This year was one of the best yet! I absolutely married into one of the best families. I consider myself a very lucky girl indeed. Aunt Christy was absolutely wonderful with the kids and planned some very fun activities for them all. Aunt Chris and Uncle Kevin have maintained their five star status as the best chefs ever. Uncle Jeff remains the most interesting picture taker and best hug giver around. Auntie Angie and Aunt Sherrel are some of my kids favorites and secretly mine too, but they don't top the best of them- The oh, so popular Aunt B with her Rambo (Friend to all kids) and Aunt Jazzy! The very like-able JACK and JON are very high up the list. Lizzie absolutely adores Jack! I truly appreciate him for how wonderful he is with my kids. Jon being one of the newest to the family is working his way up and charming the kids nicely. I have the very best family and I am so thankful for them all. I really loved seeing Kelly and Don, but once again, It just wasn't long enough. Miley, Ava and Lizzie became fast friends and were inseparable the whole time. I now know what it's like to have a kid old enough to play and not need supervision often. It was a weird reality for me but nice, I guess. I'm kinda one of those crazies that would like to keep my babies, babies forever. But she is a beautiful young lady and plays well with all her cousins and that makes me one happy momma.
Everyone in this family plays a special part and it would take me forever to go through them all but I hope they know how much they are loved and the huge impressions they have made on me. I love them all!
This year was filled with games whether poker, Risk, Cribbage, or Balooza(?) jelly beans, it was a load of fun. We had the usual horse shoe tournament and quilt squares. There was the campfire and roasting marshmallows. And a crazy rock climbing adventure that I was happy I had the chance to be a part of. Climbing took me back to the old days. I hung out with a group of friends that were very into rock climbing and I got into myself. It was a blast and I had forgotten how much I miss it. Danny took the small group we got together and was kind enough to do so and let the group use all of his equipment. It was Danny, Steven, Austin, Jon, Jasmin and I that went. The conversation there and back never got dull and there was plenty to laugh about. We all took a turn climbing and I was just glad we all took a stab at it. It was fun cheering every one on and watching their technique. I made it to the top and being up there was the best feeling. I looked out over the trees and it was one of the most beautiful views. There was a tree covered hill and wide long fields of pretty green grass and gorgeous mountains in the distance. I couldn't help but shout how extremely gorgeous it was up there. The sounds of the sheep bellowing down below was just an added bonus to the beauty that surrounded us. And a slight sprinkle that unpredictably kissed my skin was the cherry on top. Honestly, I wanted to stay up there for a long time, but there was more that needed a turn. So I rappelled down and continued to cheer on the rest of the bunch. We were going to finish up but Austin wanted to go again. He was half way up when Steven decided to climb over on a ledge that was just to the side of the cliff Austin was climbing. He looked over just in time to see the flash of lightning in the distance and then immediately following it, the loudest crackle of Thunder I've ever heard was echoing off of all the rocks around us. I admit, it took me by surprise and I reacted as if a tree might be falling on us. The sound continued for more than a second and the hairs on our arms stood straight up. Austin turned and said, I want to come down now and immediately following his return to the ground, was pouring rain and then hail. We were being pelted and soaked in seconds. We had to ditch the last carabiners and quickly headed down the hill back to the car. The mudslide road was the next adventure to embark on at this point and it was quite the adventure indeed. Not only did we get stuck for a moment in the sludge but we also almost slid right into a tree around the next turn and then lo and behold there was a Magic button that made the rest of the trip down the mountain a rather safe ride but still a bit slippery with some tree smacking-you-in-the-face kind of laughter. Danny did an excellent job getting us down the mountain, safe and sound. Although, after slipping around so much in the beginning, being on the side of the car with a ledge view was a bit unnerving, but not once did I feel in any serious danger. It was actually pretty fun. Call me crazy, if you want; but we made some pretty freakin' fantastic memories on this trip. And I loved every second of it!