We’re home…

We just got home from our annual pilgrimage to Idaho. Here’s a quick recap while I try to catch up on life at home:

1 month and 1 day
More than 50 hours in the car
Almost 3,000 miles
A couple round trip plane tickets
4 stops at Costco/Sams Club
1 family reunion
Over 100 spikeball games
1 dental emergency (Hallie’s broken tooth…again)
11 times watching Kung Fu Panda 3
2,300 pictures
Helped 1 brother move
1 camping trip
Swam in 2 pools
2 sick kids
4 different beds
Walked around 2 temple grounds
Played at 13 parks/playgrounds
9 times listening to the Annie Soundtrack
Learned 3 new board/card games
Celebrated 3 birthdays
1 small town parade and a rodeo
2 fireworks shows
Ran into 4 people we knew on BYU-Idaho campus
6 items ordered from Amazon
Listened to 7 years on the piano 37 times (it might have been more)
2 visits to Chick-fil-a, 2 McDonalds, 1 Subway, 1 Burger West, 1 Cafe Rio, 3 Pizza places
10 loads of laundry
2 state parks
and…
Way too many late nights and early mornings.

I think it would feel better to be home if we hadn’t been welcomed to Arizona with 110 degree weather! Although nothing can replace sleeping in your own bed. Time to start editing photos!

Puppy love…

The odds of us ever having a dog are slim. Like non-existent. And I’m not just saying that – it really will never happen.

But I am more than happy to let my kids play and admire other people’s dogs!

Cannon seemed to have a love/hate relationship with my brother’s puppies. They were just his size. He loved them, chased them, held them and gave them directions.

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Then the puppies would get excited and bark, lick him or jump on him and the tears would start rolling. The puppies would run away and all the sudden Cannon was happy as could be and would go off chasing the dogs again. A vicious cycle.

Grateful for the family members and friends that have dogs so that we don’t have to!

Idaho Part 2…

Idaho is made to play.

As we were driving into my hometown we crossed the river and immediately Steve says, “That’s what we’re doing tomorrow. We’re floating the river.” I haven’t floated the river since Steve and I were dating many years ago. And yet he was convinced that was going to be our first family activity!

The universe was against us trying to find enough tubes that would hold air. It was an all afternoon fiasco. But we were persistent and we eventually made it out on the water.
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The kids ended up floating most of the river outside of their tubes or on my dad’s little boat. Bennett was crazy excited when we crossed under some train tracks at the exact moment that the train was going across. He yelled, “This is awesome!”
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We spent many evenings at the park. Hunter could play on his scooter. The little boys played on the playground and Hallie was in heaven with her cousins.
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I’ve never played frisbee golf – but after playing one evening (and realizing I have decent aim) I’d love to play more. There wasn’t a course, instead we’d point out different trees as the next target and it was surprisingly fun for how long I’ve avoided it because it had the word “Golf” in the name.
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My mom pulled out her father’s old accordion and put on a show for Hallie. I grew up with a grandfather that would play the accordion in his living room and the girls would dance to his polkas. Seeing my mom play it brought back a lot of memories. I tried my hand at it (Hallie also took a turn) and it was surprisingly heavy. Heavy to hold – heavy to open and close. It’s a beast and a little complicated. My grandfather was a pretty small man and I can’t imagine his strength to play this thing for as long as he did.
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We kept waiting for a really warm day to pull out the big slip-n-slide – but the days were relatively cool (we weren’t complaining!) So we opted for water balloons instead of the slide. I gave a review last week of the two different kinds we tried out. Bottom line: kids love water balloons and can always burn through them faster than we can fill them!
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It stays light really late in the summer which means we were able to put kids to bed and utilize the last bit of evening light for tennis and spikeball. We played spikeball just about every time we could scrounge up four players. In the backyard, at my brothers, at the park, after tennis. My brother’s set is well loved at this point.
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It seems my time is never long enough. I hate leaving. I hate saying goodbye to my parents. My kids hate saying goodbye to cousins. Next year is just too far away.

After Bennett said goodbye to his cousin he asked, “When are we going to see Landon again?” I told him we weren’t seeing him again for a long time. “We said goodbye to him yesterday.” Bennett was so distraught and with his hands pulling down the sides of his face moaned, “WHAT!?” I said, “You won’t see him again until your five years old.” That seemed to instantly brighten his mood and he exclaimed, “Ooohh, I’m so excited.” He has no concept of time!

How I wish Arizona was closer to Idaho. We miss being there already.

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Idaho Part 1…

Our trip to Idaho this summer was everything the kids had dreamed it would be. And they had been dreaming about it since Christmas. “I can’t wait to go to Idaho.” “Do you think we can do ___ when we go to Idaho?” “How many weeks until we go to Idaho?” They’ve got Idaho in their blood and it makes me happy.

We were pretty laid back this year – but even laid back in Idaho is amazing! I met up with a few friends. We played outside and enjoyed the wonderful weather and played with cousins.

The kids can never get enough of my brother’s property. In Hallie’s words, “Lexi is so lucky to live here!” I would agree – it’s a kid’s paradise.

They’ve got animals galore. Some welcome – some not so welcome. Like the snake they found while we were there. The kids thought Uncle Derrick was pretty cool holding that snake, none of them wanted to take a turn holding it!

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My brother and my dad were good sports and took the kids on ride after ride on the ATV and motorcycle. Hunter’s convinced he wants a motorcycle for his birthday.
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Another night we were there my dad was teaching him how to shoot a bow and arrow. He’s now convinced he needs one of those for his birthday as well. My logic of us living in a city and not being able to shoot that in our backyard didn’t make sense to him.
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We had a post-Independence day celebration – you can never have enough fireworks and the Fourth of July is never quite long enough for me anyway!

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When they weren’t exploring my brother’s farm – they were exploring Idaho which was equally as fun.

My dad took them to the hills to find treasures.

He also took Hunter fishing, which happens to be Hunter’s only fishing experience each year and I love it that way! I don’t particularly enjoy the smell…or the process of fishing so going with Grandpa and Uncle is the best fishing trip!
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We explored the skate park more than a couple times and this was our only casualty. When we cleaned away all the blood we couldn’t even find a scratch producing blood. We’re convinced he fell on a ketchup packet! He would argue otherwise but even he couldn’t figure out where the blood came from!
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To be continued…

We’re home…

We’ve been on the road for almost a month (Steve joined us when he could). Reunions. Time with family. Time with friends. Beautiful scenery. Long car rides with tired kids. Late nights.

It was finally time to say goodbye to Idaho and this was my parting sunset. It was as if Idaho was begging me to stay longer and enjoy the beauty just a few more days.
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In fact I tried ignoring this beautiful goodbye sunset. I was out walking with my mom the last night we were there and I saw this beautiful cotton candy sunset and was trying to live in the moment and decided not to bring my camera to take a picture. Yet with each step it became more beautiful and vibrant – as if taunting me and my efforts to be in the moment.

My mom said more than once we could turn around and grab the camera but I wasn’t going to cave that easy…or maybe I did. We had walked to the neighborhood behind my parents house and I ran up the hill to grab the camera for just a quick shot before putting it back down and running down the hill to be with my mom again. I’m glad I captured it. I usually come home from a summer in Idaho with picture after picture of beautiful sunsets, but this is the only one I captured this year. And its even sweeter because its my goodbye sunset.

As hard as it is to leave vacation world, it’s also good to be home. Although I think I might claim tomorrow a vacation day as well – that 17 hour drive is exhausting and I’m not ready to face laundry, grocery shopping or any of the other stacks of things I should attend to. Nope. Tuesday I’ll get to it. Or Wednesday. I bet it will still be there waiting for me on Thursday as well. Decisions. Decisions.

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