We started the holiday out on the 2nd when we drove to Grandma Karan's house. We didn't leave until Emma got off work at 5:00 so it was late when we got there. It was fun to visit with Karan and Jim the morning of the 3rd. While we were there Dallin and MaryAnne found a caterpillar on one of Karan's bushes. They looked around and started finding them all over the bush. They ended up with a whole jar full of caterpillars. They took them with us when we left. We ate lunch with Karan and Jim and left about 11:30 in the morning so we could make it to a temple session at the Twin Falls Temple.
We drove to Sam and Anne's house and visited for a little while before leaving the children there so we could go to the temple. It is a beautiful temple! I have a picture of it that I have been wanting to put up on my temple wall. Now I can put it up because we have been there. It was a really large session. There was a family being sealed after the session. They just kept bringing in chairs. The session took longer than we expected because it was so large, but it was a wonderful night at the temple.
We got back to Sam and Anne's the same time Sam did. It was fun to see him. We did family scriptures together and then put kids to bed. Most of the kids were sleeping out on the trampoline. They were excited to be together. Ben and Dawn came and got Tyler and then went back to Twin Falls for the night. We stayed up and visited with Sam and Anne quite late. It was fun to be together.
The morning of the 4th Anne and I went for about a 4 mile walk. It was fun to see Jerome. Sam and Anne seem really happy there. When we got back Ben and Dawn, Johanna and Tyler were there. We all hung out for the morning and enjoyed being together. Sam cooked hot dogs and hamburgers and we had a great lunch together. I brought Mom's chocolate chip cookies so I could feel like Mom and Dad were involved with the reunion. They were a hit and disappeared quickly! We all said goodbye about 4:00 that afternoon.
We drove to Twin Falls to see Shoshone Falls. They were beautiful, but it was a hot day so we didn't stay and look very long. We headed down the road to Idaho Falls. We met up with Neil's sisters Candice and Molly and their families to watch the fireworks. It was really fun! We got there early (at least for us) because there was supposed to be about 50,000 people there to watch. Candice had found a nice spot to watch. There was a grassy field where some of us played Ultimate frisbee. I was really wishing Matthew was there to play. The girls sat together and talked and made flower pens out of duck tape. They had a good time. It felt like I spent an hour waiting in the convenience store to take Lydia to use the restroom. Next time I'll be smart and have Neil take the children because there was no waiting in the men's line. There was one dad who let the girls in his family use the men's room and he guarded the door. It was kind of funny to watch when he explained to the other men who came why they couldn't go in.
The fireworks show was amazing. It was set to music on the radio. I love celebrating the freedoms we enjoy by watching fireworks. There was a lot of traffic after, cars were not moving at all. Molly and Scott had bought some fireworks to light off after. Kaden and Jonathan had fun being our firework masters. It was a late night, but a great time together. We all went back to Candice's and put kids to bed. Most of the children slept out on the trampoline.
Saturday the 5th we got up and started a family work project at Candice's house. We cleaned up her yard and worked on her fence. She had some slats that needed replaced and the whole fence needed stained. Neil, Scott, and Gerry worked on the fence while the rest of us cleaned up, moved rocks, and then stained. It was a good time, even though it was hot. The children were good helpers. I think it is neat to work together with our family. We all had lunch and then we headed home. To cap off our trip we saw a bear in Yellowstone, that doesn't happen very often. It was on a hill right by the road. It was scratching around in the dirt. When Lydia saw the bear she thought it was a baby bear. We were trying to tell her it wasn't a baby, but she was determined. We asked why she thought it was a baby and she told us that it was crawling like a baby. She is so cute!!
We had a great fourth of July!! We missed having Rebecca, Bethany, Julia and Matthew with us. It was great to see both sides of our family and spend time together, and to attend the temple. I am so grateful for the freedoms we enjoy living in this amazing country!
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