I have to admit, I was a bit of a slacker when it came to Halloween festivities this year.  Me and Zac didn't even dress up.  A couple week before Halloween my little sister Heather was in a car accident.  She shattered her leg.  Bad.  She ended up in the hospital for a few days and had to have surgery to piece it back together with a bunch of plates and screws.  It was pretty gnarly looking.  Less than two weeks later my dad went in for a same day surgery.  He thought it was just a minor procedure to get a cyst removed from his shoulder.  When the doctor got inside, he found that my dad had two tears in his rotator cuff and that his bicep muscle was completely detached from his shoulder.  No wonder he had been in so much pain.  He was so frustrated when he got out of surgery because he thought it was just going to be a quick couple weeks and he would be as good as new.  Nope.  With all of the extra stuff the had to fix they told him 6 weeks in a sling and then it would be a few months before he would be able to lift and begin to resume normal activity.  As if that wasn't bad enough, two days after his surgery he was back in the hospital with double pneumonia and several blood clots in each of his lungs.  It was really scary and he ended up having to stay for a couple days.  He was released the day before Halloween.  With a mom that works full time, and neither my dad or Heather being able to drive, me and Zion were the shuttle service to and from all doctor appointments for both of them, and getting my dad to and from work and job sights.  Needless to say, I was really busy and I just didn't get around to costumes for me and Zac.  We still had a fun Halloween, though.  Zac worked for the first half of the day while me and Zion helped my dad get some work done.  Then we went over to my Granny Houtz's house for her annual chili and donut party.  Zion had fun playing with cousins and playing the piano and singing with Granny.  I forgot to take our camera but I did get a couple cell phone pictures.

We finished off the evening over at Gary and Leesa's house for a little Halloween party with the Price family, but once again, we forgot the camera and didn't get any pictures.  I know... weird for us!


The weekend before Halloween we decided to spend the day at Cornbelly's.  We invited Nate and Bobby to come along, and holy cow Zion and the rest of the kids had a blast.  I never knew there were so many fun things to do there.

west yellowstone part 2

It rained all night which made our second day at Yellowstone a total different and equally amazing experience.  With all of the hot streams and geysers everywhere mixed with the fresh rainfall, the park was covered in the coolest steam.
 We saw even more buffalo and elk than the day before.
 And then we watched Old Faithful of Yellowstone go off.  Here it is before.
 And here it is in action.  I can't believe how high that thing shoots.

After we were done with our second day of exploring West Yellowstone, we drove to Bobby's parent's cabin in Bear Lake, but stopped at Bear World in Idaho on the way.  Bear World is a drive through wild life park that is stocked full of bears and a few wolves.  Before you enter the bear habitat you drive through a section of the park with a bunch of other animals like deer, elk, buffalo and moose.

Once you're in the bear habitat they tell you to not stop your car.  All of the bears and wolves are just roaming freely, with the exception of a couple of grizzly bears that are in an area behind an electric fence because they don't play nice with the others.  I cannot believe how many bears there were.  There had to have been at least 30 of them.

A lot of the pictures we took with our regular camera didn't turn out because we were driving, but I did manage to get a few on my phone that show a little better just how close these bears get to you.  In fact... this cute little bear got so close to our car that he rubbed his face up against my window.
And then he decided to take a bite of our bumper.  Seriously.  We felt him hit the back of our car and didn't really know what happened, but when we got out of the car we saw the perfect little bite mark.  You can see the two big holes from his k-9 teeth and little dents from his top row of teeth.  Thankfully the damage wasn't to bad and all he did was bite and release and not rip the whole thing off.  Of course we were a little mad, but we mostly just laughed it off.  I mean, how many people can say there car got eaten by a bear.
Bear World also has a cute little petting zoo.  They have baby bears and if you are there at the right time of day you can pay extra to hold them and feed them.  We weren't able to do that, but they were still fun to look at and all of the other animals were fun to touch.  Zion thought it was so cool!

It also had a few little carnival like rides that the kids thought were amazing.

After Bear World we went to the Bobby's parent's cabin in Bear Lake to finish off our fall break weekend.  I don't think it should really be called a cabin.  More like a lodge.  A huge lodge.  With 6 or 7 bedrooms and multiple giant family rooms and the most incredible view of the lake.  It was beautiful and such a fun relaxing way to finish our weekend.  Thanks Nate and Bobby for such a fun getaway!

west yellowstone part 1

Our friends Nate & Bobby invited us to join them in Yellowstone for fall break the beginning of October.  I have no idea how I have lived just a few hours away and never visited it before.  It is amazingly gorgeous.  Our first little adventure was to the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center.

Later that day we drove around and saw a bunch of elk and buffalo and a ton of gorgeous sights.

That night we went back to our condo and celebrated Bobby's birthday with... you guessed it... more chocolate and cheese fondue.  It has become our little tradition when we get together with the Barkers!  The kids had fun running around, and after they got tired enough that we could put all of them to bed, us adults had fun talking and attempting to watch Warrior.  Of course the guys fell asleep so me and Bobby turned it off and decided to wait until the next night to finish watching it.