This past fall. we decided to get brave (or possibly insane...?) and planned a road trip of epic preportions for our motley crew. We desperately wanted to see family but the thought of trying to keep 3 little rambunctious boys happy and regulated through 32+ hours of driving plus a week staying with family was a wee bit scary. (Yeah, major understatement there. We were petrified!) But we decided to try anyway. I spent weeks getting prepared. We rented a bigger van, each boy had a basket of entertainment that sat on the floor next to their seat, we had a huge selection of snacks, we had DVD players, hand held video games, books, stickers, colors, books on CD and headphones for each child. I packed minimal clothes, counting on layering clothes if it got really cold, and the fact we would have access to a washer and dryer. (And I packed a pile of knitting to keep me sane and calm)
And so we set forth.....
Over the river and through the woods
To Grandmothers House we went.
(and Grandpa too!)
The boys on Thanksgiving Day, all dressed up and on their best behavior.
Chris and his father, two peas from the same pod. Some nuts don't fall far from the tree!
Seth was attached to Grandpa from the word GO. Grandpa didn't seem to mind that he suddenly developed a second shadow.
Levi watching the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, trying not to get too anxious to eat while smelling all the super yummy food!
Heading out to take hay bales to the cattle. Chris's parents live on a real working ranch deep in the heart of America. They are the salt of the earth, just like Chris. You couldn't ask to meet better people.
Bye bye, off to feed hungry cattle!
Cousin Dustin challenges the motley crew to a Wii game (we brought our own Wii just to have something to entertain the crew when they grew restless. Brilliant idea! It entertained everyone!
The action in the danger zone. Food was coming out of everywhere. Home made breads and pastries, turkey, cookies, cakes, roasts, pizza and pasta, and a host of other gourmet goodies flowed out of this kitchen all week long. We didn't complain! It was the best cooking I have had in a long, long time!!!
We did a lot of relaxing. I have to say that as nervous as I was about this trip, I ended up being the most relaxed I have been in years. I felt like I had travelled a million miles away from my troubles and entered the home of perfect calm. The boys were well behaved and happy, we didn't stress about anything, and it was the most rest I can remember getting since I had kids. Seriously, it was better than any spa!
More food and family. Oh, and the laughing! Chris's family is hysterical! They had me laughing so hard my ribs are still sore!!!!!!
The end result was that the trip was the treasure of a lifetime. Good memories, good family, great food and many, many laughs. The bonfire at Uncle Randy's and Aunt Carla's. The visit to the dam nature center, even eating at the big buffet in town with the chocolate fountain. The boys still talk about it. The drive was even fine! We drove straight back (almost 17 hours) because the kids were sick and we needed to get back in time to get them to the doctor. No one whined, cried or got mad, not even once! We didn't even have to stop very often. It was a true blue miracle!!!!!