Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Duck Creek Reunion

Last year my mom suggested that it was time for our immediate family
(my borthers & sisters) to start doing family reunions periodically. This summer was our 1st one that I was put in charge of. I was able to find this 5 bedroom, 3 bath w/ loft cabin that sleeps 17+ people on The cabin was huge and came with plenty of beds for everyone including kids to sleep in. The kitchen was stocked with dishes, pots and pans and anything else you'd need to feed your family with. It cost about $1200 for the 4 day/3 night weekend. Splitting this between my siblings and parents it cost each family $200. I didn't think this was too bad. The accommodations were definitely better than any recent hotel stays we've had.

To sweeten this little family reunion my Grandpa Hunter (whom Hunter is named after) was driving through and decided to drop by and stay the night with us. The last time I saw him or Grandma Becky was at Emily's blessing. Almost 8 years ago. There were several family member's that had never met Grandpa Hunter. We had such a great time sitting around and visiting with them.

Grandpa James Hunter

Emily welcoming Grandma Becky!

Brionney teaching her new GG and GGpa how to work the ipad.

12 of his great grand kids from his daughter Heather.

My siblings with our grandparents.
Hanna, Sheri, Tina, Grandma, Grandpa, Jonathan, Travis, Matthew

During our reunion we celebrated 2 birthday's. 
Miss Elena turned the big "5". Her parents requested a "Lego" theme birthday cake. Elena's dad forgot to bring the lego candles. Oops!

My sister Hanna also had a birthday. Knowing our family is not into cake we went a different route for the 2nd celebration. We used Hanna's favorite soda and candy bars. She was so kind to share with her nieces and nephews. 

The girl cousins had a blast finding horny toads.

While the boys climbed trees

and chopped wood for our nightly bon fires.
One day we had planned a trip to Navajo Lake, just a few minutes away from our cabin. Grandpa brought his rafts and life jackets for everyone. The kids had fun despite the really chilly weather.

My kids, a little more accustomed to the chillier weather, didn't seem to mind getting wet. If the wind hadn't been so windy I think more would have ventured into the water. Thank goodness for the rafts. We still had fun playing in the water.

Most of the adults do to the chilly weather decided to stay ashore.

 But there's one in every group. And here he is.... Uncle Jason showed us all up by taking a quick dive into the cold water. He said down under wasn't too cold, it was just the surface.

Love this little boy!

On another day we took everyone to Mammoth Caves. This is our favorite spot on Cedar Mountain and have been here many, many times. The family spent a few hours going in and out of the caves. This is the main entrance to the cave. Inside there are 3-4 different tunnels leading you out at different spots. 

The kids had a blast going in one way and out a different way. Some of these tunnels get quite tight and you end up having to crawl on your hands and knees. My kids love this about them. They feel like it's quite the adventure.

On our way back to the cabin Grandpa's truck got a flat. Kory and Uncle Matt were able to fix it.

These 2 little boys were there to help too.

We had such a fun, enjoyable and memorable weekend. I love periodically getting away from home. No phones, no internet, no schedule. The kids were able to spend time outside playing with their cousins and just having fun. 
To make this trip even more memorable I got a flat on the way home. Yeah for Uncle Matt and Grandpa for being there to help me!

Snack Time

When we moved to Hurricane we went almost our first 3 weeks without internet. For the most part it wasn't bothersome at all but periodically I did have to run to my parents to have access to the internet. It was during one of these quick trips that my kids decided to share their popcorn snack with their GG.

One for you...

 and one for me.

Brayden did a good job at making sure GG got plenty of water.
Popcorn makes you thirsty!

Kylie tried too.

I love how Kylie's mouth is wide opening. Does it help GG open her mouth too?

 Kylie wasn't quite quick enough to pull her finger out. GG bit her finger just a little bit. Didn't leave a mark, no tears but Kylie kept saying, "owe, owe" and showing me her finger.

Despite the little nip they wanted to pop more when they ran out of popcorn. So glad my children had this opportunity to "help" GG.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

1st Week of A New School Year

School has begun at our house. It's a love/hate relationship that we have with it. For the most part all of my kids enjoy school but I hate the homework. I hate the spelling words the vocabulary words and all the silly little math papers that supposedly reiterates what's been taught in the classroom. But it is what it is and we are doing our best at getting all of it done on a nightly basis.  

Hunter is at the Intermediate school this year. He loves the different teachers for each subject. His two electives this year is P.E and Keyboarding. He loves the P.E part. He is also in intermediate orchestra this year and is playing the cello. Three times a week he stays after school to practice his cello in a "groupie" setting. I love that the teacher offers this. It means he doesn't have to lug his cello back and forth to school each day. It just stays in his personal cubby in the orchestra room. Hunter loves saving his money. One day he hopes to be a Muli-Billionaire. Sure wish he'd hurry up with that.

 This is Madelyn's last year in elementary school. She's our big 5th grader. She loves her teacher and going to school. Our elementary school does not have a music program like our previous elementary school did. The school district does however offer an early morning orchestra for all 4th and 5th graders. Madelyn is participating in this program and is playing the Viola. This means that 2-3 times a week I get to drop her off at the high school for an hour before school. I then get to pick her up and drive her to school. She's loving it! Madelyn has an interest in her teeth. She loves going to the dentist. After her last visit she told me she no longer wants to be a dental hygienist but a dentist.  

 Emily loves school. She is in 2nd grade this year and the oldest of her class. She can't believe that 3 of the kids in her class have already had birthday's but they turned 7. She will be turning 8 in just a few weeks. She loves her teacher. She says she's "fun". She loves math but she doesn't care for recess. It's too hot! I'm sure that will change when the weather cools and she can play in weather she's more accustomed with. I think we are all still struggling a bit with the 100+ degree weather every day. Back in Alton the weather is in the mid 80's and sometimes breaks 90, Being in the mountains it's just cooler. Emily wants to be a "fun" teacher like what she has this year.  I'm loving her new haircut!

 Brayden started Kindergarten this year. He loves school! He loves being able to ride the bus back and forth. He's making friends on his bus and keeps asking if he can walk to their house. Brayden likes recess. He and his friends play Super Heroes or Cowboys and Indians most day's. The first week of school Brayden really loved homework every day. Now 3 weeks later he doesn't care for it so much. Brayden wants to be a cowboy when he grows up.

 Here they are walking to the bus stop just 3 houses up the street.  On rainy day's they stand in the garage and when they see the bus round the corner they head to their bus stop. Love that it's so close.

We are loving our new neighborhood. It if full of kids! Something we have never really had. There were 18 kids at the bus stop the morning I took this picture. There is another bus stop just around the corner. Hunter catches the bus more then an hour earlier than my elementary kids and he's got 6-8 kids every morning at his spot. At night about 6:30/7 when it's cooled off kids come out to play. We've got middle school/high schooler's throwing a football in the middle of the street. We have younger kids like Hunter riding their bikes, scooters and skate boards up and down the street. Little boys running around with super heroes, play guns and cars or other toys in their hands. The girls ride their bikes or roller skate with other little girls. These little kids meet up with each other and park themselves on someones grass and play together.  We are loving all the friends and future friends that will be made.