Thursday, July 31, 2014

Bubba's Playground

Welcome to Bubba's playground!

This weekend I was reminded that children don't need much to be entertained. Forced to unplug from the distractions of the world, we all took a collective deep breath, took a step back... (*insert more figurative nonsense here*) and basked in the quiet, yet incredibly stunning, back drop of our family's new cabin.
 Let me be clear. When I say "we;" I mean that our family cabin belongs to Bubba and Nanna Teresa; and when I say "new;" I mean that it is "new to the family." The cabin was built years ago but is in great condition and is located in a beautiful, albeit remote, canyon near Bryce Canyon.

Even without electricity, our family was able to fully "recharge" this weekend. However, the trip was nearly put off as a heavy rain threatened our plans just as we arrived at that last stretch of road. Portions of the road had been damaged, flooded and altered by the recent down poor. ATV riders and the Chief Rancher nearby warned us that certain areas of the road leading up to the cabin were "sketchy." You bet I was concerned, but my savvy, challenge loving, husband remained cool under pressure.

"My heart is singing!" Andrew said as he offered me a truly happy smile. This was all before we safely made it to the front door of the cabin. The scenery accompanied by the smell of pine had him buzzing in his seat instantly. Our sequoia was a muddy mess (which filled his heart with GLEE!!) when we finally pulled in.

The exploring finally began!

With the cabin sitting at the top of a hill, the children were free to roam to their heart's content as they were kept safe under our watchful-ish gaze. They first checked out the cabin and then the bunk house (where they'd all choose to sleep together).
It wasn't long until they were fastening their helmets for a four wheeler ride. They'd return home with mud on their clothes and dirt in their teeth because that's what happens when you smile the whole time your cruising on one of those things.
Exploring the trials on the ATVs was where I focused my energy during Forrest's naps. Andrew and I were even granted a "date ride" up the canyon while Nanna watched the kids for us. Having that time alone together was a true gift. Thank you, Nanna.
The kids discovered a make believe wonderland which was situated along a charming little creek where forts had lovingly and thoughtfully been built by the adventurous and creative Stratton clan who came before.
Andrew and his Dad repaired portions of the road together with the tractor our first morning there. That particular activity was Andrew's favorite part of the day, according to him. They also enjoyed shooting guns together. Guns make me nervous so I kind of disappear when that begins.
Delicious food, chatting with Teresa and listening to the kids and their silly conversations were also personal highlights.

Things I learned about my kids this week: Lottie and Henry do really well seated on both sides of Forrest in the car. They share the burden of keeping Forrest happy, retrieving his binkies and seem to have fun with each other as the make up silly chants, repeat said chants over and over and "ooh and ahh" over how adorable Forrest is. Forrest basks in the generosity of their attention. Meanwhile, Eliza has it made in the shade in the back seat where she alternates between reading Harry Potter, writes a book that she hopes will one day be published and create art. Her faithful sidekick, Grace, observed the entire time.

Forrest talks himself to sleep. There was no crying involved. He'd be gibber gabbering away and then suddenly go quiet. Lottie and I slept upstairs together while Andrew and the big kids were in the bunk house. This gave me the chance to "go to bed" with Lottie each night. We also napped together. She was super cuddly and affectionate as she glued her little arms to my face, back, arms, etc. I love her so much.
Henry cries when it's time to release his treasured pets. Whether it's a horny toad, salamander or lizard, he can't hold back the tears when it's time to return them to their nature home.
Wait. I already knew that about him. And, he's just like his Dad. He told my Mom recently:

"I'm an outdoor type of person, Nana. Not an indoor..." Truth.
You can't tell from this photo, but his face was caked in dirt. 

Something else I already knew, Eliza likes to be in charge and needs to have some time away from her siblings or else she might boil over which, in turn, causes me to boil over.

The whole experience: the good, the bad and the ugly...


made for a memorable, happy weekend. We're very excited for the return trips that await our family. Thanks again Bubba and Nanna! We love you.

1 comment:

Lacey said...

Your baby! He is so cute! I mean, all of your kids are cute but holy moly! He is the cutest! I need a boy!