Saturday, July 18, 2009


We drove to Utah and enjoyed a vacation there over the 4th of July. We logged 1778 miles on the way and while we were there. Our grand total was about 3500 miles. The kids did really well on the drive out there and pretty well on the way back. The last few hours on the way home the baby even was over it. We saw a total of 41 state license plates. Steve and I did Mad libs, cross word puzzles, made bucket lists, and tried to be patient parents and entertainers. The kids did well watching Arthur on DVD, playing games, coloring and drawing, and being annoying on occasion. We all liked playing a version of I-Spy and seeing some fun sights. What really made the drive a success were the pit stops and hotels with pools. I especially loved Colorado, and of course Utah. My family is in the Midwest, but a part of my heart is in the West.
Blanding's parade and 4th festivites are so fun. The parade is nice and the fireworks and band are really great. The fireworks were probably my favorite part. Steve and I sat on the ground with Jenna and Zac and Trevor was in Julene's lap above us. He just watched them explode and fill the sky and didn't mind them a bit. The kids loved their glow in the dark necklaces too. There was patriotic music that played during the show and it made me proud to be an American and grateful for all my blessings and freedoms.

We enjoyed going up the mountain. A boat ride with Scot was awesome. I forgot how much I love riding on a boat. The wind, the waves, and the beauty. We rode 4 wheelers too. I loved that. There are a lot of 4 wheeler trails on some land near Steve's parents house. I liked holding onto Steve and enjoying flying around on the trails. The temperature swing from day to night is about 30 degrees. We went when it was cooler and so beautiful in the brushy desert with mountains in the distance. I have come to love the smell of the West. So now I can't decide if the fireworks, the boat ride, the wheelers or the 4th Reservoir with the Lewis' was my most favorite part, aside from the people in general. Of course the company was nice. We love Lissa and her boys and met Kevin and his wife. In other words there were good times. Julene was so generous and enjoyed having all her grankids.
Oh also nearly all of Julene's family was there for the first few days. So many cousins and friends for the kids- they loved it! Jenna took to Steve's cousin Calvin that is Jenna's age. They were fast friends.

I mentioned the Lewis family that came 6 hours to see us. That was great to see them and hang out. We ate lunch then hung out at the 4th Reservoir. I am not kidding that their 8 year old, Jackson, caught 6 or 8 fish while we were there.
ON the way home we stopped at a zoo in Salina, Kansas. Jenna loved it! "This is so awesome" she said. My camera battery died, and so I used a disposable. I haven't developed those yet. Those to come.

Mom babysat the dog that got along with Cookie, mom's dog, well. The van did awesome and I still am a big fan of my Odyssey. The hotels were nice. You'll see pictures of our favorite (in Topeka) that had a 3 story indoor water slide. Sweet! We tried to stay there on the way home but they were full. We stayed at a Ramada that was nice. The best pillows ever, and an indoor pool that we all swam in. A couple of the other hotels were less exciting, but were clean and a place to crash. Oh and Dave Ramsey would be proud that we paid for the entire trip in cash out of an envelope.