Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Ohio Trip

On Monday, July 27, I met my parents halfway between our houses at a Cracker Barrel in Pennsylvania, and we switched the girls over to their van, because the next day was the start of GRANDMA/GRANDPA CAMP, which is the total highlight of summer for the under 10 girl crowd around here!  This year both Aunt Claire AND Uncle Jim flew to Texas from Utah, and then they flew with my nieces Emily and Elia up to Ohio on Tuesday.  I'm sure you can imagine the giggling and shrieking from these 5 girl cousins ages 9 down to almost 6 when they were all back together again!

They were busy having fun Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday:  they went to the local children's science museum, they went to Youngs for miniature golf, the big slide, and ice cream of course, and they also hit the base bowling alley.  Then the rest of us drove in Friday night.  Bob was even able to drive out with us for the weekend, and then he flew home late Sunday night.   We were busy having fun as well!

  • Many games were played, especially of Stratego

  •  The girls had a special breakfast at Mimi's

  •  We made cinnamon rolls

  •  We went to the church, and the girls wore these adorable matching patriotic dresses that Grandma had found for them

  •  Uncle Jim grilled his famous flank steak, which was sooo delicious

  •  Grandpa took the kids out for rides in the Model A--and Micah wasn't scared this year!

  •  The girls made pies with Grandma and Aunt Claire--a delicious chocolate one, and a strawberry nectarine one that I was a bit hesitant about, but was *really* good

  •  The girls had a make-up session with Aunt Claire, after which they had to run down and put on Nana's costume jewelry for the picture!

And then, all too soon, it was time for Emily, Elia, Aunt Claire, and Uncle Jim to fly back home. It's never long enough, and the girls were full of plans for us all to move to the same place! 
 Mom bought the girls 3 sets of matching outfits, and they were all so cute!  They love to match when they do all their Grandma/Grandpa camp stuff, and people always comment on them:  "Are they triplets and twins?"  So fun!  You can definitely tell the 5 girls are related.

Wednesday and Thursday we were able to spend time with Amy and her kids, including her niece, who is in between Anna and Grace in age.  The girls had a ball playing with her!
 Zachary has really shot up and filled out!  He was a wonderful big brother substitute for Verity, who definitely missed Nathan and Luke while they were gone.

Caleb and Jonathan spent Wednesday night over there, playing with Jacob, and they were thrilled to have something special for them to do.
 Thursday morning, the younger kids and I went back over, as well as my mom, so we could have lunch with Amy and her mom. We had such a great time!  Amy made a delicious chicken salad using freshly butchered chickens raised by her dad (and guest-fed by Amy herself  while her parents were on a cruise--we heard hilarious stories about that, as well as Amy's stint as assistant calf castrater!  They were definitely book material!)
But unfortunately all good things must come to an end, and we had to come back to Virginia and our stressful life here.  It is definitely getting harder and harder to do that!  Friday morning we left at 8:00 so we could pick up Nathan at WSS.  He did indeed have a fantastic time on AOX.  He said everyone bonded really quickly, and it was obvious everyone was there not just to have fun, but to grow and get prepared spiritually to go off to college.  I am always so thankful for the impact godly people at WSS have on my kids, just as godly people there influenced my walk back when I was a teenager.  What a blessing!

It was really great to see Nathan again, and we got to see Luke briefly, since he wasn't actually done until Sunday.  I actually drove back up Sunday morning to pick him up, getting there in time to eat lunch.  A friend of mine, Carri, who was on staff with me back in the day (the glory years, we said), was also up there from Kentucky to pick up one of her daughters who had also been on staff with Luke, so we were able to visit over lunch.  It was so lovely to catch up!  Then General and Mrs. B invited us over to their house on our way out of town for Gen. B's famous milkshakes, and well, who can say no to them?!  So we stopped over there, along with Carri and the 4 kids of hers she had with her (we both have 10 kids each--isn't that amazing?!  20 kids from 2 support staffers!).  Fun times!  We finally got home around 7:00, and we were finally all together again--for one more week, until Nathan leaves.  Wah!

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