Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Smith family in AZ Mini-Reunion

It's our testament to the love that we have for our family that we were willing to travel to AZ during a crazy hot summer to visit them. It's a testament to their love of us that everyone so willingly made time to pack in so much family fun. Due to sunscreen and lots of water, when I think back on our time together, I'm filled with happy memories and not 2nd degree burns. Next time though, I vote Utah in the Winter! I know my way around a hot cocoa.

Fourth of July, our Lady lIberty!

Delicious pancake breakfast with the family. Some games after, including the ever popular game where you put the mouth thin from the dentist and try to speak a phrase. What fun.

A wee trip to the Visitors Center at the Mesa Temple.

Ryan and I were married here a little over 19 years ago. It's just as hot as I remember it. In fact, we cut pictures a little short right after the wedding bc I was feeling faint. Good times in AZ heat!

My son preparing to sink his teeth into his giant Burger.
I love the face he's making.

Grandma holding the limbo bar. And believe me, Owen could go low.

Ryan is trying to teach our youngest how to hula.

Looks like the lesson worked!

No pictures at the tubing down the Salt River adventure, but here is the "before" shot!

Norman got to play with Grandma and Grandpa during the tubing gun, but I don't think either of them minded. How lucky for my kids to have such loving grandparents. 

We had dinner at the infamous "Organ Stop Pizza." Picture a talented organist playing random tunes (mostly 1950's- 2005) whilst you eat terrible pizza. It's an epic experience!

After our Gilbert reunion, we headed to Prescott, AZ to spend some time at the Wright family cabin.
An unexpected but absolutely appreciated blessing was the thunderstorm that welcomed us into town.
I was hoping for the smell of the desert after a rainstorm; one of the things I miss the most about living away from AZ. Incredible.

We always hit this candle making shop in town where the kids like to dip their own candles. Fun.

Only $3-6, depending on what shape they choose to dup.

Norman had too much fun and just dropped where he plopped. 

Hanging out on Hot Dog Rick. That's what Ryan calls it, even though we've never eaten hot dogs there.

Checking out the Grand Canyon on our way out. It started sunny, then gloriously overcast, and then one more beautiful desert downpour.

Help back to the car. 

Instead of getting home Sunday night, we were delayed in Kanab by a flash flood. For real. Lucky for us, we pulled off the road in front of an amazing pizza place. Even luckier, the restaurant was right next door to a hotel that looked all sad and dumpy on the outside, but had clearly been beautifully remodeled on the inside. Unexpected bonus. In the morning, they delivered OJ, fresh cinnamon rolls, and greek yogurt with fruit and granola to our doors. Boom. Tasty end to a terrific AZ family vacation.

Happy 3rd of July!!!

Many thanks to my fabulous Holman family for gathering in Gilbert for our epic 3rd of July Party (since many of us had plans with others on the 4th of July.) Fun was had. Chickens were fed. Water balloons were tossed. All in all, it was the best 3rd of July Party I've ever been to.

 I learned form my mom that to make any family trip/vacation legit, all you need to do is have matching shirts. Done.  Our crew was joined by Preston's girlfriend. We debated wether to have her shirt read "3A" or "3 1/2" but just decided "3" would be easiest. Team Preston.

The party was at my sisters new ranch dream house. She boards courses, and Norman loved feeding the horses and chickens. My lovely carrot giving sister.

He also found a drum set. I think his cousin might be giving him pointers.

Water ballon toss. My mom was about to catch a balloon that was lobbed pretty high.

What a lucky picture. Taken milliseconds after the balloon exploded on my mom. Fantastic!

My darling nieces showing me a Grasshopper.

Gathering around to pet the kitten.

And people think i'm the nutter in this relationship.
I love that it looks like both Calvin nd Preston are Ryan's shoulder angels.  Which son is more likely to be whispering to their father "Make this silly face!"..?

My twin and her two oldest daughters.

My brother. He likes to make that face at dusk.

Mom and Dad, rocking their 3rd of July outfits.

The expression on my sister in laws face makes me wonder what my brother is saying...

Night swimming.  What an excellent set-up, with a covered hot tub cave, doubling as the waterfall, tripling as the cliff jumping point. Epic night with fantastic people.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Calvin Says Goodbye to MP Junior High

After three wonderful years of partying at Mueller Park Junior High, Calvin Smith is headed to greener pastures. He enjoyed band, track, walking to school, his engineering, english woodworking and art classes. During his 7th to 9th years, I personally enjoyed his kind nature, calm demeanor, honest and forthright work ethic, and the note he left me regarding his complete an total loathing of German Pancakes. It was seriously a work of art. I have it saved, but don't have a picture of it on hand... Calvin is now taller than me, can eat a double bacon cheeseburger in one small bound, and is loved fiercely by all of his siblings. He's not a regular guy.

Following the promotion ceremony, the kids had an epic dance party, complete with matching t-shirts. My good friend headed up the promotion committee and she nailed it. Black light dance party.
Good times. Calvin with one of his best pals.

Unlike most students who transitioned from jr high to high school this summer, this particular group experienced a fellow classmate in their grade, shooting a 12 gauge pump action shotgun in their school in December. It happened during Calvin's first period, in his science class room. Thank heaven (literally) there were no injuries, and the situation was contained rather quickly. It was a sobering day. Calvin was interviewed by the news after being interviewed by FBI. Mercy. Just to make it official, I'm not a huge fan o guns.

He's the handsome one in the white shirt and skinny black tie.

Calvin shaking hands with the vice principal.
What a guy!

Friday, July 7, 2017

Graduation Pics

Preston's High School Graduation from Woods Cross in Bountiful Utah on June 2nd at 1:00pm was an event that will forever be celebrated, and therefore must be properly documented.  Here goes.

He did his announcement all on his own, handsome boy!

He gets his braces off in a few months. Until then, we're not going to see a smile with teeth.

My parents came into town for the special day, so the ladies went to get our nails done to celebrate.
Pictured above: My mom, me, Annie, and Abby (Belle in the schools musical "Beauty and the Beast" that won best in state, Preston's smoking hot girlfriend, a graduating senior, and an all around high quality individual.)

My parents with their 2nd oldest grandchild: Preston Edward Albert Smith. He's holding up a new journal... what will those pages contain over the next few years?!

I made the sign! And the boy in it! From 6lb12oz to the giant he's become.

Decorations mean you really care.

He sang in the choir which put him near the front of the ceremony, and had him sitting close to friends. Lucky.

After the graduation.

Preston and Abby. I seriously love this picture.

The whole crew (minus our Norman, who's two, and won't be invited to events of import for another 2.8 years, a policy which is set in stone.)

Proud parents.

Good looking crew.

Love my oldest man-cub!

Happy, hungry kids! Let's go eat!