Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Arizona Family Reunion 2014

We just got home from our first REAL road trip. We drove all the way to Arizona for the Sherwood Family Reunion. According to Google Maps, the drive was only 15 hours in distance. It took us about 18 hours total. I think that's pretty good, especially since we had to pull over every three hours to feed tucker and take the older two to the bathroom. I'm pretty proud of my little road warriors. They were such champs. 
Here is a picture of us before we left for our big adventure
Uncle David drove with us to help take care of the kids and take turns driving with me. There is NO way i could have made this trip without him. He was awesome and helped out so much. Chris couldn't miss anymore work so he didn't get to come. Luckily, Uncle David was able to drive with us and help out soo much!
All ready to leave!
This little guy did so great on the drive. He really is such an amazing baby. Just happy and relaxed. He just happily sat in his seat and grinned the entire day. 
Before leaving Uncle David ordered this little stuffed chameleon for Bailey. It's "Pascal" from "Tangled" and Bailey was so in love. She played with her "Pascal" the entire drive. It was so cute! 
More of sweet Tucker. He loved snuggling his lion. 
And Tanner was such a good boy. He got a new "transformer rescue bot" and he was really happy about that. He played with that for a long long time on our drive. 

On the first day we made it Amarillo, TX. That was about a 7 hour drive and it took us 8 1/2 hours to get there. We got a hotel room and grabbed some dinner at "Braums". Then it was back to our hotel. The kids were almost too excited to sleep. 
The next morning we woke up and got breakfast at iHOP. Then we were back on the road around 9 am. We drove 9 more hours that day and finally arrived at the Sherwood lodge in Nutrioso, Arizona. 
It was a long drive and we were so happy to be there. We got there in time for dinner.
It was so fun to see everyone and happily, my entire family was able to be there. My parents had all their kids there, except for Chris. So all the grandkids were together and all my siblings were together for the first time since Christmas. 
After dinner and visiting for a bit, we went to the cabin my parents had rented for all of us to stay in together. It was a very large cabin with lots of room for all the 6 crazy grandkids. I got the kids bathed and in bed and I was completely exhausted. 
The next morning my kids were up at the crack of dawn because of the 2 hour time difference. So Aunt Laura took them for a hike so the house would stay quiet for everyone else. 
It was so pretty up there in the Arizona mountains. My kids loved the tall fir trees and all the "nature". 
 Eventually we all got up and ready for the day. We ate breakfast and got ready to go back to the lodge to see all my cousins, aunts and uncles. 
Here is this little stud all ready for the day. 

I was in charge of activities for the great-grandkids. There were around 55 great grandkids so it got a little crazy sometimes. Friday morning I helped the kids make candy necklaces, personalized bead bracelets and we did face painting. I think it went well, but there were so many kids that it was hard to tell.

After our activity it was time for lunch and then we went back to our cabin for nap time. 
They served ice cream cones after lunch and my kids were big fans. 

Tanner the tiger showing his GRRRRRReat big muscles. 
 After naps we came back to the lodge to play and eat dinner.
The kids loved playing outside all day long. They just played non-stop. 
Tanner loved this HUGE slide. He loves making his momma nervous. 
This little girl got very attached to her Uncle David during this trip. 
Tanner just ran all day every day while we were there. He truly enjoyed his freedom and ran all the trails around the lodge. 
Oh and the sandbox. That sandbox was such a hit. The kids played in it non-stop. They had so much sand in their hair at the end of each day. 

Tanner even thought he was big enough to play basketball with the big boys. Shocker- he wasn't. But it was funny to watch him try. 

 After dinner we had a baby shower for one of my cousins and then it was back to the cabin for baths and bed. 
The kids played so hard that they slept like rocks at night. It was awesome. 
Saturday morning we took some sibling pictures and celebrate Max's first birthday.
I love this picture of Bailey and Uncle David. I love her little hand under his chin.  
Aunt Sarah got some Bailey loves too

These siblings of mine- how I miss them. It was so fun to be together all weekend. It doesn't happen nearly enough. 

After Max's little party we drove back over to the loge for the morning activities with the small kids. Saturday we ended up doing "action board hopscotch, cheeto ball/shaving cream toss, and a sandbox treasure hunt. I think the kids enjoyed it. I know my kids did. 
Cheeto puff face- instead of tossing them at his face, she very gently placed each one on his face. I was cracking up. 

Bailey made quite the haul with beaded necklaces. She found lots in the sandbox. 

Then the great-grandkids starting practicing for the talent show. Bailey was part of a group of girls who danced for the talent show, so she had to meet to learn the dance. 
While Bailey learned the dance, Tanner enjoyed exploring the great outdoors with his nerf gun. 

Then it was home for naps again. We came back for dinner and for the talent show that night. 
Bailey performed the dance with the girls at the talent show and it was so funny. 

Aunt Laura got lots of Tucker snuggles. She was gone in Japan all summer but now she's back and getting to know her newest nephew. 
Aunt Sarah and Tanner outside the lodge. 
Four years ago when we went to this reunion, I took this picture of my brothers with Tanner (My only child at the time. 
This year I got this picture. Precious huh?
This kid loves his uncles.  
Saturday night we had burgers for dinner and right after dinner it started pouring rain and lightening like crazy. We lost power and the temperature dropped like 20 degrees. 
Luckily I had hoodies in the car for the kids. So we just hung out in the dark for a while. 

Eventually the power came back on and we were able to have our traditional talent show.
Bailey got to perform her first dance on the same stage I danced on as a little girl. It was pretty adorable. 
After the talent show we ate s'mores, and then it was home for bed. 

The next morning we had to get packed up to go home. It was sad to have to say bye to everyone but we had a wonderful visit. Totally worth the 18+ hour drive to get there. 
Here is Tucker and Papa hanging out while I pack. 

We said our goodbyes to the aunts, uncles and cousins and hit the road around 11 am Sunday morning. 
Goodbye to the lodge

David flew back to Colorado so he didn't come back with us. But we were luckily enough to get Aunt Laura to road trip it back home with us. She was a wonderful help with the kids. 

We drove back to Amarillo  on Sunday and got another hotel room.
My kids love sleeping in hotels. They were so excited when we got there. 

The next morning we got up and ate breakfast and then hit the road again. We drove through rain for the first half the day. We finally got sunshine for the last 4 hours of the day. We arrived home around 6 pm on Monday evening. We were so happy to be home. 
We really had a great time. My kids can't wait to go back to Arizona again. It makes me happy because I have so many wonderful memories of summers spent with family in Arizona. Hopefully we can go back for the next reunion in 2016 and maybe even get to bring Daddy next time.
It was so fun to see all my cousins and their spouses. I think there were around 33 original grandkids and now most of us are married. Then there were around 55 great grandkids. Plus the original 6 siblings and their spouses- so there was well over 100 of us. So crazy but so fun. 
Love family time! Until next time Arizona!