We took the kids out of school one day early and headed to Idaho. My nephew, Brock, was giving his mission farewell. I am still amazed at how well the kids traveled. There was seriously not one fight. Leah didn't get mad once. She usually has a small patient level. No one got sick. We had fun. It is normally a 12 hours trip and we made it in 15. Yep, not cool. We took a wrong turn. Actually we didn't turn and we should have. We had to back track an hour. At this point we had already been on the road 10 hours and thought we where close. For about 15 seconds, Blake got frustrated and hung his head as tears came. Then he pulled it together and we played Would You Rather.
We packed yogurt and muffins for breakfast. Then the day before I slow cooked a roast and shredded it, Myrna had made buns she said we could take, we had chips, fruit and veggies. And of course trail mix, that may have had more treats then nuts. :) A couple of days before we left, I just happened to see on Pinterest an idea for traveling with kids. It said to get this plastic container and put the food in it. It was quite a big plastic thing with a handle, we didn't need something that big, but I liked the general idea. So Cora and I went to the dollar store and found these red baskets. I had paper towel at home and also coffee filters left over from making snowflakes at Christmas. It worked so good. Dave said when he first saw them he thought, 'Great, now what is she packing?' But after, he said it worded really good, so much easier to balance and drive. Definitely doing that on every trip now.
We finally arrived. They had pizza waiting for us, then took us to the place we where to stay. My sister had a friend that had offered her apartment above her garage for us to stay. Had a little kitchen, bathroom, bedroom and a fold out couch. She also brought in a cot. We had lots of room. It was very nice of her. All we did was sleep there, but it was nice. My entire family, except Mckay who is on his mission as well, was there. I was so glad to see Taylor, it has been far to long. He brought his 4 year old son. I wish I would have gotten a picture of the two 4 year old cousins together. It was so cute. They where inseparable. Natalie and Taylor would ask each other, 'when are you putting Ryan to bed?' or 'where is Brody?'. We all knew that if we could find one or get one to bed the other would also. My brother is such a terrific dad. I really admire him. The next morning the youth took off to do temple baptisms very early. When they got back we had a fantastic breakfast. We got the strawberries cut up early and had to do another container because this little guy loves strawberries. It was so funny.
After breakfast we got some food ready for that night. We ran a few errands, then most of them went swimming. They swam all afternoon and a good part of the evening. Kita had gotten a club house with a pool that we all went to for a family dinner. Great spread. Then there was an open house for all of Brock's friends. Sunday we had a quick breakfast and headed to church. It was such a wonderful farewell. Brock is truly an amazing kid. My sister did well. If my kids can turn out anything like their cousins I will count myself lucky. They have one cousin in Colorado serving and Brock will be serving in Texas, Spanish speaking. Great examples both of them.
After church we came back to eat and just hang out till the end of the day. We had some good chats, played some games, and ate great food.
For my kids, getting together with their Smith and Jones cousins is anticipated all year long. They didn't do much. Went for a short drive at one point, but they love being with them.
Proud mom. Great son.
Photo bombed by Abby. :) Not sure what Blake is doing.
Kita's friend made this for Brock and they had everyone sign it at the open house. So neat. We said good-bye Sunday night. They next morning we made a bit of a holiday coming home. Dave doesn't have much time off work left so we took advantage of the long drive. We stopped at the Shoshone Ice Caves. They where pretty cool, but not quite as advertised. All weekend in the 43 degree weather we had packed our coats around so we could us them in the cave. The site said we would need them, but jackets would have been fine.
It was neat to see the formations and the lava tube.
You can't really see, but we went way down behind them. Climbed down rock steps. It really was unique.
Inside the cave is below freezing, all the time.
Next we did a quick visit to Craters of the Moon. So much heat coming off that black rock, we did not stay long. We had booked a hotel with my air miles a little over half way home. It was good to finally arrive and go to sleep. The next morning we drove a bit then stopped and did a little shopping and got a fencer for the farm. Dave always takes me to Fuddruckers because he knows I love it and we don't have one here. It was delicious as usual. We then journeyed the last 4 hours home. Again the kids where amazing the whole way home. We packed food again and ate in the car. The kids did a lot of coloring and drawing. They where so good I really think we will try to go to Conference in April. The last 1/2 hour they got a little silly.
But where making each other laugh. We got home in time to unpack, start some laundry, make a dump run, and measure some stuff at the house. It was a really wonderful trip. Good luck Elder Brock Jones, Texas is lucky to have you.