February 2, 2017

Utah Trip - Part 2

Thursday, December 15th
We left Dad's house and drove up to the Provo area. Originally we were going to get hotel rooms but then thought it would be better to rent a cabin/house so we could cook meals and the kids wouldn't go stir crazy in a hotel so we rented a cabin in Springville. As we drove to the cabin, we went up into a canyon. Snow started to appear on the sides of the road and then there was more and then there was more and the GPS told us to keep going! Then we had to turn left onto a road and went up the mountain some more. We kept thinking "where in the world are we going?" The cabin was deep in the mountains!

Sections of the road to the cabin were snowy and there were 2 steep sections that you had to go up. The first section was clear so we didn't have any trouble. The second section had a little snow on it and Jenny's van slipped a little so they had to back up and go faster to get past that part. We got to the cabin and it was beautiful!

For weeks prior to the trip Evan had been asking if there would be snow at the cabin. He prayed and prayed for snow. Apparently his cousins had been praying for snow too! And the boys' prayers were answered. There was snow at the cabin!


Evan was more than happy to clear the deck of the slush that had accumulated.


We couldn't unpack the cars fast enough to get the snow gear out for the kids to play! They got to play for just a little bit but then we had to head back down the mountain to meet the groom's family for dinner.


We went to dinner at a cafeteria/buffet on BYU Provo's campus. It was really good and a great place to go with so many people because they had so many different choices to choose from. They kids had a great time choosing all sorts of different foods and going back for more.

We were a little concerned about the roads going to the cabin but we kept checking the forecast and it was clear with no rain or snow in the future so we felt comfortable staying there. Jenny and Chad had to rent a car while in Utah because they needed the extra seats for their kids living in Utah and for friends/roommates. They decided to rent a 4 wheel drive car, just incase we needed it. 

After the dinner, Kurt drove Jenny's van and I drove our Tahoe back to the cabin. We took as many kids as we could fit in our cars. Jenny and Chad went grocery shopping to stock the house with food.

The cabin was so nice! It was perfect for our 2 families to stay in. The main floor had the kitchen, family room, 2 master bedrooms (each with it's own bathroom) and another bathroom. There was a floor above that that had 2 bedrooms. The girls quickly claimed that floor. Then there was a floor below the main floor that had a main area like a family room with a huge couch, TV,  a mini kitchen, ping pong table and then there were 3 more bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. One of the bedrooms had a bunk bed and 2 trundle beds so 6 people could sleep in there. There were 6 boy cousins so it was perfect for them and they quickly claimed that room.

Friday, December 16th
Kurt and I went with Jenny and Chad down to Emily's apartment in Provo to help clean and move her out. Emily and Ryan were going to move into a condo so today was moving day! We left 9 kids at the cabin, with Kayla being the oldest. After moving her out, it was time to go to the Payson Temple (in Payson, UT) for Emily to take out her endowments. 

Here is Jessica, me, Jenny and Emily after the session.

I really wish I had taken a picture of the temple before we went in because when we came out, it was like we had walked into a totally different world! When we went in there wasn't a flake of snow on the ground but when we walked out . . .


there was 3 to 4 inches of snow everywhere!!! So much for no snow in the forecast! It was beautiful but totally shocking! Kurt said "how long were we in there for?" Ha ha! 

And it was still coming down!!!!

We were worried about being able to get back to the cabin. If it was this snowy at the bottom of the mountain, what was it like at the cabin? And how would we get up those 2 steep parts??!! 😁 We were thinking that we would have to stay at a hotel in town while the kids stayed at the cabin by themselves. Yikes! We knew they would be warm and had plenty of food but we were still uneasy with that possibility.

It was about 3:30 or 4 when we left the temple and we hadn't eaten since breakfast, so we were starving and decided to go get dinner. On our way to the restaurant, Emily got a call from her friend (that had flown in from North Carolina) saying that she had a flat tire up at Costco in Orem, which, if I remember correctly, was about 30 minutes away. So we changed plans and headed up to Orem.

We got to the car to assess the tire. We decided that Kurt and Chad would drop us girls off at a restaurant while they went to the condo and unloaded the vehicles (we had all of Emily's things in their SUV and our Tahoe. They couldn't get into the condo until 5). After Kurt and Chad finished unloading the vehicles, they came back to the restaurant and ate their dinner. The kids called from the cabin and said that the roads had been plowed so we decided we could get back to the cabin. We decided that I would drive the Tahoe and take Emily and Jessica and we would go pick up Spencer and one of Emily's roommates. Then I would go meet Margo and Greg (who had driven up from San Diego) and they would follow me up to the cabin. Kurt, Jenny, Chad would go take care of the tire.

It turns out that the kids had their own adventure with the storm that blew threw. They had lighting and thunder and heavy snow and crazy winds that blew one of the doors open and knocked over one of the potted trees in the cabin. They said it was quite the storm!

We picked up Spencer and Emily's roommate and then met Margo and Greg at a Wendy's and they followed me up to the cabin. As we the road started to climb up the canyon, it started to snow again!!! I am NOT a snow driver. I grew up in the valley and had never driven in the snow. I was just a little bit scared! It kept snowing and snowing all the way to the cabin. We got out of the cars and Greg was like "This is deep!" Whew, we made it.

I think it was about 7:30 pm when we got to the cabin. I was concerned though that Kurt and his group wouldn't make it because it was snowing so hard. I called him to let him know about the snow. It turns out that they were running into a snag with the tire. The tire was punctured on the side so they couldn't repair it, they needed to replace it BUT since the car had all-season tires, they couldn't replace just one, they had to replace all 4 tires! And it was taking awhile. So we all waited to hear from them.

And we waited and we waited. Everything Emily needed to get ready for her wedding the next day was in Chad and Jenny's car. Finally at about 9 Kurt called and said they were at the round-a-bout which was at the bottom of the mountain. Just past the round-a-bout cell coverage drops and you don't get coverage again until you reach the cabin. It usually takes about 30 minutes to make that portion of the drive so we expected them at about 9:30.

Well, 9:30 came and went and still they hadn't arrived. At 9:45 I started getting a little more worried. At 10, we were all worried. Just past 10 they arrived but not the way we expected. They came walking up the driveway. Well, that couldn't be a good sign. 

Turns out that as they were coming up that first steep part they lost traction and the SUV slid down and off the road into a field. They had to hike up the rest of the hill to the cabin. Along the way, a neighbor had seen them walking and said that he would help get the SUV out of the field. They woke up another neighbor and they all helped get the SUV out of the field. Can I just say how amazing the neighbors were? I think we had 3 neighbors out there helping and they all said "we will get you guys off this mountain and to your wedding. Don't worry." They were awesome!

They tried to get the SUV up the steep section again but it couldn't get past that one part of road so they decided to leave it at the bottom of that part of the hill. They had to transfer everything out of the SUV into a neighbors truck and he drove all Emily's things to the cabin, which arrived just before midnight. 

Emily started curling her hair while her roommates started steaming her wedding dress. Kurt, Chad, Greg, Spencer, and Jessica had all stayed out salting the roads. The HOA leaves a can of salt at the top of that section of road so they spread all that plus asked the neighbors for any salt they had. They used all the salt they could find. They came in about 1 am and we went to bed about 1:30.

Saturday, December 17th ~ Wedding Day!!
We were all back up at 4:30 because we were all worried about getting off that mountain in time for the wedding. It was like 2 degrees that night and the whole road was like a giant ice slick. They got Chad back down to the SUV and he went into town to buy more salt and chains for Greg's car. He got back and they salted and salted and salted their little hearts out!

Luckily there was an ATV in the garage so they were able to use that to help with the salting.


The wedding was at 9:30, which Emily had to be there at 8:30 to get ready so we had to leave by 7:30 to get there in time. We decided to leave at 7 to give us a little extra room and by then the salt had worked it's magic and the sections they were able to salt had cleared and were drivable.  Yay!

Salted section:

Unsalted section:

It was truly beautiful. 


Getting 21 people out the door dressed for a wedding by 7 in the morning is no easy task but we did it and all made it to the temple! It was a miracle! I'm not going to lie, it was a little stressful not knowing if we would make it off the mountain or if we would be on time or if we could get all the cars down the mountain safely but we did it. We were so incredible blessed! And the wedding was beautiful and perfect!

Emily's sisters, Hannah and Katie, waiting for her to come out of the temple!




It was seriously 9 degrees outside. Emily and Ryan were so smart and took wedding pictures the weekend before at the state capital so they didn't have a ton of pictures to take in the cold. 


We quickly took family pictures in front of the temple and then headed off to the reception.



The boy's table:

The girl's table:

Father-Daughter dance

Hailey and Evan even took a turn on the dance floor.



The reception place was beautiful!



Everything turned out perfect. The wedding ceremony was beautiful. The reception was amazing! It was all perfect. And they were married!!! 

Congratulations Emily and Ryan! We are so happy for you guys!

After we said goodbye to the newlyweds, we all got in our cars and headed back to the cabin. During the reception I could see it snowing out the windows and just thought "I wonder if we will make it back up to the cabin." I told all the boys "Stop praying for snow! We have enough already!" Ha ha!

We all made it back to the cabin just fine. Those sections of the road that we had salted were still perfectly clear. And now it was time to relax!

Trevor and Braydon

All of us vegging in the family room.

Sunday, December 18th
We woke up to the beautiful mountains and snow, snow, snow. It was just gorgeous. Now that the wedding had happened we could all relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Jenny and Jessica went out and did a little snowshoeing. 


Some of the Trumans were brave enough to go to church but some of us just wanted one day where we didn't have to worry about making it up or down that mountain so we stayed at the cabin and played in the snow.

We could watch the kids playing on the hill from the warmth of the cabin.


One of the funny things that happened while the adults were gone to the temple on Friday and the kids were at the cabin by themselves was a dog wondered up to the door. One of the times I talked to Kayla she said "we adopted a dog" and I was like "what in the world are you talking about?" So the kids read the phone number on the dog's tags and called the owner. It turns out that her name is Lucy and she lived at the cabin across the street and apparently she just roams around the neighborhood. Well, the kids loved Lucy and Lucy loved the kids too! She came to visit many times!


Evan and Gavin sledding.

The cabin

Kurt got the quad out of the garage and started pulling Evan and Gavin on the sleds.

Then they had to take it up a notch and started standing.

Kurt started letting each kid take a turn to drive the quad. When there are 11 kids, that can take awhile.


Me and Evan

Luckily some of the big kids (ok, I guess they are adults now - how did that happen?) took turns driving it too.


Trevor and, I think, Katie. It is hard to tell with the snow gear on.

Kayla got a turn too!

And Trevor

And me!

Then we all came inside to get warm. 

These two boys crack me up. They had so much fun together and were pretty much inseparable. They were just kicking back and chatting at the table.

And to have a little church lesson.

Monday, December 19th
It was time to say goodbye and make the long drive back home. Boo!

We have so much fun with our cousins and never want to say goodbye. 


As we left, those sections of road that we salted were still perfectly clear. They dumped so much salt on them that I am pretty sure they are still clear today, a month and a half later! Ha ha!


It was a wonderful trip, full of lots of fun and crazy adventures!

January 28, 2017

Utah Trip - Part 1

Our niece, Emily, got engaged in September and planned her wedding for December 17th. We were so excited for her! Emily is one of Jenny's kids and Jenny is Kurt's sister that lives in North Carolina. We usually get to see them about every other year and our kids LOVE to see their Truman cousins. Since Emily and her fiancé were attending college in Utah, they decided to have the wedding in Utah and we were super excited since it would be so close to us and we would be able to attend the wedding.

Monday, Dec 12th - we left at 4 am and drove to Dad and Julie's house in southern Utah. We were so blessed with amazing weather while driving that day. Seriously, when you go to Utah in December you never know what you are going to get and we got lucky!

We got to Dad and Julie's house about 2 or 2:30 and helped them set up their village under their Christmas tree.


Tuesday, Dec 13th - we drove down to St. George to visit Kurt's brother, Paul. He wanted to go to a new park that was just opened about a month prior called Thunder Junction All Abilities Park. It was a park built to be more user friendly for children with disabilities. It was a super fun park for kids of all abilities.

Paul was able to get his wheelchair onto this ride called the Sway Fun.


The kids had an absolute blast playing here. It was so much fun! The only thing about this park was that you could not keep track of your kids. They just ran and ran and had so much fun!

Here is the 4 seater seesaw.


One of the kids' favorite thing to play on were these zip line things. One was a disk that you sat on and the other was a swing. There were not a lot of people there so the kids were able to just play and play and play on them. I might have even taken and turn (or 2 . . . or 3) on them too!



This was another cool swing.


The treehouse / fort thingy.


There was this cool water feature section where you could walk under the waterfalls.


Hailey in the waterfall.


Slides


Evan, Kurt, Paul and Rachael in the fort.


The boys in the fort.


Paul has a tile on the wall that has his name on it.


The musical section.


Hailey and Paul playing the drums.


We got this disk swing flying! 





This was a pretty cool slide. You climbed up the dinosaur's face . . .


and down his tail!


The kids named this skeleton "Bob." They all had a blast climbing to the top of Bob.



Bob ate dad!



When we got back, Evan had a chess lesson with Grand-dad. 


Wednesday, Dec 14th - our Truman cousins arrived a whole day early!!!! We were so excited! They decided to drive the whole night on Monday night so they were able to get across the country much faster than they thought.

Since they had been in the car a lot, we decided we should take them to the park we went to the day before. We knew their kids would love the park as much as our kids did.

Cousins, cousins, cousins!


3 cousins on a swing!


Our whole group.


Kurt's uncle George and aunt Judie live just north of St. George and invited us over for dinner. They built a beautiful house with their daughter, Cori. Their other daughter, Siri, lives super close and her and her family came over too. It was so great to see all of them again! We had a wonderful night!



Jenny and Chad, Me and Kurt, Judie and George, Cori and Andrew, Siri and Chris


The next day it was time for us to head north to the Provo area and prepare for the wedding!!!


Exciting times!