Friday, July 31, 2015

Idaho Summer 2015

We enjoy going to Idaho every summer to spend time with Ryan's family.  It is the only time our kids get to see that side of the family.

We spent a wonderful day at Yellowstone.  It was fun to go hiking and enjoy the beautiful surroundings and catch glimpses of wildlife.  Some of us watched Old Faithful go off twice as we waited for the second group to catch up...and we were all hungry at lunch time! 

We also spent some time at a park while one of my nieces had a softball game.  The younger kids had a great time running around on the grass.

Utah/Idaho Summer 2015 Part 1

We enjoyed some time in Utah and Idaho...and ended up leaving Kessiah for an extra two weeks.  Nana and Papa were able to take her to an outdoor adventure camp that is part of her school.
On our way up we stopped at the Glen Canyon Visitors Center to eat...some went on the bridge.


Kessiah, Jenessa, Sienna, and Ryan had fun at Big Rock Candy Mountain doing some ropes courses.  During that time I had the boys in Richfield where we went to the park and went swimming.

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We went to Yellowstone with Kerry & Patty's family.  We enjoyed seeing "Old Faithful" and going on a couple of hikes.  During one part of the hike we went down a fairly steep hill to a river.  The little boys thought it was great fun to throw sand and rocks into the river.

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We don't always take the time to drive by the Idaho Falls Temple.  It was undergoing reconstruction so we couldn't get very close.

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Sunday, June 14, 2015

Pioneer Trek 2015

Kessiah had the opportunity to go on a 4 day pioneer trek reenactment with the youth from our church.  Ryan went as a photographer (which was nice because I had access to a lot of pictures!).

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The first day they were put into families and had to carry their gear from "Nauvoo" to "Iowa City" where they were able to purchase supplies and put their handcarts together.  They got some rain that first afternoon which caused them to trek in the mud...from what I hear that was tough!

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There was a lot of walking and some time for fun activities...including stick pulls and archery.

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There was a part of the trek when they pulled all the men and boys away to go with the "Mormon Battalion" and the women and girls were left to pull the handcarts up some steep areas.

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I took the kids to go and meet them...we were so excited to greet them at the end of their journey.  I got tears in my eyes when I spotted Kessiah, I was so proud of her and her ability to accomplish a hard thing.  The lessons she learned will serve her well for the rest of her life.

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She came back saying that she wasn't going to be as picky about food anymore!  She even ate raisins while she was out!


It was an incredible experience as they trudged through rain, mud, and sunshine.  It was very unusual for us to get rain this time of year...and although the mud was tough it did help keep the temperatures down.  Over the 3 1/2 day experience they went just over 40 miles.

Here is what Kessiah said about the experience on Facebook.
"Yesterday I came back from trek.....honestly, one of the most challenging things spiritually and physically I've done. 42 miles of trekking with people I was put to be with as a family and to push a hand cart with, and going over hills and slipping through mud and rain. I think I learned so much over those four days though. We depend on our family to help and even us out, through things like support, kindness, and yes, even the stupid jokes to get us to continue forward and distract from blisters and bruises. We have so much in this age like cars and hot running water that we don't realize how much of a sacrifice those pioneers made to get to salt lake. We complain about not liking raisins and other little foods we don't really like to eat....pioneers didn't have that option (I really felt like I didn't either). I saw how much teamwork was put into the women's pull....lots of cooperation and endurance and finally the gratitude and relief when the angels came and helped and pushed our hand carts over that enormous hill. We all take it for granted, and honestly this trek opened my eyes to that. I'm so glad I was able to go, and I feel so blessed for the family I got put with because it wasn't an accident. I hope that my siblings will have as good of a outcome with it as I did, because it was just awesome."

The experience made me reflect a lot on my pioneer ancestry and all they went through to create a strong foundation for me.  I cried when I thought about the women's pull the trekkers did and am so grateful for the angels that went to help them.  I am grateful for the angels that helped the pioneers cross the plains many years ago...and for the angels that help me every day.