Days 2017

Days 2017

Monday, December 8, 2014

What Makes a Man go North in Winter?

A few days before Thanksgiving we took an unexpected trip to Montana for my Grandpa's funeral.  He was my namesake and of course I will miss him (I've been super lucky to have been raised close to all of my grandparents and have always considered them some of my best friends), but when the funeral is of someone who has lived a full life, it is also accompanied by a lot of good things--lots of memories, lots of family.

Macy is the Queen of the Van.  Look at these two good boys, not even squirming.  This was not a posed picture, she was really doing that.
At least there was a lot more room to spread out at Grandma's house, and lots of toys and cousins.  Macy really had a blast now that some of her younger cousins are getting old enough to play with her. 

And You...must be Jett.  Let's be buddies.

Aren't they cute in their "Baby Papa pants"?

Confronted with planning two funerals (she is a brand new Relief Society president) and a ton of unexpected company, my mom had a genius idea to turn the heated garage into the Bat Cave--a tumbling football wrestling den by day and a cousin bedroom by night.  It was too fun to sleep in sometimes but oh so nice to have a rowdy room when the house was full.
Boston asked me recently if he was ever going to get to have a sleepover.  I reminded him that he just did.  Oh yeah, he said with a smile.
Luke provided plenty of entertainment for everyone.  Thanks to Uncle Gib for playing football in the house with my boys.
This picture has nothing to do with the trip, but it was on my camera and too funny not to share.  Look closely.  Do you see a face?  Now, which kid do you guess that is?  Let me give you a hint.  As he would say, "Does this LOOK like anyone else's nose?"  Yep, Cooper.  That dang microfibre couch has to get scrubbed about once a month because it shows every little spot of water, and Luke is a big drooler.  Leslie did a great job scrubbing it Saturday...and Luke proceeded to scribble all over every cushion with a pen.  Sigh.  Anyone want a couch?

This was a "good activuddy".  (Pardon my Bryan Regan quoting.)  Dad was all set up with the clays for skeet shooting.  Leslie got to do the "pull".  My sister Darcy, in the pink hat, flew in from Portland and my brother Duke in the blue hat drove up from Wyoming.

The boys watch the shooting and wait for their turn.  Thanks for the fire, Jared.

My sister-in-law Natalie had some happy news for us.  She and Duke will be welcoming a baby this summer.  As my Dad said when they announced it, well, Circle of Life.  This picture is a bit humorous because you can see a vehicle on the horizon.  We had to tell everyone not to shoot.  When there is so little traffic on the dirt road, it wasn't really part of the plan...
Love this picture, Natalie.  We could probably think of a few good captions for what you might be telling your hubby, as a lady in first trimester with a deadly weapon. 

Leslie and Duke

I thought he had hit the clay pigeon and was cheering for him, but I guess it was actually my cousin Eric, behind him here.

Hold on tight, Boston!

I think he liked it but wasn't fond of the kick.  I like this picture of my Dad in the background, too.
Cooper also had a turn.  He's so skinny I'm glad he had the padding of this coat for his shoulder.

Hey, Hey, we're the Monkees!  Jaxon, Boston, Cooper and Bridger, cleaning up some post funeral goodies.

I must be winning.  This is a double game of our family's favorite Shanghai Rummy with my Aunties and cousins.  I did manage to beat Darcy handily one night and dutifully stuck the scoresheet on the fridge for the week.  Ha.

And don't forget the Cheetos!  (We always played cards on Sunday afternoons at my Grandpa and Grandma's house with a big bag of Cheetos on the table.  Orange cards are a sign of love.)

These three haven't been together since they were little tots.  Sierra, Leslie, and Sahara are second cousins, all in braces.
 The day before Thanksgiving there was a beautiful snowfall.  I had planned to finally get our family pictures done that day there on the farm with so many beautiful backdrops.  Unfortunately, Macy woke up in the night throwing up (germs from the funeral, perhaps?) and spent the rest of the day wiped out, quarantined in my room.  Fortunately for me, my sister Darcy the nurse was the one in the room next to Macy's who heard the commotion and cleaned up the mess and loaded the washer and shoved Macy into my room before I was even awake.  Above and beyond, sis.  Luckily Darcy managed to not get sick--if she throws up she's not allowed to go to work for a week.  The rest of us were not so lucky.  Luke ended up spewing (I think for the first time) on Grandma's rug that night and so we decided to high tail it home before anyone else (mostly Mark or me) got sick for the nine hour drive.  Also because, how better to quarantine a 2-year old than in a carseat?  We left Thanksgiving morning with some tears from our kids, some pie, and my mom was left with a zillion pound turkey to cook.  We did make it home without incident but had three more sick the next two days.  Yuck.  The funniest part was that Mark wanted to make this special turkey dinner because he had been to this cooking presentation with some clients.  Wanting to try it, had agreed to do most of the cooking for our "make-up" Thanksgiving.  Well, he did do some of the prep work the night before but didn't make it into the next day, so guess who did all the cooking.  At least I could eat it, haha.  He only could handle a few bites.  I think we had four of the seven at the table and the other three were set up on the couches with sheets and sick trays.  Definitely a weird Thanksgiving.  Good thing we had already feasted plenty before we left Montana.
Luke loved playing in the snow.  Last year we took him out but it didn't really register, and he was super afraid of being pulled in a sled.  This year it's a whole new world.

Discovering tracks.

The snow was so fluffy we had fun playing "Smash it down."

Oops, sorry this is sideways.  Mom came up with the caption for this picture.  She calls it "the Redneck Sled."  Luke loved it and it was nice to have an alternative to the real sled being pulled by the 4-wheelers.

Leslie getting a ride.

Luke and his Grandma Haynes

Wouldn't be a trip to Montana without the kitties.  Thank goodness for surrogate pets.
Grandpa Happy Jack and baby Jackie
I particularly enjoyed talking with my family about Grandpa because he was pretty one-of-a-kind and a loose cannon to boot, so the stories were plentiful and fun.  For example, when I was a student at BYU and nearly engaged to Mark, Mark suggested that he make a visit to meet my family in Montana over Christmas.  I was less than eager because I knew it would not go over well that I had a serious boyfriend, etc., but agreed.  Oh, Grandpa had fun with that notion-- in the weeks leading up to Mark's visit, I'm sure he teased my Dad plenty about how he should greet the not-so-welcome suitor.  He even wrote a cowboy poem to commemorate the event, It was called "The Sodbuster's Daughter".  (My Dad being a farmer.)  We still quote the best line in that poem, "What makes a man go North in Winter?"  Well Grandpa, we came North for you.

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