What a week, but it could have been even harder on us old folks than it was. This is how it played out.
On Monday and Tuesday we were frantically trying to get everything done in the yard that we could because my art group was having a garden tour the following Tuesday. We've been working on things like adding the fence next to the garden house, shown here, as well as the removal of the planter that was around the base of the bird house.
This picture shows the tree stump that was cut down to match the other, when we had the guys take down the dying cedar tree by the front of the house. Dad also trimmed back the trumpet vine over the front gate arbor. Anyway, this Tuesday was the deadline, because we'd hoped to redo the gravel walks in the garden area the Saturday of this week, because we forgot we had to take Charlie home after cousin camp on the same Saturday. Opps, we were stressed. That meant running Charlie home Saturday, coming home Sunday and putting in new gravel on Monday to host the garden tour and tea on Tuesday .... Yeah that.
In the end Britt didn't sent Charlie to cousin camp, and the garden tour was delayed until September. Deep Breath.
We spent Monday and Tuesday gardening, and getting ready for cousin camp. Here Dad shows off the t shirt.
On Tuesday we took Samuel to Tadka for Indian food for lunch, then we took him to the airport, as he was to rent a car and drive back to Minnesota, his mission area to spend the rest of his two months in the US with a family he converted while on his mission 8 years ago.
We had enjoyed having him use our house as his base, while he hiked and partied and met friends new and old. We really spent very little time with him, but it was fun to see him come and go.
On Wednesday morning we gathered all the cousins for cousin camp. Eva served as our camp counselor and was invaluable! We're not sure we'd have made it without her.
We loaded them up in the van and headed up to Payson Lakes, because the first activity of Animal day was to go fishing.
Uncle Sam met us there to help the kids fish. He has fished this lake many times and has learned it's quirks and specialties from ward members and neighbors. The result is that between him and Dad every child was able to bag a fish. It was the perfect fishing memory day. We threw back most of what we caught, and took home four fish, which the kids got to see being cleaned and which I then fried up to add to our lunch. Everyone who caught a fish was required to take at least one bite.
This is my favorite picture from our fishing. Nenna was so thrilled with her fish. Its a good thing it was the largest fish we caught, I'm fearful of what would have happened had we tried to throw it back.
We headed home for lunch which included dinosaur shaped chicken nuggets, trout, tots, and foods we tend to pair with animals. Lets see how well you do coming up with the animal that goes with each food:
Then we spent the afternoon doing crafts, singing animal songs, playing games and watching a movie that centered on animals. The kids loved the Farmer in the Dell, and every time we played it, whomever was the wife chose Nenna to be the 'child'. It was pretty cute.
Our craft for the day was to make a paper animal chain with a sticker picture and the name of each animal we saw, talked about, sang about, or heard a story about that day.
Then it was time to meet Aunt Darby at her barn for everyone to have a turn riding her horse Dallas. Above are William and Nenna, our two four year olds, taking their turns.
Thursday was pioneer day. Titan later told his Mom that it had been his favorite. Here he shows off a loaf of the homemade whole wheat bread we made. We also shook a jar of cream until it turned into butter, and the girls sewed the tie onto their aprons. The boys wore matching kerchiefs on our hike.
Here they all are at the pinnacle of our hike to the grotto.
We had a movie that when with the theme of each day, and the kids had their own popcorn cups.
That afternoon we went to Provo to the SUP pioneer village. It was pretty great, and we had our own tour guide, shown here in the yellow bonnet. (She learned to knit and crochet so she could make samples using the yarn that they card and spin in one of the demos.)
Are these the cutest cousins ever?
I think the kids had a ball, even though both our four year olds got stung, when we all walked over a porch with a hidden nest.
They got to see the school house, and learn about children learning the 'Deseret Alphabet'. They also saw the blacksmiths shop, the general store and small cabins that housed large families, and the spinning wheel demo.
They played pioneer games like learning to toss a ring with two sticks.
The volunteers at the village said it had been the hottest day they'd seen so far this summer. We felt it, and headed to the Provo Maceys for ice cream cones and supplies for s'mores, which are in no way a pioneer food, but they were made over a fire that night.
Friday was our cousin camp finale. It was circus day, and though it involved no field trips, it was the favorite day of most of the cousins.
We spent the day do all the things the circus workers do. We swept the back patio, made and hung circus decorations, we made circus food, and planned costumes and games for the big event.
Bekie and William had to leave at three, but William had been talking non stop about being the bear trainer in the parade, so we had a practice parade just before their parents came to get them.
In all this is what each child was in the parade.
Elias was the greatest showman,
Eva did stunts with the ring of fire
Grandpa was a gorilla
William was the lion trainer,
later Titan was the lion trainer,
Adi was a mermaid, and rode with the bear,
Nenna made a charming vampire
and Eleanor did doing hula hoop moves.
Here we see several family members gathered after the parade for water balloon games.
Eva, Titan and Elias has filled over 200 water balloons, though lets just say, not all of them were used in the water balloon toss game, which Eva and Elias ran.
Adi and Titan were in charge of the bowling concession. (That was Trevor's fast pitch and he was holding Mac.)
Eleanor was in charge of the pyramid toss.
Darby tries out the game.
There was circus food including, cotton candy, candy circus peanuts, peanuts in the shell, pixie sticks, corn dogs, more tots, orange punch, donuts and chocolate milk, which had been a staple of the whole cousin camp.
Trevor invents the Cousin Circus Mushroom.
... and just as would have been expected, because you always see the buff guy who won his adorable girl a huge animal walking around the fair, right?
We had all had a great time, but all good things come to an end. Dad and I were exhausted, and were so grateful that Hannah headed up the pick up of zillions of tiny balloon parts out of the grass before the final disbursement.
On Saturday I swore I would sleep in and stay in PJs all day. Then Dad, who was working on adding an extra sprinkler head, by searching for where the former owners had run the pipe under the front side walk ... and who then he got a call from Davin who was having issues with sprinklers at one of his rentals. We all know that Dad loves sprinkler maintenance (He actually, weirdly does) so he ran over there.
Meanwhile I was still hanging out in PJs, reading, mostly, when Dad messaged me and tempted me out of PJ's by reminding me that it was Scottish Days at the park.
Yep, that did it. Here is Dad as we walk up to the park along main. This is his regular barbershop now. How cool and old timey is that?
We stopped at the library to drop off our books and movies, and saw this cute family checking out the stacks.
At the festival we wandered around eating cold pickles and checking out all the clan booths and merchandise. At the events we saw our old neighbor (Payson Cottage days) Steve Hardman participating, and got a chance to catch up.
Look who else we saw .... well, yeah, even Santa needs a vacation, right?
Last of all I ran into a customer from the store who was there in her Renaissance costume.
On the way home we stopped at a new authentic Latino place on main street. The food was quite different from 'Mexican Food' fare, but we really liked it a lot. I had a shrimp tostada.
On Sunday evening we went to Trevor and Nell's for Eva's 11th birthday party. Above she is shown reading her acceptance letter to Hogwarts. We also gave her a Harry Potter wand, an
owl, a Hogwarts necklace and a 'Hogwarts Primer' I had made for her. I am going to being doing a page by page Pollyanna-reinvents blog of her book later, if you're that interested.
Grandpa snuggles Penny.
... and Eva receives her best gift from her parents!!
It was an amazing week, and we have included just a small sampling of the 150 pictures we took of cousin camp. There will also be a Pollyanna-reinvents blog post about that, as well, you will find it here, later in the week.
Thanks for joining us by reading the blog. We love you all, and hope your week was amazing.