Tuesday, June 24, 2014

June 15 - June 21

Sunday, June 15: Father’s Day! We had dinner with Eve and Milko up in Plano after church. On the way up there, I dropped off an apple pie with Richard, and and took the other to Plano with us along with a salad and Bluebell. It was a super fun night with friends; we played Apples to Apples (I won!), and while the other kids played with toys, Jamie played quietly with a magnet puzzle on the fridge.

Monday, June 16: I drove back up to Plano to Old Navy to pick up a nice swimsuit cover-up for me and a few pairs of flip flops for Tyler, then we went to a 2 hour kids gymnastics class with Eve and her kids.

Tuesday, June 17: It was so helpful that this was McKay’s regular day off, because we had so much to do to get ready. He replaced his cache, which had sunk to the depths of the pond. We both went shopping all over to get ready, and we were up late packing into the night.

Wednesday, June 18: We were on the road by 10:30 on our way north. We stopped first in Plano to drop off Bronx at the Cano’s. He must have smelled them as soon as we got on their street, because once we passed the house (waiting for oncoming traffic to pass so we could park in front of their house) he jumped right out of an open window. McKay had to grab him by his tail as he went sailing out! Crazy dog! After that, we drove the five hours up to Arkansas. The only stop we made was at an Arkansas rest stop; some sort of welcome committee? Tyler and Jamie ran around and worked out some energy, and I checked out the billion pamphlets available.
We got to Mount Ida around 6:30, and we checked into a three bedroom, three bath cabin that we would be sharing with the two other families with kids in the Hinckley group. We got the master bedroom – suh-weeeet. The bathtub had a little book tray across the top with an empty wine glass and a loofah. So very fancy! David and Marie made dinner that night – tacos!

Tyler and Jamie fell right back in with their Utah cousins, and quite honestly, we did not see much of them for the next three days. Kendy had prepared a fun craft for the kids, pinecone creatures! I introduced my “I Spy With My Little Camera” list, hoping to encourage some fun and coordinated picture capturing over the next few days.
After all the kids were down for the night (quite the feat), all the grown-ups stayed up for hours discussing Ordain Women, and I wasn’t even the one to initiate the conversation! I was shocked to hear some support where I didn’t expect it, and pleasantly surprised to hear kindness from those who disagreed. It was a pretty nice talk.

Thursday, June 19: Everyone woke up bright and early – I forgot some of our nieces and nephews normally wake up before 6AM. We had a yummy breakfast by Kendy and Brady, baked oatmeal. We all got suited up and packed all our beach gear before heading down to Lake Ouachita where Kendy and Brady had rented a platform boat and a wave runner. We had such a fun day swimming, skipping all the flat rocks, and riding the heck out of that wave runner.

We got back to the cabin around 4:30, and McKay and I made dinner: Ranch Rosemary Chicken kabobs.

After dinner, we played Hinckley Bingo: 

, which was my contribution to the Hinckley No-Talent Show night, where everyone had prepared something:

Matthew and Edison: Made various weapons out of pipe cleaners, and then passed out pipe cleaners to all of us to make our own
Lauren: Had prerecorded a song on the piano and played the video for us
Tyler: Put on a puppet show with a dolphin and a clownfish
Evelyn, Grant, Meggie, and Jamie (who actually practiced and knew the skit, but declined at the last minute): Recited a poem about the woods while the younger ones did coordinating hand motions
David and Evelyn: Had a full conversation in excellent Spanish
Marie: Sang an Oscar Meyer song in German
Cindy: Sang Give said the Little Stream in German
Kevin: Songs on the guitar

Friday, June 20: The whole family headed out early to the Wegner Crystal Ranch to hunt for crystals. After paying an entrance fee per person, we drove out to a clearing with an enormous field of red Arkansas dirt that was full of crystals.

The kids went crazy, and to be honest, so did the grown-ups! Grandpa announced there would be an award for the very best crystal found. It was hot, and I was feeling crummy, so I sat out the actually digging, but I designated myself the official photographer. I took about 200 pictures in the first 15 minutes, and then had to sit down for the rest of the two hours we were there.


After filling up our buckets with crystals, everyone washed the crystals off in the trough fed by a pond next to it. 

Everyone was hot and cranky at that point, so we herded the kids into the wonderfully icy AC in the cars while the supplies were checked back in. I wasn’t feeling up to browsing the little gift shop, so I asked McKay to pick out something pretty to put on our jar shelf. He found these beautiful purple crystals for me. We stopped for ice cream, and got back to the cabin around 3:00 in the afternoon.

We had a big dinner of leftovers and ordered in pizza, and then we had a surprise party for Kevin to celebrate Father’s Day. I had had everyone put their thumbprints on a family tree, and made a copy for each family.

Then we played Minute to Win It games with the kids, and it was hilarious.

After everyone had settled down, Kevin and Cindy put a movie on for the kids and let us grownups walk down to a pretty lookout point over the lake to see what we could of the sunset (it was pretty cloudy, and we didn’t end up seeing much).

After Kevin and Cindy went back across the campground to their little cabin, the parents all stayed up playing Killer Bunnies, possibly the most hilariously frustrating game ever.

Saturday, June 21: We spent much of the morning packing up and straightening up, finding marshmallows under the TV armoire and what not. We checked out at 11, took a quick family picture, and then after sad goodbyes to the Cox family, we were on our way. Those who were Texas bound stopped in Texarkana for lunch at Jake’s BBQ.

So yummy! We pulled back into Dallas about 5:30. I watered our poor flowers and we all unpacked. McKay went to pick up Bronx, and we were so glad to see him, and so incredibly happy to sleep in our own beds again :)

Funny Things:

  • Things got a little silly during the Apples to Apples game, and it was determined that scientifically, the funniest letters are "S" sounds and the "K" sounds. McKay therefore suggested that the funniest word in the world would be Sassy Sasquatch. McKay has verified for me that this username on Match is taken. (??)
  • Uncle Brady brought an enormous bag of pistachios, a treat he likes to share with his two youngest girls, Meggie and Maddie. He ended up with another fan: Jamie followed him around for the next two days, asking shyly about "Can I have some more stashios?"
  • During the drive, I was annoyed at something one of the kids did. Tyler noticed, and asked "Mom, is your mouth furious?"
  • I was flipping through our CD collection on the way up and came across a Backstreet Boys CD that I've owned since I was about 14, only it looks like someone else had highjacked it at some point, crossing out my initials and replacing it with theirs?