This vacation was inspired by our kids' reading program. When they read a certain number of hours they can earn a ticket to Silverwood, the theme park in Idaho. This year we decided to stay for longer than one night, like we've done the past two years and make a trip out of it. Peter found a beautiful horse ranch VRBO that would rent to our large family and it was actually in Eastern Washington.
Sept. 7th - After driving the whole day before we decided to just take a day and do stuff around the ranch. There was plenty to do. We had a pool table, and a large bonus room the kids could play in. Every morning they would go over there around 6am and play games on the Switch and play pool. We went to a little local mercantile where they made us pizza for lunch. We swam in the hot tub every day and ate fun treat foods and of course we visited the horses and learned all their names. In the evenings we would do devotions and watch the Answers In Genesis DVD that we borrowed from our church library.
Sept. 8th - The amazing couple who lived in the house took all the kids on a trail ride. (The house we were in was above a separate garage. They learned how to brush the horses, put the saddles on, and ride a horse. Eben and Kivi rode by themselves while the littles all had Miss Bonnie or Dada or I hold the lead rope.
Sept. 9th - We took the day to explore the Gardner Caves, home of the largest cave column in the Pacific Northwest. Then we took a short hike into Canada and straddled the border. On the way home we also hike a short way to some waterfalls.
Back at the ranch the kids spent time with the horses. The girls found apples and leaves to feed them and Tuffy couldn't get enough time with his favorite horse, Big Red. Coal worked on his walking with Dada and ended up just crawling around in the dirt watching the horses.
Sept. 10th - Silverwood day! We had a relaxing day playing and riding rides at the "just the right size" theme park. After we did the log ride together, the big kids went off by themselves to ride the big rides and Dada and I stayed with the little five at the little land. Then Opal, Pella and Berg got adventurous and decided to ride the big roller coasters. So after an awesome all you can eat lunch for Dada and I at the Chuckwagon Johns, they went to the big rides and Tuff, Coal and I rode the half hour train ride around the park and they both slept through the whole thing. We met back up with the rest of the family for the amazing Magic Show and pizza dinner.
Sept. 11th - We decided to try and find these crazy long natural water slides. We drove around for a long time because there are no actually signs to get there. We thought we found them and ended up boulder jumping, because there was no trail. Then drove around again and almost found them. We ended up finding some natural water slides and we played in them for a long while, all the kids and Dada slid down the cold water, but we realized later that these were not the ones we were actually looking for, we needed to hike for another mile past where we were. But we had a fun time anyway and we'll have to find the real ones next time!
Sept. 12th - The first night we bought 4 gallons of ice cream and 2 boxes of waffle cones, so every night the kids got to pick a different flavor of ice cream and have a cone. On our last day we all had to have a morning ice cream cone and use up the rest of the ice cream. They didn't complain. And I took the opportunity to take their cute picture in front of the horse fence that our little house looked out upon. Then we headed home.