Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Raclette and Temple lights

Thom and Brittany arrived about a day after us and the next day we all went to church at Jess and Ryan's ward to listen to Jess play the piano for their Christmas program choir numbers and hear Ryan speak! So fun to be with family and experience a big Utah ward: 4 nurseries!  Sunday night we had two of Chris' Aunt and Uncles and their families over for a Raclette cheese night. Between monthly woes and some GI bug I wasn't feeling well and didn't really touch food much that weekend. But it looked good. They finished off the night with some Christmas carols around the piano. 

Edward and Kayla brought over their dogs a bunch during the break. Both ours and Thom and Brittany's kids are pretty scared of dogs so they mostly played outside and only came in the house on leashes for short periods of time. Over the course of 2 weeks, I could see some improvement with my kid's fears. On the second to last day of our trip, Frederick would pet the dogs. let them eat treats out of his hand and be content to have me hold him close up to them, Gwen would hide behind me on the couch but not freak out, Alec would take a few steps out of his room to watch them without screaming. Charlie warmed up the most and LOVED to walk the dogs around the house holding onto their leashes and trying to make them do tricks for treats. 

Monday was Austin's birthday so we opened presents and ate a Tardis looking cake after lunch then we had an excursion planned (on our Archibald family Christmas Google Doc spreadsheet) to ride the train up to Salt Lake City and see the Temple Square Lights! 

Poor Austin and his family missed the train up by a few seconds because of some forgotten gloves and a flat tire in their stroller. :( 

It was kind of full so we had to sit on laps, but the kids did pretty good at keeping entertained on the hour ride. 

We met Jess and Ryan at the mall across the street from Temple Square and let the kids play around the playground at the food court while we hunted down some dinner as we waited for it to get dark enough to see the lights.  

So beautiful. I've seen them before but I'm always impressed with the sheer number of lights... it seems like every twig on every tree is decked out. We lucked out with the weather. It was supposed to rain, but it didn't. I WAS still really cold, but we were dry!

Having timed the train and bus schedule just right we needed to kill a few more minutes so we sat in the Tabernacle and enjoyed the warmth and beautiful organ. 

We're so awesome, we made it to the bus stop (which would take us to the train station) with less than 5 minutes to wait for the bus. 15 min later, we hear from a worker that something is delaying the tracks but we can still just take the next bus which will take us to a different train station but will still work to get us home. 

As we pulled into the train station on that next bus we watch the southbound train pull away so now we wait on the cold platform for the next train 45 later. :( Not so fun for a group of 13 cold, tired, past bedtime kids under the age of 9. This train was even a few minutes late but it came! ... only to stop 1/2 way home and sit on the tracks for a good 20 minutes before telling us that there was a blockage up ahead and  we should stay tuned for an update.  We start going again to the next station and sit there for another 20 minutes when the train driver buzzes over the intercom that we'd have to get off at the next stop, board some buses to take us to the following station and then continue on South. 20 more minutes later - Nevermind! they were clearing it and we could just stay on the train. 20 minutes later - Nevermind! it was going to take longer and would probably be faster to board the buses. So we all (along with 100 other people) get off and wait outside for some buses to appear. 20 minutes later 2 buses show up but they fill up before we can all get on. But it was fun to hear Edward speak Spanish and help a sweet couple from South America figure out what was happening. Finally some more buses come and we were driven the 20 minutes to the next station. We get off and head to the station only to be told by a worker that the trains aren't working still and that they would just drive everyone on buses to the last 3 train stations. We packed our crew (13 kids, 1 double stroller, and 8 adults) into a few seats of another bus (Thanks to the college kids who gave up their seats and stood up so our kids could sit down) and were driven during the next 40 minutes or so to our stop in Orem. Hahaha. Such a long commute. We could have just driven it ourselves in less then an hour but then we would have had to find parking. :)  J/k. We took the train on purpose because we knew the kids would love it. And the crazy thing was... they did! They actually did so well! Not too many complaints or problems. Chris entertained a bunch of them with his silly spur-of-the-moment songs, Grandma saved the day with some jolly ranchers, and Brittany too with some bags of pretzels and they just had fun laughing and joking with each other. It was funny to watch the kids' personalities emerge. Some went quiet as the night wore on, (Mady) or fell asleep (Frederick) and others were ramping up (Alec, Mia, Jackson) ... having a grand ol' time the later it went. I was impressed with the Archibald's make-the-best-of-the-situation positive attitudes. I'm sure lucky to have married into this family. 

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