Saturday, February 20, 2010

January trip to Utah

After our awesome time in Colorado we drove out to Utah. On our way out my sister-in-law Trudy and I left early in the morning with the kids thinking that with stopping to stretch and feed the babies that the men (Mike, Adam and David) would catch up before we made it to Provo. Unfortunately for the boys their later start caused them to get caught in a storm in the mountains and then just as they came out of the mountains and were about to pull into Grand Junction my brother's car stopped working. After a day and a half in Grand Junction they rented a car and joined us in Provo. I felt pretty bad that they weren't able to repair the car but so grateful that Jeremiah and Trudy had ridden with us and weren't stranded. It was also a huge blessing that the boys weren't in the storm in the mountains, that they had cell phone reception and that they were so close to Grand Junction, which is probably the biggest city between Denver and Utah Valley.

It was great to show Annabelle Temple Square

Anyway, so Mike was given an extra week off of work so we decided we would love to see our grandparents in Utah. Now that the Sherwood Grandparents moved to Orem 3 out of our 4 grandparents live in Utah (Nona is in Colorado Springs). Since we hadn't been to Utah since last February no one from up there had met Asa, we had a great time introducing him to his great grandparents.
Clockwise from top left: with Grandpa Sherwood, Grandma Dana,
Grandma McKean, Papa Lowell and Grandma Sherwood.

I think Asa and Grandpa Sherwood, 3 generations apart from each other, have quite a resemblance. Just look at their smiles, checks and chin. Maybe it is just the lack of teeth, hair and the presence of love but I loved seeing these two together. There was lots of giggling exchanged between them. Grandma Sherwood is so lovable as she chats and teases Grandpa a little. Not to mention she plays a mean game of Rummy. She put Mike, Grandpa and I to shame on our card playing one afternoon.
Grandma Dana and Papa Lowell have been so sweet to us. We were glad to be able to visit Grandma as she is still recovering from hip surgery. I can't imagine trying to learn to use those muscles again after such an ordeal but she is glad to be home and grandpa is helping her along.
Annabelle needed to get some wiggles out so she and Grandpa went on a walk and I am guessing she did a lot of the talking. Great verbal skills, that girl.

We got to visit with Grandma McKean twice (or old Grandma McKean, as Annabelle calls her) while we were in town. She and Asa hit it off right away. It seemed like the moment he saw her he got excited and wanted her attention. Even while we were sitting in the living room talking Asa would reach over and want to hold her hand. I almost think he recognized her or something. Maybe Grandpa sent some love her way when Asa joined our family.

We were warmly welcomed by some of our aunts and uncles to stay with them while on our trip. It was so nice to be able to stay with family, spend more time with them and our cousins. I think Annabelle must think she has a dozen aunts and uncles as they treat her like their own little niece. Thanks for welcoming us into your homes!

When we weren't partying hard with our grandparents we went to temple square, had dinner at my great Uncle Bob's house and Mike took some pictures for David and Clara. They are going to be so great for each other. I guess it is odd for me to think of my younger brother being old enough to get married, but it's happening. They get married April 24th in the Draper, Utah Temple. Maybe if we are lucky they'll end up in Arizona (fingers crossed).

Friday, February 19, 2010

January 12th

Let's just pretend that it is January 12th and I just got back from an awesome 3 week winter excursion and I wasted no time in posting about our adventures. Seriously, I just want to document our fun Christmas vacation and get caught up on my blogging/personal history. I don't expect anyone to be interested a month and a half later!
For Christmas and New Years we were able to travel up to Colorado to spend time with our families. Mike took a 1/2 day on the day we left so that we could break up the drive into two days. Annabelle is a great traveler, but we weren't sure how Asa would do in the car for such a long drive. What we learned is that he is great during the day - but hates being in his car seat at night. Lesson learned.

In true Mike fashion, Mike woke up before dawn the first day we were in town to take advantage of some new landscapes to photograph. Mike and his dad went down to Rainbow Falls, or Graffiti Falls down in Manitou Springs. I thought it sounded gross, but the pictures turned out strangely beautiful when you have the stark contrast between God's creation and man's. The picture below shows more of the bridge than the waterfall, but I liked the lines, and you get the idea.
One of my favorite things about being in Colorado this year was time with cousins. Jessi and her family were able to meet Asa for the first time and Annabelle really loved playing with Annica, Eli and Jeremiah. At the Sherwood house we prepared for Christmas by decorating sugar cookies, I think a couple made it to Santa. On Christmas eve the Sherwoods had the McKeans over and the cousins put on a great production of the Christmas story for us after our meal (yes I know we are spoiled). Annabelle and Annica both wanted to be Mary and the angel. So we compromised and they did the program twice! I guess I don't have pictures of that but it was pretty cute as they repeated the scriptures, sang 'Angels We Have Heard on High' and pretended that the adults of the family were the donkey, inn keeper, shepherds and so on.
With the McKeans we arrived to late to do the candy making, but we did our part to help clean up. We took the kiddies to the mall to meet Santa. Of course the boys had no idea what was going on but I think that Santa looked like the real deal! Doesn't Annabelle look excited?
Another great part of Christmas this year was getting to meet Clara, my brother's fiance. They weren't engaged until later in January but she was sweet enough to fly out to spend Christmas with us. We are excited for them to be married in April.
We had a white Christmas this year and there was plenty of snow left after Christmas that we were able to go out back and enjoy some sledding. These kids not only rode down the hill on sleds but were pulled around behind the tractor in a sled. Papa Zeke pulled them around and around for a long time while the kids dipped their mittens in the snow and ate the snow off. We crammed Asa into this little snowsuit and he enjoyed watching everyone for the first few minutes, then took a nap in the sunshine.
For New Years Eve Annabelle and my mom came up with having a "Number 10" party. We made ten layer dip, sundaes with ten toppings, we tried to play 10 different games. Annabelle kicked off the night with having us play 10 rounds of hide and seek. My brothers and Dad lit some fireworks, some exploded high in the sky and others we are lucky didn't catch anything on fire.
My brother Adam and his wife love sparklers, so while they were out with the sparklers and Mike was taking pictures, I enjoyed snuggling the babies until they fell asleep. I loved it.
Another highlight from the trip was a ski/snowboard trip with the McKeans. Annabelle took ski lessons and learned to do pizza and french fries. Pizza is snow plow and french fries is straight skis. She ended up having a great time, despite being apprehensive at first. Take a look at the last runs from the day:

video
It was a great time. I loved spending time with family, having a beautiful white Christmas, laughing with our families, watching the kids play together, eating yummy treats, sleeping in, schooling my brothers in Tetris, and watching Jake dress like a robot to go clear the drive way. Okay, that last one was just so I could work this ridiculous picture into my post.