Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I looked out the window and what did I see?

...four curious chickens looking at me!

I think they were enjoying watching Care Bears as much as Audrey and Nathan were. Silly chickies. I really do enjoy them. We are still getting 4 eggs everyday. I need to make eggs more often.

All of the grand kids loved playing with them. They treated them like puppies, putting them on the tramp and on the swing or hammock with them. I'm glad they are so nice. They follow anyone around the yard, which kind of freaks Nathan out, so he runs and then they run. Now he won't go out when the chickens are out unless I carry him, which is getting harder to do. They just want to be fed, but Nathan just doesn't understand that.

Grandma Camp

Because Becca and Zilpha were going to be in Utah around the same time, my mom thought it would be fun to try to get all the grand kids together, so they can get to know each other and make memories, something that doesn't happen very often when they live across the country, or across the world. Both of my brother's were out of the country, so we were happy with 8 of the 14 grand kids. My house was the place that all of this happened because mom and dad live in a small basement apartment and I have the trampoline, swing set and chickens. I requested that everyone be willing to help since I was 8 months pregnant. Mom paid for airplane tickets, food, activities, etc. for everyone. Most of the journaling here was also written by my mom, she did so much for all of us.

Here is a list of what we did and ate for Grandma Camp - July 30 - August 10, 2010.

July 25 - The Larsens and mom and dad had dinner with us at our house. We ate steak, which Curtis grilled outside. Yum.

July 28 - Alaura came home from college to spend the weekend with us.

July 30 - Friday - After packing a picnic sack lunches, Alaura, mom and I drove our two Toyota Siennas to the Airport. I picked up the Larsen children from the Larsen Grandparents in the park and wait lot, because John and Zilpha were on a "honeymoon" in Las Vegas with two other couples. Alaura went into the airport to meet Becca, Addy, Ellen, Marilyn, and Walter. We then drove to the Saltair for a view of the Great Salt Lake. It was disappointing. The lake was receded so far we could hardly see any water. The once beautiful building was dirty and vacant, except for a gift shop and bathrooms. The children were hot and hungry, so we sat on two dirty benches under the overhang and ate our sack lunches. We then drove to Liberty park to play in the water, but the water system was broken. Another disappointment. We then drove to the Highland Splash Park where everyone got in the water.

The adults just got their feet wet. It was fun.

We had planned to go to the Sweets Candy Factory, but it was closed on Fridays, to Temple Square, but we were all too tired and hot, and to the Folk Fest in Springville, but no one wanted to go with Grandma. Alaura went to Papa Murphy's and bought pizza, which they baked at home. Everyone enjoyed it. Marilyn had no appropriate shoes, so Ellen, Marilyn and Grandma went to Deseret Industries where the girls choose shoes, pants, skirts, and anything else they wanted.

July 31 - Saturday - Painting Day - Grandpa was on call for the elevators in Salt Lake and got a trapped passenger call early in the morning. Grandma arrived early (7:30 AM) to start the painting of our fence. Everyone was given an over-sized old shirt cast off by Grandma, a roller or brush and access to paint. It was amazing how fast the fence got painted and how much they all enjoyed it. By 9:00 AM, it was hot and everyone was ready to quit.

The children played at home in the backyard with the sprinkler under the trampoline and kiddie pools, hours of fun. We also made a plan for what to eat for the week. It made meals so much easier to not have to think of what to make each day. While mom and I went shopping for the food we would need the whole week, Becca made dinner, spaghetti, got each child to do a "chore" and got all the kids (total of 8) bathed and into bed.

Curtis helped with the teeth brushing and getting to bed. Mom took the three oldest girls - Ellen, Marilyn, and Katie to her house so they could go to church with Grandma and Grandpa the next morning at 9:00 AM.

August 1 - Sunday - After sleeping on the couch and pad on the floor, the girls were up early, had cereal for breakfast and got dressed for church. Ellen and Marilyn knew how to find their classrooms and were very independent. Katie went with Ellen. When asked how she liked it, she said it was OK, just very long. We took Becca and the other kids to our ward which started at 1:00 PM. Becca and Addy left shortly to attend her niece Collette Hirschi's baby blessing in Eagle Mountain. We made Kabobs with chicken balls, fresh pineapple, and red and green peppers on the grill plus corn on the cob. Zilpha and John returned in time for leftovers, then they took Katie and Quinn with them to Larsen's.

August 2 - Monday - We again packed lunches and then joined Becca and her swim team friends at the Rotary Park at noon. The children played in the park. We had taco salad for dinner. Becca led us in a Family Home Evening.

August 3 - Tuesday - Two dollar Tuesday at Thanksgiving Point! We got to the farm about 10:00AM. The children enjoyed seeing all the animals, petting the baby goats, and having a wagon ride. The Durkees had "vacation money" they wanted to spend, so spent time in the gift store. Walter found a cricket clicker which kept his hand busy. He got quite good at it. Ellen bought a fan which broke right away and Marilyn bought a small plastic chicken to remind her of our chickens. Then we had our sack lunches on the grass near the Dinosaur Museum. Because it was noon, the entry line was quite short. We felt we planned our day appropriately, so we didn't have any long lines to stand in. We moved through the museum rather quickly because of short attention spans. They loved digging in the water and sand.

For dinner we had taco salad.
Then we went to the movie Shrek Ever After in the local $1.50 theater (The Sticky Shoe). We also took time that night to practice with Audrey how things would go at the dentist.

August 4 - Wednesday - Water Slide Day - Audrey had a 10 AM dentist appointment.

Mom stayed home with the little kids and Becca and Alaura took Katie, Ellen and Marilyn to Raging Waters. Later they said that was their favorite part of Grandma Camp. At about 4 PM, the weather turned bad and they decided to leave. Raging Waters gave them each a free pass to be used after 4:00 PM on a later day. Zilpha met us before noon and we took the younger children to the Lehi Legacy Center pool, which is mostly inside. On our way, it started to rain really hard. We sat in the cars and waited for the storm to stop. It got worse. We were pelted with pea sized hail. Quite an adventure. Finally, the rain slowed down and we went into the pool. The kids had a great time. Zilpha took the boys down the big slide. Quinn did fine at the bottom, but Walter was frightened because he doesn't swim that well. For supper we had a potato bar and more fresh corn on the cob. Addy and Nathan helped me wrap the potatoes in aluminum foil for baking. The Larsens spent the night, with the parents on an air mattress in the living room, the boys in Audrey and Nathan's room and our kids on the floor in our room. Yes, 14 people found places to sleep in our house. =)

August 5 - Thursday - Museum Day- Mom got the kids working again and in no time our front walk was rid of weeds. I had a doctor appointment in Provo, so we decided to go to museums down there. We started at the Bean Museum which is full of stuffed animals and natural science displays.
The children enjoyed it, but soon became hungry. They had told us that they were tired of sack lunches, so we went to McDonalds and had cheeseburgers and fries from the $1 menu. Then the kids played on the indoor playground. They all got treated to an ice cream cone too. We had to leave the play area because our older kids were up at the top "roaring" so loud, it scared the younger children in the area. Becca left to inspect her Provo apartments. We went to the Museum of Peoples and Cultures. It was disappointing. Very small with displays of Utah Indian artifacts. Alaura found a bag with lesson materials and gave us a little lesson about the Indians. Then we went to Krispy Kreme Donuts. They were not making donuts at the moment, so they kids couldn't see the process. The schedule for making donuts is from 7 to 11 AM and 5 to 10 PM. We were there about 3 PM. For dinner we had a pasta salad buffet with donuts for desert. After dinner, mom and dad, Walter, Quinn, Ellen and I went to Wal-Mart to buy more food, shoes, underwear and socks for the Durkees. On the way there was a tremendous hail storm. It was so loud we couldn't talk to each other. At the same time, the Larsens took some of the other kids to Deseret Industries. Marilyn bought some books and a nice boy doll (Willy) with her vacation money.

August 6 - Friday - Becca, mom, Alaura, Ellen, Marilyn, Walter, and Addy went to IKEA while I stayed home sewing a special order of 10 nursing covers. The children's meals were free! In the evening, Becca and Addy went to a family picnic for her 10 year High School reunion. I finally cooked the chickens that Curtis and I had slaughtered last fall and made chicken noodle soup that all the kids loved, but mom would not eat a bite of her old poor chickens. John and Zilpha had their Mormon Expressions Podcast in Salt Lake and Curtis and I went to the Farmer's Market at Thanksgiving Point and visited an old friend.

August 7 - Saturday - My mother and father-in-law invited all of us to meet them at Willard Bay for a day of boating. All the Curzons, Gibbys, and Durkees went, including Grandpa Bill. We all had a great time tubing and playing in the water.

Alaura stayed home to work on her Anatomy class she is trying to finish before the new school year starts. Mom took Ellen to the airport for her flight home for GS camp. Mom had to run all the way to the gate to get her there on time. Becca attended her High School reunion dinner and we watched Addy. The rest of us went to the Cedar Hollow 1st ward family picnic. The food was good and the kids enjoyed playing games. Marilyn sat under a tree and read her book.

August 8 - Sunday - Church Day - Mom picked up Marilyn from our house and took her to church with them. Bill gave a good talk on Alma 13 and a beautiful testimony. Curtis also had to speak in his ward. He was 10 minutes short, so they asked me to give an extemporaneous testimony. Becca and Addy went to their old church in Sandy. I made a yummy lasagna for Sunday dinner.

August 9 - Monday - Cleaning Day - Becca organized everyone to clean the house. The children didn't do a good enough job to please her, so she redid the bathrooms. Marilyn cleaned the kitchen floor on her hands and knees. Alaura cleaned the family room and found three missing TV remotes under the couch. Mom vacuumed all the main floor carpets. Marilyn vacuumed up the stairs. Walter washed wall the walls he could and then helped the little kids clean the step stools with buckets of water out in the grass. He said this was the best day of the whole week and he wished he could clean everyday. We ate leftovers for dinner. Mom packed the Durkee suitcases so they were ready to leave early in the morning. Alaura liked Becca's hair so much, that she decided she wanted short hair too. I think it turned out really cute. I am now officially the only Shefchik sister who has not "buzzed" her head.

August - 10 - Tuesday - Going Home - Mom arrived at our house at 5:30 AM, I am glad I didn't have to get up. Mom dropped them off at the curb, parked the car, found an abandoned wheelchair, and pushed unwheeled luggage, checked everyone in, got boarding passes, and hugged them all good bye.

We all had a really good time. I did have a couple of really slow days after they left, probably just my body recovering for all that we did. My mo is so generous and worked so hard at making this a fun experience. I hope they will all look back and have great memories of being with the family..