Well, sorry, but this is going to be an all-in-one post - no breaking it up in to days. Which equals lots and lots of pictures.
I was going to head out after church on Sunday to Midway with all the kids - but minus Ben (who had work of course). However, my dad called that morning around 8 to tell me about the weather. He was nervous about the predicted high winds on my travel - especially with all the semis that drive my route. So I started checking the weather and saw that my highest point - Soldier Summit - could get 6-12 inches of snow on Sunday. With high winds. No thank you. So I talked to my kids and told them we were going to have to leave on Monday instead. Lots of whines and moans (some of which were from me . . .). So I called my dad back to tell him that we would be heading out on Monday. Then my dad brought up the possibility of going to St. George instead for a few days. And that sounded perfect! I checked the weather for my drive and it was just forecasted for high winds that were to be done by about 2pm. Plus, the next few days were to be in the mid to upper 60s in St. Geroge. Much better than Midway's 40 degree temps and more rain/snow.
So I left after the 2nd hour of church and we were off. All was good through Grand Junction. Then the winds picked up and were super crazy and wild. Once Jonas even remarked, "Whoa, that moved our car!" It had. Then the winds weren't super crazy - but it started raining and snowing. White-out snow conditions at times, too. It was no fun at all. I was stressed. I hated it. But we made it - even in better time than I had anticipated. (I keep thinking it's like around 8 hours to get there. Really, I think it's more like 6 1/2. I took me 7 hours - and that included most of the drive going under the speed limit, including a good stretch on I-15 were I was going 40, instead of the 80 limit.)
My parents, never one to shy away from driving in crappy weather, headed down to meet me. They left around 6:30, I think, and got there by 10:30.
Monday morning I took the kids swimming at the pool. And who did I run in to?!?! My old childhood friend (as in a best-friend, really) from Virginia!!!! Angela Fink (now something else). Too crazy. It was really fun chatting with her. She has four kids and lives in Idaho Falls. Just nuts.
After swimming we headed out to do some hiking in Snow Canyon. It was cool, the weather warm, the kids happy.
Some nights included playing games, like Othello:
After the kids were down, my friend Angela came over (her grandparent's bought a condo like 2 houses down and over from my parent's place!) and we visited for quite a while. It was fun for my parents, too. My parents were really great friends with her parents. Fun, fun.
Tuesday we went to this crazy park - full of all things that spin. It's totally fun and different. We've done it before (I think I saw it on my cousin's blog a couple years back and just had to go :).
My dad had given the kids some money and Emmy had already been begging about going to a store. So I had my mom take us to some second-hand stores to see if there was anything for them. The first one she took us to was so awesome - I wanted to buy 1/2 the store! But it's more of a cool antique store - not super cheap prices. So we tried another store. Emmy and Lucy bought some stuffed horses and Lucy also found a cute, little, fold-out doll house thingy. She was so excited about. Miles bought two items for 50 cents. Jonas saved his money.
After lunch and such we went back to town and played in their little downtown "creek" area and splash pad. It wasn't super warm (due to wind and clouds), but the kids got soaked. Especially after Grandpa's bet - which earned the kids a tiny bit more money. :)
Wednesday we headed to the Children's Museum. It was pretty darn cute and I think the kids enjoyed themselves:
After lunch we drove up to Midway. It's a "quick" 4-hour trip and wasn't too horrible. The weather was great for us (although my dad, who headed up about a half-hour before us had rain and sleet and such.)
I was so glad we were able to go to St. George and enjoy the nice weather and fun things there! (It had rained/snowed most of Tuesday in Midway and even snowed a bit there on Wednesday.) But it was nice to be in Midway as it feels much more like my parents' home - cuz it is, I guess! :)
On Thursday I took the kids to Classic Skating in Orem. Loved it. Maybe more so than the kids. Though the kids sure loved it, too. I used to go rollerskating at a Classic Skating rink, but in Sandy. Fun memories! We had disco balls, funky lighting, the works. And there was hardly anyone else there. It was loads of fun - I made sure to rent me a scooter, too (yes, you can ride scooters there!), so I wouldn't just have to sit and watch them. We all had a blast. There are other things at this place, too - like bouncy houses, a huge climbing thing, etc. We did it all.
Afterwards I took the kids to the dollar theater ($1.50, actually) and we saw the only kid show showing: The Nut Job. It was okay. I think the kids had fun. Although Lucy did fall asleep on me towards the end. :)
Ben arrived, by train, that night - 11:50pm. Almost 2 1/2 hours late. Like always. Ugh. My dad is always so kind and generous to pick him up. I had planned to and wanted to for his 9:30pm arrival. But not for his midnight arrival. But only because I don't drive well in the dark down windy, canyon roads.
My good friend, and, frankly, Ben's too (Megan), from BYU was in town and so we got together and met up at the new Aquarium on Friday. It was . . . a disappointment. Like 1/2 of the tanks were empty. Empty, nada, zilch. We really should have been charged a half-price admission. It was a little ridiculous. It was also super busy. There were some definite cool spots - like the penguins and the overhead shark tank. We saw a cool sting-ray that would swim right up to us. Also a fun sea-turtle.
Afterwards we just went to a park and visited with Megan and her family. We hung out there for a few hours and it was a super nice time. There was a little park the kids played at. Then a bit of a ways off there was this huge tree with a rope on it for swinging. The kids spent a lot of time on it. It looked super fun!
Then it was off to Cafe Rio for dinner. YUM. And, finally, our last stop of the day - a BYU baseball game. It was just fun being there. About the 5th or so inning we spotted Cosmo. And Lucy couldn't keep her eyes off him. She kept following him, asking where he was when she couldn't spot him, called out his name, etc. It was super-duper cuteness to the extreme. He, Cosmo, finally made his way over to us and oh what a treat:
Lucy was mesmerized with him even more after that. :) She kept looking for him, starring at him, etc. Adorable.
Saturday we watched conference, took the kids swimming, watched more conference, Ben took the kids on a drive on my dad's "thing" and they hiked up Memorial hill. I went grocery shopping with my mom. After dinner the two men left for Priesthood session and we just hung out at home. I made a little post-conference treat. We got the girls to bed and the men came home. They then gave up a little synopsis of each talk during conference. This is one of Ben and mine's tradition, that just started including the boys last conference. It's nice and enjoyable and great to hear about the great talks given.
(Anyone still hear that has read every word . . .???)
We watched more conference and the kids kept pretty busy with their conference bingo and some coloring pages my mom had gotten ready for them. After the 1st session, Ben and I headed out with the boys to Salt Lake, where we got to go in the conference center and watch the 2nd session. It was really great being there with the boys. They were interested in the cameras and the such, but it was still a really nice experience for us all.
We had a yummy dinner by my mom (who has vowed to not cook anymore) and a fun evening - complete with playing some Pictionary. We headed out pretty early on Monday and are now adjusting (some better than others, ahem Jonas - see a later post) to real life once again.
Here are a few random pictures:
Miles started making a bunch of origami cranes - and couldn't stop. Kind of cool, yet kind of excessive, too. :) That's my Miles.
And last, but not least, some videos:
At the sand dunes.
At the crazy park in St. George.
The skating rink.