Friday, September 20, 2013


We finally made it back to Idaho to visit as a family!  Yes!  Even Hoss got to come!

We started out on a Friday evening.  We left Hobbs kind of late, around 9:30 pm, and arrived in Albuquerque, NM around 3:30am.  We are very blessed to have a wonderful friend, who has wonderful connections, who was able to get us a hotel.  We slept as long as we could, and Hoss took the kids swimming before we headed north.  A big thank you Danny!

Swimming in the hotel in ABQ

If anyone has made a 1,200 mile trip anywhere really knows what it is like driving all day long.  We saw some beautiful scenery and really enjoyed seeing the mountains get bigger and bigger as we continued north.  If there is one geographical thing we really miss, it is mountains!  The trip was uneventful, which is a good thing.  No issues whatsoever.  I did the majority of the day and evening driving, leaving Hoss to take over at Lehi, UT, where we met up with his brother Andy, in order for us to take his daughter with us to have an extended sleep over with Bunny and Bug!  Yea!  There was so much giggling in the van that night!

Just West of Albuquerque, NM

North New Mexico

Some of the highlights were the following:

We went to Lagoon, which is a smaller amusement park.  Hoss and I very effectively got sick.  It was a hard drive back to "Papa" and "Gamma" Curtis's house!  Boy did I feel my age that day! But the blessing was getting to spend time with Jason's brother Andy, his family, and an extra niece!  It was a fun-packed day!

Little cowboy hated every single ride he went on!  Maybe I shouldn't have put him on a fast ride to start. :)  I put him on one that goes in circles pretty fast (not pictured).  While we waited for it to start, he cried and cried.  I'm sure people were giving me looks.  But once it started, he stopped crying, but started saying, "Oh no!  Oh no!"  But that "oh no" eventually morphed into an outright hollering, "aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!"  To complete silence as the ride sped up to a speed where he couldn't hold himself up.  He was leaning on me quietly.  Then when the ride switched and started going backwards, he started yelling, "Oh no!  Oh no!" again.  So, I don't think he hated it, but he sure didn't love it!  I really wish we would have had a video of that.  It was pretty entertaining.  His facial expression in the picture below was pretty much his expression for every other ride, including the carousel.

Another story:  Bug got into one of the tea cups with Uncle Andy, Kim, and Ansley.  There were honey bees all over the park, and one just happened to fly up the hem of Bug's shirt.  Andy, in an attempt to prevent her getting stung, spanked her on the rear end, making the bee drop out in a daze.  Unfortunately, it landed on Bug's hand, and when it came to, decided it was angry and stung her on the hand.  I always told her that it doesn't hurt that bad.  It just stings for a minute.  Later on, she told me that "I was wrong.  It hurt really bad!"  Pour thing!

The Tea Cups!  It really wasn't as bad as LC makes it seem.

Little Cowboy and myself hanging out after I got sick, and
it was apparent he would not be going on any more rides.
The next day, rightfully so, we relaxed a little bit more.  Ha!  We needed to recover from the strenuous day!

The next day, I was able to play volleyball with some of the v-ball gals back in Pocatello!  It was a great time!  Then later in the day, we made it to Idaho Falls, Idaho, where my brother Grant and his family live.  We were met by my other brother Paul and his family!  I hadn't seen Paul for 3 years, and Hoss hadn't seen him for 4!  So it was a fun visit!  We had a delicious dinner, had some good conversation, and roasted marshmallows for s'mores later on!  Jylisha can paint a better picture, as she is much better at going into detail!  You can see pictures of our time at there house here.  Paul had to leave, but we spent the night, then Hoss and I were able to go to the temple in the morning, together!  That is a rare occurrence!  We usually have to take turns going in and make it a full day.  So thank you Grant and Jylisha!  That was a blessing!  We then parted ways and headed back to Pocatello.

Add caption

A professional photographer saw us struggling to get a good shot ourselves...of ourselves.
She offered to take the picture.
Not bad with my camera!

The fam at the Idaho Falls, Idaho Temple!  Its so pretty!

The crowning event of our trip was baptizing Bug at her grandparent's ward building!  It was an amazing event, filled with some of our favorite people!  I only wish I had gotten a picture of all those who were there!  Thank you so much for coming and blessing us with your presence!  The baptism was on August 23rd at 6pm ish.  It rained so hard that day!  We had to actually stall for about 45 minutes in order to get everyone there that was a part of the program!  There were streets completely flooded and closed off.  Even the Center St under pass was flooded nearly to the top!  Even with all of the setbacks, Bug got dunked in the font!  It was an amazing experience!  The spirit was so strong!  Afterward, we had a huge potluck for all of our friends and family who were able to come!
Hoss and Bug!  Hoss baptized her and confirmed her!

The family just before Bug's baptism!

Saturday was filled with having some family pictures taken by Uncle Alan.  We got some pretty sweet ones!

A new family picture!
We have a photo bomber...
I thought this was a cool one.
Cheese!  Little Cowboy did so much better this vacation!
She's definitely photogenic!
Bug with her cousin "RyRy"
No, he cannot be on your calender ladies.
Gotta go goofy.

Then we took a short trip to Soda Springs to check on my parent's house (who are on a mission in Nauvoo-their mission blog is here) and pick huckleberries with Uncle TR and Aunt Amber!  It was so much fun!  I wish we had mountains close by so we could do that more often.  But we'll just have to settle for amazing sunsets and longer summers.

This is the view from the top of "Fish Creek" on the way to Soda Springs, in between Lava Hot Springs and Soda.  Just beyond the mountains in the distance is Soda Springs, ID.

The kids slept on our way to Soda.  They were tuckered out!  Love this pic!

Pickers getting ready to pick.

I wish I would have taken a picture of all the berries we got.  This was at the very beginning.
The red berries are Logan Berries.  They are my favorite I think.

Berry picking fingers!

Sunday we were able to meet with all of Hoss's family for dinner after church.  We had some good laughs, and gave hugs and returned back to Papa's house for one last game of Catan before we had to go to bed to prepare for our trip in the morning.  

Playing Settlers of Catan.  Fun board game!

We wound up leaving Pocatello shortly after lunch time.  We stopped at Temple Square in Salt Lake City, UT to view the visitor's center.  It had been quite a long time.  After that, it was one short stop to have a late lunch with Uncle Andy and his daughter before continuing south.

Salt Lake City, UT Temple for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Not bad for my cell phone camera.

I love this picture.  Bunny helping LC feel the holes in the statue's feet, signifying
the scars from the nails in Christ's feet.

Bug being the photographer here.

At Amazon  you can
also find it at Deseret Book
and Seagull Book

The trip home was very long, but we spent the time reading a fabulous book entitled "Visions of Glory" by John Pontius.  I can't endorse it more than I have.  It is amazing, and if you haven't heard of it, now you have, and if you haven't read it, you should!  It is life changing!  Some of you have already heard me talk about it.  So forgive me for mentioning it again. ;)
Hole in the Rock, close to Moab, UT

We were stopped in road construction just south of Cortez, CO, and Little Cowboy was falling asleep.

Hoss and me at Moab, UT.  Not the best mountain range, but still pretty all the same.

We made it home at about 4 am Wednesday morning.  We spent the day sleeping mostly.  It felt surreal, but good to be home.  The trip definitely did us so much good.  Hoss then had to go back to work the next day.  Back to the daily grind!

This was a perfect vacation to end our summer!

Here are a few extra photos