I felt a little funny after posting the photos from the first couple of days from our Spring Break trip because as I've discussed here before, we've all got 'Highlight Reels' and this trip was probably the most 'highlighty' of any of our family's reels.
The fact of the matter is that my family life is not filled with non-stop highlights.
It wasn't even a few weeks back that Cole and I were in the car cracking-up about how one of these days, I'm going to be hollering at one of my kids and mid-sentence, my head is just going to pop-off because I'm so mad.
Like I'll be yelling, "How in world can there be 17 towels to wash when there are only three of you kids?!?" (This was a real situation that happened recently, where I grabbed the upstairs hamper to find 17...yes 17...dirty towels over the course of a week, which doesn't even seem mathematically possible since there are only three kids living in this house and I'm lucky if I can get each of them to bath two or three times a week.)
And then we laughed about how my obituary will read, "40 year-old mother died last week when her head popped-off in anger after discovering that her kids had thrown 17 dirty towels in the hamper for her to wash."
And this Spring Break trip was no exception.
My kids fought.
My kids complained.
My kids argued.
And my kids acted ungrateful.
Truth be told, I probably fought, complained, argued and acted a little ungrateful a few times myself.
I even spent two (painfully long) hours of our trip sitting in the truck next to my husband on a sightseeing expedition, while completely (and temporarily) convinced that my husband was the biggest jerk I had ever had the misfortune of marrying.
Ironically, we were driving through Hell's Canyon at the time.
And multiple times during the trip, I went for a walk by myself, or took an extra-long bath, or chose to wait in the car while my family went inside somewhere - just so I could clear my head of noise for a few minutes.
Because I'm one of those mom's that has to refuel herself (with silence) in order to be a good mom.
And it was just this last Sunday at church that I was sitting in my chair, filled with self-loathing (which I'm assuming was not the point of Easter Service) while watching the Highlight Reel of the mom sitting in front of me with the cute, polka-dot dress (I don't wear dresses because I have cow-calves.) and the soft, sweet demeanor (My demeanor has never once been described as 'soft' and/or 'sweet.') and her perfectly-behaved kids. (The last time all three of my kids sat with me through the adult service, I wanted wanted to line them all up and kick them in the shins, but decided against it since we were in The Lord's House and all.)
So even though I know all about the deceptive nature of the Highlight Reel, I still find myself regularly sliding on its slippery slopes.
And I don't ever want this blog to be that slope for you, so if things ever start feeling slippery around here, just remember all the fighting, complaining and arguing that you'd hear if I could somehow turn on the volume of my photos.
And with that, I give you Day Three of The Unplanned-Plan...
We woke up on morning three in Sumpter, Oregon (population, 200) fed the kids oranges, string cheese and granola bars from the ice chest and then walked down to a local cafe for hot chocolate.
And these next three photos of Cole and Courtney might be my favorite photos I've ever taken of them together. (They go through long periods of time when they can't stand the sight of each other followed short periods of time when they really enjoy each others company and I can't even begin to explain how much I relish those times, however brief.)
And then we went for a walk around Sumpter.
Where Annie found a gold rock; worth 1 point on the Scavenger Hunt list. (Josh was the Scavenger Hunt Judge and decided that a barrel-full of gold spray-painted rocks, did indeed count as 1 point.)
And then we headed back to the hotel to pack up the truck.
And the kids.
And we were on the road once again.
With a quick Oregon-Trail pit-stop outside of Baker City. (We walked along the actual Oregon Trail.)
And a longer pit-stop to go to the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center.
I swear, Cole spends half of his life running from his dad. (Cole was mad about something and Josh kept chasing him every few minutes, which was making him even madder.)
And then it was lunch time.
And then Josh Downs offered to pay all of the kids $5.00 each to eat an oversized dab of horseradish.
Courtney Lee is highly motivated by money, so she's always up for challenges like that.
And though Coley isn't all that motivated by money, he is motivated by not looking wimpier than Courtney.
And Annie isn't motivated by much of anything, so she rarely falls for any of Josh's challenges.
And then we got back on the road yet again.
I should mention that both of the girls learned how to blow bubbles on this trip.
And a few hours later, we found ourselves in Halfway, Oregon (population, 300.)
And then we got settled in our cabin.
And then we took off to explore Halfway.
And ended up inside the Halfway, Presbyterian Church where Courtney (who loves singing) was invited to attend choir practice later that night.
And then we got back to sightseeing.
And then Josh and Coley stayed at the cabin to get dinner going, while I took the girls back down to the church for choir practice. (They had saved a seat for Courtney Lee.)
And Courtney earned 1 point (Only 1 point?) for singing in public, which was #22 on the Scavenger Hunt list.
And then we rushed back so she could tell her Dad all about it.
And then we had dinner.
And played a few rounds of spoons before calling it a night.