Sunday, June 4, 2017

Minnesota funeral trip

On the evening of Grace's Kindergarten graduation, Thursday May 18th, we received the sad news that my dad's sister's husband, Mike, had died unexpectedly. What a shock. He was only 67 and had been recovering well from his heart valve replacement surgery. My aunt Nancy and cousin Megan scheduled his funeral for the following Wednesday and Thursday. 

At first Terry was going to come along, but I convinced him it would be okay for me to go alone with the kids so he could finish his huge ordination paper. He felt a bit bad, but I totally didn't. I've traveled with the kids alone plenty and would have enough help with them once we got there, plus I just really really wanted Terry to get his work done and have no stress before sabbatical began the following week (actually today as I write this!). Since our van was being used to ferry the Mexico mission team to and back from Denver airport, we took the Envoy. Terry rigged up a "DVD player" by hanging the tablet from the sunroof cover. It worked perfectly and helped keep the kids occupied for some of the drive. 

We arrived safe and sound not long before the visitation on Wednesday, May 24, which also happened to be my dad's birthday. He forgot all about it. We stayed two nights at Nathan and Ana's and it was so good to see them. We weren't planning on seeing them for who knows how long, maybe Thanksgiving. Plus Elin had just turned one and had grown up a lot since Christmas.

We rested for a short time and ate. And played with loving Thorin. Ha! He doesn't realize he's not a lap dog.

Nancy and Megan after the visitation.

Megan and Evie!

I didn't take many photos at the visitation but we tried to love up on Nancy and Megan with our presence and hugs. Such a hard time. That night all four kids camped out in Nathan and Ana's basement. It worked out alright except for Samuel waking Ana early to pee and Ezra peeing in his sleeping bad. ARG!

But they looked cute when I put them to bed.

The funeral was the following morning so we ate, dressed, hung out for a bit, and then left.

Ezra, Samuel, and Theo fought quite a lot over Theo's toys. It was mostly Ezra. Stinker.

Gotta get Samuel out of his pajamas still! Oh, and that's like Thorin's favorite place to sleep. 

He puts his head under the couch and just lays there. Cracks me up.

My mom took some photos of us cousins after the funeral, which was nice. It was good to see my cousins David and Heather below (and Laura and Megan). My hair is getting long and I love it.

Ana!! And Megan and Nathan making a scrunchy face.

I liked myself in this pretty well. 

Da cousins. Megan, Nathan, me, Laura, David, and Heather. We were missing Tyler, Kara, and Stephanie.

Throw in the punks and we were quite a crew. David's wife is Aryn and their kids are Melea, Siri, and Thatcher.

4, 3, 2, 1

My Grampa Ted (who Theo is named after, as well Ana's Grampa) and his brother Alwood with their kids. My dad Steve, Dan, and Nancy (missing Jeff). I'm not sure on Alwood's boys' names!

Nancy loves my kids and they love her. We were happy to be able to come and see her and support her. We're praying for you Nancy! 

We chilled out for a bit that afternoon before a family dinner. I had to yell at the kids to stop them breaking the baby toys.

Theo and Ezra raced their Strider bikes together.

Ezra and the big red barn. I love that barn.

Theo is only two (Ezra just turned four) and so he couldn't quite keep up with Ez, but he sure did try. He wrecked himself a couple times but toughed it out and jumped right back up.

Nathan and Ana are in the process of remodeling a new home (they've been renting this one) and so when they move, I will miss their red barn. 

It's so charming.

Evie and Samuel were making up and giving the "nightly news" which was essentially a summary of the day, combined with randomness. 

Theo came out and chased the basketball, much to the kids amusement.

Such a good boy!

Nathan helped Elin to watch the fun.

She's the cutest! I love her eyes so much. They are so incredibly innocent and kind looking!

Nancy and Megan came over for a simple meal of walking tacos and we decided to celebrate dad's birthday as well as Megan's, whose had been the day before, May 23rd.

Nancy and everyone else.


Theo helped blow out the candles.

Dad was naughty and let Thorin up on his lap and was scratching his belly to make his leg kick. It was funny.

I took a video of it :)

The following morning we got packed up and left pretty much right away. It was sad to go! The kids did even better on the return journey but we were glad to get back to daddy and a full weekend of activities, including graduation receptions and a family reunion. Our hearts are very much still with Nancy in Minnesota though!
Naughty Thorin in my seat. Ha!

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