Family. Green fields and pink cliffs... The house at Swapp Ranch Everyone introducing themselves and whose family they belong to.. Listening to cousin Ron's stories... Oh, yes...those are what you think they are! EEEK! View across the pond...
This year for Pioneer Day we celebrated in the best possible way, by honoring my pioneer heritage and attending the Swapp Meet reunion at Swapp Ranch in Sink valley. This is the very best way to celebrate if you ask me! I love to go and see relatives (my Dad's cousins) we only see every other year and listen to stories of cow herding and horse riding and mishaps and adventures of long ago while working the land in Southern Utah/extreme northern Arizona. Where is Sink Valley you ask? It's off of Johnson Canyon Rd (about 40 miles) if you are familiar with highway 89 to Kanab or 7 miles from Alton if you go all the way up 89 on your way to the Cedar Mountain turn-off. The valley is a picturesque scene of fields of green and pink cliffed vistas of Bryce Canyon above. My siblings and I spent much of our time growing up running through fields and splashing through ponds in muddy and dusty fashion. We trounced though groves of juniper and pinion pine and swung from the tire swing as our Grandpa Johnson pushed, his two little granddaughters squealing with delight. I can remember spending time with our Johnson grandparents there and also at the old Swapp Ranch where my Grandma Johnson spent her youth. I couldn't have wished for a better way to grow up among nature and it's splendor. The turn out at the Swapp Meet reunion 2010 was small in comparison to other years, now that the entire generation of Swapps that started the tradition is gone. It was a good crowd though and we enjoyed each others company and listened as Dad's cousin Ron told pioneer stories and enjoyed a great lunch. The excitement for the year was the intrusion of a couple of unwelcome visitors and the first time I've seen any up there, yes I'm referring tho the picture of the rattle snakes! It was actually Seth who first noticed them several feet from our picnic table under a bush. "Mom, is dat a fwog?, he asked me while pointing under the bush. "No son, that would be a snake..." I said and motioned to my Dad. I pointed them out to my Dad and he gestured to his cousin Ron who inspected them and asked if there was a shovel near by. We located a shovel and he returned successfully cutting the bigger of the twos heads off. The smaller snake slithered off, but was soon located by my Dad and cousin Ron and was soon decapitated as well. If you are reading this and wondering of the cruelty to the snakes, let me inform you of the severe poisonous nature of these vile serpents and the fact that they were just feet from the house. They would have returned even if herded off. They were buried and disposed off and various screeches could be heard from the women who had taken refuge on the porch. Seth was proclaimed a hero, yes the little hero who had peed his pants earlier....*sigh*.=0) Lee and I and the kids followed Mom and Dad to their cabin and inspected their progress and enjoyed eachother's company sitting on the porch and enjoying the cool air. My Dad relayed stories of growing up with his cousins and his chores for his grandmother, who lived next door. It makes me so extremely proud to know that I was born into such a great, strong, loving family. I was helping a customer in front of me some years ago and noticed she was writing me a check from Moccasin (near Fredonia) and I told her I had family from there. She asked me if I was Swapp or a Johnson and I told her both. She looked me in the eye and said, "You must be a good person then." I know why and you can't ask for better people, period.
Huge grins from little Breah What a precious little imp! Gavin loves Puppy! Me on the carousel.. Lee and the turtle prize on the carousel.. Yes, that's Drake thru the carousel... Adree and Ainsley under the giant mushroom in kiddie-land Seth, Noah and Justin on the egg-drop thingy... Adree and Ainsley on the egg-drop thingy... What an awesome fun day at Lagoon!
As you can see, I did finally get blogger to cooperate enough to let me load more than one picture at a time. We really did have a good time!
Drake, Adree, Seth, and my niece Ainsley enjoying a giant snow cone at the end of the day
I have a bunch more pictures to upload, but blogger won't let me load more than one at a time. So you get just one for the moment, I'll try again later! Well, as you can sorta see we survived our "vacation". I'm not sure that a two day hiatus can really be called a vacation, but whatever! We took the kids (and my niece) to Lagoon for the day on Monday. It was really fun and the kids had a blast, Lee and I were incredibly worn out though! We met up with my sisters-in law (Laurel and Shaunah) at the gates along with their families. It was great fun seeing my nephews Jacob and Tannon and Laurel who I haven't seen in several years. Jacob was probably 8 or 9 when I saw him last and is 15 now? and towers over everyone! He's extremely cute too, watch out! Laurel, you look great and happy as you so deserve to be! We all ate lunch together and Laurel and Tannon went to Lagoon-A-beach to go down the water slides, Jacob and a couple of friends took all the rest of the kids (except Drake and Eli, who's Shaunah's youngest) to go on Collosus, Wild Mouse, and a few other roller coasters. Lee and Justin (Shaunah's husband) went to go on the Wicked and a couple of other coasters as well. Shaunah and I took Drake and Eli to Kiddie Land to go on the smaller rides and got wet on the Odysea. Drake also wanted to go on the Bat (a ride that your legs dangle on) and Aunt Shaunah took him on that. After a while I called Lee and asked that they find the rest of the kids so we could meet up again and they all showed up before Drake Shaunah were down riding the Bat. Noah (Shaunah's oldest) asked if he and all the kids could go and run through the splash pad because it was really hot. It was about 95 degrees and extremely humid, I was not feeling to hot by the end of it! Lee and I said good-bye to Justin and Shaunah and fam and we took the kids on a few more rides while they went to Lagoon-A-beach. All in all, it was a pretty good day, the kids had a blast and got very worn out. Lee and I are just now recovering today, ha! This "vacation" was definitely for them and not us! Whoever said that vacation was for rest and relaxation, never had kids! I'll upload more pics tomorrow, when I don't have migraine! ;0)
short hair to match the short summer! I didn't get my bedroom done, but I finally got all the bedding!
Since the kid's school participated in an "extended school year" this year, summer is going to be abnormally short at our house. This has it's pros and cons of course. Pros: Since I'm home at the moment I have a few less weeks to entertain the bored kids, no one should be horribly lost once school starts again, and well, I can't think of an and...hmmmm... =0) Cons: the summer is short, anything we really wanted to do will need to be crammed into 5 weeks, a couple of things will have to be pushed back to weekends in the fall, the kids have taken it upon themselves to be extra lazy, this means Mom constantly begging them to do something, ANYTHING...=0) A couple things we will be doing for sure: Taking the kids to Lagoon. It has become a tradition to go every year and they love it, Lee and I love it, my niece Ainsley gets to go too, so it's really fun! Lee is taking me to my very first rock concert in August, so you know that will be fun also! The semi-annual "Swap meet" reunion will be on Pioneer Day weekend as well and we will be in attendance for that as well! If we ever get the pool actually in the yard, we'll enjoy lots of swimming too! You know how it goes, you either have time or money, but never both! ...and thus goes our short and sweet summer, cramming it all in the best we can! =0)
Camilla and Illianna is worn out! Camilla and Steven singing a duet! Lee and Adree singing too! Sorry about the video being sideways, they were so funny though!
I've decided that there is a definite advantage to the 4th falling on a Sunday, you essentially get two whole days to celebrate! I was surprised a couple of weeks ago by a friend of mine (Camilla), who had moved away a year and a half ago. She called me up one evening and asked me to me her somewhere because she was in town and when I arrived, I found them moving in to a new apartment to stay! I collected her and her husband Steven through work and they are quirky and cute and their little baby (Illianna) is adorable! Lee and I had planned to do the BBQ thing on the 3rd (they shot the fireworks off on the 3rd) and we invited the over for a little food and some karaoke! We were super excited that we found someone just as silly as us to enjoy such a practice! Lee and Steven hit it off (despite being Michigan and Ohio rivals) right away and sang the night away until they were quite hoarse! Camilla, Adree, and I sang too and had a jolly good time. The boys surprised me by sitting in the living with us for quite some time (they normally hide when we sing) and when it got late they surprised me again by putting themselves to bed...despite the noise! It was a great time and they (Camilla and Steven) gushed about how pretty our house turned out, which I love it, but it was great to hear someone else thinking it was great too! We stood at the end of the street to catch a glimpse of a pretty dismal fireworks show at the park before packing it up for the day! Check the video clip of Lee and Steven singing the Backstreet Boys like Kermit the Frog, it was silly! (Sorry about it being sideways, I just figured out how to record video clips with me Nikon Coolpix!) Yesterday for the 4th, we were pretty worn out and the kids were as well, so we took it easy and went to the theater to watch Toy Story 3, which was wonderful! The kids thoroughly enjoyed it, as did Lee and I. We rounded up a few fireworks and set them off in the street, in true Utahn fashion! The concept is still strange to me, growing up in Arizona and all...but, when in Rome...;0) Lee also worked for part of the day on the pool area and if things continue on track as they are, we will be able to enjoy it this weekend....fingers crossed! I hope everyone enjoyed their weekend of Independence! =0)