For our main trip this summer we headed up to Utah. All of our family lives in Utah, except for Jason's brother, Mark, who lives in Montana.
I have been quite homesick for the past couple of months. I have been feeling lonely and missed my family a lot. My kids missed their cousins too, especially Kamary.
We weren't sure if we would make it up to Utah because of financial problems, but we prayed and had faith that things would work out...and they did with the help of our very generous families.
We spent the 4th of July weekend with Jason's family. It was so fun to be with everyone and have all of Jason's family together. We didn't even have much drama with everyone together. I thought that was pretty good! :)
We had an activity packed vacation. We went to a dinosaur museum, had over 5 barbeque's, joined with another family and did fireworks in the street, went to the American Heritage Farm, went hiking, relaxed, visited family and friends (including cousins I haven't seen for a long time) and my favorite-- went to the movies!! I love going to movies but don't really get a chance with 6 kids.
It was so fun to hang out with family and friends and just feel like people cared about me and wanted to do things with me. I felt like I belonged. I didn't want to come home--I don't think any of us did.
We saw a lot of blessings on our trip. Just the fact that we were able to go was a blessing. Jason was trying to sell his guitar down here, but it didn't work so he took it up to Utah and we were able to sell it. Also, our van broke down while we were in Logan. We were driving and it just stopped working! Mom & Dad Wheeler helped us get the van to the shop and let us use their car when we needed to drive somewhere. They also paid the bill (a whopper) to get it fixed (something we could not do). We kept thinking, what if we had gotten stuck in the middle of the desert, or even at home? What would we do? We were very blessed.
Now we're back in the Arizona heat and already missing our family. We'd like to live closer, but we'll see what life has in store for us.
The next several posts are just pictures of our fun!
Since the 4th of July was a Sunday, we did most of our celebrations on Saturday. We spent the weekend in Salt Lake with Jason's family. It was the first time in over 13 years that everyone was together. It was so fun to see everyone.
Aunt Char cut Hanna's hair. She was so excited to have short hair and really loves it.
Hanna is having a semi-friendly water fight with her cousin, Curtis.
Hanging out, Lauren & Sam
This is my patriotic baby! Red shirt, White hair and Blue eyes!
To celebrate, we decorated our nails.
Poor Brynlie had a rough day. She stubbed her toe, fell off of a chair and just kept getting hurt! :(
The weather was so nice. I think the high was 86 degrees. The kids spent most of it outside.
Here are the boys, Skyler, Curtis and Kohler. They're so strong, you can see all of their ribs! :) Kohler loved having boys to play with!
Grandpa Smith is "famous" at our house for his BBQ. Kamary & Brianna are enjoying good food-- poolside!
Fun with cousins! Valerie, Kamary, Brianna, Ashley, Lauren & Madison. It was so fun for my kids to play with their cousins and I was pleased at how well they all got along. I'm actually very pleased at how well everyone got along! :)
Here is the big family picture with EVERYONE! This is great because it shows the diverse personality that is found in our family! I'm very lucky to have married into such a great family and it was great to have everyone all together. I miss them already.
This summer, my parents have been volunteering at the American Heritage Farm near Logan, Utah. So we spent the day with them and had a great day.
We started the day with a Victorian tea party. It was a lot of fun. They said that they would have these parties to teach manners and help the kids learn how to socialize with others. I that's a great tradition and I might just start hosting tea parties too.
Hanna's not so sure about "girly" things like tea parties.
We got to wear different hats. That was fun. Here is Grandma in her pioneer outfit for the farm.
Eating our yummy goodies.
Here we are around the table.
The farm had a lot of animals too. Hanna loved the horses. She's really good with animals.
Jason and Brynlie watching the pigs being fed.
In the pioneer area (that's where my mom volunteers), the kids made yarn dolls.
They also had pony rides.
This was a pretty big deal for Kamary to get on a pony.
My dad was the train engineer. We kept teasing him that now he is a REAL engineer (instead of just an electrical engineer). :)
Kohler got to climb on top of the train.
They also had a petting zoo. The kids loved petting the goats.
We panned for gold. Some of the kids actually found little nuggets of Fools Gold. They were pretty excited.
Jason tried the ax throw.
And actually made it in the log. Hanna did too. Even Brynlie had a go at it.
Here my dad is entertaining us with some music from his Native American flute. Brynlie was mesmerized.
When we got back home we had a yummy BBQ. Her face says it all!
We finished up with Popsicles. As you can tell, it was a great way to end the day.
Here is Jason, Lauren and Brynlie relaxing in the backyard swing.
It really was a great day! Thanks to my parent's hard volunteering hours, we were able to spend the day with them.
One of the things I really wanted to do in Utah was to go on a hike. I miss being able to go up the canyon and enjoy nature. Somehow cactus and tumbleweeds don't quench my thirst for the great outdoors.
So we went up Green Canyon which is only about a mile away from my parent's house. My cousin in law, Janus, and her daughter, Alexis, joined us from Minnesota. It was so fun to be with them again.
Cramming in the van, heading up the canyon.
The grass was so tall, it almost hid the kids!
I thought this was such a cute picture!
Before the hike.
Lauren was a little scared at first. It's pathetic that we don't hike more.
Alyssa collected moss along the way.
The kids on a fence during a rest.
Alyssa found a caterpillar. They named it Mr. Spikey.
Now this is hiking in style!
I like this picture of my Dad.
Here the kids are playing with Mr. Spikey during a rest stop.
We also found a couple of caves.
Here's Dad and Brynlie waiting for us slowpokes!
We had a great time. We ended up hiking 4 miles!! It was pretty much level or downhill so it wasn't pretty hard, but it was far for some of the little ones. They did a great job!