I think Pioneers have been more a part of our life this year than ever before. We've loved our time at This is the Place Heritage Park. Jack keeps making me promise that we'll do it again next year. I fully plan on it, if they'll have us.
This is Elora, the hired BYU history major who keeps things moving at our "home". We all adore her, but Jane in particular is a big fan (although from Jane's face in this one, you might not know it).
We had a special Pioneer Day weekend, starting with our usual Friday at the park, but it wasn't usual at all. We had a bunch of our family come up to visit, and as we arrived at the house we realized the Mormon Battalion (reenactment) was camping in our back yard! The Battalion gathered from all over the country for the weekend, and it was fun to visit with many of them as we enjoyed the festivities of the day.
My sisters, their husbands, kids, my parents (including my mom who was only 8 weeks out of getting a portion of her lung removed), and my grandparents all came to play.
We got out our fiddles, guitars, and mandolins, and tried to remember how we used to be able to play a mean "Devil Went Down to Georgia". It's not so mean anymore. Actually, there was a lot of laughter, but it was fun nonetheless.
Our pioneer neighbors (a family of 9) came down with their instruments and we all danced the Virginia Reel with whoever would join us. The kids were loving it. Wish I had a picture of that, but I was too busy dancing with my boy. Jack, not Jeff. Do you know my husband at all?
We left from the pioneer village to Lake Town, UT to stay with our friend Wyatt's family. We loved our time with the Lamborn's last time and just couldn't stay away, especially since the Quan's were in town. During their trek from Bangkok to DC, they made a stop in Lake Town. Who doesn't? So finally, little Alice got to meet big Alice. All five feet of her. Maybe Alices are just supposed to be small?
We spent the evening and all the next day with these two sweet families. Jack and Jane couldn't get enough of Sarah and Emily, and I could have visited with the Quans, Wyatt and his family for days.
We took the kids for a quick horse ride, and got some pictures...
(The locals thought it was hilarious that we thought hay was a great backdrop for pictures. Yes, we are city folk.)
A family portrait where you can actually see everyone's face. Almost.
... and the next day we enjoyed a delicious pioneer day breakfast with the one and only Lake Town ward. I love small towns. Plus, we figured out that Wyatt's sister-in-law is my childhood friend's cousin. Did you get that? I knew there was a reason I liked Amy so much.
Wyatt volunteered all of us to play in their town's Pioneer Day talent show. Thanks Wyatt. Sarah and Emily Quan, at the ages of 10 and 14 are much better musicians (violin and piano) than I'll ever be, so I basked in their talent and passion and loved how involved and supportive Alice and Steven are with them. Jeff and I did play a little piece. Just because we've decided we'll pretty much do anything for this family.
Keeping little Alice happy during the program.
Then, we enjoyed probably my favorite parade ever. There were about 10 floats (tractors, 4-wheelers, trucks, plus some) and they threw TONS of candy. So much candy that there were no tears and no clashes between kids trying to get the same piece. Then, after the floats had passed, we cut through the block and met the floats all over again as they went around the other side of the block. Short+no crowds+all smiles = best parade ever.
We just had to get a photo of the whole Bangkok crew. Quans, Wyatt, and the Hillmans. We might look a little nervous, because to be honest, we were all a little worried about the trampoline not holding. Thank goodness one of these families has small genes.
These three sure made a connection. It was hard when Jack had to say goodbye, knowing it would be a while before he gets to see his friends again.
It wasn't just Jack that hated to say goodbye. Who knows when we'll see our world traveling friend again.? Luckily, we at least know how to see Wyatt.