Friday, October 13, 2006

Trip Highlights

Now that I've paid my respects to Grandpa, I can tell you about the great time we had on our trip. It felt like a little unexpected, bonus vacation.

On Saturday night, the Hallstroms (Andrew's sister and her family) had us all over for dinner. (After a slight miscommunication with Tony and Cindy.) :) The cousins all played together so well this time. It was awesome. When we were on the road trip this summer, Brandon did pretty well, but I felt like he was still a little bit of an outsider with the rest of the cousins. I think he's grown up a lot in the past 3 months. It was wonderful to just visit with our parents and siblings and not have to worry about what trouble he was getting into....for the most part.

Lauren and Elise have moves!

Ethan, Jonas, and Brandon spent most of
their time playing video games upstairs.
Star Wars was the favorite.

Elise dressed Whitney up in this pretty dress.
Whitney called it her "Belle" dress and walked around
like a princess the rest of the night.

It is going to be really nice to have both sides of our family living in the same state now. My sweet parents and sister drove for 5 hours all together to come spend about two hours with us on Sunday afternoon. It was a beautiful fall day and we spent it in the backyard running around with the kids and just chatting.
Mom, Dad, and Destiny

On Sunday night we had dinner at Andrew's parents' house. Grandma Ranquist joined us.

Whitney was very loving toward her. It was so sweet
and I know it meant a lot to Grandma.

The cousins were all really good during the funeral and then they had to let off some of their pent up energy at the burial service.

Brandon, Reagan, and Lauren cleaning headstones.
The lawn had been mowed fairly recently, so there were
grass clippings covering all the gravemarkers that lie flat.
The cousins had fun cleaning them all out and looking
for familiar names. They found one that said both Barbara
and Jack on it and they thought that was pretty cool.

Jonas and Brandon
These two cousins are 4 months apart
and we've been waiting their whole lives
for them to become friends. They have
very different personalities and often
clash, but this visit they seemed to get
along really well. And they're both so darn cute!

Baby Jane
That's what we call Jane in my family
even though she's SO not a baby anymore.
Is this one of the cutest outfits you've ever seen?

Here are the types of silly things the cousins do together.
Mostly led by Ethan.
Ok, everyone pretend your thinking really hard.

Now pretend you got a great idea. Ding!

The most random thing that happened on the trip:
We ended up on the same flight from Salt Lake to Chicago with Forrest! He even ended up in the same row with Whitney and me. It was crazy and fun. Here are Forrest and Andrew standing in O'Hare airport after we landed. What are the chances?

Other highlights that don't have pictures to go along:
*On Monday Barb said she'd watch the kids so that Andrew and I could go to the temple together. I was so excited that I was going to be able to make up for the trip missed because of the chemical explosion AND I could go with Andrew. We got Whitney down for her nap and we got all dressed in our church clothes. FOILED AGAIN--The Temple is always closed on Mondays. Something we could've been told yesterday!!!
*Driving up the canyon to take pictures. (We took so many that this trip deserves its own post!)
*Playing Apples to Apples and 25 Words or less at Tony and Cindy's house. Lots of belly laughs that night.
*Dress shopping with Barb and Amy for a new dress for the funeral for Barb.
*Staying up late with Barb and Dennis and Amy and Dave, talking about everything from recurring dreams to living in foreign countries. The more I learn about Dave, the more different I think we are. :)
*Playing Knight and Cities at the Hallstroms. I stunk it up, but it was still fun.
*Seeing how completely obsessed Eli is with balls and balloons. Cindy wasn't exaggerating. I think it's super cute.
*Watching my kids with baby Jack. They are so loving and sweet. I think they're ready for another sibling. (No, that's not any sort of announcement!)
*Spending so much time with Andrew. Our lives can be so busy at home. It was awesome to have him to ourselves for 5 straight days.


Sandy said...

Your trip sounds like a lot of fun! Sometimes you just need a break from your life, you know?:)

Grandma Sweat said...

Thanks for the darling pictures Andrea -You are such a great photographer and writer. You help keep the things that matter the most at the forefront.

P.S. Before Amy left this morning to fly back to Denver she helped me start creating grandma a blog!

Laurie said...

What a great recap. I'm glad you guys had such a wonderful trip. I'd love to see pictures of the canyon. The ones you got of the cousins are just adorable. I'm sure Brandon's grandpa would be thrilled to know or is thrilled to know that his funeral brought the family together for a good bonding experience, and that their was joy and peace and relief for him.