"So Frequently we mistakenly believe that our children need more things, when in reality their silent pleadings are simply for more of our time."
***President Thomas S. Monson (Ensign May 1994)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Yellowstone National Park

We had a great time visiting Yellowstone with both grandmas and grandpas and our niece, Jessica. It's been a long time since Chad and I had been in the park, so it was fun to see it all again and to see it with the kids, too. I had a real job sorting through all the pictures that were taken. I hope I chose some good ones.

We stopped for a picnic shortly after getting in the park. It's interesting to me how sandwiches can taste better when you eat them on a picnic.There's lots of hot springs and geysers in the park. This is just one that we stopped to check out. I believe this one was called Beryl Spring. Dragon's Mouth Spring was very cool, but not just to look at, but to listen to. It sounded a lot like you might image a dragon breathing would sound~~hence the name.

I thought this picture turned out great. I manged to get everyone in it, except me, of course. I guess I could photo-shop me in later. ha ha

From left-right, there's Grandma Jo, Chad and Mckaylie, Myshel, Grandma G, Jessica, Grandpa R and Noah, Vance and Grandpa GYellowstone is also known for it's mud volcanoes. They were really cool, but really stinky, because of the sulfur, which smells like rotten eggs.
McKaylie checking it out This is the mud volcano behind the sign McKaylie was reading~~yes, it's boilingThis was the first buffalo we saw. He was kind enough to walk right along the road for us. But these were much more fun to see ~~ It's hard to show just how impressive they are in a picture. We saw lots and lots and lots and lots of buffalo (Noah will tell you they're bison, which they are, but I grew up calling them buffalo, so they're buffalo!)These two guys were quite awesome! They were in one of the first herds that we saw, so that made it more exciting. They were fighting and chasing each other all over the field. We're assuming it was over a female. I'd never seen two buffalo fight, so It was cool to watch them...This guy was massive! And we had lots of time to see him while we sat waiting for the tourist traffic to get moving! I heard several comments about what a great trophy he'd make. Taking a little break~~Chad and the kids The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone is amazing (Can you tell I really enjoyed seeing Yellowstone????)
Here's McKaylie and Noah giving you the facts! The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone Ok, this is rare......Chad and I in the same picture
(At the top of the Upper Falls)
Looking down on the Lower Falls Lower FallsLooking through the canyon at the Lower Falls. Seriously, how awesome is that view! So . . . funny story . . . we stopped at the first parking area for the Lower Falls, which has a main trail leading up the mountain to a higher vantage point. I really wanted a picture from the higher view but wasn't so sure I wanted to hike up to it. I decided to tough it out and we all took the trail. Did I mention it was up the mountain?? It wasn't the hardest hike of the trip (I'll give that one to the mountain Todd took us up, which was actually much shorter, but a killer for me) but I was not looking forward to heading back down. Well, we got to the top, only to find that there was a parking lot there . . . we could have driven up. We're smart people, though, we sent Chad and his dad back down the trail to get the cars while the rest of us waited at the top!

Here's Myshel, Grandma G and Jessica waiting Here we are waiting again, this time for Old Faithful. We had about a 45 minute wait, I think. We had ice cream to help pass the time, though. Old Faithful I've seen Old Faithful several times and I have to say that we got lucky that day. Sometimes it's kind of wimpy, for lack of a better word, and doesn't last very long. But that day it was pretty awesome and worth the wait. Ok, so technically this moose wasn't inside the park, but she was right outside the gate, so I'm counting it! She was the only moose we saw. We were pretty excited, maybe Chad wasn't, but the rest of us were. Apparently, though, we just missed the bull that was with her~~figures! It was a really great day, with people we love! That's the best way to spend your vacation!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Hanging Out in Cody

Here's a few of the pictures that we took while we were at my parents house in Cody.

Visiting with Tracy (my sister) and Allisyn (my niece) and Chad, of course. We didn't get nearly enough time with them while we were there! (I wish things had worked out better when we were leaving--Noah and Myshel were both sick in the car--not our best day) My dad helped Vance earn his rifle and shotgun merit badges for scouts. Chad and Noah went with. Noah thought that was so cool, especially since he got to shoot the 45 (with dad's help)Noah and Grandpa Mckaylie "hunting" on the Wii Vance with his new buddies
Maggie ZoeBee Noah and Grandma
Noah loves his grandma and grandpa. It was hard to peel him away from them.
I love this picture of him with my mom While we were there we went and saw the Cody Mural. It's a mural painted on the ceiling of the foyer at one of the LDS church buildings. It takes you through the history of the church, from Joseph Smith receiving the gold plates to the completed Salt Lake temple. I grew up seeing this mural and being a kid never really thought much about it. Every time I see it, now thought, it's new and amazing and touches my heart. You can check it out here. There's pictures of the mural on the website and lots of information about it! It's worth seeing. I hope you check it out.

Here's the kids with my mom and dad Lately Cody has been over run with deer. When I was growing up, you never saw them in town, but now they're everywhere. This doe and her twins were in yard across from the church. Sooo cute! The little girls in the window of the house squealing about them was super cute, too!

Driving . . .

It was so nice to finally get to Wyoming. We were all very excited . . . which made that full day of driving seem even longer! We were just ready to be done with the car for awhile. Chad was really excited to see this guy. There were actually 2 great bucks together, but this was the best picture. All day driving through Wyoming, I kept asking Chad to stop and take some pictures of the antelope. Our kids had never really seen them much and Noah really wanted a picture. Chad, however, was less than thrilled about the idea of stopping and kept telling me that outside of Cody there would be some and he'd stop there. Well guess what . . . there weren't any outside of Cody when we drove through. This ended up being our best (only) picture. Pathetic! I thought I'd add this picture for Chad. He was really excited to see this. The stadium was right next to the zoo in Omaha.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Vineyards in New York

I forgot to post these pictures. They're kind of fun and I mentioned these to my mom, so I'll do it now.
Driving through western New York and Pennsylvania, there are tons and tons of vineyards. The funny thing is, I don't remember ever seeing them there before when we're driven through. Maybe it was the time of year or my bad memory either way, this felt like the first time I'd seen them. And it was fun to see something different as we were driving. They go on for miles and miles.
McKaylie and NoahJust after we crossed the Pennsylvania/New York border we stopped at a rest area, which just happened to have vineyards behind it. (go figure) So we took some pics. I don't know when the grapes are ripe, but these were definitely not. I don't think I've ever seen grapes on the vine up close before. It was cool to have a quick, first experience, even if it was something as simple as grapes growing! There was also a nice old man at the rest area that offered to take our family picture in front of the welcome sign, so we took him up on it. He only took 3 extra pictures---one of his thumb and 2 of the ground. ha ha We appreciated his kind gesture.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Littleton, Colorado

Our next stop was at my brother, Todd's, house. They live in Littleton, Colorado, right at the base of the mountains. He has some amazing views from his house, including downtown Denver! They're pretty fantastic--the pictures just don't do them justice. We didn't get to stay nearly as long as we'd have liked to. But, we did have a really nice day with them. It was nice to just have a day to relax and visit.

We ate dinner at the park. The kids had a great time playing together.
Ashlyn, Noah, Kaitlyn Vance and Myshel waiting for dinner Ashlyn--what a cutie! Vance and Chad Nathan Amy and the kids I love this picture of the cousins
Vance (back "above" everyone)
McKaylie, Nathan, Noah and Myshel
Ashlyn, Logan and Kaitlyn We even had a deer come right by our table. We thought that was pretty awesome. The kids playing on the Wii one last time before we left. We had a great time at their house. If only we had more time.

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