Friday, April 1, 2016

Visiting Idaho, part II

Playin' a little team Foosball. Brennan has gotten pretty good at it, actually.

All the Barry and Judi Stevenson grandchildren! First time for over 2 years at least.

I was planning to leave Saturday a.m. around 10:00, but when I found out that basically all the rest of the Stevenson family members would be arriving for a lunch birthday celebration of Grandpa Bud, I couldn't let myself leave just 2 hours before seeing everyone! I rearranged my plans and it was worth it. So nice see everyone and be a part of the family - in actuality - one last time. I still plan to take the kids and visit, probably at least once a year. But I'm acutely aware that it won't be the same. Eventually, it'll be longer that Brian and I are divorced than how long we were married for. I know time will change things. So I really appreciated getting to be a Stevenson and part of their reunion during this visit. I'm so glad to see some of the extended family again as some of them I likely won't ever again. It was a nice way to end our visit.

Happy Birthday, Grandpa Bud!

Cousins - Adam and Shay's 2nd daughter, Peter and Jill's oldest

Only missing a granddaughter-in-law (Jill), Grandfiance-in-law (Marrissa), and Brian. Not bad at all!

From the party, we headed for home. I decided the family in Boise was too far from home to stop overnight, but Shannon's was too far to drive after a late start, so we stayed in a hotel inbetween the two. It was Easter's Eve, but we made it work. Actually, it worked really well. I'd ordered a rollaway bed for the 5th person, but they also had this really long bench that Hollyn opted to sleep on. In the end, all the kids were cozily squeezed on one half of the room (Brennan strategically placed to break Kieran's fall if Kieran should fall out of bed, hee hee), and I had a full bed to myself. AND, I could hide by it to help the Easter Bunny out below the kids' sight.

As I expected, the younger three konked out right away. We'd arrived at 8:45, and 45 minutes later I'd checked us in, we'd had time to argue over who was sleeping where, the kids were in PJs,, in bed, lights out, and we all were laying silently. I laid there in bed at 9:30 incredulous by the quiet of a hotel room with 4 kids who'd just barely arrived after a long drive. And I waited for them to fall asleep.
After about 20 minutes I got up to check on the kids but Brennan was still awake. I tried doing some silent arranging since it was dark. But I worried about how to do anything that involved noise, and Brennan is someone who stays awake foreeeeever. I think he technically knows the situation now, but I still wanted to be sneaky anyway. *Luckily* Brennan wasn't feeling well. :-) He went into the bathroom to throwup and I seized the opportunity to frantically dump items out of plastic bags and cut open packages. Whew! Barely made it in time. Due to being unwell, Brennan fell asleep within minutes of getting back into bed and I was able to hide the eggs and get into bed by 10:00. :-)

With all the fun and traveling of the day before the kids hadn't really remembered or put much expectation into an Easter morning. So they were totally surprised and thrilled when they woke up  and found goodies and hidden eggs. At least for me, I think this was a particularly memorable Easter that stands out among the previous years. 

 Brennan got a book-on-CD of Tennis=Shoes Among the Nephites. I wasn't sure if he'd be excited or think it lame because he doesn't really care to read much when it doesn't involve graphics and/or isn't about middle school. Turns out it was the former. He requested to listen to it immediately on our drive, talked Grandma and Grandpa into playing it when he switched to their car at Shannon's, listens to it in bed, listens to it when doing homework... he just plays it over and over, sometimes starting at the beginning each time, like it's music. The novelty will wear off, but I think it's fun how much he loves having a book to listen to. He also got a rainbow loom he'd been wanting for a year or two now; Asher wanted a fedora hat and has been wearing it almost all the time since Easter. Apparently "everyone in school loves his hat". All of them received some church clothes/accessories, and some other thingys from Deseret as usual.

Out of chronological order, but this was stopping for dinner at Panera in Boise.

 We had to stop for a potty break, and Emigrant Springs Campground came up first. Right next to the restrooms was this mound of packed snow. Surprise snow play!

We enjoyed a wonderful and yummy Easter linner at Shannon and Bryan's, with Mom and Dad there too. It was fun to see their new house, and to celebrate Mom and Blake's birthdays at the same time. Unfortunately most of my visit was spent trying to halt a fraudulent spending spree through my Paypal account, but it was still a nice visit.

I had just Asher and Kieran for the last leg and we drove the straight 5 hours home with no getting out. One quick gas station stop but that was it - I thought I'd save a little $ by avoiding another restaurant meal so even though we got tired of the car, we just kept going. Got home, and I had to use the bathroom reaaaaally bad. I sent Asher to get our only house key from the Sparks and it turned out they weren't home. In fact, they were just leaving Portland! I started neighbor hopping just to use the bathroom before I could decide what to do about being locked out and not a single friend was home either! Eventually I used Safeway's bathroom, and decided to get us dinner at Burger King 2 blocks from our house while I waited for my manager to get home and unlock my house for me. Ah, the best of intentions, lol.

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