Well - for those of you that made it through the previous psycho long post and are just dying for more - here you go!!
Kelyn and I headed up to Rexburg, ID to visit our family on Tuesday evening. We drove straight through the night! It really isn't such a bad drive - especially when driving this:
Kelyn and I were pretty much in heaven because we both long for a Toyota Sienna on a daily basis. =) She was the best traveling companion ever and our kids were such champs. Samuel is a RIOT! He fell asleep around 11:00 and was up by 1:00. Two hours of sleep and he was ready to go!! They were all so pleasant for the trip up. =) I am proud to say that I made it from Mesa to Salt Lake in 10 hours and then it was another 3 hours from there to Rexburg. Really - not such a bad drive!
The welcome crew was waiting and upon arrival at the house we were immediately overtaken! I love my big, wonderful family! We had the BEST time up there (don't worry! You'll hear all about it!!).
First off - I just want to say that I am completely smitten with the town of Rexburg. There is a feeling there that is different from anywhere else. The neighborhoods are so quaint and happy and you can see the temple from almost anywhere you are. The children are running around barefoot and riding bikes and skipping from yard to yard and the parents don't even have to worry!! That is my very favorite part - how safe it feels/is. I feel like most kids nowadays are jipped but in Rexburg they are living the good life. I WANT that for my kids! I LOVE it there. It's definitely in the running for where we will settle down.
My dad came home during his lunch break to say hi when we first arrivied! Here is a cute picture of him with Keslie and my sister Hannah.
We were able to crash for a couple hours and then spent the remainder of the day enjoying everyone's company. Anika was in heaven - Carlie and Baylie let her hang out with them and play with their stuff. Here is a cute shot of Anika and my sister Carlie:
When my dad got home from work he took the kids for a walk in the wagon. We went along with him and got a little taste of the neighborhood.
My mom had tons of fun stuff planned for us while we were there! On Thursday we went to Yellowstone Bear World. Okay - this was seriously cool!! We got to FEED bears and see all sorts of other wildlife really close up! There was also a mini amusement park that the kids found quite enjoyable. The petting zoo had some animals that I've never been up close to before. Here are bunches of pictures from that day trip!
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On the way home from Bear World we stopped off at a ladies house that is raising baby raccoons. Um - I can't decide if I think they were cute. They looked a little rodentish to me! Plus - one was a little feisty!
That evening, Keslie was SO tired and fell asleep on Papa! I thought it was so cute!
AND - here is a cute one of my parents!
On Friday we went to the zoo in Idaho Falls. The tiger and the monkeys were my favorite! There was one monkey that was so loud and funny!
Here is Aunt Kensi reading a story to Anika. She did that a lot!
We went on a fun walk Sunday afternoon. It was so pretty - all the golden wheat fields - "amber waves of grain"! Here are some pics from the walk and then some other ones that we took! Britt and Brandon - we missed you guys! It wasn't complete without you!
We were so sad to leave and the whole lot of us were bawling like babies as we pulled away! It makes me so sad - when am I going to get up there again?!! The drive home was a little more difficult than the drive up. At one point we were so sleepy that we pulled over and Kelyn said a prayer that we would be able to wake up and be more alert. Well - the Lord definitely works in mysterious ways!! About 5 minutes later Anika was puking all over the place! We had to pull over in the middle of nowhere, in the pitch black and strip her down. We used anything we could get our hands on to clean up the mess - poor Kelyn - the very clothes on her back were used in the process! Thanks Kel!! Anyway - that perked us right up! We made it home safely and enjoyed one last day in AZ before the flight home. We were SO happy to see Nathan! The house was spotless when we walked in - he'd cleaned it top to bottom and had even thought to buy some flowers that sat waiting on the table. Seriously the best welcome home ever! And that about wraps it up!! Thank you thank you to both sets of our parents! We are so grateful for all that you do for us!