Spring Break 2016

May 1, 2016 on 4:02 pm | In Uncategorized | By Cindy | No Comments | Add a comment

For the second year in a row, we spent part of our spring break camping and exploring around Moab with friends.  It is fun to be camping in such a large group and the boys love having so many friends around.  The area is beautiful and there is so much to see!  This year we had absolutely perfect weather and lots of talk about doing it again next year!

This year we had 4 families come – each of us with 5 children, so 28 of us all together!  And it was completely delightful!

After setting up camp at Green River State Park, we headed to Goblin Valley State Park.  One of the families didn’t come to Goblin Valley, so here are 15 kids (and one dad) – ten boys, five girls – ready to descend into the Valley of the Goblins!

IMG_6791

These friends all go to church with us and live in our neighborhood.  Really neat people.  The three in the middle are Tommy with his friends Mason and Ellie.  The three of them went to preschool and kindergarten together and we are hoping they all end up in the same class for 1st grade!

IMG_6798

Goblin Valley is a big playground for the kids.  Most of it is safe and once we said the okay, the kids all ran and explored to their heart’s content! (Rusty is in the white hat in the lead, Tommy in the black hat and blue shirt, and Bobby bringing up the rear in the blue hat and white shirt)

IMG_6799

The goblins are great for climbing on and for Kodak moments…

IMG_6804

Rusty was particularly excited about Goblin Valley.  Last year he wasn’t able to enjoy it as much as his brothers.  We had not yet diagnosed his tight Achilles or gone through physical therapy.  Poor Rusty couldn’t climb to the top of things because his shoes kept falling off and his feet wouldn’t stretch right for the steep inclines.  This year Rusty conquered everything!

IMG_6808

The moms must take pictures!

IMG_6828

My 11 year old probably shouldn’t have tried to go through this hole … he did make it through eventually.

IMG_6832

Bobby did not realize that he was 2.  He thought he should climb every place his brothers climbed.  I spent a lot of time calling, “Kevin!  Grab him!” and “Kevin! Stop Bobby!”

IMG_6835

It is beautiful there!

IMG_6839

This was one of those times I sent Kevin after Bobby …
IMG_6858

IMG_6867

Our friend Brian leading the littlest climbers up the rocks …

IMG_6869

Billy has no fear.  I really wish he did.  I had to stop watching.

IMG_6874

Our other friend, Ryan, kept watching and led Billy and some of the others on a rock climbing experience.  It was definitely adventurous and I couldn’t watch.

IMG_6882

IMG_6884

My friend Becca found a comfy rock to relax on while the children adventured …

IMG_6885

Rusty was part of the adventurous, dangerous group, too.  Afterwards he told me very happily, “Momma!  I almost died!  But I didn’t!”  And that’s why I just didn’t watch.

IMG_6893

Ricky did not go adventuring with that group.  When the older boys came back and told him how he should have been with them because it was so much fun, Ricky very wisely replied, “No, I wouldn’t have had fun.  I would have died!”

By the end, we had worn the kids out and it was getting awfully warm!

IMG_6900

But there was so much dirt … and Momma wasn’t stopping him from playing … a boy must play in the dirt!

IMG_6912

It was a good adventure.

IMG_6925

And I love a good adventure almost as much as I love these dudes!

IMG_6939

Our second day we adventured off to Arches National Park.  We split up from our friends to try out a jeep trail to Eye of the Whale Arch.  We had intended to meet back up with our friends, but we didn’t find them until we were leaving the park later that afternoon.  We had intended to actually make it to Eye of the Whale Arch, but we were driving a suburban, not a jeep, and it was a jeep trail, not a suburban trail.  This is Kevin climbing to see if our suburban will make it over an outcropping of rocks.  It couldn’t.  We turned around and took a less rocky trail for several miles.  It was very, very fun!

IMG_6942

You can see a short video of how much fun we were having while off-roading HERE.

We stopped at a dry river bed for a while to let the boys play in the sand.  It was awesome sand!

IMG_6946

We even brought home a water bottle of the red sand to remember it by …

IMG_6953

IMG_6973

After our off-road adventure, we checked out Balanced Rock …

IMG_6997

IMG_7005

IMG_7010

IMG_7013

IMG_7016

Bobby would NOT be carried.  He had to do all the hiking by himself.  It made it nice because we didn’t have to carry him, but it did slow us down a little bit.  A two year old’s legs aren’t very long!

My men are strong – they pushed this slot canyon open for me to walk through!

IMG_7022

This was at Sand Dune Arch.  More of this wonderful sand!  It was nice and warm and I took my shoes off and let the boys bury me in its loveliness!

IMG_7043

Some families had brought all sorts of sand toys for their little ones to play with here.  Mine were content with rocks.

IMG_7047

What boy can resist climbing on big boulders?  Not mine!  Even that 40-something year old one!

IMG_7060

Our final hike in Arches was to Broken Arch.  It was getting later in the afternoon, but Bobby would not be deterred.  His brothers were hiking, so he was hiking.  Isn’t his little backpack the cutest?!

IMG_7062

Bobby did think it was funny to step on Kevin’s shadow.  He’d come up behind his dad, step on his shadow and then giggle.  Kevin would move and Bobby would do it again.  Then again.  Then again.  Sigh.  My kids are my favorites!

IMG_7065

More boulder climbing.  It took all my creativity to find ways to keep Bobby from joining the big kids up top!

IMG_7069

He just didn’t understand why he couldn’t go up there.

IMG_7070

Standing under the arch …

IMG_7076

Them’s mine!

Kevin and the middle boys needed to take a pit stop, so they continued around the boulders to a secluded spot.  Ricky and I stayed behind.  Ricky was chasing lizards and nearly caught one.  He kept chasing them towards me, which I did NOT appreciate!  Shudder.

On our way back to the car, Kevin did pick up Bobby and put him on his shoulders.  Bobby was still hiking, but he’d slowed down to a painfully, tired 2 year old pace.  I had a sweet moment when Ricky slipped his hand into mine along the trail.  I said, “Hey, son,” and he said, “Don’t let me fall behind.”  Never, kiddo.  Never!

IMG_7077

We might have worn the kids out really, really good that day!

IMG_7088

Most of our campsite was grass, but there was a big dirt patch where we could pretty much always find Bobby.  We’d brought some toy cars and trucks, as did our friends, and he just loved the dirt!  This blue truck belonged to our friends, but Bobby claimed it as “Frank” and wouldn’t put it down.  They even let us bring it home rather than take it away from him – that’s how much he loved it!

IMG_7094

Our third day we went to Canyonlands National Park.  It is the place where parents take their children so they can be in constant fear of their child plunging to their death in amazingly beautiful canyons!  Amazing views, but I counted to 5 over and over and over!

IMG_7098

I really like this guy!

IMG_7105

Even this was too close to a sharp drop off for me …

IMG_7121

We did one shorter hike in Canyonlands, the rest of the time we just drove to view points.  We were all a bit tired after the previous 2 days.  Rusty found himself a cave on our hike.  Shortly after this he ran up to me to declare, “I almost stroked a lizard!”  Almost is pretty darn good, Rusty!

IMG_7132

Another hike, another determination to hike all by himself!  Billy was with the rest of the group who could hike much faster than us.  We had just reached the top and he was ready to come back down.  We changed Billy’s mind for him!

IMG_7134

More scary drop-offs with amazingly beautiful views!

IMG_7147

Plus it was windy!  Yeah, that did wonders for my nerves!

IMG_7148

Two of the cutest hikers EVER!

IMG_7158

Ah, a railing!  That made me feel better.

IMG_7159

All these people were in our group.  Good, good people!

IMG_7162

A two year old with binoculars?  Love.

IMG_7165

Hahaha!  I wanted all the boys to pose in this hole in the rock.  I thought it would be good to show how different sized they all are.  Ricky didn’t quite fit!

IMG_7170

Bobby … no problem!

IMG_7172

Billy … a little cramped.

IMG_7176

Rusty … nice and cozy.

IMG_7180

Tommy … a perfect fit.

IMG_7182

There is a great spirit to be felt when you look at these spectacular views!

IMG_7185

Hi, son!

IMG_7195

They were having fun, I promise!

IMG_7199

Ricky was too busy being still on a large boulder to join us for a family picture…

IMG_7200

The evenings in camp were a joy.  One night the glow sticks came out for dancing, games, and glow-in-the-dark bowling!

IMG_7203

There were stories and games and exploring.  We had campfires and s’mores and marshmallows.  Here is a mad game of Pit going on …

IMG_7204

And never ending dirt playing …

IMG_7207

A special art memorial of our trip was made by some of the kids.  There was method to this leaf and flower display…

IMG_7208

We borrowed a tent trailer from our neighbors but Ricky and Billy slept in a tent with their friends.  We were warm and comfy and we are all ready to do it again!

IMG_7209

That is, we are all ready to do it again until I see the mound of laundry that accumulated while we were gone.  I wish I could say that this was all of it …

IMG_7212

Spring Break Trip 2016 … priceless memories and fun!

^Top^