Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Grandpa VanValkenburg's 80th Birthday!

Great Grandpa VanValkenburg turned 80 in September.  His birthday wish was to have all his family and grandkids at the temple at the same time.  In order for most of us to be able to make his birthday wish come true we celebrated a little early, labor day weekend.  

Before heading up to Vernal we stopped off in Draper to visit the cousins at their new High School.  Parker had a game in Springville that night so the kids tagged along with Uncle Jeff and Aunt Britt while Justin and I took Ryan to BYU's campus for a little trip down memory lane.  We sure do miss living in Utah and being able to hang out with the cousins! It's nice to pick up right where we left off though, except for the change in height.  Holy Moly they are so grown up now!

The next morning we headed to Vernal.  It was our first time ever in Vernal. What a special day it was to all be in the temple together, and to see Grandpa in his element so to speak.  He is such a wonderful example to all of us and we are so glad we made the effort to celebrate with him.  Lots of great memories were made and I hope Zach and Kate remember this experience.   It's always fun to re unite with family. Kate and Lexie became fast buddies and were pretty much inseperable.  And it was fun to get Mason and Ryan together, as they are just a week apart! Grandma and Granpa came all the way from Philly as did Uncle Gary and Aunt Debbie from Iowa.  I wish I had a picture of the whole crew! It was so nice to catch up with everyone, and to see all our extended family too.  It was hard to say good-bye. On our way out we stopped by Grandma Van's grave.  We miss her so much! Grandpa Van made her headstone so beautiful.  They have such an amazing love.

We ended our fun weekend with our BFF's, the Broadbents.  They're pretty much family.  It's so nice that we have managed to remain close to friends from Dental School. We spent labor day in Park City. The kids loved the alpine slides. Ryan even got in on the fun. One day we will be neighbors! This was definitely on of our best labor days to date!

  And no trip can be complete without a trip to Cafe Rio! But before that we rewarded the kids with an afternoon at the new discovery museum in Lehi, for being such great road trippers.  We put 800 miles on our rental car within a 4 day period.  Lots of candy may or may not have been consumed...

Whew! What a great weekend and last hoorah for the summer!  


Monday, August 11, 2014

Summer Summertime...

Uncle Andy bought a boat this year! We spent a Saturday on Lake Merwin, in Washington, with them. I have to say that a boat is a recipe for lots of family memories, and Zach getting to wake surf with Uncle Andy will definitely be remembered.  We all got a chance to perfect our wake surfing skills.  And the best best part is you don't wake up sore the next day!  

We also went berry picking with Grandma!  Kate was a great picker.  Ryan on the other had, not so much.  He really enjoyed eating them though. He LOVES raspberries and as he plopped each one in he said "mmmmmmm..." And I learned something new about my mom.  She picked berries every summer for spending money as a kid.  

What's a summer without going to the pool right? Ryan really enjoyed his first summer of swimming.  And with Bethany Athletic Club under construction for a fire that happened in early spring we had the pool practically all to ourselves.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Lake Donnelly...

Another two years have past with another Thompson Family Reunion in the books!  This time we went to Lake Donnelly, which is still in Idaho, but just 15 miles down from McCall, where we used to go.  We divided ourselves between two houses and walked the path down to the lake daily to make it all happen.  We had been pretty darn spoiled with our set up in McCall, but the price and temperature of the water was more than right.  We even ventured off the lake, on my birthday actually, to test out the Gold Fork Hot Springs, and ended the day bridge jumping, which was also a new adventure for us all, especially Zach.  He was terrified but peer pressure eventually won, as he conquered his nerves and took the jump.  Confidence was built that day!   

Almost everyone was able to make it minus Aunt Britt and Maddi.  They were in NY!  Both Zach and Kate soaked in having endless cousin time, while Ryan experienced life at the lake for the first time, which included falling off the dock into the water. It never fails that at least one toddler finds their way off the dock. So Uncle Jeff became his fast buddy and our third set of eyes! 

Other notable memories were Kate and Brooke having sleep overs together in Grandma and Grandpa's room, Zach getting up on the wakeboard, even if it was just for a few seconds, and me learning to wake surf without the rope. Fun times had by all!