As I contemplate the last two weeks, it occurs to me that I am the worst mom-photographer ever J. Fortunately, I’m not the worst mom ever, so the rest is okay in the long run. We just got home from a 2-week vacation (certainly the longest trip I’ve ever been on, and the kids too!), and the one thing I forgot to pack with us was the camera. This basically means I’m using this blog post as a huge travel-log so I can write as much as I can remember, even without pictures. Paul was able to get a few with his phone, but there were lots of places we went where we left our phones in the car (like the beach), so I’ll get a few pics from him at some point. Basically, what I’m saying here is these posts will probably be really long and boring, but I want to write them anyways J, feel free to skim or skip altogether.
We started our trip by driving to Grandma F’s house to play for a day or so with the Ponczoch cousins before heading out to the Fluckiger family reunion. The kids loved seeing their cousins again, and playing in the swimming pool at grandma’s all afternoon was definitely a highlight. Grandma (and some aunties) were generous enough to take the kids to the park Friday morning so Paul and I could go to the temple. It’s been a really long time since we were able to go together, so I really appreciated that. The kids particularly enjoyed catching frogs and tadpoles at Bethany Lakes.
Friday evening we made it out to the family reunion. I loved seeing all my dad’s siblings together, and hearing their stories. It was also nice to reconnect and catch up with some cousins I haven’t seen in a long time (for those that weren’t there, and want an attendance roll, all the siblings were there, and all the spouses except Michelle and Judy, as well as Larke & family, Lisa, Emily & family, Amy & Stephen, Camilla & family, Laura & family, Kara, Analise (sp?), and of course, Katharine & fam, us, Becca & fam, Nicki and Naomi). Sheryl had brought an updated family list that showed Grandma and Grandpa’s posterity, and if I remember correctly (I have it somewhere…) there are now 88 great-grandchildren with 4 currently on the way. Steven and Dorothy also shared some slides from their mission and shared a little more about their experiences in Portugal.
Saturday was a blast with a dunking booth, a giant blow-up slip and slide, and the pool. The kids had plenty of time for crafts, visiting, and feeding the animals at the little ranch (mostly donkeys, and a bison, some horses, etc). I loved ‘story time’ on Saturday evening, hearing more about dad and his siblings growing-up years (which involved a fair amount of sneaking out and car crashes!), as well as stories about Uncle Norville’s farm. I’m assuming everyone that wanted to saw the link from Uncle Richard to the slide show he put together of the sibling’s baby photos.
Sunday we went to church (fortunately Emily thought to warn them we were all coming, so they had enough bread for the sacrament ;) ), though we figured it wouldn’t be fair to double the primary without more warning, so we went back after Sacrament meeting. Nicki put together a phenomenal treasure hunt for the kids, which they all loved! And we spent the afternoon with a bunch more crafts and visiting. It was really nice to relax a bit and visit. We ended the night with a family testimony meeting.
Monday we headed back to grandma’s house (with a little mixing and matching of the kids, I love that the cousins wanted to spend just a little more time together—my girls went with K and Jacob came with Chi in our car, they spent the trip playing a modified alphabet game involving a surprising amount of bugs, guts and cars J ). The kids played hard all day so they’d be ready for a good night’s sleep… Paul took a long nap so he’d be ready for a long night awake! We headed out after dinner to drive through the night—thus taking advantage of the cooler air and calmer children. Fortunately, they all sleep okay in the car, and there was no rush to wake and get moving in the morning, so they were reasonably well rested by the time we got to Florida.
to be continued...