Saturday, September 12, 2015

The End of a GREAT Summer!

Well what an exciting summer it has been for us.  While I've been working Haley and the kids have wasted no time in traveling all over in visiting family a friends. The time I was able to get off work we all headed down south to visit more family and for Haley and I to celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary by finally being able to to go on a cruise to Mexico!  What fun that was for us.  Now that school has begun, Bennett is now in 1st grade, Patton is talking up a storm and surprised us everyday on what he might say :-) Kennedy's little personality, actually there really is nothing "little" about it.  She lights up our world and her older brothers really do adore her.  It has shown Haley and I that our little ones really do listen to everything we say.  I have always called Kennedy "baby girl", its super cute when Bennett and Patton call her the same! 

 This was our first year having a garden in North Dakota, and we have made a few mistakes but even with those mistakes we have really been enjoying the bounty of our garden. We decided a few months ago, as a family that we would do our best to only eat what we have grown and what we have in our food storage.  It has been really neat to sit around the dinner table and think about the food we are eating was grown by us! Kind of neat.

 So on the spur of the moment we decided to do one last family trip to the Black Hills and do a little camping and visit some of our favorite sites

 We went with a good family from our ward that have the same age kids as us.  We had to visit Storybook Island and the kids were pretty excited that the train was running :-)

 Bennett, true to form....found a family of ducks and we spent a few moments just enjoying them.

 Its really fun to be these kids Daddy.  This was Kennedy's first, real campout....lets just say we have a way to go with that one :-)

 8x marshmallows + 4ft stick + lots of chocolate + a fire loving boy = one happy boy!!!!

 Breakfast by the fire.....Kennedy was very concerned about her cloths :-)

 I know there are some folks out there that think if you us an RV that its not camping.....that's okay with me!  We have really enjoyed having one.

 My two favorite girls in the whole world!

 We were able to pick a camping spot that backed up to a little mountain.....the kids basically lived on this little mountain, hiking, finding crystals, building caves (picture below) meeting new friends, chasing rabbits and just having fun!

 This was basically the kids view for most of the weekend, they usually only came down when it was time to eat.

So we have visited the black hills many times but we just never have visited any of the caves down there so we made a point to visit them during this trip.  One of the cool things was when Haley was a little girl she visited Jewel was neat to have her kids see it too!

We stopped by Wind Cave and Bennett and his little friend did a knowledge scavenger hunt with Ranger Mike and were able to earn badges, patches and took oaths as Junior Park Rangers, to protect and preserve the natural wonders for future was really cute!

Jewel Cave was awesome.  We ended up walking about 500 steps to the bottom with a distance of about a 1 1/2 miles.....if I remember right this cave is still under exploration and currently has discovered over 200 miles of cave systems :-0

So this lattice work is all through this cave system and is completely unique to the Wind Cave's

The kids actually did really well and had a blast ooohhhh'ing and aaahhh'ing.....we didn't really like taking pictures though.....

On the way home we stopped by the oldest fish hatchery in North Dakota. The kids just loved it.....however the cameras were full so this was the last picture of a great end of summer trip

I just had to throw this one in there for Haley.  Truer words have never been spoken :-)