Thursday, October 14, 2010

one jam packed crazy fun memory making weekend

WARNING: extremely long entry, may cause drowsiness and/or dizziness.

We made our annual trip to -------- a few weeks ago. It was Crazy fun like always. The reason for the secrecy is per request of the owner. We were talking to her while we were there, and she was saying the they are already booked for 2011, and filling up fast for 2012. They NEVER thought it would become as popular as it has, and they are thankful for the fun they can give, but they don't so much want any more people to find out they exist, or call them. Lucky for us, we already know, and they can't get rid of us now, Waaahaaaahaaa.

This was the first reunion my family has had since our Mom passed away, we haven't all (everyone but Paul and Janelle) been together since the funeral, so we missed Mom deeply. We kicked the weekend off at the best kept secret in Idaho, playing on the 700 foot slip-n-slide, 500 foot zip line, playground, mud football pit, waterfalls, and such greatness as that. Here are a few images of the fun we much better in person.

The next day everyone (but me) ran in the "running the gap" marathon. Some actually did the marathon...OK, only one person actually ran the full marathon, but hey it sounds cool huh. My Brother Matt is CrAZy and amazing. He only trained for 4 weeks for the marathon, and we are talking he went from not running AT ALL to running 26 miles in 4 weeks....CRAZY! I look up to him a ton, for lots of other reasons too.
The rest of the family ran everything from the half marathon to the 1.5k for the kids.

That night some of us went to a wedding reception at Maridales (previously mentioned), and it was absolutely magical! Whimsical if you will. I mean really, It was incredible. So happy we had the chance to see it in it's prime.

The next day Craig gave Benson a name and a blessing...the name was Benson G. Hall. The G stands for "G". you know, like "whats up G?".
OK, so it actually stands for his grandpas. Their names both start with G, and we wanted to honer them both, so we just went with G. That's what I like to call "playen it safe".

After the blessing luncheon my side of the family all went out to my Moms grave (first time), and that was an emotional visit for us all. We had a bunch of flowers (that's a whole nether cool story where the flowers came from), so each of us (grown ups and grandchildren) gave a flower to Grandma Anna, and one to My Dad, and told our favorite memory or story with that grandparent. After that anyone that wanted a chance to say something about "Grandma Leslie" (my mom) got to have the floor...or grass. It was a very special afternoon, and we all felt very close to Leslie our Mom, Grandma, Daughter, and Wife.

The next and final day of the reunion was pretty dang cool. You see, we had it all planned, and it was cool. Here is what we did for the reunion.

Theme- Climb
song- "Go climb that mountain" by Mercy River
Book- "The Travelers Gift" by Andy Andrews

We talked about what it means to climb. Literally and in our lives. After that we listened to the theme song, it's about having willing feet, and taking one step at a time. after that Judy passed out shirts for every one that she made. They said "Climb, Romriell 2010" and had a picture of a person climbing, they were a great touch. Prior to the reunion we all read the book on our own, and the book has 7 decisions of a successful person. Each of us (6 kids) and my Dad choose a decision, and planned an activity to go along with our decision. We talked to the kids about the topic, and hoped they learned something from it...if not, at least they had fun.

Judy did "I will persist without exception" (#7) and we went on a hike...or a climb, if you will. She had jogged the trail a few days before and taken pictures of landmarks along the way. She passed out the pictures to the kids and numbered them, so the kids knew "I have number 1, so my land mark will be first" or whatever. the kid with #1 lead the group up the trail, and when we got to his land mark he stopped, and read a cool quote by someone famous about climbing. It was really cool.

the other activities I can remember were

1."The buck stops here" Matt, making and flying paper air planes in the holt arena. (I don't remember exactly how he tied that in, but it fit really well)

2. "I will seek wisdom" Annabeth, she did a treasure hunt.

3. "I am a person of action" Me, we played freeze dance.

4. "I have a decided Heart" Joanne, and I'm drawing a blank on her activity. (sorry)

5. "Today I will choose to be Happy" Dad, gave us a great talk about how being happy is a choice we make. Even when bad things happen, we can be happy if we choose it.

6. "I will greet this day with a forgiving spirit" nobody had this week...but it is a really good one too:)

I felt like I had been at EFY, The weekend was uplifting, fun, and tiring. What more can I say, I loved it.

Monday, October 11, 2010


A while back My sister Joanne came to town (to take care of me after Benson was born), and we decided to go let the kids play in a cute little stream that is nearby. Nickole and her kids, Judy and her kids, Joanne and two of her kids, and me with my kids.

It was the perfect arrangement. The kids had the stream to play in, and the water was only 3-5 inches deep, so we didn't have to worry about the younger ones much. The Moms got to sit on the blankets in the shade and catch up on talk while passing around the new baby for everyone to get a turn. It was blissful.

Here are a few pictures of the kids playing in the mud, building a damn, splashing, and such funness.

Meridales with Grandma Anna

I have the most spunky, classy, fun 90 year old grandma in the world. I could go on and on, and on, and on about how wonderful she is, and how much I love her. She has her guy friends that are constantly calling her trying to spend time in her delightful presence, and sometimes we get to benefit from her friendships. One of her friends owns an old dance hall that is being restored called "Maridales", and he invited Grandma to come see what they had done to the property and building. She invite me, and my sister Judy and our kids to come with her.

Can I just say Magical! The place was magical, and charming, and made me feel as if I had traveled back in time 50 years. I loved everything about it from the Rooster that followed us around, to the fish pond (void of any fish do to her unnamed friend over feeding and killing them all), to the duck pond with is mama duck gingerly swimming around, to the little red honey Moon cottage with the personalized hand soaps and mini fridge full of coke bottles and goodies, and the beautiful dance hall that was being renovated as we walked around. The Apple orchard filled the crisp fall air with it's sweet inviting fragrance, while the mature oak trees extended far above heat as if trying to reach heaven.

It's moments like that I feel Moms calm loving presence, and I know she is enjoying our casual outings by our sides. It seems at times that Heaven isn't so far away, and neither is she.