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We wasted absolutely no time getting started exploring Idaho. It was my first time to the state and had been a good ten-ish years since Jack had gone. We had been planning a backpacking excursion there earlier in the year but my car accident put a damper on that. Plan B was waiting for summer when the girls were done with school. Since we normally head out to Nebraska for the Fourth of July, we decided we might as well go a little further. The house was full of cousins we don’t get to see as often as we like, the mountains were practically in their backyard, and there were so many trails to take us to places we’d never been before.
We went to an easy hike up past the Kelly Canyon ski resort the first day. First of all: the flowers! Even the dandelions were impressive. Ours in Indiana had already passed their prime in early spring and didn’t get nearly as enormous as the ones we were finding along the way. Claire was in her element. She’s got a knack for wildflower bouquets and with respect for leaving plenty of flowers untouched, she gathered herself a beautiful bouquet to take home and dry.
When she filled up her hands, she saw an opportunity to decorate elsewhere. Before long, Peter and I were traveling in style, too.
When we reached the end of the trail we were on, there was a small clearing that gave us a pretty awesome view of the mountains. There was also a pretty awesome tree that looked like it’d been growing for years, just waiting for someone to climb up and sit in the crook of its branch. Challenge accepted.
In the treetops!
Jack’s sister showed us where they go hunting for huckleberries, which sadly, weren’t quite in season yet. She also showed us a favorite spot to pick up some obsidian chunks off the side of the road. 
We didn’t find anything enormous but that was kind of the fun. It became a treasure hunt that required persistence, ingenuity, and a touch of daring. Also, the kids quickly learned not to pick up the crumbling bits–unpressed obsidian is basically a bunch of glass shards. Learning their lesson, they stuck to picking up the kinds of pebbles that were smooth and glossy.
It wouldn’t be an outdoor adventure without Jack climbing up something. 😂

When we’d gotten a few souvenirs for ourselves, we made one last stop at one of Snake River’s bends. They’d had several rainstorms uncharacteristically sweet through the area, so the water was high, fast, and frigid. Finding a spot to safely dip in our toes, everyone rested their feet before we headed back home.
The rest of the day was nonstop swimming and exploring around Cecilia’s, which is basically any kids’ paradise. There was pond swimming, pool swimming, bicycles, and a trampoline.
More than once, I’d find Evelyn out snuggling the chicks. Cecilia keeps several very interesting varieties, including silkies and ayam cemanis. Evelyn was right at home!
Aside from the mountains, the dry, cool weather, and the fields and fields of potatoes, their method of irrigating their crops, pastures, and lawns was very interesting. Since there is a continuous flow of runoff from the nearby mountains, they capitalize on it by flooding their yards on their designated days. Our kids were fascinated with the flow of water inching over the yard. It was a perfect playground, especially for babies who wanted to splash in the water without being in over their heads.
The real fun was when Uncle Dallas got out the four-wheeler and tied a boogie board to the back. Pretty quick, the kids were all sliding along behind.
I have a feeling Dallas was taking it a little easy on our kids but I think they appreciated it, being their first time and all. Henry rolled off a time or two but he just laughed and climbed back on.
If there’s one thing that’s true about our family, it’s that we love slushies in the summer. Even better, our cousins live near a housing development and one of their neighbors has a cute little shack that they sell slushies from. After dinner, we took a stroll and got ourselves one.
We descended on their slushie shack like a hoard. They managed all the kids with precision and effectiveness and when we were walking home, everybody was content. It was the kind of sweet ending to a sweet day that made the drive all the way out so worth it.
Ring the bell for service!

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Our budding family

Welcome to the farm!

True stories of raising children, remodeling, braving the elements and plotting out life, all while living on a humble acreage in central Indiana.

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