Monday, February 10, 2014


 We hadn't been to the temple since moving to Germany.  It is a couple of hours away, and with a nursing baby it makes a trip that long kind of difficult.  So we decided that we would go with our friends, the Barons, and take turns going in the temple while the other couple watched all the kids.  And then we decided, if we were going to drive 2 hours to the Frankfurt temple, why not drive 4 and go to the Swiss Temple and stay overnight and make it a fun trip for Nathan's 32nd Birthday?!  And that is exactly what we did.  They have 'housing' right next to the temple for people that are coming from far away.  The rooms are very comparable to dorm rooms, with 2 sets of bunkbeds and very minimal conveniences.  But it is cheap!  We arrived around 4 pm on a Friday, quickly got settled, and sent Andrew & Mandy off to the 5 o clock session.  We hadn't planned out our dinner very well, so Nate and I decided to run over to the McDonalds real quick and get everyone something to eat.  We were floored when we saw the prices there!  I mean, we had heard that Switzerland was expensive...but that didn't prepare us for what we found!  A regular, old, Big Mac value meal was somewhere around 12 Francs (15 DOLLARs)! So we bit the bullet and got all the kids their Happy Meals, and then Nathan and I split one sandwich.  Ha!  We will always bring our own food to Switzerland from now on!  We rushed back to the housing area so we would be ready before the Barons came back.  We needed to make it into the 7 pm session, or else we would have to go in the morning.  At 6:45 we were still waiting in the playroom with all 6 kids, and no sign of Mandy or Andrew.  Ahh!  For those who don't know what's involved when you get to the temple, you need at least 10 min inside to get ready for a session.  We were kind of freaking out. At 6:50, a nice American woman we had met earlier, who was there with her family (she and her husband were taking turns going in) came back from the session.  She said she saw Mandy inside and she would hopefully be back in 5 min.  But we needed to go.  So we left our 6 kids with this couple (and their 3 kids), hoping that Mandy & Andrew would get back quickly to relieve them!  Kinda crazy, and never would have done such a thing in normal circumstances, but they were trustworthy people and we knew it.  On our way into the temple, all the temple workers were looking at their watches and giving us questioning looks.  But they were eager to help us through and we made it in just in time!  We saw Mandy in passing and told her what we had done.  They were on their way out.  Everything turned out ok.  I was really glad we were able to do it.  The Swiss Temple is a special place for my mom.  She took out her endowments there with her parents before marrying my dad.  It was just really neat for me to be there.  And what a cool place.  It is like a melting pot of languages in there.  So many languages spoken in and around Switzerland!  I listened to most of our session in German, even though I had the English headphones on.  I just wanted to experience it in German too, which was really cool.  

That night, we had the WORST time getting our kids to sleep.  Isla wouldn't go to sleep until everyone stopped being noisy and the lights were off.  And Sawyer and Violet were SUPER hyper and loud  (I guess I can't blame them--sleeping in bunk beds in the same room with mom & dad is pretty fun!).  And for some reason, Nathan decided it was a good time to fill up his new Zippo Hand Warmers with lighter fluid--at 9:30 pm in a dorm room with 3 crazy kids!!!  Let's just say, this mama went to bed kinda grumpy that night.  We slept ok, then had to wake up and be out by 8 am (brutal checkout time).  But it was good because it forced us to get going.  Next we headed to the city of Bern.  We got out and walked around for a while.  Our goals were to see the oldest clock in Switzerland, and the Bear habitat.  Bears are like the mascot of Bern, and they have a whole habitat of real bears in the city.  We thought the kids would love that.  Unfortunately, none of us were bright enough to think that bears typically hibernate in the winter months!  After all of that, the kids played on some bear statues and we called it good.  We got back in the car and headed up to Niederhorn for some intense Alpine sledding.  (I should also mention, that we ate almost nothing that day aside from random snacks in the car.  We went to a bakery in the morning and spent like 18 bucks on 4 pretzels!  After that we were hesitant to buy any more food!)  So we got to the parking lot, spent a good while getting everyone bundled up for the snow, and got on a gondola that took us up to Niederhorn!  That was truly awesome.  The views were breathtaking.  It seemed surreal that we were really there, sledding in the Alps, on a weekend trip.  The kids LOVED the gondola ride.  Probably the best part of the day.  The sledding itself was pretty fun too.  Once we got the hang of it.  I was on my own sled, with little Isla strapped to me.  And for some reason we thought Sawyer and Austin (4 & 5 yrs old) could handle riding their own sled together.  About 1 minute into the ride, after the boys went careening over the edge (slight heart attack for myself before I realized the hill wasn't too steep on the other side!), we decided to switch things up.  So Nathan pulled a second sled with Sawyer on it, behind his.  Violet started off in front of Nathan, but after a face FULL of snow, she opted for a back seat.  Whew.  So once that was all squared away, we finally had fun on those dang sleds!  Nathan went back for a second run with Sawyer, and Mandy & I stayed with the little ones in the lodge at the bottom of the hill.  We bought some french fries and hot chocolate...and they were actually worth the price!  It was a super fun adventure.  We headed back home around 5:30 pm and the kids konked out almost immediately.  And get this---they slept the ENTIRE time!  5 HOURS!!  And then slept in their beds the rest of the night. They were wiped out!  So it was a really pleasant drive for Nathan and I.  We talked and listened to a book on tape.  The trip was a huge success, overall.  

No idea why he's got a choke hold on Isla, but she doesn't seem to mind, lol

Wow.  That is one happy little girl right there.  And don't you love her pink and red combo?! haha

She does smile! And she does have more fun than she typically lets on in most pictures...
I smiled when I saw the following, 'tour' of Bern, by Nathan & Sawyer on his camera roll...those two crack me up :)...

It doesn't get much better than a couple of bear statues...(well, maybe real bears would have been slightly more entertaining)

I love this so much.  In like 98% of my pictures lately, you see me carrying Isla in my Ergo Carrier.  But this is what I see when I look down.  And I love it.  
Happy girl with her hot chocolate


Sabine Schindler said...

Yay!! What an adventure!! I can't believe how brave you guys are. Good for you to do all this with your kiddos in tow!
I'm cracking up how much of a mini Nathan Sawyer is.
And little Violet reminds me so much of you!
Isla Bea is sooo cute. I bet she was comfy with her snow suit!

Ashley said...

I feel like I am looking at the adventures of Ned and Julianne. You guys are so doing so much fun stuff with your kids. Some really great photos too. Your family is really bonding over there and that is so wonderful.

Meghan and Tyler said...

Ok, your adventures sound crazy/fun! Think of all the stories your kids are going to tell when they are older. The sledding looks like so much fun! Way to be living it up while living abroad. My goal is to go to the Swiss Temple one day. So glad you were able to go.