Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Oh, the places we went {Our trip out to Yellowstone}

 We got back Sunday night from our trip out to Yellowstone. I took a bunch of pictures but we have been to busy getting ready for the fair (which started today so everything is now dropped off), doing laundry and catching up around the house to really be able to do any blogging.

   I debated on whether you all really wanted to see tons of trip photos or not but decided since this blog also serves as a journal for me that I would go ahead and share a bunch. If you aren't interested then you can skip these posts. :-)

So in order of occurrence, here are some of the places we went to and things we saw (and this is just the first installment of pictures - I will have other posts on animals, flowers and other things.

We drove west much of the time on Interstate 94. It was a pretty drive. One of the highlights of the drive was going through the badlands of North Dakota. I didn't really get any good pictures as we didn't stop, but we did enjoy the drive through and hope to go explore there more some day.

 We traveled mostly on Sunday, getting up early so that we could drive and then go to church in Fargo. After church we drove to Billings where we spent the night at a hotel.

  On Monday we needed to cross the Beartooth  mountains to get over to Yellowstone. It was very beautiful and steep. There were lots of switchbacks on the road. We enjoyed that drive very much even though it took longer than we had planned.

 Part of the reason it took longer was because there was road construction. It caused us to stop for around 15- 20 minutes up near the top. It was by a beautiful lake and we enjoyed our stop thoroughly.

  When we arrived at Slough Creek Campgrounds in Yellowstone Ken's parents were there waiting for us. The had come in from Nevada. They had arrived the day before so they could get up early and get a camping spot in the unreservable campgrounds. They thought they had been able to snag the nicest camping spot in Yellowstone and there were others that agreed with them. We were blessed!

   We ate lunch quickly and set up and then I snagged a very quick nap and we took off to do a bit of hiking near the campground. We were right near a river, the mountains, trees and the plains (which were full of animals) so it was perfect.
 On our little hike we found a huge rock that was split in half.
 Megan led the way to the top with her granddad. (The others may have beat her if they hadn't been so distracted with climbing every big rock that got in their path.
Sharyl, Terry, Ken and I
 The next day (Tuesday) we drove over to Mammoth Hot Springs. It was a smelly but totally cool to see some of the weirder things that God has made.
 Terry had read about a trail that took us off the beaten track and away from the crowds and we found that very fun to hike on and be able to get right up close to some hot springs. This one was right along a ridge.
 Mara and I loved observing lots of twisted trees.

 This cone shaped rock was rather interesting. It really looked like a head from some angles.
 After going through the visitors center (which was interesting) we headed a couple of miles north to where the boiling river goes into another (cooler) river.
 We were able to wade in the cooler river which was now warmed by the Boiling River. It was a neat experience for the kids to feel naturally warmed water.
 The picture above shows the Boiling River (rather green) coming in.
 On Wednesday we decided to drive down to see Old Faithful. It was a lengthy drive but fun scenery and a good time to visit with Ken's parents. It is nice that our van has 8 seats so we could all ride together. On the way down we stopped to see fumaroles, boiling pools and other such fun.
 We sat and waited for Old Faithful to erupt. We were happy to find some logs in the shade to sit on and Sharyl told the kids a story and Ken pulled out cards so He, his Dad and I could play spades while we waited. (Ken's family loves games.)
 On our way back we stopped at Lake Village on Yellowstone Lake and Ken treated us to Ice Cream cones and the cute little general store.
 On our way back we stopped at a boiling mud pit which a bison was enjoying.
 The Dragon's Mouth was also there. Very cool to see evidence of the power of God!
 On Thursday we decided to go see the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. This was my favorite day trip. The views were beautiful!!! We also got a nice amount of exercise as we took a trail that had steps that led down into the canyon and then of course back up. I believe it was around 300 steps not counting the sloped areas on the path. We also hiked along a trail for over 4 miles. The first half of the trail that went up to Artist point was full of views of the Falls and also full of quite a few people - then for the next part of our hike we were on a lesser known trail that was fairly quiet.
 The kids loved posing next to the beautiful scenery and asking me to take their picture.

We tried to get a good family shot on this trip but that is much easier said than done!
 On the second part of the hike were found a lot of eco-thermal features that had no fences or warning signs around them. We would just start smelling something and there it would be. Very fun!! At "Clear Lake" there was a bubbling mud pool right on the edge and other bubbling (boiling??) areas in the lake.
 After getting back to camp we tried a bit of "swimming" in the very cool and swift river near our site.
  On Friday the destination was to go to the top of Mount Washburn. The trail we took was around 3.5 miles and 1,400 feet elevation up (and then of course the same going down). It was a nice trail though much busier than I had expected. There were beautiful flowers and some fun views.
 Megan and Jonathan felt really tired off and on (Aaron just kept going and going like the energizer bunny) but they always had more energy when the could do a little rock climbing. Regular snacks also helped them to keep going. A piggy back or shoulder ride for Megan helped some too.

 At the top the had a nice observation area. We were able to pick out the rode to our campsite which was twelve miles away and we could also see mountains that were 75 miles away.
 On Saturday we started our journey home again. We had a short day (just going to Billings again) so we had fun exploring in the Beartooth Mountains. The falls above were on that drive.
 While I took pictures of the falls, Ken and the kids headed to the other side of the road and started climbing. The kids just love doing that.
 The top of the pass was 10,900 feet - we choose to find a place we could climb a little higher and we were able to get up to 11,015 feet. It was rather chilly up there!
 Ken and Terry loved being able to know exact elevation and where they were using their GPSs.
 We got to play in the snow!
 Mara looked so neat picking wildflowers on the mountainside.
Jonathan sheltered from the wind and climbing again! I was reminded of how God is our Rock who is always strong and always a shelter for us!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Being like ants

  "The ants are not a strong people, but they prepare their food in the summer;" Proverbs 30:25

We have been given direction to learn from the ants. I know this particular lesson I have been thinking about lately so I thought I would share this verse with you.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

A fun week at Yellowstone!

We just concluded a very fun week of exploring Yellowstone National Park. Seeing oodles of wildlife, hiking to the top of a couple of mountains, observing more geo-thermal features than I had even realized there were, spending time with Ken's parents all made for an unforgettable week.

  I am so thankful that we are able to experience things like this as a family. God is very good. He is also very, very awesome! As we observed His creation this week it left me ever more in awe of what He can do.

  I have many, many pictures that I am looking forward to sharing but that will have to wait a bit. I just thought I would pop in and say hello since I have Internet again.

  If you have ever been to Yellowstone I would love to hear about what you really enjoyed.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


I want to share a verse with you today....

"Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband." Eph. 5:33 (In some versions instead of respect it says reverence.)

  This is something respecting/esteeming my husband is something that I think I need to work on more. This verse was a good reminder to me. I hope is blesses your marriage as well!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Another chicken post

 I don't think this blog is going to turn into a chicken blog. They have been feature quite a bit lately though, haven't they?

 I did think it would be fun to show you our chicken run however as well as something Megan made for the chickens.
 Ken didn't really want free range chickens in our yard and with the road being fairly close I actually thought that might be just as well. So a chicken run was needed.

Pallets to the rescue again!

We took a trip to the lumberyard where my brother works to pick up a new (free) supply.
  We hooked them together using scrap boards that my Dad had left from his sawmill.
 The little chickens very much enjoyed being out. They were eating bugs and grass right and left.
  We put a net (provided by my dad) over top to keep out owls or other predators. Dad had an owl get a bunch of his chickens a couple years ago so we wanted to prevent that.
 The run turned out pretty nice sized.
 Our fence leans a bit, hopefully I can figure out how to fix that some day.
 We made our gate with more pallet boards and some chicken wire. I like it.

While we were working out in the chicken pen I found the first lost feather from our flock. Megan decided she had better make a scrapbook. Here are a few pages from it...

I found it pretty fun! Mara helped her to list all of their names on one page of it.

  So that is our chicken update for today. I do hope to tell  you about our homemade feeders and waterers soon but then I may be fairly quiet about chickens until the first egg is laid.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Long for God's Word

The older I get the more I enjoy spending time in God's word. In recent years since the kids and I have been working to memorize more passageslove noticing how what we learn applies to well to our daily lives.

I have been reading in 1 Peter lately , and in chapter 2 verses 2 and 3 there are some verses that encourage us to spend time in God's word. They say:

"Like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord."

Are you longing for God's word? Do you enjoy spending time in it?


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