Friday, August 20, 2010


I love Rexburg. Minus the cold. Lots of history….20+ years ago when the school was called Ricks College instead of BYU-I, was where Steve and I met. I worked in the college cafeteria, and he ate there…..three long years later…waaalaa….married with 6 children.

I had only been back once or twice before leaving, so when our drive to Montana took us through Rexburg to pick up Rebecca (my niece) for the reunion, I jumped at the chance to spend a little time there looking at the campus and enjoyed seeing how much it changed. Becca gave us the ‘quick tour’ … we had 4 kids tagging along with the 2 little boys whining….but it was still fun.

For dinner we picked up pizza and went over to the park and also let the kids play in water – it was a warm day (for Rexburg), so they loved it.

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and no trip to Rexburg is complete without a stop at COCOA BEAN!

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Rexburg, it was good seeing you….can’t wait to return someday!

“The Best Stop, Ever!!”

So the night before we left my mom’s house, I googled Napolian Dynamite and found out where the movie was filmed. Preston, Idaho….yep, that would work. We were leaving Thursday morning for Rexburg and we would just have to go north through Logan to find it. The kids were so excited…..

After we arrived in Preston, we plugged in the addresses of the specific places in the movie (I got them off the internet), but the GPS, wouldn’t recognize many….it did take us to the elementary school where some tetherball scenes were filmed.


We stopped at a cute place for lunch…..they served kids meals in cowboy hats….so adorable. We then them asked for information – they directed us to the Chamber of Commerce downtown where we picked up a real map. SCORE!!



We located the High School….


Pedro’s House….


And of course…outside of town…..Napolian’s house….

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And the field next door where they kept the llama….


On our way to Rexburg, I listened to quotes from the movie the rest of the way….ha ha. The kids thought it was the BEST STOP EVER!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Onward…Ever Onward….

After picking up Starr near Provo – who just finished floating the Provo River with her friend Jillian, we headed to South Jordan to have dinner with my two stepsisters, Kristi and Karen, and meet their families. I’m ashamed to say I hadn’t seen them since HS. I’ve always tried to keep up with their lives through my parents and Facebook, but it was so good to see them in person.

That evening we again drove to Evanston, Wyoming to spend the night with my mom and Paul. We got in pretty late – but they had their new large camping trailer waiting for us and my kids thought it was the best. To wind down the kids, they watched Napolian Dynamite…..which gave me an idea…..more later…..


We spent all of Wednesday with mom and Paul, showing us the Buffalo Preserve and enjoying the park – the weather was amazing….probably low 80’s high 70’s. That night my mom threw a barbeque with more family members, inviting more family living close by. My kids had no idea I have so many step-sisters…and that they had so many cousins.

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Sunday, August 15, 2010


It was fun to travel with just the boys. Leaving Moab and heading up to the SLC area to pick up Starr left us driving through Green River and Price to get there. Oh, the memories. My grandma and grandpa Curtis used to live in Green River…since I can remember. And so did their parents. This is where my dad was raised and where my parents met – when they eventually married, they even lived here briefly at one time.


The sad thing about Green River, is that it really hasn’t changed much during the past 40 years…okay, maybe just a little. The population is under 1000…and holding. The town just seemed older to me this time as we drove through it. Buildings were shut down and falling part, paint peeling, and doors and windows boarded up on what used to be the main buildings downtown. It just wasn’t the same, especially since both my grandparents have since passed away. It seems so strange to drive by their old house and not stop to visit them. I miss it….a lot! It brought back a flood of emotion to see their old house, the baseball field across the street from their house where we used to sit and watch games. The big awesome park with the huge rocket that had the best and fastest merry-go round. And then on the same street as their house, the LDS church building where we would often walk to church with them – and everyone could tell we looked like a ‘Curtis’ ….the same building my grandparents celebrated their 50th anniversary over 20 years ago – and a place where I said my last good-bye to them – 13 years ago and 5 years ago. Oh, how I miss them.

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This is their old house where my great-grandparents well as my grandparents. Even my grandparents on my mother’s side lived in this house.


Eventually, my grandparents put in a manufactured home next door and moved there.

Jeff asked to see the cemetery – I guess he’s heard us talk about it. It’s a very….ummm unique cemetery. It’s just not very pretty – lots of dirt and sagebrush. But my family is here – so it will always mean a lot to me.July Vacation 2010 053

After giving my son a brief family history lesson on Green River, we drove on to Price – an hour long drive of nothing but dirt, and sagebrush along mountains I have more than memorized during my lifetime.

I was born in Price and lived there until I was 11. So I had to find the house to show my sons….

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Yep, looks the same, except for the fence in the front. It’s a corner lot so we always had people cutting through our lawn – I guess this solved this problem. I drove to one of my best-friends house up the street and saw her mom sitting on the porch – how fun it was to stop and introduce myself briefly – and yes, 30 years later, she still remembered me. Or so she says…:)

I showed my boys our neighborhood, the great parks….and the swimming pool 2 miles away we used to walk to as kids.

It was mentally exhausting – but therapeutic. Two hours later we made our way up near Provo where we explored the BYU area and finally picked up Starr. During this time she had been on her ‘girl trip’ (see below posts) and we hadn’t seen in her almost 2 weeks. So slowing I’m accumulating family as we make our way up to Montana.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Side Trips – Moab!

It was an uneventful drive from Mesa up to Moab. Driving through small towns…the reservation….just your normal 9 hour drive. Jeff downloaded the AZ Driving Manual App on his itouch – so he and I spent many hours doing the ‘flash cards’ on that while the two little boys watched movies in the back seat. Afterall, he gets his driving permit in March…..aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh.

The next day, my dad took the 4 of us up to the Lasal Mountains for hiking and a picnic. So pretty… green…so COOL…it was great.

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Then back to grandparents house…..

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On Monday Jeff and grandpa went golfing…..Jeff says it’s his favorite golf course because it so gorgeous! Oh, ya!


While the guys golfed…I took the boys to the park – Moab really does have the best parks!

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Monday evening, my parents invited several family members who lived close by come over for a BBQ. So fun to see everyone! I missed my hubby and girls – but the boys were so fun!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Summer Road Trip…..Montana here we come!

Honestly, the idea of making a long road trip with 5 kids was making me nervous. Afterall, our family can’t drive 15 minutes from our house without the kids fighting with each other. The most we drive is 6 hours to San Deigo once or twice a year and that’s torture enough. So to make a 2-3 day trip up north….well you can imagine the dread. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve made numerous family trips before….but in an airplane…duh. However, when the economy took a dive, well, so did our paychecks…..on top of our expanding family. It’s no longer become so affordable.

But yep, we promised cousin Leona we’d come. She was in charge of the family reunion in Montana this year. And Montana…how I love Montana. Steve and I lived there for 2 years while he was getting his Master’s Degree in Missoula. One of the best times of our married lives. And sooo gorgeous – well, summer time, anyway. How could we not go?

I mentally planned (yes, I’m a planner) for a while…and honestly, it got to the point were I was actually looking forward to this trip. The biggest obstacle, however, was making the trip in our van. Let’s just say, “Vanna” is 11 years old – 135,000 miles and not that dependable these days. Steve’s truck, that seats 6, is half the age…half the miles. So it was decided we’d take the truck…but how to fit of 7 into a truck that seats 6.

The plan….

  • Emi flys up 1 week before to spend a week with grandparents and meets us at the reunion.
  • Steve couldn’t get much time off work, so he flew up to Missoula on Wednesday – to hang out with the Kanenwisher clan for 2 days until Terri picks him up on the way to the reunion.
  • Starr is already in SLC on a ‘girls’ trip – so I’ll pick her up on the way.
  • Leave the Saturday before with only the 3 boys. We spend Sat. night – Tues morning in Moab with my parents.
  • Pick up Starr in SLC on Tuesday,
  • Visit my mom in Evanston on Wednesday,
  • Rexburg Thursday – picking up my niece, Becca for the reunion.
  • Arrive at the reunion Friday.

Coming home….

  • Steve drives home with me. Yes, Steve…all the way home.
  • Jeff and Starr go home with Grandpa and Grandma Hartman and fly home a week later.
  • Drop off Becca in Rexburg on the way home.
  • Steve and I have the 3 little kids, so we’re going to do the ‘Temple Square things’ on the way home…oh, and go through Vegas….a first for us.

With this plan in mind…..let the trip begin!! (Yep, Josh…I feel your pain!)

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