22 July 2019

Utah in July

We started out out vacation to Utah with a sick Phillip, Everett followed suit Sunday afternoon. Not to be left behind James and Courtenay came down with the flu as well. I'm not sure they had the same thing my boys had, they just threw up then felt fine. We missed out on a Call family dinner Monday night and Justin's cousin's funeral in Payson on Tuesday. No one wanted our germs before the wedding on Friday. Can't blame them at all. So we just enjoyed lots of down time at the Lance compound. Evelyn and Phillip spent some allowance money on huge jaw breakers. Evelyn sported a sugar goatee for several days. She was thrilled once she broke through to the gum middle, she used a butter knife to extract the gum! Monday we spent the afternoon doing gel manicures using Miekka and Court's supplies. Miekka hand painted some sunflowers on my toes to coordinate with the wedding theme. The little girls all had Amelia busy with intricate designs, which the girls peeled off before dinner. I love how smooth the gel polish is. I think we went to the splash pad after naps for some exercise. Phillip was a bit perturbed about the grown man wearing a white diaper playing alongside the kids. He was just enjoying the water, we all loved the exuberance of another youth who parked himself under the water fall area chanting his heart out. Amelia was a party pooper, she read a book outside for half the time, Lia was so bored.

Courtenay was sick on Tuesday so her kids mostly stayed over with us. Josie was completely in heaven with Bee-Bop and Sesie playing pillow fights with her and Charlie. After naps I took 7 kids to the Dinosaur Museum, bam! I earned a medal. Evelyn was terrified most of the time, clutching to my shorts in terror. The boys and Emmie had a fun game going on pretending to be prey trying to avoid the predators. They crawled about on the floor like Infantry soldiers. The museum was quite empty of visitors so I allowed them to play. The sand, bone pits were a huge hit with all the kids. Phillip organized a search for the largest t-rex known to man. Oddly, the highlight was running circles around the balcony area! We spotted the well-hidden iSpy object in one of the galleries so the kids all earned extra stickers. Miekka had delicious spaghetti ready for us. The girls whipped up a batch of chocolate chip cookies while we were gone. For second dessert we walked down to the shaved ice shack. We had a dance party while waiting for our treats. Josie was mesmerized by the color changing spoons. The boys stayed out as late as possible playing in their PJs, making those precious memories. Everett shouted out during the night, "No! It's my turn on the COMPUTER!" That startled me out of a deep sleep.

Wednesday we headed up to Logan for the day. Laura organized a cousin temple trip, decided to go to the Muir's for once saving them the trip. We left too late so missed the temple trip. Instead we stopped at Gossner's cheese factory for squeaky cheese and boxed milk. The kids were hoping to catch a glimpse of my old boyfriend, Dan who worked there once upon a time. I rather hope he moved on to better pastures. At the Muir's we arrived just in time to find Elijah sharing his razor electric motorcycles with Anson and Gary! My boys whooped out of the car and joined in that fun scene until the bikes ran out of battery power. We got to visit with Raquel and Grandma Call for a couple hours. Santa Papa was taking a nap, he made an entrance before we headed back to SLC. Josie happened to have a Santa ring in her hand when Grandpa made his entrance. Her jaw dropped, she did a double take between Grandpa and the ring in her hand before exclaiming, "Santa?! Papa!!! It's the same!" My kids were in garden heaven at Grandma Debbie's house. Phillip parked himself in front of the green beans and raspberry bushes. Evelyn soon collected 5 roly poly bugs in a container with earth, grass, and some water...can't forget the blueberry. I ran out to take Amelia for a sleepover with Stella from our Sidney, NE days. Stella is quite the busy girl so only had the evening to spend time with Mia.

It worked out really well, the girls got to visit, Meagan and I got some time to chat the next morning when she dropped Mia off. We learned that Dani is extremely flexible, she put Phillip shame by putting both legs behind her head, Phillip can manage one. Maggie brought a bag full of ring pops so she made instant friends with my girls. We made a quick trip to Walmart for deodorant and girlie supplies. The kids played for an hour at the McD play area. We got to see Jana several times, she was quite stressed out with a home disaster that left her basement flooded on the day of closing. Yikes. The disaster company turned out to be a shady piece of work, she was upset about all their nefarious dealings. Baby Rachel is like a marshmallow, so fluffy and sweet. We went over to Charity's after Josie's nap. It's a party! We headed over to a park in Centerville for a Groom's hosted BBQ. That was delicious BBQ indeed. Our pack of boys roamed all over getting into all sorts of boy mischief. I tried to take a photo of just the boys but Anna and Evelyn snuck into most of the frames just to be annoying. I quite enjoyed a chance to visit with Elaine and Heidi Curry. We spent several happy visits with them in Colorado. I worked on my biceps pushing the girls in swings for 20 minutes.

Wedding! Wedding! Pig and Froggy Wedding! Friday is the day! Grandpa Call picked up Justin from the Provo airport and dropped him off around 10 am. The kids were all enthused, I was suffering from 8 days of vacation and terrible sleep sharing a bed with octo-toddler. Josie tooted on a bird water-whistle Grandma Lance got in Egypt, all we could hear from the bathroom was random bird calls. Took me most of the morning to get all the hairs organized and the clothes prepared. We spent an hour at the Calls before heading to the reception center. Like most weddings everyone was terribly late, makes my job hard to photograph all those groups when this person or that person is late. Libby and Cole, so cute together. Josie was in a terrible mood, just cranky and clingy. She wanted nothing to to with Justin. Once the wedding photos were over we waited for the ceremony to start. In less than 5 minutes the ceremony was over, bam! Married in a reception center, I wish those two all the best. I took off for an hour driving about Bountiful hoping Josie would take a nap and reset her mood. So many memories to relive in Bountiful. Justin and I skipped out on Del Taco for the second time that day, we left the kids to their tacos and walked down the road for Gyros. They were quite upset we did not take them along. Evil laugh....heh, heh, heh. The best part of the reception was the fight I witnessed between Mason and the Bridesmaids. Mason was doing a bang up job decorating the escape vehicle. He slipped some condoms between layers of plastic shrink wrap. The maids were in an uproar because Libby did not want anything gross on her car. Swear words, pushing, and a punch were thrown. I was trying not to laugh. Kenny came up and smoothed things over. I'm happy Justin got the chance to catch up with lots of family who came out for the reception. Dad gave us a dose of Vitamin L, to a tired group of wedding partiers. I vaguely recall he talked about what electronic devices do to young brains. I liked the part, parents know best, listen when they ask you to turn it off.

We headed home on Saturday.  Took us a long while to get packed up, eat pancakes for breakfast, visit with Jeremy, Yulz, and Pasha, and simply just leave. It's hard to leave Utah behind. Our adventure of the day was a stop at Zion's National Park. We arrived around 4 pm and stayed until almost 8. The stash of granola bars and water barely lasted long enough to ensure survival. We rode the shuttle around the complete circuit. We got off once to enjoy a museum and another to hike a mile to Emerald Pools and back. I say enjoy with an ounce or two of sarcasm. Evelyn was queen whining pants, Everett wanted the hiking stick, Phillip would not share the stick, Amelia was annoyed with the entire situation (why, why do we HAVE to hike?), Josie took a ride in the back carrier, my back ached. Other than the heat and bugs, the walk was lovely. I think we need to hike at least once a week until the kids learn to enjoy it...or the parents leave the kids in the wilderness. Josie love the tame squirrels, we spotted several near the path. Around the pools the rock was wet with condensation dripping from the rocks above, guessing the water is a small stream that feeds the pool. I can see why so many people flock to Zion's each year. I added a trip down the Narrows to my bucket list, the one I just started. The views are breathtaking. We headed into town (Springdale) for a very late dinner. We decided on a pizza place. It was quite delicious, hiking will turn any food into a sumptuous meal.  Our hotel was another 90 minutes away so we did not pull in until after 11 pm. Nothing fun ever happens during the night anymore when Justin tags along. What a relief. Everett did wake up grouchy, sleeping on the couch cushions was not his thing.

Sunday we stopped at a cute little museum specializing in the geology seen in the Grand Staircase-Escalante region. Mostly the kids fought over the magnifying glass. Everett decided to be sweet to Josie and Evelyn...until the magnifying glass episode drove them back apart. On a whim we stopped at Toadstool HooDoos to torture the kids. That was one hot hike in 100 degree heat down dry gullies. The end was so worth the hike. We all enjoyed the fun scenery, the echoes, and the slick rocks. Phillip somehow managed to slide down into a dry riverbed, he was quite proud of that feat. We were beat after that hot death march. Our drive home was delayed THREE hours due to an accident on I-17. Google predicted our arrival home around 6, the close we got to the accident the higher the wait time grew. Right before we ran into dead stop traffic Phillip and Everett somehow upended the entire pee bottle on the van carpet. We've endured splashes before, but this, this was complete and utter saturation. We soaked up two beach towels, the well where the seat clips into was full of urine. The boys were off in lala land, they did not even notice. I noticed the smell and asked what happened, just an nonchalant answer, "oh, the pee bottle fell over." The worst was waiting in the traffic fumigated with porta potty smells. It was steaming hot outside and gag worthy inside (but cool). Since we were stuck I lectured the kids on our Come Follow Me lesson for the week. Captive audience, see Dad I can learn new tricks. We rolled into dodge around 9:15 pm, just as google predicted. We stopped off to retrieve Justin's car from the airport. The van did smell a bit better the next morning after the carpet dried out a bit. My cousin Alex Baerwaldt stayed in our empty house Friday-Sunday morning. He came down looking for housing and to check out a job at Verizon. That worked out perfectly! Dog Vader had company and he had a place to stay.

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