Thursday, July 30, 2015

Etsy- Love

Next to Pinterest, I am a big lover of etsy.  Well recently, some of my family members have jumped on the etsy wagon and opened up two shops.  
My grandmother, who you have all heard me talk about, Honey and my cousin Jessica opened up a pillow business.  Honey is quite the crocheter and Jessica is super artsy.  
Love you both and your stores!

Click here to visit Honey & Jess

Click to check out Jessi B Graphic Design

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Until next time...Goodbye Montana

Lily Grace and Matt got up at 6 on our last day to hit the river one last time before we boarded a plane for Indiana.  While they didn't land a fish, they enjoyed special time together and were bid farewell by a bald eagle on the walk back to the cabin.

We've had the best time in Montana.  Where things are quiet and beautiful.  Where  twinkling stars flood the night sky and an excited nine year old girl can easily spot the big dipper.  Where nature is both amazing and colorful.  Where animals roam freely.  Where the internet is sketchy and cell service is often out of the question.  Montana is also where we have made some of the most cherished memories as a family.  Thank you dear God for the  blessings we have shared over the last nine days. 
Until next time....

One last pic on the back deck of the Caddis Shack before leaving.

Last Full Day out West

We made the most of our last full day in Montana. We had a huge breakfast of pancakes, eggs and bacon.  We spent the morning on the river where we all managed to hook something and apparently we looked better than ever to the snakes.  
We had spent 8 days walking and traipsing through rocks and thistle and nothing.  On the last day, I got stuck out in the water on a big rock and a couple of snakes decided to take the hill behind me where Matt and LG were until they sent them running to the stream.  I refused to move as I only wore my water shoes down to wet wade, no waders and boots, LG insisted on piggy back and well, after we all finally put our big girl pants on, Matt went and cleared the way for us by making noise and running them up the mountain so we could run out.  Only then, did LG scream and what do you know, we are crossing over another and we are all in full gear yelling and eventually laughing our heads off at the sight we must have been.  There was a park ranger on the mountain so I'm sure it was an interesting day at the office for him.  Glad we could give him laugh.  We have all declared it one of our best memories.  

Here is the rainbow I landed before all the slithering excitement.  Matt and LG both landed a brown trout but the camera went dead.  Sorry guys!

Mid-day we ventured into the little town of Ennis to visit the different little shops.  It's a quaint little town.  They have several sculptures and pieces or art that are really unique and interesting.  

We ended the day at our favorite spot for one last evening on the Madison River and it was beautiful.  

One of my favorite pictures.  So sweet!

The antelope visited us during the evening on our return from the river.

Storms brew beautifully in Montana.

The sunsets never disappoint.

Another Day in Yellowstone

On our way through the park, this elk was out grazing.  He came right up to the road and I was able to get this close up.  

Gibbons Falls
Hiking to the Lower Falls.  Lily Grace got herself a hiking pole as she saw many people with them.  Y'all she carried this thing everywhere. She swore it helped her.

The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.  It gets its name from the plentiful yellow rock.  It is very deep and amazing to see.

The Upper Falls in the Yellowstone Canyon.  The water has a beautiful hue of green.  You can even clearly see the green in the waterfall. 

This was taken at the Upper Falls.  You can actually walk out over the waterfall.  It is amazing at how fast and powerful that water is moving.

Bison are all over and freely roam all over, even on the roads.

Hayden Valley

This is where Comanche the horse that Lily Grace went horseback riding on lives.  Actually 52 horses live here and when we passed by on our way back from the park and saw they were out, we stopped to get a pic for LG. 

Yellowstone National Park

We spent the entire day exploring Yellowstone National Park.  The park is huge and can be overwhelming so we had done some research and picked out the sights that were of most interest to us.  You may not know it, but you are actually driving a good bit from site to site in the park.  Once at your location, you will likely hike or walk a good bit to get through an area. 
I was most excited about this part of the trip and anxious to see some animals.  We did manage to see some elk, bison, osprey, antelope and chipmunks. (tons of them all around the park)  I was very sad to miss out on seeing bear and moose.  Maybe next time. 
The park is just amazing.  Unbelievable may be a better word.  To see and witness what nature can do is just mesmerizing.  

This handout is given to you upon arriving at the park.  It's actually really serious.  Just two weeks ago, someone was air lifted from the park after being charged and stabbed by a bison horn.  The gentleman had gotten entirely too close to the animal in an effort to take a picture. They have had four attacks so far this year.

This is one of the first purchases you make when you arrive in MT.  You take it on hikes, bike rides, wooded areas etc...  Matt was our designated wearer.

The geysers were so colorful and just amazing to watch boil from the ground.

This is from the Artist Paint Pot.  Lily Grace was interested in seeing the bubbling mud.  Can you believe that it's so hot the mud boils and jumps up but that little pine tree is hanging on?

One of the things I was most excited to see in Yellowstone was the Grand Prismatic.  It is the largest hot spring in the United States and it's colors are spectacular.  These two pictures were taken at ground level.  I had read that there was an unmarked path up one side of the mountains where you could view the spring in its entirety.  I had mentioned it to Matt and asked if he would try and find it with me.  Now most of you know that Matt is not one for breaking rules and lives by "safety first."  Well scroll down and check out the spring in it's entirety.  Thanks Matty for helping me get a look from above. 

It was a hike up the mountain and we didn't even make it near the top but still a hike and the view deserved a selfie.  The Grand Prismatic was Grand indeed.

Gracie was so proud of herself for having hiked up the mountain so far.  Going down....well it's a little more shaky.

Chipmunks are everywhere in the park and they really aren't that easily scared.  Lily Grace had a stand off with this little fellow.  He was so interested in the pine needles she had collected in her zip-loc bag.

We hiked 1.6 miles though the woods to see this waterfall fondly called Fairy Falls.  

We were all pretty excited to see Old Faithful erupt.  It wouldn't be a trip to Yellowstone without it.  Eruptions happen about every 90 minutes.  They have a half circle stand set up around it to view the action.  I have to tell you, it was amazing.  To sit in anticipation and watch it start to spew and then build into a full blown eruption that you can see and hear is quite the sight.  I found it actually pretty moving. You see Grace and I sat on the boardwalk right in front.  So when it finally erupted it was quite moving.  Later on as we talked about the sights of the day and how cool Old Faithful truly was, I happen to share how that was one of my favorites and I found it moving in that I could just hear the Star Spangled Banner being played in my head and thought I might tear up as I was just proud watching it blast into the sky.   Wrong- I shouldn't have shared that part because Matt and Lily Grace have walked around making fun of me and singing the Star Spangled Banner anytime the mention or a photograph of Old faithful comes up.  Sharing is overrated! Glad I could provide you two with some entertainment.  Even better thing that I love y'all to pieces. 

After watching the eruption of Old Faithful, we enjoyed some yummy ice cream inside the Old Faithful Lodge.  

Inside the lobby at Old Faithful Lodge where we also enjoyed lunch.

Gracie ended the day by catching a large rainbow trout.  She worked hard for that trout and Matt and I were so proud and happy for her.  Daddy netted for her and helped her a bit with the landing as he wasn't giving up easily. 

**To view the first half of our trip, click on older posts bottom right of this page.*