Wednesday, August 20, 2014

island park - todd family reunion

i look forward every year to our todd family reunion. this year we went to beautiful island park in idaho and it was fantastic! we stayed in my great uncle's vacation home and it was amazing. we had 10 adults and 17 kids and it didn't feel the least bit crowded. it had an incredible game room complete with a full size trampoline, foosball, air hockey, ping pong and pool. needless the say, the kids stayed well entertained! activities for the week included: fishing (without success), swimming in the clubhouse pool (we pretty much took over the whole thing), a special family home evening put on by dave, s'mores and playing out back, a visit to yellowstone, family pictures (which is always an adventure), a visit to island park reservoir, seeing "joseph and the amazing technicolor dreamcoat" at the playmill (absolutely incredible), another stop in yellowstone on our way out of town, and of course plenty of relaxing and hanging out and late nights talking. my only complaint is it went way too fast! 
we were on the road by 6:15 am for the long drive. and yes, those kids look wide awake. it didn't matter that we woke them up early, they weren't going back to sleep! but they were pretty great little travelers. 
my mom arranged ahead of time to have each of the grandkids share a devotional/spiritual thought throughout the week, usually at breakfast and before bed (and sometimes lunch if we were around). it was a really special to hear their sweet testimonies. 
we attempted fishing down the street from where we were staying (without success). it took the guys a bit to get the rods ready and the kids had a great time running around and throwing rocks into the muddy puddle. even though no fish were caught, i think we can consider the morning a success thanks to that puddle!
dave shared a special family home evening one afternoon (patterned after a lesson he did in seminary) about captain moroni and the title of liberty. each family created their own "title of liberty" about the things their family stands for. i loved seeing what each family wrote and it made me grateful for the gospel that not only binds our individual families together, but also our extended family.
 
we headed in to yellowstone and made a stop at old faithful. i have to admit i was a little disappointed. i remember it being a lot bigger and more impressive. there was so much steam we couldn't actually see the eruption very well, which i think was a big part of it. my mom saw the next eruption after this one and said it was much better. oh well! the rest of our day in yellowstone was a bit of a bust due to a few different circumstances, but we made up for it by stopping in the park again on our way out of town. no doubt about it though, it is such a beautiful place!
and a great place to play the license plate game! 44 states (no mississippi, west virginia, rhode island, louisiana, hawaii or deleware) and 6 canadian provinces and chihuahua mexico!
a partial view of the back of the house
our best attempts at a family picture. it really is a crapshoot! but totally worth the effort to have a picture of all of us together.
our best attempts at arranging a grandkid with grandparents picture. this one is really the crapshoot, because by the time we even start taking this picture, most of the kids are just plain done
as you can see, emma would have none of it, which is weird because she is usually all about getting her picture taken. she rapidly went downhill.
and then we really pushed it and tried to take a family picture. then i noticed logan was doing antennas with the red vines and i asked him to put them down.
and this is how he felt about that...
ha! that's a wrap!
 
sweet sophie really wanted to hold connor and he would have none of it. he was a little off and clingy this trip.
my favorite thing from the whole trip was seeing "joseph and the amazing technicolor dreamcoat" at the playmill in west yellowstone. it was hilarious and amazing and the actors were outstanding! talk about working hard: not only do they put on the musical, but they sell concessions during intermission, line up outside afterward to shake hands with the audience (it was so fun to meet them) and then they clean up the theater afterwards. plus most of them are in 2 other shows at the theater and some of them work a second job during the day. it was so great!!
emma found this bear at the house and fell in love with it. she would carry it all over (it was almost as big as she was). she named it elsa.
watching a slideshow of pictures from the reunion that ryan put together right before we parted ways. (i love seeing all these kids together. they get along so well, it's pretty amazing!)
we tried to get a picture with the todds right before we left. ha!
[notice cade and carter's photo bomb in the picture below. they were all about photobombing!]
nobody was really up for the picture. especially those babies! by the way, connor is 12 months and jacob is 4 months and they weigh the same (i think connor might have almost a pound on jacob). i wish i had a better picture of the 2 of them next to each other. it is awesome! and jacob has the best hair and cheeks!
a stop at the fountain paint pots on our way out of town.
on the road again!
even though it took a little longer, we decided to drive home through yellowstone and then past the tetons. it was worth the extra time because it was gorgeous. i think the tetons just might be some of the most stunning mountains. we also got to see a bear, which was awesome! (and i learned was something on dave's bucket list! check!)
on the drive home, dave and i reminisced about some of our favorite/hardest/funniest etc. moments from marriage. it was so fun and ranks up there as one of my favorite moments from the trip.