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!


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!


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)


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


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!


The moms must take pictures!


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


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!”


It is beautiful there!


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


Our friend Brian leading the littlest climbers up the rocks …


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


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.



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


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.


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!


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


It was a good adventure.


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


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!


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!


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



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






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!


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!


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


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


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?!


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!


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


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


Standing under the arch …


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!


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


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!


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!


I really like this guy!


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


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!


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!


More scary drop-offs with amazingly beautiful views!


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


Two of the cutest hikers EVER!


Ah, a railing!  That made me feel better.


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


A two year old with binoculars?  Love.


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!


Bobby … no problem!


Billy … a little cramped.


Rusty … nice and cozy.


Tommy … a perfect fit.


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


Hi, son!


They were having fun, I promise!


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


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


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


And never ending dirt playing …


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


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!


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 …


Spring Break Trip 2016 … priceless memories and fun!