14 July 2013

Settling Back Home

We are home! I felt like there was a lot to get done now that the baby will arrive in about 6-8 weeks. Tuesday I got all the trip stuff washed and put away...a minor miracle. We went swimming on Tuesday since Everett took a nap from 10:30-1:30. Wednesday my DR wondered when I would stop being a boring pregnant lady! LOL. Better boring than interesting! I photographed another little baby, the grandbaby of a good friend. Since all my studio stuff was out I spent the next day organizing props into my new closet Justin installed under the basement stairs.  Amelia noticed a fun pirate wading pool at Family Dollar, we got that and spent several hours playing pirates. Next I organized and cleaned the storage room and basement. Somehow I also edited all the photos from our trip, except one session by Saturday. Friday and Saturday my big project was tackling the kid's room. The new bunkbeds arrived on Thursday. I removed everything from the closets and pretty much touched everything in both rooms. We made several trips to Salvation Army to donate stuff. Justin assembled the beds Saturday evening. I cannot believe we got that mammoth project completed. I think 24 days of strange sleeping arrangements helped the kids transition into sleeping in one room. They went right to sleep last night! Hooray for small victories.

Lance Family Reunion

The first Lynn and Jean Lance family reunion was an awesome success! We all had an amazing time camping on the shores of the Snake River. My Aunt Carol runs an RV park in Wilder, ID. It seemed like the perfect place for a reunion...so it came to pass.

My mom and I left for Idaho around 11 am Tuesday morning (July 2nd). We drove up a day early to spend time with my Uncle Darrel and Aunt Fawn. My mom drove Grandma Baerwaldt and her car while I drove up the van. We met in Brigham City for a little lunch. It was hot, hot, hot with temps coming in at 111 across the desert. I took photos of my cousin Lexie's new daughter, Ginger before we drove out to the camp site.

Wednesday was the hottest day by far. It was stifling! Amelia barfed all over the backseat just 10 minutes away from the campground. Gross. We were the first to arrive. Amelia and Phillip helped Mike mow the lawns on his fancy mower. By dinner time most of the family arrived in trickles. Carol made spaghetti for the crew. Dad had the boys jumping to set up tents and get everything settled. Thankfully, the weather cooled down to 72 that night. With a fan and extension cord we made it through the night.

Thursday we celebrated the 4th of July. Dad conducted a flag ceremony. Jan organized a fun parade. Amelia, Sadie, and Aislinn rode horses, Renee was the statue of liberty, Justin serenaded her, Jeremy/Jared/Josh sang Happy Birthday, Grandma headed up the parade with the flag riding on an ATV. The rest of the kids joined in for a walk around the park waving sparkly wands. James, Joe, and Jeff got some fireworks to set off at sunset. Renee is a favorite among all the kids, she always seemed to have an attachment wrapped around her finger. Jared and I had a fun time taking Senior photos for his upcoming last year of HS.

Friday morning we had a meeting on family genealogy. Scott made an amazing fan poster showing off our family history. He handed the charts out. Grandma made packets that had the same information. It was super cool. We watched family slides after dinner. Some of the kids went to see Despicable Me II.

Saturday Scott had us all arranged for family photos around 11 am. We had a family meeting to celebrate Lynn and Jean's 60th wedding anniversary. Most of us prepared 60 things to remember their anniversary years (stamps, cards, kisses, candy, chain links, etc.). The kids strung beads while we met to keep the peace.

Sunday we packed up after breakfast. I took family photos for Carla Astle before we left for home. The kids and I made it to Evanston, WY by 7:00 pm. We went swimming before going to bed. Fun times. It took us all day to get back home. I think we pulled in sometime after 6 pm. Justin was ecstatic to see us. I was crabby and just wanted to sleep. It was a miserable homecoming on my part. Sorry honey!

Fun memories:
*Swapping stories with Jessica, Renee, Stephanie, and my other Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins.
*We have at least 6 talented photographers in the family. We have a best photo contest going on. Seeing all those Canon 5D Mark II made me want an upgrade even more.
*How dirty my kids could get in under 5 minutes.
*Amelia was absent most of the time while she explored the campground (fishing) and playing with cousins
*Phillip filling up as many glasses as he could before someone could notice. He probably wasted about 10 gallons of juice!
*Phillip putting rocks in his shirt so he could be like Mommy
*Everett passed out in the pack 'n play for hours in the afternoon
*Watching the stars flicker between the moving tree branches at night, camping is awesome!

Utah Trip

Here is a "short" review of our trip to Utah and Idaho. We had so much fun visiting with our family for 24 days. Our trip lasted from the 15th of June through the 8th of July.


Monday June 17th: went swimming with cousins Emma and Elijah, all the adults went out for dinner to celebrate Laura's birthday at Texas Roadhouse. Libby, Mason, and another gal watched the entire gaggle of kids. We enjoyed some time without kids!

Tuesday: The family went up to hike around Silver Lake up Cottonwood Canyon. Anson and Phillip had on Superman shirts. They are the dirt boys. Ate a picnic lunch under the trees. Very nice time, the weather was quite perfect. Went swimming.

Wednesday: We went to This is the Place park. Rode the train (Everett's favorite), saw a demonstration on how to make a newspaper with a print press, later Amelia wanted her copy of the Desperate News, walked to Anson Call's cabin, sweet moment as Justin told Amelia and Phillip the story of how inspired he was that one day he would get married again and have a son to name Phillip, rode ponies, petted goats, sheep, pig, and emus, picnic at miniature house park, rode train to Indian Village, panned for gold, made necklaces. Went home...swimming!!! Visited Bountiful cemetery to visit Anson Call's grave. Charity told us stories about Anson and his wives. Elijah and Amelia played spy kids trying to hide from the others. Visited his home (or what is left of it), Amelia thought it was an old haunted house. Said goodbye to Raquel, Emma, and Elijah.

Thursday: drove up Millcreek Canyon for some dirt and fun. The kids had a blast climbing the rocks and dead trees in the canyon stream. Justin and Spenser spent a long time getting a fire going, the fire ring did not allow for much air to draw. Roasted our hot dogs to a lukewarm for lunch. Snacked on chips, veggies, and watermelon. Dirty short bums, and dirt smeared faces were all around. So perfect! Everett and Phillip enjoyed throwing sticks into the water and watching them float over some falls. Justin got new tires for Ole Betty Blue. I got the massage of a lifetime by a gal Charity knows. She beat up my lower back, shoulders, neck, arms, and legs. Talk about a deep massage. My muscles are still sore (on Saturday) but feeling better now.

Friday: spent the morning and half the afternoon at the zoo. Thankfully it was not hot, temperate with a nice breeze. The hit of the day seemed to be the polar bears and seals. We also enjoyed the elephant show. Kids were near cosmic meltdown so whining was the name of the day. Stuck all the kids into one room and locked the door when we got home just for some peace and quiet. Thank goodness the room is sound proof and padded. LOL. On the drive home the tire sensor went off, Justin filled the tires twice before we reached Bountiful. Had to get two new tires, the driver rear tire had a nice long slit that leaked air like a sieve. Justin and I took the kids to Mt Green for a fancy dinner Punkle Joe prepared. We brought along a pizza for the kids. Joe made poached eggs, over pureed green peas, a slice of ham, and bacon sprinkles. Delish! The main course was an amazing steak cooked sous vide, asparagus, carrots, and the best potatoes ever. Phew. I was seriously impressed. Now he just needs to finish school and get rich so he can cook for fun. The kids enjoyed playing with Michael and Aislinn, second cousins. We got back in time for Justin to start packing for his drive home.

Saturday: Spenser and family left soon followed by Justin. The kids and I are around until at least the 8th of July. Hope I can make it that long. Tired to the bone already! Mason and Libby watched the kids for 3 hours while I went to Target, SeaGull Book, JoAnn, and Kid to Kid. I picked up some cute stuff for baby Evelyn. Also excited about the Family BOM I got at Sea Gull Book. We went swimming again for a leisurely afternoon.

Sunday we went to church with the James family again. After church they got ready for family photos with Kenny's family. I got to fancy up Reagan's hair! We drove down to Grandma and Grandpa's home for the rest of Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday morning. Most of us were inside watching a movie. Jana became concerned about Phillip who was outside with Grandpa. He fell asleep on the front steps trying to get inside the house. Poor kid! He woke up at 2 am very concerned that he was not in PJs.

Monday Punkles Jeffrey and Jared took Mia and Phillip to see Monster's University. Grandma watched Everett most of the day. I ran some errands, took the older two to MCD for lunch, and Walmart. Amelia chose a craft to paint plaster horses, both kids enjoyed that quite a bit.  Phillip woke up at 3 am during the night scared of the snakes on the ground. Not sure if he carried over something scary from the movie or if he was delirious from a fever he was running. . I spent half the night wedged between two kids! Nice.

Tuesday we met up with my friend Catherine and her daughters Kate and Malisia. Kate and Amelia are best friends from birth. LOL. Catherine needed to go to a fabric store, darn it...so I went too. Got some cute baby fabrics for Evelyn. Kate has celiac's disease, so we got to eat at a gluten free bakery. The kids ate (nibbled) on cheese arepas. I had a delish beef arepa. Then we spent two hours of fun at Airborne Trampoline park. Amelia was scared at first but then jumped right in and enjoyed herself. She even jumped off a 10 foot drop into a pit of foam. Everett jumped so hard that his cheeks were bright red. He was a jumping machine. Phillip was in boy heaven. That kid has very little fear! It was so nice to visit with Catherine after a long while. I was sure the kids would fall asleep on the drive to James and Miekka's home: NOPE.

Wednesday-Sunday we spent time hanging out at home playing with Lance cousins. A very nice relaxing time! Amelia slept until 9:30 am Thursday morning. Goodness. She was not feeling very well. Probably just worn out. There was a lot of dressing up, jumping on the tramp, eating snacks, and splashing in the wading pool. Friday I met Jana and Rudy at Mom's home to take Bridal photos. We went to Memory Grove and the Capitol building. Once again it was super hot, we were all sweating by the end. Jana looked amazing, like usual. Saturday Miekka and I took the kids to play at an indoor pool in Herriman. It was super awesome! The pool had a fun play structure in the water and a cool lazy river with a whirlpool. Amelia loved the whirlpool. Everett and Phillip were swimming like fish under the water by the time we left. We met James for dinner at Del Taco/McDonalds. Miekka updated a computer chair with some laminated cotton. We ended up having to soften the plastic with a hair dryer to get the staples to embed properly. Sunday the family came over for a ham dinner. Monday we took the kids over to Grandma's house so Jared could babysit the kids (yep, all 6 of them) while Miekka and I went shopping for the camping trip. We added in a stop to DI and Einstein's bagels. Mom was out shopping too, so Jared was the lone wolf. He did great! Monday evening I packed up the van and got ready to leave for Idaho the next morning. Miekka even let me sneak in a pedicure Tuesday morning!

**Phillip was seriously missing Justin by this point. He asked me: Mom, we go to 'Braska, find Daddy's blue car, and go home." I asked him if he wanted to camp in a tent. He revised his request to say: Mom, we go to 'Braska, find Daddy's blue car, go home, camp with Daddy?" We did get to Skype with Justin several times!