Monday, June 23, 2008


Our week was a study in life: birth, death, family reunion. We experienced it all! It was exhausting, but tremendous. We attended a funeral for the second time this month, and it may sound morbid, but I love funerals. There are no more poignant or potent lessons than those learned or relearned at funerals. I am always reminded of what's REALLY important, and a little more thankful for those I hold dear, which reminds me to hold them all a little closer and tighter and longer and more dear (and to forbid them from riding motorcycles). It was a relief to experience the arrival of our newest niece, Taybree, in the midst of such a tragic loss, and I think it made everyone a little more conscious of the miracle of life.
Then we were off to my family's reunion - yippee! We didn't get to go to the first annual Mark Orton reunion thanks to the building of our house, so we were excited to attend this year. I packed my little brains out while Ty took the van to have someone tell us how to use the entertainment system (yeah, we've had it since February and still hadn't figured it out). $40 later it ended up just being an obscure little switch that has been turned off. Nice. Oh well, it made the journey a little more bearable to have Disney accompany us on our vacation. We had a fun time camping with out little family and enjoying the company of my huge family (there's more than 50 of us these days)! This picture was taken probably 15 minutes after we arrived at the camp sight. I was astounded at how dirty my kids managed to get in such a short time...just imagine what Sylas looked like after 24 hours!

The next day my dad set up the water fun for the grandkids. Here we have the vicious cycle:

The treacherous climb UP one side, and

the catastrophic slide DOWN the other, and

round and round we go!
We discovered some funny things about our children on this trip. #1: Sylas thinks that Ty and I are in on some conspiracy to leave him parentless, and FREAKS out when he thinks we have left him. #2: Samera is a prissy little princess who would rather sit at home and watch Sponge Bob than "rough it." After 15 minutes of said roughing it (around the same time I snapped that photo of Sy) Samera was heard to demand, "I need someone to carry me home!" because her feet were covered in dirt. Luckily her much more sympathetic and patient grandma was nearby to baby her, taking off her shoes, dusting her off, applying lotion to phantom rashes, etc.
#3: Even Samera's sour outlook on camping is easily put to rest by a big stick with a marshmallow attached to the end. Especially when encouraged to poke that stick into an otherwise off-limits, raging bonfire. #4: Saylor likes caterpillars, to the point of sharing her seat all the way home with one, much to the disgust of her mother (luckily I didn't know about it until we got home).
Here is yet another encounter with moose. Funny that we drive far and wide into the wilderness to camp and end up seeing more wildlife in the wild, wild land of Chubbuck than anywhere else (let me warn those of you who may not know this little tidbit of info.: don't try to get close to a mama moose and her baby. Female moose are rather persnickety on the subject of humans approaching their children. I am told, after the fact, that one should even fear moose over bear):

And last, but certainly not least, we got a new table (and by new I mean that it is someone else's cast-off):

So now we get to have meals together! I know it may not seem miraculous to anyone else, but after two years of not fitting around our microscopic table for four, it feels so luxurious!
So there you have it! Our week in choppy review.


Rindee said...

Where was your family reunion? and who died? And who does Taybree belong to?
Aren't Grandmas great? My mom is always more sympathetic than I am to my own kids. One time Rayna was being wild and bonked her head on the corner of the wall while we were at my parents' house. She bonked it good and it swelled up into a goose egg. She took the opportunity to loudly milk it for all it was worth. That turns me off quicker than a chicken bein' chased by a tom cat. But my mom invited her to sit on her lap, got her a bag of frozen peas and offered her a band-aid. I couldn't believe how fast Rayna quieted down. A little sympathy goes a long way, I guess. It really touched Rayna, too. She's probably never had anyone be so compassionate to her since I'm such a grumpy Mom. Thank heaven for Grandma's.

Andrea said...

Rindee, our reunion was at the stake camp that my dad is in charge of upkeeping - I think the names of the towns around it are Liberty and Eden. Ty's uncle died - he was only 40, and Taybree is Ty's little brother's (Jake's) newest. And I am not good at sympathy, but trying to be better!

Amber said...

A bunch of my friends are posting about family reunions. Ours is this weekend and we can't make it. It makes me soo sad! Looks like you guys had a blast though! I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I second the forbidding everyone from riding motorcycles comment for obvious reasons!

Oh and congrats on the new table. I love sitting down together as a family for a nice, peaceful home-cooked meal (that is of course how I envision it in my mind. The reality is messy, chaotic and the food typically from a box or can!!).

Matheson's said...

Yeah for a new table- I liked your other one though. Very sorry about Ty's uncle. Funerals really do put life in perspective. Especially when they are cut so short. 40 is only 10 yrs. away I wouldn't be ready. Congrats on the new baby- is this the sis. in law I met? Cute name! I wish my family did family reunions- they can be so fun to look back on. Glad you all survived :) Miss you already! What would we do without blogs? Oh ya go 6 yrs without seeing each other- geesh- what were we thinking? :)

sharlee said...

Yesterday I wrote a comment and it wouldn't let me publish it and it erased it for me too. Nice, huh? So, I wanted to know who it was that you knew who died. It sure puts things in perspective, doesn't it?
And I was going to tell you that Sylas did pretty good when you left him with me so you could pack up. I just plunked him down in the dirt and he didn't seem to notice your absence...course he was twice as dirty (or more) when you got back. Cute little fella!

Marianne said...

It was so fun to get to hang out with you at the reunion. I love your kids! Samera cracks me up. I loved reading about what you learned about your kids. Congrats on the new table. Things like that are super exciting!

Crowther Clan said...

Hey. FUN!!! It makes me anxious to go camping. We have never taken Bjorn and I know he would love it! That slide looks like a blast. I bet your family had so much fun together! That's awesome!

Marianne said...

I started having strangers commenting on my blog. It made me feel a little weird to have strangers reading about my family. It's really easy to make your blog private. Click on customize and go to settings and click on "permissions." Then list all the emails of people you want to look at your blog. If I didn't know someone's email, I just left a comment on their blog asking them to email me. I feel safer now knowing only peope I choose can look at my blog.