Sunday, April 20, 2014

Earley Park

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.

Dakota and Carly started climbing this hill as soon as they got out of the van.

 Dallin and Kota racing towards me with their sticks.

I give a major kudos to Alicia and Tam who came sans spouses!  The cousins had an amazing time together and it wouldn't have been the same without them.

The kids were up at 7am on the dot and the morning was cool and a little drizzly.  But that didn't stop the kids from playing hard outside.  Andrea had arranged for us to do a few service projects up there.  One of them was gathering sticks that had fallen from the large trees and placing them in a large bramble pile to be burned.  It was made all the more fun by using handcarts to carry the sticks around.  Each of the kids got an opportunity to ride along.
 Carly and Jack practicing their pioneer skills.

We would have made a silly pair as ma and pa on the pioneer trek.  Not to mention the super silly kid in the back would have talked our ear off the entire trek.

Our reward was an awesome game of kickball, where no scores were kept (thankfully) and foul balls only applied to dad :)  The littlest boys wanted nothing to do with the sport, and instead, found a safe area where they could play in dirt and with rocks to their hearts content without having a parent to scold them.
 Here comes Carly after rounding third on her way to home base!

 Grandpa's Kick Ball team was pretty good.

 There's Abi at second base.

 Waiting their turns to kick the ball. 

 When I asked Dakota what his favorite part about this trip was, he said,
"Playing in the dirt with my three boys."

With it being Easter Weekend, we HAD to do an Easter Egg Hunt.  This scenery provided for the most perfect hiding places.
 The kids getting their instructions on how the whole hunt was supposed to go down.

 Dakota counting his loot.

 Connor ventured down the hill after a successful hunt.

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 cake decorator mistook "64" for "104"

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.

1 comment:

The Carters said...

How am I just discovering this? It was such a fun trip!