Garry's parents and Grandma arrived at our house for a visit on the first day after Christmas. It was a whirlwind day. Garry took the Littles and left for the Denver airport at 7:30 a.m. I dropped the big boys at a friend's house at 8:45 so I could attend the mission farewell of a dear friend at 9:00. Garry's car load met mine at home at 10:30. I greeted our guests, then set about making lunch for everyone, dinner for later, and dessert for a baptism that evening. When the food was under control, I spent some time practicing my piano solo for Sacrament Meeting. Pretty soon it was time to get ready for our 1:00 church meetings.
During Sacrament Meeting, I rotated between our pew, the piano bench, and the hallway. I was pleased that piano solo went so well. (Check!) I was released as a Relief Society teacher and sustained as a Gospel Essentials instructor. During the second hour of church I gave my first Gospel Essentials lesson to new members and investigators. Garry and his family joined the class. Class ran over a bit, so I was too late to Relief Society to perform my usual piano-playing duties. It was nice to take a breather during that class!
Back at home, we all ate the dinner I had prepared before church. There wasn't enough food, but no one complained. Shortly after we cleaned up, I headed out to a baptism at the stake center. Three children of a woman I visit teach were baptized. I prayed at the service, provided dessert, and tended to the youngest sibling of those being baptized so that their non-member father could pay attention. The service was wonderful.
Happily, the rest of the time the Bartles were here was much more relaxed. In fact, we hardly left the house. Looking back through the pictures, I can't believe that I don't have one of all of the kids with all three grandparents. How tragic! I guess everyone was too busy having fun.
Awesome memories were made as the kids all made music with Grandma Great. She brought them instruments for Christmas -- real harmonicas for the big boys, maracas for Lexi, and a recorder for Gavin. Grandma Great showed the boys how to play the harmonicas and gave them music to learn and practice. The five of them made quite a band that night!
Lexi and Gavin were happy to get to know their grandparents. They have really turned a corner with their intense social anxiety. (They BOTH went to nursery without a parent on Sunday!) It was sweet to see them hug, cuddle with, and talk to Grandma, Grandpa, and Grandma Great.
Grandpa Bartle works at BYU, so he brought each of the kids adorable BYU beanies. Grandma Great also brought a cute headband for Lexi, which I put on, just for kicks and giggles.
There was also lots and lots of candy to go around. Lexi loved the lollipop that matched her pajamas.
One day the kids were going stir-crazy in the house, so despite temperatures hovering just above freezing, we all went outside to run and ride. The boys all tried out their new Christmas skates. Lexi wanted to ride her bike, but was happiest when Grandma pulled her in the wagon. While the kids played and the women took pictures, Garry and his Dad tightened Gavin's training wheels, fixed the side gate, and attached a kick stand on Tyler's bike.
The kids played a lot of cards and board games with their grandparents. We went out to eat twice. We relaxed and watched movies. The only real outing happened on the 29th, when Garry accompanied his parents, grandma, and all three boys to Skate City. (Lexi and I enjoyed a nap at home!) Good times were had by all.
With so many adults in the house, I enjoyed a much-needed break from my child-rearing responsibilities and enjoyed some solo shopping, painting at a friend's house, afternoon naps, and time to work on Blurb books. It was a win-win-win week!
Just as the hour of the Bartles' departure arrived, snow showed up in our city. Temperatures plummeted and it seemed a big storm was upon us. Our guests departed for Denver much earlier than planned, which was a good thing. They encountered heavy traffic, snow, and slick roads, but still caught their flight. The return trip to Colorado Springs was just as treacherousfor Garry and the boys! We were glad to hear that Garry's parents and grandma made it home safely, and I was happy to welcome home my boys after seven hours on yucky roads that day.
What an adventurous week! Thanks for coming, grandparents!