Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Triple Surprise

The Plan: Quiet weekend alone with Dixon while Mike and the girls camp at Tony Grove with Matt & his girls.

The Reality: Impromptu 13 hour drive with 5 children to The Dalles, OR, where 27 people (18 of which were mostly small children) were crammed into a 3 bedroom, split level home with a two-tent overflow in the backyard.

Emily had flown to Mom & Dad's for a couple of weeks, and after Matt had to cancel the camping trip, we decided to take advantage of having a little time off and surprise everyone in Oregon. So what was supposed to be my quiet weekend was anything but, but I wouldn't change it for anything!

Because I had SO MANY pictures that I wanted to post,
I figured putting them in collages was the way to go! Officially on our way on Wed. morning!
I have a quote on my wall from Pres. Hinckley that says, "In all of living have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured." Normally I'm pretty anal about not stopping and just getting to my destination as fast as possible, but I decided to take that advice to heart and take it easy this time and enjoy the journey. We made several stops along the way (mostly for peeing and nursing), but it was really one of the nicer trips we've been on. It "only" took us and extra 3 hours to get there, but thanks to a nice man who asked the girls to pet his dog, lots of grass to run around on, Walmart's $1 aisle in Mountain Home, ID, and Redboxes along the route, my blood pressure never once got close to causing an aneurysm.

I *HEART* surprises!!!!

So we kept it our little secret that we were making the trip to Grandma & Grandpa's. In fact, the day before we left, Emily and the kids had a layover in SLC, so she asked Meredith & I to meet her for a visit since we hadn't seen each other in a couple of years--plus she needed to meet the new babies. We left with wishes that we had more time to spend together, and questions about when we'd see each other again. Imagine her surprise when we arrived on the doorstep the next night! We pulled into The Dalles at about 7pm, and that's when our plan went into action! Mike quickly put Dixon on the front porch and rang the bell, then we ran around the house to the garage and snuck in from the basement. Bria was the first to get to the door, and after opening it yelled, "There's a baby at the door! There's a baby at the door!" Dad came next, looked around and said, "Okay, Amanda, where are you?" Then we all came up the stairs and yelled, "Surprise!" Mom was gone visiting teaching, but saw our SUV on the way home. She said she noticed the door logo and thought someone else had a logo like ours, but after she walked inside she put two & two together. Emily, of course, was ecstatic and a little mad that we had tricked her. I was proud of my girls for keeping such a great secret!

Secret #2 came on Friday morning when I let the Lowe family in at 5 am. They had planned on coming up with us, but had some work issues to iron out. Mom woke up first, thinking it was my kids making all the noise, but had to do a double take when she saw Meredith, Tyler and the boys sitting in the living room with me. Dad's reaction was even better as he had to physically lift his jaw off the floor! Emily came out--again, mad that she was duped--but so happy to see everyone there!

Secret #3 came when we were congregated in the kitchen and Mom told Dad he needed to sit down...he looked at Emily pleadingly, but Julianne dashed any hopes he had with one little smile, announcing she was expecting #8. I think his heart actually stopped, and I know he stopped breathing for an extended period of time. Good thing that was it for surprises--I don't think he could've survived another one! (But I sure enjoyed it!)
The Garden of Weedin'

John Deere Green

Dad decided that his lawn was 1/8" too long, so he'd better get the tractor out to mow before it looked too scraggly. The kids, of course were THRILLED when Grandpa let them take turns driving. They all lined up on the retaining wall, eagerly awaiting their trip around the yard. Wes was totally in his element, though he told Grandpa he wanted to use the push mower instead.

Kings' Got Talent!

We had a family talent show on the back lawn the last night we were there. This was the most animated I think I've ever seen Dad, and it was fun that the adults got in on it, too.

Kids' Got Talent, Too!
Talents ranged from ballet & gymnastics, to Karate-ish stuff and a back-walk. We also heard poetry, singing, joint popping and some really cool techno-jamming! Popcicles were mandatory and the evening was BEAUTIFUL!

The Way Home
We had a great time on our impromptu surprise visit to Oregon. The trip home was good, with lots of stops and even a sit-down meal. Wish we could've stayed longer, but now it's back to Utah where I get to do laundry, laundry, laundry! My favorite. Maybe next time I'll get a surprise of my own & the laundry fairies will get it all done for me.


Fiddlefish said...

VERY fun trip. That's the Amanda I remember from the good 'ole college days.

Ardie said...

I love the idea of leaving your baby on the door step and then sneaking in the back. It sounds like you had one of those perfect "happy memory" weekends.

Jen said...

Great pictures! i love the collages... sounds like good times. Except for the 13 hours from Ogden to the Dalles. You must have stopped even more than we did!

julie said...

cute blog Amanda! I love to read other peoples blogs and keep up that way. As if we didn't have any OTHER way of keeping up. :)