Gratituesday ~ Good Company

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I mentioned last week that I had family coming for a visit.  Well, they came & we had a blast!

It was a full house, my parents, sister, her husband & their four kiddos came for 2 days.  The kids (including Caleb:)) entertained themselves for hours climbing on & swinging from our tree…

 They’re like monkeys!

The weather was gorgeous while they were here, so we spent as much time outside soaking it up as we could.

We even made ice cream, yum!  Check out our ice cream makers, they’re pros!  The ice cream was delicious!

Miley was a big hit with the kids too…

I’m pretty sure she’s still recovering from all the excitement.  It kind of threw off her normal schedule of napping all day.

All to quickly, they had to go, but I’m so thankful they were able to come!  We don’t get to see them nearly as much as we’d like.

Your turn! What are you grateful for today?  Comment below & join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!


Unplugging

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Last week we had the opportunity to take in the beauty of Colorado on our annual NYR {Nationwide Youth Roundup} vacation…

I love aspens

NYR is a week-long, Summer Christian conference held out in the Colorado mountains for youth groups & families.  Approximately 1,500 people were there to take it all in this year…

Each year, the team of NYR coordinators find phenomenal speakers to fill each day with awesome, scripture-based teaching along with rocking worship sessions with the Caleb Miller Band.

Caleb’s {my Caleb, not Caleb Miller of the Caleb Miller Band:)} family has been coming to NYR for over 20 years now.  For me, this was my fourth year to experience it.  I’ll admit, I wasn’t exactly pumped about the idea of camping on a mountainside, in a tent, with no flushing toilets & sometimes icy cold shower water for a week when we first got married.  But, having the chance to hear such powerful messages & unplug from the world {there’s absolutely no cell phone reception/internet access there} for a week is well worth the sacrifice of a few creature comforts, for a few days anyway. :)

Part of the experience is of course, outdoor cooking!

This was our kitchen/living space for the week…

And here’s Caleb cooking up some bacon, very proud of his makeshift apron I might add…

On one of the afternoons, Caleb & I took a couple of our nephews on a little hike up to Devils Head Fire Lookout.  It’s a  nice little 3 mile trail {round trip} with gorgeous views…

At the top, there are 143 stairs that lead to the actual fire lookout {those steps are by far the scariest part of the hike!}.  I’d been on this hike before so I had mentally prepared myself this time around.  Chet wasn’t quite so sure about those steps…

We made friends with some chipmunks while hiking too…

On a few of the afternoons, they hold sports tournaments for anyone who wants to play.  The valley is packed with events…

Caleb & his dad always participate in the horseshoe tournament…

And somehow this year, I got talked into being the bracket master for the tournament…

Another of the highlights of the week was seeing some bear cubs!

I was a little upset I didn’t manage to take some better photos of them, but I was just certain momma bear would pop up out of the road ditch & grab me as I was hanging out the car window to snap pictures!  At least I have proof that we really saw them:).

And then, before you know it, the week is over & it’s time to stuff your 5,000 lbs of cargo back in the vehicle {I’m a little concerned what this picture will look like someday when we’re more than just a family of two!}…

If you’re ever looking for a fun, family camping vacation in the mountains, I’d highly recommend NYR to anyone!


Gratituesday ~ Another Family-Filled Weekend

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Well, it appears my “Gratituesday” has turned into “Gratiwednesday”, doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.:-)  Things got away from me yesterday & I didn’t have a chance to get this up, but I didn’t want to skip a whole week.  So, here’s my gratituesday for this beautiful Wednesday!

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Once again, we had the chance to spend a full weekend hanging out with family this past weekend!  This time it was my side of the family’s turn to gather up!  We really hadn’t been planning on this at all, but my sister got a surprise plane ticket from her husband last week for her & her youngest to fly up from Texas & spend a few days with my family in Iowa.  When my mom called to see if we wanted to make the quick, 3 1/2 hour drive over, we jumped at the chance for some family time!

Caleb & our youngest niece are definitely buddies!

Although we LOVE our small town & have built some amazing friendships here, there are many days my heart longs to live close to my family again.  So, having the opportunity to hang out with my family for a couple days, especially when we didn’t have any busy schedules or events to get to, was just what I needed!

I am so thankful I have family that actually enjoys spending time together.  We shared a LOT of laughs this weekend & I hope that never changes.

Join in!  What are you grateful for today?  Comment below & join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!