Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Travel, Travel, Travel!

Oh my goodness, it’s been a CRAZY month! In some ways it’s been amazing and in others we’ve been clearly in over our heads. After our Memorial Day camping trip, we still had another week of preschool and Matthew had another few weeks of school. We got our last book order and Matthew became obsessed with finishing this book on caterpillars. They had caterpillars in the classroom which made it really exciting!

I taught our last two weeks of preschool. Catherine’s having mixed feelings about it ending, she really bonded with her preschool buddies this year. She however, really enjoyed her new outfit from Amma!
And John prepped for the week with gnawing on some watermelon. There’s been nothing we’ve given him he hasn’t liked, but he definitely has some favorites! Peppers and watermelon are tops!
It was a rainy, cold evening but the kids put on a great performance and had a ton of fun for Catherine’s graduation. I’m philosophically against preschool graduation but yet this is the 3rd one I’ve done :-) Some battles just aren’t worth the fight.

We didn’t get to linger on graduation for too long as Friday night we packed and left for Wyoming! It was time for the annual Majdic pig roast and to meet up with Papa and Amma!
John ended up weathering out a probable ear infection among general travel chaos while we were there, but he woke up happy and slept okay a few times in his travel tent!

Right before we headed out he learned how to make raspberries and spent much of his time at grandma’s sticking his tongue out!
Sillies with Amma and Papa:

And John’s first pig roast! He would have done the other John Vincent in the family proud with his affinity for ribs!

Cuddles with Papa:

Chillin’ with daddy:

Troublesome trio of cousins!

The kids all played hard from about 2pm until after 10pm, fueled by picnic deliciousness, dessert and lots of cheetos that cousin Steph was sneaking to them!

But I’ll forgive her as she was willing to take some family photos for us!

As always it was a fantastic time and we are so grateful to Jerry and Brenda for hosting us! Unfortunately, the next morning we had to send Matthew and James back to Bozeman as Matthew had school. John, Catherine and I stayed around to hang out with grandma and Amma and Papa. John had a great time with grandma’s toy bin and spreading the toys out all over:

Catherine was Papa’s little shadow for the week and helped him with lots of house projects, including fixing the squirrel feeder and then keeping an eye out for squirrels!

And after a very cool, wet spring in Montana, John got to show off his chunky baby legs in some shorts rompers. He spent most of our visit with grandma going from sitting, to lying down, to twisting, to sitting to get himself around. It was terribly efficient but got the job done!

And someone loved some leftover pulled pork!

More help from Catherine!

Adorable baby in grandma’s vintage tub! He is at the just right stage where he spent the whole time realizing he could grab the stopper and let out the water and/or scoot back to where I couldn’t grab him. Silly monkey!

Storytime on the porch:

Snuggles with grandma!
I’m pretty sure after all that time one-on-one with Amma and Papa Catherine began to believe a trip to the park and ice cream were a daily requirement, and Amma and Papa were all too happy to oblige.

You can’t hang out in grandma’s front yard without some tree climbing!
A tile stealing baby during some Rummikub. At least he’s cute!

John joined Catherine for her early morning cartoons!

Sleepy baby.

We spent a day heading to Thermopolis for some more hot springs swimming!

Catherine didn’t want to do the slide by herself but was more than happy to go down with papa!

Meanwhile John chilled out. Though the previous weekend I thought I had a baby who wouldn’t fall asleep in the warm water John proved me wrong and fell asleep in the water, so we moved to dry land so my arms could take a break:

Then it was time for a little more swimming before we headed home!

While we were gone, James didn’t take many pictures but he did run errands and apparently Matthew picked out a new goal for his allowance spending!

More home improvement:

More park time:
And more happy baby on the porch!

Patio dining at one of our favorite restaurants in Lander and a cheers for Catherine!
Some last races with Papa. Catherine sets the rules for these races, including but not limited to a headstart and a permanent ban on passing :-)
Goodbye cuddles and kisses with grandma:

We left Lander and headed to Jackson/Grand Teton for our first half marathon. Of course we had to stop for John’s first jackalope ride!

Catherine offered to help as well!

John didn’t know what to make of this mangy animal but was ready to get risky on the saddle to feel its fur:

A gorgeous drive as always:

When in Jackson, why not have your lemonade in a boot! Catherine thought this was the coolest thing ever and kept repeating in sing-song: “juice in a boot! juice in a boot!"

We had rented a condo for the weekend with friends and enjoyed a nice evening (well, except John’s need to wake up every hour all night) before the next day’s race. The views from the course (except a middle 3 miles) were gorgeous! This was around mile 10 I think where I finally decided it was worth digging my phone out of its ill-fitting case to take a pic:

I’m so proud of James for joining our team and running a great race and I’m very happy I finished the race, though it was not particularly a great feeling run.

We spent the evening barbecuing and then mom and dad lovingly not only watched our kids for a few but watched our friend’s so we could sneak out to the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar for celebratory beer!
The next day we took the scenic route through Grand Teton and Yellowstone. We watched as the clouds lifted from the mountains that morning:

We headed over to Jenny Lake and took a boat ride across the lake to hike to hidden falls. Checking for fish:

When we got over to the other side of the lake we started our hike. Catherine found the spring run-off a bit too loud!

My lovely parents:

I heard some commotion behind me on the boat ride back and discovered this adorableness on my back:

We went out for a birthday lunch. John enjoyed it!

Then it was naptime for the kids and animal spotting for the rest of us. We saw this gorgeous guy just as we entered Yellowstone:

And this guy in the Lamar Valley:

Who was up near the road while his friends and all the babies were below in the valley rolling in the mud:

Post-nap we stopped at Artist Point:

And then on our way out we were treated to two bear sightings!

And what’s a trip to the park without a near bison jam!

Parking lot picnic on our way home:

Once we got home we got to spend another week in Bozeman with Amma and Papa as Matthew finished up his last week of school and Catherine turned 4! More pictures and catch-up soon! Here were the invitations we sent out. Catherine set her sights on an Elsa/Batman birthday pretty early and it was kinda fun to run with it as a theme:

And because I’m always behind on videos, some belly tickle giggles:

And a happy sitting baby:

And of course that phase was way too short because very soon after John figured how to go from tummy time to sitting and learned he could pivot around!  A time-lapse of floor-time one morning:

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