Monday, August 10, 2009

Park City

In July, Russ and I got to go up to Park City with a group of friends to the Whitings cabin WITHOUT kids. My parents were were so nice to take them for the few days we were up there and it worked out so nice for us! We've been there before, and it's one of the most beautiful "cabins" I've ever seen...there are so many things to do without even leaving! Even though I'm from that area, I couldn't believe how many things we did that I've never done or seen before!
The first day, we went to the Park City Olympian park, which was so cool to see. It was so fun to watch the different flips and things people could do on skis into the water! Everyone else went down the alpine slide and the zip line, but since I was so pregnant, I got to take pictures and laugh at everyone else doing it.

The boys of course had to "race" down the mountain. I think Russ was ahead for awhile, but Kenny rolled into a "ball" and killed everyone else at the end!

We also went to Salt Lake for a day. Our plan was to go to a session in the Salt Lake City temple because some of them had not been, and after getting all ready, making sure we were making the session we wanted, everyone with their recommends, this is what we find:
I'm pretty sure no one was prepared for such a blow, and we couldn't agree on what to do. (and when I say we couldn't agree, we REALLY couldn't agree!) Half of us wanted to go to another temple and still do a session, and the other half of us wanted to just go and enjoy the rest of our time in Salt Lake. After everyone had said their peace, and Spencer encouraged everyone to "hug it out," we decided to go walk around the temple grounds and go watch the Joseph Smith movie there, which was a decision not to be regretted. I'm pretty sure I've seen this movie before, but I don't think it matters how many times you've seen it. I still bawled through most of it, and my testimony of what a powerful man and prophet Joseph really was - was renewed and refreshed all over again. The temple grounds were beautiful as usual, and then we went and walked around the conference center. It was such a relaxing and perfect day!

We also spent an afternoon in my stomping grounds and went to the Homestead to swim in the "volcano." I haven't been there for years, and we had a good time swimming for about an hour and a half, playing games and laughing and hanging out.

We also went to Dairy Keen afterwards to eat, where Elder Holland happened to be eating as well with some of his grandkids. Russ and Jared went up and talked to him, and you could feel what a powerful and spiritual man he is just from his presence!
On the way back to Park City, a truck hauling a bunch of hay started losing some of his bails on the freeway. Luckily no one was right behind him and didn't get hurt, and even more lucky for him, we had a few carloads of very willing and kind men (and women!) to help him out with loading them back on his truck for him. I don't know why it was so funny but we couldn't help but take pictures of the event!

The rest of the week, much time was spent at the sand volleyball courts, where the competition of our cruise two years ago was remembered and felt all over again! The men played a lot of three-on-three in the same teams, and let us women join in their fun for a few games as well. Kenny was injured in one of the games and cut his knee open super bad and was bleeding everywhere, but he was a trooper, got bandaged up and kept going. My favorite memory of playing was when Spencer turned to me in the middle of one of the games and said, "I sweat Denett, if you are crowning right now, you are going to be in so much trouble." It was just too much fun not to participate and play with everyone!

Besides what I mentioned, my favorite memories of this week were making meals all together, (Bryan and Kendra rocked the house with their infamous CPK pizzas and their crepes! I'm pretty sure I gained 5 lbs just from eating those two things alone!) watching horrible movies all together, playing ping pong (around the world was too much fun!) and talking about our "favorite moments of the day." Our Joseph Smith discussion will always hold a special place in my heart...

Sunday, August 9, 2009

July 4th fun in the sun!

Our 4th of July was first filled with Jackson and I baking a bunch of festive treats, thanks to Jackson's determination and persistence. He had wanted to make a
4th of July craft, so we had gone to and found red, white, and blue popsicles that he was dying to make, as well as these cute candy hamburgers and hot dogs. It literally took hours to make the popsicles and another few hours to make the cupcakes with the hammies and dogs on top, but he was so was worth all the pain and effort. (?)

We went to (Grandma) Janice and Scott's home, Toni's parents, and had a bbq and swam all afternoon. The traditional toothpick game was of course played - with the children included this time, along with a "friendly" game of basketball.

We then did our own firework show in their cul-de-sac. I have to say, it wasn't as bright or loud as last years show at the Ahlanders, but it was still a great time, Kenny brought his infamous blow torch and the kids LOVED the sparklers. (of course) And the men gave their great annual rendition of the "Star Spangled Banner" while the "finale" was going off. We all had a great time, and were wiped out by the end of the day!

My (never-ending) Family Reunion

So...the month of May madness had ended with my parents a few of my siblings coming down here for Jackson's graduation. They left the next day for California, to meet my sister and her two girls, along with more of my brothers over the next few days. They were sweet and took my boys along with them to join in their fun, and Russ and I met up with them for a few days at Disneyland. Even though my boys are very spoiled and go to Disneyland more than they realize, it's always just as exciting as the first time. Jackson couldn't wait to go on a lot of the rides with the big boys and his Papa, and Max couldn't wait to be taken on the Matterhorn about 10 times, because he knew there would be uncles who were willing. It was fun to be there for my niece, Kaylee's (who was almost 3)first time, because she was SO excited to see EVERYTHING. It was a magical few days, and filled with more aunts, uncles, and cousins who came and met up with us too. We were a very big party to say the least!

We went back up to Utah about a week later to go and see my darling little brother, Trevor, who had come home from his mission in Japan. Trevor is such a sweetheart, and even though I was not wanting to drive in the car again for 6 hours, he was worth going to see.
Let me stop here and talk about our drive up to Utah first. This was something to be remembered for sure. My mom had expressed her desire to get a whole family picture over this period of time, because we haven't been ALL together for years now, and it's going to be another few years before it probably happens again. My brother Dustin was getting ready to drive back home that Sunday afternoon that we were driving up there, so we had purposely left early so we would have enough time for pictures once we got there. Emilee Carruth and her three girls had planned on driving up with us, which was great because it gave us both some company and made the trip a little more entertaining!
Well, the trip was going great, the kids were being exceptionally good, and we were feeling lucky and excited about things going so well and to get up there in good time. Alas, that came to a halt when we made our official stop for lunch just outside of Beaver. We had stopped at a little gas station with a Wendy's, that had benches outside for the kids to eat their lunch on. So we unloaded the kids, gotten out our lunches, and were sitting down to eat. I had purposely left the keys in the car just because I didn't want to keep track of them, or have the kids playing with them, when Emilee had gone to the car and asked me to unlock the car so she could get a diaper out for Brooklyn. I told her it wasn't locked, and that they keys were inside the car. She opened the passenger door, thought she hit the "unlock" button to unlock the back doors, which for some reason had locked, and then shut the quickly find out she had locked the whole car back up. To save for a long (and party humerous) story, I'm just going to say that there wasn't a whole lot of options for us in Beaver to get back into our car. Our cell phones, our wallets, everything was in the car. Emilee had gone and found a nice couple to lend her their cell phone, for her to call AAA - to find out they wouldn't come to Beaver. (or maybe they would have, it would have taken them an extremely long time, I can't remember) So Em went into the gas station and asked if there was someone that would be willing to come out and unlock our car for us. There was indeed one man, who actually showed up within 15 minutes. That poor man came out, looked at the Sequoia he would be working on, and immediately expressed that Toyota's are the WORST cars to break into. He diligently worked on getting it unlocked for a good 45 minutes, with no success. Finally, a kind customer of Wendy's came by, asked if we needed any help, and was somehow able to pull our keys out, unlock our car, and have us on our way within about 15. I don't know if it was the combination of the two men working together, or but the sweet man who had originally come out to help was not going to give up. He must have said about 5 times, "What am I going to do? I certainly cannot leave two mothers out here with 5 children!" Oh yes, and as soon as we got back on the road, it DUMPED and POURED for a lot of the rest of our drive. We were so blessed that it hadn't done that while we were waiting, because the clouds definitely were threatening looking!
Anyway, we finally made it up to Salt Lake, to take about 5 minutes worth of family pictures before it POURED on us, and the rest of the week with my family was worth all the frustration to get there!
Just my bro's & sista's!

We had a busy week while we were there. We went on a beautiful (and little too long) hike to some falls up past Sundance, where my boys were lucky to have some uncles who were willing to carry them when they got tired. My mom had not realized it was 2 miles each way, and by the time we got back, we were getting rained on again. It was harder for me too, because the uphill of it made me start contracting, so it was an adventure for sure!

We also went on a picnic and then to the Planetarium for a show on the underworld, which my boys loved. We went to an indoor pool in Kamas, where all the kids had a blast with their aunts and uncles and their Papa, going down the waterslide over and over, swimming around the lazy river, and jumping off the diving boards. Jackson went off the high dive, which made me sick watching him, but he didn't bat an eye! And we had lots of bbq's on the patio, enjoyed the beautiful weather, and played a lot of games. Sunday was Trevor's "Welcome Home" and then we left. It was a lot of fun, and mostly relaxing, and SO nice to get out of the heat!