February 6, 2011

Winter Retreat and Good friends!

January 28th -30th was our teen winter retreat. This year the camp was held in Donnelly, Idaho. We were also joined by youth groups from Boise and Lewiston. Fun and interesting! For this blog, we will stick to the fun. Steve and Mandy Buckland came to do the speaking and music. It was awesome to pick them up at the airport Thursday and spend some quality time with them. After their arrival we hit the ground running… well, actually driving. Touring downtown Boise, driving around the 'blue turf' of BSU, eating lunch at the Boise Fry Company (super yummy), visiting Mr. Trouten in Kuna, Idaho, Birds of Prey Scenic Overlook (a ginormous canyon with the snake river running through), the old mine in Pearl, Idaho and last but certainly not least our wonderful town. Yep, that was all of Thursday. Friday, we loaded the church van, bus, rented u- haul trailer and our Yukon with lots of people and all their treasures and headed for the mountains… destination Donnelly, Idaho- for winter retreat. The facilities were very nice. The weather was cold with a couple, few feet of snow on the ground. Steve did a great job preaching, his sermons fit right in to where our teens are living. Jesus was there in our services and that was so awesome! Sunday afternoon we packed up camp and headed back to our valley. Our teens did well, not major drama, no broken bones, no out-of-control pranks, good times!
The musicians on the bus.
The girls on the bus.

Andy, Carson & Kenny in the snow.
Jessie and his duck tape helmet.

Steve and Mandy were scheduled to fly out early Monday morning, they had checked into changing their tickets to a Tuesday departure, and were first told that yes for a small fee they could change their flight date, and then when they called back to change the date to Tuesday they were told that it would be $500.00 or $600.00 to extend their visit. Well, when Steve checked their flight status late Sunday night, there was a message that he could, for no extra charge, change their flight to a later date due to bad weather. So he re-booked for Tuesday morning. Long story short, they stayed with us until early Friday morning due to crazy weather back East. We loved having them get to stay longer- a gift from God! So, since God extended their visit we kept up our whirlwind touring of our fair state and also branched out into the state of Oregon.
Monday: Oregon Trail Museum in Bakers City, Oregon. (This place is totally awesome, we have been there at least 7 times, and someday I will post a blog on this museum.) We drove on to visit the small town of Sumpter, Oregon. Home to the Sumpter Valley Dredge. (This place is also very cool and I have enough pictures from previous visits to do a blog post.)
Tuesday: We drove up the Butte as far as we could until we got into the snow line. Andy and Steve decided they would do some hiking from there. So, Mandy and I and the kiddies drove home and then after z-girls bible study was over, we went back and picked them up from their great hike.
Wednesday: Andy and Steve went calling with some of the men from church. Mandy did some school work. Then we all went to Life4ce in the evening and Steve spoke to the teens.
Thursday: Our biggest "adventure" day! We left around 9:30ish and drove to McCall, Idaho-for breakfast at the Pancake House. The trip to McCall takes around 2 hours, and you might be thinking that it sounds a little crazy to drive 2 hours for breakfast…. Well, just listen to this, their pancakes are the size of dinner plates and their cinnamon rolls, are so humongous and delicious! Someday I will do a blog post on the Pancake house! It is well worth the drive! The ice festival was also going on in McCall so we walked around to get a close up view of some of the sculptures. Very cool! After saying good bye to McCall we cruised on to the town of Crouch, Idaho (population 154) and then Garden Valley, Idaho. This part of our adventure was totally about the native animals. I have never seen so many mule deer and elk in all my life. They owned the area!
Friday: Mandy and Steve flew back to their concrete jungle. We had so much fun spending time together, laughing, talking, remembering "when", eating ice cream, drinking coffee, and solving the world's problems. Good times!!
Steve reading to the kiddies.

McCall Festival snow sculpture

The sculpture sponsered by the hospital.

When in McCall- you can use the flag
when crossing the street.
We are serious about our flag waving!

Steve getting in on the flag waving.



Mule deer and Elk

Yes, its an outhouse sculpture!


 Ok, I have worked forever to organize the pictures in order, but alas I am defeated, I shall give up this battle.  I'm sure that you can read the caption and figure it all out.


Joyce said...

Oh, my, what a grand time. So glad you were able to share it with all of us. I went with you to the Butte and Pancake House (by way of imagination.)
Love, Nana

Stephanie said...

Seriously ~ the Interpretive Center 7 times?! lol! What a great extended visit with your friends ~ you were BUSY! But, they got to see all the great places of our fair state, indeed!

Andy said...

love the sculptures! wish i coulda been the one stuck there. :o)