Sorry it's been so long since I blogged last. Craig had youth conference last week and it's been exhausting trying to keep up with these crazy kids. I know that there are tons of people who have more than 3 kids, but there really aren't any breaks for me during the day and I'm getting a little overwhelmed. I've reached my kid limit (usually it feels like I've exceeded it). Anyhow, I borrowed a friends kids last week. She's on bedrest and I took them for the morning. They're great kids and Taylor has so much fun when they're here. Taylor posed himself in that pic where he looks like a serious pirate. So funny! Then he posed all pouty again in the pic of the three kids where he looks sad! What a ham! Saturday the kids had fabulous Primary Pioneer Day activity that ended in a bike parade led by Brigham Young on a scooter! It was so wonderful! Sophie got her passy stuck in her mouth all caddywhompus the other day and smiled through it all!
We had so much fun on our trip out to UT last week. The first night we flew in we got to go up the Canyon (Provo)with Derek and Rachael and Hailey and Steve and have pizza and Steve made us dutch oven cobbler. It was all fantastic and the kids had a blast playing and running around together. That's what the ideal family reunions are made out of! Good fun, good weather, good food, great conversation! It was a wonderful way to start the week! Wednesday morning we went up to SLC to Temple square. We met up with my parents in SLC and walked around the visitor centers and got lunch at the Nauvoo Cafe (yum! yum! Great sandwiches)and watched the Joseph Smith movie at the Joseph Smith memorial Bldg (that is NOT a kid movie, but they all did really well). Then we took the LONGEST 1/2 hr (it was really 2 and 1/2 hr)tour of the conference center. What a beautiful bldg, what a LONG tour, especially the elevator ride! The next day we got to go to the Open house for the Oqquirr MT (that is probably spelled wrong, but it's pronounced "Oaker") temple. It was cool to show the kids the inside of the temple after out temple trip a couple weeks ago and then visiting temple square. The paintings in the temple are so beautiful as are the windows and everything. I love how they make each temple reflect the region in which it resides. We ran into some friends of ours from Syracuse, NY there, the Sandbergs. It was fun to see them, they live in Lindon, UT now. Later that afternoon we visited BYU campus for some Creamery Ice cream, BYU-wear for the fam and to check out the new buildings. We lost Dad for the majority of the trip, but we had fun running into friends of ours from Kentucky, the Pinsters and some friends from past BYU days and just looking at all the new changes on campus. After reuniting with Dad by the rental van we drove past my old apt (Santa Barbara) and Craig's old house (School House, I can't believe that we saw the TV on there, somebody is actually LIVING there!), and our old apartment Perrett! Then we went to Wingers and had some of the best Wings made anywhere! They really are still THAT good! Friday, July 3rd is Ellie's birthday and we got to have a Birthday Party with her at the Dinosaur museum at Thanksgiving Point. It was so fun and a fabulous museum! Our sandwiches at the Cafe there were really good too! That evening we had a BBQ with all the Howells we could convince to join us. It was so fun to see everybody and hang out! I can't believe how grown-up and nice everybody is! I hope my kids turn out that nice! It makes me sad we're so far away. Saturday was the Fourth of July. We got T's from old Navy and used bleach pens to put our names and fireworks on them! it was a fun project and was fun to have matching family reunion t's to wear to the fireworks that night. After making T-shirts, the mommy's went to lunch at PFChang and the kids played at the park and had a picnic and later a nap. Then we went swimming at the Scera Pool. It was so fun. Katie had so much fun on the waterslide. That night we met up with Aunt Annie, Uncle Phil, Daysa, Metta, Justin, Aaron, Evan, Ellen, and all us Howell Crew, at Thanksgiving Point to watch the fireworks. It was an impressive show and if we'd left 5 min earlier we wouldn't have gotten stuck in the hr long wait for the freeway. So close! At least the kids slept and we had candy to munch on and Justin to talk to. Sunday we ran into our friends from our married-BYU days, the McCrae's at the hotel breakfast buffet! How funny to see them after almost 10 yrs! Then we went to Hailey and Steve's ward to be at Griffin's Blessing. After the blessing it was time for people to have to say good-bye. The Howell's had to leave after sacrament mtg. and then my Mom and Dad had to get to the airport. Steve also had to leave for a trip. Thankfully Hailey and I had a couple more days to hang out. Monday we went to Park City and Daysa came with us. We had so much fun staying at the Oswalds house, playing the Wii and jumping on the trampolines. I was able to visit with my friends, Jordan ChanBoon and Rachel Hendrickson on Monday evening. Sadly, Tuesday we had to pack up and leave for the airport. We did squeeze in breakfast at Kneaders with Hailey, Jack and Griff, but then all the fun was over. We missed standby on a 1pm flight and had to leave at 3:40 for home by way of Chicago, getting us into Atlanta, GA at midnight and home by almost 3am! I'm still recovering from that! Taylor did get to meet the pilot on our second flight and check out the cockpit. He wants to be a pilot when he grows up. The pilot also welcomed him on to the flight over the speaker as a special guest! We did have so much fun the whole! The only thing I would change would be maybe just a little more time together and not so much distance separating us all. If you ask the kids what their fav part of the trip was they'll tell you Aunt Annie's house and playing the Wii and jumping on the trampoline and playing with Daysa! My favorite part is that I get to go back in August for Metta's Sealing!
Craig's plant was shut down the week of Fourth of July. We planned a family reunion trip in conjunction with the shut down since he had to use a week of vacation then anyway. Since our flight out to UT left Tuesday morning out of Atlanta we decided to Priceline a hotel room for Monday night and spend some time in Atlanta Monday afternoon. We went to the Atlanta History Center and had fun touring the farm there and walking around the Swan House. If you pull up the picture of the farm house you can see a door on the left side of the porch. That is the "Southern Hospitality" room. I guess they would leave that door open and it was a little room with a bed where travelers could stay and were always welcome. Thus the saying "the door is always open". If the door happened to be closed the traveler knew that it was already occupied. Southern farmers welcomed travelers and the news they brought with them, since they only made it into town about once a month. Craig and I decided we probably would not have been farmers. :> Thanks to Mom and Dad for getting us the year passes into Atlanta History Center in December our return visit was free! Then we went to dinner at Johnny Rockets and swam in the hotel pool. It was fun to be in the Holiday Inn next to the Olympic park and even more fun to only play $38 for the night! The next morning we got up and drove to the Atlanta airport and flew out to UT!
Established: April 29th 2000
Including: Craig, Amy, Katie and Taylor Starkey
Locations: From Provo. UT to Syrcuse, NY to Wooster, OH to Henderson, KY to Greenville, SC and now back up to the Great White North(basically from sea to shining sea).