Thursday, August 20, 2009

In a (large) nutshell:

It's been a BIG summer at our house! Or rather, away from our house!

This summer I embarked on my biggest adventure ever - traveling with all four children, and (sadly) WITHOUT Mr. B (who was there in spirit, but had to work).

I'll just say that overall, it was much easier than I expected. My big kids were tremendous helpers and my little kids were too enthralled to get into trouble. Piloting through San Francisco with a GPS that claims to know where I'm going, but is actually trying to kill me (we call her "Gollum") isn't anything I wish to repeat and I've always hoped I'd never have to get on a cross-country flight with enough fuel in the tanks to tempt a terrorist (circumnavigated by layovers in Memphis and Minneapolis . . . I'm so clever), but our travels together were so entirely delightful that I would be willing to attempt either feat again.

So, I give you 1 mother on 2 trips totalling 3 weeks with 4 kids - in pictures.

Oh yeah - the hypervigilance required to keep track of four kids in busy airports about did my nerves in, and that's with kids who did a great job staying together. A wanderer would have been the end of me.

Trip #1 was to North Carolina to visit my dearest Aunt Beaner and Hunckle Bob. Blogging cannot express what a fantastic time we had, and how much we love our extended family!

Grandpa Camp - does it get any better?

Trip #2 was to Idaho, Utah, and back to Idaho to visit lots and lots and LOTS of loved ones! I drove this one - something I've never done for that distance without another adult in the car. The kids and I had a great time seeing the landscape, memorizing "Book of Mormon in a Minute" (which I made them recite in every home we visited. A 13-year-old's dream come true, I'm sure), and listening to the "Wicked" soundtrack (thanks Jann!) until the little ones begged for mercy.

Swimming at Pineview Reservoir. (What? I can't hastily photoshop a picture of my munchkin-like physique? Sue me.)

After I swung on the rope, I aske my 13yo if that embarrassed her. She said no. Then I muttered that I was going to be very sore the next day, to which she said, "Ok, THAT embarrasses me."

Picnic lunch with our old South Ogden Ward. Holy cow I miss these ladies!!! It was food for the soul to see them all again! (More families came later and I took another picture, but with another camera, so it's not going to resurface for a while.)

Family Dinner in Lehi - I have the BEST family!

Utah has clever graffiti.

Here's Year of No Fear for you: 13 kids and 3 moms at the first $2 Tuesday of the summer at the Thanksgiving Point Dinosaur Museum (read: swarming crowds). Hats off to Lois and Tiffany for braving the crowds so my kids could go!

(This isn't everyone - just all we could collect at the moment.)

Followed up by an evening trip to Ikea with 10 children, none of whom were dropped off at the child care as planned, because it was CLOSED. (Not Ikea, just the child care.) My superstar sister-in-law, Lois, didn't even bat an eye. Ten kids? No problem!

Coudn't pass it up:

THIS is the most annoying toy in the world (it sings in a baby voice and makes indecent noises accompanied by obnoxious music and dancing. If you see one, RUN) that my sister bought years ago on clearance, and then left it with my kids when she moved. I made sure the postman took it to her doorstep, but she made sure he brought it back to me, so I gave it to her kids as a gift from their favorite aunt. About 30 minutes into a 9-hour drive, I noticed my big kids (traitors) whispering, and then from the back seat, I heard the chilling strains of "Booooo-bah."

DIABOLICAL, I tell you! Someone had better sleep with one eye open.

After the third or fourth beautiful new home we stayed in (mostly homes belonging to people who build for a living), I started noticing things like this floating around the car:

Aim high, dear children. And build a wing for your parents!

(No worries Mom - I'll put more pictures on the family blog later on.)

To sum up (because I'm out of time): It's been a FANTASTIC summer! The overwhelming feeling I'm left with is gratitude to know we have such numerous and wonderful family and friends. Every visit was joyful. Every face was a thrill to see. How lucky can you get?


snowwhiteor said...

What a great summer!! Now what are you going to do next summer for the encore?

And...Thanks again for making that second trip! I really appreciate it!!

Jill said...

Three cheers for summer! I'm glad you had such a good time! Loved reading about it....but glad you are home! We missed you!

bestgrandkidsever said...

Excellent post--and funny!