Thursday, July 7, 2011

The rest of the story...

Our voyage up north was timed around a short break for the kids from swim team, and my brother Shepard's return to the mainland. We road-tripped it, splitting the drive into two days.

Any hesitations I had in buying a car with a built-in TV/DVD player and rear entertainment center completely disappeared on this trip. The kids rotted their brains watching movies and playing on the iPad for the entire 635 miles each way. They likely used up their allocated "screen time" from now til Christmas.

On the way up, we stayed overnight in Grants Pass, Oregon. We got a cheap room in a hotel with a pool. The kids thought they were staying at the Ritz.

In addition to celebrating Jack's 8th birthday and baptism, we had several mini family reunion of sorts over the course of our stay.

My brother Shepard and his wife Breanne are home from their year-long dental residency in Hawaii, and are getting ready to embark on a year-long adventure to India and Europe. We hadn't seen them in 2 years, so there were lots of hugs and catching up.

Are they not the most gorgeous couple ever?

We had a great family dinner at my mom's house on Saturday night. Both my brothers were there, along with Isaac's in-laws, who were in town for the baptism. Great food, lots of laughter, and cousins playing like crazy!

While I may be the "oldest" sister, I am certainly not the "biggest"!

My mom and David, with her three kids, spouses, and 6 grandkids!

We headed down to Silverton to my dad's house on Sunday afternoon. Sunday night, we went to the St. Paul Rodeo. This small town has a population of about 350. More than 10,000 people were in attendance at the rodeo Sunday night! It was crazy! The kids loved it, and it was the real deal—bucking broncos, bull-riding, and calf roping.

On Monday, the 4th of July, Ike & Lisa, Shep & Bre, Bob & Hae, and Jahmez were all over. There was lots of lounging about and enjoying the sunshine.

Jack & Canyon took a break from the craziness to hang out on the hammock.

There was also a whole lot more great food, more laughter, and a Slip & Slide!


After an early dinner, the kids set out on a scavenger hunt to locate the hidden "treasure"—a big box of fireworks!

Although the sun wasn't even close to going down, at 7:00 the show began.

Then it was time for a one-man circus . . . starring Isaac.

The weather was perfect all week, and it was fantastic to spend so much time with my amazing family!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Day To Remember

Jack is 8 years old today. It doesn't quite seem possible.

He has grown by leaps and bounds in the last year. Not just physically, but emotionally as well. He is kind, thoughtful, helpful, and loving. He loves to snuggle, has a contagious smile, and is exceptionally strong, athletic, and coordinated. He loves Legos, playing Wii, and can't get enough swimming.

Jack and his cousin Canyon are just a couple of months apart in age, Canyon turned 8 in April. As we were planning our summer trip to Oregon, we started talking about how special it would be for the boys to be baptized together. As we tried to coordinate our travel plans, the only time we could hold the baptism was on Jack's actual birthday...super exciting for him, but planning a baptism on a Tuesday afternoon presents a few challenges. My amazing sister-in-law Lisa was a trooper and managed to pull things together.

All dressed and ready to go . . .

Both boys were baptized and confirmed members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints by their grandpas—Jack by his Grandpa Davy, and Canyon by his Grandpa Paul.

Canyon's grandma Julie gave a talk about the Holy Ghost, and presented each boy with a super cozy, snuggly blanket—a reminder of how the Holy Ghost is our Comforter, and can keep us warm and safe throughout our lives.

Even in the 85 degree heat, the boys couldn't help but wrap themselves up!

Jack and his Grandpa Davy have a sweet and special relationship.

Grammy Deanna & Grandpa Davy love these boys!

I can't believe how grown up the kids are . . . and love Grant's "James Durbin" faux-hawk!

After the baptism, we all headed to Grandpa Kurt's house for a special birthday/baptism celebration dinner.

After dinner, it was present time!

Jack was excited to get his first pair of real golf shoes!

These 5 boys are all super close in age.
I can only imagine the adventures and mischief they'll create as they grow up!

We are blessed to have such an amazing and loving extended family. While all might not share the same religious beliefs, the warmth, support, and love felt throughout the day was overwhelming. I know this birthday will be etched forever in our memories!