If you know us well, you know that we are pretty blessed with a wide range of people who we care about, and who care about us. We really have some amazing friends!
That being said, it's not every family that could spend a week hiking and camping alongside another family. It seems that, spending that much time together, roughing it and needing to get a lot of "work" done for each meal and all chores, inevitably people would get over-tired, over-stimulated, or just over-cranky and things would get ugly for a while...right?
Well, much to our joy, that did not happen at all during our week camping with the Jesters.
These 4 people are some of the nearest and dearest in the world to us, and spending our first week camping in the Rockies as a family with them was so so wonderful. There are so many amazing memories, and instead of making us think it was a risky trip, we now can't imagine camping for a week with our kids WITHOUT the Jesters with us!
I was a bit worried that their kids (aged 7 and 9) would become annoyed with our kids (aged 2 and 4). Instead, the 4 kids were WONDERFUL. And with there being 4 adults, the work load was always easily managed, and the kids could still be watched by at least one adult, when necessary. And the older kids were amazing with our kids, so all 4 could have relative freedom and play without a lot of adult "rules" because they watched out for each other and helped each other. Molly and Ben pratically worshiped the 2 older kids, and I think that helped the older kids have patience with such young camping buddies!
Here is a fun pic of a group hug:) We had dinner in town one night, and as we were getting up to leave, the 4 kids spontaneously had this sweet hug.
Aren't they such a beautiful group of kids!!?
The whole group. Gotta love amazing friends! These were taken at Mills Lake. A 6-mile hike (round-trip) that we all survived and LOVED! Aaron and I would never have considered such a hike if we had been there with the kids by ourselves. But with the encouragement and constant motivation of the Jester kids, Ben hiked the whole 3 miles up by himself! And he got a ride all the way back down from Jason during a rather treacherous and wet thunderstorm. What are friends for?:)
And, one of my favorite Rocky Mountain experiences from my own childhood...snow in the dead of summer!! I was so delighted that my kids got to experience it too. When we were kids, my siblings and I were always excited beyond belief to see snow in the summer, especially being from Louisiana at the time! All 4 kids loved the snowball fight that quickly ensued.