My brother (Noah) and his wife (Kristi) and their four kids drove on over from San Diego to join us for the VisionWalk this last weekend (and to visit some other family too).
They were so nice to make the trek, especially considering the fact that their last road trip was quite an adventure. Click HERE to read about that one.
Yeah, they were really nice.
Our kids were as giddy as could be waiting for their arrival. They ran in and squealed in delight when they saw them roll in around the corner and we all ran out and peeled them out of the car.
I was so excited to get my hands on their new little baby Bennett who I hadn’t met yet:
He was very excited to meet me too. Can you tell?
We spent the evening having a super duper late dinner and watching the kids get along like peas in a pod.
(Do you like Claire’s soccer gear? One shin guard over-the-sock, one under. Gotta love that style.)It’s always fun to have Uncle Josh around.
At the VisionWalk I don’t know what we would have done without Noah to lug Lucy around since Dave and I wanted her to get some good exercise and left our jogging stroller behind. Hmmmm. That worked like a charm.As you can see, they had some free arms and were really in need of something else to lug around…
One of those small children of theirs even got lost for kind of a long time.
They will go back with great memories of that walk, I’m sure 🙂
After the VisionWalk they joined us for a typical Saturday of running from one thing to the next.
We raced over to Elle’s tennis tournament first:
Since my brother Josh was with us, he got some cool shots of Elle’s serves. It looks kind of cool when you scroll them quick because it’s like it’s her serve in slow-motion. This is as good as I could do for the blog:
I love the place Elle has her tennis matches. It’s beautiful and it’s by a really small airport so you get this view from above quite often:
Elle played in the advanced level again and got cremated again, but it was a different level of getting beat. She played really well and tried hard. We were proud of her.
We had to scoot out to Claire’s soccer game before she finished (since it was one of the first games of the whole season we have been here to cheer for…click back HERE for our on-the-ball parenting techniques).
Before we left Noah left Elle with a good little pep talk.
Which actually really helped her come back in her last match.
The new temple is going up en route to the soccer matches:Isn’t it beautiful?
It was HOT out there.
Thank goodness for umbrellas.
Claire’s most exciting part was the drink Grace gave her after the game:
I really should have a picture of her cheering section…all of us huddled under an umbrella sitting on the dirt covered in children of all sizes.
This will have to suffice…leaving the game in all her glory.
We came home to cool off in the pool:
The kids braved the still-pretty-cold water and even the water slide.
Some liked it more than others. I love these expressions:
But they were pretty proud that they conquered their fears.
That night the boys headed off to the Priesthood session of conference:
(Josh went too, but met them there…and Max just drank some red Crystal Light…)
While they were gone Kristi and I talked while the kids created art on the back patio:
That night we left the big kids in charge and headed out to eat with the adults. Then we stayed up ’til 2:00am talking about everything you can imagine…except for the couple snippets where I fell asleep while talking.
The next morning we got to relax a little.
And watch conference over a huge breakfast.
I will say two things about that:
1) I LOVE conference. It’s when we stay at home for church and watch all the church leaders give us guidance and inspiration over the television. To catch my favorite talks so far are HERE and HERE (that last one made me cry…especially in light of the VisionWalk and how many people have rallied around us for Lucy’s cause)…I’m still catching up on the Saturday stuff we missed.
2) We need a baby.
We made our traditional conference cinnamon rolls:
And I got Max with my traditional “signature” plastic-in-his-food April Fools joke: (this time in his cinnamon roll…more about that HERE and every year on April 1st).
We realized that our kids combined made up the same number in almost the same age-span my parents had.
Can you imagine having all those kids be your own?
Lila’s face doesn’t show it but man alive these two had fun together.
And each of our other kids could have carried the babies around on their hips all weekend and still not had their fill of them.
Elder Rasband's talk WAS incredible. He delivered it on the 2nd birthday of my nephew who has a very rare genetic disorder (www.smardypants.blogspot.com). I felt that he was speaking directly to our family, and I bet there were many, many families that felt the very same way! So cool.
Those two talks were fantastic! I always love when Elder Holland delivers a straight-forward message about things we really need to hear. I feel like he is the perfect speaker to quote whenever you need to address touchy subjects. I love conference! (And I love getting to know your family via your blog.)
oh man! i love you guys and i wish i was with you!!!! jealous. fyi shawn this post did not show up in my google reader…
fabulous post. muchas gracias.
beautiful post…I just love your blog! I also truly loved both of those talks. While I am not directly affected by a child with a disorder (we only have two now so time will tell if that stays the same), a dear friend of mine…someone so faithful and with a heart of gold…just had a baby with spina bifida (after trying for years for a baby, and finally conceiving through IFV). I couldn't help but think of her the whole time and just cry. What an amazing conference. I love the pictures you take and the way that you write! Thank you for sharing and uplifting, and making me laugh inside ("on the ball parenting techniques" haha! awesome.) 🙂
I feel almost like I was there – thanks for sharing it all so well with photos and words. I can't believe how big Bennett is!
ok I love this post! There is so much goodness and I will comment in bullet form with all that I have to say:)
-Noah and his wife are just beautiful. The picture of their whole family at the VisionWalk with Kristi being super Mom carrying a baby and holding a toddler on her hip with other little ones at her feet…She just embodies motherhood in that photo!
-I love the moment they get there…you want the baby. Love that about you. A true momma. (obvs where your girls get their baby love!)
-Elle and those long legs. She may go through (has gone through? going through?) a bit of an awkward stage where she feels out of place being so much taller and lankier than her friends but MAN ALIVE (in your words) is she going to loooooove her figure when she's an adult and long and lean her whole life like her parents.
-I love the pep talk from Noah and how Elle is taking it all in. I love families.
-Yes, that temple is beautiful.
-I am convinced that Claire is the most beautiful girl her age in the world and that Grace is the cutest. I LOVE those two in your family and the roles they play in it. For some reason…those two…I love em.
-Lucy's face coming down the slide – HILARIOUS!
-Max drinking red Crystal Light in a white dress shirt?! Bravest young man on earth.
-your photography, and your lighting, and your quality is just captivating me. Your everyday snapshots look like a professional photo shoot. You not only capture it, but you make it look so beautiful while doing so!
Man we love being with you guys! Thanks so much for letting us be a part of Lucy's cause and for letting us crash your house for conference. We all had a blast!
Oh my gosh, dad and I had a ball looking at these pictures together tonight. What a lot to take in! It just filled us with love for both families including every kid and every parent. What a joy to see all this in living color and through the eye of a an amazing photographer. Loved Josh's addition of Elle's serve. Tell her that dad love every frame! Hug everyone for us!
Kristi from Houston! We went to high school together…though I'm a bit older;) WHat a fun fun reunion, I love that your brother gave your daughter a pep talk after her tennis match;)And I love seeing your kids work in the kitchen…I need to figure out a way to get better at that…