Sunday, January 7, 2018

Great Sand Dunes National Park

 We changed our vacation plans a bit this year due to sweet baby girl.  As much as we would have liked to have conquered another whole list of national parks, that kind of vacation isn't very baby friendly. We decided instead to vacation in Breckenridge and stay at the same place for an entire week. But on the way, we diverted a bit to see just one park. Great Sand Dunes was amazing and well worth the stop.
Obligatory pictures. My parents met us there... so fun to vacation with them.

We stayed at the lodge there and this was our view.

Lois's first view of the Rockies. She travelled so well, sweet girl. 

First time in a baby carrier.

The best $20 ever spent was on this tiny umbrella stroller.

Just before exploring. It was cloudy this day and we were afraid it might rain, but thankfully it held off. Also, the sand was wet so there wasn't sliding down the dunes on this particular day. But there was still plenty of fun to be had.

It doesn't look like it, but it's quite a ways up to the top, with a lot of huffing and puffing. But we all made it (should have brought more water and the inhaler!) and the view was spectacular.

A selfie in every national park.


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Summer 2017, Part II

After watching a Cross Fit documentary ;) 
(Please ignore the messy room.  I won't even say it's not normally like this, bc it is)

I would have NEVER bought this obnoxious pink and purple toy if I wasn't a mom of five boys.  Having something so girly in my living room is like balm to cover up all the balls and cars and dirty socks.

One of the highlights of the summer was having the Cupps here.  I wish we could have seen more of them but every time I had the chance to chat with Jen, I left encouraged.

I don't know why I took this picture, but it's a typical Costco haul (actually this is only half of it).  And the lunch boxes are a sad reminder that school is coming :(

Packing up for Philmont, the father-son adventure of a lifetime.
One struggles to pack...

Another very easily and happily packs his things
(Two weeks worth of clothes are in that orange stuff sack!)

Weighing the pack.

Nathan is a literal monkey.

They looked forward to the 2017 baseball card pack coming out for about six months.  And today was the day.  They sit and for days take turns picking cards.  I love it!

MusiCamp was amazing.  Two helpers and two campers.  And it gave me a quiet week while Chris and Graham were gone.  

And then Asher flew to Colorado to be with my parents.  I intended to walk him to the gate but we ran out of time and he did it all by himself.  He was so confident.  I stood there and wondered how time had passed so quickly.

Lots of game playing while they were away.

Pictures that Asher was doing just fine with Grandma and Grandpa.

Golf is exhausting.

They came off the trail!  This was the first time we had seen or heard from them in 12 days!

They came back with packs FULL of dirty clothes and TONS of stories.  I'm seriously thankful they came back without any injury!

Last Race Trac refill of the summer... and we are sad that summer is coming to an end.

But first, a trip to Colorado!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

We were excited to get to Carlsbad.  School has just ended and having the whole summer in front of us was the best feeling.  I remember listening to U2 Joshua Tree all the way to the park from Lubbock.  It seemed the perfect landscape for it.
I'm not sure what I was expecting, but I wasn't expecting something so vast 750 (!) feet under the ground.  The rooms are massive!

We did a guided tour (King's Palace).  It was worth the $35 for all of us to hear more about the cave.  Our tour guide was VERY into caving and spent a lot of the tour telling us about how the cave was found and explored.  It really is something else.  I CANNOT imagine exploring without a flashlight.  At one point in the tour, he turned off the lights and it was something else.  Those few minutes of darkness seemed like forever.

Nathan was chosen to demonstrate how they got to the top of the cave.  Really fascinating, especially for my boys.  Also, notice Nathan's hat.

Listening intently to the ranger.

That hat, his favorite hat.  Nathan accidentally dropped it into the depths of the cave.  We couldn't reach it and they don't let you walk down there.  We all laughed bc it was a brand new hat to replace the one he had JUST lost.

We all shared two sandwiches to tide us over.  They have a tiny cafe down there and they sell water and sandwiches.  Joseph declared it the best ham sandwich he ever ate! ;)  I think he was just hungry, poor thing.

Since we went down the elevator, we hiked out of the natural entrance of the cave.  It was a steep climb but amazing.  I wish we would have hiked IN the natural entrance because it's that cool and worth it.  I said to Chris that if I lived here in Carlsbad, I would buy a national park pass and come here to do my exercise.  It's the perfect temperature down there, and dry, and you would have the best legs in the world hiking in and out of the cave 3x a week!

A selfie in every National Park.

Love these boys.  Love exploring with them and marveling at what God has made.