Friday, July 13, 2012

Hatch Reunion

On Thursday, some of us went back to the boat for a couple of hours.  I was able to help Annika get up on the knee board for the first time.  I doubled knee boarded with her. I told her to let go when she started getting tired.  We kept going and going and my back was getting tired.  I yelled over to Annika, "Are you tired?" She said yes, but she was too scared to let go of the rope. I signaled the "cut" sign and we were done.  I knee boarded a little with Tyler after that.
Kellye wake boarded for a while and Sean tried the surfing.  Landry was very disturbed when they were out on the water, but he was completely distraught when they would fall in the water.  He would scream and be so upset.  It was so cute....he didn't care if anyone else fell, he just didn't want him Mom and Dad to fall!
When we got back to the townhomes, we took the kids down to the pool for a little while.  They had a fun time playing with the big beach ball.  After that, we all grilled chicken, hamburgers, and hotdogs for dinner.  Following dinner, we all dressed in our "Hatch" t-shirts and took some family pictutres.  We also discussed the next family reunion, which will be in December of 2014 in Colorado.
That night, we stayed up visiting and having a "highest kick" contest. Shaylee and Tawni tied for the highest kick, but Bryce was a close third place.  Tyler kept slipping in his socks and Sean won the "best approach" award!  It was nice to just sit and visit.  We were all so tired the next day when we had to get up and get everything cleaned up and packed in our cars.
We went down to IHOP for breakfast on Friday morning after we left the town homes.  Sherrie and Brian left at 6 am, and Shayne and Jen took off after breakfast.  Sean and Kellye were supposed to leave on Saturday, but because of problems with their plane, they left on Sunday.  Dad and Tyler took off on Sunday morning...Of course, I cried as I said good bye to them.
I just really enjoy my time spent with my family and it makes me sad that we live so far away. I really cherish these moments and I am looking forward to our next reunion in 2014!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Pineview Reservoir and Happy Anniversary

On Wednesday morning, everyone just kind of slept in and wondered out to the kitchen on their own time table.  Kyle got up early and cooked everyone ham and eggs. Ty and I went on a short run before I strained my hamstring a 1/2 mile into the run.  After that, we all headed down to Pineview Reservoir for the day.
Clayton has been asking me for a few weeks now if he could go to the beach.  He has a bunch of sand toys and he really wanted to play with them.  He was so excited to play in the sand.  Aunt Sherrie sat on the beach and helped him make sand castles.  Then he would pour water on them and destroy them!
I took the kids on the boat for an hour. They wanted to spend their time on the beach.  Cooper had a great time playin on the big green float toy with Jaden and Wesley. Shayne and Jen came out and Nolan loved riding on the boat.  We played in the sand until 4 pm and then headed back to the condos to get showered and ready for dinner.
That night, we made reservations for just the adults down at Sonora Grill in Ogden. It is a mexican restaurant that has won "Best Restaurant of the Year" in Utah two years in a row.  The food was great and it was nice to sit and relax and not worry about the kids running around.  All of the older nieces watched the younger kids so we could go enjoy our dinner. 
 While we were at dinner, Britt, Kylee, Tawni, Shaylee, and all the kids helped decorate the basement for Mom and Dad's Anniversary Party.  We were going to surprise them with cake, balloons, candy, pictures, and much more.  The girls did an awesome job decorating the room.  They also taught the younger kids a dance to perform for grandma and grandpa.
When Mom and Dad walked in the room, we yelled Surprise!  It really was a surprise to them.  They have been married for 45 years and we were excited to celebrate this with them.  They were very humbled and Mom just stood their with tears running down her face.  As kids, we have never really done anything for their anniversary, so I thought it would be a nice surprise to have a party for them. 
I started preparing months in advance. Sherrie and I started a "Shutterfly" book for them. We had each kid take a few pages and fill them with pictures and words of love and affirmation.  The book turned out so cute and Mom and Dad loved it.  I also made a little craft for them to put in their house.  It had a wedding picture of them and the day they got married.
After we yelled surprise, the younger kids sang and danced for them.  Then Mom and Dad danced to the song, "All Because Two People Fell In Love".  After a few minutes, many of us joined them for the dance.  Mostly, we just all stood their and cried.  It was such a neat experience to have us all in that room celebrating Mom and Dad's marriage and posterity.
After we showed them the book, they talked to everyone.  They talked to us about how we all make mistakes but that we need to try to support each other and love each other.  Mom talked about how each family member was special to the entire family.  She also expressed her love to all the in-laws.  It was a day I will never forget and I am thankful for two wonderful parents who have been such great examples to all of us!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Roy Aquatics Center

Our real family reunion started on Tuesday right after the family pictures.  Every one was supposed to meet at the Roy Aquatics Center around 2:30.  I had the brilliant idea that I would drive up to Logan for the family pictures and then head back and over to Eden to unload my bags and food into our condo and then head down to the swimming pool.  It was a dumb idea because I was doing lots of needless driving and I was stressed before we even got started.

Everyone had a great time at the pool.  We only stayed for a couple of hours, but the pool was not overcrowded and the kids enjoyed the slides and splashing around in the water.  I really enjoyed watching all the kids interact with their aunts and uncles that they did not know very well.  Its like we never skipped a beat. Its sad that we live so far away from each other, but nice that our kids feel loved and comfortable around our siblings.

I also had a great time snapping pictures of the excitement that was going on.  All the adults and older nieces had a good time visiting by the edge of the pool.  Its always a good feeling to be near a pool when its so hot outside.  It was over 100 degrees every day of our reunion. 

Sherrie felt completely overwhelmed at the constant activities that were going on (and rightfully so), so she stayed at my house and took a little nap and regrouped.  Sherrie is eight months pregnant and going through a lot of stress right now.  Not only does she have a "high risk" pregnancy, but she is recovering from influenza and bronchitis, and in the process of moving back to Houston.  Right before they came to Utah, she was trying to get her house in Roanoke on the market to sell, and also driving back and forth between Houston and Dallas to try to find a new home to purchase.  She also has to find a new doctor before the baby comes....needless to say, she has a lot on her plate right now.

After the pool, everyone grabbed dinner and headed to the park in Riverdale. We met up with the Whetten family at the park for dinner and visiting.  Everyone had a great time talking and eating and "catching up" with each other.  The Whetten family grew up in College Station with our family and our famililes did so many things together.  We camped with them and spent many holidays in each others homes.  Brother Whetten passed away last September, so it was an emotional reunion, especially without him there.  They are a wonderful family and we were glad to have that time to spend with them.
Around 8 pm, everyone started heading up to the town homes at Moose Hollow.  In our four room townhome, our family stayed upstairs, Sherrie and Brian stayed on the main floor, and Shayne and Jen stayed in the basement.  It ended up being a good arrangement because Sherrie was exhausted and went to bed early every night.  Shayne and Jen would put there kids down early for bed and so it was a quiet place for them to do that.  The hanging out and party was at the other town home.
This year I was in charge of planning the reunion. I took it upon myself to plan this first one with the help of Stephanie. It was a lot of work, much more than I had anticipated. Its time consuming trying to organize something that big for that many families. You have to take into consideration the finances of each family, the family dynamics as far as ages of children, the likes and dislikes of each family, and many more small details that pop up along the way.
Originally Steph found some condos up at her Wolf Creek condos. The prices were more expensive than everyone wanted to pay because they had to be booked for an entire week rather than 3 nights. I ended up finding some beautiful townhomes up in Eden and the prices were just right.
This townhome was a 5 bedroom home and just gorgeous as could be.  In fact, both homes were very nice.  Because the weather was abnormally HOT, the rooms were a little warm.  Sherrie's room seemed to be the worst (of course), so she spent most of her nights downstairs on the couches. Anyway, in the 5 bedroom home, Sean and Kellye had the master king suite upstairs, Mom and Dad had the queen room upstairs, Jocelynn and Kyle had the main floor suite, Steph and Paul had a queen suite that joined with a second queen room downstairs.  All the teenage girls slept in the basement family room.  Tyler stayed up in the loft.
 We had a great time at night after dinner.  The kids ran around downstairs and played in the family room.  The adults talked and ate and joked in the living room on the main floor.  Sometimes it got to be a little loud, but we had a great time. One night, Shayne introduced the game, Bum Darts, to those who have never played.  Every one was laughing so hard.  His introduction to the game is so funny. 

 Our condos were very close to each other, so that gave cousins and family members access to each other very quickly.  It was such a beautiful location and everyone seemed to enjoy their first day and night of the reunion! As each phase of the reunion was over, it made me feel so happy because every thing fell into place and things seemed to run smoothly.  All the hard work I had done was paying off for me as I saw the excitement, joy, and love on my family members faces!

This year I was in charge of planning the reunion.  I took it upon myself to plan this first one with the help of Stephanie.  It was a lot of work, much more than I had anticipated.  Its time consuming trying to organize something that big for that many families.  You have to take into consideration the finances of each family, the family dynamics as far as ages of children, the likes and dislikes of each family, and many more small details that pop up along the way.

Family Pictures

It's not very often that our entire family is in the same location at the same time.  In fact, the last time we were all together, was for Sean and Kellye's wedding, four years ago.  It was definately time for another family picture. The Logan Temple is so pretty from up on campus. 
Uncle Sean was surrounded by some of his nephews so we quickly snapped a shot. They all look so handsomw in white and blue.  Love all these boys!
                                           The flower beds were so pretty up on campus.   

 Annika and Ava chillin' next to the flowers.  They each found a pretty purple flower to stick in their hair for the picture.  What cute cousins!

 Shayne, Sean, and Tyler all decided to show up in short shorts. I don't know if they were mocking their nieces or just being dumb....could very well be either possibility!

 Jocelynn, Stephanie, Sherrie, Shayne, Tyler, Sean, Myself, Mom, and togetherness!
 Steph's friend, Eileen, took our pictures up at Utah State in front of the "A" building. It was the perfect back drop and the weather was great.  Eileen had us dress in navy, white, or coral.  I thought the colors blended perfectly. 
We started off by getting pictures of individual families and then as soon as we all arrived, we starting snapping the big pictures.  Right now, there are 34 of us in the family, but the picture will be outdated in just a few weeks when Sherrie has her baby!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Cooper Reunion

On Sunday, July 8th, we had a Cooper reunion down at the square in Wellsville.  Of course, the food was great and it was nice to see everyone.  I told April to tease Sherrie about "being with child" and to rub her belly.  It was funny to see Sherrie's reaction.....though, she knew I was behind it all!

After we ate dinner, we walked over by the tabernacle and took some big family pictures.  It was hard to get all the great grand kids to look at the camera. We took lots and lots of pictures.  Its the first time my entire family has been together in 4 years and that was in Texas for Sean and Kellye's it's been all long time since we've all been in Utah at the same time!

The kids had a great time playing in the water that runs downs the street sides in Wellsville.  As a kid, I always thought that "running water" was so cool and I always wanted to play in it.  Well, Clayton thought it was great and he spent most of his time down there.

Some of the kids went over to the park to play on the playgound and the adults played football and frisbie and just sat around visiting and enjoying the shade. Conrad entertained Cooper and Addey with monkey impersonations. 
This reunion was kind of a birthday celebration for Grandpa Cooper's 87th b-day.  We all signed a card and donated money to buy him a new church suit.  He said, "I probably won't be alive long enough to wear it."  Silly man!!  We love and adore this kind hearted man.  We will forever be blessed and affected by his tender hugs and Christ-like example!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Hatch Reunion

Today we had a Hatch Reunion up in Franklin Idaho.  It rained for a few minutes, but then cleared up and moved on.  It was nice to see some cousins that I haven't seen in along time.  Grandma Hatch seemed to be a little overwhelmed and tired. She also seemed a little disoriented.  Getting old is crappy!

 Anyway, the kids had a good time playing over at the park with Uncle Shayne and Uncle Kyle.  They also threw the frisbie and played over by the Hatch House. I feel bad because I don't know some of my cousins names...there are so many cousins on the Hatch side!

Old Ephraims Grave

On July 7th, we took everyone on a ATV/Hummer ride up to Old Ephs Grave.  Shayne and his family had told us along time ago that they wanted to go four wheeling with us one day.  I have always wanted my family from Texas to experience four wheeling and the excitement and beauty of riding in the mountains.
Anyway, as I was thinking about it, I decided that I wanted to give everyone an opportunity to go with us.  This took hours and hours of preparation. Trying to find machines and helmets for everyone was time consuming and somewhat stressful.  We had 28 people that wanted to go, so we originally decided to do two different trips.
Well, the night before we left, Bruce Goddridge told us we could use his old army Hummer and his four wheeler.  We ended up having seats for every single person, so we did one big ride.  We left the house at 8:30 am and headed up to Right Hand Fork, which is up Logan Canyon.  We got all the kids 18 and under in helmets and unloaded all the machines. 
Bryce, Clayton, and Nolan rode on Aprils machine. Shayne rode on my four wheeler.  I drove Shaylee on Bryce's machine.  Brian took Micaela, Annika, and Landon in a Razor.  Kylee and Tyler rode together. Paul and Steph had Jaden, Wesley, Cooper, Jaxson, and Coco in the Hummer.  Mom and Dad took Reese, Addey, and Ava in their Razor. Chelsey and Scott rode Bruce's four wheeler. Jacqui and Jared were on their own machines.  Once we were all loaded, we took off up the trail with 7 four wheelers, 2 razors and one ginormous Hummer!
The trail was pretty dusty, so we warned everyone about not riding too close to the next person and to wear sunglasses or goggles!  The ride was easy and very pretty.  We made a few stops along the way to move kids here and there and to make sure everyone was keeping up.  Bryce, Clayton, and Nolan lead the group.  Nolan had a great time.  Though he doesn't say much, he told Shayne this four wheeling trip was number one on his vacation list.
We finally made it down to Old Ephraims Grave.  It only took us about 30 minutes total to get there.  Old Ephraim  was a very large grizzly bear that roamed the Cache National Forest from circa 1911 until his death on August 22, 1923.
Frank Clark shot Old Ephraim in the head on 22 August 1923 with a .25-35 carbine rifle with seven rounds. It reportedly took all seven rounds to kill the bear. Clark described killing Old Ephraim as "the hardest of them [the bears] all". Clark planned to kill the bear in 1914, but did not succeed until 1923. On the night of 21 August, he woke to "a roar and groan", and took his gun to investigate. At this time, Clark says he was unaware it was Old Ephraim. After several unsuccessful shots, Clark finally found the bear, which had been caught in a trap Clark set earlier. Even after he used six of his seven rounds, the bear did not go down, so Clark started heading for Logan (20 miles away). After about 20 yards he turned around to find the bear being harassed by his dog, so he went closer and shot Old Ephraim in the head. Clark would express remorse for having to do it. Old Ephraim was skinned and buried, but was later dug up by Boy Scout Troop 43, which sent the skull to the Smithsonian. Much of the remains were taken by tourists as souvenirs

At the time of his death, Old Ephraim stood 10 feet (3.0 m) tall and weighed 1,100 pounds (500 kg). His skull was sent to The Smithsonian, where it was identified as a grizzly bear. It was eventually returned from the Smithsonian and put on display in the Special Collections section of the Utah State University library in Logan, Utah.
As we pulled up and got out of our ATV's, everyones faces were so dirty, but everyone was having a blast.  We went up the Memorial and took some family pictures.  It's amazing how tall the bear really was! Across the trail, on the other side, is where his actual grave is located.

While we were there, a forest ranger came up and started visiting with Brian, Bryce, and Jared.  Jared's machine did not have updated registration stickers.  We luckily made it out of there while the ranger was talking to some other people!

There is a place about four miles up the trail from the cars where the road splits in three different directions.  We met back here and decided we wanted to go up a different trail which led to Mt. Logan.  Mom, Dad, Shayne, and Jared had to head back home, but the rest of us went up to Mt. Logan.
The Hummer wasn't the fastest thing in the world, so we had to keep stopping to make sure we didn't lose anyone.  The kids thought the Hummer was awesome. They had a great time riding in it with Steph and Paul.
We finally made it to the top of the mountain.  We ate lunch up there and some of us played in the snow.  Tyler kept trying to throw snowballs at Kylee and the little boys.

It was a really beautiful sight and everyone enjoyed getting out of their machines and walking around for a little bit.  The wind was blowing up there and some of the kids were a little chilly.  We headed back down the trail with Paul leading out.  Clayton jumped in the Razor with Brian, and he had a good time in it.

About 40 minutes from the cars, the Hummer had a complete blowout.  A rock or something must have penetrated the outside wall of the tire, because it was gashed and riding on its rim.  We were blessed to be in a good location for such a situation as this.  We overloaded the machines and took everyone back. 

Paul called Bruce and he met us down by the cars with a spare and tools to fix it.  Brian accidently got lost on one of the trails, so Jacqui went back up to try to find him. Luckily, it was a trail that had a dead end, so they didn't go very far before turning around.  When they got back, we crammed into all the cars and Paul's razor, and headed home. 

 It was a lot of fun to take my family four wheeling. I think everyone had a great time.  The scenery was pretty and it was a new experience for many of them.  Dad enjoyed driving the razor, spending time with his grandkids, and seeing Old Ephraims Grave.  He always told us about Old Ephraim when we were kids, so it was nice to be able to take him there!