Friday, June 27, 2008

It has been a while

I am having trouble with our laptop, I wanted to post some more pictures of the rest of our trip. I will do it later, but I will at least say we made it to UT and we are happy to be here. Yellowstone was great--Jake saw his wild bison and was THRILLED! We saw a few elk, but that was it. We were all hoping to see a bear, but they were somewhere else in the park that day.

We had a great visit with Brian's family while we were in Island Park. Kathi's husband, Bob, brought his 4-wheeler and Kash was SO happy about that! Brian "was forced" to take him for several rides while we were there. The cabin was great and accommodated several of us very well. The views were spectacular and the boat rides lots of fun. We got to my mom & dad's Sunday and the kids have been enjoying their cousins every day since. We went to the pool yesterday and had a great time. Jake is going to his first overnight scout camp today with his cousin. We are both excited about that, Jake because he gets to camp with his cousin and Brian, I am excited because he will pass off several requirements for scouts! I am so not a scouter--I am clueless! So I truly appreciate those who know what they are doing and will help me.

We are doing great. I miss Cuba, but it is so nice to be here. I love Cache Valley. For those of you who have never been, I highly recommend it. Utah is a beautiful place.

As soon as I can, I will get some more pictures of our trip on here.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

What a beautiful country!

We started today at Mt. Rushmore. Brian compared it to Niagara Falls, it is absolutely incredible, but no need to go back. It really is an amazing sight, but I don't think we were even there an hour. We took off and drove through Black Hills National Forest, Deadwood, and then into Wyoming to only drive through another beautiful forest, the Big Horn National Forest. We saw some amazing landscape and the kids enjoyed seeing the wildlife. Jake and Sally spent a good part of the afternoon counting antelope and I am not kidding when I report they saw over 200! We saw 3 moose, 4 elk, and at least 10 deer. Ben said it was the best day of his life because he saw a moose in the wild. Then he said it was the worst day of his life when his ears wouldn't unplug! We were over 8000 feet above sea level when we crested the mountain and headed back down the other side--it was incredible! We are hoping to see more wildlife tomorrow in Yellowstone.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Badlands

We drove through the Badlands National Park today. Ben made the comment they should have named it Beautiful Lands, so then we had a discussion as to why they possibly named it the Badlands. We came up with hard to travel through with a wagon or horse, lots of indians, or lots of outlaws. Since we didn't have to worry about any of these things, we thought it was simply beautiful! We were planning to go to Mt. Rushmore for the evening lighting ceremony, but there was quite a bit of rain and some tornado warnings a bit farther south so we are opting to go there tomorrow morning. The kids continue to be great and the suburban is holding out--we will keep praying and keeping our fingers crossed!

Monday, June 16, 2008


So we are on our way across the country now. It was hard to leave, but we are now all very excited about seeing some new places and especially getting to see our families.

We have our stroller strapped to the top of the suburban--there is absolutely NO room inside! Right as we were leaving Cuba the stroller came unstrapped and fell off. It was scratched up some, but no damage we could see. Brian got it strapped back on, but we both had been nervous that it would fly off in the middle of a busy highway. Well, yesterday we heard something flapping around, so we pulled off to the side of the road to check the bungee cords. All the bungee cords were fine, the hand strap on the stroller was actually flipping around. But ironically, in pulling off to check our bungee cords, we ran over a bungee cord that was on the side of the road and got a flat tire. Fortunately, Brian got to change tires in between rain storms and he was pretty darn quick considering all the stuff he had to take out just to get to the tire and then actually changing it. So this morning we were a little late in starting because we had to get our tire fixed, but all is well.

We had a fun stop today. Our friends who used to live in Minnesota told us to check out the Spam Museum, so we decided to do it. What fun it was--one of those quirky places our kids can now say they have been to. Brian and I couldn't help but get t-shirts. We are all very excited to get to Mt. Rushmore tomorrow--someplace I have always wanted to see.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Ode to Bonnie & Christine

In my last post, I didn't go into a lot of details about what I would miss here in Cuba. That was a mistake. First let me say that Cuba is a bit of Mayberry. I love it here. I love the community, the school, the natural beauty, so many things. I love that Kash is on a first name basis with the city workers and can tell them hello when they are driving the back hoe. I love that when I misplace one of my kids at a school function (oops), people know me and my family well enough they can help my lost child. I love that when I walk to the library, people say hello and wave whether they know me or not. I love that I can walk to the library. I love the fall here, it is more beautiful than I can say. Cuba is a wonderfully self contained community where people really take care of each other--it is the best! So yes, I am going to miss Cuba like crazy, but why dwell on what I can't change? But what I will miss most about Cuba are the friends I have made. Bonnie and Christine have made Cuba some of the most memorable years of my life to date. I have missed walking with Bonnie so much! I will miss walks, lunches, hikes, play dates, being teased by Christine about being a Mormon, the cabin, the lake, and so much more. But what made all those things memorable was the great friends I was with. I love you both and will miss you lots. Much easier to say here than in person!

Sunday, June 1, 2008


I remember thinking in November that it seemed like such a long time before we would actually be leaving NY, but it has come rather quickly. Not that I am upset by that, I am ready to be a whole family again, but there is some sadness as well.

May as a whole has been a good month. MOST importantly we added Ruby to our family. She is such a good baby and I just pray that will continue as we make our trek across the country. The day before Ruby was born, we sold our house. This was such a blessing! I truly appreciate all the prayers in our behalf--I really was concerned about how long it would take to sell our house. I don't know that we will close before we leave, but just knowing it is all in the process is great! I don't know the family who bought it, but apparently they too have a large family. I am so glad--this house and yard need a family.

We had Brian here for over a week when Ruby was born. Kash became even more attached to his dad and now tells me several times a day that he misses his dad. It was great to have him here and he was such a great help. I decided that I am my biggest problem sometimes--Brian was so willing to help (and he did SO much)--but I feel so obligated to do "my job" if I am home. I relented some, I was SO tired, but it is hard for me. Simply having Brian here is a great help, just having someone to "have my back". Like I said, I can't wait to be our whole family again.

I was so grateful to have Pamela come and stay with us for a week. It was so great to just have another adult here with me. My kids LOVE her and were so happy to have her here as well. She and Kash became fast friends and played outside quite a bit. It was sad to see her go, but we look forward to having her come visit us in TX.

I had a very nice Mother's Day. Brian BBQ'd some great steaks and some chicken, we had Pamela here with us and we had the Torreys over as well. The kids and Brian got me charms for my new fabulous charm bracelet and I loved them & a whole bunch of homemade cards, which are my very favorite kind! But I think my favorite gift was the single rose that Ben gave me. Brian took the kids shopping and one of their stops was the florist. Ben told Brian he wanted to buy me a rose with his own money. Brian tried to talk him out of it since he was already buying flowers and also when they asked how much a single rose would cost ($4--can you believe that?!!!). But Ben was determined, so he bought me a rose for Mother's Day. I still get a little choked up thinking about it and how sweet he was when he gave it to me with my breakfast in bed. I still have it sitting on my bookshelf in my room--and I am not one to hang on to dead flowers. But each time I look at that flower, I see Ben and his beautiful blue eyes with all the expression he has a hard time verbalizing. In that moment, I felt like maybe I was doing alright as a mom and I knew Ben loved me. was a GREAT Mother's Day!

The month has literally flown by. I can hardly believe that Ruby will officially be one month old tomorrow. We have lots to do in the next couple of weeks and I don't get so excited about all of that, but I do get excited to get to UT to see our family and hopefully some friends along the way. We can't wait to go to ID and see the much talked about Island Park and Ben is very excited to actually meet his Gpa Bob. We have some great stops to make along the way and hopefully we can enjoy this long road trip we are about to make!