We discovered the first day that E wasn't too excited about her carseat! Pretty much if she wasn't sleeping she was crying. We stopped off in OKC for Claudia and Axel's shower and then we were off to Kansas for the night.
The next day we headed to Mount Rushmore where we had ice cream and then headed down to the quaint little town of Keystone for a little shopping!
Mount Rushmore and Keystone were full of bikers on their was to Sturgis for the epic annual bikers rally! The next day we headed to the first ever national monument called Devils tower!
After lunch there we headed for our finally destination of Bozeman, Montana.
Grandpa Brazle celebrated his 90th birthday this year and with Paul and Carol here on furlough from Belgium, it worked out for all the siblings to be there this summer. The oldest, Aunt Mindy, lives on top of a mountain about 20 mins from Bozeman, MT. Aunt Mindy is an amazing woman of God who has a profound love and respect for His creation. She rises early to greet the sun coming over the mountains and always has a smile and is excited for the day!
Allie had a blast learning about her medicine wheel and sunrise greetings! All in all, there were probably close to 35 people coming and going. Between "Spirit Lodge" (Aunt Mindy's place), 2 other cabins, and 2 teepees (Allie got to spend the night with Aunt Mindy in it!) everyone found a place to fall at night.
We had a cabin with Pete and Janine, and Paul and Carol. Being an Oklahoma girl, I have not had the opportunity to be around mountains much so to say I was in awe was an understatement. Mountain living is simple. Not a lot of phone signal and in and out internet. We spent mornings on the porch talking with coffee and breakfast in the cool morning air and most afternoons at Aunt Mindy's in a game of musical camping chairs as people were in and out from naps, sandwhich making, hikes, & airport arrivals!
We had some impromptu sing-a-longs with guitars and Ukuleles!
Allie really enjoyed getting to know her Candian Cousins, Ayla & Liam.
Aunt Mindy took advantage of the extra muscles and had some rocks moved and a tree cut down to improve her view of "The Crazies" (a mountain range).
Emilia was like a different baby! She must have loved the mountain air because all she did was sleep in the moby and eat! Princess Fussy-pants disappeared! Although, she seemed to reappear pretty much the moment we crossed the Texas state line! Somewhere in her there must be some of Uncle Mark's blood! He can be a "princess fussy-pants" when it comes to Texas as well!
We also got to head into town a few nights to Main Street. One night they had "Bozeman Bites" where 45 food vendors set up in the street and they lined the middle of the streets with tables and chairs!
On Friday we had Grandpa's big birthday bash at the church building. Emilia had a fever and ear infection so we didn't stay the entire time but we got to see the play of Grandpa's favorite book the "Legend of Indian Paintbrush"!
Allie directed with all the grands and great-grands! There was also a video showed of all the family who was not able to be there. And of course no Brazle time is complete without lots of singing!
I don't know how to be in an amazing place such as the mountains outside Bozeman and not feel closer to my God! The first day I spent my quiet time reading over verses to do with mountains. Needless to say, I have left Montana feeling refreshed and renewed.
On the way home we drove through the Yellowstone and TeeTon National Parks! It was a cool 75 degrees and we got to see lots of Bison and amazing views before stopping in our Meme's place of birth, Rwalins, Wy for the night!
About an hour after we got to the hotel Allie managed to throw up on both beds, the nightstand, Chloe's glasses & her shoes. Allie had caught the "Brazle Bug of 2014". At last count, 25 or the 35 people had been sick in the last 4 days. The victims of the bug could be spoted laying around next to bowls.
The next day we slept too late and then got up. After pumping Allie full of Dramamine we headed for our next destination, Amarillo Texas! And of course about 1:30 am we were awoke by the sound of the Brazle Bug's latest victim, Chloe! We piled in the car about 9 am to make a mad dash for home only stopping for gas, bathroom breaks, and food for those who wanted it. We made it home in 10 hours flat and just in time for Misa to come down with the bug.
Needless to say it was a vacation to remember! Hahaha
On the way home, Misa kept asking if I thought the landscaping was pretty as we drove through Colorado and I found myself comparing everything to the breath-taking views I saw in Montana and Yellowstone! I think Montana now has a very special place in my heart!
Upon being away for a few days, I have also discovered that I have fallen in love more with the Brazle Brunch and their spontaneity! I am proud to be part of such a great family of faith!
P.S. I must give a serious shout out to Auntie Marilyn! Most of these photos were hers!