Friday, August 8, 2008

Vacation Chronicles IV

I know this isn't the most exciting thing in the world, to read about one more of our trips to Utah, but this is the last in our 2008 summer chronicles and I thought I'd share some fun pics from Tyler's Mom's reunion. Tyler had to stay and work (thank you struggling banking industry) and so once again I hit the road with my five kids, SOLO. Briggs, naturally, was my biggest concern, but it ended up Caylee was more of a problem with the CONSTANT whining. My SIL, Alexis, was headed up the same time, also solo with her two girls, so we stayed close enough and had lunch together in Beaver. *Note from all my travels to Utah this summer: Wendy's in Beaver is WAY cleaner and has better service than McDonald's.* I was master multi-tasker, though, pumping with a battery-pump so Kenzie could feed Briggs a bottle so we didn't have to stop. Oh yeah, I'm sure there were plenty of truckers thinking I was a freak!
Anyhow, Thursday we got all settled into the condo and went to meet the family at this Mexican restaurant which was a pretty big joke considering how small the restaurant was and how LARGE the family is. Tyler's mom is one of eight girls and that equals a large posterity. We're really lucky to have such a great turn-out and I L-O-V-E that entire extended side of my in-laws. Nothing against my FIL's side, I just don't know them that well, but "the sisters" and their kids are wonderful, wonderful. And how cool is it that Tyler's grandma is still coming to the reunion. Being one who lost all her grandparents by the time I was 16, I sure appreciate the chance my kids have to be around their great-grandma, even if they don't spend a ton of time with her during the reunion since they're so busy playing with all the cousins.

Friday morning they did kids' crafts and games and then that night we had pizza, dancing, and karaoke. People laugh at how "dramatic" my girls can be, and I jokingly have said they get it from their dad. Well, in all seriousness, there's something to that. There's a lot of entertainers in that family, and so the rockin' out and cuttin' loose can't all be attributed to me being "born to dance."

Kenzie playing with the parachute (above) and Brock (below) with his tattoo. Yes, Aunt Carol always brings the coolest rub on tats and kids and adults partake. This year some of the boys opted for the tummy tat. My moon shaped out of stars is actually still on my ankle, but at least I didn't shave my body to adhere it better like my BIL did.

Aunt Jeannette and Aunt Karen were in charge of kids' crafts. Here's Jeanette's stressed look:

Kenzie and her cousins:

After a fun dip in the pool, we (and by that I mean Lexi [since I was feeding Briggs]) fed the kids:

Here's some of the dance and karaoke pics:

Okay. Note Kenzie's lips in the above photo. That, apparently, is her dance face. She posed like this for the majority of her last dance recital. I had no idea where she got it from . . . until I saw this one of Tyler's brother, the fabulous Uncle Brandon:

Yes, the pucker is particular to Tyler's side of the family, I guess.

Saturday was a lot like Friday with activities in the morning, swimming, lunch, naps, and group dinner with the auction to raise funds for other reunions. Saturday afternoon my girls headed over to the Marriot pool (with Aunt Jeannette's Jessica). Before they left, though, we made the coolest tie-dyed shirts. I loved it!

Although I was a solo parent, I have to thank all the pseudo-parents that helped me out. Everyone was great to offer, but the Krums, the aunts, my MIL, Lexi, and Brandon were particularly helpful. Here's Briggs with Jon:

The auction was a success (as always.) We scored a print of a picture that Aunt Sara painted of Great Great Grandma Thompson, a sewn pillow from Great Grandma Martenson, a High school Musical bag-o-stuff (that I donated and ended up buying back for Caylee for $15), a couple of skirts from Grandma Dodie, and some bath stuff. I just love seeing how creative everyone is and enjoying the back-and-forth as everyone raises the money for a good cause.

Sunday pretty much STUNK, with the exception of the family lunch. We loaded our stuff, went to church (where I decided I will be inactive if Tyler leaves me solo with five small kids), had the family lunch and shared memories of Great Grandma Martenson, and then travelled home. Briggs was not so great on the way home. Luckily Brandon rode back with us or we'd probably still be in St. George trying to work the courage to get back in the car. I did, also, misplace my debit card on Sunday, and was so spent by the time we got home Sunday around 9pm.

A lot of the grandkids shared memories of picking black berried and raspberries at Grandma's and all the cool stuff Grandpa used to have. Brandon and Kevin McGrath (cousin) really touched me when they shared their memories, killing slugs and snails with salt [Brandon's] and how his testimony, which was strongly influenced from his mom originated with Grandma's [Kevin's]. I got really choked up remembering Grandma and Grandpa coming to mine and Tyler's wedding (four days before Christmas) in 1996. It was not an easy trip for either of them, but how much I appreciated their efforts. I shared how Tyler has often commented on remembering how HIS grandma would spoil them with treats and goodies just like his mom spoils our kids. Here's a picture with us and Great Grandma Martenson (in our cool shirts):

Good times. We won't be meeting again until 2010 and that's a little sad, but well worth the wait!


chris jenkins said...

you are amazing girl - 5kids alone at the fun chaos that is a fam reunion?

i just wanna say wow.

i've enjoyed reading all your fun summer va-cay stories.

now that you are home hoping you are getting a va-cay from all the va-cay!

MollyE said...

Ok, the pumping while driving was a real picture for sure. You crack me up! And you are VERY brave to take your kids without hubby. I'm impressed!

annilee said...

You amaze me every time! I can't even handle my two kids on the 8 hour drive to Utah! I am convinced you are SUPER MOM!

Jerolyn said...

cute shirts!