Saturday, January 18, 2014

The rest of our trip!

As I said in the last post, the wedding was so lovely, and we were so very glad we were able to go for it!  But as of Sunday, James and Miranda were honeymooning, Abbey and Spencer were in Texas, and everyone who came in for the wedding had gone back out.

We were sad to see them all go, but super excited to spend some time with my Aunt and Uncle, cousins, and some dear friends.  We seriously had such a great time!  David and Joanne were such gracious hosts.  They made us a delicious hot breakfast every single day!  I tried to beat them out to the kitchen in the mornings and make something for them a couple of times, but they always, ALWAYS beat me!

They treated our kids like their own grandchildren, and our kids just seriously LOVED them!  And Chloe the dachshund, and the bed with the remote control, and the toys and the movies and the fabulous meals, and my cousin Richard's basement apartment.  It was so nice of Dave and Joanne to let us pretty much take over their house for a week.  I will never forget the wonderful time we got to spend with them!

On Sunday we went to church with my cousin Stephanie and her family, and it was so fun!  They have such sweet kids, and it was so fun to see our kids buddy right up.  That night, Dave and Joanne hosted a get together with some of my cousins and aunts and uncles that live in the area.  We had such a great time getting together!  All of the kids are getting so big, and it is so fun to see them all together.  We sure missed everybody who couldn't make it!

On Monday we went to hear Stephanie's concert on Temple Square and went to see the lights.  It was beautiful, and the kids really loved the concert, which surprised me, because they usually don't really love sitting still quietly...But they really did great!  After the concert, however, our kids were pretty much lost it.  So we decided to come back on Tuesday to let the kids look around.  And that was really fun!  We got to see the Christus statue and do the tour of the conference center and everything.  It was great, and the kids really loved it.

On Tuesday afternoon, we headed down to Spanish Fork to spend New Years Eve going sledding with our good friends, Brian and Diane and their kids.  The sledding was so awesome!  It was a great sledding hill, it was 40 degrees outside, and the hill bordered the Festival of Lights, so there were Christmas lights and Christmas music playing all around.  We all had such a blast!

After the sledding, we headed back to Brian and Diane's house to have dinner, play games (we are now hooked on Bananagrams!), and let the kids play around.  We decided that we would head back to Dave and Joanne's whenever the kids got grumpy and put them to bed there.  We told them that we would leave when they were grumpy, and guess what?  They never got grumpy!  All 3 stayed awake until midnight!!!  Without naps, folks!  It was insane.  Brian and Diane's kids all ended up falling asleep, but our kids were determined!  So we all rang in 2014 awake!!  Except maybe Hannah.

The next day, as I recall, we really paid for letting them stay up late, and they were all pretty much disasters.  But they still got to play with Stephanie's kids again and we all had a nice dinner together with Dave and Joanne and Kim and Stephanie.  It was really a lovely way to end the trip!

That night once the kids were off to bed, Michael and I packed everything up and got all ready to go.  I headed out to the store for a couple of last minute things, and while I was at Target (after checking out and walking towards the exit), I totally saw a bunch of college kids racing towards the exit with 2 carts FULL of stuff.  It was crazy, no one even tried to stop them.  Well, I'm not one to just let that sort of thing slide.  So I followed them discreetly and took down their plate number and called the cops.  Ha, joke's on you, punks!  I wish I knew whether they ever got them or not.  But it was funny, on the way back to my Uncle's house, I called Michael and told him I may have helped apprehend some criminals, and he laughed and said I was out fighting crime.  Good memories.

On Thursday morning, we bid a fond farewell to my aunt and uncle and headed on our way home!  On the way back we decided to make it a little more fun for the kids and stop for two nights instead of just one, and take more time to swim and have some fun.  The kids did awesome for the most part (the last few hours of the trip is always complete insanity for everyone), and we stayed at hotels with really awesome pools and free mini golf.  We had a great time!  We even got to stop in and see Vicki in Rawlins, which is always fun.  Next time we'll have to make a point of staying there and spending more than just an hour with her.  She is so wonderful, and we love her to pieces!

So, we finally made it home on Saturday, around 8 or so at night.  Hallelujah!  It was a long but a really lovely trip!  Thanks for getting married, James and Miranda, so we had a good excuse to come!

And now, a (not) surprisingly huge number of pictures!  Disclaimer: a lot of these have red eyes.  I usually fix them, but I just didn't have it in me tonight!

Uncle Dave, letting the kids help with making breakfast:



A whole bunch of second cousins watching a movie!


Cousins!


Discovering that the bed Sophie had been sleeping on for 4 days was, in fact, a remote control bed!



Calvin and Sophie liked pretending they were on a roller coaster.  Pretty exciting roller coaster...


Here's a video of them playing with the bed, for your viewing pleasure:


 Michael and a happy Hannah:


Hannah playing with my cousin Richard:


Michael and Hannah:



Ryan and Calvin with their second cousins, Amelia and Lucy:


Our happy family!  That's a joke.  Sophie is totally freaking out.  I guess the rest of us were fine, though.


Me with three of my little loves:


Calvin:


The whole family at temple square the next day:




Ryan REALLY wanted a picture in this spot.


Seeing the Christus statue:


Hannah loves riding on Michael's shoulders:




Kids by the temple:





Ryan was in his element at the sledding hill.  We borrowed these flexible flyers form my aunt and uncle, and they were REALLY fast.  Like so fast that I was too scared to go down on them a second time.


Hannah and Me:


Calvin heading back up the hill:


Sophie had fun, even though she totally refused to wear gloves.



Happy little Calvin:


Michael makes a good tow rope.


Michael and Hannah:


Sledding buddies:


The kids relaxing at Brian and Diane's house:


We made it to midnight, hooray!


My three crazy kids just after ringing in 2014:


Me, Michael, Brian and Diane:


Playing with Chloe back at Uncle Dave's house.  She was a huge hit with the kids:


Sophie and Joanne:


Ryan and Amelia.  He admitted to me after leaving that he had a crush on her.  I informed him that cousins were off limits.


Ryan, Calvin, Lucy and Amelia:


My kids with Uncle Dave and Aunt Joanne:


Me with my cousins, Kim and Stephanie:


Amelia LOVED Hannah.  The feeling was mutual.




Meeting up with Vicki for lunch in Rawlins.  Oh, funny story!  While we were there, some perfect stranger came up to us and asked if we knew AnnaMarie Ferrell.  Uh, yep??  Turns out they were friends of theirs from Milwaukee, and somehow they recognized us from pictures or something.  They were on their way home from Utah, too!  Crazy small world!



Kids having an after-swim bath:


Calvin LOVED is alligator in the pool:


And Sophie LOVED the teeny tiny water slides:


She really DIDN'T love the alligator, but insisted on taking a picture with it after Calvin took one...


My girls in their matching swimsuits:



 Playing mini golf at the hotel:





Sophie did this a lot of the time:



And also a lot of this.  She said she was playing a cheetah game, whatever that meas.  Whatever it was, it didn't involve golfing.


Calvin getting serious about his shot:


A very grainy picture of all of us crammed onto the king sized bed, watching March of the Penguins.  It was a fun night!


So, Hannah started crawling on out hotel room floor on that Thursday night!  Here's some video proof:


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