Sunday, June 08, 2014

Ohio Trip

Last Friday we drove to Ohio for a week.  It was a wonderful vacation--so very relaxing!  It just wasn't long enough!  Bob actually had a TDY there, so he worked during the week, but even that was much less stressful than the Pentagon, and it was so lovely when he would call to say he was on his way home, and then *poof* 5 minutes later, he would be home, unlike here, where it takes over an hour.
We were able to spend good time with Amy and her family.  Before leaving, I had gone through some pictures, looking for baby pictures of Caleb for his TNT yearbook, and I found some really cute ones of Nathan, Luke, Caleb, and Zachary.  Now all our kids take up a lot more room on the couch!

We went over to Amy's house Saturday afternoon, she and I went out to lunch on Tuesday, and then Tuesday we all went over to their house for dinner, and the older 4 boys spent the night.  It's never enough time, though!
Monday we made the obligatory trip to Youngs, this time celebrating Jonathan's birthday.  It was delicious as usual.  Luke had the flavor of the week, which was peaches and cream, while Nathan tried a new flavor, salted caramel pretzel crunch.  That was quite yummy!  We all sampled another new flavor, "maple waffles and bacon".  It was good, but there were little pieces of waffle in the ice cream, and since you were tasting the bacon, these little chewy things made it seem like you were chewing little bits of bacon at the end, and well, it was just a little disconcerting.  The taste was good, though.  Interesting concept.  I stuck with the world's best flavor, chocolate peanut butter, of course.  Why mess with perfection??
Family picture on this nice shade thing Youngs has added!  The weather was actually really, really nice the whole week we were there--not very hot or humid--which made it nice to go to the park, and for Bob and me to take walks in the evening.

Wednesday was a VERY special day.  We picked up the boys from Amy and Jason's, and when we got back, our special company had arrived!  Aunt Claire, Emily, and Elia were in from Utah and Texas!  My girls had been on pins and needles, waiting to see their cousins, so it was a very joyous reunion, with lots of giggles and squeals!
Thursday we went to the base bowling alley for their "eat and exercise" deal--2 games, shoes, and $4.00 worth of lunch coupons for $8.00 a person!  The kids had a good time, although there were some rough patches.  Anna bowled for the first time without using the cute little dinosaur thing they have to help the little kids roll the ball down the lane.  Caleb and Jonathan bowled with Grandpa, Dad, and the older 2 boys, in the lane without the gutter guard, which of course led to many gutter balls and frustrations.  Definitely a learning curve there, and we just don't bowl often enough to get it down!  But by the end of 2 games, everyone was having fun.

Bob, Nathan, Luke, and I had our own little miracle Thursday afternoon.  All 3 of our dependent ID cards were set to expire on July 22, 4 years after that fateful day at the National Zoo when my wallet got stolen.  Well, Nathan and Luke aren't both going to be home to go renew the ID cards during the 30 day window, plus we have to drive to Ft. Belvoir (because Bethesda is just a total pain, with huge wait times).  So I was hoping we could renew them at Wright-Pat, even though it was more than 30 days out.  After we ate, the 4 of us ran over to Pass and ID, where we were greeted by a room full of people, and a sign on the door saying that wait times were significantly increased because people were supporting Corona.  Ack!  So we signed in and then went back to finish bowling.  After we were done, we drove home, put Drew down, and headed back over.  The room was a lot less full, but there were still probably 40 people in there.  It was a little after 3:00 by that time, and the place closed at 4:00, so I was feeling pretty hopeless and discouraged.  But after about 5 minutes, our name was called!  We went back, and the lady told Bob she could only do dependent ID cards, not CAC cards.  Bob just happened to write on the sign-in sheet "dependent ID cards", instead of "mil ID cards", which is what everyone else wrote down.  Wow!  And the lady never mentioned a thing about it not being within the 30 day window. So it took less than 10 minutes to get new ID cards for all 3 of us.  What a blessing!  I was amazed!
Aunt Claire is a "pro" at coloring, so here she is showing the girls her tricks, specifically outlining.  We are so glad she could come out to Ohio too, and that we could overlap with her visit!
Friday we left to drive home--but we had 3 more extra seats in the van, since we left Anna, Grace, and Faith in Ohio for Grandma/Grandpa camp!!  They waved us off enthusiastically, but I think they were all happy to see us go so they could start in on all the fun things they had planned!  The first thing they did was bake pies--blueberry and strawberry.  We were sorry to miss those!  The girls are wearing aprons from my Grandma, which is such a fun connection.  They are also doing other fun things, like going back to Youngs to play putt-putt and go down the giant slide, visiting the Boonshoft kids museum, and the Newport Aquarium, as well as going to the park, playing in the sprinklers, and just enjoying time with Aunt Claire and their cousins!  The week of Grandma/Grandpa camp is definitely a highlight for the girls!

As for us, the house is strangely quiet without the girls.  Micah asks before we do anything or go anywhere, "Now, where are Anna, Grace, and Faith??  I am the lone girl in a sea of testosterone (while my dad is the lone male in a sea of estrogen, LOL).  We'll be meeting halfway to pick them up soon enough, and I know the van will be full of excited little voices telling us about all the fun they had!

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