This is our third...well, fourth major family trip of this year. We've made a trip to Florida, a trip to the farm in Huron, and a trip to Rapid City where J's folks live, and our final trip has been to Jackson Hole, Wyoming! (Maybe more about those other trips later)
Jackson is about an 18 hour drive, so we stayed over night with J's parents on our way out and plan to do so on our way back!
Some photos from the drive!
On our second day, we went on a three mile hike along Snake River. All the kids came and did really well. Scenery was beautiful, and ... we saw a moose!!!
Some rock-throwing was done
These two were taken right before the moose-sighting!
We got super close to this moose!
And that's a story in itself! We were down by a little branch of the river, admiring a beaver dam and some trout visible in the crystal-clear water. Then Hayley heard branches snapping and a grunt. She told Jeff and they tore up the little incline to the path ... where we saw this moose. Hayley began screaming and the moose started trotting through the woods. We thought it would be gone, but then it stopped and came over the barbed wire and up onto the path we were on! We kept our distance and assumed the moose would keep it's, but it started coming towards us! At one point some of us could have reached out and touched it, it was so close. It galloped up to the boys, and E did a "stop, drop, and roll" down into a ravine to get away from the moose!!! It was quite an adventure.
I was looking through some of our CDs and DVDS the other day looking for one in particular ... although I can't remember even what at this point. Anyway ... as I was thumbing through them I realized we have a bunch of children's music that hasn't been played in years. I played some of these CDs a lot when I only had three little kids ... but as those little kids got older and began selecting the music a lot of the time we had stopped listening to our Word & Song Bible CDs and Cedarmont Kids and so on. In fact, when Ezzie was two ... some of his most familiar music was by Matt Kearney. So ... determined to expose Ezzie and G to a some music geared towards littles ... I grabbed about 5 CDS to leave in the van.
A couple days later ... it was just me and G in the van driving to pick up the other kids. So I popped in a Bible Songs CD and after a few lines, G asked, "Mommy, do you know who is singing this song?"
"No, I'm not sure who it is," I answered.
He listened a little bit longer ... "I think ... I think it is Gunnar!" he said with a bit of wonder in his voice :)
G and I were talking about something and I was explaining something and I said ...
"Well ... remember when J and I went on the cruise? G: "Yes ... and I was so so sad. And I missed you. And I cried. And I wanted you to come back.
And you DID! You did come back and I was YAY YAY YAY YAY YAY!"
Mommy: "I did come back." G: "Was I a baby then?" Mommy: "No, you were three ... and now you are three and a half. We celebrated your birthday when it was your last day of being two. Then, the next morning it was your birthday ... but I didn't see you because J and I had to go to the airport so early."
G: "Will I have another birthday?" Mommy: "Yes, in May you will be four."
G: "And I'll be as big as E!"
Mommy: "No ... you won't. He will still be older and he will be turning 8.
And when you turn 5 he'll be 9. And so on.
When you turn 6 he'll turn 10."
G: "What the heck??? I have a bunch of birthdays!?!"
Gun: Ezzie called me a dork so I'm going to make a "wanted" sign. (E often makes signs about his older brother being wanted. They're pretty funny ... but the oldest brother always destroys them before I can get a photo taken.)
So Gun plopped down with a marker and pape ... stared at the paper briefly and put his hand on his head ...
Gun: I can't because ...
Daddy: You don't know how to spell?
Gun: Uh-huh. So I'm just going to make a moon ...
He started drawing his moon.
Daddy: You're making a sliver.
Gun: Yes, it does look like a sliver (meaning tiny foreign object in your hand/foot) ... but it's a moon :)
"Once last winter I remember a giant funfunfunfunfun!
Halo was pulling us in the tube and she was going so fast
and Ezzie was not holding on.
I had to hold on so I didn't fall off.
I was like hold unhold hold unhold hold unhold hold unhold."
Me: "Why were you unholding?"
G: "For fun! Just for fun!"
Me: "You just told me a story."
Me: "It's good practice for school ... when you get older and have to write journals and stories."
G: "Uh-huh. It's a good idea."
G: "Oh,and once she flipped me up then down.
And I was holding on. The whole time I was holding on.
I was holding on for a long time and holding on and I didn't fell.
Isn't that so funny, Mama?"
Then he proceeded to sing "I love my mama!"
He probably sang this a dozen times.
Three year olds can be so delightful :)
Also, G is so thankful ... for even the most basic things ... Like ... thank you for taking me to church ... thank you for taking me to school (he says this and he doesn't even attend ... we drop the kids off and pick them up and he says hi to people so he loves it anyway).
I think this was 6 days ago (or maybe 13?). G and I dropped Foof and Ez at Awana and then we were going to run a couple of errands. It was pretty chilly but G wasn't dressed for it. He has been protesting wearing pants all fall ... he is slightly open to wearing pants if his camo pants are clean ... otherwise no way. We've had lots of issues trying to overcome his pickiness. I got him this darling outfit at Costco ... it has a vintage look to it and it has a big bear head on the shirt ... but the sweatpants are tight at the bottom. I made him wear them this outfit and it was painful for all of us. Anyway ...
It was chilly and he was in shorts and a tee short ... and lucky us ... I found a jacket stashed under one of the seats in the van ... and it was even one of G's jackets!
Me: Hey, look! Here's your blue jacket ... now you don't have to be so cold walking across the parking lot.
G: I won't wear it. It's we-ud!!! (weird)
Me: No, it isn't. Why do you think it's weird?
G: It has bullet pockets.
Me: Well, I would think you would like bullet pockets. You could put your bullets in them ... Where are these bullet pockets anyway?
G: Inside, I think.
I couldn't find any inside pockets ... and only two regular pockets on the outside.
Me: I know you don't like the bullet pockets ... but some people get upset when they see little kids without warm clothes on when it's cold outside. So let's just put it on anyway ...
G: I'm not wearing it. I'm SELLING it. Seven dollars. Sixteen dollars. Nineteen dollars.
I laughed ...
G: Actually it's FREE.
I laughed again ...
G: It is, Mama. It is! It's FREE and it's not mine.
He won ...
Then ... a few days later while we were in the van, G spilled on himself and that's always upsetting to him.
I jumped in the back and looked for something to dry him with and all I could find was the blue jacket.
Me: Here ... we'll just dry you off with this jacket you're selling ...
G laughed :)
NOTE: I started this 3.5 months ago and it isn't done ... but I'm putting it out here anyway :) Maybe I'll add more captions and edit more ... in the future. Just trying to get back into it however I can ...
J and I went on a cruise in early May. He won the cruise for two because he was selected to compete in a math competition.
Foofie bought each of us some treats and wrote notes on them. She woke up early and rode along to the airport. When we got out of the van, she surprised us with goodie bags :)
Daddy "bumped" us up to first class on the way there :) We enjoyed the extra space and tasty breakfast -- and (of course!) he only wants to fly first class from now on ...
Fluffy, friendly-looking clouds :)
New friends ...
Lots of ice cream ... because it's hard to pass up free (already-paid-for) ice cream ...
Rode in this van with a driver named Jimmy ... prayed for safety most of the way and for Jimmy to be patient about passing enormous dump trucks and the like. About a half hour ride ... no seatbelts ... and the only signs on the sides of the road were things like "SLOW DOWN! ARRIVE ALIVE!!!" and "DRIVE WITH CAUTION!" and my favorite ... "UNDERTAKERS LOVE OVERTAKERS! DRIVE CAREFULLY!"
Thank the Lord, we did arrive alive. Paradise Cove ... where it's $4 per person just to step on the beach. Another $5 per person if you want to sit on a chair and so on :) This was our adventure day before the competition. I said we don't need a planned excursion ... we'll just make our own :)
This guy was supposed to tell us where to snorkel and where not to snorkel -- and the painting above his head was used as a map to point out the dangerous and safe areas. Unfortunately, we had trouble understanding him ...
Yes we did :) And ... why is Deadman's Reef in Paradise Cove???
Favorite lunch. Two burgers and fries for his first course ... and then another plate of whatever ... and then ice cream ...
3 year-old G is still keeping us on our toes. With his hands behind his back, he said to Jensen in a taunting manner, "I'VE got someone's big huge KNIFE!" (Jensen has a few knives for collecting/fun/whatever? that are supposed to be safely put away -- but sometimes aren't.) So Jensen approached him ... slowly and carefully in order to disarm him ... and then when he got right in front of him to peek over his head and reach around him, Gunnar shouted (while starting to crack up with laughter), "I'M JUST JOKING!!!"
We stopped to watch a red-headed woodpecker while walking back from the beach ... and then a lady stopped as well and asked what we were looking at ...
G: "It's a woodpecker. Do you have one at your home?"
Lady: "Yes, we have them in Virginia where I live. Where do you live?"
G didn't say anything. So I whispered to him, "Minnesota".
Then he whispered to the lady, "Minnesota".
She said, "What?"
He whispered again: "Minnesota".
She still didn't hear and so I said, "Minnesota."
"Yes, I come from Minnesota," G responded importantly.
Lady: "Well ... you will have to come to Virginia and Washington DC where I live since there is a lot to see there. And I will have to come to Minnesota to see YOU sometime."
G looked at me and said, "Her FUNNY!"
I said, "You're charming!!!"
He said, "No, I'm not, I'm a big boy!!!!!"