Thursday, July 20, 2017

Kalispell, Montana with the Justin Flakes

We had a great time visiting my brother Justin while we stayed a few extra days after our family reunion at their home in Kalispell, Montana.

My sister Whitney was also there so I'm stealing some of her pictures 😉. Thanks Whitney! Sunday night Justin took us to an overlook on Kalispell which was conveniently called 'Lone Pine State Park' (our younger brother Derek once served in an area on his mission called Lone Pine in California, so that was kind of fun).

My sister Whitney's cute family. Also, don't you LOVE her dress? She got it at a thrift store for $1!

 Three boys near the same age: Abel (Justin's), Darius (Whitney's), Ephraim (ours 😏)

A fun parade on the 4th of July. I love parades on the 4th of July because you get to visually see in one day all of the people who serve you: soldiers past and present, firefighters, police officers, etc. It's a good reminder and makes you grateful for people who are willing to risk their lives to keep this great nation safe.

As a fun little side business, Kelsey paints faces at festivals and parades. She's getting really good with her airbrush.


Whitney picked some face paint that shows her fun, happy personality. And Darius loves superheroes!

Later that day we went out to the lake. I LOVE going to the lake!

My brother Justin has some fun kayaks

Justin has always been a kind and loving uncle. He took Cheyenne out on her first kayak ride as she figured out how to work the paddles. She had a great time!

Whitney, Justin, and I swam out to the dock away from the others. As we sat on the dock looking out at the beautiful bright blue water and hazy mountains, Justin asked, "Do you guys like being part of a big family?"
"Yeah," Whitney nodded.
"Sure, " I added.
"I do, I love it." Justin said, "It's weird, I don't identify myself as a single person. I always see myself as 'one of eleven.' I love being part of a big family and having all of you guys as my siblings."

In that moment my heart burned, grateful for the love of an older brother. I've had other conversations where Justin taught me something, just like this, by his example, that have had such a lasting impact on me. I know I will treasure this one as well. Justin has such a big heart, it's so easy to love him. It was a special, sacred moment for me that I don't want to forget.

Cute cousins!

That evening we did fireworks at the park across from my brother's house. Isn't it so fun that he lives right next to a park? They did that the last place they lived too, so fun!

My sister Sarah and our parents joined us that night, returning from Banff National Park.

Always fun to spend the 4th with family!

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