Friday, July 6, 2012

Crazy Busy Summer So Far

Summer ~ Fun Times With Family

Summer Kickoff

Technically, it wasn't yet summer when we began our summer kickoff of time with family by meeting my sister and her husband in Santa Fe, New Mexico over Memorial Day Weekend.  Suzanne and John traveled from San Diego to explore new territory to them with us.  We spent most of the time relaxing and catching up with each other, but we managed to eat a lot of wonderful meals, and we of course we did some shopping.  All in all, it was just a great time of being together.

Sunset Viewing
via the rooftop of the La Fonda

20th Anniversary

After spending several days at the wonderful La Fonda Hotel in Santa Fe, I was surprised when my husband booked us a room at another wonderful hotel a few weeks later.  He chose the Brown Palace in Denver as the site where we would celebrate our 20th anniversary.  He managed, as he always seems to do, to get us an absolutely amazing room.  We were greeted with complimentary champagne as we checked in.  
Here's to many more years to come.

Father's Day

A week later, it was Father's Day.  We invited all of Jim's children and grandchildren down to our house to celebrate.  It is always great to have our home filled with children.
Daddy and Daughters
Trista & Thia with Jim
Jim with all three of his daughters
and all but one of his grandchildren

4th of July

Before we knew it, the 4th of July was already here.  Does that mean the summer is half way over?  I hope not.  I am enjoying all the good this summer has brought way too much to have it half over.  The heat has been horrendous, but time spent with family and with my hubby has been priceless.  

My two sons made the trek to Colorado for this year's 4th of July celebrations.  We missed not having Keicha here in Colorado for the holiday, but it was great to have the boys with us as we all celebrated at Amy's house in Erie, Colorado.  We actually began the celebrations on July 3rd because that is when everyone rolled into town.

Jon, Samantha, and Atticus all came from Boston, while Ryan and his new friend, and our longtime family friend, Sheridan, came in from Utah with their Brady Bunch crew of five children.  The brave souls made the trip across Wyoming in a motor home.  Ryan brought his three children, and Sheridan brought her two boys.  I hear the trip was a blast.

The first order of business was to set up tents so the kids would have a place to sleep.  It was threatening rain as Samantha and Jon joined Sheridan and Ryan at setting up a tent.  Grandsons, led by Parker set up the second tent.  I should have timed them.  Eagle scout Ryan vs. Parker who is currently working on his Eagle badge.  I wonder who would have won. 

 Regan lends a helping hand by driving in a stake with a croquet mallet
Hannah watches all the activity

Jon wonders what kind of bird he is observing.
Ryan sends Parker for a bird book that he has in the motor home.
"How is this supposed to help?  This is Birds of Utah."

Amy set out snacks for us all to eat before dinner.

There was furry of activity as the cousins, ecstatic to see each other again, set up the croquet set, and put out the corn hole game.  Playing these games kept everyone busy until dinner.

We opted out of going to the Erie fireworks display which was held at the golf course.  It seemed like too big a hassle to eat and get everyone over there in time for the display.  Besides, it was determined that the best place to watch the show would be on top of the motor home parked in front of Amy's.  

Jon helps Mason up to the top of the RV.
Next comes Bridger.
So on, and so forth until all eight kids are on top of the RV.  
They decided it was dirty up there.
It wasn't very comfortable either.
Plus, they weren't sure they would be able to see the fireworks from there after all.
One, by one, they all came down safely.  Thank heavens.

That is what every kid waits for on the 4th of July.
That is when the fireworks begin!

This year was a bit odd.  There were fireworks bans throughout the State of Colorado for obvious reasons.  So, what do kids do when the sun goes down when they can't shoot off their own fireworks, and the town's fireworks show is late starting?  Why, they play kick the can of course!

Grandma Sally had to go out and show them how to play because they had it all wrong.  Then Jon, modeled how to play by being It.  Unfortunately, he was It all night long.  Those kids seem to run faster than he does.  

All in all, it was a fabulous night.  We laughed, and talked, and watched the kids play.  What can be better than that?

The next day, the actual 4th of July, we all went to Boulder to see what was happening on Pearl Street.  No, we weren't trying to be the entertainment, but I guess we probably were.  
The kids are holding son Ryan up.

 The kids played in the water on Pearl Street to cool off.
Hannah getting cool while wearing her festive headpiece.

After spending a little time on Pearl Street in Boulder, some of the adults and all of the kids went to Grandma Sally's hotel to swim in the pool.  There are no photos of that activity because Grandma Sally was back at Amy's fixing dinner.  Pulled pork sandwiches, a mountain of potato salad, and grilled corn on the cob was on the menu for those who are not vegetarians.  Those who are vegetarians, had veggie burgers, veggie dogs.  Veggie corn dogs seemed to be enjoyed by all the kids whether they were vegetarians or not.

We all only had a few days together, but it was a very special, fun time.  Grandma Sally and Grandpa Jim headed back home on the morning of the 5th.  Jon, Sam, and Atticus headed to Colorado Springs to spend time with Sam's mom.  Ryan and Sheridan, being the brave souls that they are, or as Jim said in need of a mental evaluation, took off to Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, and Granby in the motor home with seven kids in tow.  They added Amy's two kids to the mix of their five.  I spoke with them tonight; it has been raining, but somehow they managed to bed down all nine of them for the night last night in RV.  Tonight they plan on having the boys sleep in the tents.  They say they are having a ball.  

On Saturday, Ryan and crew head back to Utah.  On Sunday, Jon and Sam will take their Atticus and Amy's two children to Utah to spend a few days.  There, they will have more cousin time while they visit their Grandpa Barry and their great-grandparents.  

The best part of summer is when family gets together.  We have been blessed to be able to spend some wonderful time this summer with family.