My sister Cynthia and her family came to Utah to visit this past week, and we all had a blast with the numerous family gatherings that are a result of her visit. On Saturday, June 27th, we had a family reunion, which Teresa planned. We hiked up to Cascade Springs, then went to her house for delicious food and fun activities, such as Spin the Bat, Three-Legged Race, Sack Race, and a Pop-the-Balloon game, with balloons tied to your ankles, and you try to pop everyone else's balloons. It was a great family reunion, and I'm very thankful to Teresa for planning such a fun day.
The next day, Sunday, we all went to Mama's church to sing in her Sacrament Meeting. Then we went to Cathy's house to hang out. Kimball, the kids and I had to leave early to go to his Grandma's 87th birthday party, so we spent an equal amount of time with both sides of the family that day.
Wednesday was the Guys' Night Out. All the guys went out and did what guys like to do most...watch a movie (Transformers 2) and eat at a fancy burger joint. While the guys were out having their fun, we girls went to Salem Pond with the children to feed the ducks and play on the playground. Unfortunately, the ducks didn't seem very hungry that day. There was a huge "bread pudding" in the water when we were done, and the ducks were swimming away. Afterwards we went to Renee's house and played a game.
Thursday was the Girls' Night Out. We went out to eat at Texas Roadhouse (yummy), then went to Shauna's house to do what the girls like to do most...play games and chit-chat the night away. It was a lot of fun. Thanks, Shauna, for planning a very enjoyable night.
Friday morning several of us went to the Oquirrh Temple Open House. It was also my 30th birthday. That temple is so beautiful. It was very nice to be there with my family, whom I hope to spend eternity with. After the temple, we went to eat at Kneader's. I hadn't ever been there before, but it was very good. Later on that night, Kimball surprised me with a cake and a nice wooden recipe box (I have a very large recipe collection that has long since outgrown its previous box). Actually, he really had to do those things to make up for forgetting it was my birthday that morning. Then he, Hazel and Nathan left to go to Torrey, Utah. He still has a little making-up to do, so we're going on a "birthday" date this coming Tuesday when he gets back. I guess I'll forgive him, as long as he gives me a nice long foot and back rub.
Saturday, of course, was Independence Day. I took Claire and Lahela to an early-morning breakfast with my ward, then went home. In the afternoon we went to hear Nicholas perform with his choir One Voice in Orem. He is an excellent singer. I'm very proud of my nephew. Later on that night, we went to Jaime and Teresa's house where we ate pizza from Pizza Hut (very easy meal), the kids played in the sprinklers and on a Slip & Slide, and we talked and laughed. Later we watched as Jaime and the kids lit fireworks. It's always fun to watch a pyro show on the 4th. After most people left, Teresa and I showed Cynthia how to make flower hair clips, then we cleaned up and talked until 1:00 in the morning (it was very difficult to get up for 9:00 church, but Claire, Lahela and I managed okay). Sometimes it's fun staying up late with people I love.
Overall, this past week has been great! I love spending time with my family. Cynthia and Brett are going back to California today, and I'll miss them and their kids very much. It's always nice when they come for a visit, because there are always a lot of family gatherings. With our family getting so big, we just don't get together as much as we used to. I also wish I would've taken more pictures, but sometimes the camera is forgotten in all the fun of the moment. Enjoy the shots I did take.
Cynthia and Matthew Kimball and Lahela Daddy the photographer The hiking family Cutie-pie Claire Hazel looking at the river made by springs A random beautiful woman My lovely family and Daddy's elbow Mama and Daddy Michelle and Benjamin Kids are always fascinated by water Fish (obviously) Shauna holding Ella Claire on our way to Jaime and Teresa's house Seth, Nathan and Jacob were privileged to ride together. They are all the same age. Lahela conked out very quickly in the car. She obviously enjoyed her chocolate pudding very much. Daddy (Grandpa) comforting Hazel after she twisted her ankle in the three-legged race. Younger children awaiting their turn for one of the races. So patient! It was cute watching the really young kids do this race. They just couldn't get the hang of it. It looks like Callie and Katelyn will win, but they ended up falling, allowing Hazel and Amanda to take first. That was tense, man! Nathan and Seth were trying to get the hang of being "one" before their race. Kid sack race. Adult sack race. This one was awesome! Watch the video.
What the...?! At least Lahela was keeping herself happy and occupied.
(More pictures to come)