Monday the 28th was a very memorable day, it was the day our family lost our dear (Great) Grandpa Lynn to old age and complications. I was feeling stir crazy so planned a trip up to go sledding since there was snow up in the mountains. We left around 10 for Idaho City. It was almost lunch time when we arrived. The kids were of course HOONGRY so we found a mom and pop cafe for sandwiches and fries. We busted out our snow clothes and sleds for a fun afternoon at Steamboat Gulch. The snow was nearly ice by Monday. I had friends go on Friday with lovely soft snow. We got beat up sledding down the hill. Our newest sled broke the first run down the hill! Everett cracked it in half after slamming off and down an icy bump. The icy conditions made for swift and bone jarring rides! Did that stop us? Nope! Well, it did stop me, my back/hips are giving me grief again so I became the photographic documenter. Josie and Everett spent the most time sledding, up and down dozens upon dozens of times. The gulch was packed with lots of other families enjoying the cheap fun. Amelia won an award for bruising her shoulder on the van's bumper...1/8 mile past the hilly area. Justin took a couple runs down the hill with the little girls. Evelyn did not enjoy herself very much, she was a party pooper. Amelia stuck to the sledding even though she walked away limping and stayed sore for a couple days. Everett hurt himself towards the end, he looked like an overturned turtle. We left shortly after Phillip ran into a group of adults. They were standing right in the way of the fastest hill. One of the adults was badly injured, dislocated knee? While the poor lady was down other adults fended off 10 other kids who slid down the same path. Why did it have to be Phillip? Poor kid was traumatized. I was traumatized listening to the lady scream in pain when loaded on a sled to move further away from the hill. An ambulance passed us on the drive home, so many prayers for that poor lady.
During our sledding adventure I got an email at 12:11 from mom saying Grandpa was in the Emergency Room with severe pain from a flare up of Diverticulitis (personally I think the incorrect name was relayed since that doesn't really end a person's life). Surgery was not a viable option so Grandpa was given 24-48 more hours of life, however by 2:30 pm Grandpa had passed away. He was surrounded by Jean, Scott, Laura, Jonathon, Sally, and Shawn when he passed away. My Dad sent an email later in the evening that just made me sob. I cannot even imagine being alone in Riyadh, wanting to be home more than anything. He recounted the miracles accompanying Grandpa's passing like most of the siblings present, the fact that Grandpa was lucid and knew what was happening, a miracle the Grandparents made it to Robinwood circle, that they had a month in Utah to be with family, a miracle because everyone was worn out caring for him. I am relieved he is now free from his dementia, physical pains, and confusion. He had a lovely welcome in the spirit world. I'm not much of a crier but goodness I cried off and all the rest of the day. I enjoyed an ugly cry the last quarter of our trip home from sledding. I cried the next day when my dad cried over FaceTime. We all cried during our nightly devotional remembering the great man Lynn Terry Lance was and the legacy he left us. His funeral will be next week in Heber. It is a small affair with a viewing and family meeting at the Probst Funeral home in Heber. A small dedication and service at graveside before interment. Just like most of these strange times things are vastly different, we are discouraged from attending since the crowd limit is 50. All proceedings will be broadcast via Zoom. If I only had stocks invested in Zoom! I'd be rich.
Nampa had a lovely stretch of frozen fog and snow that iced and decorated all the trees and bushes! I convinced Josie to brave the snow for Narnia photos with me. We just finished reading The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, so the snow and scenery perked my creative juices. I found a spot near the railroad straight out of frozen fairy land! Josie was thrilled to earn a juice box and chocolate for her efforts. Evelyn's top front teeth are finally growing in after a 3 year absence. She is very excited one broke through her gums. The other tooth is about a week or so from growing through her gums. She might lose her ability to lick her left nostril. The hoverboard gang is in constant motion! The kids started forming chains! Several items have been knocked to the floor over the last week. Rose kindly sent the kids two enormous XXL squishmallows for Christmas, a Minnie for the girls and Chewbacca for the boys.
Tuesday we washed clothes and packed up for a very short Utah trip. We left early Wednesday morning in order to attend the temple with Mason at 3:30 pm. Oh how we love the shorter drive! It only took us 5.5 hours to Bountiful. We visited for an hour with the James family and Muir family. Reagan and Emma entertained us all by using a tens unit to test their shock limitations. Hilarious. Justin and I celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary in the Bountiful Temple around the same time we were married there! That was quite fun and memorable. It is such a rare treat these days to attend the temple, thanks to Mason for serving a mission and taking out endowments. Thank you especially for the invitation! The changes made to the endowment are in line with all the new COVID restrictions, nothing fancy. Justin made sure we sat on the same sofa in the Celestial Room where we decided it was a good idea to get married. We left Charity and Kenny with our kids...for the night. Yee Haw! Justin and I wasted an hour picking a place to eat, only to find out it had an hour wait. We settled on movie tickets to watch Wonder Woman 1985 for 8 pm. That seriously limited dinner options, in fact we settled on theater nachos and popcorn for dinner! Rock on Calls! Justin booked a room at the same Anniversary Inn, a newly wed couple checked in right in front of us...talk about a blast from the past. We almost invited them to look at photos of our kids and take a tour of our mini van, decided that could discourage them from having kids. LOL. Justin surprised me for the 3rd time in one year! Whoa! Nice! He purchased me an iMac laptop! My current computer is dying already after only a year. I could get used to surprises.
We picked up delicious doughnuts for breakfast on our way to Charity's home, those two dozen doughnuts never had a fair chance. We visited for a couple hours before packing up and heading south. Our first stop was at Grandma Debbie's home. Uncle Scott was visiting Grandma Jean, he showed us a painting he completed of Grandpa that everyone loved. I asked Grandma if I could take a photo of my kids with her, she complied. Josie was quite reticent to stand near someone so old. Grandma Jean muttered, "well, it's not like I'm scary" then growled quite suddenly and loudly! Josie was freaked out while the rest of are still laughing. My Grandma Jean is a very smart and feisty lady, I enjoyed seeing the lady from 20 years ago for a moment. The boys were able to look through Grandpa Lynn's knife and watch collection. My boys were in awe over the cool knives Grandpa collected. Josie loved the toy dog Grandpa Lane gave Grandpa for comfort. Grandma Jean let us check out her special collection of pop-up books and knick-knacks. I got to choose a pop-up book to take home, a jeweled photo of Great-Grandma, and a set of caroling books. I was so pleased! Next stop was a short visit with Jana, Hannah, and Rachel. Rachel loves to talk about us but the reality is a bit louder than she is comfortable with. Soon Phillip was carrying her about at her whim. So cute. Justin was afraid we would leave a smudge behind. We spent a relatively quiet New Year's Eve with the Lances. Courtenay's kiddos were sick so we couldn't play much with them. James and Miekka had a large spread of finger foods for dinner. We watched numerous episodes of Gravity Falls. My tribe was exhausted after a poor night of sleep. At Charity's house I heard that Everett's elbow, Phillip's snoring, Evelyn falling off the couch, and such made for a restless night. We went to bed by 10 pm with a bunch of crabby kids. Mia and Lia hibernated in Lia's girl cave in the basement, they slept on a bed of squishmallows! Friday Jana came over for the day. We spent another low-key day embroidering, playing outside in the snow (with cousins), and snacking. Evelyn gave Rachel some tips to up her dress-up game. She looked quite the vision with her nerf gun glasses, hat, purse, and rubber chicken. Josie wanted to go back home after she ate with the ducky spoon, took a bath with the Princess toys, and played with Sesie and Bee-Bop. She was quite worried about Minnie Mouse being all alone.
Saturday we headed back home around 10 am. We stopped to kiss the Grandma's before completing our journey. Our van reeks of Greek Gyros now, thanks to a delicious lunch. It still smells sketchy 4 days later. We listened off and on to Dragon Watch 1, the continuing Fable Haven series. I'm happy to report no barf accompanied us home! Mia was hired to babysit right when we returned home, she had enough time to shower and help unpack her stuff from the van.
Sunday church started bright and early at 9 am with our entire congregation! Yay! The kids attended 30 minutes of Primary after sacrament. We heard that YM/YW was changed to Tuesday nights, seriously blindsided everyone. Most folks scheduled other activities (choir, sports) on other days of the week, mutual was reserved for Wednesday. The YW leaders switched activities between Tuesday and Wednesday about 8 times, I cancelled Amelia choir and reinstated her to choir 7 times! Make up your minds!!!! I felt over the top frustrated. This morning activities were changed back to Wednesday, making 9 changes in the dates over the span of a week. At 4 pm Phillip, Justin and I attended a Temple Prep and Priesthood meeting for the new YM and YW entering the program this year. Phillip was also interviewed for his limited temple recommend and priesthood interview. So exciting. He will be ordained on the 10th of January. Justin taught part of the class speaking about the Priesthood. It is so nice to attend church in person. Attending the temple was a rare priviledge, I renewed part of my temple recommend after church, still need to meet with a member of the Stake Presidency.
**Lately Evelyn started drawing pictures of me wearing a fancy dress, lots of curves and daring necklines! I love her creativity.