We hosted Jack and Sharon at our house for Thanksgiving 2013. Adventures included ordering our favorite pre-made meal from Draeger’s, lots of time with cousin McKenzie, a visit to the Holiday Lights train, and shenanigans with Grandma Sharon.
In July, we spent a week in Seaside, Oregon with my extended family for our biennial family reunion. Highlights included a beautiful coastal hike, beach playtime, bike rides with the cousins, nightly bonfires with S’mores, a juggling show performed by Bryson, celebrating Will and McKenzie’s birthdays, and the local Seaside Merry-go-round. Thanks Uncle Bob for the great family photo!
My latest extended family reunion was this summer in Sun Valley, Idaho. Stu, the girls and I all drove out there on a fun road trip which included a stopover in scenic Elko, Nevada. Thanks to some savvy negotiating by my Uncle Steve, we got upgraded to a lovely cottage right on the lake, with five bedrooms and a basement full of bunk beds for kids. Highlights included a long but beautiful hike off Lake Creek Rd, lots of barbecues and visits to the pool, hanging around our cottage with my Mom, Laura, Rob, Will, my Dad and Sharon (including listening to an Avett Brothers concert from our house which was right next to the concern pavilion), a dinner and hike up at Galena Lodge, and of course my cousin Bryson juggling fire. Click on Uncle Bob’s family group photo for a slideshow.
Christmas this year was at home in California with a great series of visits from Katherine’s family. We’ve got pictures of holiday preparations including Claire going to see the Nutcracker with some of her friends, visiting Santa (which Claire enjoyed and Juliet did not), fun in the kitchen including making a gingerbread man, a gingerbread train, and frosting-covered cookies for Santa’s reindeer. Next up is the visit from Grandma Judy, Aunt Laura, Uncle Rob and Cousin Will, who helped decorate the tree and of course open lots and lots of presents on Christmas morning. Finally, Grandpa Jack and Grandma Sharon came for a few days of fun including playing on the new backyard swing set, “riding the horsey” on Jack’s leg, visiting the nearby Rodin Sculpture Garden at Stanford, and finally reading books with Grandpa Jack.
Our quote of the month comes from Claire, who demonstrated her increasing listening comprehension one day:
Katherine to Stu: Laura and Rob are thinking of going out and taking you-know-who with them.
For a slideshow, click on the picture of Claire and Juliet playing with their new pillow pets.
We made our bi-annual trip to Estes Park, Colorado in June to join Grandpa Jack and Grandma Sharon for a week at the YMCA of the Rockies. We enjoyed high mountain air, lots of hiking and fun camp activities, plus a great time with Aunt Laura, Uncle Rob and cousin Will. Highlights included a hike around Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park, a hayride to a marshmallow cookout where we spotted an elk on the Y Camp’s main quad, a pony ride Claire went on that lasted 15 seconds, cycling around Lake Estes in a 4-person bike, and much time lounging around the cabin. Click on the picture of Will and Claire hiking for a slideshow.
My extended family gets together every two years for a family reunion. This year’s was held in Stowe, Vermont, where Claire and Juliet were part of an influx of young children from the next generation. Highlights included Juliet sleeping on the floor under Claire’s feet on our cross country flight, more birthday cake and presents, visiting the Ben & Jerry’s factory (and enjoying some samples at the end of a tour), lots of fun times with the Jack and Sharon, playing with Laura, Will and Rob, Claire smooching her cousin Elliot, a bathtime playdate for Claire with two of her cousins, and cousin Robbie doing a slide show on a sheet hung from the fireplace mantle. Click on our family group photo that Uncle Bob took for a slideshow.
We just returned from a week-long visit with Katherine’s dad Jack, his wife Sharon, Katherine’s sister Laura and her family Rob and Will at the YMCA summer family camp in Estes Park, Colorado right next to Rocky Mountain National Park. Jack has been visiting there every summer for decades and Katherine has been visiting since her childhood. We’ve got pictures including Claire getting a birthday present from Will, spending time around the cabin, walking around the Y Camp and hiking around the national park, seeing a deer (or is it an elk?) in front of our cabin, and finally a funny sequence in which Claire eagerly enjoys her first spongy white bread, discovers just how dry it is, and then guzzles water from her sippy cup to help wash it down. Click on the photo below for a slideshow.