Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Getting ready to go.

We were suppose to fly out of the country in July. Well, due to the forces of the dark side better known as the visa office we had some huge problems making our July flights. DELAYS really try my patience but we re-booked our flights for the end of August and hoped and prayed that the powers that be would make our visas and everything else fall into place.

Not ones to sit on our duffs and wait we made the most of our down time and kept pretty busy. Then the news came. . . our visas were in! YES!!! I can't describe our excitement our world was going to change drastically and we were thrilled.

We wanted to see Travis' sister Brooke and her husband Wes before we left and we headed up to Sundance Wyoming where Wes was riding 180 miles in a bike race for MS. We arrived before everyone else and took our little family over to Devils Tower. Travis used to climb Devils Tower and it was fun to go hike and tell stories of how Devils Tower was created. Olivia took the legend and built fun stories to build on it. I love her imagination.

 We saw two groups climbing the tower. I think it gave Travis the itch to get up there again.

 The kids loved climbing the rocks. 

That evening we had dinner with Brooke, Wes and Gary. The next morning Wes was off on his ride and the rest of us went to the Vore Buffalo Jump. It was interesting to say the least. You climb down to where the Plains Indians would run the buffalo off. There were thousands of bones in the bottom. They even have a couple of small activities for kids. 

 Travis, Dev, Brooke, Liv and Gary in front of the Vore Buffalo Jump site.
 On our way from Sundance to the Buffalo Jump then to Spearfish South Dakota we passed through a small town called Beulah. Now hopefully you are singing the "Beautiful Beulah" song in your head. If you are not, shame on you. It is from the Disney show, "Summer Magic" with Haley Mills and Burl Ives. If you have never seen it then get out there and find it. Totally worth it. I was pretty excited about driving through Beulah and we sang the song at the top of our lungs. (it's the little things)

We then went on to Spearfish South Dakota which has the best city park. It is beautiful and fun and just a nice place to visit if you are in the neighborhood.

 Wes after finishing the first 100 miles. WAY TO GO WESTON!!

We were happy to be there to support Wes and just spend a minute with them. The next day we decided to head off on our own and go to Mount Rushmore and spend time in the Black Hills. We went through Sturgis (not the most fun with kids). We then headed to Rapid City and visited the Reptile Gardens.

 In front of Reptile Gardens

 Seriously if you have never done the Reptile Gardens you are missing out. The kids loved it. There were alligators/crocodile show, snake show, turtle petting and so so much more.

 The big turtle receiving loves.

 The little turtle.

 The snake show. The kids were able to pet this beauty.

On to Mount Rushmore.

We loved the Black Hills area. I don't remember the last time I was there exploring it as much as we did this trip. We hit some caves and went through Custer State park. I could spend some serious time camping in Custer State Park. It was lovely and it looked like there were lots of things to do. Maybe next time.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Good-bye family

We began our goodbyes in July heading down to St. George to visit Travis' sister Cami Jo and her family. We left Wyoming and dropped off in Centerville to drop off a large bean bag for my brother.

 This is the bean bag wrapped up in a tarp and strapped to our little Pontiac Vibe. We had many strange looks on our drive down.

Then we were off to St. George. Who goes to St. George in July? Only for my super cool sister in-law would I ever agree to such a trip and it was well worth the heat. We did a lot of fun things and the older cousins were so happy to see each other and the younger two were... lets just say they were figuring each other out. We saw Cami and the boys in June in Lander but we missed Shane and were excited for the entire family fun. We also saw Travis' uncle and aunt for dinner one evening. We don't get to see the Shepherds very often and were excited for the chance to catch up.

I don't want to overwhelm this post with pics since I am so behind in blogging so here are just a few pics. We went to a bounce house and the kids just loved it and so did the adults.

 Older cousins loving to spend time with each other.

 Devlin enjoying the little kid section. He didn't love sliding down the high slides. 

 Liv bouncing about on the favorite slide of all.

The men showing the kids how it was done.

We did many more things including lunch at a pirate restaurant and playing at a splash park.



We had so much fun with the Petty's and were so sad to see our time with them end. On our way to Salt Lake Cami suggested we stop off at Cove's Fort. So glad we did. It was fun for the kids to see the way the pioneers used to live. 

 Travis and the kids with the missionary who gave us the tour through the fort.

 Manti Temple on our way north. By far one of my favorite temples.

 We took a detour through Spring City, Utah to do a little family history. Travis' great grandmother lived here in this lovely little town. We stopped at the cemetery and found her house.

This was Travis' great grandma Minnie Barney's house. Some nice family lives there now and are fixing it up. 

This was in the Spring City Cemetery. Reddick Allred's headstone. This was a neat find for us. Reddick is a bit of a hero/ancestor for Travis. He helped in the handcart rescues, Mormon Battalion and was known as "Big Dog" by Brigham Young. 

We then headed up to Davis County to visit with my family and Travis' aunts. It was good to see all those that we could. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

June is bustin' out

I love June. This past June was so crazy. We were packing and trying to move out of our house and trying to pack for a move out of the country was difficult to say the least. During our stressful packing Cami Jo came up with her boys to visit her Dad. I felt so bad we couldn't spend more time with them but we did get a couple of days in. We headed up the canyon to Trapper Park and then continued on to South Pass City.

 Flowers looking over Red Canyon.

South Pass City is a ghost town that used to be full of miners in a gold rush. It is a fun place to go to and get some rock candy and they have an old baseball game in August and lots of fun activities that week. We just like to go see the old buildings and hike around with the kids. 

*on a fun side note, our house that we had bought to fix up was previously owned by an eccentric old man who the people called "crazy charlie" and he used to mine up in the Carissa Mine outside of South Pass City. My goal while going through all the stuff at our house and on the property was to find a stash of gold from old Charlie. On our last day of moving we found a small pouch of gold. YAY, not enough to make us rich but enough to make the treasure hunt worth it.*

The kids at South Pass City

In the old General Store at South Pass City. Check out the name on the can of corn. 

 This is what our day looked like. Liv and Nathan ready for anything and Ashton and Devlin doing their own thing usually relating to dirt and rocks.

 South Pass City

The boys throwing rocks in the river through South Pass City.

I love this sign. 

We also went to the Carissa Mine for their first tour. I don't have any of the pics of it but it was a cool experience. 

During June Olivia joined the tots climbing club and took swim, finished up soccer and took gymnastics. All of which she just loved. She is just like her dad, always on the go.

 She looks so little here.

 Thank goodness she does not have my fear of heights!

We sold our house and moved out on the 17th. My birthday is on the 19th. So for a birthday treat we headed up to Thermopolis Wyoming and took a couple days to enjoy the hot springs and relax.

 When we walked into the hotel there was a bouquet of flowers. Love the HUBS!

 We hit the dinosaur museum.

The last week of June was HOT! We decided to get out of the heat and head up to the mountains for some kayaking and just some cooler fun. We got up there and the weather was great. We picnicked and then it happened. Right after we got the kayak out it started to rain then hail. We ended up hanging out int he back of the car waiting for it to blow over. Well, after about 1 hour and it was still raining we decided to pack up and drive back home. 

 The fam in their swim gear stuck in the back of the car waiting for the weather to blow over.

Our kayak and gear with hail on it.

Even though it wasn't what we had planned on it was nice and cool and a break from the heat.