Monday, April 17, 2017

Home (Spring Break part 2)

My home town is pretty small, so it's hard to find new and interesting things to do with the kids when we go back. We love seeing our family but we also tend to get a bit stir crazy. This year we realized that all of our kids were big enough to go to the ruins without a) falling off a cliff or into a hole or b) getting us kicked out. We chose the Aztec ruins because it was less cliff-y and a shorter drive than Mesa Verde. Also, C and I went on about a million field trips to both and we both remembered Aztec being more fun. It did not disappoint. The bigs ran ahead and Averson had a captive audience for her "reading" of all the educational material. All three did the Junior Ranger activity which was a huge hit and something we'll continue doing. Eli even researched to see if there were any National Parks or Monuments anywhere else on our drive. 
Avery is telling her aunt all about the "stretchy people" (Navajo) who had pet bionic snakes and slept on "prickly beds that stretched them out while they slept. And those are the birds that guard them while they're sleeping." Not exactly accurate but a pretty good hypothesis based on the art work. 

She was very earnest about her Junior Ranger work and investigating the ruins. 

And she took the oath VERY seriously. 

Junior Ranger! She wore the badge night and day for the rest of the trip. 
On a whim, we stopped to show the kids where I went to elementary school. As we pulled up, I realized that it was also adjacent to the church C and I got married in and that the kids had never seen it. It is a gorgeous traditional church with huge stained glass windows. The kids really loved seeing it. We recreated our wedding (cliff notes version) and the kids sat in the front row and clapped when we kissed. This may be one of my favorite memories of the whole trip.

The next day we met my sister and her girls at a new playground in town and then, of course, all the kids ended up at the river with their pants rolled up. 

My undergrad gives away special alumni mugs at graduation rehearsal. Mine lasted nearly 12 years, until I started drinking coffee and actually used it and broke the handle. I went back to campus to see if I could replace it. That led to a lengthy scavenger hunt down memory lane. Eli loves this campus and begged for a hat. He also loved that he was able to navigate better than I was.  

We finished off the day at my in-laws, where as luck would have it every single one of my nieces and nephews were crammed into my mother-in-law's living room. It was SO LOUD and so fun. My kids don't get a lot of cousin time. I love how they can jump back in without missing a beat. Each one has at least one age match, so everyone has a buddy. It's so fun and makes me reconsider how much I don't want to deal with snow and limited job opportunities. 

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