Gardner Grand 2014

Time for another Gardner Grand. .  . I look forward to these weekends with our grandchildren so much

This year we welcomed three newbies—Shelby, Ashton, and Kona. One of my favorite parts of this weekend was watching the older kids take care of, encourage, and love their younger cousins. It’s sweet to see the relationships that our grandchildren share together. . .

We started the weekend by picking up all the kids on Friday afternoon and heading to dinner. I planned on taking a photo or two, but I ended up spending my time visiting with and keeping track of 10 grandchildren. That’s a lot!  

We left the restaurant and headed up to the cabin. In past years, one of the more stressful parts of the weekend was deciding who would ride with Grandma and who would ride with Grandpa. So this year, I took six and Sterling took four, and before we headed off, we drew riding assignments—I loved that it eliminated the stress and hurt feelings and became just a random selection. Plus it gave the kids a chance to ride with different cousins.

On Friday night we changed into jammies and then started on our service project; this year’s project is boondoggle keychains. A couple of years ago, Sterling and I went on a service project with a group to provide dental work for teens in need in Central America. We were planning on going again this year, but my doctor told me a couple of weeks ago that that was out of the question. Although I was extremely disappointed, we decided to get involved in another way—by starting these keychains, which gives the teenagers something to do while they wait in line. There is a lot of waiting, waiting for paperwork, waiting for x-rays, waiting for fillings. . . waiting for pretty much whatever work they need done. So we are starting 800 keychains between now and November, and the grandchildren helped us start the project. We got about 100 done . . . not too shabby!

None of us have ever done boondoggles before, so we spent a lot of the time trying to figure out what we were doing. We watched some You Tube videos, and eventually figured it out. Everyone participated in some way, and it was a great way to end the night.

Saturday we got up and rode the Heber Creeper (a historic train that carries passengers up and down the Provo Canyon), had lunch, and then rafted down the Provo River—we had lots of fun.

The weather was gray and overcast (there was actually snow in the mountains that morning), so the raft trip was a little chilly, but it didn’t stop a few of the kids from getting out and getting wet.

In a few places, they had to get out because the water level was so low that we high-centered! But we thoroughly enjoyed the day’s activities.

Saturday afternoon we just hung out, playing games, four-wheeling, and relaxing. That night, we watched a movie (and kept working on those boondoggles!).

On Sunday morning, we headed to downtown Salt Lake City to Music and the Spoken Word with the Tabernacle Choir—I love that Sunday morning tradition! We ended at our house, where we had lunch and scrapbooked the weekend with Project Life. Each of the kids journaled on at least one of the cards, and we organized photos and accent cards. I’m excited to have an album of our Gardner Grand weekend for the kids to look through, and I love how easy and quick it comes together with Project Life!

So, another Gardner Grand come and gone—way too quickly! I love spending time with these kids and am so grateful for them—and the blessing we have to live close enough to most of our grandchildren that we can see them as often as we do!