Friday, July 31, 2009

It's Over

*Warning* This post is long and kind-of boring. It's mostly just for me so I can remember the trip. Also, I only took pictures in Lake Arrowhead, but when I get some from Lindsay, I'll put those on too.

Well. It's official. My vacation is over. I'm not sad though. I extended it just the right amount of time, and now I'm ready to take advantage of the last 2 weeks of summer. The last two weeks before Emma is gone at school ALL DAY! I'm not going to go there

Here's a brief summary of our family reunion/vacation.

First of all, I love that my family reunion is classified as a vacation. A great vacation. I love my in-laws. I married into an awesome family. They're like my own family, but nice. Just kidding. My family's nice too. most of the time.

Because the house was very full, and because Mark and I love Lake Arrowhead, we went there first. We got there Saturday afternoon. We shopped, got settled, and enjoyed the mountain lake.

Sunday we went to church. The ward was very friendly, and I particularly enjoyed the Sunday school lesson on missionary work. Later we walked around the village and let our kids ride the little rides, and have ice cream. It was a very relaxing day.

Monday, we rode the kayaks to the village for breakfast. This is one our favorite things to do at Lake Arrowhead. We were playing on the island for a while in the morning, when we got a surprise call from Grandpa who drove up to hang out with us. Mark and I knew what that meant. We had someone to crew for us! (so we could go wake boarding) Mark and I got some good wakeboarding in. (even though the wake board is barely ridable) It was a nice surprise. Lesa and Kevin got there that night and they got some rides in before lake patrol cited us for being out too late. I love how Lesa and Kevin are always ready for fun. We stayed up late talking.

Tuesday was a fun day on the lake. Abigail fell asleep on the boat. We were having too much fun to go home for naps. We stayed up pretty late talking again, and were asleep before we hit our pillows.

Wednesday we put some sheets in the laundry and headed out on the boat again. The lake was sooo smooth. Really great. Kevin had to leave to go get some work done. We cleaned the boat, got the cover on, and were ready to walk up the hill when Kevin called and wanted to get in another ride. Lesa and her kids stayed and Mark and I headed to Long Beach. I love that they stayed. I would have been like, "we are all packed up, lets just go." But I would have missed a great few hours. All their girls got up on the wakeboard which is awesome. I would have missed it because it was a little bit of a hassle. I love that - what a great lesson.

It felt so good to get cleaned up at the hotel. Our room was so nice. Two stories with a full kitchen and three big flat screen TVs. The best part was the beds, so comfy. It was great to have a quiet, clean, place of our own to go "home" to.

After getting squeaky clean, we headed to the house for some ice cream, swimming, volleyball, and most importantly greeting long lost family members.

Thursday I woke up early and went to a spin class. It was fun to see what other classes are like. It wasn't as good as my usual classes which I'm glad for. As soon as I got back, Mark went to play golf with Dan, Karl, John, and John. I tried to take the kids ice skating. Yes, tried. They wouldn't let me take a stroller which made it difficult. We spent more time putting on our skates than actual skating. But the kids had fun for the 10 minutes we were there. Emma actually did okay. She was able to skate by herself by staying by the wall. This was more out of necessity since Abigail and Gabe were pretty much dead weight to be pushed, carried, or dragged around. I sensed disaster quickly and got out. Later that day, I had my own melt down from lack of sleep, and cried over not getting to have fun or something. I can't really remember. Or maybe I just blocked it. We'll just move on. After I recovered, the rest of the day was heavenly. Swimming, eating, volleyball, and enjoying each other's company. I had a couple of great games of basketball with Quintin, Kevin, Levi, and Spencer. Spencer and I played a game against Levi and Quintin that left me laughing so hard. We were playing one handed which wasn't enough of a handicap so Mark suggested Spencer play with no hands. It was a crack up.

Friday we took family pictures. This is quite the feat for all 52 of us. Although everyone was crying on the inside, it was my son who decided to let his feelings show. Gabe absolutely refused to take the picture and we had to physically hold him in place to take it. Our own individual family picture were just as bad. Mark had to go to work for the rest of the day so the kids and I hung out at the house and then went back to the hotel for naps. Emma and Gabe have been talking about Knotts Berry Farm so much since we last went, we decided to make a quick stop. We learned you can get a shopping pass and go for free for 45 minutes. It was a little stressful for me because I knew we'd have to pay 120 bucks if we were late, but the kids loved the little trip. Gabe got his cotton candy, which was his favorite part. After long naps, we headed to the beach for a BBQ. We had corn cooked in sea water and smores. Very tasty.

Saturday we went to the beach. We all had a lot of fun. Mark got to surf some really big waves. I tried to surf, but after eating it pretty hard, I gave up. Emma and Gabe loved running from the waves. It took a bit of persuasion, but I finally got Gabe to go in the water with me. Abigail had fun in sand all day. Mike and Julie's family, Dan, Parker, and Caleb came to the beach too. After the beach, we went back to the house for more swimming and volleyball. We all wrote a letter for Grandpa Ward and Lindsay made it into a book. We gave that to him for his birthday and watched a power point of pictures and exerts from the book.

Sunday we filled the church and especially the primary. I think we added 30 something kids. After church, we relaxed at home. It was nice to sit at talk for a while. We had a talent show sometime in the afternoon. Emma did a finger trick, a cartwheel, and sang, I'm proud to be an American. It was cute. I wish I video taped it. We played I'm a loser which I won. I'm still not sure if I'm a loser or a winner. Later that evening we played Mafia. It was really fun.

Monday we packed up and went to the house for one last swim. Mark and I had a diving competition with Lesa and Kevin. I bruised my heel doing a back flip and landing on a plastic filter thing. I'm glad we swam even though it would have been easier to just head home. The drive back was not too bad. Our car trips have been pretty easy lately. It's nice to not have a little baby in the car.

So that was it. Mark and I talked about our favorite thing, and we both just love being with the family. There's always fun when the family is together.



We had a great time hanging out with you guys. Wish it could have lasted longer.


Sounds like it was a BLAST!


Wow, that is one awesome vacation. I love the post below about continuing your vacation when you got home. Good for you.

And you guys really did fit a lot in with your three kids in tow. Impressive.