Tuesday, June 12, 2018

A tree fell in the forest . . . and we heard

For 2018 we're trying to get back into our new-ish tradition of camping twice a year.  We skipped 2017 altogether due to my severe morning sickness while pregnant with Evan. 
This year we headed to the Boise National Forest.  Hot springs and hiking were on our to do list so we set up camp at Pine Flats Campground where some undeveloped hot springs were just a short hike away.  Luke had all of last week off from rotations and we were so excited to have a break and get out in nature. 

Thursday afternoon we arrived and starting setting everything up.  Lottie was such a good helper with helping daddy get the fire going, the tent set up, and then relaxing in the hammock.  I got our tin foil dinners heating up on the fire and was enjoying watching Lottie follow Luke around the campsite.  As soon as our dinner was ready a quick storm rolled through so we finished our dinners in the van while we waited the storm out.  It was fairly quick and was sunny again in no time.
Afterwards we decided to go exploring.  It was BEAUTIFUL.  We were close to the Payette river and the scenery was just breath taking.  We eventually found the hot springs and had fun playing around them.  We didn't actually swim since one of them was too hot and the others were really too small to swim in.  Lottie was thoroughly enjoying herself throwing rocks in the river and Evan had long since fallen asleep on my back.  When it started to get dark we decided to head back to camp and roast some marshmallows. 

I'm always nervous about going camping with kids.  You just never know how its going to turn out and if anyone will get any sleep during the nights.  Well this particular trip was going smoothly.  In fact, a little too smoothly.  Both children went to sleep like angels (almost better than at home!), and Luke and I even had a few moments to sit by the fire and relax.  Around 10:30 we got ourselves ready for bed and crawled into the tent for the night.  We fell asleep instantly. 
We were cozy and warm all sleeping like logs when I heard it.  A cracking sound that seemed to go on for ages.  I was dreaming and thought the camper a few spots down from us was starting up a fire.  I thought, "I wonder why they are starting up a fire in the middle of the night?"
Then a looooong whooshing sound and a huge vibrating thud that instantly woke me up and put shivers down my spine.  I nudged Luke and asked if he had heard that too.  He had. 
A very tall pine tree and had fallen very close to our tent.  We couldn't tell exactly how close since it was so dark out, but close enough to where we felt the vibrations when it hit the ground.  Our puny little tent was literally surrounded by all of these tall pine trees that had been partially burned from a previous wildfire.  All of them large with spiky branches.  My heart began to race (no going back to sleep at that point), thinking of another one falling at any moment but this time not missing the tent with my sleeping children in it.  We said a prayer but still felt extremely uneasy.  We had a strong urge to get of there and fast.  It was 2:30 in the morning.  We tried as carefully as we could to not wake the kids as we buckled them into their carseats, to no avail unfortunately.  So I fed Evan while Luke quickly stuffed all our gear into the back of the van, not taking the time to fold everything down.  It was about an hour and half drive down the mountains to get back home.  Lottie got car sick and threw up.  Once we got home though we all went back to sleep with no problems, thank goodness.
As Luke and I talked about this the next day, wondering if we had overreacted, we decided it was a wise decision.  Luke told me he remembered thinking as he was walking around the campsite and while we were on our hike, that there appeared to be a lot of fallen trees in the area.  He didn't think much of it though until one nearly fell on our tent. 

{partially burned trees}

{tiny tent - lots of trees}

I'm sure if we had stayed we would have been fine, but I know that it is always a good idea to follow promptings.  The short time we were there was so fun, but I am grateful we are home now safe and sound.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Lottie's 4th birthday

Charlotte Hope turned 4 on April 21, 2018.  She's been looking forward to it for some time.  Now that she's four though she can't wait to be five already!  That girl.
My brother Gregg and his girlfriend were passing through Boise on their way back to school in Rexburg so they were able to celebrate with us. 

{Inside is green for Tinker Bell, and outside is pink for Pinkalicious!}

 {Evan's enjoying the party!}

Charlotte is quite the character these days.  She loves to sing and dance.  If I turn some music on for her she'll quickly clean up the living room, ask me to get her princess dress out, and dance her little heart out.  She can be sassy and adorable all at once, is very independent, night time potty trained, and really really likes lollipops.  She loves to do school with me and can write a few letters, count to 50, knows the days of the week and months of the year.  She even wrote out CAT and BAT all on her own!  She is learning so much right now!  We love her tons and love that she is so good to Evan.  No one can get him to laugh like she can.

{She loves horses and always asks for a unicorn in her bedtime prayers!}

{The Tinker Bell phase is still going strong!}

{Her first selfie with her friend Eva}

{She loves climbing the rock wall and went all the way to the top for the first time on her birthday}

{Fancy Nancy is her current favorite book}

{Her imagination is so big!}
{Her brave face at the dentist's office - no cavities!}

{Occasionally she tucks herself into bed and takes a nap during quiet time}

Daddy and mommy love you so much Charlotte!  Happy fourth birthday pretty girl!!!!