Thursday, October 22, 2020

September Reminiscing -- Heart Friends & First Snow

September really went by in a blur of so, so many {mostly} wonderful things. 
Labor day evening we received two visitors -- one was incredibly welcome and truly wonderful while the other one was not so much. 

Our welcome visitors were our very, very dear friends, the Deeds Family who we met when living in Guatemala. They stopped by the Black Hills as part of their summer vacation for what was supposed to be a few days of camping together. After over two years without seeing them, we were thrilled! Unfortunately, we also received over an inch of snow that same evening followed by below freezing temperatures. We changed gears from camping and instead had a great time hanging out at our house and doing some local hikes. The snow & freeze killed most of our garden and flowers, but we had a most memorable "summer" visit together. 
















Morning of September 8 -- not too much snow & it looks pretty, SO glad not to be camping in this though!

















SUPER happy to get to be around our table with this family! (Jason's out of view, but on my left!)
















In typical fashion for us, we forgot that if there is a little snow in town, there will be a lot more out of town! Oops! Snowy, but we had a great time playing at Rock Mazes.









































































We had so much fun just being all together in our home, chatting, doing puzzles, eating & reading
















Sharing one of our favorite hikes - Little Elk Creek









































A special, final evening together in our backyard, complete with Will leading us in worship songs. 




Friday, October 16, 2020

Capturing these kiddos

We had really beautiful Fall weather last week and I did my best to get out with my camera and try to document these kids of ours. They seem to be always on the move and are hard to capture very easily ... any photos together tend to have one or both of them making silly, grumpy, angry faces while poking at each other :)  It was totally worth the effort though, with them growing and changing so much I want to see and remember this precious stage!
































Monday, August 24, 2020

Celebrating!

August is a great month for celebrations for us as both Jason & I have our birthdays. This year Jason was off work for both our birthdays and we got to enjoy family days at two different local lakes. It was really great and we are grateful to get to live in such a pretty place with easy access to outdoor recreation.

The start of the Sturgis motorcycle rally coincided with Jason's birthday, so we really wanted to find a place that was free of the near-constant rumbling of motorcycles and a place that wouldn't feel busy. We popped the canoe onto the jeep and headed to Deerfield Lake. It is just enough off the beaten path that there were only 4-5 other groups there and with the 5 mile-an-hour boat speed limit, it was very peaceful. After getting our fill, we headed home to grill some delicious steaks (in the middle of a thunderstorm) and gorge ourselves on Mile-High Mud Pie. Amazingly delicious!



Mabel even caught a tiny fish! 



































For my big day, we headed down to Angostura since it's the only local lake with actual beachy type sand. We went down early to beat the ski boat folks a bit and had a wonderful beach day together. We followed it up by a fun afternoon in our backyard with take out from a local Indian/Nepalese restaurant and a frozen "strawberry fluff" dessert after. It was great!




































Saturday, August 1, 2020

Getting out of dodge

With the arrival of covid-19 this year, we didn't expect to be travelling at all this summer. So when some Idaho friends asked if we wanted to meet up in Montana for a campout together, we were thrilled!  In true Carrie form, I had to look and see who else might just be in the vicinity to hang out with as well. We found one other family not too far away and made plans for a camping visit to their home town and then were excited when Jason's family also made plans to meet up with us for several days -- near one of the gateways to Yellowstone! 

Our first stop was to Salmon, Idaho where we got to camp right on the Salmon River (and have the campground all to ourselves!) It was really great to see Kaitlyn, a friend from my Moscow MOPS group. Kaitlyn's husband was going through school at the same time as Jason, so she & I connected easily and have continued to keep in touch since we left three years ago. It was fabulous to see her and her family.

Our second stop was near Anaconda, Montana (a surprisingly cute town) and a really beautiful campground, tucked into the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest. It was awesome to see our friends who initiated this whole trip and great for all the kids to get to be together -- Luke & Connor have been friends since they were two! The only downer was that it rained nearly the entire time. With temperatures in the upper 30's and 40's, it made for some pretty unpleasant tent camping. Luckily for us, the Hayes family had just purchased a camper, so we were at least able to get out of the cold and wet at times, but it just wasn't what we'd hoped for with the kiddos. 

Our last destination was in beautiful Paradise Valley, just north of Yellowstone to meet up with Jason's family at a lovely rental home. It was really great to see all of them and especially fun to get to explore the area together. And, we had MUCH better weather, hurray! :)
On the road again!
A quick stop at the spectacular Grand Tetons National Park - amazing!!














Camping alongside the Salmon River - 

So much fun with friends!

A great day at the river together!
On to Montana for more camping -- super beautiful, but so so wet!



One afternoon without rain - so lovely!


















Drying out at a KOA campground cabin and spending a day with just us. 








Yellowstone National Park with Jason's family 






Riding to see Old Faithful with Grandma Marilyn in the backseat - the kids LOVED it!





























More amazing sights at Yellowstone

Passage Creek Falls hike -- Mabel needed to turn back early, so she & I missed the falls, but they look beautiful! 




















Fun times around the beautiful house Jarvis & Marilyn rented for all of us. 


4th of July fireworks fun :)