San Antonio

The first week of school I flew down to San Antonio for a conference. Daddy and the kids drove down Friday afternoon for a little weekend fun. That night they just swam in the hotel pool. The next morning I skipped out on my conference and we walked along the River Walk.

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We walked up to the Alamo and looked around for a while before heading back along the River Walk to the hotel.

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Raine and Carter swam one last time while I checked out of my conference and the hotel room.

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After lunch, we hiked the Natural Bridge Caverns, Hidden Passages Tour. The caverns were FULL of amazing formations. It was really neat.

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First day of school 2018-19

August 20 was the first day of school. Carter started 3rd grade.

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He was ready for school wwwwaaaaaayyyyyy before Raine was even close, so he rode his skateboard around while he waited for her to get ready enough to take their sibling photo.

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Raine’s first day of 5th grade.

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It started to sprinkle just as Raine walked out the door, after spending at least 20 minutes curling her hair!

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I made them take another sibling photo after school, just because I think they’re so cute!

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For documentation purposes, because this was hilarious . . .

Last Wednesday was meet the teacher. It started at 4:30 — not an ideal time for working parents. I rushed through my hearings and sped home, getting there with just enough time to walk over to the school with the kids. This is what greeted me when I walked in the door:

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Me, shocked and confused: “Rubes, it’s meet the teacher.”
Raine: “I know. I’m ready”
Me, confused about why she looks like she’s going to a cocktail party: “How come you’re so dressed up?”
Raine: “Because you only get one chance to make an impression.”
Me, still confused and looking at her feet: “How are you planning to get there?”
Raine: “Walking.”
Me: “In those shoes?”
Raine: “Yes, they’re fine.”
Me, still confused about what kind of impression we will be making but out of time: “Okay, stand there so I can take a picture real quick.” (What I was really thinking was, I’ve got to show my legal assistant, she’ll never believe me tomorrow when I try to describe this!)

Carter, on the other hand, apparently didn’t care AT ALL about impressions because he trotted over in a grey athletic shirt, grey athletic shorts, and scooby-doo flip-flops!

Daddy’s 41st birthday

Daddy’s birthday was the day after Carter’s baptism, so Grandmas and Grandpa were here to celebrate with us.

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Friday night, before Carter’s baptism, we took everybody to an escape room and we made it out!!! It was a lot of fun!

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This had nothing to do with Daddy’s birthday, but Grandma and Grandpa helped us serve lunch to economically disadvantaged kids through the Feed Our Kids program on Tuesday before they left.

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Carter’s baptism

August 11 Carter was baptized. Grandma and Grandpa Anderson came from Arizona and Grandma Dewey came from Utah to support Carter.

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Program

The baptism witnesses were Grandpa Anderson and Evan Eastman. Carter was baptized twice because Grandpa said his leg came up the first time. The confirmation circle included Daddy, Grandpa Anderson, Bishop Glassman, Evan Eastman, Brian Boyer, Brad Grubbs, and Bruce Crandall.

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During sacrament meeting on Sunday, Bishop Glassman called Carter to the front and told the congregation about Carter — things that Carter had shared with him during his interview. Some of the things that I thought were interesting was that his favorite food was orange chicken from Pei Wei, his favorite subject is science, and he wants to serve a mission in China.

Carter’s 8th birthday party

Carter’s birthday party was at Altitude H2O, a floating obstacle course on Lake Grapevine. Since Carter isn’t a fan of large groups or too many people he only invited his 3 best friends — Spencer, Matthew, and Ben. They had a blast!

First, we met at our house for pizza and cake.

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Then we headed to the lake for 2 hours of fun.

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Spencer, Matthew, Carter, Ben

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Spencer, Matthew, Carter, Ben

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Ben, Daddy, Spencer, Carter, Matthew

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Carter, Matthew, Spencer (front to back)

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Raine is standing on top, Spencer and Carter are just rounding the top

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Here are some video clips, they are pretty shaky and I didn’t always get the lens lined up right in my water-proof case, but it shows a little bit of our fun:

This place was perfect for a bunch of rambunctious 8-year-olds. I was exhausted by the time we left and today my arms, back, abs, and legs are sore — mostly from pulling those kids back onto the floats when they fell into the water!

Carter’s annual stats:
55.8 lbs
52.9 inches

McKay family reunion – part 3

July 14 – After breakfast, we all gathered for a family photo. This photo didn’t include everyone who came, but it included a lot of us (about 100).

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The siblings: Grandma Anderson, Aunt MaryAnne, Uncle Bill, Aunt Pat, Uncle Brent (Uncle Darwin wasn’t able to make it because he was suffering from shingles)
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We drove up to the ghost-town of Custer for the Custer-days celebration. The canyon leading up to the town was other-worldly looking with the giant piles of rocks strewn along the canyon floor. We later learned that this was from the gold mining still going on in that area. Once we got close to the town, we had to park and either wait for a shuttle or walk. We opted to walk the mile-and-a-half to the town.

At the town, we mined for gold. With the help of a professional gold panner, we each found at least one little speck.

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They had all sorts of yummy treats to try: homemade ice cream, dutch-oven cobbler, and cotton candy.

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They reenacted a shootout while we were there.

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We drove down to Stanley to do some souvenir shopping and then headed back up to the ranch.

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This kids (and Grandpa) played on the slide until it was time for dinner.

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After dinner, we had a blast playing candy-bar bingo!

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Then we played outside until it got dark (which is REALLY late in Idaho).

Grandpa, Grandma, and Aunt Pat
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Grandpa and Millie
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Playing volleyball again, this time with a beach ball because Uncle Jed left with his nice soft volleyball.
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The next morning we cleaned up, said our goodbyes, and drove back to Woods Cross to Grandma and Grandpa Dewey’s home. The next morning we flew home well before the sun rose.

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It was a good thing we got home early because we found our refrigerator at a balmy 85* and we had to deal with that the rest of the day. We bought a new one, trucked it home, got it into the house and then got the old stinky one out all before we could go to bed.

McKay family reunion – part 2

July 13 – After breakfast, we headed about 50 miles east through the Sawtooth Mountains to Redfish lake, elevation 6,547 feet.

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It was a gorgeous lake, extremely deep with crystal clear water. That snow in the mountains was feeding right into the lake so it was chilly! Lucky for us, it was unseasonably hot that day. We rented a kayak so that we could explore the lake.

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Carter bought a fishing net so that he could catch minnows as they swam around the shallow water.
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Addy searched for fish with her snorkel.
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Uncle Keith rented a pontoon boat and gave us a ride down to the other end of the lake, where the creek fed the lake.

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Daddy convinced Carter to jump from the boat into the cold water.
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Grandma Anderson and Aunt Pat
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The cousins floated around the shallow end on Grandpa’s tube.
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Chris let us borrow his paddle board in exchange for the use of our kayak so we got to try something different.
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After dinner, we had a family meeting where the siblings (Grandma Anderson and her siblings) told stories of their parents. Although the great-grandkids didn’t appreciate the stories, the grandkids (my generation) really did.

Then we roasted s’mores,

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played games, and
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played volleyball. It wouldn’t be a McKay reunion without volleyball.
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Here we are sitting around the living room of our cabin once it finally got too dark outside to play.
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McKay family reunion – part 1

July 12 – we arrived just in time to prepare and serve dinner to the group. (At its peak during the reunion, the group was about 115 people.) After dinner, we had a family meeting where each of the families introduced their members (some more creatively than others). We simply introduced ourselves.

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Then Grandpa led everyone in singing happy birthday to Carter in Portuguese.

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After root-beer floats, Carter braved the cold irrigation water to slide down the giant, canal-fed waterside on the property.

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Anderson family reunion – part 3

July 11 – The boys woke up early and went fishing. The girls went searching for “Big Nelly” in the pond after breakfast.

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After lunch we headed over to the Rexburg city park where they had a splash pad and carousel.

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Raine and Addy on the slides.
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Carter, Carson, and Logan waiting for the big bucket to dump.
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The pond at the cabins was the source of hours of fun, and relaxation.

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Jed, Benji, Grandma, Daddy, Daryn
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Uncle Jed, Aunt Katie, and Benji
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The resort had a whole rack of bikes for patrons to use and, even though they were adult size, the boys used them. Carson would help Carter get started and then when it came time to stop, he would just slow down and jump off.

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The main cabin had this giant Connect 4 game that got a lot of use as well.

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Raine and Benji
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That evening we celebrated Carter’s 8th birthday since we were going to be checking out and driving to the McKay reunion the next day.

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Carter received a couple presents while we were there. We found some marshmallow blow guns at the store while we were in Rexburg and the kids had a blast playing with those.

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Once it got dark, we all played kick-the-can. It was great fun once we got the logistics worked out.

The next morning we packed up, washed some laundry at a laundry mat in Idaho Falls, and then drove to Clayton for the McKay family reunion. We let Carter decide where we ate lunch since it was his birthday and he picked… McDonalds!

Anderson family reunion – part 2

The first full day of the reunion we went for a short hike. We had a panoramic view of the valley and the snake river.
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Raine and Daddy
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Addy and Raine
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Carter and Carson
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There was no end to the toys and games available in the shed for everyone to use. The kids rode the bikes, played corn hole, ladder ball, and all sorts of other games. Their favorite activity was paddling around the pond trying to catch “Big Nelly” the golden trout.

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We had beautiful weather, perfect for a picnic dinner outside with the most adorable 8-month-old, Benji.

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That evening, Uncle Jed sponsored a bunch of minute-to-win-it games for the kids.

Trying to get a cookie from your forehead to your mouth without using your hands.
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Addy got it to her eye!
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Transferring ping-pong balls between bowls with a spoon, using only your mouth.
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Shaking all the ping-pong balls out of a box tied to around your waist.
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Transferring M&M’s between bowls using a straw — that one got pretty messy with some of those drooly kids!
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Since Uncle John bailed on the family reunion last-minute because of a bad back, we had an extra cabin. Logan, Carson, and Carter claimed that cabin as the “kid cabin” (although it was really only the boys). Raine slept in the Hicks’s cabin with Addy and Millie so Daddy and I had an entire cabin all to ourselves. We slept great!