Ransom Family

Random Ramblings and Happenings

Ransom Yellowstone Reunion

on August 2, 2009

There will be a lot of pictures to follow, so beware! But they are cute! I promise you’ll like at least a few of them…(and if you don’t, well, tough! They’re here to stay. Oh, and if you haven’t figured out how to arrange your pictures now that they show up backwards, just start with the last picture you want on your blog and work your way back so you don’t have to rearrange as much.)Our family at Mesa Falls. (Friday)

We started out Wednesday morning (through Spokane and Montana, Google maps said it was 50 less miles than going through Boise, plus way more interesting scenery, and Montana’s speed limit kicks Oregon’s butt) to go to Andy’s family reunion at Island Park, Idaho (near Yellowstone). It took us close to 11 hours to get there (we did have some stops for food, gas, store, bathroom, of course).
The girls stayed busy with a notebook and new (washable) markers. They really did play with them the whole way there. It was amazing! I didn’t bring any other toys for them, so they had no other option, but they didn’t complain on the way there (on the way home, they weren’t as excited and neither were we to be in the car all day long again.)

Give Vincent milk and snacks and he’s set.Olivia coloring a rainbow princess or something. Look closely at the rest of the pictures to see if you can spot the purple marker around her hands where she drew her hand on her paper and ended up with it all over her hands.Elizabeth drew a tent with the moon on the way there. She also drew each marker getting married to another marker (the boy colors and the girl colors though).Truman (his eye-patch wasn’t a result of the cousin fun), Chris, Brent, Olivia, and Elizabeth were the kids playing the first night. Can you tell they were having fun? (This picture is blurry-sorry. I had to use it anyway.)Vincent with his new shoes. We loaded the kids in the car in their pajamas to start the day and I got clothes for the girls, but forgot Vincent’s on his dresser, so we had to stop and buy him some shoes. They fit nicely over his footy jammies too.As I was visiting with Andy’s Aunt Ruana, Olivia and Elizabeth joined us and I just love how Olivia sits. Notice her shoes over footy jammies?When we got to the camp, everyone was eating dinner, so we managed to be in time for that and then we set up the tent and everything while the kids ran around with cousins in the field right by our tent site. Then we went on a walk down to a bridge over a small river by the campsite with Vincent. Most everyone else who was there the first night stayed in cabins, hotels by the cabins, or at Andy’s Uncle Gene’s house close-by, so it was just our tent and Uncle Clair’s tent the first night.
Wednesday night was SO cold! Vincent and the girls went to bed about 9pm, and Vincent woke up so cold by 1:30am that he had to spoon with Andy on our air mattress. After that, he slept pretty well, Andy didn’t, but parents have to make sacrifices. When we all got up there was ice on the picnic benches! I found Vincent’s winter hat that day to make him wear the next night.

Thursday, we went to Yellowstone National Park! I went there, I guess, when I was less than four, but I don’t remember, so I don’t count it.

Elk as we drove into Yellowstone. Notice that I didn’t get too close!The girls continued their drawing in their notebooks and Elizabeth even drew a moose. Check it out! (I’m telling you, I’m a genius for deciding to bring these notebooks and not toys.)We looked at a group of geysers with George, Shirley, Sara, and Sami.
Vincent, Sami, Elizabeth, and Olivia next to a geyser.NaDell, Shirley, Elizabeth, Olivia, and Vincent in the lodge by Old Faithful.When we got to Old Faithful, the workers told us that it would be about a half hour before it went again, so we looked around in the shop (Grandpa George bought the kids a “trinket”. Andy’s sister, Torrie, used to ask for trinkets when they went places, so they all call them trinkets.) Then we bought some ice cream and headed out to find a place to wait for Old Faithful to go. We waited and waited.

Jared, Elisha, Uncle John, and Aunt LeeAnn waiting for Old Faithful. Jared and Elisha are Chris and Brent’s older siblings. Their parent’s didn’t want to make the little boys sit in the car through Yellowstone, so John and LeeAnn took them.Andy, NaDell, Olivia, and Elizabeth waiting for Old Faithful. Grandpa bought all the kids a stuffed wolf from the shop.Aunt Connie, Uncle Gene, Logan, and Truman waiting for Old Faithful.Elizabeth, Olivia, and Sami waiting patiently. This didn’t last long. Soon they were fighting (my girls) over who had which wolf, even though they were all exactly the same. Later that day, Olivia made it so there would be no further disputes when she turned her wolf pink.That’s about as high as I saw Old Faithful get. It did this about five or six times, and everyone got all excited then it quit again. Most of my pictures are of the steam coming out of the hole. (I think that’s why my battery died so soon, turning my camera on-and-off every time there was a spurt of activity.)Then, we went on to Old Faithful and met up with Aunt LeeAnn, Uncle John, with Jared and Elisha (Gary’s kids), Uncle Gene, and Aunt Connie, and two of their grandsons Truman and Mason.
It was about 45 minutes and then all we had seen was steam and the kids were bored and needing the bathroom and it was getting really hot in the sun, so I took them and while I took them, it went for real (of course!!!) Oh well. I have a magnet to remember what it is supposed to look like. At least we got out of there before the thousands of other people were in their cars too. Andy blames Uncle John, because he gave up first.

Olivia and Elizabeth at a shop before we ate lunch with George, Shirley, Sara, and Sami.NaDell and Olivia next to Yellowstone Lake waiting for Elizabeth to fish.While Grandpa George tied the hook on Elizabeth’s fishing line, the girls posed for me. Grandpa bought Elizabeth the vest and fishing rod when she turned four. That’s what she asked him for.Casting the line and reeling it in.We had to let Vincent take his shoes off and try out the sand.From Old Faithful, we drove down to Yellowstone Lake so Grandpa George could take Elizabeth fishing. Before fishing we ate at a little cafe there with George, Shirley, Sara, and Sami. Then most of us went down to the lake (which was very sandy and probably wrecked our $14 stroller that has been with us since Elizabeth was a baby). After Elizabeth had her fill of fishing, George, Shirley, Sara, and Sami went to buy groceries for dinner that night and breakfast the next morning. On the way to the Lower Yellowstone Falls, we were able to see buffalo very close. A few of them crossed the road a few cars ahead of us and one actually walked down the other lane next to us. People were getting out of their cars and hanging out their windows to take pictures of them. (That’s a no-no, by the way. Don’t make buffalo mad!) People kept stopping in the middle of the road and making traffic back up. They give you literature with all kinds of dire warnings about people getting killed because they got too close to a buffalo. They were interesting to us too. We just don’t want to be gored or stomped on.
Buffalo with the cars all around chasing it. Andy knew for sure some jerk from the Northeast would tick this guy off, but it would pick our car to ram.Andy and NaDell by Yellowstone Falls.
NaDell, Elizabeth, Olivia, and Vincent by Yellowstone Lower Falls.Olivia and Elizabeth overlooking from the highest point at Yellowstone Lower Falls. The person behind them was one of those guys trying to get onto the next Yellowstone safety flyer, because he was one false-step away from sliding all the way to the bottom of the canyon.
The kids ALL fell asleep on the way back to the campsite. They were wiped!
But, when we got out to eat there, they had plenty of energy to share.
Vincent met his birthday buddy, Oakley.Vincent enjoyed playing in the rocks and making sure everyone had one. He and Brigham also found a way to store them in camp chair cup holders and Vincent in his mouth.Someone brought and filled water balloons to play volleyball after dinner. The kids all liked this and so did the uncles and cousins. Soon, it turned into just water balloon fight (well, after Brent was hit in the chest by the slingshot shooter. My mom always said, “It’s all fun until someone gets hurt.”)
I discovered at this point that my camera was out of batteries and was worried that I would have to take pictures from someone else and just hope that I got some I wanted. My camera has a rechargeable battery instead of AA batteries and I forgot my charger thinking “we’ll be camping, so I wouldn’t be able to charge it anyway.” Thinking back now, I should have thought to bring it since there was electricity at the cabins, hotel, and Uncle Gene’s house. I’ll be sure to bring it next time!
It was still cold this next night, but a little warmer, I think, than the night before. We put the kids to bed at 11pm this night because they were playing with Andy’s cousin’s kids and being pretty good. Vincent had his hat and slept until 6:30 in his playpen before he joined us on our side of the tent to warm up his little hands. We went out to help with breakfast (a little-I had a cold and didn’t help much.) and Vincent stayed in bed all through breakfast, even with probably 50 people wandering around talking.

I ended up borrowing George’s camera since Shirley and Sara both had one. Friday we had breakfast and then wonderful showers at Uncle Gene’s house. After that we drove up to the top of Sawtell Mountain where we could see all of the valley by Island Park.
I brought snacks to eat in the car, so I pulled out the bread and peanut butter and Andy made us some sandwiches to eat on the way down the mountain.
NaDell and Andy at the top of Sawtell. Elizabeth took this picture for us.It was a little windy at the top, but not especially cold for nearly 10,000 feet up. The girls both look like they are freezing, but they weren’t. They did go right back in the car when we were done with pictures.Then we drove over to Mesa Falls. They had a lower and an upper place to see them, so we went to both. One thing that bugs us about Yellowstone is that things say they are handicap/stroller accessible when they aren’t! Andy had Vincent in the stroller and I walked the stairs with the girls. On the way up since some parts had ramps and other parts had stairs, I carried the stroller up with the girls and Andy had Vincent on his shoulders. We were so out of breath by the time we got to the car! I am out of shape!

Olivia, Elizabeth, and Vincent at the Upper Mesa Falls.Our family at the Lower Mesa Falls.
We returned back to the camp to visit with Andy’s cousins for a a while before dinner and the kids all ran around in the “forest” by our campsite building a dam with water and mud and tackling each other. They all had fun though, so I guess they are all pretty tough. (Vincent was NOT with the forest kids, by the way.) They had so much fun!
I had them take a break in the middle a few hours before dinner to make snack bracelets. The kids all loved it and I plan on bringing stuff for the my reunion too.
Marilyn helping her nephew Nolan (his mom was due to have his baby sister the next day, so they were only there that day to visit.) Elizabeth was making her bracelet next to them.Brigham and Olivia with some toys.Vincent when he discovered that he could eat his bracelet.George with his siblings (and Brigham)-Gene, Clair, LeeAnn, George, Gordon, and Gary.
The kids stayed up pretty late again and went to bed around 10pm. Andy played cards (Scum) with a bunch of cousins and I hung out by the fire with everyone else. I would have played if Vincent was tired, but I had to take care of him and there was only one deck of cards, so there wasn’t enough to play anyway.
Vincent ended up in our bed again, but still only about an hour left before breakfast, so it wasn’t that bad. He doesn’t sleep in our bed at home ever, but it was too cold for him to sleep, so it was okay for the trip.
It didn’t rain like we though it would either. Extra bonus.

Yea for fun family reunions! I really love Andy’s family and they are great to me and our family. They did a little program on the last night and shared their memories of Andy’s grandparents and I heard stories that I hadn’t heard yet. It was so sweet and tender to hear their memories.

This picture is when Andy’s mom was sharing her memories and Vincent was sad and tired. She is always so nice to hold sad kids for me.
We got up and packed after breakfast on Saturday and said good-bye (or tried to) to everyone and we were off at 10am (9am our time). We went a different way through Montana on the way home because Andy likes to drive and see new places (and I’m okay with that) and it took us about 12 hours to get home. The kids didn’t like to be as quiet on the way home and Andy caught my cold, so it wasn’t very pleasant, but they did alright and kept Vincent pretty happy. We got home about 9pm and I bathed the kids while Andy unloaded the car into the family room. It’s an odd contrast to have ice on your tent in the morning, but be sweating at night because you’re unloading the car and it’s 95 degrees. After putting the girls to bed, I started the sorting, cleaning, returning process and had everything where it belonged by 10:30. I still have loads of laundry to do before we leave for our next reunion, but wanted to do this and look through the pictures first. I can do the laundry Monday. I did two loads though on Saturday and everything else is sorted, so it shouldn’t take too long.
Back to the real world of subbing in Primary, reading emails, returning phone calls, catching up on Facebook, and all of the other things that make my life real. The mail was held until Monday too, so I get to go through that then too.
Total time in car=30 hours, miles driven in car=1600, memories to last as long as we can remember=priceless.


6 responses to “Ransom Yellowstone Reunion

  1. Mary says:

    Glad to have you back in Washington, for a while. See you Thursday back in Idaho!

  2. Cali says:

    That looks so fun! I can't wait to have huge family reunions. Geoff and I went camping in Yellowstone last August and the mornings were very cold but I can't believe you had ice! Maybe you were further north than we were – we were just inside the south entrance, between Yellowstone and Grand Teton. Your post makes me want to go again!

  3. Fun trip! I laugh because I think anyone who has ever been to Yellowstone has that exact same picture of the Bison! It sounds like you had fun though! See you later this week!

  4. Kelsey says:

    Wow looks like so much fun. You guys sure kept busy. I would be so scared of the buffalo. What a fun time to always be remembered.

  5. The Stevens: says:

    oh my gosh, what a trip, so lucky! Looks like you guys had a good time! Definitely a lot of memories to last a lifetime:)

  6. […] the shady porch by where we were eating and watched Old Faithful.  At least we saw it this time. (Last time we were impatient and had to go to the bathroom, so we left before it […]

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