Thursday, January 1, 2009

FINALLY- An Update!

We left CA on the 20th and drove to Utah to see LOTS of family. : ) This has been a very rich and fulfilling trip, renewing and refreshing us. It is also an extra-special treat for me to get to fly out to see both Katie & Shelly in Iowa & Illinois, and their new babies.

Saturday night--saw Stacy & Jake Yarrington, dear friends of ours.
Sunday--with the Wilsons, had a big family dinner at Sarah's house (Rob's sister) & picture with all siblings, spouses, and kids.
Monday--Ana, (Dave's wife, Dave is Rob's brother) had a darling baby girl, Gracie. We loved entertaining Ana's kids at mom Wilson's. In the next day or two, the cousins enjoyed a sleepover, lots of legos, chess, snowballs/men*, etc, and I went to see the adorable newborn & mom.
Thursday--Christmas! Shared a christmas dinner with the family, and talked to both Karolyn (my sister, in Russia on her mission) and Kyle (my brother, in Chile on his mission)on the phone, as well as spent time with the Coulams and Aarons (Rob's sisters & their families).
Saturday--went to an extended family Cropper get-together in Lehi, had a big family meal and re-enacted the nativity with all the cousins' kids. Also stopped at Aunt Lori's (my mom's younger sister) and loved talking with her so much that I braved driving later in more icy conditions to get to my mom's house.
Sunday--Cropper family dinner that we treated like our special Christmas Eve tradition, lumped in with Christmas morning, with all the immediate family that could make it. We had a candlelight ham dinner and opened gifts. We had Kristy (my sister) & Brian and their kids, Ken (my brother) & Shiann with Spencer & Boardin, mom & dad, Rob and me & our kids, and a sweet hispanic mom that is living in the basement apt., Ilda, & her two children.
Monday (Dec. 29th)--We left the kids with Nana & Grandpa Cropper, Rob flew home to return to work, and I flew out to Chicago.
Tuesday--A bus got me from Chicago to an Iowa city by 3 am, and I got to spend a day with Katie & Ben (my sister and her husband) and their new baby.
Wednesday--In the evening a rental car got me down to Shelly's house (my cousin) in an Illinois city, to see her new twins, her husband and kiddos, and got the bonus of having her parents and her brother Kevin visiting as well.
Friday--Tomorrow morning I will return by bus to the Chicago airport, then fly home to Utah. Saturday morning I get to attend Spencer's baptism (my nephew), and Saturday evening we will head home so that on Monday, January 5th, the kids can all start school again!

*Jeffrey loves the snow so much, he spent an average of 4-5 hours a day outside, playing and making things in the snow.

Ok, below is a MASSIVE picture log of our trip. If you didn't read the above, you won't know the locations of the pics below. (So, read the top part first) ; D

For those of you who want captions to explain the host of pics I posted, here they are:
1. Jeffrey reading almost upside down.
2. Wilson cousin sleepover.
3. Jeffrey and Nathan out in the snow.
4. Jeffrey lying in and eating snow.
5. Nathan posed (by me) in front of the Christmas tree.
6. Re-enacting the nativity scene with the Wilsons on Christmas Eve.
7. Bryce "leading" the music (unprompted) while we sang many wonderful Christmas carols on Christmas eve.
8. Christmas morning after the boys have opened their stockings from Santa.
9. Jeffrey and Bryce going sledding in Provo.
10. Extended Cropper family nativity re-enactment.
11. Rob and myself sitting on Santa's lap (my uncle Curtis)
12. Cropper cousin sleepover--UNDER the kitchen table!
13. Kristy (my sister) & Brian's air mattress next to Rob's & mine, next to Ken & Shiann's. THREE, countem, three double/queen air mattresses all fit into mom's little living room.
14. Ken (my brother) holding Nathan.
15. Shiann (Ken's wife, my SIL) holding their baby, Boardin. (Yes, as in, "snowboardin") : P
16. All the grandkids wearing homemade socks that someone in Kyle's mission (in Chile) knitted (or crocheted?) and sent to us.
17. The boys' third nativity re-enactment this year, completely organized and put on by Bryce (much like our Christmas tree getting put up)
18 & 19. Me, holding Abby (my sister Katie & Ben's new baby)
20. Abigail all by herself.
21. Sisters. : ) (Katie & me at Budget Rental Cars)
22. Shelly burping her twins, Brooklyn & Bradford.
23. Me, holding Brooklyn.
24. The twins, stacked. ; P
25. The digital cousins. (Shelly & me both on our laptops)


Nana (Lonna)and Grandpa (Max) said...

Loved it! Especially Jeffrey reading upside down. The picture of Abigail by herself in the purple and white sleeper is the cutest one I have seen yet. See you at the airport tomorrow.

Kimbooly said...

Love you too, mom. See you tomorrow night at the airport.

Shelly said...

THANK YOU FOR COMING!!!! It was so wonderful to see you (amazing we've seen each other twice this year).

Thanks for all your help with twins too!

Janene said...

Well, I missed your visit to Shelly's, but I was really ready to be home. I love the pictures! Especially fitting all the air mattresses in your parents' living room! Wow! I also love the picture of you and Rob with Santa.

BillieJo said...

That is sooo cute and fun, I bet you are ready to do nothing for a little while after all that traveling. (Is that possible?)