Sunday, June 29, 2008

Farley Fun

Tonight I went to the Farley Home to take pictures for their Family Reunion. Elise and I went together and it was fun trying to get the ol' group shot! The Farley (McBride and Tuck) Families make up about half our ward and we are really glad they call Durango home!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Boating Boys+ E

After mowing with the tractor all day, John was wanting to go to the lake this evening. Good wife that I am, I sent the kids off to the lake while I did important wife-ish things all alone ;). So this was the night everyone decided to try surfing. Luckily I sent my camera. Here are a few shots.

I guess Jebb couldn't wait for his turn but Jackson wasn't too sure!! Apparently Elise just cheered for everyone but wasn't in the pics!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

All Good Things

Yes, truly all good things must come to an end. My kids were talking about how fun it would be to invent a machine that would let us go back in time to the beginning of the reunion so they could play with everyone for a few more days.

We cleaned the condo, packed up our stuff, tried to eat some more of the food (there was still LOTS left), then we hit the road for our return trip home. When I asked the kids what they liked the best, they agreed on both the water park and bowling. :) I love seeing everyone together. While there were certainly some squabbles and scuffles here and there, I think the kids did a good job playing together and including everyone. Even though we are all related, we have a lot of diverse personalities and interests which is wonderful. Keryn and Brad did a terrific job of planning activities where we could all participate and enjoy our time interacting. I know it is a lot of hard work planning for such a large group with such a wide age spread but I think they did an absolutely bang up job!! I think it will take a few days for me to catch up on my sleep and my laundry! :) Although we missed those who were not in attendance, I think it can be chalked up as another successful Ross Reunion!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Ross Reunion Day 4

My turn to make breakfast. Cocoa Roos it is! Just kidding-that would never fly! After a breakfast burrito bar, we forced the kids to pause their ongoing Wii tournament long enough to pack up to go to "This is the Place" State Park.

It is not only a monument to the declaration by Brigham Young about the SL Valley, it is also a pioneer village. We thought we would only spend 2 hours or so there, but we ended up staying most of the day. I really, really enjoyed this day. As I read and heard about the pioneers and what they did, I was once again struck by their phenomenal faith as they walked West without a final destination for certain. I am so grateful for that heritage of Faith in our church. It is remarkable.

The kids enjoyed doing pioneer chores, making necklaces with arrowheads, riding ponies, petting goats,pulling handcarts, riding the train, making cricket crafts, and learning to make rope. We enjoyed everything so much in fact, that we just stayed and ate lunch in the park before heading home in the late afternoon.

Tonite our family was also in charge of the devotional and Brad asked me to show and tell about Ethiopia. I loved talking about it with my family as I had not with most of them. We packed into Kim's basement for the slide show. Most of the kids even stayed for it! :)

Our dinner was fun tonite. The kids stayed at the Hannays for a pizza party while all of the adults headed for Macaroni Grill! YUM! We had a lovely stressless dinner and the kids has fun without us too.

After Nicole did our closing devotional, I think one of the kids favorite things was the GLOWSTICKS that Keryn got for everyone! What a perfect thing for the perfect evening weather in the Hannay's back yard!

We had glowing frisbees, light sabers, and jump ropes. The kids had a ball! Another great day with the Ross Clan!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Ross Reunion Day 3

What else can I say but SEVEN PEAKS! The water park day. Good thing-it has been HOT every day! The kids all had a ball. Gabe just went for it and got his cast wet (with John's blessing). I think everyone found something they liked and all of the kids got along great!

Here we are in our MATCHING cover-ups! Fun! I love Target! :)

We all made it home without any major water incidents-always a good thing! :) Gabe hung his arm out the truck window the whole drive home so his cast would dry. Most kids zonked out before we made it out of the parking lot. I think everyone is getting along remarkably well with the lack of sleep. When we do activities every day like this, I wonder to myself "Why don't I do action packed days like this all the time?" I always get the answer on Day 2 or 3 at about 4:00 in the afternoon when someone has a major meltdown (you know-crying, screaming, often some foot stomping). That is when I realize that, oh ya, kids need lots of sleep and do well with routine. So far I think everyone is holding up well, although some of us are wearing a little thin (translation: I am wearing thin) by naptime.

After eating too much of Nicole's yummy chili, all of the kids were recharged ad had a Wii tournament until we forced them to have a slumber party in the basement! Another day of great family and fun.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Ross Reunion Day 2

Sabbath is here for the Ross Reunion. At past reunions, this is the day when we are all packing up to return home. This time, we were just gettin' goin'! Now of course it might be difficult to find something for all of these busy cousins to do (we do seem do have a large percentage of rambunctious boys:)). Luckily, Brad and Keryn, planners of this year's reunion, had our day well planned with good stuff.

After a yummy bagel bar put on by the Skip Ross Family, we all wrote letters to G&G Ross. The kids really enjoyed that! We all got dressed and headed out for the Hannays ward. I think we freaked out the Primary a little bit, but it all worked out well.

After church we had a yummy Italian feast at the Hannay Home before heading out to Temple Square for the wonderful and terrible Ross Group Picture. We always dress in coordinating colors and make small children stand in the hot sun and smile... it's barrels of fun. But of course we HAVE to do it so we can have a photo to take home. I LOVE all of the photos from years past. It is great seeing how our family has grown (numerically and vertically).

We took a few family shots and lots of random shots. I love digital cameras because I can let Seth and Elise wander around with the camera and not worry about them wasting film. The took some interesting shots! :) Since the lighting wasn't ideal, we enjoyed going around the Visitor's Center. My kids all wanted to go see the Christus. It was great to wander and wonder at different displays.

We met back at the fountain at our appointed time for 'The Task.' We started out a little ambitiously with the Grandkid group shot. I know it doesn't sound too tough, but most of the cousins are quite young and vivacious. Somehow over the years I have evolved into the official people placer. It is a lot of pressure and I wish there were rules for this type of thing, but all in all I think they turned out quite well! There's a funky backlight effect that kind of makes us all look like we were Photoshopped onto the Temple grounds! :)

After some more individual family shots we decided to go for the whole enchilada... that's right...the full-on Group Photo! The lighting was pretty darn good and the moods of most of the babies were pretty good too. Could we luck out twice in one night on pictures containing 20 Ross posterity? We thought we should get the SLC Temple in the shot if at all possible. Missing of course were G&G Ross and Deb, but we were also missing Steve as he was home feeling VERY ill. But we pressed on...

Well, I think I have to call this one Mission Accomplished. Not perfect (Gideon is quite the gymnast with the backbend:))-but pretty darn close!! The odds aren't on your side with this many little guys, but I think all things considered, this one was a keeper for the year.

We had ANOTHER meal at the patio in front of the Nauvoo Cafe. Lovely! You certainly can't say we're not being well fed! And we get to put on our swimsuits tomorrow...OIY! ;) I made John have one more pic taken with me and I must say-I love it! :)

Great way to spend the Sabbath at our Family Reunion.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Ross Reunion Day 1

Well, we kicked off the Ross Reunion in our usual fashion... by eating way too much delicious food! :) In fact, I think that is a recurrent theme so far! After Nicole made us a yummy breakfast, we tried a new activity this year which I hope we will make a tradition. We assembled hygiene kits for the Church's Humanitarian efforts. We had an assembly line going and all of the kids worked like busy bees. They were awesome!! I can now see how child labor can be truly productive. We did 100 kits!

After the kids painted their hats with puffy paint, we headed out for Provo to watch Ty in the 7on7 football tournament down at BYU. A pattern was starting to emerge as we were served up a scrumptious lunch by Skip and Laurene. It was HOT so we all found shade where we could after eating too much. Ty played great and his team got second overall. I admit I was glad when we took off for bowling where the air conditioner would soothe our overheated souls.

We hit the Wilkinson center in search of ice cream but alas, we didn't find any and just had to bowl away our blues. And we did! Everyone bowled really well and Kim is actually thinking of turning semi-pro as she smoked all of us! The Hannays were the only family that didn't have the little gutter guards and she still beat us all!!

Here's a pic of all the kids in their bowling shoed glory...

After our bowl-o-rama, we went guessed it...our next meal! That's right, it was dinner at the beautiful Kiwanas Park. John said when he lived in Provo the trees in that park were small. Talk about dating yourself! That's not info you share! :) Brad and Keryn served up a lovely dinner and we all enjoyed the shade and the cool grass. Brad closed the night with the devotional he had planned to give us as we all sat on the "Y."

Yes, it was the plan to hike the Y. We couldn't bring ourselves to do it in the heat and I think it worked out for the best! :) We all made it back to SLC pretty tired and after showers the kids willingly hit the hay to rest up for another day together!

A special shout out to our only missing family members: Deb wasn't able to come this year...Hey Deb! We love and miss you! And of course G&G Ross are on their mission in the West Indies! Grandpa just got called to be the Exec. Sec. in his District (a BUSY job!). We hope you are having fun and all the grandkids pray for you! We love you guys!

Friday, June 20, 2008

June Wedding

It's a nice day for a Temple Wedding (note: not to be read in Billy Idol fashion).

We had the pleasure of going to Logan today to see John Williams (from Mount Logan fame) get married to his bride Shea in the Logan Temple. It is always good to go and see newlyweds all shmoopy-in-love and it is especially good to go and remember our own Temple Wedding, now almost 13 blissful years ago. The weather was warm, just the way I like it. It was fun to see all of the couple's family and friends gathered around them to witness them creating a new Eternal Unit.

We also had the enormous pleasure of attending the luncheon afterwards and seeing our oober-cool friends Rod and Jill Koford. I love talking to them and they are really good friends that are really good people (love that combo!!). We had fun planning our next 3 or 4 vacations together!! :)
The Ross Family Reunion officially begins in the morning. That's 4 of my siblings+spouses and 20 grandkids!! And all of it started 40-something years ago in much the same way that John and Shea started out today...

Although there are days or years ;) when marriage is flat out HARD, I love the Temple and the power that flows into our lives and our marriages as we try to align ourselves with what the Lord would have us do. I am grateful that the Lord knew the guy I kinda knew (we had a very brief courtship) and knowing that knowledge He knowingly put us together and it works...who knew?! (OK, that whole knowing thing was a little obnoxious when I am seriously trying to say that I am glad the Lord let me know John was the One!)

Thursday, June 19, 2008

BYU Boys

John flew into SLC at 7:30 this morning. Everyone was dead asleep when I woke them and loaded them in the car. I really missed him. Everything just goes smoother when he is here. He greases the wheels of our family machine.

We picked up the boys from BYU Football camp today. We went a little early to see the last game as Gabe called to tell us his team had made it into the finals. They play short 7 on 7 games without a line. Gabe did great! He actually got 2 interceptions!! Pretty good for having a cast! Seth was their most vocal backer. They did not win the game, but I was really proud of what a good sport he was when they lost and pleased to see Seth so supportive! We checked them out of the dorms and headed home. They had a really great time and just love BYU!! How fun!

*Brag alert*: Gabe just made an interception!! Lucky catch and lucky shot w/ the camera!

I couldn't believe how beautiful the mountains looked today as we sat in the field watching the game. What an amazing world we live in. The Lord really saved the Saints a nice corner of creation.