Our Awesomely Long Weekend

We had a fabulous weekend with lots of family and lots of activities!

Jed and I technically began our weekend a little early on Thursday.  Bron had some farms to visit in the Treasure Valley, so we came along for the ride and he dropped us off at my mom's house.  It felt so good to spend an afternoon alone with my mom!  We ate lunch (I haven't seen Jed eat that much at once in a long time), played at the park, and talked with my sister on the phone.  It was simple, but relaxing and fun.  I am so happy we live so close!

Jed is a trooper.  He's a great traveler.
I like this picture because I loved the look of Jed's tiny white church shirt hanging next to Dad's big one.

On Friday, Jed and I accompanied Bron on a trip to visit a dairy in a beautiful little valley in the middle of nowhere.  Afterwards, we had a few hours to kill so we decided to take the short trip down the road and explore Craters of the Moon.  Craters of the Moon is a strange desolate place.  It's where a river of lava flowed just over 2,000 years ago.  I wouldn't call it pretty.  I'd call it weird.

 Craters of the Moon

 We did some short hikes/walks.  
Jed gets nervous on uneven terrain and likes someone to hold his hand.  My pleasure! 

We also went spelunking through a deep lava tube cave!

Next, we drove over to Butte, Idaho where Ririe High School was playing football against their long time rival.  I love fall football games: the lights, the sweaters and blankets, the cheering in the stands.  (Even Jed had some 14 year old girls screaming his name!)  It's an annual ritual I hope continues for generations.  We lost the game but had a good time anyway.

We all cheered for Bron's younger brother, Kaleb.  Can you spot #52?

Saturday was a blast!  We spent the entire afternoon paint balling!  The Nelson boys grew up with their cousins, the Spackman's; another family of boys (plus one token princess).  Girls are a rarity in this family!  But the boys are all growing up, dating, and getting married.  Which means the best picks of all girls belong to the family now!  We got the family together, donned Uncle Troy's old army attire, and headed into the cotton woods.  I was nervous.  I'd never been paint balling before.  All I'd heard was that it hurt!  I got shot right in the arm midway through our first game.  It stung, but after that, I was good to go!  I didn't want to stop playing!  We crawled through the brush, hid behind trees, and shot each other with hundreds of paint balls!  I think everyone came away with a couple of welts and some sore muscles.  My arm is still tender.  But it was totally worth it!  We're already planning our next battle.

 Top: JT's head shot, Toughies Talon and Amber, Me with a gun (scary!)
Bottom: Call ready for battle, Amber taking Talon by surprise

Paintball Warriors of the Cotton Woods
Call, Ryker, Chelsea, Bron, Kaleb, Ladd, Talon, Amber, Chade, Joni

We finished up the weekend at Ladd's mission farewell on Sunday.  Then we spent many more hours with extended family.  Yes, we ate too, of course!  That night "the guys" (Travis, Tyson, Sam, and Brett) and their wives--and now their babies too--all came over to hang out.  They are Bron's best friends and probably always will be.  It's so much fun to see everyone and especially see the babies!  

On Monday, Jed and I got to see what Bron does for work first-hand.  We stopped at several dairies and feedlots.  It made for a long day in the car, but we got to stop at Rupe's for burgers and shakes for lunch.  That always makes my day.  That, and watching Jed do a dance in his car seat!  Turn up the music!

Being so close to family again is a very, very, good thing.

 I also had the privilege of taking pictures of my ONLY niece, Leah.  
She's so cute!  She has her momma's gorgeous crystal blue eyes.  

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