Friday, July 30, 2010

Call Family Reunion 2010

Last week we hosted our very first family reunion here in Maryland! After months of planning, organizing, and figuring out how to house and feed 19 people, the festivities began on Wednesday, July 21 with the arrival of Jason's parents and sister Jennifer. Family continued to arrive later that night, the next day and finally the last one arrived late Friday night. It was loud and messy, but incredibly fun and we loved it!!
We were able to get a complete family photo on Sunday night. A pretty good-looking bunch I think!!

This is the reason why it was a bit loud and messy...8 grand kids all 5 and under! The kids had a blast playing together though and almost every day now I hear laments from Abby about how much she misses her cousins!

We went to the Washington County Ag Expo on Thursday morning.

We saw some pig races...

Practiced milking a cow...

Gave some love to lots of different animals...

And even got kissed by a few friendly beasts!!

Later that night, some of the adults attended a Baltimore Orioles game. The Orioles lost (surprise, surprise!!) but we did enjoy seeing one player and two coaches ejected from the game as well as a crazy fan who ran around the field for a good five minutes before he was finally arrested by Baltimore's finest!!

The baseball fans (minus Jason's dad who was taking the picture!)

The next morning we headed out to the Washington Monument to hike a portion of the Appalachian Trail.

The views of the valley below were incredible!!

But the real beauty was found along the trail...simply gorgeous!! (Both the people and the scenery of course!)

Later that day we had lunch at the Pennsylvania Dutch Market and shopped at the outlets. Some even ventured on to visit Antietam Battlefield (the bloodiest single-day battle in the Civil War.) We wrapped up the day with a yummy BBQ but ate it inside because it was HOT!!!
The plan was to spend the whole day on Saturday in Washington DC. We made a visit to Arlington National Cemetery, Iwo Jima and the National Air & Space Museum before finally calling it a day though. It was just too hot and crowded. The heat index was at 107 and the Worldwide Boy Scout Jamboree that weekend made D.C. a bit less than the ideal location for all of us!
We were able to relax a bit on Sunday. After church, lunch, naps and a few board games, Jason's mom had us play some really fun games that she had prepared from the game show "Minute to Win it." We all laughed and enjoyed making a fool of ourselves.
(Or maybe we laughed at others making a fool of themselves!!)

We finished off our reunion on Monday with a trip to Gettysburg...
A visit with good ol' Abe...

And more games, talking and s'mores over the fire pit that night.
It was a great reunion and so fun to see everyone again. We hope everyone had a good time because we sure did! Our home seemed very empty and quiet when everyone was gone...a little too quiet. We enjoyed having a home full of laughter, conversations, kids squeals of joy and love. Can't wait 'til next time!!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Independence Day 2010

I should really call this "Independence Weekend" because we drug out the fun of this holiday for FOUR days!!
Friday night: We had fun playing and roasting Smore's on our fire pit with some friends and their kids.
Saturday afternoon/night: We had a yummy and fun BBQ at our house with my sister and her family, her in-laws and some other friends from our ward. We also headed up to Pennsylvania for a fun fireworks display that night. We literally sat right under the fireworks and could feel ash falling on us from time to time. Everyone seemed to enjoy this except Mr. Landon who buried his head in Jason's chest until this torture was over! (I know my friend Rachel could relate!)
Sunday night: Relaxed and enjoyed all the leftovers from the night before. I also watched the city of Hagerstown fireworks display with Abby from her bedroom window.
Monday afternoon/night: Had another BBQ this time at someone else's home where the kids enjoyed lots of fun water time and the adults enjoyed conversation and a few games. We also did some small fireworks out on the street once it got dark. Landon wanted nothing to do with these either (although he would watch them as long as I held his head tightly against my chest. He did get brave enough to hold a sparkler though!)
A thoroughly fun and exhausting way to celebrate our nation's freedom, independence and heritage. I think July4th is one of my most favorite holidays...good food, good people and long summer days to enjoy it!!

(And yes, my kids wore coordinating outfits. It's not everyday that I can make this work with a boy and a girl so I have to take advantage of it now before one of them starts giving me a hard time about it!)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Feeling Hot Hot Hot!!

We are doing our best to survive this massive heat wave that has hit the East Coast pretty hard. In church last week, one of the little boys said a prayer, thanking our Heavenly Father for air conditioning. I really couldn't agree more!!
So how do we entertain ourselves in triple digit heat? Well it's really nice when your neighbors have a fun blow-up monster slide to beat the heat with every now and then!

I have to tell you , I love having a neighbor with this monstrous contraption but I sure wouldn't want to have one in my own yard. The thing is huge and a pain to store, but the kids sure do enjoy it!

And Landon, well he keeps himself occupied with various home improvement projects around the house...what, you don't need a toilet plunger hammered into your kitchen floor?!?!?!
Well if you ever do, you know who to call!!

I am really thankful this week for a playroom and unfinished basement. The kids still get to play without having to go outside and I get to blog!! A definite win-win don't you think?
Just a heads up...I have started a new blog. It's called "Make It Fit" and will be geared more toward the health and fitness aspect of my life. Check it out...and tell all your friends!!