The next few entries are the journals from our vacation. It's kind of backwards to look at them, so scroll down to 1 and move up. If you are only interested in Alexa's blessing pics, skip to Day 3! Sorry there is so much blogged in one day! I can finally get caught up on all yours now, as well!
Friday, we visited some family, just saying good bye. The baby seemed to be feeling better, but just in case, Ryan booked a flight for her and me. We thought we would play it safe. Who wanted to ride home with a screaming sick baby for 13 hours? We also picked up my nephew, Jake, to bring him back to Phoenix with us for a week.
Well, Saturday morning, we got up early and were getting ready to go to the airport. I was giving the kids a hard time about playing on the balcony. It's that heights thing again. It really freaks me out, and we were on the 6th floor. Even thinking about it now gives me sweaty hands. (I know that's not hard.) They weren't listening, though and kept playing outside.
So, I was upstairs packing, when Ainsley started screaming bloody murder. And I am not exaggerating. I ran downstairs as fast as I could. I have never heard her scream like this. Ever. She was yelling something about Brandon and I literally thought he had fallen off the balcony. When Ryan and I got to the bottom of the stairs, he was in the living room throwing up. It took me over 1/2 hour to get my heart rate back to normal. I was so mad at her. Not to mention the fact that I then had to clean up barf. Ryan was instantly on the phone booking a flight for Brandon, too. There was no way he was going to drive back with 3 kids, and one of them barfing.
So, here I sit on a Saturday night, with 2 of my kids sick and asleep while Ryan and Ainsley are in St. George hopefully NOT throwing up themselves. I pray that they make it back safely. And although we had a great trip, I am SOOO glad to be back to enjoy the final week of summer before school starts!
Pioneer Day we had lots of plans, but most of them didn't quite happen. In the morning, the Sandbergs came up to swim and hike around with us. I stayed in with Alexa all morning, knowing it wouldn't be wise to take her in the hot sun.
We were supposed to go to a BBQ at Ryan's dad's house, then visit with some friends and see fireworks, but had to cancel. Brandon started acting a little weird, too and had a fever. hmmm. Could he be getting sick?
Wednesday was the day we planned on staying up the canyon the entire day. It began by buying all day passes for the Alpine slide, the bungee tramp, the tram and the rock wall climbing. Of course the favorite was the Alpine Slide. I became a freak about heights during this vacation. Going up to the top of the mountain on the tram made me SOOOO nervous! I kept reminding the kids not to get close to the edge. Ainsley started saying "mom's a scardy cat" instead of "cheese" everytime we took a picture. That lasted the entire vacation.
Later in the day, we had a few friends come visit. Cassie and Tiffany (Roberts, now Lytle and McDaniel) and their kids came up, along with Teri (Haith) and Jim Potter with their family. It was a total of 20 people! I'm so sad I didn't get any pics of Tiff! She, Cassie and I all had babies within a month of each other (Catelyn, Claire, and Alexa), but her baby slept the entire time! Lucky girl!
Here is the sad part of the day. This was the night Alexa came down with the flu. She barfed all night long and was so dehydrated. I felt SOOO bad for her. The rest of the trip just wasn't the same after this point.
Tuesday, we had a relaxing day. The kids visited Grandma Joy, while Ryan and I went to lunch at the Little America. We visted Ryan's mom's grave in Bountiful, and our 2nd temple, followed by a park picnic with some friends.
We decided to bless Alexa in Utah, so the whole family could attend. And, to make it more perfect we had it in our old ward. We LOVE our old ward. The blessing was great. I always tease Ryan about having a "keen mind" because it seems that is always in every blessing. I may have made him nervous, though. She was blessed with wonderful things, however, she unfortunately doesn't have a keen mind.
If you have wondered what our family members now look like, this is the entry for you. All the siblings except Sally and Shantel are pictured. And I am missing a few cousins in there.
See the BEAUTIFUL dress? Ryan's grandma Joy was so sweet. She picked out and bought that dress. She said she knew Ryan's mom would want her too. Of course, I said that would be fine, and she looked like a little bride.
We were really nervous about driving with the baby, but she was a doll. On day one of the vacation, she was great until we got to Colorado City, Then she screamed all the way to St. George. Highlights of Day 1 *Walking down St. George Blvd, going to dinner, the streets were totally EMPTY!!!! They say it's too hot. We thought it was GREAT! Better than Phoenix!! *Swimming at the hotel. Brandon wouldn't get in the water. He thought the water was too cold. He is so used to our "bathtub water" at 95 degrees! I never thought St. George in the summer would be considered chilly!
Day 2 We had the great idea of visiting all the temples on the way up. (As you will notice later, we didn't make it.) We also stopped in Springville to visit my dad's grave.
Highlights *Brandon said he was so excited to go to the cemetery because he forgot what Grandpa Jan looks like. *Alexa was a doll in the car again!
I arrived at Camp Geronimo halfway through the week. We were in Camp Site #4, which is about 400 miles from the parking lot. Because of that, and thanks to my new 'hiking shoes,' I immediately had a blister the size of a grapefruit on my left heel. I learned that when you let a 12 year old do first aid on such a wound, you end up with so much gauze around your akle that you could be mistaken for an Iraq War amputee. After dinner, we did something called the "Honor Walk." A kid with bleach blonde hair decked out in full indian clothing met us. He was even wearing the authentic black faux leather velcro skater shoes that the Apaches once wore. He claimed his name was 'Moonbeam' and that his twin brother was named 'Star Shine' but I don't believe them. I thought those were the names of Care Bears, but what do I know? Moonbeam was explaining the benefits of something called the "Order of the Arrow." I'm not sure what that is, but I think it's a shopping club that lets you buy your arrows at a discount through mail order. Apparently it works like Costco, except the membership fee is much higher. There wasn't much honor in the 'Honor Walk' after a couple of our boys tried to pick a fight with Moonbeam. The Honor Walk led back to our camp where it was time for skits. Every scout skit ever made involves a bunch of 12 year olds running around waving their arms above their heads screaming AAAAGGHHH, then mumbling something incomprehensible, and then rolling around in the dirt. After watching skits like "Banana Phone" and "Men in Scout Shirts" all night long, I now know the meaning of endure to the end. Good news though. We seem to have solved the Global Energy Crisis. Apparently when you feed 300 scouts a steady diet of boiled veggies and baked beans, it generates enough methane gas to power South America. We slept in something that looks like my childhood neighbor Randy's shed, except that Randy's shed had 4 walls and this only had 3. I slept on the top shelf where the pesticide and pruning shears used to be kept. I think they are called 'adirondacks', which apparently means 3-sided shed in Navajo. It was fine until I dropped my pillow off the top shelf into the dirt 12 feet below. That wouldn't have happened if the darn lodge had been built with 4 walls like it was supposed to be. The service project was interesting. It consisted of lashing fallen down trees to still standing trees all around the 80 mile perimeter of our camp site. I'm not sure what the point was, except that it apparently keeps indians out of your camp site. During the day there's not much for leaders to do since we turn our scouts over to the camp staff to deal with for a while. So, I climbed back up on the top shelf to take a nap. I know I slept deeply because I dreamed of hot showers and lodging made up of 4 walls. One part of the Scout Law says that a scout is brave. That is generally true unless a) it is dark outside and b) there are beetles around. When those two things happen, brave 12 year old boys turn into screaming, crying little 4 year old girls. They look like cartoon characters spinning around in circles, hopping up and down, and swatting bugs off of them. The Scout Law also says a scout is reverent. I wonder when that starts. It rained all night Thursday and we're not even going to talk about the latrines, but I made it home alive, for which I am grateful.
Here are some shots of how we watch the fireworks. Brandon has NEVER seen the fireworks. He ALWAYS falls asleep. Alexa is taking after him. We went to Tumbleweed Park with our friends. Cute how they all have hair in their faces. It wasn't even windy!
Here are some morning pics of the kids at the ward parade/breakfast. The kids have been decorating their bikes and helmets for like 3 weeks now. Lots of anticipation for a short 2 minute parade. It is just TOO DANG hot. Too hot to ride your bikes 2 miles to the church for sure!!! (Thus the looks of sweat and despair on my children's faces!!!) There may be more pics later today...so many activities on this special holiday. And besides, Alexa looks SO darling in her 4th outfit.