We were SO excited to make it up to Bear Lake and see our family!
It was a pretty amazing few days...
I tried to only pick the best pictures to share, but there are still over 100 here.
That's what happens when two of us in the family are maybe a little too picture-happy. :)
Some of the highlights:
Playing in the Snow
The driveway to the house went down from the road and was steeeeep and covered in snow,
so it made the perfect sledding hill!
There was a cute playground right by the driveway, too, that had such a whimsical feel.
Last year Maxwell HATED the cold and snow,
but this year he was so content--especially to eat as much snow as he could.
This gives a pretty good idea of the set-up--here I'm standing about halfway up the driveway.
Enjoying Beautiful Views
Everywhere we turned there were stunning views of the snow-covered mountains and misty Bear Lake below.
(One morning the snow was blowing off the roof and it looked just like a cloud of glitter right outside the door!)
I loved playing the candy bar memory game with my grandma every year when I was a kid, so I like to bring it for the kids to play at Christmas.
My dad brought a mystery solving boxed game. It was a fun challenge the adults did one night after the kids were in bed!
My mom brought a big ball of saran wrap filled with trinkets for the kids to take turns unwrapping.
My parents brought a set of fake snowballs and the kids had a pretty epic snowball fight with Sam. This picture cracks me up! Sam's dramatic death and Peter's absolute delight at his charades.
Family Talent Show and Nativity Re-enactment
Drawings, dances, poem recitations, music...the family talent show is always a highlight. And the kids are very...um...enthusiastic actors.
Annual White Elephant Gift Exchange
I always laugh so hard my face feels like it's going to break at this annual event.
(Donut soap and a cheese printer prank box...the real present inside was the t-shirt below)
(Star Trek cookbook and the weirdest quacking duck push toy)
(Dr. Who mug)
(Elephant socks and a Baby Shark puppet that sings "Baby Shark" faster and faster when you move its mouth)
(Weird Frozen braid clips and an air plant)
(Redneck "bubble bath" and a Chewbacca mask that roars when you move your mouth
(Basketball hat game)
Eating Lots of Yummy Food
When you have a family as big as mine, lots of food is a natural element in gatherings.
The snack table!
...and about 17 different kinds of hot chocolate, ciders, and herbal teas
Family History Stories
My dad had a big chart with pictures for everyone to cut out. We all picked an ancestor to research and present about.
We had the annual $5 cousins' gift exchange and also gave my parents their Christmas present from all of us...tickets to "Fiddler on the Roof" at the Eccles Theater!
Just Hanging Out
The kids' sleeping room had bunk beds made to look like hammocks hanging in the trees and had a slide, rock climbing wall, and an air hockey table. The kids had so much fun playing up here!
Calming a few tantrums is to be expected on long vacations away from home...
Benson, who seems to have no fear of heights, also kept trying to climb through the banister rails.
...and Aunt Breanne's annual cousins' birthday party!
She went on a few African safaris this past year, so she had a safari theme and the kids got to search for animals, make animal rolls with bread dough, make animals out of pipe cleaners, play an animal sound game, and break open a zebra pinata. She brought decorations she bought in Mexico, too!
Maxwell LOVED collecting little animal toys and would always put his hand over his eyes like this while searching.
Lincoln was making the BEST faces when he was hitting the pinata.
Phew! You made it!
It was an amazing start to a fabulous vacation in Utah!