Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Driving Home to Idaho

Friday July 8, 2016
Gideon, Parker and I left North Carolina where we had gone to visit Shiloh and Cami, and headed home to Idaho. We stopped the first night in St. Louis where we spent the night with Grandpa Darryl and he treated us to Krispy Creme for breakfast.

On Saturday we drove to Denver where we spent the night and headed west on I-70 the next morning after church. Coming down the mountain on the western slope my car started vibrating, it was almost bouncing off the road the vibration was so bad. As I slowed down to pull over I heard something metal hit the side of my van. When I got out to look this is what I found. 
 One lone lug nut holding my right front tire on. Surely angels were watching over us as we came down that winding mountain pass. I stole two lug nuts from the other tires to put on this one and made it to Glenwood Springs where we had to spend the night. Monday morning the wheel was fixed and we were on the road by 9:30 a.m. headed for Utah and home.
We made a very brief stop in Utah to drop off some items and I found J~ doing what all little boys love - Playing in the dirt.

We were soon back on the road to Idaho and before long, this is what I saw in my mirror. It had been a long and exciting 30 days and they were definitely worn out!

The following morning we were going to walk over to see their Nana and Papa Storer. This is what they wanted to wear.

I guess seeing Grandma Cindy in hats all summer must have influenced them a little. ☺
Being able to travel 5000+ miles with these two wonderful grandchildren was a wonderful summer vacation I will always treasure.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Visiting Polyface Farms

July 5th, 2016
Darryl and I have read a couple of books by Joel Salatin about the family farm and how to make it profitable. "Everything I Want To Do Is Illegal" and "Folks, This Ain't Normal". Joel runs his Polyface pasture fed farm operation in Staunton, VA, only 30 minutes from where Skye and Ryan live, so they took us for a visit. 

First stop was the store and a look around at the gardens.

Darryl watches as a couple of apprentices finish the butchering of some rabbits.

In the store they invited us to go out and "wander" the farm.

We saw the broiler chickens in their portable pens that are moved every other day. 

We walked through the "Salad Bar" pasture to the hoop houses.

Past the "Egg Mobile" where a couple hundred hens spend their day on new pasture every few days.

The mobile rabbit pens. 

The house where the chickens are brought to away butchering.

The starter pen for the piglets. These guys are almost big enough to go to the fenced pens in the woods.

The hoop houses where veggies are grown in the spring and summer and where the chickens spend the winter.

As we were getting ready to leave Skye comes walking up the drive with Joel Salatin himself.

We had a little visit where he asked us many questions about living in China. 
And he autographed my book.
I'll be honest, visiting this farm did make me a little homesick for my own house and property where I could raise chickens, and rabbits and a garden. *sigh* Maybe next year.

It was a very pleasant day, especially the ice cream we had afterward. 

The following day it was time to leave Virginia and start on our journey back to Idaho. 

Independence Day 2016!!!

Happy 240th Birthday to the U.S.A.!!!
🎆 🎆 🎆
We woke up to a cool and damp 4th of July, but it couldn't dampen our spirits. We loaded everything in the struck and headed to Lexington, VA to participate in the Children's 4th of July Parade and spend the day by Celebrating our Independence and the Virginia Military Institute Celebration.
 Waiting patiently while the wagon is decorated by Mommy and Grandpa.

Lining up for the parade. It was very crowded in spite of the rain that kept sprinkling off and on.

Gideon was a great "wagon master".


After the parade the rain really came down and all the other activities were cancelled. Grandpa took us out to lunch to console us. 

This Fried Chicken waffle sandwich really helped make us feel better. 

You couldn't spoil their good time. They're trying to make Cotton Candy to celebrate. 

At dusk we walked down the street to the open parking lot and set off our own fireworks as all the local displays had been canceled. We didn't care though. It was a wonderful Independence Day and we are ever grateful for this Great Nation and proud to be citizens of The United States of America!

E.P.I.C. FAMILY REUNION - Last Day and the Animal Park

We were sorry to see Friday July 1, 2016 roll around as that was the last day we would all be together. We finished off this E.P.IC. REUNION with a trip to the Virginia Safari Park. 

We loaded everyone up in the truck and a mini-van and drove through the park feeding the animals. I will only caption a few of these, so enjoy the photos. 

I've got my eye on you.

Kelly is behind us in the mini-van taking pictures!

Aunt Cali says "smile Belle"!
I don't think she was ready. 

After driving through the park we headed for the petting zoo area.

🐦 🐦 🐦 
Going into the aviary and feeding the Budgies (parakeets) was a highlight for most of us.

We had Popsicle sticks with bird see on the and the birds would just flock to us.

Cody and Preston are showing off their birding skills. 

Don't eat it Odi!!

That's the way Alisa!

Above, Gideon thinks about petting his budgie and below, one birdie is tasting Rachael's hair.

The other favorite thing was the Giraffe petting station! This was so cool!

Alisa the giraffe whisperer.


Later in the afternoon Jesse and Kelly left to go home. The rest of us stayed and enjoyed our own personal Iron Chef Competition with the secret ingredient of Peanut Butter. We had an Amazing Salad with Peanut Butter dressing, a delicious Pad Thai and a scrumptious bread pudding with peanut butter Ice Cream and Peanut Butter Carmel Sauce. The bread pudding was voted the winner. 
Over the next few days all of the family left. Being all together was just like heaven, and I can't wait until we do it again. I LOVE MY FAMILY!