A week of heaven on earth.
First, you go through the refiners fire, to get to your heaven on earth.
We left for Boise on Friday. Lucky for me, I woke up sick. I got worse as the day wore on. Packing became a nightmare. By the time Mary and Ben got home, I was literally in bed with a fever and a horrible, terrible, no good, very bad sore throat. I NEVER slow down when I am packing for a trip. I get so excited and I go 100mph. So this was a first.
We crammed everything into our CAR. Yup, our car...not the Pathfinder. Ben somehow fit everything we needed for a 10 day trip, including a waterski, into our car. I wasn't too thrilled about having a waterski blocking my door and having luggage under the kids feet and a bag on my lap, but hey, we saved money, so why not.
The trip to Boise was an absolute nightmare. I got worse by the hour, and I just wanted to lie down, not be squished in our car with a fever, chills, body aches, a sore throat and screaming children. Our kids are normally amazing travelers, but for whatever reason, William would not settle down. He cried about 80% of our trip. We had to stop 6 times in 7 1/2 hours. It was horrible.
By the time we got to the Maynards home, I literally walked in the house and went straight to bed, where I remained for the next day and 1/2. I was SICK! I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with tonsillitis. It was pretty obvious seeing that my throat was COVERED in white pus pockets and I felt like the living dead. Unfortunately, no antibiotics.
Saturday, Jolene (Ben's mom) took the kids for quite the outing! They went to the park, went to a farmers market, they played in the river at a water park, went to the pet store, went to McDonalds and got a movie. They had an absolute blast! It was so nice for me to be able to rest and try to get over the nasty bug I had.
On Sunday, I was perking up a bit and we headed to McCall, Idaho for my family reunion. By Monday, I was pretty much over it, and good to go. We were headed to our version of heaven. And here is how our heaven on earth was created.
1st, you find a nice cabin in McCall, Idaho. A cabin right on the lake.
2nd, you spend LOTS of time playing, reading, digging, lounging, and talking on the beach.
They actually got all the way up to her neck. Silly uncles!
3rd, you have a boat. A really, really, really nice ski boat. The trampoline is also a nice extra touch.
4th, you have your family with you. Your entire family..together.
5th, you ride in the boat to "Treasure" Island and have an amazing treasure hunt for the kids. The hunt is complete with a mean pirate, and lots of treasure to be found.
You find a rock in the water off of treasure island, and you find a way to get to it.
In our case, an assembly line was made for the kids.
Sixth, you find some cliffs, and you jump off of them. Or dive, or scream, or kind of dive, or in Ben's case, you do a DOUBLE FRONT FLIP!
Seventh, you find some smaller "cliffs" for the kids to jump off of. The kids swam out to these rocks, and jumped off of them. Mary jumped in over her head, and actually liked it. The boat could not get close enough to the rocks to pick them up, so they had to swim out to them and they rode the surf board back to the boat. It was quite the adventure. I was proud of how brave they were!
8th, you have lots of time with those you love. (some of which we don't see very often)
9th, you go to the Pancake House and celebrate Tyler's Birthday.
You order the most gigantic and yummy cinnamon roll ever!
The omelets were amazing as well. Happy Birthday Tyler!
We love Bop's Boat!
10th, you have a blast with a piniata. This was an absolute "hit!" (har har har)
Eleventh, you have an obsticle course. Where you dig for buried treasure
You destroy sand castles with buckets of water
You put on some cool pirate clothes
You (or Ben and Tyler) swim to the end of the dock and back.
You build 4 sand castles that will later be destroyed by another team member (as seen above)
12th, you go to Ice Cream Alley, and have the best huckleberry ice cream in the world. And if you are me, you drop both ice cream cones seconds after getting them. No harm done, they were just fine. It was very funny.
Oh, and yes, that is William in the bright pink life jacket. We rode there in the boat, so the kids still had their life jackets on. Doesn't William look awesome!
13th, you bring a LOT of scrap book materials, and make a reunion memory book for everyone. I have some seriously crafty family members. I am not one of them, but I like my book they made for me.
14th, you go shooting. Well, most of you go shooting. The guys had a great time, and the two girls that went, represented the female population very well. Ben blasted a clay pigeon into powder, I guess it was pretty cool. My brother Devin also had an exploding target. We watched it on video and it was amazing!Everyone had a "blast!" har har har
15th, you pick a lot of huckleberries and put them in everything you can think of. Huckleberry pancakes are awesome!
16th, you exercise.
My mom and I both had our first runs, post injury! My first run was out in the mountains, surrounded by pine trees, next to a lake, in the peacefullness of the morning. I saw deer, listened to the sounds of the mountains and the water, breathed in the fresh air, and once again, let my feet guide me as they pounded the pavement and my mind just let go. It was one of those runs that can never be described, but that had me grinning the rest of the day.
17th, you play LOTS of board games and card games together.
18th, you jump off of the dock...at midnight.
Ben and my siblings jumped off the dock at midnight one night. Ben also did it by himself the night before. We were all sitting around the fire and we heard someone running down the dock and then a huge spash followed by Ben's famous yell of pure joy. It was hilarious at the time. I still chuckle now when I think about it. Crazy Ben.
19th, you visit with friends.
Our cabin was just a few cabin's over from Ben's best friend Doug's house/cabin. So Ben was able to visit with Doug and his family a lot. There was a time that Ben and Mary got in the canoe and had a ride over to see Doug. It was so cute to see the two of them together out there in the canoe. I wish I had a picture.
20th, you waterski..when the water is good.
Yup, that means early morning and in the evening. It is SOOOO worth it. The best was to go for a run, and then jump in the lake for a good ski to cool down. It was a little chilly some mornings though.
21st...you dip into Bop's Coke supply.
22nd..you ski a lot. When you can't ski, you tube.
23rd..you spend a day with the whole Belnap clan at the K&K reunion. This was a major highlight of the trip. I LOVE these people with all of my heart.
We played a bunch of games. This red rover game was pretty intense.
24th..you make your own sling shots. These were really cool! Sam loved these things.
There is nothing like ending a great day of playing on a spiritual note. We all were assigned a night where we did a short 5 minute devotional. These moments were awesome and reminded us what this life is all about. I had a lot of great insight during these devotionals and came away with some plans and new ideas on things we can do to improve as a family.
Nightly campfires were awesome! I truly believe that if you really want to get to know someone, you sit around a fire with them. The stars were amazing!
McCall has a certain smell that immediately calms me. It is pine mixed with lake mixed with fresh air. There is also the sweet smell of something mixed in there. The second we pulled up to the cabin and stepped out of the car, I took in a huge breath of McCall and knew I was in for a wonderful week.
It is the only place I have ever been with such an amazing smell. The beauty is absolutely breathtaking as well. The water, the trees, the serenity, the huge stary sky, ect. With the smell, the beauty, the memories (I have been there almost every year of my life) and the company, McCall has become on of my favorite places on earth.
When it was finally time to bid farewell to a week of bliss, it was not easy. I could have stayed there for a LONG time. It was amazing. It was the most refreshing, relaxing, rejuvinating, happy, satisfying and fun trip that I have had in a long time. None of us wanted the week to end. It was wonderful. I literally choked back the tears as we pulled away.
We pulled ourselves away from McCall and headed back to the Maynards home. We had a yummy dinner and some much needed R&R, and the next morning it was off to the zoo!
The next day we headed home, and here we are.
We are jumping right into this week, full steem ahead.
I am not sure I am liking it, but such is life.
I am glad that I have the memories and the feelings so fresh in my mind.
My heart is in McCall.