I would like to apologize for not writing last week. I did not have an opportunity to write the letter until Tuesday and by then I just figured that I would just miss the week. Sorry to all those who hang on every letter I write. By the way, if you are excited to see our family letter you really need to get a more exciting pass time. In case you did not guess I did not write last week because my Grandma O'Bryant died on August 12. Devin and I went out to Tennessee to be with the family. At that time Devin was visiting her sister, Anna, in Arizona. We ended up meeting up in Denver and headed out to TN together. I am very grateful that I had Devin with me. I really missed her and I was happy to have my caring wife with me. I believe my Mom was more excited to see Devin than she was to see me. When I called and told her that I was coming, she seemed happy, but when I told her that Devin was coming as well Mom started acting like an excited school girl. That really lets you know where I am on the “who Mom likes best” list. I thought it went Jared and then Devin but I guess I was wrong. Mom likes Devin more. We got into TN on Friday night. When we got to my Aunt Dee and Uncle Rick's house everyone seemed to be just sitting down to dinner Devin and I had lots of fun talking to the aunts and uncles that had congregated at the home. My little brothers, Joseph and Teancum, had been there for about 3 weeks and were very bored. All the Paynes and my cousin Brian went out for a midnight swim and we played “Sharks and Minnows”. I will say that I felt bad for one of the moves I pulled. I was on the diving board as the shark and I blindly jumped into the water and landed on my sister Krystal. I would not have felt bad if it was any one but Krystal. If you remember about a month earlier she fell off her horse and broke a couple of ribs. After that I decided that I would look before I leaped. It was lots of fun to be with the family playing fun games.
Saturday was the funeral for Grandma I as happy to think that she was finally with some of the people she had missed for so long. My Grandpa died about 14 years ago and I have 2 aunts that have died as well. She missed her family that had passed on so much and was ready to go and be with them. We will miss her and all that she did to brighten our days. At the funeral, my uncle Rick (who she had lived with for many years) gave one of the talks. He told a story about my Grandma years ago. Grandma loves green apples and Grandpa told her not to climb a tree one day. As you can guess she climbed the tree for some apples and the tree branch she was on broke and when she fell Grandma broke her arm. Even though her arm hurt her until she died Grandma still thought the apples were worth it. Just one other quick story: When my mom was born (the 7^th of 8 children) my Grandma said that she felt like she had been pregnant her whole married life. I think that this was a little bit of a prophetic statement since my mom has 10 kids. I think that my mom can relate to that statement. Grandma loved flowers. I can not remember a time when I went to her house and did not see flowers. Grandma loved lilies and many of the bouquets had many lilies in them. I am glad that I had the chance to go and be with the family. They truly love and care for each other and I love to be around them. I do not think that we got to bed before 1 a.m. any night we were there. I would like to say thank you to my Aunt Dee and my Uncle Rick and family for opening their home to Grandma for the many years they have, and for opening their home to all the company that had invaded their home over the last few weeks as well. I am sure that your hospitality helped to make this experience as nice as it was.
Last Sunday was lots of fun to just hang out with the family. Dee had to leave church early to help get people on their way home and Mom went as well to help Dee out. The little kids did not know that Mom had left early, so I kept sending them around the church looking for Mom so that we could go home. Joseph was getting very impatient trying to find Mom so they go back to Dee's house. After sending them around the church a couple of times I finally told them “OH I forgot Mom left early and you are going to go back with me and Devin”. I thought this was hilarious to send them out on a wild goose chase. Devin was a little appalled that I would get such a kick out of this event. I was surprised that the person who got the irritated at this stunt was Krystal. Because of her back I did not send her around but she got the maddest at the prank. After I told Joseph and Teancum they almost laughed.
Monday was a sad day for me. I do not get to see my family much because they live so far away and I had just barely had the chance to see them and it was already time to say goodbye. Mom took us out for a breakfast at Cracker Barrel and then the unavoidable farewell. I am grateful to be in the family that I am in. That does also include all of you on Devin's side of the family as well.
After the previous week of such high strung stress, I was very happy to get a more stable week. Devin's birthday was on Wednesday and we had a fun time. We went out to dinner at the place where we went on our first date and then went to a musical of “Pride and Prejudice”. I am always glad to spend some time alone with my wonderful wife. I had missed being with her because she went to AZ with her sister. I am elated to have my Devin back with me this week.
Saturday, this week, was another sobering day. The grave side service for my grandmother was here in Provo. For those of you who do not know, my grandparents had a daughter die while they lived more in this area and they had burial plots next to her, so both of my grandparents are buried here in Provo. The service was real nice. Glen, my grandma's brother in law, told several stories about how important family was to my grandparents. Along with several other stories that let you know who my Grandma really was. I am always excited to hear about these types of stories. Grandma lived so far away that I did not get to see her a lot and really get to know who she was. After the grave side service my Uncle Toby and Aunt Mary Ann invited everyone over to their house for light lunch. A good hunk of the family lives in the Provo/Salt Lake area and we had a good opportunity to talk to many family members who where not able to make it to the funeral. It was nice to see the family together again. My sister Jeni and her family came down for the weekend and we enjoyed having them here. Last night we put the kids upstairs watching a cartoon while we were downstairs watching “Monk”. After a while Jesi came down stairs and declared that she needed “Alone Time”. We did not want to go up there so we said that it was alright for her to take some “Alone Time”, but we also asked if her brother Brian could come up with her and she readily agreed. A little while later I went upstairs and sat on my bed and Jesi got mad and said that she was having “Alone Time” and that I was not welcome up there. Can you believe that I was kicked out of my room by a 5 year old girl? Maybe in a few weeks I can have a more normal life but until then I will enjoy being with the family.
Devin now gets to tell you what she did while she was in AZ with her sister Anna:
Hi! AZ was a lot of fun. I don't know that we did really anything much, but I had a great time just being with my big sis. Since she is so far away from the rest of us, we don't get to see her much. We just hung out a lot, went swimming at her in-laws, watched movies, I got to play with my cute 20 month old nephew. We did go to Payless (where my sister works) and got TONS of shoes. Anna gets an employee discount so she got me, our other two sisters, one of our nephews, her little son, our aunt, and and like three of her in-laws some shoes. Yeah, you can imagine the look on her managers face when the manager had to help ring up all these shoes. Like I said though, the best part was being with my sister and spending some time with her. We hope this finds all well and everyone has a great week! We love you all!