Sunday, September 21, 2014

Home for the Holidays day 4

With all the free time during the retreat, there are often people who organize different outings.  This year I knew I wanted to get into the great outdoors because Southern Utah is known for its magnificent scenary and landscape.
I decided to join a group that was doing a hike to Kanara Falls.  I was at first hesitant to join in since I am not the hiking nor athletic type.  I was reassured that I would not die (since that was my first concern) and that athletic ability was not necessary for this excursion.
It was a great treat.  A fellow demonstrator Jackie B had two daughters going to school in Utah so they drove and acted as our guides. I will let the pictures speak for themselves.  I wouldn't say the hike was "easy" but the view was worth it!

"For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse."

This verse from the bible kept coming to my mind as well as the word: MAJESTIC! 
The pictures do not do the experience justice!

After we returned from the hike, there was a short time frame where I tried to organize my swap cards, sit by the pool and visit and then get changed for the final night event. 

The final night event is always a mystery.  I was a little nervous because we were told it involved crafts.  I know many of you will groan when I say this but I am not the crafty type.  By that I mean I don't enjoy all kinds of crafts and I am certainly not the Martha Stewart type that can turn any household item into a gorgeous centrepiece.  I just like taking advantage of all of Stampin' Up!'s co-ordinating products and stamping and glueing something cute.  I worried we would be painting or doing pottery or making some sort of group quilt.  
It turned out that our final event was to work together to create 3 beautiful, decorated Christmas trees that will be donated to an auction where the money raised will benefit a community Children's Hospital. It was unbelievable what our group of 100 demonstrators could accomplish.  We were assigned different tasks based on our team.  This is what our group was in charge of creating:
(picture courtesy of Patty Bennett)

The box stars are from a kit that will be released in October. (stay tuned for a special holiday supplement in mid-October!)  The girls on my team told me that the kit was super easy to use and was FULL of amazing product.  
I was involved in making the twine ornaments which were super easy.  No stress at all!
Another group was in charge of taking the creations from the different groups and putting it on the tree.  
Doesn't our tree look great?

After our fun and relaxing crafting time, we went to another room for dinner.  Once again the decor was amazing and themed for the holidays.  We had a tasty turkey dinner with all the fixings and an elegant and delicious dessert. 

At the table were several elegantly wrapped gifts.  We of course assumed that these gifts were full of Stampin' Up! product as that has been what we've come to expect this week! 
We played the white elephant game where person 1 chooses a gift and opens it and then person 2 can decide to steal #1's gift or choose their own.  
I was first to play the game.  I picked the gift that was wrapped in the silky lost lagoon ribbon. (so beautiful!) but imagine my surprise when I opened the gift and found this:

Everyone at the table wasn't quite sure what to think.  As each person started choosing and opening their gifts, the laughter was erupting all around the room.  
My team mate Susan Elise received this gift:

This set me off.  I could not stop laughing.  Then when Becky Roberts got a plastic banana slicer shaped like a banana and Patty Bennett received a scented donut journal, I was beside myself.  (I decided not to share the picture I have of Patty sniffing her journal as I don't want to damage her reputation)

After such an enjoyable final event, it was a bit sad to think of going home to the regular routine.  Many of us tried to drag the evening on by hanging around the hotel lobby and talking.  I went outside and sat by the gas firepit and hung out with the girls there. 

It's such a treat that the whole hotel was only for Stampin' Up! the past few days.  
Back at my room, my final pillow gift:

A charm to add to the bracelet I received at Founder's last year. 

I'm heading to the airport soon and can't wait to see my family.  I feel so refreshed and rested and THANKFUL for the relationships and people that being a part of Stampin' Up! has brought to my life.  

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