Monday, May 30, 2011

The Trip Home - pt 1

We were SO SO excited to make our way back to Utah! We decided that flying all 5 of us was crazy-expensive, so we started planning early for a smooth, LONG road trip. Honestly, a 2-day, 21-hour drive really made me nervous. Plus, we had just decided that our 4-Runner (16 yrs old) was probably not going to make it this year... We squished all 5 of us in to our smaller, Mercedes. Talk about cramped quarters.

Jack was the first of the kiddos to fall asleep EVERY time! It was great, except that he snores like a chainsaw! (there are many who can attest to that)

The kids did SO, unbelievable well. Layla was the one I was most nervous about. For the boys, we had movies, coloring books, Tag Reading systems, and TONS of snacks. But what to do with a toddler for that long. She seemed happy enough just to have her blanket and her binky, which is a usually just for sleep. But we had a stroke of genius when we got 2 sets of headphones to use for the the DVD player. It was SILENT in our car for a few hours, and that was heaven!!

Before I explain these 2 photos, let me just say that THERE IS NOTHING to look at in South Dakota. Then all of a sudden you see sign after sign leading up to some silly tourist-whatever... These pictures are to The Corn Palace. (the "world's only")

And since I must be the sucker that falls victim to such consistent advertising, we totally HAD to go see it!! Folks, it's just a building covered in ears of colorful corn... BUT, I did learn that they have to change out all the ears of corn annually, since it becomes a snack to birds all year.

My iPhone camera didn't do it justice, but those murals are pretty huge. So that's a crazy amount of corn.

THIS little man being held by Jack, was the reason why we waited until May to visit:
Chance Michael Hone
He is our brand new cousin, and we were so excited to meet him and see his mom and dad. (Lynsie and Levi Hone) We waited until Chance's blessing day to make our journey, and cuddling with him made it all worth it!

Layla had a rare lovey-moment with her little cousin!

I know this picture is blury, but I could not get enough cuddle time with Chance! He was so sweet, and just so good. I like to think that we made a connection and he just might remember me when we see him later this year!

SURPRISE!! We had a lucky opportunity to see Granny and Grampa Dan, who had flown from CA to head to Moab. So we were able to meet them for breakfast and to hang out for a bit.

For the first part of our stay, we got to share our Gramma and Grampa Goates' house with Jamie and Gracie! Layla and Gracie took a bit to warm up to each other, but pretty soon they were little buddies!! These 2 girls are so sweet and so funny, and we had so much fun reintroducing them. (but we sure missed Ryan!)

I am really bad at taking pictures with the 3 kiddos keeping me busy, and I really didn't get many while we stayed with my parents. BUT, this doesn't mean we weren't so grateful and happy to stay there. It felt like home... because it still is! We love you, mom and dad Goates.

To be continued...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Playing at the Lakes

I actually have no clue what this HUGE park is called, but it not only has playground stuff but frisbee-golf courses, baseball diamonds, bike paths, and probably more that I haven't discovered yet. And of course, the "lakes" that cover another large area of the park. (during the winter, there were tons of ice fishing huts) Oh, and it's actually in Minnesota!

(don't worry grandma, this part was very shallow and not near the playground!)

This was the shot I got when I tried to get all 3 kiddos to pose in front of the water and the surrounding bluffs. Notice that Josh is not there...

But Josh was excited to show off his awesome climbing skills! He doesn't remember that he used to hang out at the climbing gym with mom and dad when he was really little.

Even our timid Jack was ready for the amount of sunshine that motivated us to get out and play! He's not usually my climber.

The very first thing we all ran to was this ancient merry-go-round. My kids had never seen one and they ALL hopped on. This is pretty big for my boys who rarely try anything new these days. They loved going around, and I loved all the giggling! I almost couldn't get Layla away from it.

Josh has gotten very, very in to baseball. He starts t-ball next month and CAN-NOT-WAIT!!
(his former pitching daddy is so proud)

So despite that crazy amount of wind that night, and our food blowing away in it, we still had a good time. Winter was WAY TOO LONG here in Wisconsin.

While you wait...

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