Last Saturday the family woke up with great anticipation and began the half day process of packing for our little vacation. Packing is usually the part I hate, and when we are finally ready I usually am so frustrated I do not want to go on vacation any more. But.... this time was so different. Everyone helped pack and get ready to go. Kaly and Ayla ran back and forth and grabbed diapers, towels, clothes and anything I asked of them. Jeromy worked hard at getting the van ready and we all left in a very pleasant mood.
Gavin asked every 5 minutes where we were going and talked most of the way. We arrived in Lolo around 4pm and spent the evening playing in the water. I can't say that the pools were all I dreamed them to be but, we all had a wonderful time. It was so fun to have something to do that was really perfect for everyone. All of the kids love being in the water and it was perfect for Eli and Gavin's bodies to have so much time in warm mineral water.
Our first fun person encounter was "the goat lady" She was fun and she told me about 10 times that she made soap from goats milk and sold it in all the local hot springs. She asked a lot of questions about Eli and she asked if he had grandparents. I said yes and she said no I mean someone like me. Someone that could send him a card and money. Very nice of her but, I thought to myself, not a chance am I giving you my address. She eventually departed and we continued a quiet evening in the water.
We had a great little cabin and Gavin kept saying "this is our home now". We loved having the camping experience without the camping experience. I love a soft warm bed even when camping. lol
Then Sunday we hiked up the mountain a little ways. Gavin in the backpack and Eli strapped to my front. It didn't work as well as it did for the 4 mile hike a couple of weeks ago, but we still had fun. Jeromy with Gavin on his back ran around the rocks with the girls. We managed to get a good bit of fun in before it started to rain again. Out in the great outdoors we also managed to find us a great lunch at the lodge. The food was great and we had the place almost to ourselves. This is always nice because we enjoy eating out, but with two boys with very noticeable disabilities sometimes it feels like we are the evening entertainment. This time not so much. We were able to make Eli a little quiet bed near our table and I enjoyed a meal hands free.
We hit the water again for the evening and this time we really did become the center of attention. We visited with a couple of ladies that both are nurses and we were able to share a little of our stories with them. Then another lady came and sat a couple of feet from me and stared at Eli forever. I didn't know what to do. Usually people say something. She just stared. Finally a few words were spoken then she stared. Then I tried to break the silence and she barely responded and just stared. Then after I started to just look away from her she finally moved on, only to find Jeromy. She did actually talk to him and told him about a therapy that she uses. It is one our therapist uses on both of the boys and he thanked her and she moved on. We did have a wonderful relaxing time and we thoroughly enjoyed the water. I was told in had Lithium in it. Maybe that is why everyone was so pleasant to be around.
We enjoyed another evening meal and this time I held Eli for more of it and much to our surprise he kept reaching up and putting his hand in my salad. It really was fun to watch him. Every time I moved his hand away he would manage to get it back up there. I finally moved my plate out of his reach. This is a first of what I pray will be many things I will have to move out of his reach. I pray someday I can say Eli quit getting into things, but for now I am just so glad he is beginning to move outside of himself without someone else tugging him along.
We had to do the traditional stop at the Missoula Cracker Barrel for lunch. We shopped in the gift/candy store and the kids spent their money on a little treat. It was a wonderful time and Jeromy even surprised me and bought me a beautiful wall hanging. I love it so much. The verse fits perfectly with what God has been teaching me this summer. "Be Still and Know that I am God."
This was a simple vacation and I think my favorite of all of our family vacations. We really had time together, we really relaxed and we really had fun. When we got home we felt refreshed and I am excited to put summer to bed and wake up fall and the school year ahead.