Monday, July 26, 2010

Pit Crew

(Yes, one of our daughters is quite a bit more lady-like than the other.)

Cleaning and "gas" between laps. But hurry, he's in the lead.

Off he goes...

Now for Alyssa's race. Go get 'em Lys, we're here for ya.

Aahh, the summer days of childhood...full of imagination and fun!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

To the Office of Deacon

Caleb has always hated wearing a tie. It was a battle we chose not to fight but we made it clear that once he turned twelve, he needed to dress the part of one who holds the priesthood. In anticipation of his birthday, he decided that he not only wanted to wear a white shirt and tie but that he wanted a full suit. We were happy to oblige.

Have you ever seen a deacon quite this handsome?

Caleb felt especially lucky to be able to choose his suit from Mr. Mac's racks when we were in Utah. We told him that it was the store where all the missionaries bought their suits and he was convinced he must be the only one in the ward to be so fortunate as to have a suit from the popular store. He was also impressed with their selection of BYU ties, which was an absolute must to complete his Ordination Sunday ensemble.

He interviewed with his bishop early this morning. Good thing it was Dad because I've never seen this kid so nervous. The thought of being presented to the ward for their sustaining vote had him tied in knots. He was worried about having everyone stare at him.

The bishop/Dad called him to the stand and he stood facing Jon, only showing the ward members his profile. He lifted his own hand to sustain the action then walked briskly back to his seat. Once safely at our pew, he let out a huge sigh and said, "I feel so much better now."

Jon ordained him to the office of Deacon and gave him a beautiful blessing. (Yes, I did cry. But only a little bit.)

He's a little nervous (and excited) to pass the sacrament next week but he's proud as punch in his nifty attire.

The girls wanted in on the photographs...

I would've loved a picture with father and son in their coordinating BYU ties but when your Dad's the bishop, he leaves the house before you get up and gets home much later than you care to stay in your suit. Even if it is from Mr. Mac.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

An Even Dozen

We celebrated it like the milestone birthday that it was. Turning twelve is a big deal.

Caleb decided months ago that he wanted to spend his birthday at Safeco Field cheering on the Mariners. Two of the friends he wanted to include in the celebration were not in town but other than that, it was the perfect way for our sports-loving boy to celebrate.

I decided to buy Caleb the Mariners birthday package--it's a steal of a deal! He got a mini duffle full of goodies as soon as he got to the park.

The package included a birthday ball, hat, $25 to Ivar's, a $5 Mariners gift card to use at the concessions and a card with birthday wishes. All that and a special surprise that he wouldn't know about until after the second inning. This birthday was already off to a pretty good start.

The whole experience was made that much more fun by being able to spend it with two best friends.

The girls got in on all the fun, too.

We visited with the Moose and grabbed our food--pizza for Caleb. I'd convinced Caleb to go to the game the day before his birthday partly because it was LDS night. We got discount tickets and then were surprised with free hats and t-shirts.

We met Jon at the seats and he surprised Caleb with a dozen Krispy Kremes (the first of many treats to come in a set of 12). Could this birthday get any better?

Then, after the second inning, we turned Caleb's attention toward the centerfield scoreboard...

He was thrilled. And so proud to be loved by the Mariners. I think he was slightly disappointed to find out the the "we" in "we love you" referred to his family, not the Mariners.

The seventh inning stretch. Always a highlight.

The Mariners lost but it was a winning night for all the fun we had.

Caleb woke the next morning to his favorite junk food by the dozens. He got 12 cans of Sprite, each with 12 oz. He got a box of 12 ice cream sandwiches, a 12 oz. bag of Doritos, a 12 pack of Bazooka and of course, a dozen eggs.

The eggs were filled with some favorite candies and a few dollars.

After lunch, we headed to the bowling alley with some friends.

Natalie decided she didn't want to bowl, so she rode around on Grandma's scooter. (She recently had surgery on her foot.)

After the first game, we broke for some cake and birthday singing.

He got some thoughtful gifts from his friends. As we walked to car he sighed pleasantly to himself, "A gift card to Ben and Jerry's...just what I needed."

We ended the night with dinner at Red Robin where he got a free sundae and more birthday singing. He fell into bed quite satified.

He's looking forward to more 12-year-old milestones on Sunday. Stay tuned for pictures of him in his beloved Mr. Mac suit.

Happy 12th birthday, Caleb! We love you! (your family, not the Mariners, although I'm sure they love you too.)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Hatch Family Reunion 2010

With 14 cousins, it's guaranteed fun and memories to last a lifetime. This is one great family to be a part of.

Our reunion started with a temple session at the Monticello temple.

Then we continued on our way (a 2 hour drive from Monticello, UT) to Durango, CO where we were hosted so well by Lucy and Jay. After getting situated in their beautiful new home, we headed out for a really fun dinner at the Bar D Chuckwagon.

First the kids hopped on a miniature train ride.

Then we waited patiently for the dinner bell to ring. We grabbed our tin plates and filled them with all the traditional chuckwagon fixins.
Connor and Alyssa are only three weeks apart and have always been such good buddies. They don't get to see each other too often, but when they do, they're pretty much joined at the hip. So cute.
Natalie and Sam were having all sorts of goofy fun.

After dinner we were treated to a delightful show by the Bar D Wranglers. Not only were they talented musicians, they were really funny, too. Such a fun night.

We got home late and tucked the kids into bed. Sleeping together in this tent was the most terrific kind of fun. They were packed together like sardines as they told stories late into the night.

That's eleven of the fourteen kids in that tent!

The kids had stayed up so late that they all slept in quite late the next morning. I think it must be a first in our reunion history that all the adults were awake before any of the children stirred.

Once we roused the kids and dressed them in their matching reunion shirts, we headed off to Mesa Verde National Park. It's a really neat and facinating place that is home to ancient Puebloan cliff dwellings.

We did all sorts of hiking and ladder climbing to view the archaeological sites.

The kids got lots of attention in their baseball-themed shirts. Each one had their name and number (their birth order number) on the back. Caleb is 2, Alyssa 6 and Natalie 12. Attempts at getting pictures with all 14 is never all that successful. Here they are lined up in order with number one in back and 14 in front.

Once we got home, the kids decided to try making mortar out of mud so that they could begin building their own Puebloan homes.

Lucy and Jay have 10 fabulous acres of wilderness for the kids to explore.

Dinner that night was catered so none of us had to lift a finger after our long day at Mesa Verde which included a fair amount of time in the car. It was a delicious Navajo taco spread.

We took it easy the next morning (a stomach bug was spreading through some of the family) and then went to a nice little park for lunch. The boys played football and others played in the creek.

We ate a pizza lunch and then visited the candy factory on Durango's Main street. The kids were, well, like kids in a candy store. :)

I got time to do two puzzles which is something I love. Jay helped me with this BYU one.

At one point, Caleb came out dressed as Mr. Incredible. What a funny kid.

But he proved his incredible-ness by hoisting me in the air. Not bad for an 80 pound wisp of a boy.

I'm not sure what the story is behind this next picture, but I love that it captures a moment between Natalie and her adoring Grandma.

Next up was family pictures. We tried. But with a thunderstorm blowing in and Brendan coming down with that dreaded stomach bug, it wasn't a very fruitful endeavor. The matching clothes were adorable and the setting perfect but unfortunately, we weren't able to capture that shot. Oh well.

We came inside for some individual family shots.

And we tried to get a shot of Grandma and Grandpa with all the kids. Not only is it impossible to get them to all cooperate at the same time, but Brendan was too sick to be in the picture.

The original Hatch family:

The original six siblings reinacting the pose from our wedding day:

After a wonderful BBQ dinner, we had a little birthday celebration for Maureen who turned the big 4-0. What Hatch birthday would be complete without a crazy Chinese candle?

Then it was time for the traditional family talent show. There were lots of great acts with piano playing, singing and dancing. Owen was especially adorable as he followed his dad in dancing Thriller.

Maureen helped Natalie sing God Bless America. She'd learned it at school but had noted that they didn't sing it as loudly as Maureen's choir.

Alyssa did her floor routine as best she could.

Jay presented us each with a really neat handmade key chain for his talent and Sarah showed off her polynesian dancing. Grandpa made some closing remarks...

And then the dance party could begin.

So much fun!

The next morning we drove up the ski resort for all sorts of high-altitude outdoor excitement. The kids and I got adventure passes which allowed us to do a bungie tramp, rock climbing, alpine slides and mini golf.

You simply must enlarge this picture so as to fully appreciate the look of terror on Caleb's face.

We sure enjoyed the beauty of Durango and loved experiencing a new place but we loved being with family even more. These reunions are definitely memories to treasure.