19 Apr 2009

Easter in Utah!

Posted by Jamie

My Mom surprised us with a trip to Utah for Easter. We had a wonderful visit, packed with lots of fun activities but mostly just being with family again. That of course is the very best part!!! This will be a huge entry with a lot of photos…

The morning we flew out, when I woke Xander up to get him ready he hugged his puppy and said “My Puppy is going to miss his Daddy so much!” He is so cute how he still uses his puppy to express his own feelings. Sweet little boy!

Porter’s Flat Stanley got to make the trip with us too!


The kids did great on the flight over (such a long day), when we were flying into the Salt Lake Valley Xander went nutso over the snow in the mountains. He was really animated saying over and over “Look mommy…SNOW!” “There is snow on the Mtn” “Can we play in the snow?” He was just firing one statement after another. He had several people around us chuckling at his excitement. And Susie cracked me up. She and Becca were across the isle from the rest of us and I could see she was excited about something. We finally made eye contact and she mouthed to me that the lady in front of me was reading a Book of Mormon. Susie was thinking that was pretty cool! I laughed and pointed to a different lady in front of her. She looked over her seat and her eyes got big and she tried not to laugh out loud…that lady was also reading a Book of Mormon. Guess we have been out of Mormon country for a while or something…

Lori and Glen are always so great about picking us up at the airport and letting us use their van…we appreciated it so much! We spent what was left of Saturday and Sunday with them and their kids! Xander and Glen hit it off (well ok maybe 90% of the time the other 10% Xander was scared of Glen because Glen is such a tease!!!) they had great sword fights together. Xander was in heaven playing with all of Jacob’s guns and huge rubber snakes that look WAY too real!!! The girls had fun making cookies together. And some kind of game is always a part of visiting the Walters. We always have fun game nights with them!


During church it started to snow. Again Xander went nuts. He ran right to the doors and would have been out there if I hadn’t grabbed him quick! What torture the next 2 hours of church were… Well right after church even though it was sooooo cold with a strong wind we attempted to go sledding. There really wasn’t that much snow so it was rather pathetic. The Walters were very good about humoring us North Carolinian’s…


On Monday we headed north to Lana’s house with a stop in Logan first…we visited our wonderful neighbors Gramma and Grampa Gunnell. Sister Gunnell looked so great, our visit brought back many special memories of chatting over the fence until one of us finally had to break off our conversation to go make dinner or something rather boring…we’d rather keep chatting!!! We LOVE the Gunnells so much and miss them terribly. They were a part of our everyday life in Logan. It took only moments for Katie and Xander to make their way back downstairs to the playroom and they had a great time with Grampa Gunnell. Next we snuck a great visit in with Sister Dewey. She is another favorite person of ours… we were so thrilled to be able to see her this trip. Our last trip we had rotten timing and she was on vacation when we came through Logan. What a fun time we had, poor Rusty was probably worn out by the time we left. The kids had him so wound-up running around fetching balls. Of course the snow was still quite exciting and it was tough getting the kids back in the van to leave! I have to admit I don’t really miss shoveling it!


We went to Lana’s cozy home in the hills of Southern Idaho (I just love her house!). We were greeted by their huge husky dog, Xander of course freaked out a bit. He was so hilarious the whole time we were there though…every time he would see the dog out the window he would come tell us “There is a wolf outside”! He was a little worried about that “wolf”. We had a great time hanging out, staying up really late watching movies and playing games. Katie and Penney were the only ones who ventured outside to play in the snow, and there was a lot more to play in too.


We also made a couple of trips into Logan again for errands, AGGIE ICE CREAM – yum! And visiting more friends. We were able to spend some time catching up with the Fullmer’s and a quick hello to Missy. The kids had a great time playing, being silly and just hanging out. Susie was able to hook up with both Kate and Rachelle so she was happy too!


And of course a stop to the cemetery and the Temple to take some photo’s. We wish we could have stayed longer in Cache Valley, saw more neighbors and friends but our time was more limited this trip!


Our drive out to Roosevelt was well…PAINFULL!!! Xander developed a ear infection (we didn’t know this) and driving over the high mountain pass he was in such pain, he cried for over an hour straight. I apparently have been very spoiled with him because he hardly ever cries, even when he was a baby. Well I didn’t deal very well with his constant crying. I was so fried by the time we got to my parents house. That was the longest drive EVER…once we arrived the pressure must have gotten better because he fell asleep in my arms and slept hard for a good hour. Poor kid! The girls headed over to their cousins house to play. We joined them later when Xander woke up.


At Lisa’s house Katie and Xander were thrilled to see their chicken and bunny that they caught at the rodeo last summer when we visited… They have gotten huge. Brittney and Wyatt have taken very good care of them. At Grandma’s house we listened to conference and did projects either with the kids or on the house. The older girls spent alot of time “Twilighting”


Brittney, Porter, Paige, Katie and Xander had a great game of Duck Duck Goose going on…it entertained them for a long time.


Lori, Tenisha and I escaped to Vernal to do a Temple Session. It was fun having a girl day, we went to lunch, did a little shopping..ok so we just went to walmart for some groceries but it sounded good didn’t it??? The next day we went to Jo’s to make strawberry jam! Becca was a big helper, she had strawberries up to her elbows!!! Susie and Ashley took the little kids on a walk, but the rest of the day they pretty much did the “Twilighting” thing again…those are some good books!!!


Becca also helped Jo make Chocolate Easter Eggs. I was really surprised the other kids didn’t want to help…Becca had Jo all to herself! She was not complaining that is for sure! One of the nights Jim took all the older kids to the High School play. Susie and Becca were so excited to get to go to a play, still loving the dreams of becoming famous actresses…well when they got home Susie said “Our play was way better than that!”


We had a big service project that we did at Justin and Tenisha’s, some of the land is Jim and Jo’s as well. Anyway we had a “ROCK” party. We helped them clear the land of rocks…lots and lots of rocks!!! The kids had a great time! Porter and Xander entertained themselves pretending to be puppies…digging for bones!


Justin had his big tractor that he drove around and we loaded up with rocks. The kids loved taking turns riding with him. Check out the one of Xander, I mean Puppy with his head hanging out panting away!!! He is such a funny kid.


Becca was a very daring hard worker. She and Wyatt got in the bucket of the tractor with it raised up really high so they could throw the rocks into the fencing. I was really proud of Becca. She didn’t want to stop working when everyone was heading home. She begged Uncle Jim to let her help him with one more thing, changing water I think it was…


Susie was pretty excited because she got to drive the 4 wheeler for awhile. All the kids worked really hard. And yes that is a picture of AJ driving…can’t believe I have a nephew old enough to be driving…he was 2 months old when Jason and I got married…time flies! We ended the night with a roasting hot dogs and marshmallows.


Uncle Jim took Xander out to let him ride a horse. Xander was pretty nervous, I don’t think his little bottom was on the horse for longer than a half a second and he was done!!! But he liked petting the horse.


Xander and Porter played so well together. They were super hero’s together, played outside on the trampoline and playground for hours. Xander loves their awesome toy room and he spent even more hours playing there! He was in Heaven…a BOY to play with and lots of cool stuff to do together!!!


Back to Grandma’s we got real crafty…we had all kinds of different things lined up to entertain the kids and give them something fun to do. One of my highlights of the entire trip was when my 11 year old nephew Wyatt came to me and said “Jamie…I love you…” and then he gave me some earrings that he made just for me!!! Very sweet!


We did a lot of Easter crafts too. The first one was the kids got to make Easter bags for Easter Egg Hunt we had planned. The older kids were good about helping the little ones do theirs. They turned out cute!


Another one was making Easter Nests. This is a Evan’s family tradition that Lisa shared with us. It is with rice crispy treats and malted milk chocolate eggs. And the kids get to create their own nests and then eat them! YUM!!! And we can’t have Easter without coloring Easter Eggs!


The time came for the Easter Egg Hunt, major excitement!!! We split the kids up since there is such a range in age. We started with the babies and let them get a head start on finding eggs. They were so adorable… then we let the wild 4-9 year old’s loose! What a hoot!!!


Then we had a treasure hunt for the older kids. That was a hit too! We had them running all over the place figuring out the clues. We did the clues using Primary Songs. It was fun. The end treasure was a basket of goodies for them!


It was so great to have most of us all together. The kids were loaded up with candy, excited and wired from all the sugar…happy day!!! Parker and I had a great game going, he was my little buddy. He would find me and then come stand near me watching closely until I caught his eye and then he break into the biggest grin for me. By the end of our trip we had it down to a science! He is so stinkin’ cute!


To channel all that sugar rush we took the gang to the Vernal pool and let them expend it there!!! They had so much fun swimming. It is a really great indoor facility. And after swimming there was a awesome climbing wall that each of the kids took turns climbing. Even Xander did it. Not all the way up to the bell but way above my head!!! I didn’t get pictures of this because I sent my camera with Lori…


Lori took AJ, Ahsley, Jaicee and Susie to the Temple to do Baptisms for the Dead. They met Uncle Jim, Uncle Justin and Grandpa there who helped them. Susie was very excited to be able to go to the temple again and especially to be able to go with her cousins…


More family fun, playing games, hanging out just being together. I loved our time of just BEING not neccesarily doing if that makes sense. It was wonderful to just be together and share in each others lives. I had to get my fill to last me until the next time we are able to make it out there…


Easter Sunday was almost boring for the kids because of all the fun we had with cousins and now it was just them! Katie was the most excited! The Easter Bunny was very creative in finding soft baskets that would easily squish into a suitcase…whew!!! Justin and Tenisha came to Mom’s ward with us. I got to witness the most hilarious thing that Kennedy did. Tenisha had told me about it but I hadn’t seen it yet. Kennedy was testing her Daddy to see if he was really serious about telling her to stay by them instead of pushing the door open and leaving sacrament meeting. He warned her a couple of times to come back. Well imagine a 21 month old trying to roll her eyes at her dad. It comes out like she is fluttering her eye lashes at you. Hard to be reverent when you are laughing so hard!!! Tenisha made us a wonderful farewell Easter dinner and homemade cinamon rolls that were absolutly delicious!!! And then we headed back to the city to get ready for our flight back home.


We ended our trip at Lori’s. The kids got a great activity going of playing night games. I bought Xander a pack of bubble gum, thinking it would entertain him a bit on the plane and in case his ears bothered him. Well we knew that Uncle Glen had won over Xander when Xander offered only him a piece of his bubble gum! The gum proved to be very entertaining…Xander taught himself how to blow bubbles!


It was such a wonderful trip, reconnecting with family, making lots of memories. We are very blessed!

On the flight home as we left Salt Lake Valley Xander hollered out “Good-bye Utah!!!” and started laughing. What a nut!

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