Sunday, July 29, 2012


We had such a wonderful time in Breckenridge for the Alleman Family Reunion.  I hardly know where to start.  I have posted just 40 of the 300 pictures we took, and we have several hundred more coming from Alison.  It was probably the best vacation that we have ever taken and we want to do it again soon!

Getting to Colorado was a little eventful, we lost a chunk of our tire tread in Oklahoma and drove 800 miles on it until we got to Denver and were able to replace the tire.  Needless to say, the trip home was much smoother than the trip there!  

Jeremy's parents rented this amazing house that we all stayed in.  It was three stories, had 8 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, 3 living rooms, a hot tub and more than enough room for all 25 of us to spread out and enjoy ourselves.  It even has ski out access (too bad there was no snow!)  It was 70 degrees and below the entire time we were there!  We were the second family to arrive and the girls instantly took to exploring their home for the next five days.
 Thursday night we just hung out with Chris and Darlene and their kiddos and Megan while waiting for everyone else to arrive.  We were joking that we live 15 miles apart and had to go all the way to Colorado to spend time together!
 Friday morning the kids had fun playing with bubbles on the deck.
 As soon as we were all ready (do you have any idea how long it takes to get 25 people ready and out the door in the morning?!!!)  We headed into town and found a great park to play at.  Kirsten and Gavin were inseparable and played together for hours.
 It was such a beautiful,cool, sunny day and we were all able to find relaxing things to do.  Megan enjoyed talking with her dad while he spent time in the shade carving.
 And Mom, Kacey, and Tyler enjoyed visiting while Leah played.
 Kirsten almost immediately found her favorite thing to do - hold babies! And there were plenty to be held!  I guess that is one advantage to being one of the oldest Grandkids, is you always have younger cousins to hold.
 Katie also enjoyed time with Gavin (he is a popular one). They particularly liked to sit on the stools in the kitchen and get into the food.
 Friday afternoon Jeremy were able to take off for a few hours of alone time.  We spent a little time in downtown before heading up the mountain.
 Isn't he handsome?!
 So our highlight of the day was going on our Horseback riding adventure.  We bought a Groupon back in March and were able to go on an hour and a half trail ride through the mountains.
 Jeremy's horse was named Willie
 Mine was named Ms Thang.  That should have been a clue right there.  She had an attitude and honestly we were not well matched.
 All of the other horses followed in a straight line, one behind the other.  Ms Thang however was all over the map. She would wonder from side to side, stop and eat, try to walk between Jeremy's horse and the cliff, and at one point took off running down a steep hill passing all the other horses.  It was admittedly very scary.    Of course I can look back on it now and say that it was wonderful because I am still alive.

The scenery was beautiful.  We went over ten miles through the ski trails and national forest.  We were able to see things we would never have otherwise.

 This is a place called Sarah's Garden.  There is an underground spring that feeds this 1 acre area with water year round.  There are plants here that don't grow anywhere else in Colorado, and some in the whole country.  It was a rare treat to be able to see it.
 About half way through the ride, we went all of the way up to the top of a double black diamond ski trail.  From there we could see four other ski resorts and the continental divide.  It was truly breathtaking.

 By the end, Ms Thang and I were finally getting along and I was sad to see it end.
 I am so glad that we got to go, but man were we sore afterwards!

Friday night we had a Just Dance Party with the kids.
They were having fun dancing together and with Grandpa, but Jason decided that it was not quite enough fun.
So he decided to surprise the kids with a visit from Gumby!!!
 I am not sure that I have ever laughed so hard in my life.  It was so funny to watch the kids dance with him.  I have some videos that I will have to figure out how to post - they are too big for Blogger.

The boys played pool and foosball, a lot, and Kirsten started to learn to play as well.
 Every night before bedtime we had a devotional, family prayer and then a bedtime story. The kids all loved climbing up on the couch with their aunts and uncles for story time. 
 As soon as we got kids to bed, we headed straight for the hot tub for some adult time.
 Then the girls headed to bed and the brothers stayed up most of the night playing the old school X-Men arcade game.  Good times!
 Saturday morning we got all dolled up and headed out to take a big family picture.  I cannot wait to get those back from the photographer.  Kirsten was a big helper holding Millie while her parents got ready.
 So of course Katie also had to help hold Millie.
 After the group pictures with the photographer, we got some smaller groups with our own cameras.  Here are all the siblings together.
 And of course, the brothers
 We did quite a bit of hiking to get to our picture spots, and Katie was getting tired.
 The kids were pretty creative in keeping themselves occupied while we took pictures.  Kirsten, Katie and Beth spent a lot of time wrapped up together in a blanket trying to stay warm. (Because yes, it was slightly chilly!)
 They also loved chasing each other around a rock formation.  We also saw a deer while we were there.  It was so beautiful!
 We tried to get a picture of Grandma and Grandpa with all of their Grandkids.  It was pretty funny.  They said that they wished they had cameras to take pictures of all of us trying to make the kids happy.  I am sure that we were quite the sight!
 Saturday afternoon our family headed down town for some sightseeing.
 Our A-Team Reunion shirts
 Kirsten on a moose.
 We did not get very far because the heavens opened and it began to rain really hard.  We were amazed when on the way home, we started having slush hit our windshield!

Saturday night was skit night.  We divided into groups, gave each group a bag of random items and each person a funny family quote to incorporate into the skit.  I have to say that Jeremy has a very creative family!

After we got kids to bed, the adults spent hours playing Minute to Win It Games.  Our camera was in our room with the kids, so we do not have pictures.  I will have to get those from Alison!  I will say again that Jeremy's family is hilarious and I think I laughed harder than I ever have in my life!

 Sunday morning we loaded up and drove into Frisco for church.  I think that we doubled the size of the ward!  It was pretty funny for us to go to church in Frisco, Colorado in the Frisco Ward instead of Frisco, Texas in the Frisco 5th Ward.

After naps, we went as a family on the Gondola.  It goes up the mountain from Downtown to Peaks 8 and 9.  It was a beautiful view and fun to see spots that we had gone for pictures and riding the past two days.
 At the top of the peak we were able to walk around and take pictures.  Someday we would like to go back and go to the Adventure Park up there and ride the Alpine Slide.
 Sunday night we played a game called King Arthur's Court.  One person sits blind folded on a stool with a noodle and a carved turtle head under the chair.
 Then dad would pick someone who had to sneak up on you and retrieve the turtle head without getting hit with the noodle.  It was really fun!
We ended Sunday night with a family devotional, family videos and then an adult family meeting.

Monday morning we packed up and headed out.  It was hard to leave and say goodbye to everyone.  I am so grateful to have married into such an amazing family.  They are a strength and support to our family and such a blessing to my two wonderful little girls.  I am so glad that they were able to have time to bond with their cousins and aunts and uncles.     

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

4th of July

We had a wonderful fourth of July this year.  We spread our celebrations out over two days, starting the night before with a bike parade in the neighborhood.  Kirsten road around the park 10 times, she just kept going and going!
 We got up early on the 4th and went to The Colony Ward's pancake breakfast with Jeremy's parents.  It was so fun to start the day in good company with good food.
 Then we parked at Chris and Darlene's house and walked a few blocks to stake out the perfect spot for the Fourth of July Parade.  The girls had so much fun seeing the scouts, old cars, and most of all getting tons of candy!
 We spent the rest of the day at Jeremy's parents house and enjoyed a great barbeque dinner with family.

And of course, we had to do our annual matching flag shirts!
 After dinner we headed into the backyard and got soaked while setting off bottle rockets with Grandpa.
 Kirsten was always anxious for her turn to be the one to set it off.
 Katie loved being the one to fill the bottle up with water and run it up the hill to Grandpa.
 We left about 8 and headed towards home.  We then went to watch fireworks with the Lendermans at the end of their street.  We were joined by Ricky and Ian too, and the kids had so much fun!
We really enjoyed the Fourth of July this year and loved spending it with friends and family.  It was wonderful to take a step back from our troubles and celebrate the freedom of our country while remembering those who fought and continue to fight to ensure that freedom.