Monday, July 27, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Well after over 3400 miles, 4 states, 5 National Parks and a whole lot of fun, we made it home. It was really hard to leave such a beautiful place, especially when you are returning to 100 + degree weather! The last day in Montana was filled with a family church service (which is something that I will always remember), packing and shooting shotguns (I even shot one this time!). Brandon and I then headed to Idaho to see where my cousin and her husband recently finished their house. The next day, Jody (my cousin), her little boy Chase, Brandon and I headed into Couer d'Alene to do some sight seeing. Couer d'Alene Lake is unbelievable and the town feels like a little ski town in the summer. After a few hours there, we started the long trek home. We stopped outside of Boise, Idaho the first night (where we almost lost Wrigley, but that's a whole other, very long story) and then outside of Zion National Park the next night. It really did feel good to make it home, but I don't think that we would mind heading back to Montana very soon!

Our beautiful and rainey drive from Montana to Idaho

Jody, Chase and I in Coeur d'Alene

Wrigley was not amused by this moose statue! She was scared to even go near it.

Doesn't this look like the Windows home page? :) This was our drive in Idaho

Zion National Park

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Hiking & Rafting

Yesterday, we headed up Whitefish Mountain Resort (some hiked and some rode the chair lift). I had a cousin pass away when he was 12 years old and his ashes are buried at the top of this ski resort. The family went up to spend some time together at his grave. It was a very neat experience.

Today, a group of us went white water rafting on the Middle Fork of Flathead river. What a blast! We had one raft flip and the kayak capsize, but no one was hurt so everyone had a great time. There were some pretty large rapids! At one point, Jeff, my brother and our raft guide, was four feet off the back of the raft-but luckily landed exactly where he started in the raft.

Drinking huckleberry milkshakes. Huckleberries are everywhere up here and they are really good!

Our family on the raft

One of 3 rafts + a kayak that was on the trip

My cousin Josh did a gainer off of a cliff....yeah, no thanks!

My cousin Maria and me on our raft

My uncle Craig looking out over the valley at the top of Whitefish

The Fam at the top of the was a 4 mile uphill hike to get there, but it felt great to get to the top! I, however, opted to take the lift down!

The group that hiked up to the summit. There are 38 of us total and the rest took the lift up.

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Family Reunion - Part 1

We finally made it to the family reunion in Kalispel, Montana. The reunion was at my Aunt and Uncle's house...and it is an amazing house! The pool is made to look like a pond with a fountain, they have a shooting range in their backyard, a baseball diamond in their front yard and just a beautiful green property that backs up to national forest. Needless to say, we definitely did not get bored! The first day Brandon went shooting, played frisbee golf on their course, and played 3 volleyball games. That night, they set up a huge screen and we watched movies out on the baseball field.

Some of the girls with Chase, my cousin Jody's little boy

Setting up our home for the week

Brandon at the shooting range...shooting a very large gun (or at least it sounded that way!)

Chase and Wrigley

Beautiful Montana

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


The next park we headed to was Yellowstone. Again, it was amazing! We saw some great waterfalls, Old Faithful and a whole lot of bison. There was one bison that was walking down the middle line of the road just watching as the cars drove slowly by him. I was shocked at how strong the sulfur smell was around all of the geyers. What a great experience and we hope to go back and camp someday.

This was a 300 foot waterfall

I was a little nervous in this picture since the bison was less than 10 feet away!

Grand Teton National Park

This was definitely the trip of National Parks! On the second day the first park we headed to was the Grand Teton National Park. It was unbelievable! What an amazing place that God gave us to enjoy.

You can't see behind us, but there is a beautiful lake (Wrigley enjoyed the swimming) that is at the base of the Grand Teton mountains.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Road Trip begins...

We left Lake Powell to begin our road trip to Montana. My brother, Jeff, also joined us on the drive. Our first stop was Bryce Canyon National Park. It is a beautiful canyon that looks like its from another planet! From there we drove...and drove...and drove some more until we hit Jackson, Wyoming.

Our beautiful campsite in Jackson. We were right by a creek, so we slept to the sound of running water. As Jeff said, "People pay alot of money for this sound!"

The beautiful Bryce Canyon

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Lake Powell Day 2

The second day on the lake we headed out on the lake and found a beach with no one else around. It was great! We could wakeboard right off of the shore, which actually we did right out of a chair. Wrigley had her first ride on a jet ski, and she seemed to thoroughly enjoy herself. We spent the entire day wakeboarding, jet skiing, tubing and relaxing...basically the perfect vacation!

Our family on the jet ski

Getting ready to start wakeboarding out of the chair

And I'm up!

Brandon's start out of the chair...he was much smoother than I was! :)

Our camp for the day

Brandon and Jeff trying to help Blake start wakeboarding from a stand on the shore. It didn't work because the board kept suctioning to the sand.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Lake Powell Day 1

So we headed to Lake Powell with my parents and Brandon's Dad and 2 brothers. My brother, Jeff, lives right by the lake all summer so it was fun to visit him. We had Brandon's Dad's boat and my parents jet ski's so we were headed for a few days of fun on the lake. The first day we headed to Lone Rock beach to hang out. Oh, did I mention that Wrigley and my mom's 2 dogs also came? It was quite an adventure!

Wrigley with her sand goatee

The group

Our camp at the beach

Wrigley and Cherokee playing in the lake

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Mid-Summer Classic

I thought this was a great picture of Brandon and Wrigley watching the MLB All-Star game...if you can tell, it really wasn't that exciting of a game! :)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Wrigley & Sadie

We had our friend Tara over for dinner while her husband Kenny was out of town and she brought Wrigley a friend, Sadie! You would be surprised at how this little dog can hold her own with a dog 3 times her size. :) They pretty much just chased each other around the house and tried to play with the same toy. It was a fun evening eating dinner and playing Settlers with Tara, and I think Wrigley had just as much fun playing with Sadie!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The 4th of July

I love our country. I have traveled alot outside the US, and I love to experience new cultures and new people. In fact, traveling is probably one of my favorite things to do. But there is something about coming home. I will never get tired of the feeling when you return to the US. Sure, I know we have our problems...but so does everyone else, and this is home for me until God calls us to live elsewhere (and if that did happen, I would be very excited, though I would miss this country). All this to say, I love the 4th of July! I love that it means spending time with family and friends and I love fireworks, so really it is the perfect holiday. Maybe it's because I missed a few years of this holiday when I was traveling in the summers, but it is very quickly becoming my favorite of the year. So here are a few photos of our day...and of course, even Wrigley is in her red, white and blue!