Tuesday, August 22, 2017


So, we will get to the awesomeness that was the solar eclipse here soon. But first I wanted to touch on the fun we had the rest of the week we were in Idaho. We stayed at a church girls camp in Ashton along with my parents and my mom's siblings as well as their kids (my cousins) and then some of their kids. Best part? It was just our family there and the place was huge! Apparently, other people had made reservations but bailed out in fear of the crowds due to the eclipse that had been talked about on the news. We did not see the crowds luckily. Apparently traffic the day of was nuts, but we didn't have to deal with it. Most of us that is. My cousin who lives 4 hours away left right after totality and it took him 10 hours to make it home. Yikes!

While we were there though we did some exploring of the areas around us. Some that were in Yellowstone a mere 20 min away from where we were staying. Other things we did included multiple waterfalls, games on the giant lawn in the camp, small hikes in the area, and some trips into the small towns in the area.

We had such a great time!

The girls loved having all their "cousins" there and played to their hearts content the whole week long. Here they are in one of the little areas of Yellowstone doing eclipse crafts before seeing a waterfall.

Griffin was OBSESSED with all the stuffed animals in the area. Everywhere we went that boy was all about them!
 My kid's favorite... Jake and Tiffany. Ok, they are kinda the best!
We stopped and got food at the best rated cafe in the area. Man that place was old, smokey, and slow. Pretty good but it was almost comedy how small that town was.
 The kids had a lot of fun swimming and free roaming/exploring around the camp.
Our nightly bonfires were some of the highlights of the trip. It was so fun to sit and laugh around the fire with family. My dad was a great source of laughter in his wheelchair-like folding chair. It was also funny watching the kids do performances on the stage and Jovie try to boss everyone around.
 Another area close to the camp to explore.
If you know Griffin, you will know how surprising it is that he let anyone else hold him beside Wes.
 And I am also the camera man on most of our trips so forgive me for the fact that I am not in many pictures.
 This boy seriously LOVES his daddy!
 This specific waterfall was super cool and we were able to get right up to it, which was fun!
 We caught a little tiny water frog. It was so cute. Jovie (of course) was all about it. Peyton wouldn't hold it (she will lightly pet it, but that's it). She was in tears as we left because she didn't hold it, regardless of the 20 minutes we tried to get her too.
In Ashton Idaho we stopped at Big Judd's for their big burger, which was featured on the Food Network's, Man Vs. Food. It was surprisingly good for how big it was. And the novelty of it all was enjoyable for the whole family.
 This summer was also all about anything and everything Huckleberry. We couldn't get enough. One of our favorite things we ate all summer was in Crater Lake and it was huckleberry ice cream. In Ashton we stopped at another highly rated places for huckleberry shakes... but these were frozen huckleberry's and they just weren't the same.
 The last night was just our little family. So we enjoyed a fire just the 4 of us (Griffin was already inside the cabin sleeping). We told about our favorite parts of the trip (up to this point) and ate popcorn. It was fun, be it a little lonely after all the fun fires we had had the nights before.
 Inside our cabin. We shared this room with my mom and dad and because we had the kitchen in there we had lots of visitors. We also had a room connected to the kitchen that my aunt and uncle shared with us.
 Most of the group... we had lost a few people who were off hiking and doing their own thing on this day at this time.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

White Water Rafting

We arrived Saturday morning to Ashton, Idaho, after a looooong drive and crashing the night in Pocotello when we just couldn't drive any more. We literally went into the hotel in our clothes, passed out around 1:30am, woke up and left at 6am. The kids in pjs, us in yesterday clothes, we hit up WalMart before leaving (since we were worried about the stores up there being ravaged), and started our journey; only to arrive in Ashton right when we needed to leave. We handed the younger two off to the BEST cousins in the world (Jake and Tiffany.... seriously love them so much!) who offered to watch them the whole day while Wes, Peyton and I went white water rafting with my parents, aunt Jill, uncle Roger and my cousin Todd. It was seriously so much fun. The water was freezing, but we laughed so hard and all had a great time rafting the snake river!

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

California to Idaho

Well, we were those parents this year. The kind of parents who pull their child out of school week 2 for a vacation. But, at least it was an educational vacation this time around. We made the trek up to Idaho to see the total solar eclipse. And it was AMAZING!

But, we purposely left a little early for two reasons. Reason the first: In order to do independent study through Peyton's school you have to be gone more than 7 days. So we had to be gone at least a week and a half; which I was only so happy to do. Reason the second: Wes' cousin was getting married that Friday; so we decided to go a little early to be there for that. And you know what...... there is definitely another reason too. Family in Utah to hang with. Any excuse to be there with them, we are there!

So we hung with our Utah cousins. Played and did the rec. center there (which is a favorite of ours), and hit up the wedding (which was a lot of fun) before starting the second leg of our journey.

Check out these cute cousins

Which also included meeting our new cousin, little Miss Daisy Mae.
 Wes also went golfing with Andy at what might be his favorite golf course.
And look at the way Peyton was sleeping. Wes and I got a kick out of that.
Bringing us to the wedding at the beautiful "This is the Place" location.
 Full of family and friends, dancing, gelato, and (illegal) carriage rides

On to Idaho!