Friday, June 30, 2017

Colorado Archibald Reunion 2017

Monday morning, Chris and I left Provo and drove 8 hours Eastward to a small town in the middle of Colorado were we met all his family for an Archibald Reunion. We arrived just at dinner time and after a yummy BBQ pork sandwich dinner on homemade rolls by Thom and Brittany we went out to explore the lake/beach while we waited for everyone else to arrive. Poor Jess and Ryan had car trouble and didn't get in until closer to 11:00pm even though they left Provo the same time as us.


The kids immediately fell in love with the kayaks ...especially the one little enough for them to take out on the lake all by themselves.

Most of our plans involved enjoying the house and lake. The house was two stories with a loft. There were 7 good sized bedrooms in the house, each with adjoining access to one of the 6 bathrooms.  There was a kitchen and big great room with couches on the main level and a small kitchen with a small family room in the bottom level and an entire second building/pool house with pool, pingpong and air hockey tables, a big TV, and fireplace and about 4 tables by a big cooking space which opened up with 4 big garage doors straight to the outside where the pool and hot tub were  just up a little ways from the lake access.  Everything was cozy and had a comfortably used feel. There were also many canoes and kayaks and paddle boats available for us to use.  We switched off who was in charge of meals and the clean up so hopefully no one felt over burdened with house-duty stuff. I know I didn't feel burdened! 

Most mornings started off pretty similar. Freddy would wake up in the early morning and want to crawl into bed with Chris and I. I wouldn't be able to sleep with him fidgeting around so I'd leave whenever I heard the kids up and Freddy and Chris would sleep in. Freddy was sometimes not taking naps and staying up late so he needed the extra rest.  Then the rest of the day would be spent swimming in the pool, or hot tub, or lake and playing with the dogs: Darla and Roxy. In most afternoons the wind would pick up and so we'd come inside for movies or naps or talk time. Then we'd eat a yummy dinner and eventually the kids would be put to bed and the adults would stay up reading books, doing crosswords, talking or playing games. 


The second full day there was Mady's Birthday so we had a birthday celebration by hanging a few decorations and opening presents and eating cake.

We had planned to also surprise Grandma Dixie by celebrating her birthday too since it was only a month away and it she was turning the big 6-0 and we were all together. Chris and his siblings and spouses, had been brainstorming plans for a good long while. We agreed to make her a special crossword and buy her a nice blendtec blender. With input from everyone, Chris spent SO. MUCH. TIME working on getting the crossword to look just like a New York Times crossword and be just as awesome. We told Dixie, it was the first crossword NYT crossword issued on her birthday since Will Shortz was the editor.  It was all themed and centered around Dixie though and I think she caught on pretty quick that this wasn't a legit NYT crossword...although the thing she said that gave it away most was how intently we were all watching her while she did it!

Another day we planned to go on a huge 'canoe trip' and try to fit in as many people in the floating crafts as we could and travel a good distance and stop somewhere for a picnic and then come back.  We got out after breakfast before the wind came and quickly found that the ones in the paddle boats were at a distinct disadvantage! Chris and I with Alec and Freddy and Jess and Kayla with Mia and Gwen were left behind in the dust as we churned our boats with all our might and yet watched the canoes and kayaks fade away in the distance. I got SO TIRED! we had to switch off who was paddling and eventually, we figured we'd gone about as far out as we dared and hung out in the middle of the lake jumping in the water.  Gwen was brave and tried it first. The water was so cold it surprised her, I had to jump in the water to help her get back to the boats.

Ryan (in a kayak) had come back to check on us and then went off to tell the rest of the group to turn around. They came back and we switched things up for the return trip back to the house. 

One time, Chris and Thom were going to demonstrate to the kids how to swamp a canoe and then how to get back in it. They paddled out a good distance and easily tipped the canoe over. Then they proceeded to try and turn it back over and get in. Hahaha. It was so funny. They couldn't get the canoe tipped back over without a bunch of water in it so when they both climbed back in the canoe was totally underwater.

The eventually dragged it back closer to shore where they could touch and get better height on lifting the canoe up before tipping it over so they wouldn't collect so much water and then climbed back in. We were all laughing so hard watching them.

Our last night there (Thursday) we made a bon fire and roasted smores and let the kids have a sleep over (most nights the kids either slept with their parents or in extra rooms with just their siblings). The boys slept up in the loft and the girls slept down in the family room on the pull out sofas. 

 It was so much fun to just hang out and be with everyone. Every member of the Archibald extended family is so kind, unassuming and pleasant to be around. I love spending time with them. The kids got a long so well and loved playing with the dogs who were so sweet and entertaining. Plus, the food is always amazing. Colorado Archibald Reunion 2017 for the win!

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Herriman part 2, a trip to The Ridge

We all decided to go to my sister, Sarah's neighborhood for their town carnival on Thursday night. All rides were 1 ticket and the kids had a blast. We had such a large group that we split up by rough age groups and it ended up being just Chris, Freddy and I for the first bit. It was kinda fun to focus on Freddy and walk around holding hands with Chris.  Gwen was excited to wear her new haircut with her new (to her) dress. 

Charlie, Andrew, Will and Alec all rode this fast spinny ride over and over again. Alec was done after a while and helped with Freddy.

Mom and Hailey were in town (Hailey is staying at Jordan and Estefi's for the summer before heading to BYU Idaho) and met us. At one point mom was hanging out with Alec and Sarah and Alec REALLY wanted to play this pingpong ball game to win a goldfish. Mom thought, "why not? I have one $5 bill and he won't win a goldfish and it'll be a good lesson in spending money wisely and he'll be done before the rest of the cousins come back." Well, on Alec's 2nd to last pingpong ball he made it and won a goldfish just as all the cousins came back! haha. He named him Swimy and everyone loved feeding him the last couple of days that we were at Tiffany's house. We had to leave Swimy with Tiff and Todd (actually, Alec bequeathed him to Sarah who helped play the game with Alec to win Swimy in the first place) because we didn't think it would survive the 29 hour drive across the country.

The last Friday of our time in Utah, we met Dad and Mom up at their new property that we're trying to name "The Ridge." Its up in Kamas?. Right now there's a driveway and a shed and lots of dreams and plans. ;)  When mom was giving us the tour of the property we surprised a little group of Elk. There were close and so huge!

While we were all there for the day, we helped built a big fire pit/ring and then we made a fire and cooked tin foil dinners.

Alec and cousins built this really cool Teepee with a picket fence front walkway. Really cool.

Chris was patient and tried to get Freddy to take a nap with him in the hammock. I maybe overworked myself a bit in the heat and got a bad headache and took a turn trying to take a nap in the hammock myself. I couldn't manage to fall asleep but it sure felt nice to lay down.

The tin foil dinners and smores were going to be awesome...except... no one had matches. HAHAHA. We spent more than an hour trying to figure out a way to start the fire without matches. Chris and Todd got REALLY close with a drill and some dry pieces of wood. Then they got EVEN CLOSER with some dry wood scraps and a cigarette lighter. But in the end, German walked a ways to a neighbors house and they gave him a lighter and within a second we had a good fire going.

One last Hurray with my family before meeting up with Chris' family for a bit was all the adults going out to eat at Rodizios to celebrate Hailey's highschool graduation. It was really fun and we stuffed ourselves full.  Chris literally got sick again after this. Unfortunately the only picture I have from the night is one of the ones Sarah and I tried to take of our pregnant selves. Her at the very end, me at the beginning.... but it mostly looks like we both just have to go to the bathroom. ugh.