Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Everything will be okay...

I didn't know exactly how to title this in the beginning and honestly, I am still not satisfied with the end product. But I am just picky… :) Sorry I haven't posted the past few days! 

Monday was a rough day for the kids and I, we were involved in a car accident. I have never been in an accident that was my fault but it was my fault this time, by technicality. My brake line snapped on the way to a new park we were going to check out and I slammed into the person in front of me. Everything else afterwards was a blur for me. I tried to follow the person I had hit to a parking lot, my brakes were toast and I almost hit oncoming traffic several times before making it into the parking lot. The kids screamed and screamed in the back seat, but I had to park before I could tend to them. I had to coast to a stop every time because pushing on the actual brake did nothing. I just started sobbing, everything went so fast! Then the police came, my husband showed up, after that the insurance company and the wrecker. Everyone rushed me, wanting to know answers about what exactly had happened, but I couldn't answer them. I was in shock, scared for my kids and angry, very angry.

It was all overwhelming. At first the police thought someone had cut the brake line so they launched a full investigation. After looking at the area and my car though, they determined that it was just a faulty brake line that had broken after years of wear and tear. Thankfully, they didn't ticket me but the insurance company claimed it was my fault. The kids and I were checked out and cleared of any injuries, thank goodness! We were released and sent our way.

We just got a confirmation from the company today, my car is a "total loss" as they say. Apparently the cost of the brake line repair, doubled with all the body repairs to the front, and the engine work was just too much. My car is now being stored until we can get our belongings out of it, then it will be bought from us by the company. The pay-back is enough to get us a newer car, but its the whole unknown that stresses me out completely. Especially a week before Alan starts school? This came at the worst time ever. But I am trying my best to stay positive about things. So many other things could have gone wrong, we had the best out of this bad situation. I mean,

The kids could have been horribly hurt, what if one of them didn't have their seatbelt on properly?

We could have been hit by the oncoming traffic, which would have started a big car pile up. Thank you to all those who slowed down or swerved and missed us, even if you were honking at us and irritated. 

The man we hit could have been not-so-understanding, instead of offering to stay with us until everything was over with, like he so kindly did. Thank you sir!

Everything happened the way it did, for a reason. Everything will be okay, in the end. I just need to remind myself that every time I feel overwhelmed by everything. It will get harder, for the next few months, but soon we will have another car again and a new house following that shortly afterwards. It will all be okay! It has to be, right? I just need to stay positive.

While the kids and I walked to work today, as we usually do when my car is at the mechanic's, I tried to be positive and enjoy the trip. As we are always reminding ourselves in life: to enjoy the trip. I looked for dogs with Alan and we talked to a little bunny. I found a cute little hopscotch that covered about a third of the whole block, Alan and I hopped almost the whole thing! We sang songs and took several breaks. I didn't want to rush the kids and make Alan tired, so we left about 45 minutes before I had to work. I think that worked out nicely. :) The way back was a bit harder, it was hotter out then earlier and Alan was tired. But we survived!

Everything will be okay, everything will be okay. That is my mantra for this week. 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Summer's Almost Over!

My summer classes are officially over! Yay! It was a wonderful summer, I loved all of my classes and my camps. But it is nice to have this upcoming week off of dance and gymnastics, so that I can prepare Alan for his last year of Preschool and get in some fun family time before he off and leaves us three days a week. He starts school September 3, so we have the whole week off next week to get in some summer fun! I plan on taking Alan and Anna to go swimming, to the library, to as many parks as we can fit in and somewhere else fun too, maybe the zoo or the art museum? Not sure yet!

Saturday was my last showcase for the summer, it was my lovely hip hoppers performance! We performed three dances: a breakdancing dance to one of my favorite Incubus songs, a "follow the lyrics" type dance called Born to Move, and of course the YMCA for our finale dance. It was a wonderful performance, we had a decent turnout and all of my kids danced really well! Alan came along to watch his friend from school, he was very helpful during the performance too! He helped me with the music volume, with prop control and with handing out the roses! Thanks bud!

Yesterday we ran around town in the rain, buying Alan some last minute school supplies and doing some birthday shopping. I figured out what we are getting Alan for his birthday and found the store selling it for the best price. Fighting the crowds to get him a pencil case and a pair of scissors was not as easy lol. It felt like going into battle with all the other parents pushing past people and being all around inconsiderate. I mean, c'mon! I have a hard time keeping my mouth shut when I see things that aren't right and people stealing stuff out of other people's carts while they aren't looking is bad in my book. No bueno! Thankfully, we found what we needed and got out of their before I got too irritated and said something to someone. 

The weather hasn't been too good this weekend, its been non-stop rain and sleet. We were supposed to get our annual family photos taken yesterday too but we had to reschedule for the weekend after Labor Day weekend. It stinks because I am specifically waiting until after our family photos have been taken before cutting my hair and donating it to Locks for Love. But its been so long, and I have been waiting to cut it all summer long! I almost can't wait anymore… Almost! :P But I will wait still and donate it the week afterwards probably. I am just so tired of waiting, I cannot wait to have short, manageable hair again! This hair is so long it gets caught in everything! My coat, my seatbelt, behind my back when I lay down, the door once. Ouch! Oh well, I know that next month I will be complaining about how much I miss my long hair. I just need to be patient and enjoy it while I have it!

Have you met this little diva? She might as well be the most famous little toddler around! I mean, look at that strut! She has certainly got it going on! :P She is waaaaaaaaaay cooler then I'll ever be- with her striped pants and Elmo shirt and her fedora on. So styling!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Alberta Bair Theatre and Billings Family YMCA Theatre Camp 2014

What a week, wow! We finished our last performance from theatre camp last night. We performed our show twice, once for our ABT guests at the Bair and once for our members at the YMCA Youth Commons Area. Both performances were amazing, the kids worked so hard this week! Dr. William was telling us all before the show that it usually takes up to 4 weeks for actors to learn their lines and songs in a show, not one week! We learned five songs, three dances and speaking lines in only 5 days! Dang! Those kids sure do rock! :D

During the dress rehearsal
The theme of this year's show was American Musical Theatre. We talked about the composers of American Musical Theatre, the differences in songs between American music and British music. We even discussed the time periods of each musical. The songs that we performed were Oklahoma, He is an Englishman, One Singular Sensation, The March of the Siamese Children and Camelot. My favorite was obviously One Singular Sensation, I absolutely LOOOOOOOOVE A Chorus Line! Dr. William had asked me to set some choreography to these pieces, so I of course chose that song, along with Oklahoma and The March of the Siamese Children (since there were no lyrics in that song). I know that most of the children had dance, singing and theatre background but I was still a bit anxious about introducing a kick line. However, Dr. William was all for it! We ended up doing the kick line and it looked so cute! I am so glad he convinced me to!

These kids worked so hard! There were 25 excited children who participated. Some of them had never even been to the Alberta Bair Theatre, they would be performing onstage for the first time! Some had performed before but not on that stage, they had only been an audience at the Bair. Even a few were planning on auditioning for the Camelot show this spring! I was so excited for all of them! Wonderful job kiddos!

Thank you to Dr. William Mouat! Thank you to Miss Sandi for playing the piano for us! And most of all thank you ABT and YMCA for allowing me to be a part of this wonderful camp! Theatre needs to be more present in this generation, we are working hard at making that happen! Thanks to all those who fight for the arts alongside me. :)

Today I have my summer hip hop showcase at the Y. I am so excited for all of these performances this week and last week! We will be performing three pieces and a finale. It should be good! I will be taking tomorrow off from writing though, so tune in on Monday to see how it all went!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A Book Review: Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

This weekend we have quite a bit to do, on top of all the busy-ness this week brings us. I am in the middle of helping teach Theatre Camp at the YMCA. This weekend is also the showcase for my hip hop classes. And the same day is Kelton's birthday party, they are having the Power Rangers make an appearance. So cool! Then on Sunday, we are having our family pictures taken up at Zimmerman Park. Its been almost a year since our last family pictures, so it was due time lol! But I would love to have one slow weekend before Alan starts up school again. Okay, that will probably never happen. So I am already almost two books behind on my reviews, so I figured since I had a moment to breath (not really, we started Theatre Camp this week with the Y) I would post another book review, this one a sequel to one of my favorite King novels! Here is my book review of Doctor Sleep by Stephen King!

Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

So let me be clear on something before I start this review, I really enjoy Stephen King books. I have loved his books since a young age, one of his first books I read was the Shining. It horrified me and thrilled me all at the same time. I loved the Shining, and still enjoy rereading it now. But I was a bit disappointed with this book. It wasn't the phenomenal sequel to a phenomenal book. I feel like it was something he just kind of "threw together" because so many fans had been harassing him about it. He even acknowledges this in a way, when he thanks a die-hard fan for helping him quote "remember the little details of the Shining." Now I am sorry, but don't you think he would have just reread his own book if he forgot something? Maybe that's just me… So I can promise you that this review will not be the nicest I have written---- because I have such a high expectation for his books, I mean he wrote the Stand! I do however, still appreciate Stephen King and what he has done for horror. I will continue to read his books, but I may turn my attention back to his older novels. Anything pre-Cell lol...

Doctor Sleep is essentially a sequel to The Shining, following up on little Danny Torrance and his finger buddy Tony. There are several flashbacks to him at younger times throughout the book, but the main of it is about his adult life. Dan Torrance is a recovering alcoholic, something he picked up to help numb the shining. He learned long ago from Dick Hollaran how to control it mostly, but there are somethings you can never cover up. Because of this (or more likely, because of his drinking problem), he is a wanderer. Going from town to town, job to job, lasting only long enough for a few paychecks. Usually he is a nurse in a hospice or nursing home. He works well with people at the end of their lives, obviously due to his shining. He finds the small New Hampshire town, Frazier, and something inside him tells him to stay. Maybe its the miniature town and riding train set, adorably called Teenytown. Maybe its something else… But he stays, for some time, even giving up the booze monster and joining Alcoholics Anonymous. He gets a job at a hospice and soon becomes known as "Doctor Sleep" because he can help people pass on after death.

Meanwhile, another child is born with the shining, surprisingly (more "exposition-ally" if you ask me) in the same small town that Dan resides. Miss Abra Stone (yes that's her real name, you know like "Abra Cadabra?" Yeah lol) has an early sign of the shining as a baby. She predicts the 9/11 attacks by crying inconsolably during the whole incident, only stopping immediately after the second plane hits the World Trade Center. She then has a few more shining incidents as a young child from teleporting all the spoons on the ceiling during one of her birthday parties and writing her name telepathically on Dan's AA notebook. Basically enough weird stuff for her parents to consult their pediatrician about their daughter's "phenomena." Their wonderful pediatrician just happens to be an AA Member too and knows Dan. But that's of course not how they meet. They meet through the shining of course! But before we get to that, let me introduce you to our antagonist: the True Knot!

The True Knot is a group of half immortal creatures disguised as older RV people. The true definition of "knot" as it applies to RV's is a tight group of campers who travel as a community. So basically a traveling community, or gypsies. King made this sound like a commonly known thing, however I have been around RV's all my life and have never heard this term. Oh well… These people, these creatures actually feed off of kids with the shining. They torture them and drink their "steam?" I guess this describes their shining soul? I was pretty confused about that part. There are several mentions of different types of steam from the shining kids' steam, to the old people's red steam that Dan sees during his Doctor Sleep visits at the hospice, to Abra's grandmother's death steam that eventually did everyone in. He was inconsistent on this steam stuff, frankly I wished he would just stop trying to be unique and call it what it truly was: their souls. But this steam stuff, when it comes from a kid with the shining, is what keeps the True Knot alive and young. The longer they go without steam, the worse off for weather they are. Its a ridiculous vampire prospect, but it sure gets me riled up when I read about them tortured pre-teen kids and the whole kidnapping side of it. That's the age group I work with mostly, I think a lot of the kids that I work with are definitely unique and would hate to even think about anything happening to them or to my own children.

Wow, that took so long explaining just the setting, that I won't bother following up on it. If your interest is sparked, read the book. I read it and was quite disappointed. The True Knot attempts several times to abduct Abra, failing miserably each time. Dan and Abra become uncomfortably close friends, so close in fact that it made me, the reader, uncomfortable. But King dismisses all of that by revealing that Dan is a half-brother of Abra's mother, in essence her uncle. That Jack Nicholson sure got around, amazingly because of how much of a creep and drunk he was! But like they say, there's somebody for everybody! :P King ends the book so anti-climatically that I could spoil it all for you and it wouldn't even be a big deal. But I am a true book critic, so I will not do that to you readers. If you desire to read the book, please just promise me that you read the Shining first so that you aren't totally soured by the so-called series.

For the sake of the review, I will state who I feel I can most relate with, although personally I feel that the characters of the book were too unrealistic to be relatable at all. After all, Abra's own mother Lucy didn't even blink twice at leaving her only daughter alone with her father for half of the school year to tend to her own mother. She parades her relationship with her mother around many times throughout the book, so you would think that she would be just as connected with her own amazing daughter. But nope, no such luck. And Abra herself, seemed like such a fictional teenage girl. Having been a teenage girl before myself, I find some of her reactions unusual. But that's just me… As for Mister Dan, I feel like I cannot relate to him at all. Except for the fact that I loved little Danny Torrance, he was just obnoxious to me. But I do feel like I can relate to the feeling of feeling different. I feel different then most in a lot of social settings, as I bet most with the shining do. Not that I am saying I have the shining, but I definitely get how they feel like a complete different species then so-called "normal" people. But that's a mood disorder thing.

I would only recommend this book to any other critics. Those who cannot go without finishing a story or plot line, such as myself. If you feel like you HAVE to read this and HAVE to find out what happened to little Danny Torrance, then go ahead and read it. Just don't say I didn't warn you.

“Lots of people have got a little of what I call the shining, but mostly it's just a twinkle---the kind of thing that lets em know what the DJ's going to play next on the radio or that the phone's gonna ring pretty soon.”

My Next Book Review: Bird Box by Josh Malerman
(I just keep picking winners lol! Not!)

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Montana Fair 2014

The Montana Fair was in town this past week; Lon and I went once to the Train concert, the kids and I went three times. Rather then post four separate posts, I figured that I would combine all four times into one massive fair post. It shall be full of photos too, you have been warned. :P We had quite a great run there this year, and apparently so did the rest of the county lol. Almost everyone was there! We ran into so many people we knew! Even some from out of town lol! Gotta love the state fair for that reason!

Train was a pretty good concert, except it seemed like the lead singer, Mister Patrick Monahan, was drunk off his gourd. And that's me being nice. Everyone else I have mentioned this too disagrees with me, saying it was such an amazing concert. But I was quite upset when he messed up several sets of lyrics from several of my favorite songs. One was a Zeppelin song that I think even Alan knows the words to but if he didn't know all the lyrics to the song, he should have either chosen to leave them or decided to sing a different classic. Because I enjoyed his performance until he did that… and after he messed up the iconic and quite rhythmic bridges to one of my personal Train favorites, 50 Ways to Say Goodbye (If you don't know the EXACT lyrics, it is "That's cool, but if my friends ask me where you are I'm gonna say…"), we just left the concert. It was no longer worth it. Meet Virginia was good, Drops of Jupiter was phenomenal, but he must've had too much at that point. So we went for a walk around the fair, looking for a good deal on ice cream. I wanted the typical Wilcoxson's Ice Cream Stand but we decided to wait until the next day to enjoy with the kiddos. So we left the fair and got Blizzard Minis at DQ lol. :P

Sunday however, was a much better day for me at the fair. We went with my mother, brother, sisters and Benton. It was a blast! The kids rode on almost every one of the kids rides, we saw all the awesome farming and military vehicles they had displayed; and we had ice cream, cotton candy and their delicious homemade lemonade. Yum! I loved that Aunt Natalie and Benton could be there with us! B even went on the train and the Merry-Go-Round with Anna and I! I was so excited!

Monday evening, we went to the fair again. This time for their BOGO ride bands. I bought both Alan and Anna bands for only $25 (sounds like a lot, but its better then spending $50 that's for sure lol!). We rode until the kids dropped… or maybe we dropped first lol. But they had a blast again! Anna is finally old enough to really enjoy the rides! She probably went on every ride the boys went on, only sitting out for the fun houses and a couple of those times she went in the 5 and under bounce house. That girl is getting so big, it blows my mind! :D

Then of course I somehow was conned into going to the rodeo Friday night. Then upon arriving at the rodeo, conveniently located inside the fairgrounds, a certain little boy decided that he no longer liked the rodeo and in fact, did not want to go at all. For privacy reasons, I will not release this little boy's name. ;) So we ended up wandering around the fairgrounds, visiting the farm animals, watching the rodeo from the cowboy entrance, riding one ride each, and having more Wilcoxson's ice cream. I am officially admitting it, I am addicted to Wilcoxson's Soft Serve Ice Cream Milkshakes. Yum, yum, yummy, YUM!!!

We had a great time again this year! The state fair is always a end of the summer family tradition of ours, I am so glad that my sister and my nephew were also able to enjoy it with us! Hopefully next year Uncle Jake will be able to as well! Wishing my sister a safe trip home! Love you guys! 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Showcase Marathon

I have been a total ball of stress this past month. In just August, I have had over six different performances, ranging from my gymnastics to cheer to theatre to hip hop. I had three gymnastics performances this week alone. It has been wild! To put it frankly, I am exhausted. So I will leave you all with some photos from our performances. These kids are beasts! They worked so hard, I am so proud of them!

Tumble 1 6:30 class

I forgot to take photos of my 5:30 class but here are my older kids. These kids worked so hard! I passed all five of them to Tumble 2! Great job guys! :D This session we did something different, instead of just doing a beam routine and a floor routine, we also did a vault routine too. It was a change, but I definitely like it. So I think we may keep it in our program showcase!

Tumble 2 

My Tumble 2 kids did wonderful as well. I made the executive decision to keep them in Tumble 2, to better perfect their skills. This level is much harder then the first one, it isn't uncommon to have kids repeat a level in gymnastics. When it comes down to it, its all about safety. I am still very proud of them all and they definitely worked their butts off this session! All of them have progressed in the past 7 weeks, great job guys!

This was my second time coaching the cheer and dance camp with the YMCA. I did it last year, as an assistant coach but this year I was in charge. Today we had our end of the week performance, it was amazing! We performed two different cheers, one dance and a pyramid pose. The audience loved it, they were so proud of their girls. And so was I! I worked those girls so hard! They deserved all the praise they received!

Great job to all of my students for working so hard!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Alan's Last Soccer Game of the Season

Today I started the Cheer and Dance Camp with the YMCA. I have 14 great girls that are already some hard workers! Wow! Today we learned a cheer, several cheer positions and how to project your voice. :) We practice at Pioneer Park and will be having a performance this Friday for their parents. Last Saturday, we had Alan's last soccer game of the summer season and last game for sometime too probably. With fall coming up and with that gymnastics and preschool, Alan would be out of Y sports probably until winter season. With that being noted, this game was a big deal for Mom and for Alan. :) Here are some photos from that day!

Alan was on the Red Team this weekend, they had cute little jerseys for him to wear. He was excited to be on the same time as his friend Aiden from school, so was Mommy lol. Mister Aiden is quite a hard worker, especially in the game of soccer, I wanted Alan to be pushed by him in the game. My hopes were correct too, Alan became quite the Go-Getter too!

The way the Tiny Tots Sports Program does games is pretty simplest. It makes sense, these kids are usually between the ages of three and five, too much complication or too many rules in the game isn't a good idea. They learn to dribble, pass and score the soccer ball. They do three scrimmages a session that are pretty low key too. They don't believe in keeping score and we encourage everyone during the games. I love the Tiny Tots Sports Programs, they are so good for getting your preschooler out there and doing sports! They do not focus on competing or setting kids up against each other. It is all about progressing your individual self and working together as a team. They also teach the kids the YMCA Core Values: Honesty, Caring, Responsibility and Respect. These are important values that I am glad my kids are learning! Keep up the hard work Coach Sarah!

After the game, they held the Awards Presentation. Coach Sarah got up and called out each kids' name, they were then presented with a certificate of completion. Alan was so proud to receive his! I think it was his favorite part of the whole thing! Such a silly boy, he reminds me more and more of myself each day! :D Anna and I cheered for Alan when Coach Sarah called his name. He beamed as she shook his hand and handed him his certificate. He pointed proudly at his name when I took his photo with his certificate. He was so proud of himself, and he had every reason to be!

Like I mentioned above, Alan will be taking off the fall from sports to focus on gymnastics and starting school again. Although I really want him to play Flag Football in the fall, we may wait until next year to start that. I am still partial to signing him up for Track and Field in November though. I think that he would really enjoy that sport and could greatly benefit from it too. So we will see. :) But for now, he is done with sports until gymnastics starts up again this September.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Our Family Vacation: Day Five

Our last day of vacation was full of driving, car repairs and rest areas. It was another stressful, long trip but we tried our best to enjoy the scenery and each other's company. We were definitely happy to be back at home lol! There are no pictures for this post, so bear with me lol! We were too distracted by the car to take any!

Day Five: Driving Back Home

We started out the morning at a decent time, the kids woke up with the sun, once again. We took turns showering while the kids bounced on the beds and watched Disney Junior. Then we packed up and went looking for breakfast. After checking out, we discovered that this hotel only had a continental breakfast that ran only until 10:30, a half hour after we had checked out. So breakfast at the hotel was not an option. We drove to the closest gas station, grabbing muffins and donuts that would have to suffice. Then we were on the road again.

We made good time, hitting Bozeman before lunchtime. Around Bozeman, I received a text from my boss, telling me that my sub was a no show. We suddenly had a time to shoot for, I wanted to try and make it before close to help out my crew. Little did I know, the car had different plans. Around Livingston, the car started acting funky again. It was low on gas, so we pulled over and fueled up. Lon checked the engine and decided we were good for now. We kept moving on.

Just a few miles out of Columbus though, the car started acting weird again so we had to pull off on some random Ranch Access area. That basically meant that we pulled off into "Cow Land" lol, every where there were grazing cows. On the road, off to the side of the road, all of them staring at us like we were crazy for pulling into their road and popping the hood. Alan and Anna talked to the cows the whole time we were there, assuring them that we wouldn't hurt them lol. One cow even tried to put his nose in the window at the kids! Oh they thought that was a riot, Mom and Dad not so much however. :) Lon figured out the issue, put in some more oil and we headed out for the last few miles of our trip.

Up by Park City, we passed by some crazy driver, who preceded to follow us and pass us at some very unsafe points. The jerk almost caused a five car wreck by passing so close to several other cars at high speeds! Oooh, he made me quite mad. And with our car already needing to take it easy? No sir! So we took down his info and made a report. I cannot believe that people would think its okay to cut off cars and pass them at such high speeds! How immature! :/ I am glad we kept our cool during the whole thing and made it out safely.

We arrived in Billings around two, immediately needing to pull into the nearest Lube joint around. We settled with Walmart again. Thankfully, this Walmart was much quicker then the one in Butte, it only took us 45 minutes to get everything checked and changed, way better then the four hours it took in Butte. We had lunch there, since we hadn't eaten yet. Then we were officially HOME! Yay! It was a good trip and a wonderful vacation, but it was definitely nice to be back home after a big five day vacation.

I do think that Alan and Anna will have some good memories from Anna's family vacation. I bet that Mister Alan's favorite part of the whole trip was either the hotel rooms, the cows we met or going swimming in Flathead Lake. I bet Miss Anna's favorite part was also the hotel rooms and the wedding. I really enjoyed being a part of my sister's special day. And Lon just liked being all together as a family for five days straight. :) It was a great vacation, I hope we can do another one sometime next summer!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Our Family Vacation 2014: Day Four

Next week is a wild week for me. Actually, if you really want to get technical, starting Saturday is just craziness for us… probably not slowing done at all until school starts up in September. Gah! Benton is still in town with us, Natalie has surgery tomorrow and will be heading to town Sunday most likely. Saturday Lon and I have the Train concert to go to, Sunday we will be headed to the fair with Aunt Natalie and Benton. Monday I start Cheer and Dance Camp, Tuesday and Thursday I have my gymnastics class showcases. So crazy! I may not post that much next week because of how busy we are, but stay tuned because I will do my best! As for our vacation, let's catch up on the last two days!

Day Four: Enjoying Flathead Lake

We were all exhausted from the big celebrations last night, so Sunday we had a calm day. We woke up late, had a breakfast of steak and eggs, and cleaned up camp some. Lon and I decided that we would be leaving that night for Butte, due to the car's problems. We cleaned out the tent and then took a quick drive into Lakeside, the closest town to our campsite. We picked up some supplies and got gas. On the way back to camp, we pulled over on another scenic lookout point. It was so beautiful out there in the early morning air. We stood the kids up on the railing stakes and talked to them about what we were seeing. The lake, people started to sail and boat. The birds emerging from all the trees in the mountains. All the sounds and noises around us. They loved it!

Once we were back at camp, everyone got ready for a day at the lake. We walked to the docking area, it was a short little walk and we didn't want to pay the day camper fee to park our cars. Alan loved every second of it, he skipped and chatted next to Aunt Natalie and I. Anna rode in the stroller, so she enjoyed it too lol. Uncle Shane and Aunt Morgan were already there, enjoying the nice breeze and cool water. We set the kids on the shore and let them play to their hearts content. Alan ventured out deep occasionally, but most stayed close to Anna and Benton. Aunt April took Anna out a few times, but she always would get scared and cry for me. Benton kept crawling all over, up into the rocks with the snakes and into the lake. He had a blast lol.

We were lakeside for probably three hours total, it was so much fun! The kids loved getting wet and cooling off and playing in the rocks. It was nice being there with the newlyweds, just enjoying life and not worrying about making any time. Perfect way to begin the end to our family vacation! :) Shortly after getting back to camp, we packed everything else up and had our last meal with the whole clan. Lon rode around on his long board some, we let the kids burn off the last bit of their energy, and then we said our good byes and headed out of town.

We drove all the way to Butte and stayed their for the night. We checked several hotels to find that almost everyone was booked out, but finally got lucky at a Comfort Inn. The kids fought sleep that night, they were all still too excited from the wedding and the new hotel room. They bounced on the beds for a good hour before passing out, I was just sure that we were going to have someone knocking on our door, telling us to be quick lol. They had a good time though.

Thank you for having us Flathead Lake! Stay beautiful!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Our Family Vacation 2014: Day Three

I don't have too much to say about this day, except for it was one of the best days of my life. I do, however, have a bunch of photos to show everyone all the love and beauty that made this day so special. I love my sister more then words can explain, I love my nephew to pieces and I love my new brother-in-law. I am so very happy for them to begin this journey of marriage, it will definitely be a wild ride for them! But they both have a great love for wild rides and dirt bikes, so that is right up their alley. Love you Aunt Natalie, Uncle Jake and Benton!

Day Three: Natalie and Jake's Wedding Day

My sister and her husband were married at Mission Mountain Resort, just a shot away from Flathead Lake. It was a cute, small little resort ran by a elderly couple. There were so many different trails leading off everywhere, we went on several throughout the whole day but I don't think we ever covered half of the many trails! The resort was snuggled up into the Mission Mountain, with lots of big meadows surrounded by trees. This is where Natalie and Jake were married. It was simply gorgeous!

We were up at the resort almost the whole day. Anna and I arrived around 7 that morning with Aunt Natalie, Aunt April and Benton. We didn't end up leaving until like 10 at night, after the reception had finished up. But I enjoyed almost every moment we were there! It was so cleansing to my soul, being out in that fresh air and beautiful nature. I live for things like that! We all got ready in two small hotel rooms, which was a total circus with a wedding party of ten people plus the kids and the parents! We were outside a lot to avoid being cramped inside. That meant Lon and I took the kids on a bunch of hikes. They loved it so much, but on one of the hikes Mister Alan was stung by a bee. :/ He handled it really well though, considering that it was his first ever bee sting! My big boy is growing up so fast!

The wedding ceremony was just amazing! The sunlight was at that perfect, almost sunset point, everything in the meadow looked just beautiful! I walked with one of Jake's frat boy friends, and the kids walked with my mother and Uncle Kalvin. Silly Miss Anna started screaming bloody murder as soon as they started walking though! Silly girl, she wanted to chase the ball that Benton was following. So my mom had to carry her down while throwing her flower petals for her lol. Of course it had to be my daughter who lost it during her aunt's wedding. Of course. :) The rest of the ceremony went quite well though. The officiant spoke very well and I loved the pouring of the sands ceremony. It was all very lovely! 

I do have to say that Natalie's photographer did an amazing job capturing all the breathtaking images of the wedding day. Some of these photos are just phenomenal! She was also Natalie's Maid of Honor, more like Super Maid of Honor! Wonderful job Jenna!

The reception was crazy and fun. Almost all of the family on my mother's side was there and my Aunt Carolyn with her daughter Julie too. It was so much fun! But there was some silly frat boy and sorority girl drama during the toasts, I had to step in an extinguish that almost immediately. The food was delicious, the resort hosts did an amazing catering job! The cake was quite yummy too, good job Aunt April! I had such a great time spending it with my children and my husband and my family! Thanks for everyone who came to my sister's wedding and to everyone who made her day special! It couldn't have been anymore perfect!

Congratulations, Aunt Natalie and Uncle Jake! Here's to many years of happiness!