Monday, August 14, 2017

Boise Bound!

Trekking to Boise every summer has definitely become a tradition. Our summer in Parker thus far hadn't really felt "relaxing" per se-- we'd been bouncing from baseball practices to Cub Scout Camp, to Activity Days, to various playdates with friends, to birthday parties. We'd had various visitors in town to entertain, and to add to all of that, I picked up 3 more classes to teach at the YMCA in Littleton. Needless to say, I think we were all feeling a bit run ragged halfway through July.
Lucy actually flew out a few days before the rest of us to get to the cabin earlier, and had the opportunity to see Great Grandma and Grandpa Morris who are around and still kickin'. My Grandma is so cute-- she remembers everyone's name, what grade they're in, what they like, and what their hobbies are, and just loves talking to her great grandkids.
The cousins with my sweet Grandpa before heading up to the cabin.
Boise came as a perfect escape to finally slow down summer and just relax. It may not be the most exotic vacation location, but my kids LOVE being at their grandparents house. Sarah P was in Canada with her family, so there were no cousins, but we still had plenty to do, including walking over to Delsa's and eating huckleberry ice cream. Yum!
We also had our annual girls' tea party. Lucy and Leah totally look forward to getting dressed up and drinking from Great Grandma Gabe's fancy tea cups. Taylor was on Zach duty, so they got Mc Donald's for lunch and then hung out downstairs watching "Justice League" cartoons. It was Zach's  man's date dream come true.
Here's our yummy spread of sandwiches and finger foods.
Thursday night we visited the Boise Town Square Mall to check out the "Monuments of America" Lego series. They feature all of the major historic monuments from US history and the kids got a kick out of seeing how everything was made from millions of tiny legos!
Friday was my favorite day, as we found a beach to relax on. We drove over to Eagle Island, which is really just a nice sand bar on the Boise river, and also features a waterslide. We had perfect weather.
Miss Leah, most likely reminiscing about her former beach days in North Carolina. Man! I miss the beach. 
That night we ate at the West Side Drive-In, which was recently featured on Food Network's "Diner's, Drive-Ins, and Dives." We had some amazing hamburgers and even better fry sauce. I feel like Colorado needs to jump on the fry sauce craze pronto.
My kids had never had an ice cream potato, which is locally famous of course, so it was high time they tried one.
It's really just vanilla ice cream rolled in cocoa powder to look like a giant Idaho baked potato.
What a fantastic way to cap off our fun beach day!
Saturday was probably the kids' favorite day, was we headed to the Snake River Stampede out in Nampa. They'd never been to a rodeo, and it had been a long time since I'd been to one too.
Thankfully it was indoors at the Idaho Center so it was air-conditioned, and they had some fun acts in between the different events. This was a drill team that performed all lit up along with their horses. Lizzie loved it.  

Our favorite part of the rodeo was hands-down the bull riding. That is some crazy and intense stuff! Yeeha! Gotta love America.
Family selfie out at the rodeo! I bought the kids hot dogs and popcorn, and they were happy as little clams and didn't want to leave even when the rodeo was over. They watched for almost 2 1/2 hours!
Of course they cooled off one last time in Grandma's pool after the rodeo. Lucy always clocks in the most pool time of anyone, but we all spent quite a bit of time swimming as it was really hot in Boise the whole week we were there.
That night just the adults went to dinner and we got a babysitter for the kids (hallelujah). We tried the Sockeye Brewery and had some delicious salmon in our entrees, and shared this poutine for an appetizer.
It was sure nice to be out kid-free as I'd been single parenting all week with Jon home working!
We decided to make the long 12 hour drive back home to Colorado on Tuesday. We drove through Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, and Colorado, and almost had rain the whole way! How unusual is that? Thankfully my mom was able to drive it with us, and all things considered the kids did awesome! Especially Lizzie. She was so wiped out from our week of fun she napped for almost 4 hours which made a huge difference and we got a lot of road under us in that time. My mom stayed until Saturday morning, so we took her to Dion's for dinner Friday night.
She was also able to catch Zach's second to last baseball game and we were so thankful she was able to drive back with us and stay a couple more days! We had so much in Boise, and the kids are already planning things for their next trip in Summer 2018.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Cabin Camp

"Cabin Camp" looks like summer camp, tastes like summer camp, and smells like summer camp-- and is basically the version I grew up with. A 50 year old cabin in the woods, a loft full of beds with cousins to sleepover, Scotcharoos and card games at all hours of the day and night, and the best darn scenery in all of Idaho, sounds pretty good, right? 
We had a pretty stressful week leading up to Cabin Camp, and I was definitely questioning my sanity as to why we should want to go drive 8 hours to get there. We left Colorado amidst a newly finished kitchen remodel (new granite countertops and tile backsplash), and a fridge/freezer that decided to die, causing us to chuck about $150 worth of groceries in the trash. Our 6-year old fridge had the compressor go out, and the new replacement part would cost upwards of $1000+ and be 3-4 weeks for delivery. You tell me how I'm supposed to feed 6 people with no fridge or freezer for a month?? So, unfortunately, we had to buy a brand new one. Such is life, I guess. Anyway, a road trip-- with an antsy, chocolate-covered one-year old was the last thing on my mind...
We left Colorado around 3 in the afternoon on Friday, and headed for Wyoming. Poor Wyoming. I'd say about 75% of it is just desolate prairies with nothing to see but ranches and cattle. Thankfully though, we got to visit the 25% of the state that is amazingly scenic and gorgeous. We got to drive all along the Grand Teton mountain range Saturday morning as we headed into Idaho.

It was a banner July day for Wyoming-- no wind, no thunderstorms, and gorgeous clear blue skies. We absolutely had to stop for a picture in front of the Tetons.
We made it to Jackson Hole, WY around lunchtime, and the kids thought it was so cool to see the Sheriff on his trusty stead. Welcome to the wild, wild, west kids!
We had to get a picture in front of the famous antler archway in town square! My kids even remembered this archway from our pitstop last summer. I guess it is a little morbid if you're not of the hunting variety.
We had some yummy sandwiches at the Bunny Cafe and were ready to hop back in the car to finish the drive to the cabin (ha, ha, see what I did there?).
Way to go, Idaho! This is where potatoes grow. We drove past hundreds of potato fields on our way, and it made me think of when you eat at Five Guys Burgers, and they always list where their french fry potatoes are from it's usually Driggs, or Ashton, or Rexburg ID.
Hooray! We finally made it to Island Park and Lizzie finally made it out of the car! Idaho got SO much snow this winter there were wild flowers EVERYWHERE. Gorgeous, but bad for allergies!
Beautiful view of Henry's Fork of the Snake River from our cabin's back deck.
Lizzie playing with the bugs and grass and rocks out on the deck.
We had my sister in law Sarah take our family pictures that evening and it was an unbelievably gorgeous night. I can't wait to see how they turned out!
Wildflower country
Picture time with four kids and a not-too-enthusiastic-husband is always interesting, but we couldn't have asked for a better backdrop.
That night the sunset was breathtaking. It did my heart good to be there and see so much beauty all around us. I needed to stop and smell the wildflowers, so to speak.
Beautiful Lucy taking in the scenery so near and dear to my heart!
The next morning I stayed home from church with Lizzie who was fighting a cold, and we wandered down to the river so she could put her little feet in. She sure loved it!
Once everyone was back home from church we headed over to Mesa Falls for a little Sunday scenic drive. The moss covered mountain walls were so gorgeous and green from all the mist!

Don't go chasin' waterfalls, Zach-O boy.
One more beautiful view from a higher lookout point. I like how Zach is dabbing in this picture.
Cute cousins Eva and Lucy loving the waterfall. Lucy actually flew out to Boise all BY HERSELF a few days earlier so she could have some grown-up girl bonding time, as well as get to the cabin a little earlier and check out Yellowstone. Lucky duck!
We headed back to the cabin for some bike rides and canoe rides and a little more R&R in the mountain sunshine.
Grandpa and Lucy paddling Zach and Leah out and about in the canoe.
Jon, down at the dock checking out the sunset.
Cousin camp at the cabin! Think the sun was just a little too bright?? Ha ha.
Apparently selfies with a selfie stick are now Cabin Camp tradition. Just missing Taylor and Devin who were there, but not pictured.
I love this picture of these cute cousins. Leah and Sophie could play Barbies all day, and Eva is enough to entertain both Lucy and Zach. They played Cover Your A$$ets and Sleeping Queens and Bohnanza for hours.
One last picture in parting. I look at this and immediately just feel peace. Like I said at the beginning of the post, I wasn't too thrilled about leaving all the little unfinished messes back at home, but I'm sure glad we got to go to the cabin this summer. It was so good for my soul to be there and see through nature, just how much our Heavenly Father must love us to have created such a beautiful place for us to live. Jon flew back to Denver by way of SLC on Monday afternoon, and the kids and I drove on to Boise to spend the rest of the week visiting Grandma and Grandpa's house!