Friday, July 30, 2010

Day 21 We're Boondocking Tonight...

And the generators running...

so I have to make this fast.


Day 21

We arrived in Wyoming!


(Don't worry Grandma's the RV was stopped in this picture.)

We left Walmart early when some of the kids were still sleeping...(Faith is still asleep)

and some were still in underwear(hiding behind Mommy)....

and one little girl was wearing her brother's Spiderman underwear,because the Mommy didn't do laundry yet!.....

and no one has shoes on, so Mommy had to carry everyone....

We got back in the RV and drove into South Dakota on our way to a campsite.

The kids wanted to do the Presidents faces while Landen took his first picture. (not bad)

Funny thing is, in this picture there was a bunch of tiny frogs and grasshoppers jumping our legs and feet. Trying to keep a straight face was really hard. We were cracking up.

Of course the boys had to catch some frogs....

I told them to put them all back and wash their hands...

Can anyone guess who snuck one little friend into the RV?

But.....Mommy he's my friend.

Sorry, son but we have 7 people and a dog in this RV the last thing we need is a frog!

We surprised the kids by picking this campsite with a slide....

We just hung out at the campsite, went swimming and got caught up on laundry.

Now, everyone"s back to wearing their own underwear:)

We had a BBQ and enjoyed a nice low key night...

Day 22

We left the campsite......

and thank God for this reminder, because we usually forget a kid or two:) jk!

We're getting pretty good about packing up and moving out...

I'm going to have to continue with Day 22 later....

I've been told I'm wasting too much gas(whatever ha!)


I'm being called to a game of Monopoly (National Parks Monopoly that is)

See you at Mount Rushmore...

Oh, and rumor is they are adding a 5th face to Mount Rushmore....

Ryan 2040

More fun with the Presidents to come!

Days 18, 19,& 20 Glacier and Yellowstone N.P.

Day 18
of Road trip part 2
Glacier National Park

We all squeezed into the back of the tour bus and went up....
Glacier National park is also known as the Shining Mountains and the Backbone of the World...
It's located along the spine of the Rocky Mountains in Montana.

I set the camera up on a little tree stump, jumped the chain and said, "cheese."

We got some hiking in....

We stopped to say hi to some wildlife...

This little guy would just stare at us...

Glacier is one of the largest National Parks in the lower 48 states.

And one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen!
I took this picture out the bus window...
(these pictures don't do it justice)

Breathtaking views!

Snow on a hot day....

We spent about 7 hours hiking and learning...I wish we would of spent a couple more days there!
We did do a lot in one day though! The kids completed their Jr. Ranger books and added another badge to their road jackets.

After a very long day the bus dropped us off at the RV and we made dinner in the parking lot.
Daddy started driving while I cleaned up dinner.
Then we drove through a little town that had a Finley Creek, a Finley Park and a Finley Point Rd.
So Finley just had to pose in front of the sign:)

We saw the most beautiful sunsets....

Big open sky!

I snapped these all hanging out the RV window while we drove down the highway...
We finally got out and all just sat on the side railings looking at the sky in awe!

This song came to my mind....
We had such a wonderful day seeing some of God's most beautiful creations. From glaciers to sunsets.

Daddy drove pretty late into the night. The kids ditched showers, they were just too tired. We did break out the Camping Survival Kit and use our Bath Wet Wipes.
We pulled in late to Wally World and I took a quick shower, although after a long day I really wanted to be selfish and waste all the water by taking a long hot shower!
But I didn't, I knew we needed water for the next day.

Days 19 & 20

We woke up early, stopped to see some wildlife and talk to some bikers on our way to Yellowstone...

Here we are!
Visiting a very active volcano!

Almost everything that is special in Yellowstone is the result of being one of the world’s largest active volcanoes...

Before visiting we read up on Yellowstone, including this article.

The kids kept looking out the windows at all the wildlife.....

Landen loved the Bison.

Amazing hot pools...

paint pots bubbling...(almost looked fake)

Old Faithful!

Again we were in awe of God's amazing work.

We spent 2 days enjoying the park....

As we were leaving a herd of buffalo crossed in front of us...

and these two wouldn't let us through! ha!
Maggie was going crazy barking at all of them. The kids were yelling out the windows at them and Daddy honked the loud horn..not a budge!

They finally moved...

We didn't see any Bears or Moose...but there was a bear attack pretty close to where we were staying!
So sad!

On the last day our slides broke and wouldn't come in so Daddy had to try and fix them which put us back awhile. The kids missed their Jr. Ranger lecture but the Ranger was nice enough to give the kids a private lesson 30 min lesson.

They got another badge....

Then we were on our way up Hwy 212....elevation 10,940ft!

We watched the sunset and drove late into the night....

When the sun went down it started raining...
We witnessed the most amazing lightning that night!
We are on day 25 now( in Nebraska)....I can't wait to catch up and show you more!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Days 13, 14, 15, 16 & 17

I know I'm about a week behind on blogging...
Thank you to those of you who are following. Your tips, advice and support is amazing!
Here's a little of what our Wed-Sun looked like...

Day 13
We left Lake Stevens, WA later that afternoon. I had been playing phone tag with a bloggy friend of mine who also lives in WA. I call her my big sister(a mentor to me) We have never met but have connected online. I finally got a hold of her as we were filling up at a gas station that happened to be 1 hour in the opposite direction of her house. She was in Seattle at the time visiting friends which was about 2 1/2 hours from her home. I told her sorry it didn't work out and that maybe we can meet up another time.
She called me back and we decided we should just make it happen!
She called her husband and said, "Hey some strangers, their 5 kids and a dog are coming over, make room in the driveway and entertain them till I get home!" LOL
She got in her car and drove 2 and a half hours home.
My husband turned the rig around wondering why I was wanting so bad to visit people I have never met before.... I told him that I really think we should go and that Laurel said she would cook for him. ha!
You know men and food:)

My kids read and look at pictures of their kids and their kids follow us on our journey as well.
So the kids we're excited to see each other!

Laurel's husband Jim backed us in their driveway and immediately invited us in for ice cream and Laurel's famous pie. Yum!
Jim (Laurel's husband) and Justin got along really well.
Jim is a crack up and had us laughing the whole time.
He reminds us of Steve Martin in the movie, Cheaper By the Dozen.
Did I mention Jim and Laurel have 12 kids too!?!

Their family is so much fun!
They only have 6 living at home, the rest are:
I just have to brag...
Joshua - age 19 - entering Jr. year of college, majoring in Secondary Education to teach English (completed his 2 year AA degree at age 19)

Lindsey - age 21 - has traveled with missions to Mexico (twice), Costa Rica, Germany (twice), India, Bangladesh, Czech Republic ... currently working as a live-in nanny and volunteering as a Youth Leader (completed her 2 year AA degree at age 19)

Carissa - age 21 - has traveled with missions to Mexico, Costa Rica, Argentina, and Chile ... has been a missionary with YWAM in Argentina for the past 2.5 years. (completed her 2 year AA degree at age 19, before moving to Argentina)

Jeremiah - age 23 - attended summer school at Princeton University at age 16 ... attended Ronald Reagan Leadership Academy at age 18 ... completed 2 year AA degree at age 18 ... manager of a coffee shop age 18-19 ... volunteered as a Youth Leader for 3 years ... attended Liberty University age 19-20 ... taught school age 20-21 ... lived in Ammon, Jordan age 21-22 working for a missions organization and attending full-time Arabic Language School ... currently completing his Political Science B.A. and will go to Officer Training School with the U.S. Navy next March.

Cassie - age 24 - has traveled with missions to Haiti, The Gambia, Senegal, and India. Completed her 2 year AA degree at age 18 ... worked full-time in Children's Ministry for 2 years ... currently working as a nanny, has her own photography business, and is volunteering as a Youth Leader.

Gregg - age 26 - served in the U.S. Army for 4.5 years ... deployed to Iraq for 2.5 of those years ... currently managing a PacSun Clothing Store in Louisiana.
read more here.

She homeschooled all of them too!
She's been homeschooling for over 20 years!
And look, they have received scholarships and joined the military and all!
And she's still sane!!!!
There's hope fellow homeschool moms out there, we can do this!:)

I must of picked her brain about everything...
Us parents talked till midnight while the kids played.

My husband and I are both so thankful to Jim and Laurel for inviting us over and having us turn our rig around. It gave us both a really neat vision of what we want our family to be like and how we want to raise our kids.

Day 14

We woke up to waffles (no not frozen waffles like I make) real waffles...
I walked in and Hosanna (her daughter) was sifting wheat...we we're sure in for a treat!
With homemade jams and whipped cream!
I think my husband was happy we turned around!ha!

This is Hosanna (13yrs) and Faith(9yrs)
Don't they kind of look like sisters?
I have a feeling Hosanna will be Faith's mentor one day, like Laurel is mine.
Sweet girls!

The girls had fun playing dress up and the boys had fun playing Lego's and running around like boys do....
Faith finally learned to braid from Rachel and Sarah (Jim &Laurel's adopted girls)
Farrah had some braids in her hair and the Barbies all had braids too. So cute. After we left their house Faith wanted me to braid her hair in a ton of braids just like Rachel and Sarah had.
I did about 30 before I gave in and told her to wait till we meet up with Rachel and Sarah again and they can do it for her. haha!

We had such a wonderful time!
We have made life long friends with this big family!
Laurel sent me on the road with a yummy iced latte! (with whipped cream I might add!)

We drove to Lake Easton and stayed in a campsite there.
I had to catch up on laundry! My laundry was growing it's own science projects on it. ugh!
We hung out and relaxed for Days 14 and 15!

Day 15

Relax, watch movies, read, do laundry.
(I don't think you need pictures of that)

Day 16

Move over Daddy!
Mom's driving...
Don't worry, I have everything under control!

It's actually kind of nice driving, I get to relax and just look at the road.
While Dad's in the back keeping everyone entertained and fed..
I just might start driving more often:)

Dad thinking it's funny to make fun of me...praying for our safety.
So, I hit the "drunk bumps" a couple a lot of times... you know the bumps on the side of the road that make the car vibrate.

I drove us to Spokane, WA
Where they have the worlds largest Radio Flyer.

I even went down it...

I barely fit ...but we had fun making a train!

We hung out at Riverfront Park and went on the Carousel.
Then we enjoyed seeing the Spokane Falls from the Skyline.

The lollie pop girls.....

We left Spokane and drove to Idaho.....
Stayed at good ol' Walmart. Stocked up on food and went to bed.

Day 17

We spent the day at beautiful Coeur d'alene Lake.

Then we headed to Sandypoint, Idaho
60 miles south of the Canadian border.

stayed at an RV park right by the water....
Enjoyed a BBQ
Steak and Idaho Potatoes of course!

Here we are pretending we are on a romantic getaway...
We enjoyed Sandpoint for the short time we were there.

Day 17
On our way to Montana...
we stopped in Wallace, Idaho
The Silver Capital of the World
(a mining town founded in 1884)

We learned about how life would be impossible with out mining.
Almost everything we use today comes from the ground.

We learned about mining and the tools used.

All that blasting, digging and drilling made these boys hungry.
Roast beef sandwiches.....

Soon we arrived in Montana and it was time to take our State line picture , put a new sticker on the map and read the facts about the state.

Only problem was the state sign was on the over pass...
So we ran and risked our lives to bring you...

this picture!

In Montana they have a bunch of white crosses all over the highways.
The state puts them there as they represent highway fatalities.
I can't believe how many lined the sides:(

We kept a lookout for wildlife too.....but didn't see any.

We stopped at a fruit stand on the side of the road. We passed on the Elk and Buffalo burgers but picked up some cherry's and huckleberry jam.

Finley loved the cherries....

and so did her crazy sister!
can you tell??? messy girls....

We pulled in late to a campsite near Glacier National Park.
stay tuned...