Friday, July 22, 2016

help a college student out (her name is Elle:)

Yesterday Elle joined us up at the lake. 

We are all pretty excited to be reunited.

Remember when we went to visit Max six weeks into college life back HERE?  Well, it's kind of that same feeling of jubilation and excitement for all of us up here at the lake as the reunion gets into full swing.  There's just something about having more of your family back together again that makes a mother's heart swell.

...and sister's hearts are certainly swelling too :)

It's just so fun to hear more about all her adventures and classes and new friends in person and get little snippets of what she's learning in classes and how her mind is filling up with so many new ideas and thoughts.

One of her summer school classes is a communication class.  She read me the syllabus on our drive to settle her into her dorm (back HERE) and it fascinated me.  Oh man, I need to go back and take college classes some time...so much to learn!

Right now they are doing a social media interactivity study and she and her roommate (who are in the same class and who also happens to be my niece...love you McKenna!), are in a contest to see who can create the most activity.  The assignment is to take a picture and alter it...something that everyone relates to...then try to create interest and get the most interactivity in the class.  

So I'm posting here on the blog to help her out.  

Here's the picture they chose:
Everyone relates to good food, right?   

So here's the deal: in order to help her out, well, you already did by reading this.  Haha.  

But leave a comment for her if you want to help more...the more views and comments the better for the contest.  

She's posting it on her accounts as well (instagram, snapchat, etc.), but if anyone out there is a guru at social media interactivity give her a shout and let her know if you have any other ideas to get the most activity before tomorrow evening.  Kind of an interesting little contest I think.

College rocks.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

a surprise at Pickleville

Every year at least part of our huge group heads over from our side of the lake to the other side to see the "Bandito" plays that are performed at the Pickleville Playhouse.

I talked about how much we love Juanito Bandito back HERE (and also lots of other places I can't find right now).  You just have to see it to understand why:)  I mean, who wouldn't want to see a play at a place called "Pickleville Playhouse" right??  And Bandito is quite a character I tell you.

I personally haven't been for a few years (although my mom takes "Grammie Camp" and other smaller groups from here go see the new renditions every year) so my sisters and I decided it would be a great year to take our girls on over along with my friend who came to visit.

The girls were SO excited.  They made mustaches for the occasion and practiced their Bandito accents on the way over.


We got in and got all settled in our seats, the lights dimmed, and they announced, in a super pizzazzy voice, "Welcome to the Pickelville Playhouse production of....HAIRSPRAY!!"

My sister whipped her head back to me in surprise (I had been the one who bought the tickets), and I brushed it off and told her I was sure they were kidding.  Haha.

But sure enough, the 60's lighting flared up and the musical "Hairspray" kicked in.

Oh boy, I about died.  All those kids we had in tow (and us adults too) had been so excited to see the latest rendition of Bandito.  My little eight-year-old niece had even paid for her own ticket with her own hard-earned cash she was so dang excited.

The pretty awesome manager-lady-in-charge was so very kind (especially after I was a little crazed explaining the problem) and told us she'd fit us in to Bandito later in the week if we wanted to come back, and that we were welcome to stay to see Hairspray since there was such a mix-up.  How's that for great customer service?
So we ended up being amazed at what a great production of Hairspray unfolded.  Seriously, the singing and dancing were all pretty fabulous.  The girls loved it (don't let Elsie's face fool you, she loved it:)

And we headed back on a hot afternoon a couple days later so we could see the real-deal Bandito.
Which sure didn't disappoint those cute girls up there.

Bottom line is: go see either of those plays if you're ever in the Bear Lake area.
...or anything really at Pickleville Playhouse for that matter, because they know how to do things right.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

pre-reunion Bear Lake

Man alive, I'm coming back to the present for a minute so I can write about being right here, right now.

So much has happened this summer.  Starting with graduation and trek and our trip, then dropping off Elle at college, then a trip for me and Dave to the BBS conference (pretty tough one this time around), the 4th of July and a mother/daughter road trip up the coast of California (so gorgeous and so much I want to remember).  

But now we are here:

And it is gorgeous and beautiful as ever.

Our big Eyrealm reunion is a little later than usual this year since my mom has been in England taking care of our newest little nephew who just got welcomed to the world.  Oh boy he is a dreamy one, and we cannot wait to meet him in real life!

The rest of us have been trickling in family by family to soak up the lake we all love so much. Two of my brothers have a work conference this week and my sisters' husbands (as well as Dave) aren't here until the reunion so us moms have been herding a lot of kids and loving being together up here amidst the chaos.

We have fed the horses...





Gone on lots of walks with kids in tow (looking out for rattlesnakes along the way!)

Gone on lots of "mom walks" in the evening when the sun is sinking behind the mountains on the other side of the lake:


(Obviously I can't get enough of those Bear Lake sunsets.)

Met our new baby cousin over FaceTime:
Played a bunch of games:

Spent afternoons at the beach watching the cousins bond...





...and bonding ourselves.

How very grateful I am to be related to these women! 
...and their kids and husbands too.  

All these cousins have loved being together once again.  Here's group #3:

These three girls got an added perk this year since our cute neighbor offered to give them an art lesson.
I love the beautifully unique paintings each girl came up with.
...and how messy they got!

This is the portion of group #5 who showed up early:
...who have had picnics at the raft any day they can, and who have re-named their "group" a few times.  We've called them the "princesses" for years, but this year Lucy decided maybe the "dogs" would be a cooler name.  I was cracking up when I found this message on my phone:
Well, she talked to them when she arrived, and they decided maybe "puppy princesses" would work.

And since then the name has evolved to the "Uni-bunnies" since they all love unicorns and bunnies so much.  We'll see what the name is by the time we leave :)

We've witnessed some pretty great group tennis lessons:
...with my dad as the coach-extraordinaire.

Younger kids:

Older kids:

Not pictured: we have also had some pretty great womens' doubles matches on that court, have done what seems like ten-gazillion dishes and cooked a lot of food...which I love because these ladies are pretty dang great cooks and I'm learning a lot.

My Dad, being the pretty amazing grandfather that he is, has also been working on getting these kids to memorize all the "Grandfather's Secrets" he has taught them over the years.  
He has assigned older kids to younger kids to help tutor them to learn them all and kind of internalize them.  And oh man I adore that man and that he does this.  The picture above is from one day right when he got back from taking them on a hike to visit "Single Tree," a tree that stands alone on the top of a high vista by the lake.  The "Grandfather's Secret" that goes along with that is pretty awesome and they had it pretty wonderfully memorized and thought through when they got home.

Oh man this dad of mine can't stop himself from teaching and loving and teaching some more and I love it so much!

We have bonded and attached to each other in more ways than one :)

One of my very dearest friends (who is pretty much a family member since we grew up together) came up to visit one day.  We took her on our evening walk...



...and watched the sun set together.

...as we practiced our photo skills.


After our California road trip Grace headed home with Dave to get to cheer camp while the little girls and I came here.

It was a wild fiasco to get her back up here, which could take a day to explain...

...but I'll just say real quick that she and Dave were on the plane for a couple hours the day before, and went back and forth from the gate to the runway three times trying to figure out if they should really take off or not.  They got off the plane once, got re-loaded and on to the runway again only to turn around again.

Finally they cancelled the flight.

So Grace got on the next one the next day (by that time Dave couldn't come any more because by the time he got up here he'd have to turn around and get back for work meetings) so this time the flight did actually get here, but the scheduled ride to the lake got delayed.  Needless to say we were SO excited when she finally arrived!
Can you tell Lucy was excited?  Love it.  Man we missed that girl of ours!

One of my favorite things at the lake is what's happening right here:
After dinner we stay put as the commotion of the kids dies down as they leave to go play downstairs and we discuss the world.

Love to hear what is in these minds and how they all interlace and relate and love each other and the world around them.

We are so anxious for the reunion to start (and especially to get Dave up here!) but have loved this "calm before the storm."  Ha!  

Although I love my rotating bed partners...
...I'm ready to turn their kicking, squirming, sleep-talking selves in for my Dave in a few days:)

Oh man, how I love this "thin-place" of mine that has been home in the summers for as long as I can remember.

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