Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Celebrating Dad's 69th Birthday

This year we celebrated Dad's 69th up Logan Canyon at First Dam.  In the past, the dam has been gross with duck poo, but they seemed to have cleaned up the area and it turned out to be a nice location and a beautiful day.  This picture is funny because Dad hates water, but Jocie made him pose for this picture.
Sherrie and her kids were in town, so we all met at lunch time under the bowery.  Mom bought Dad his favorite sandwich for his birthday and we all brought our lunches and goodies and ate lunch and spent the afternoon together.  The kids had such a great time.
The khyaks were such a hit with everyone.  This was Clayton's first time to go on the kayak by himself and he did a great job.  Paul and Steph had some kid kayaks, so he was able to maneuver it very well.  We tried to fish for a while but they weren't biting.  They actually stocked the pond while we were there, so Kylee ended up catching her first fish. She was running around the park with the fish in her hand, yelling with excitement.
Jacqui brought her family and two kayaks.  Clayton had a great time playing with Kinlee and Cohen.  They were all running around and wrestling with each other. The weather was perfect and we just hung out in the shade of the trees.  Grandma Cooper even joined us for the day!
Parker did a great job.  At one point, she was so tired that she fell asleep on cousin Ty's chest.  He loves to pay attention to her and talk to her.  She bounced around from Aunt to Aunt and from cousin to cousin for the most of the day.  She also enjoyed rolling around on the blanket.
It was fun to look out at the lake and see all the kids kayaking with each other.  The water was clear, but cold.  No one went swimming, but they all splashed around and had fun exploring up and down the dam.  The water has a lot of moss, so it would be difficult to swim in it.  Cooper spent most of his day on the kayak, which explained his burnt legs!
I love it when we do fun and exciting activities that are inexpensive, but allow us to spend quality time as a family. This was one of my most favorite days of the summer!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Hatch Family Reunion

This year for our Hatch Family Reunion, we decided to meet in Durango Colorado for four days.  We left on Tuesday morning at 4 am in hopes that they kids would sleep most of the way down there.  However, they did not sleep at all.  Parker slept and did pretty good, but the boys were wide awake with excitement.
We stopped along the way in Moab at Wilson's Arch.  This gave us a chance to move our bodies and get out of the car for a few minutes.  We hiked up to the Arch and took some beautiful pictures.  The boys had a fun time exploring around the rocks. The both enjoyed climbing up the slick rock without their shoes on!
I absolutely love this picture of my cute husband and amazing kids.  They are the center of my world and I am so lucky to be part of their lives.  We love spending time as a family and we try to give our children lots of fun experiences and chances to learn. 
The drive took us about 8 hours.  We stayed at the Durango Mountain Resort in the Alpenglow Town homes.  These were located about 25 minutes north of downtown Durango.  The town homes were beautiful and were in a gorgeous location.  While we were there, we experienced part of the monsoon season in Durango.  Every afternoon, the storms would move in and it would rain and the temperatures would drop. 
Most of the town homes had a jacuzzi in the back portion.  Wesley, Clayton, and Cooper were quick to find their swimsuits and try out the warm water.  They had a fun time together. 
The first day we walked around the area and did some exploring. The scenery was breathtaking and the most beautiful place I have ever been. There were mountains, and lakes, and evergreen trees everywhere.  We were also up in a location that was known to have a visit or two from bears.  Some residents of the town homes saw a bear not far from here, but none of us were able to see it.  We also ran into quite a few families from College Station. 
Here is a shot of the mountains as we were driving up to find our condos.  So pretty. I had no idea Durango was going to be this gorgeous.  I could not get over the green lush forests, and variety of mountains.  I also didn't realize there would be so many lakes scattered among the trees.
Cooper had a great time spending time with his cousins.  He went on a small little hike with his Dad and even tried to run down to see the bear that everyone was talking about.  Jaden got slings for all the cousins, so they spent the first day out trying to shoot ground squirrels with them.

Most everyone traveled on Tuesday.  Mom and Dad had problems with their car in New Mexico. They ended up having to buy a new car, and they made it safely the next morning.  Sean and Kellye had problems in New Mexico when Kellye started having cramps in her legs. She was pregnant and having a very difficult time riding in cars or even walking.  They had to go back to Amarillo to take her to the hospital.  She ended up being ok, but they decided they better head home instead of coming to the reunion. Sherrie and Brian had the power go out in their hotel room, so they were running a little late as well.  We all ended up getting their safely though.
On Tuesday morning, we all decided to take a river rafting trip down the Animas River.  My freind, Torri, hooked us up with great prices and we took turns floating the river.  It was a fun trip for the kids. It was very mellow and slow going, but it was still fun to spend time with each other and it gave the little ones an opportunity to go as well.
We had a fun time splashing each other and learning more about the river and the Durango area.  The water was cold, but Cooper and Clayton enjoyed swimming in it for a few minutes.  The scenery was pretty and we had good guides. 
For the most part, the river was steady and calm.  There were a few spots that gave the kids a little excitement.  At the end of the ride, there is a pretty big rapid. With us paddling along with the guide, it made for a fun splash.  Before we came to the river, Jocelynn spent a lot of time doing her hair and make-up. 
We went into this rapid with a lot of speed and the water came up over the boat and completely drenched all of us.  It was so cold, but it was so funny to see Jocelynn's face and her matted hair.  I think it took us all by surprise.  Clayton wished that they whole river would have been like that spot.
We had access to the pool up at the Durango Mountain Resort, so we all headed up there one night after dinner.  It was a cold evening but everyone had a great time swimming in the pool and relaxing in the hot tub. The little boys had a fun time trying to wrestle with Matt and Tyler.  There was also a pretty cool slide there that the small ones enjoyed going down. 

On Thursday, we all drove to Silverton to spend time in the small town and to go on the "Old Hundred Mining Tour".  Mom and Dad payed for this activity.  When we first got there, they let the kids go out and mine for small pieces of silver and gold.  This was a big hit with Cooper and Clayton. 
After the mining, we all put on jackets and hard hats so we could enter into the old mine. None of us were dressed in appropriate attire.  As we took the small train into the mountain, cold water dripped on us and the temperature got colder and we went further and further inside.  It was a muddy mess and there were puddles of water everywhere. 

It was interesting at times, but our group was so large, that it was hard to pay attention and hear the guide instructor.  Also, the little kids were so cold, that they had a hard time concentrating and they weren't very interested.  It was neat to see how they used to mine many years ago.

Jocelynn and Kyle stayed back to watch Parker which I was so grateful for, because she would have froze in there. Shayne and Jen were running late, so they missed the ride. They ended up going into town to look around and shop a little.
Cooper really enjoyed the mine tour.  The instructor let him help on a demonstration and he was right at the front listening intently on everything that was said. After we got out and defrosted a bit, the wind and rain moved in and it got cold.  We hurried an made sandwiches and ate lunch outside. Clayton went back and mined a little more before we headed into town to shop in the small little stores!

These pictures were taken on our way up to Silverton. The road climbed up high in altitude with lots of windy roads, but it was so breathtaking.  We saw multiple waterfalls cascading down the mountains and the scenery was unheard of!
On Friday morning, we all went up the the Durango Mountain Resort to participate in the many activities that they offer.  Clayton enjoyed doing the "water runners" and Cooper liked the sky jumper and the zip lining.  Clayton also loved riding on the chair lift up the mountain and then doing the Alpine slide down the mountain. The view was gorgeous up there and you could see for miles in every direction. 
The cousins had a blast spending the few days together.  It was so much fun to watch them play with each other and go in and out of condos laughing and building those bonds with one another.  It's so hard with half the family living in Texas, because we rarely get to spend time with them.
We took a little hike up the hill with Tyler and Myriah to see what activities were going on at the Resort.  The weather was so nice why we were there.  The mornings were warm and the afternoons were cool. 

On Friday night, Paul and Steph treated everyone to a Chuck Wagon Dinner and Concert.  The food was so tasty and the cowboy band did a great job.  Parker didn't enjoy sitting through it, but most of the kids had a good time. 

We shared a condo with Mom and Dad, Sherrie and Brian, and Tyler and Myriah.  Steph and her family all stayed in one large condo and then Shayne and Jen stayed with Jocelynn and Kyle.  We felt like we didn't see Shayne and Jen much.  They seemed to stay to themselves and they didn't leave their condo very often.
We all enjoyed catching up on life with our siblings and with our nieces and nephews.  Here is Perri with Bryce.  She is such a good little baby.  It was just nice to spend time with everyone, but it definitely went by way too quickly.  WE will have to make sure the next reunion is a week long.  Three days does not cut it.
Grandma Hatch had amazing crafts for all the grand kids.  This is one of their favorite things about grandma. She always has something fun and creative to do with the kids. As we sat around on Friday night, Dad talked to all of us about making sure that we don't become prideful.  He talked about the Cycle of Pride in the Book of Mormon and how we have all been really blessed, so we need to continue to make good choices and be thankful for all we have. 
We decided to have a little contest to see who could take the most creative, most crazy, or dumb family picture. Our friend, Scott Sumner, helped us come up with this picture.  Some of the other pictures were so funny.  The Merrills did a polygamist picture.  The Smith's did a Redneck picture.  The Ellis' did a picture in the hot tub with poop balls.  Shayne and Jen did a bum darts picture.  Mom, Dad, Tyler, and Myriah staged a picture of Dad rescuing Mom from the Coal Mine in Price Canyon!