Warning this post is very, very long. Proceed with caution.
The fam and I headed south for Easter this year. I was none too sad about leaving the four inches of snow that had accumulated outside. In fact, I was so over winter and so ready for spring that I didn't bother packing pants or long sleeved shirts for the kids. I probably should have checked the weather first, because a sweatshirt or two might have come in handy...whatever, what doesn't kill us makes us stronger right?
Really, it wasn't that cold. I mean it was a little chilly in the shade, but the temperature was great in the sun. Consequently, we all ended up with sunburns.
This trip south we were able to squeeze in some extracurriculars too.
Friday morning we took the kiddies to the Arts Festival. I can still remember as a kid, wandering the festival...not so much amongst the artwork, but in and about the food court rather, admiring all of the delectable delights...scones, snow cones, gyros. I have always loved food probably moreso now. So, it came as no shock that I found myself slowing as we walked passed the food court; taking in all of the savory sights and smells. This time my attention was focused on the navajo taco stand and the authentic mexican stand next to it. Lunch was going to be a difficult choice.
We passed on the food for time being...it was only 10:30 and continued to a grassy area where a stage had been set up. We met up with other family members to watch some of my cute nieces, Macie and Ainsley, dance. It was fun sitting in the sun and relaxing. It made me nostalgic for the days of my youth, which consequently reminded me of a shirt I once sported that read "sunkist in St. George". It was nice getting "sunkist", well "sunburnt" in St. George again.
After the dancing we headed over to the food area where I had finally decided on a quesadilla from the little mexican stand. It was a difficult choice, but I felt good about it.
Some of you may wonder why I settled on a humble quesadilla, but I assure you it wasn't your average quesadilla. This monster was filled with peppers and onions and cheese and so much goodness...and by goodness I mean lard. I salivate just talking about it. Chad was seduced by the delicious quesadilla too...the kids had no choice in the matter and were given a slice of pizza. We hung out with the fam and nibbled and chatted and listened to the live entertainment. Really, life doesn't get any better than that...good company and good food. It was also pretty fun watching the ecclectic mix of people the Arts Festival brings out.
The kids ran around like a herd of crazies and wore themselves out and I'm convinced that by the time bedtime rolled around we were all suffering from heatstroke. Every one slept soundly and no one woke til ten the next morning.
Just to backtrack a bit, before leaving the festival, I took the kids to a little place I used to frequent back in the day, Judd's store. It's like walking back into the past what with all the nostalgic candies, gums and sodas. Anyone remember Razzles or the wax soda bottles filled with colored liquid? My favorite from the day was black cows. We've taken the kids to Judd's a time or two before this trip and it is fast becoming a staple.
Saturday morning was conference and we caught most of the morning session. I quite enjoyed President Monson and was happy to get a glimpse at his sense of humor.
Afterwards,my sister Michele put together a special family zumba class for in between sessions. We met at the school where my other sister works and danced it up in the gymnasium. Imagine trying to zumba with rubber recess balls and kids on trash can rollers flying at you from every direction. Oh, and one ginormous cage ball too. This event kinda epitomizes my family...relative organization with a bit of chaos mixed in with it. It was a good time, and it helped ease my mind about all of the poor food choices I had made and would continue to make while on vacation.
Later that day we returned to the school for a family picnic and Easter egg hunt. Everyone ended up ordering Durango's... mmmmmm. And the egg hunt went off without a hitch. All the kiddies seemed satisfied with the number of eggs they found and thankfully no fist fights broke out. Last year at the family picnic/egg hunt a freak mini tornado blew through; pelting us with rocks and sand and bespeckling all of the festive cupcakes with dirt. Thankfully we were able to bypass this little adventure, although the wind started picking up just as we were packing up.
Again we managed to spend adequate amounts of time out in the St. George sun and the kids slept soundly for another night.
Although it was Easter morn, no one woke up before nine to see if the goody bearing bunny had found us. Avery was a little concerned about not being at home, but I assured her the bunny knew where to find us.
Carter was the first to wake, and was so overcome by excitement that he ripped Chad's covers off and screamed "Easter". Needless to say, Chad did not share in Carter's excitement, or at his revealing gesture.
The other kids awoke and deliberated as to where the elusive bunny might have hidden their baskets this year. A few years ago, while spending Easter in St. George, the Easter bunny hid all the kids' baskets in the bath tub. The kids still talk about it and I think that the anticipation and excitment of the search is more fun than the actual basket of goodies. Sadly this year, the Easter bunny was tired and possibly suffering from heat exhaustion so he/she just put the baskets in the living room. The kids didn't complain too much about Mr. Bunny's lack of imagination or ambition.
After giving the kids a minute to look through their loot, we reminded them that it was time to watch conference, to which Avery responded "what, but it's Easter".
Aye, that girl gives me fits sometimes.
We finished the morning session and headed up to meet the rest of the family at the care center where my hundred year old grandma is living. It had been awhile since we had seen her last. And though she doesn't remember our names there is a sense of familiarity between us. She can't do much on her own anymore, but she sat and took in the craziness that is our family. Afterall, it's all her fault, right.
There was a lot of visiting and laughing and finally before leaving I had all the kiddies sing. Grandma has always loved listening to the little ones sing. When Carter was little I can her remember asking him to sing to her everytime we stopped by. Thankfully Carter had no problem obliging. This time we had the whole clan of cousins sing: Families Can Be Together Forever, I Am A Child Of God and the grand finale, Follow The Prophet...disco actions included (the song leader in our ward taught the kids some disco moves to the chorus of the song and it is absolutely hilarious. I'll have to tape them doing it and share it sometime).
I have to mention too that during our visit it was lunchtime and grandma's food was sitting on the table. Carter gently pushed her wheelchair over where my dad proceeded to help her eat. Quinn took the spoon from my dad and began feeding, well shoveling, the food into grandma's mouth. It was sweet to see my little ones being so tender and attentive.
The rest of the day was spent eating...naturally, and visiting and playing and getting ready for the trip back home the next morning.
We were sad to have to pack it in and return home...where winter was awaiting us, but I must admit that I was quite excited about the prospect of sleeping in my own bed that night.
I think already the kids are planning our next adventure south and I must admit I've been looking for a reason to head back down again soon too.
Here's the part where I say, here are some pics for your viewing pleasure...except I didn't take any. I had good intentions really, but the sun must have gone to my head, cause I didn't whip the camera or camcorder out once. I'm a horrible mother. Oh well, better luck next time.