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A Picture Post

We are home! After three weeks away from our desert land, we packed up and headed back from the land of Forever Fun with Family. We actually came home last Friday and it has taken this long to sort through pictures and get back to life’s normal routines. And, well, actually, we aren’t back to routine, but we are almost there!

I have plotted out all the different ways to document our amazing trip, and decided that posting most of my pictures with a bit of documentary would be the most efficient. So, without further ado, I bring you Our Visit to Northern California.

We arrived on Holy Saturday around dinner time. We stayed with Lowell’s cousin, and one of my best buddies, Lucy, and her family. We combined Easter treats, the husbands planted the many, many plastic eggs, and on Easter morning after Mass, the kids were ready to go!

All geared up for an Easter Egg hunt
All geared up for an Easter Egg hunt

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She was a pro egg hunter! I was quite impressed how quickly she picked up on it
About half way through the hunt...Isaac did a dynamite job finding eggs!
About half way through the hunt…Isaac did a dynamite job finding eggs!

There was ONE egg left. Faith, Felicity, and Isaac pulled out all the stops wanting to be the one who got this bad boy! Lucy and I laughed uncontrollably as Faith climbed up the right side, Felicity grabbed a fishing pole, and Isaac climbed up and scaled the porch in attempts to get this egg!! It was a pretty close race, but in the end, Isaac came out the owner of this little pink egg.

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After naps that afternoon, we went to an Easter potluck celebration where there was lots of visiting, lots of food, another egg hunt, and no pictures taken by yours truly. ;)

On Monday, we loaded up with Lowell’s sister, Domonique and her baby, Haylee, and went to the Ranch that is a little over an hour from Lucy’s. The only pictures I took while there were some pictures of Karolina with her cousin, but for privacy purposes, we won’t be sharing those here. We spent until Wednesday morning there. The kids rode dirt bikes, and played endless hours with all the Leon Schaper cousins et al, and I enjoyed so much time spent with all the other moms, who are in my same boat raising a million minions, while sipping margaritas.

Karolina passed out deep on our way backto Lucy's. When Schaper's play, we play hard!
Karolina passed out deep on our way back to Lucy’s. When Schaper’s play, we play hard!

On Thursday, a lot more of the family was arriving in town in order to celebrate Grandma Ruth’s 80th birthday that weekend. On Friday evening, there was a big to do at The Farm (a big chunk of land one of Lowell’s uncle owns and where the family hangs out quite frequently) as a pre-celebration for Grandma’s big day. The only photo I got that evening was of Grandma, who is the first in her fam, with her first daughter, Aunt Roxane, first granddaughter, Lowell’s sister, Kateri, and the first great grand daughter, Faith. All the first in four generations are female! Kind of neat :) And, Lowell wants me to point out that I am the first grand daughter-in-law. Ha Ha!

Four Generations of The Oldest
Four Generations of The Oldest

On Sunday, was Grandma’s big celebration. There was two buffets of food, a dessert table, and nearly 200 hundred Schaper’s running around! The event actually held about 220 people and I believe about 50 of them were unrelated. All of the family came together and sent Aunt Roxane photos of each family along with little greetings and they were put together in a photo book.

Grandma's gift from all of us
Grandma’s gift from all of us
Showing some of the grand- and great grandkids
Showing some of the grand- and great grandkids
Nearly all 9 children, nearly all 75 grandchildren, nearly all 38 great grandchildren (with more great grands on the way!)
Nearly all 9 children, nearly all 75 grandchildren, nearly all 38 great grandchildren (with more great grands on the way!)
Lowell with his Great Uncle Lowell
Lowell with his Great Uncle Lowell

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Dylon, Uncle B, Cindy, Mom, and Papa
Dylon, Uncle B, Cindy, Mom, and Papa
Molly and Karolina are almost identical! Miss K is about 2 weeks older than Molly
Molly and Karolina are almost identical! Miss K is about 2 weeks older than Molly
All of these cousins were born the same year! When they are all together, a photo is a must :) Patrick, Domonique, Dylon, Bridget, Jessica, and Tarcy
All of these cousins were born the same year! When they are all together, a photo is a must :) Patrick, Domonique, Dylon, Bridget, Jessica, and Tarcy
Faith And Felicity with their 'girlfrans' and best cousins
Faith And Felicity with their ‘girlfrans’ and best cousins
After pictures, Karolina let me know she was ready to take a nap... like I said, we party hard!
After pictures, Karolina let me know she was ready to take a nap… like I said, we party hard!

After everybody parted ways, we regrouped at our respective homes and napped before the after party started up at The Farm. I only got a few pictures from that evening.

Lowell's brother, Cy, on his first dirt bike adventures
Lowell’s brother, Cy, on his first dirt bike adventures
Karolina also went on her first dirt bike ride!
Karolina also went on her first dirt bike ride!
George preferred his pedal-dirt bike
George preferred his pedal-dirt bike

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This is Lucy's mom, Aunt Teresa, with her mom. This was Grammy's first visit to The Farm. She and Grandma are very close friends
This is Lucy’s mom, Aunt Teresa, with her mom. This was Grammy’s first visit to The Farm. She and Grandma are very close friends

During the week following, we went swimming, to the beach, and played non-stop with cousins. As I posted it on Instagram: We have more cousins than you; cousins for days

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Karolina loved this slide! When she wasn't going down, she was plopping herself in the pool from the side. Once again, she passed out hard after all that playing
Karolina loved this slide! When she wasn’t going down, she was plopping herself in the pool from the side. Once again, she passed out hard after all that playing
on our way to the beach
on our way to the beach

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Faith and Gianna

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Felicity with Seth, Emma, and Connell
This is Eustace. Love his eyes!
This is Eustace. Love his eyes!
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it was a little chilly but ALOT of fun!
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dinner and a movie with these cool kids

On Friday, Lowell went with his cousin, Robert, and worked in the pits while Robert raced his car. Working on cars and racing is a Gallaher family-hobby-tradition. On Saturday, Lowell and I went on an afternoon date while Auntie Jane babysat. They had a blast together with water ballons!

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And when we got back to the house, Lowell loaded up our top four and took them to Moto Cross at Levi Stadium (where the San Francisco 49ers play) with some of his uncles and cousins.

they got cotton candy in these cool hats
they got cotton candy in these cool hats
Who do you suppose was the most excited in this group?? lol
Who do you suppose was the most excited in this group?? lol

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Then, on Sunday, there was more hanging out at The Farm. Lowell took me to the tippy-top of the property where it over looks like everything. We brought a few of the younger cousins along with us, but only took two pics.

Gianna
Gianna
I love this man!
I love this man!

And, Uncle Joe drove the kids around all over the property. A favorite pass time for everyone!

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Most of the rest of the time was spent hanging out at Lucy’s house and all our kids soaking up every minute of daylight together. I loved all my time spent with Lucy and all the little adventures we had with the other ladies up there! We played Bunco one night, we had a mommies night out one evening, we had play dates, and our above mentioned water adventures. :)

Lucy hatched some chicks and they were still in the house when we first got there
Lucy hatched some chicks and they were still in the house when we first got there
she wasn't obsessed. at all. nope.
she wasn’t obsessed. at all. nope.

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On our last, full day there, we loaded up with Auntie Jane and went to the Children’s Discovery Museum with Magdalena and Aunt Aimee and all of their kids who weren’t in school.

Jackson and Phillip
Jackson and Phillip
Nathaniel, George, and Conrad
Nathaniel, George, and Conrad
Faith, Conrad, and Nathaniel
Faith, Conrad, and Nathaniel
Faith and Emma
Faith and Emma
Karolina and Connell spent so much time at this wall!
Karolina and Connell spent so much time at this wall!
that tongue! lol air shot balls up and through a maze. How can a miniature person not be totally enthralled?
that tongue! lol air shot balls up and through a maze. How can a miniature person not be totally enthralled?

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Phillip is Auntie Jane's #1 fan! So cute :)
Phillip is Auntie Jane’s #1 fan! So cute :)

On my last night, I went to dinner with Lucy and Magdalena. It was Lowell’s and my anniversary, but he was gone working, so it was my last hurrah and anniversary dinner turned in to one. Jane came and babysat for that as well. After I got her back to Uncle Leon’s and got my kids put to bed, we kicked in to part two of our night with drinks and laughs. A night that won’t be soon forgotten!!

the only thing better than Mexican food is Mexican food with a Super Chavela..or two ;)
the only thing better than Mexican food is Mexican food with a Super Chavelas..or two ;)

All in all, we had some crazy hair moments…literally!

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And enjoyed some of the most beautiful sunsets…

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I will always remember this trip with the biggest smile and a quick pitter patter in my heart! Seeing so many familiar faces gathered to celebrate an amazing woman, who, without, none of this would have been possible! Another huge thank you to Lucy and her family for taking us in, and a huge hug and thank you to everyone for making us feel welcome the entire time! I love you people to the moon and back. It was like we weren’t really even away from home while we were there. Watching my husband be relaxed and enjoy himself fully on the weekends, when he was back from the job he did while we were there, was probably my most favorite part. And the part I regret the most is not taking any pictures of the kids with Lowell’s parents the short time they stayed in town. Thank goodness Jane stuck around longer so we could see more of and take pics with her!

Until next time!!

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