Monday, July 28, 2008

Manwaring Family Reunion

Our most recent adventure has been the Manwaring family reunion. The one bonus was that everyone else traveled here, instead of us traveling somewhere. Our family was in charge of the first day, Monday. We kicked everything off with a real crowd pictures!!!!! I was very upfront with the photographer as to the size of group he would be dealing with, and he was still surprised with our crazy group! He had suggested that we all where a "neutral" color and suggested white shirts for everyone. If a photographer EVER suggests white for a picture with kids, outdoors, again, I will flat out refuse! I was a basket case the entire time trying to keep them clean, and grass-stain free. This is a picture of the kids after an hour and 1/2 of pictures. They faired pretty well. It was the photographer and me who were a frazzled mess! I get to go look at the proof tomorrow. This will be our first "non-Sears" family picture so I hope we got some good ones. After pictures we took everyone to the Twin Falls temple open house. It was a wonderful experience. And I say that with complete awe. Not because of the beauty, or feeling of the temple (there was that too, don't get me wrong). But even after we had subjected all 20 of those kids to hours of pictures, they were so well behaved at the temple, I can only site divine intervention. They showed a wonderful video before, and it was so sweet to watch my children so attentive and reverent. This is something they have been hearing about and looking forward to for so long! A very touching experience.

Day 2 was at Grandpa's in Buhl. We all met for a wonderful breakfast and swimming at Branbury hotsprings. I even did my first flip off a diving board!!!! I am still shocked myself. My neighbor told me about a great slip and slip they had made out of Ag-bags (the big white bags they put silage (sp?) in. So we tried it. Add a little Baby wash, and it was quite the ride!! The kids had fun on that for hours!!! It was a fun day for sure.

The last day we went to City of the Rocks, south of Burley. It was fun to climb on all the rocks. I packed my big first aid kit, and only needed it for one tiny little owie on Jack. I was amazed we didn't have more injuries. We did however have a few casualties in the way of seat bottoms. All the uncles told the kids to slide down on their bum, so as to be safe, and we lost atleast 3 pairs of shorts, maybe more in the prosess. ( Emily was one of them, but I didn't even notice until they went thru the wash.)

Here are all 20 of the Manwaring grandchildren. What a sight!

More of Smiley Creek

After the work was done we went on a 4 wheeler ride up Smiley creek road to an abandoned town. There wasn't much left of the town, but it was the most beautiful ride! It may have finally convinced Blake that Idaho is more than just sage brush. I thought this was a cute picture of Sam and Blake at the end of the trail. Sam is still such a narcoleptic when it comes to 4 wheeling. He only lasts so long, and he is out like a light! Bumps, and jolts and all.

After the ride we took the crew into Stanley for the fireworks. On the way there we stopped off at Redfish lake. IT WAS A MESS! Let me back up. The night before, we had barely set up camp, had dinner, and cleaned up, when a huge thunder and lightening storm rolled down the mountain (literally, I have never seen, or heard anything like it). We thought our campsite, surrounded by trees, was so wonderful until the wind and lightening came and we realized that most of them were dead, and it wouldn't take much for that wind to take them down!!! So we loaded up the kids in the trucks, doused (sp?) the fire we had just gotten roaring for marshmallows, and drove to a clearing. It lasted about 15 minutes, and then we were fine. But it was very clear when we got to Redfish Lake, that they had recieved the brunt of the storm. There were trees on top of trailers, debris everywhere.
This is a picture of Blake's "bedhead" on the way to the fireworks.

It took them forever!!!! to start the fireworks, so the kids had lots of fun running around, having races, chasing, etc. It was fun to watch the pure joy they got from this simple pleasure. It is nice to know, despite the crazy world we live in, that they can still find such happiness in just being kids!

Lani bet me I couldn't get the kids to sit still long enough to get this snapshot. I barely got it, and then they were off again!!!!

Jack found a frog while we were there. He wanted to take him home to Vern (the turtle) for a friend. But we thought Vern might eat him, so he decided to let him go instead. The kids had fun "admiring" him, and he even survived to be set free and hop another day.

Smiley Creek for the 4th

So the next weekend (4th of July weekend) we went with out friends, the Staples to "Smiley Creek" up in the sawtooth mountains. Blake was really excited about the chance to use the 4 wheeler for actual "work". He had to use the winch and everything! As seen here by his expression. He was in his element!

Some wood cutter must have gotten bored with the task of cutting wood and took a break to make this work of art for us to enjoy.

I was so proud of the kids! It was hot, and they hauled logs to the trailer like troopers. (another reason Blake is smiling in the above picture. It always makes him happy when his family is working) They came up with this homemade teeter-totter all on their own. Proving to me they really can entertain themselves if pushed to do it!

Even little Paylee was a hard worker!!(this has to be the happiest kid I have ever met!)
After all their hard work we told the kids they could go swimming in the creek. The only downfall, was that every time you got your feet wet, you got an brain freeze because the water was sooooo cold. Needless to say, it did not take long to "cool off".

Plant/Kern Family Reunion

I know it has been awhile since I have actually updated the blog, so I will attempt to catch up. The end of June was the first "Plant Family Reunion". My mom and her sister's have talked about doing this for a while now, and it finally came about this year at mom and dad's cabin in Island Park. It was also a "Kern Family Reunion" because every one of my siblings and their families were there. That is getting harder and harder to do with everyone getting spread out, families getting bigger, and kids getting older. It was neat to see all the cousins together, playing and creating memories.

We took the 4 wheelers up with us and were able to go on a short family ride along the base of Sawtelle. The meadows were covered in white daisy's. I had Emily lie down in them and attempted a picture. But the picture doesn't really give you an accurate idea of the thousands of flowers surrounding her. Oh well.
Mom decided, since all the grandkids were there, and who knows when that will happen again, that she would host her annual "Grandma Party". She had put alot of thought and effort into it, and everyone had a wonderful time. I am so grateful this tradition has carried on. The theme of the party was "Rock Scientists". They had to start the party off by dancing to some "Rock Music". I believe it was Neil Diamond on the record player(memories). It was cute to watch the kids get so into it.

Then, each grandchild got their own pair of "scientist" glasses (again, so cute!) and a bag of goodies. (rock candy, a "geode" to break open, a magnifying glass, etc.

Sam was all business about making sure he got the best rocks to put in his bag.

I could not resist taking this picture. The bedhead says it all. They played hard, and slept hard!

Monday, July 7, 2008

This is my first attempt ever at a link post. But my friend Nicke emailed me this and I have yet to stop laughing! Emily I am requesting video of Ben watching this! Enjoy!