The kids and I drove to Midland, via a stop in Abilene this past week. I admire anyone that attempts a solo drive with three kids, one of them a baby. It went remarkably well. Not too much crying from Lucas, and Ava and Nate kept themselves pretty busy in the van. I had bought each of them a new magnet scene toy (construction for Nate, fairy tales for Ava) and highly recommend that everyone invest in that kind of toy for young kids on a car trip. This is not the exact one, but can give an idea of what I am talking about!
We spent the night in Abilene with Cody's grandmother Mary Jo.
Cody has about a million aunts, uncles, and cousins that live in Abilene. Several of them came over to help take care of me and the kids while we were there. I was so thankful for everything they did to help me with the kids and for providing meals for us. It meant so much to me that they would go out of their way to make us feel so welcome. Mary Jo sent home a bag of wheat from the family farm for Ava and me to use to make bread. We're talking "from scratch." I've got to figure out how to grind the wheat. I feel like the little red hen. We'll be taking pictures of this project sometime soon, so watch for the bread-making post one day. Later in the week, the kids got to visit with my grandparents (my mom's parents). So, on this one trip, they were able to spend time with all of their living great-grandparents. I thought that was really special!
We had fun in Midland. My mom lives on 3 acres and there are lots of animals on the property. Geese, cats, dogs, guineas, and peacocks. Now, I am not sure if many people know what kind of sound peacocks make. Allow me to educate you all on the call of a peacock. It sounds exactly like a person screaming "Help!!!" Nate can mimic it...cracks me up! It took me an entire day before I stopped jumping, heart-racing, body alert, every time I heard a peacock. They were beautiful to look at though. My mom gave me a large bag of blackberries to take home. They have a bush in the backyard just full of huge, ripe berries. We made cobbler while I was there. Oh, so good! I also brought home three plants and will attempt to grow my own berries. You may all come pick them in a few years (positive thinking.)
While we were there, Lucas turned 4 months old and decided to start holding his head way up.
After several days of playing, visiting, and eating, it was time for us to head home. Now I am going to tell you something that will make you oooh and ahhh about what a sweet, thoughtful, wonderful husband I have. Cody called me the day before we were to come home and told me he had bought a plane ticket to Midland. He arrived at 9:30 PM the night before we left. He drove us all home the next day. It made the trip so much nicer and easier to have him with us. I was so grateful and happy to see him. I know, I am a lucky lady.
We stopped in Abilene again for lunch and some play time for the kids. We saw a few of the throng of aunts and uncles, and finally arrived home tired and looking forward to sleeping in our own beds. Here's a pic of Ava on the ride home.
I love how she has her book out and her cup ready, but is totally conked out. That is how we all felt. That's the joy of travel. Not only do you have such fun while you are away, but you appreciate home even more when you return!