ran out of time to do anything else on our fun list of attractions, except for finding a place to eat, before picking up Auntie Em. There was a Jack-In-The-Box so we ate there because Andrew loves that place. We picked up Auntie Em, who was on cloud nine, and drove to Idaho Falls for ice cream at Reed’s Dairy, which allows me to tie in my previous tangent about origin of food perfectly!
The ice cream at Reed’s Dairy was superb and, like the sign states we were really supporting our local cows. There is a dairy right behind the ice cream shack—the smell of cows was quite unavoidable but even that didn’t dull the awesomeness of the ice cream—and you could see the cows that gave the milk for your ice cream, which is neat, I guess, if you’re into that kind of thing.
That was our last stop in Idaho (actually, that’s a lie because we got gas, too) before heading home to Utah. Things were progressing along pretty well until we hit traffic in north Salt Lake. We were stuck for a good hour due to construction work, which would have been fine if we all weren’t so tired. We didn’t get home until after midnight. Even Rachel fell asleep in the car.
She went to bed in the shirt she wore all day—Grandma helped her into pyjama pants, which is more than I would have done—and had awesome bed head in the morning.
She’s so cute.
The only downside to this trip was that we didn’t get to do half the stuff we wanted. Next time, I guess.