Thursday, July 12, 2012


We got to spend a whole week with the Harper family at the amazing Cliff Lodge at Snowbird in early June. It was a great way to start out our summer! Ryan's parents came from Connecticut, his sister Traci and her family came from Washington, Tim and Laura's family and the two local families (ours and Tim and Laura) drove less than an hour! We had so much fun, but daily missed Scott and Kristen and their family who couldn't make it because of work conflicts.  Ryan's parents were so generous with everything. Our condos were wonderful and the activities that are at Snowbird are so much fun. They kids loved being with their cousins and grandparents! We took turns cooking which I loved. I only wish I had five or six other adults to help with meal prep and clean up all the time! I love the picture below of Bruce reading to his girls. Sophia loved to grab a book and snuggle on his lap. The photo on the bottom right was funny... four Harpers, at least four Apple devices and other gadgets, and not one word between them. We love our gadgets!

Ryan's parents planned a very fun Family History game with all of the names of our family members including maiden names. They brought so many fun prizes for the kids AND adults... we are still enjoying ice cream from Cold Stone :). It was fun to see that our kids know the names of their family members. They tried to give challenge questions about great-grandparents and in-laws and we all learned a few new things :).

We took a walk up to the overlook that showed a beautiful view into the Salt Lake Valley. You can see Sophia's latest tactic when she doesn't get what she wants in the second photo down from the top left. She did NOT want to be in our family picture! She loved riding on Grandpa's shoulders though and thoroughly enjoyed "reading" the nature facts along the way. She also found that picking up pine cones to throw or leaves to distribute to the adults was fascinating. She thought it was so fun that she didn't want to pass by ANY pine cones without picking it up (at least once) to throw it.

 There was a fun playground a short (1/2 mile) walk away.

Each day the condos hosted activities for the kids... games, treasure hunts, and these cool t-shirts. They had colored t-shirts and all sorts of foam shapes and letters. The kids designed their shirts by laying out the shapes and then they were sprayed with 100% Clorox bleach. After sitting for a couple of minutes they washed their shirts for them and wrung out the water. In just a few hours, each kid had a wearable work of art. We loved this project (and have ideas for many future holiday t-shirts).

One of our favorite traditions during Harper family trips is the Jammie Walk. Bruce and Terri started doing this when they were babysitting Olivia and Coleman one night many years ago... they wanted to go for a walk but had already changed into their PJs, and thus, the Jammie Walk was born. Sometimes they include books or stories and sometimes they have a fun light toy or flashlight for the kids. The last Jammie Walk was two years ago at Bear Lake with sweet Mikayla, and Terri wanted to help the kids remember her. She read a great story about candlelight and they gave each of the kids an electric candle to carry with them. The kids loved this so much! The building had all sorts of neat hallways, staircases, and mirrors for them to explore.

Aside from all of these great activities, I got to read a few magazines (cover to cover!), we celebrated Olivia's 11th birthday, we attended a great sacrament/testimony meeting, I finished listening to Jane Eyre (why, oh why did it take me so long in my life to read this?), we watched the fabulous BBC movie of "Jane Eyre" (Olivia and Coleman especially loved it... Coleman thought he had the mystery figured out..."I know, there's a vampire in the house!"), we played a lot of blocks and games, spent some time in the hot tub and pool, and I tried to keep up my training for the 5K (which was not easy in the mountain air... who am I kidding, it wasn't easy because I am out of shape!). We loved Snowbird!


Kristi said...

You guys know how to have a family reunion! That all looks like so much fun. I love Sophia's little "fits" that she does. Oh, the life of a two year old. Those shirts are AWESOME! I may have to do that with my girls. How fun. And, I love the candlelight walk you did to remember Mikayla. I'm sure that will always be a tough memory, but I am sure she is still close by your family.