Welcome Home!

Tonight, my parents arrived back home after a 19 day trip overseas where they visited Rome and went on a Mediterranean Cruise. They went with my mom’s two sisters and husbands and had a fabulous time.

We missed them SO MUCH! One day, soon after they had left, Little Bug woke crying from a nap, which is very unusual. I went in to ask her what was wrong and she just sobbed, “I want my Grams and Gramps!”. This was the longest she has ever gone without seeing them since she was born!

Their plane landed at about 7pm – which is right when our bath/bedtime routine starts every night.

But even this Sleep Nazi wasn’t going to let her girls miss out on welcoming Grams and Gramps home. Smile

My parents thought either Dave or I was going to pick them up from the airport tonight while the other was home with the girls, getting them to bed.

But I wanted to surprise them!

So, after naptime today, Dave gave the girls a bath and put them in matching pjs and then we ALL headed the airport to welcome Grams and Gramps home!

DSCN7448

The girls put stickers on our “Welcome Home, Gramps and Grams” sign before we left.

DSCN7437

We ate a quick dinner at the airport.

DSCN7466

And then we waited.

DSCN7471

The girls and Daddy played a little golf while we waited.

DSCN7475

And then there they were! Gramps and Grams!!!

DSCN7481

DSCN7482

Little Bug was so proud of her sign!

DSCN7484

We are so happy to have Grams and Gramps home safely!

DSCN7485

Home

We are home safe and sound.

The girls traveled very well again!

Thank you so much for your prayers.

I am so tired.

But so thankful for a wonderful time with Rebecca.

God has abundantly blessed my life with old and new friends.

I am headed to bed now.

At 9:45pm.

I think this is a world record.

Don’t forget to get out and VOTE tomorrow!!

We made it!

Looking forward to a few days with Rebecca!!

DSCN7184

The girls SHOCKED me with how well they traveled today. I know it was all the prayers. So thank you very much!

We got off about half an hour later than I wanted but drove nearly 3 hours before stopping for lunch! I couldn’t believe it! We were almost half way there before we had to stop.

Little Bug watched her Mickey Mouse Clubhouse DVD and then played with some toys and Sweet Pea did…I don’t know what! That baby. She just goes along for the ride. Give her her blankie and she just sits there sucking her thumb and holding her blankie. I asked Little Bug at one point, “What is Sweet Pea doing?” and she told me, “She’s just sucking her thumb.”

We stopped for lunch at Wendy’s…which was 2.5 miles off the highway. I hate when they advertise on the highway and then are not right off the highway. So we went to Subway instead, which Little Bug was excited about.

The only hiccup was five minutes after we got back in the car after lunch and Sweet Pea had already fallen asleep for a nap, Little Bug proclaims from the back seat, “Mommy, I need to poop!!!”.

So, we stopped and of course that woke Sweet Pea and she didn’t fall asleep again the whole trip but she didn’t cry once the entire day – even with NO nap whatsoever.

Seven hours after we pulled out of our driveway, we pulled into Rebecca’s driveway and I felt so accomplished that I had made this trip with my two girls and that it had actually been a pleasant experience for everyone!

DSCN7181

And now for some fun-filled days with Rebecca and our four kiddos!

Just call me crazy.

I am doing something crazy today!

I’m going on a ROAD TRIP with my girls!!

Yes, just them and me.

That is what is crazy.

But!!

I’ve done a lot of planning and thinking ahead and I’ve got lots of

snacks

toys

books

DVDs

music CDs

And I am hoping for peaceful travels.

I LOVE to travel. I absolutely LOVE to travel.

There is not much I miss from my former life (as in pre-marriage/kids) but I sure do miss being a gypsy!

I traveled so much in my single years…Brazil x3, Wales, London (12 hr layover!), Guatemala, California, Colorado, Mexico, Washington DC to name a few. For obvious reasons I haven’t traveled much since May of 2009. Smile

So a road trip with my daughters is a dream come true. Except…if they were 11 and 13 that might be a little better BUT I do not wish their years away. However, a road trip today with a 1 year old and 3 year old by myself is bound to be…interesting?, chaotic?, fun?

It will actually probably be a good mix of all of that.

I’d appreciate some prayers for safe, peaceful travel for everyone!

I’ll post when I get there and let you know where we are headed!

It never gets old.

Our trips to the mountains, that is!

Little Bug got to play in real fall leaves!

DSCN6549

We took Little Bug to a Nature Preserve on Tuesday. We called it the “zoo” but it was very different than going to a zoo even though she got to see lots of animals. We spent all morning there and got to see everything!

DSCN6556

Imagine my complete shock when from behind me I hear Little Bug say, “Take my picture Mama!” and I turn around to see her siting like this:

DSCN6563

She got to pet some goats! She stood there petting these two together for the longest time.

DSCN6589

Sweet Pea had her first taste of pizza at our favorite pizza place there. She loved it!

DSCN6613

We enjoyed playing in the prayer garden area. There were beautiful fall leaves on the ground and Little Bug had fun floating leaves down the stream and calling them “boats”.

DSCN6708

Sweet Pea is still hesitant to walk but I don’t think it will be too long before she decides walking is better than crawling.

DSCN6691

There were several blanket forts built by Uncle and Little Bug. On our last morning there, they had breakfast together in their fort.

DSCN6890

Our group picture this year:

DSCN6844

Both girls really wanted to play in this stream, so Uncle took them down to put their hands in the water.

DSCN6857

Little Bug and Gramps with their walking sticks.

DSCN6866

Being in the mountains always refreshes my soul. The mountains truly do proclaim there is a God!

DSCN6870

Our Week

This past week was spent in the mountains with my parents, my girls and my brother and it was an absolutely wonderful week! Just wish Dave could have come with us but he had to work.

It was probably the best week I’ve had at the cabin since being a Mommy. Travel and small kids usually equals stress for me, but I was bound and determine to go on this trip and have a wonderful time, and we certainly did.

It probably helped too that Little Bug, for the first time EVER, slept normal while at the cabin this trip. She is notorious for waking early and short napping while at the cabin, which just makes for a super tired and super cranky girl at the end of our trip and when we arrive back home.

But this time, she woke around 8am (like at home) and took a 2-3 hour nap every single day. And she had an absolutely wonderful time at the cabin. She did not want to come home! That was funny to me because growing up, that was me. I never wanted to come home! I wanted to stay forever because that place is just so wonderful. And now, my daughter was the one who wanted to stay and I was ready to come home and get back into the normal routine of things again.

Sweet Pea enjoyed herself too. She was an easy baby, as usual, but poor thing did come down with a cold while we were there.

We were only there three whole days but we still did a lot of fun things!

We finished up Pumpkin week while there and I’ll be posting about that later this week.

I’m going to post some more pictures of our trip but I will start with this one now. This was our second attempt at a group picture…and it was the one and only picture we took at this spot since this one came out so perfect all things considering!

DSCN6844

Day 4: Rebecca & A Date

On Saturday Rebecca and her boys drove to see us! We took the kids to a beautiful, fun park. Unfortunately, Little Bug wasn’t in too good of a mood this day. The waking up early every morning and not getting the sleep she needs had caught up with her on our last day of vacation. She was pretty much a crab the entire day.

DSCN9732

I had planned to let her skip a nap on the day Micah came to see her (since he no longer naps) but I knew there was no way she could afford to miss a nap that day. So after lunch Dave took her back to the cabin for a nap and Rebecca, her boys and I went down to a fun street that has shops and ice cream!

DSCN9743DSCN9741

It was great to hang out with these two and their Mama!

DSCN9781

Micah found a fountain and got soaked!

DSCN9776DSCN9778

After naptime we headed to the cabin because we wanted to get a picture of the babies together since they are almost ONE!

DSCN9791

It was quite challenging this time since both babies have become more mobile in the last few weeks!

DSCN9783

Most of our pictures looked like this! Sweet Pea kept turning with her feet to get to the air vent and Levi kept crawling away!

DSCN9798

But we did get a couple cute ones!

DSCN9808

These babies are SO BIG!!!

That evening my parents had planned to let us have a date night, but since Little Bug was falling apart and a complete Grumpalump, we stayed to get both girls in bed WAY EARLY and then we went out for a couple hours.

We went back to the pizza place and I got to have pizza this time!

DSCN9816

Then we got icecream at Kilwin’s!

DSCN9826

We ended our date by going to one of my favorite places in the area and rocking on a swing together!

DSCN9830

It was a wonderful way to end our vacation!

We headed home the next morning and had another uneventful road trip! I am thankful both girls traveled so well both going and coming home!

But then…when we got home, we had two overtired little girls, which if you’ve ever dealt with an overtired baby/child, you know that is NO FUN.

The beauty of scheduling is that eventually after they “detox” from vacation, they will fall back to their normal schedules and things will resume to normal. Until then…it is lots of tears and short naps and VERY early bedtimes.

We are planning nothing for this week so that everyone can (hopefully)catch up on sleep around here!

Day 3: Cave & A former student!

Little Bug is very much into caves right now because of a Berenstain Bears book, Lost in the Cave that she loves to read.

DSCN9849

There is a cave near the cabin and we decided to take her see it!

It was about an hour’s drive from the cabin and Sweet Pea fell asleep in the car on the way over.

DSCN9710

We let her finish her little nap while Grandma, Gramps, Little Bug and I walked over to a beautiful stream. Dave stayed with Sweet Pea in the car.

DSCN9712

Little Bug and Gramps explored the area.

DSCN9720

Once Sweet Pea was awake we got in line to enter the cave. The cave is 52 degrees Fahrenheit year round so we had to bundle everyone up!

Gramps and Little Bug were the first ones in the cave.

DSC00121

A real cave!

DSC00125

One part of the tour took us down a very narrow “hallway” in the cave. The tour guide told us that if we were claustrophobic we may not want to be the first to go down the hallway because it was going to be close quarters down there. We let others in the group go before us and we trailed behind. We were not allowed to touch the cave except while walking down this path.

DSC00130

Grandma wanted Sweet Pea to be able to touch the cave, too!

DSC00131

Little Bug can recite a rhyme from the book about stalactites and stalagmites word for word:

DSCN9850

This is the largest stalactite in this cave.

DSC00139

At one point during the tour the tour guide turns off ALL the lights to show just how dark it really is half a mile under the earth in a cave.

And oh.my.goodness…it was dark. The darkest I’ve ever seen. I like to sleep in complete dark, but this dark (cave dark) is so dark that your eyes never adjust once the lights go off. There is no natural light down there whatsoever. The tour guide had us put our hand in front of our face before she turned the lights out and when the lights were out your hand literally disappeared before your eyes.

I knew they were going to turn the lights out during the tour and I was a little worried the girls would be scared. I kept whispering in their ears when the lights were off, “Mama’s right here.” They were fine.

DSC00135

The tour guide told a story of some teenage boys who went exploring in this cave back in the early 1900’s. They made two bad mistakes though: they only took one lantern with them and they didn’t tell anyone where they were going!

600 feet into the cave their lantern broke and they were left in complete utter darkness!! I cannot imagine!

They ended up following the stream out. It took them two days and they suffered from hypothermia, but they made it out alive.

And I am sure the sunlight never looked or felt better than on that day!

DSC00147

I am so happy this little girl got to go in a real cave! She was very tired on the drive home because, in her true vacation fashion, she was up at 6:45am (instead of her normal 8/8:15am).

After naptime we read Lady and the Tramp which is another favorite story of Little Bug’s right now.

DSCN9728

Then we went to Lifeway bookstore and while I was shopping I heard someone say, “Miss [my maiden name]!!”. I turned around to see one of my former students walking towards me with a big smile on his face. I hadn’t been called that in forever and it was SO good to see him!

He was in my first class and just graduated high school this year!

DSCN9731

I was overjoyed to see him! That is probably one of the best things about teaching – seeing students that were once way shorter than you. Smile He towers over me now!

Day 2: BBQ, Prayer Garden, Mountaintop

Our second day of vacation, Little Bug woke up and was still a little sickly. She wanted “milk time” and against my better judgment, I let her have some watered down. I think it was too soon to let her have any milk because as she was eating her waffle at breakfast she threw up twice all over the table. (I know. Nice.) Poor thing though. I just wanted her to get better already!!!

Rebecca was supposed to come for a visit that day but as soon as Little Bug threw up I went and called her and we postponed for Saturday to give Little Bug a couple more days to feel all better to see Mrs. Rebecca, Micah and Levi. When she learned they were coming to see her she declared to us all, “Micah is my best friend!!”.

She perked up after Grandma made her some Ginger Tea. Have you ever heard of Ginger Tea for upset stomach/nausea? My stomach was still a little queasy that morning, too (which should have been my clue to NOT let Little Bug have milk) but after I had some Ginger Tea my stomach instantly felt better!

We went ahead and went to a delicious BBQ place for lunch. We took turkey meat and a banana for Little Bug and I requested that we sit outside incase Little Bug had issues again.

See that wall? That looked like a good place to run Little Bug if she had to throw up again…

DSCN9549

Thankfully, she didn’t have to see the other side of that wall.

DSCN9551

There is a beautiful river that flows near there. When Grandma, Gramps and Little Bug were done eating, they all walked down to the river.

DSCN9557

When Dave, Sweet Pea and I got down there Gramps was teaching Little Bug how to skip rocks into the water.

DSCN9568

We attempted a family picture. That was the best we got since most of the pictures looked like this:

DSCN9562

As we were leaving, the line was starting to form out the door as usual! Between 12 and 1pm this line can get out the door and around the building. We got there before noon. But that is how good that BBQ is!

DSCN9571

We got back to the cabin and put two very sleepy girls down for a nice long nap!

After naps we went to the Prayer Garden and took our annual picture. Every year we stand on this rock in the garden and take a picture with whoever came to the cabin that year.

DSCN9583

We tried for another family shot and this one turned out pretty good!

DSCN9589

Then we headed to the top of one of our favorite mountains for a beautiful view!

DSCN9660

This is the best we got up there.

DSCN9667

Day 1: Food Poisoning & My Birthday

We had an uneventful ride to the mountains only to have a very eventful day the next day.

We think the chicken legs from KFC that both Little Bug and I ate for dinner the night before gave us food poisoning.

Little Bug was the first to get sick and I started feeling bad shortly after I woke up.

DSCN9504

Little Bug was pathetic. She threw up twice and was so lethargic for the majority of the day. She sat on Grandma’s lap like this for a couple hours and even took about a 30 minute nap on Grandma’s lap.

Once again, my Mama took care of my puking child while I wasn’t feeling too great myself.

Once I no longer felt like I had to lay as still as a statue so that I wouldn’t get sick, I called Little Bug to come lay with me in the bedroom.

DSCN9506

She was still feeling pretty bad. We both ate some chicken and rice soup and then Little Bug laid down for a nap. She woke up about an hour later and was so feverish. We got her up and brought her to the porch where she laid on the chair out there (where her Mama and Daddy started dating!) and fell asleep for another half hour or so.

DSCN9509

The poor thing. Little Bug never just lays around all day and she basically laid around the whole day.

We had planned to all go to a delicious pizza place for my birthday and we still went but Little Bug and I didn’t eat any pizza.

DSCN9519

Certainly wasn’t the way I wanted to spend my birthday, but we made the best of it.

It’s certainly one of those birthdays that will always be remembered!