The night before we left for 2 weeks, daddy read many many books to the boys. I knew we would be really busy and not feel the seperation as much as HE would, coming home to an empty, QUIET house. They of course soaked it all up.
We stayed the night as Jessie & Damiens in Miles City the night after we left. It was a short stay, but I loved those little girls in that house who played with our boys like they'd known them forever! So this scene was displayed in my rearview mirrior shortly after we left their place in the morning. It was a quiet hour :)
Miles and miles and miles pass without oppertunities for good stops, but we always seem to hit this place, well known even by our kids, in Bismarck. It was hot chocolate and mini vanilla bean scones and an Americano for mama.
We spent a night at Auntie Evelyns in Fargo, which is always a GOOD stop for me AND the kiddos! I really appreciate that we can stop there and feel completely at home...always a good nights sleep, a breakfast ready for us in the am, and an auntie that the kids accidently call Grandma :) We went on to another favorite spot....Ashley & Seth's. Another home that I'm grateful for...a house full of love, laughter and BOYS! Between the both of us, there's 7 boys all 5 and under. The first time we were there, the boys were all like friends. This time, they were like brothers <3 p="">
This is Ashley, getting some baby Reid snuggles. Her Gunther is only 2 weeks old then him, but is much bigger.
I have a picture of my Grandma Erna Krisher on our bookshelf that I see every day. Under her picture is a handmade Scrabble decoration that has the word "Grateful" on it. It tugs at my heart when I see it, and that tug was oh, so strong again when I passed the exit near Medford, WI where Grandma and Grandpa Chester are buried. Precisely 8 miles past, I turned the van around and went to their burial grounds to visit and pay my utmost respect to them. I walked around for about a half hour looking for their graves, not able to remember where they were and not where I thought I had pictured them. Taking a break and then bundling up the kids who now woke up, I searched again and found them. I wasted a lot of time looking around for them, but I also saw headstones of faithful friends in that area now buried there. I saw the stone for Frances Hebb, and a not yet finished store for Hester Williams. It made me so aware, and so glad for faithful friends.
This here, is MAX! Oh, I just love Max....I have no other words! <3 p="">3>
And this is the way country boys ride! Coy, Bentley & Cole played for hours and hours together! How great are cousins, seriously?
Right here is one of my most favorite pictures ever. Great Grandma LaVerne, in all her wisdom and faithful years, and Reid is none but a new babe with many years ahead of him. I feel the connection between these two was so great. Or maybe it was the dimples that are irresisable?
An awesome Grandma brought home a bale of straw, pumpkins, and old clothes that were not meant for anything other then scarecrows!! Or, more accurately, FRIENDcrows :) That one is Grandpa, and then later they made a new one that was Grandma.
We were so lucky to get to see Auntie Sarah too! I'm pretty sure she's near the top of our "Most Favorite Persons" list! She read books to the boys while they drank some chamomile tea that did NOT make them sleepy ;)
My sisters, my best friends <3 p="">3>
Grandpa here, is a great teaser. I don't blame him, you can't ever resist when there's a bubbly blondie giggeling!
Culvers. Chocolate custard. Sprinkles. Yum.
This was our last hour at the farm. Coy was not happy about getting back into the van that morning. My heart sinks and I'll admit that I usually cry when driving down the driveway each time we leave. There is such beauty in the place that I grew up, there's no denying that. But it's also where I learned everything I know, where I fell down, where I got back up again, where I knew love and peace. This time though, even though I was sad, I was also very happy that we would be going home to see daddy again!!
I will admit, no normal mother would make the Mall of America, alone, with 4 kids a usual stop, but I had promised Coy that we could stop at Lego Land. It went well, wasn't too busy and kid played Legos, picked some out to take home and then we were on our way. Fun stuff for little boys!
So when people hear that I traveled 3,000 miles alone with 4 kids, they call me nuts. But really, it wasn't that bad....I tend to drive 75% of the time so the driving didn't bother me. What WAS hard was bathroom stops! Haha! This is what our bathroom stops looked like, plus 2 diapers to change, a mama who had to remember to go too, with the usual touching everything and screaming :D
Annd...the last 4 hours of driving were the worst...so coming home to this warm and comfortable glow and the man of my dreams running out to meet us made it worth it!
There was so much that I feel I didn't get to mention because i didn't get pictures....but I loved having a few hours with my great friend Susie and her precious little kiddos, my best oldest friend Naomi, and I even got a few fun hours in with Auntie Mary and Uncle Dale. I'm so grateful for my trip and can't wait to do it again next summer when my brother Ted gets married!
Phew, I had fun re-living that again!3>