Our children knew we were going on a vacation to Montana. Bubba was especially excited. He was jumping up and down and singing, “We’re going to Montana!” He was so giddy and chatty he couldn’t even eat his breakfast. Bubba was excited about riding a tractor and horses and getting to see cattle. For about the first 6 hours ( it takes about 8 to drive across ND into MT) he would ask ever so often, “Are we in Montana, yet?” No was the answer. He finally stopped asking. Once we crossed the state line I said, “Hey Bubba, we’re in Montana now.”

With a big grin on his face and excited eyes, he looked around through the windows and said in a sing song voice, “I don’t see Montana. This isn’t Montana.” He kept looking. This only fueled more questions, “Where’s Montana? When we gonna get to Montana?”

Even throughout the trip, while in the park whenever we were on our way someplace, he’d ask “Are we going to Montana?”

Yep, Bubba. We’re going to Montana.

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On two separate days my 5 and 3 year old went on a four mile hike. They were awesome. Bubba constantly asked if we were going to see some bears. He really wanted to see bears. Those two kids tore that St. Mary’s Falls trail up. Bubba, especially was rippin through those trails like nothin.’ I couldn’t believe this was the same kid who is afraid to go down a slide or play on any other playground equipment that doesn’t resemble a swing. He (they both) was jumping from and climbing rocks. Running right along the edge of steep drop-offs and wanting to cross a foot bridge without any help (didn’t happen). He was a different boy. Talking in his big boy voice and doing all sorts of big boy things. He was fearless.

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On our last evening we found that we were short on wood. We had enough to make our supper, but there wasn’t enough for smores. You really can’t have a campfire and not have smores. The rules for collecting firewood were a little confusing. Big Stud and I decided that we could collect dead wood off the ground in our campsite, so he did. Just as he got a nice pile of sticks, here comes a park ranger. We got in trouble (we hate that). She informed us of the rules and made us scatter the wood back on the ground. Drats! Just as she left Peanut sticks her head out of the tent and says in a voice of relief,

“I’m glad I wasn’t the one doing that when she came.”

Yeah, thanks.

We didn’t get a citation or anything and one of our neighbors gave us a few logs so we could enjoy the rest of the evening. Thanks California neighbors.

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In the van Bubba and Peanut were doing something they weren’t supposed to do. I don’t remember what. Anyway. I reminded them of the rules. Then Noah goes on to list several things they couldn’t do. That by talking about them he was still somehow doing them, but wasn’t going to get in trouble for it.

“We gonna watch a movie. Then not clean up our toys and not brush our teeth. You’re gonna read us a story, but we not gonna go to bed or get our jammies on. We gonna eat ice cream and play games. I’m gonna hit [my sister]. We gonna make a mess and you not gonna give us a spanking….”

“….are you, daddy?

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The kids had a great time. Peanuts favorite part of the trip was going swimming and her least favorite part was when I didn’t let her go play with the strangers in the tents next to and across from us neighbors and when we told her no she couldn’t run on a thin trail with a steep drop off without holding someone’s hand have fun. Bubba, who I think either didn’t enjoy the trip or didn’t understand the question, said his favorite part of the trip was playing basketball.

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