Friday morning, we packed up, mowed the lawn, watered the garden, etc. and got things ready for us to be gone for more than a week. We headed to Utah and had a reasonably good 5 1/2-hour drive to Layton.
The next morning, John left early to go on a hike up Mt. Olympus with some of his brothers (Vaughn, Tyler, Trevor, and Dallin). It took them most of the day and they seemed to have a good time. What a great view! They also saw a rattlesnake!
That night, we went to the Parcell family reunion. For those that don't know, John's dad was married to a woman before John's mom, and they had 4 kids together. She passed away unexpectedly and then John's mom and dad met a while later and got married (and had 8 more kids!). So...the Parcell family is the first wife's family. We went with some of the Kimballs to that reunion--a sort of potluck at a park with water games and then swimming afterwards. Thomas had a blast! Then John caught a late-night movie with a couple of his brothers.
The next day, we went to church and had family pictures in the park afterwards. It was neat to have EVERY SINGLE FAMILY MEMBER besides one nephew!! (Out of 2 parents and 11 kids--10 of which are married with children...that's pretty amazing!) I can't wait to see how they turned out!
As would be expected, it took a while to get everyone there and rounded up and pictures taken of each family, etc. These are some cute pics I took while we were waiting...
Cousins! Left to right (younger to older): Thomas, Savannah, Riley, and Dylan
Monday morning, we headed up to the official reunion at Heber Valley Camp. We had nephews Chase and Gavin with us in the car, they helped keep Thomas company! The camp was great! I vaguely remembered going there for girl's camp one year...there were 4 nice cabins with built-in bunk-beds with a couple families in each one. There was also a big covered pavilion, bathrooms, and a sand volleyball pit. We got settled in, talked, played "Olympic" games (a blast!), played volleyball, ate, had a program, had cookies and chocolate milk, and just had an all-around great time.
My silly cheeser. :)
Thomas loves cousin Chandler!
Thomas did GREAT taking a nap as well as going to sleep. Hooray! The next morning at 6 am, John and I went with bro-in-law Shane for an early-morning hike to see the sun rise. The trail took us to a great lookout point and was beautiful. We talked on the way and while watching the sunrise. We saw a deer with two young fawns (they were jumping and playing and had little spots on their backs!). Thomas stayed asleep while we were gone.
After everyone got up and ate a yummy breakfast, we got to work cleaning up (there's quite a checklist!), packing up, and heading out. Those that could drove over the mountains to go to the Kimball's cabin to extend the reunion. Nieces Olivia and Avery got to ride with us this time! Avery was great with Thomas and I played about 100 rounds of hangman with Olivia. :)
We stopped at Provo Falls to take in the view. We also stopped in Kamas to eat at the pizza joint in town that is owned by the father of our good friend here in Winnemucca. It was good eatin'!
On the way to the cabin, we came face-to-face with a moose on the road!
We had a blast at the cabin talking, playing, eating food and s'mores, and sleeping. John helped his dad finish up some staining. The cabin is on a well and has a spigot outside that John's parents leave running for a while when they're there to keep the well going. Thomas was having so much fun throwing rocks into the little stream caused by the runoff. Next thing I know, he'd walked into it--and then sat right down in the water/mud! My silly boy...he was having so much fun.
The next day, (Wednesday, the 15th), we headed back to the Kimball's and stayed overnight to break up the long drive. Thursday, we headed to Lamoille Canyon (near Elko, NV) to join some friends for camping. (I know, this trip was like 4 in one!!) We took the road less traveled and it was beautiful.
We stopped in Wells on our way to go to some hot springs we've been to in the past. Though the springs themselves are pretty hot, they join up with a cool river that make for some enjoyable swimming. Thomas was very ready for a break from the car and we all enjoyed the secluded area and the fresh air. We even saw an otter in the pond! It was the perfect break.
On the way to the campground, we saw 3 bighorn sheep just in front of us on the road! It was neat. We got to the campground in Lamoille Canyon at around 6 pm and it was just in time--there was just one campsite left! (Good thing it was a double!) We reserved it, set up camp, started a fire and our tin foil dinners, and ate. Our friends, Jenna, Clayton, and Thomas' pal Isaiah joined us just as it got dark. They got themselves set up and after a little chatting and few banged up kids (a dark uneven campsite isn't the best place for 2-yr-olds to run and play!), we put the kids to bed. We then stayed up until nearly 1 in the morning talking around the campfire about religion, life, etc. It was a very neat discussion.
The next day we got an early start and took it easy, making and eating breakfast, getting ready for the day, etc. John noticed our car had a flat tire and put on the spare donut. He decided to take in to Elko to have it fixed and came back a few hours later. The boys had a blast throwing rocks into the nearby stream and playing with cars. They got to ride in McMillan's bike trailer, too. Later, Isaiah got a nap and then we all went for a hike. It was gorgeous! A babbling stream with mini waterfalls all along the way, trees, and we even got to a beaver pond that had a HUGE and impressive dam and lodge. Super neat. Sorry for not having any pics, my camera battery died at the end of our cabin trip. :S
After the hike John, Thomas, and I headed home to "recover" from all our vacationing and in hopes that we could get some things done before Sunday and the new week. It was such a fun trip with a little of everything......but it was good to be home just the same. Saturday, we took it easy, unpacked, etc. Sunday we attended church--me teaching my sunbeam primary class, John teaching his mission prep class.
As for some general updates...we're still trying to figure out just what we're doing in Virginia in a month. We think that John will just need clearance to live off base (as I've read, there's almost no housing on base for lieutenants anyway) and then we can live in a furnished "corporate" apartment together that will be paid for. Though I'm sad to leave Winnemucca friends and Utah family, it will be exciting to experience life in the east for a while and make new friends there!
Also, Thomas turns TWO in about a month! (Right around when we'll arrive in Virginia from our week-long drive out) He's getting so big and talking more and more (though it's still usually just one or two words at a time). We love him so much!!
That is all. We hope you're all doing well!!