Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Family Reunion, Canby Style

Whew- lotta pressure to write this blog entry here. Turns out that my ENTIRE EXTENDED FAMILY reads this blog (hi guys!) and is anxiously awaiting some spectacular photos and charming wit. We'll see what I can do. No promises.

First let's start with some pictures of Jack that Brent took...

It's a common misconception that I'm the family photographer. Not so. I take roughly fifty million photos a month and only show you the few that actually turned out. Brent, on the other hand, knows what he is doing. These are, like, the only pictures he has taken this entire summer and look how great they are. Let's all encourage him to pick up the camera more often, shall we?

'Cause clearly I can't be the only one wielding the camera or we end up with shots like this one, which is sadly the best one that I got of my cousin Brady single-handedly entertaining a wild pack of stray kids.

We were all gathered up in Canby to celebrate my Aunt Jacie's recent marriage (more on that later!) and it turned into a family reunion extravaganza, which was super fun because (as I have said before) my family is totally amazing. I love these people.

And I also love that single shred of my sanity that I cling to and so it was decided that the pack of wild kids couldnotwouldnotshouldnot remain in the Canby house for any extended period of time or they might get crazy and do something like hide a Wii controller in a cooler of melted ice to be found by the clean up crew the next day. (Again, sorry about that, John and Nicole!)

Fear of craziness led to Lauren and me to making a seemingly crazy decision: we took five kids to the zoo. After I realized how many seatbelts, carseats, water bottles and peanut butter sandwiches this trip would require, I did have a quick moment of panic, but there was no backing out at that point.

But here's the crazy thing: the zoo was really fun and the kids were great! My cousin Jesse's kids are 7 and 9 and they are soooooo sweet and funny and helpful. Oh, and get this- they can take care of themselves! They buckled their own seatbelts! They go to the bathroom on their own! When they wanted something to drink, Lauren just handed them money and off they went! The only thing they fought over was who got to push the stroller. Really? Seriously? It was totally mind-blowing. Wow, I am still totally amazed by those self-sufficient, helpful kids. Will my kids ever be like that? I can't even let myself begin to hope...

I found the goats to be the most photogenic of all the zoo animals. Creepy, but photogenic.


The train was the highlight of the day. Lauren and I strategically planned to time the train ride for the point in the afternoon where we felt totally exhausted but needed to kill off a bit more time before we returned to the party house. We were among the first groups in the line to board the train and so we scored the best seats possible- right behind the engine! Even I was excited about that! But when we stopped midway through the ride for a photo op of the kids in front of the train engine, some old guy tried to weasel his way into our train car. Brennen (9) and Jack stared him down until he backed off. Don't mess with the Deinemas.

Remember when I told you about Sawyer's bizarre and irrational fears? He was terrified of the animals at the zoo. (This from the kid who would later pull a cooler up to the bar at the party and be found standing on top of it with a knife in one hand and a lemon in the other.) He screamed, sobbed, and clung to me until I put him into the stroller and kept him faced away from the exhibits. But finally, during the last leg of our epic journey through the zoo (there are virtually no maps posted so we walked in circles. I found a map in my purse three days later), Sawyer saw the penguins and decided that the zoo was okay. It's a good thing his admission was free.

Okay, on to the party! That will be next time, because I still need to sort through all of my blurry, non-blog-worthy photos and try to come up with something reasonably funny and intelligent to say about the whole shebang. And I don't have time for that right now as I am mentally preparing for our trip to Bend tomorrow. It could be a long drive.

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