Aunt Andrea's parents are currently serving a mission at Earley Park near Fielding, UT. Andrea has gone up with her family a few times and suggested that we all go up together as a Riches family for a weekend. Of course, at the time we all think it is a great idea and agree and forget about it.
Andrea followed through and reserved a time for the Riches family to go this last weekend. You could sense that very few of us involved still wanted to follow through. We had allowed our "busy lives" get in the way and the excuses started coming to me that we could give as to why we couldn't go. None of them were legitimate, though, and I knew that the right thing to do was to get away, especially after all of the work Andrea had put into getting it scheduled and purchasing all of the food.
This last week, I have developed a very tight muscle in my shoulder and it has left me uncomfortable and not being able to sleep that well. Todd has also been suffering with a terrible tooth ache. So we really weren't in the best of moods when we left the house. Not to mention, our sleeping bags were down on the farm and we were going to have to sleep on the hard floor without any padding using only blankets from our home.
The moment we got out of the city and into the country past Brigham City, we started taking notice of the beautiful surroundings and the pain in my neck started to subside. We had spent the drive down reading through Todd's lesson and discussing Moses and the Ten Commandments and the events that took place during that time and it put us in a better frame of mind to enjoy this trip.
Camp Earley is tucked back in the mountains and was so green with a small stream running through it and plenty of space for the kids to safely explore. Andrea had prepared a delicious Dutch Oven Chicken and Potatoes dinner (she is an amazing cook) and we spent some time around the fire roasting marshmallows and enjoying one another's company. After the sun set, we took a mile long journey through the mountains and read plaques that had scriptures on them that correlated with each of the planets in our solar system, reminding us once again the incredible power that God has and that he has done all of this for us to be happy here on this earth.
With it being Easter Weekend, we HAD to do an Easter Egg Hunt. This scenery provided for the most perfect hiding places.
For lunch we had hot dogs and chips and celebrated Dad's 64th Birthday and gave him a Farm Jar, where we can donate for every single holiday whatever amount we want to help fund the many projects that dad has planned for his retirement location.
The last thing we did was paint the kitchen and hallway as our final service project. I was dreading it and expecting it to take many hours, but with all of the hands that were available, it was finished in an hour and, of course, we all felt better afterwards knowing that we had done something to help beautify a place that has been dedicated to help with the Lord's work.
The drive home was nice and quiet (the kids crashed) and we were able to pick up on our gospel discussion and reflect on the feelings we had while we were separated from "the world" for a few hours. This earth is an amazing gift as well as time. I need place more emphasis on the time that I spend with my family. Surely the "busy" things that take up my time here in the world are not as pressing as the moments that I can have with my own children and family. We only take with us the memories we create and the knowledge we gain from experiences, not the yard that we have to maintain, the laundry that needs to be folded or the house that needs to be cleaned.