Sunday, July 25, 2010

Bear Lake '10

My kids are always looking forward to something. After Christmas they start talking about Easter. After Easter they start talking about Bear Lake. That's how much they love and look forward to the week we spend there every year.

It was a banner year for me: NO DIAPERS!!!

Among this year's highlights:

Kite flying

The annual tunnel to China

Over priced rock climbing

Homemade slime


Horsing around with cousins

(#2's 19 year old identical cousin is such a sweet pal to Buster)

An evening retreat to the cabin in Logan Canyon

Next up: Moving. The good, the bad and the ugly.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Summering in Utah

When Spouse and I moved to AZ eight years ago, we decided the only way I would survive the distance from our families and the infernal heat was to take an annual summer sabbatical to our families in Northern Utah. Some years the stay is a little longer and some years a little bit shorter, but typically we are gone for a month. A whole month packed with cousins and fun, green mountains and cold lakes, blue skies and cools night. It's something we look forward to all year. The one regret is that Spouse can only be there for about a week and has to miss all the memories we are making.

Maybe that is why I take so many pictures?

This year was a doozy. Over 500 photos.

And I've posted them all here on my blog.

Just kidding. I've selected a few below to give you a sampling of the first half of our stay with my family. All six of my siblings were able to make it to the reunion at my parent's house. That's right, seven (+spouses) adult children and 16 grandchildren under the same roof for a week. My mom planned activities and meals for each day and kept things moving at an easy going, but fun pace.

American West Historical Farm

#3 helping to sweep out the pioneer dugout. On the left my dad is showing #1 the old weaving loom.

#2 taking a crack at the hatchet throwing

Children's Tea Party. #1 is in the middle with the big Anne of Green Gables hat. The farm functions as it would have in the year 1910, so the ladies putting on the tea party talked to the kids about family life from that period before serving handmade cinnamon rolls hot from their antique wood burning oven.

Then the kids made fairies from silk flowers.

#1 with one of her sweet cousins riding the miniature train around the farm.

Boating at Hyrum Dam

All my kids successfully tubed behind the boat, some having more adventurous rides and than others. Thanks to Brother Brig for all his boating skills and for staying late in the day to let me waterskii in private.
I call this my Michelle Obama picture. *

Family Freedom Run

1.5 miles complete with custom racing bibs with each child's name, a finish line to break through and an after race celebration with donuts juice and trophies for each finisher.

Here is #1 with her cousins sprinting away from the starting line.

After a few attempts to quit, #2 eventually broke through the finishing tape

#1 is the first girl grandchild and has some awesome older cousins that are so sweet to her.

#3 and her trophy, with a little bit of doughnut on her face

Lemonade Stand

These cute girls sold lemonade and homemade star-shaped sugar cookies. They would wave and yell "Happy 4th of July" to the cars as they passed by.

So many kind people pulled over and often left big tips for the girls. When there was a lull in business, Nana or an uncle or aunt would miraculously appear to keep things rolling.

Blacksmith Fork Freedom Run 15K

Post 9.3 miles. From left to right, my little sister JA, moi, s-i-l and brother Miguel. Spectators included Spouse, #s 1, 2, and 3, and niece and a nephew.

Freedom Parade

What? Doesn't your family have it's own parade to celebrate Independence Day?
Here's what to do:
Decorate your bikes, scooters, 4-wheelers and motorcycles with festive stuff.
Everyone wear their best red, white and blue.
March/ride/scoot through your neighborhood carrying a big American flag and singing patriotic songs like, Grand Old Flag and God Bless America.
Wave and smile and wish you had brought candy to throw to the neighbors who are staring at you incredulously.

OK, you got me. I didn't have any red or blue and my white was dirty.

Next up: Bear Lake with In-Laws!

*I have tried and tried but for some reason I can't upload the Michelle Obama picture. If you must see it, just google "michelle obama state dinner dress" to see what all the fuss is about. Yikes!