Goal # 28 – A Somber Week, Brian’s Funeral, 8 Incredible Kids!

Just for the books (now that we  are on the other side of the trip), we left our 8 children in charge of themselves for 3 1/2 days!  They did an amazing job and we are so thankful for their good attitudes.  Bryson driving them all, Addy doing an incredible job with Dixon and all the kids helping.   Thanks to all in Oregon and Alabama for your support and love! We will miss Brian terribly.  These days spent remembering how amazing Brian was were very special and hold a dear place in our hearts.  We love Aimee, Aubree, Anessa and Asher so much!

Bryson about to kiss the fish Brian caught last summer. Brian had just cleaned it in front of the kids and they were feeling sick! 🙂
Aubree and Brian

THINGS THAT DIDN’T WORK (please remember this is reality):  🙂

Bryson shocking the dog A LOT for getting out into the neighborhood.  We think he caused brain damage!

Bryson picking the dog up by her fur because she was scared to come to him after he shocked her!  I think he liked the “Father” role a little too much.

Corbin freaking out about Bryson shocking the dog…..

Kids giving us an update of what went wrong while we were gone.  Hmmmmmm, let’s skip to the good parts of what went right!  They did make us laugh the entire ride home from the airport as they told us these stories and talked over each other the entire time.

Hadley calling Addy “Mom” and Bryson “Dad” while we were gone!

DINNER!  At our house dinner can be crazy.  The baby is in a phase of screaming in his high chair and we are all losing our hearing.  The dog also digs in to the baby’s lap trying to get any extra food.  It’s straight out of the movie “Cheaper by the Dozen”!  We tried to be the McCullough’s and do 20 push ups for every movie quote.  All of the kids ended up on the floor and not eating their dinner!  This really didn’t work for us!

Tessa praying!  She was trying to pray for Aimee, Anessa, Asher and Aubrey but slipped in Caprice (McEntee) instead.  She quickly added “Well, God knows who I meant!”. 🙂

“Did that make the blog?”  The big family joke/threat is that what ever the kids do will make the blog.

Crying the night before we left.  I really like to be with Kevin and the kids.  Our life is wonderful and I was sad to leave it.  It was worth it though.  🙂

Getting to the airport, thinking everything is set and realizing that our plane was taking off as we stood there!  I completely messed up on the time of our flight.  I started to cry and Kevin sweetly said everything will be just fine.  I was so worried I had messed up on something else at home and my  kids would die because of me!  My parents had changed their flight so they could meet us at the airport for some big hugs and lunch.  We missed seeing them too!!!  😦  The other flights we were bumped to, were canceled or delayed.  It went down hill from there….

Watching any commercials with little kids in them.  Made me miss my kids too much!  😦  I tried to focus on the break I was getting and how wonderful it was to be with Kevin. Also, helping out with the funeral.

Forgetting to take pictures the entire trip!  We finally were with Kevin’s great family and I didn’t even think to take one picture!  I know we were preoccupied, but I wish I had the pictures now.

Dixon falling on his face within a couple hours of me getting home (he didn’t fall the entire time we were gone, I’m sure it’s due to the entire legion of angels I prayed to watch over him).  He has a black eye that seems to get worse each day.  😦

Dixon imitating Bryson texting!

Texting at an early age!
Dixon's black eye. 😦

THINGS THAT DID WORK:

FHE – Family Business.  We went over how it would work while we were gone.  The kids convinced us to buy them each their own box of cereal (they normally only get cereal on Sundays).  That would be 7 boxes of cereal!  I told the girls they could e-mail me and Hadley said “What if I can’t spell it right?”  🙂  Rules were:  No bike riding, no trampoline, pick everything up all the time and every time you want to fight think of Dad and be good for his sake.

Notes for each child to wake up to the morning we left.

My parents leaving a cooler and bag of fruit, treats and trail mix in the car.  They even put in Kevin’s favorite Root Beer.  Warmed our hearts!

Kids watching General Conference all weekend!!!  We have some traditions and they did all of them!  So cute!  I REALLY missed them during this!  They went to Krispy Kreme and then to a park (between Saturday sessions) made Chocolate Chip Cookies, Crepes in the morning and Conference games with journals and candy.

Addy trying to get a picture of them all watching Conference (it didn't work). 🙂
Kids watching General Conference 🙂

Family Prayer over speaker phone.

Meals brought in for the kids!  A HUGE THANK YOU!!!  They loved it all!

Running along the Willamette River with Kevin.  Autumn was in the air and it brought back so many memories for Kevin and I.  Newly married life, college, childhood (for Kevin).  Perfect part of our days there!

Meeting more Jones family members!  So great! Seeing all the family that came was really touching.  We are missing everyone already!  I wish I was a poet and could write the feelings of love I have felt over the past week and a half.  There is a sweet communion anytime someone cares, even simply ways are very meaningful.

Meeting Aimee’s friends and family!  Amazing people!

Finding out more details about Brian’s accident.  This was good and sad.  😦

Getting to see Rachel Hansen and her cute kids!

My brother Justin and Niece Chelsea showing up at the funeral.

Chelsea and Justin

I can’t explain how good it felt to have them walk in.  It meant the world to me.  Also, the McReynolds drove down and hugged and cried with us.  All the family and friends that supported us in many different ways left us speechless (this is not normal for us).  🙂

Bryson saying how glad he was we were home so there would be some adults to appreciate his humor!  We have laughed a lot since we have returned.  🙂

Dixon waving while watching his own hand.  He’s so amazed by it.  🙂

Girls singing and playing. 

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