Monday, August 14, 2017

4th of July/Austin Reunion 2017

Jack's brother, Dan, and his wife, Kanessa hosted the reunion this year and because we did it over the 4th of July the theme was Let Freedom Ring.

We spent the 4th at their house playing in their yard.  They had a water bounce house, a kid pool, their hot tub, 9-square, volleyball, their big playset, Name that Tune, a ping pong tournament, and lots of yummy food. We capped off the night by chasing parachutes up and down the golf course behind their house and then had our own amazing fireworks show as well as being able to see every other fireworks show for miles around from the lawn chairs in their back yard.  It was an epic day.

Wednesday we all packed up and headed up to Downey, Idaho to set up camp at Downata Hot Springs.  Downata was epic because it reminded us of old camping grounds or resorts from the 50s, complete with the raddest sign we took a picture in front of.  Ours and three other families stayed in the cabins, two families had tent trailers, and another camped in tents.  We had a big field full of teepees and a shaded pavilion all to ourselves.  We loved our cabin with a loft for the girls to sleep in and all of the kitchen amenities we needed for the food for our meals and to keep cold water up there (not to mention the a/c).  We spent lots of time playing games like human pinatas, water balloon toss, more 9 square, water gun fights, and Kids Say the Darndest things, as well as more amazing meals throughout the reunion, prefaced by awesome thoughts and scriptures about freedom and agency.  Each family also came prepared with a story about bravery and using our agency for good.

On Thursday we drove half an hour to Lava Hot Springs and floated down the river in tubes.  It was an absolute BLAST for most of us, but of course we could only get Olivia and Asher to try it one time...both crying the entire way down ;)  Our little family also went onto Main Street and sampled the local ice cream and pizza.  We finished with a picnic at the pavilion by the river and then on the way back to Downata stopped at a local water park.  We were only there an hour before they evacuated all of the pools due to lightning danger.  When we got back to Downata it looked completely torn apart.  Apparently gale force winds had ravaged the trees and campsites.  There was debris everywhere, mostly branches and leaves.  They had to drain the swimming pool to clean out all of the debris. Luckily there wasn't any permanent damage to our group's things and we helped clean up the branches across our field.  It was so crazy returning to that!
We had late-night games, homemade ice cream, and lots of great conversations.

Friday we cleaned and packed up and then most of us met at Maddox in Brigham City on our way home for one last hoorah.  It was such an amazing, small-town reunion getaway!


Thursday, August 10, 2017


This year Jack got a killer deal on season passes to Lagoon.  We were so hesitant even then to buy them because we didn't know if we'd get much use out of them with small kids.  Honestly though, since that first time we went we've been hooked!  It is completely child-friendly and has been such a fun thing to have all summer! We don't feel the pressure to fit everything in when we go because we can go back any time, and the kiddie area is just perfect for our girls' ages (especially since Liv is a little bit of a scaredy cat on big rides), there are hardly ever lines for the smaller rides, and Lagoon has really stepped up its food options, cleanliness, and employees since Jack and I were younger.  Little Ash has especially loved being able to go on all of these rides herself or next to an older sister.  I think sometimes the ride operators are a little skeptical of putting her on some of the rides, even the ones with no height restrictions, because she's so young; but she sits right down and gets buckled, stays seated and enjoys the ride the whole time, and then waits patiently to be unstrapped when it's done.  It's the most precious thing ever.  Also, two of Jack's siblings have season passes so it has been fun to go with family when they go! We have a million pics there this summer, but here is a sampling:

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