Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wrapping up our Wild, Wonderful Wanderings (KY)

I can't believe our trip is over. It seems like a long time ago that we started planning this trip and it felt like the sun- always far off in the distance. But it turns out it wasn't- it got here quicker than I expected and then flew by. Every time I told someone about our upcoming trip, I got very strange looks or are you crazy. 3500 miles of driving with 5 kids. Then when I said we were caravaning back with Janelle and her 4- it sounded even crazier. But it all turned out super. Of course, there were some less than super moments, but already those memories are fading and just thankful to have great memories of a super trip. We left early Sunday morning and drove to Nashville, TN. I was very glad to check in and not need to leave to eat hotdogs and go swimming.

breakfast and dinner at the hotel is super!
Monday we didn't have a long drive and enjoyed a picnic lunch at a rest area before going to the Creation Museum. We did some kid swapping along the drive and the kids weren't sure whether a movie or a piece of candy was the better treat. but they all are really good travelers. Even baby C did super.  We got a great homeschool discount at the Creation Museum. Gotta love a place that tells you "thank you for homeschooling."

Our 3 Davids

Beside Noah's Ark

the botanical gardens were really pretty

the petting zoo was a lot of fun too

The kids really loved all the different bridges

We enjoyed our day at Creation Museum. It was wonderful to be somewhere which teaches about our awesome God and the things He's made. I really enjoyed the Men in White theater show. i loved the Garden of Eden and Noah's Ark displays. By the end of the day, we were glad to ready for dinner and bed. And then one last day of driving! 

Our wanderings ended but we still got to spend another day with our friends before they continued their trek. So glad our house is on their way! God planned that well! What a super trip!

More Wonderful Wanderings (TX)

My Mom drove with us from MS to TX. We spent the night at a very nice Homewood Suites Monday night. So nice to have dinner, swimming, and breakfast without leaving the hotel. We had a terrific trip with Mom- it was super to have company and help along the drive. After a super trip together, we took her to DFW airport. She flew home to FL and we continued to the Cole Farm. We were so excited to drive up and see a welcome sign beside the road. Then as we arrived, I really felt like When the Relatives Came, all the hugging and eating and playing- it didn't seem like we've lived across the country and not seen each other in a year. We had a good time- fun to feed a calf. 

go on walks

see sweet kids

kids watch cows watch kids

blueberry picking

all but 2 of the kids waiting patiently

Baby C was happy to see her Daddy!

J is big enough to carry a baby- wasn't he just a baby himself? time flies!

kids can read to each other now!

our first geo-cache- the Arboretum

so excited to see Monters U in the theater with popcorn- love the dollar theater!

nothing beats watermelon on a hot day

except maybe fireworks and ice cream!

We had a super trip! We were so glad to get to see James. we've really missed him this summer. It was fun to hang out at the farm, eat lots, pick fruit, drink root beer floats, make tie dye t-shirts. Good times! 

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Wonderful Wanderings (MS)

Nana left Madison with us Sat morning. We made good time getting to Mississippi and were able to have a nice afternoon with Grandmollie in Meridian. We started off our visit with cake and ice cream for a snack. I know I gained a few pounds between all the cake, ice cream, snow cones, ...

We had a super visit. We played Skipbo, heard Grandmollie stories, ate dessert, sang songs, swam, got sno cones, rode the carousel, walked to the track, went to church, ate more dessert, ...
Fun trip to see Grandmollie!

Sweet Baby C napped in lots of different places

We always love to go to Grandmollie's church

Our third baby to love bouncing in the jungle bouncer in the Grace Fellowship nursery

Our newest reader reading Cat and the Hat to Grandmollie

Wow! What a wonderful, whirlwind, wandering we've been on (NC/ FL)

... and now we're worn out!!
how's that for alliteration? We have had a whirlwind adventure over the last two+ weeks- 16 days, 16 states, 3500 miles. we stayed in 4 different homes, 4 different hotels. swam in 6 different pools. ate tons of meals in the car, ate lots of ice cream, listened to all of Chronicles of Narnia, plus lots of adventures in odyssey and other stories. picked blueberries and figs.

We left here early Sunday morning to go see Grandma, Pops Leon, and Uncle Brian. We had a nice Sunday visit complete with kickball, ice cream, and hugs. Then headed to Fayetteville Monday morning. We got to see most of our old gang. Even got in a little swimming before pizza and movies. Good times!
Tuesday morning we drove to Madison and enjoyed several days there for yummy food, super swimming, special time with Papa, fun at Bibb park, lots of games, and even an early birthday celebration for K.

KG excited to go on her first alone breakfast with Papa

Bounce house fun for K's birthday

Nana and Baby C enjoying the seating area

Maclay Gardens was a beautiful picnic spot

Is is Madison or Hawaii? T did some super swimming here

Look at all those candles- how did K get big so fast?

Showing off the Lewis backwards crawl
We did lots of swimming in Madison- 3 different pools, 4 days. Plus hot tub and bathtub time. We all enjoyed all the days swimming. I was amazed by how quickly T improved. Lots of fun!

PQ 8 and 9

We headed out early Friday morning for PQ 8- Fair Hill. We did this one in the rain two years ago but didn't do it last year. I'm glad we went back this year. This was a different hike- one to commemorate the Mason-Dixon line. I didn't remember much about it other than it representing the line between the North and South during the Civil War. Although Maryland does not seem like the south :) 
It was really neat to read about placing the 200+ monuments every mile; 250 years ago and they were really accurate! We had a nice day out but it was still pretty warm in the sun. When there were no trail markers after the turn-around, I thought it might be a long day. Fortunately my instinct was right and we made it back without turning around. And we were able to confirm to the Park rangers that yes there are trail markers missing. 

I was a little worried to go do another Park Quest since the first took more time, food, water, and energy that i expected. But I'm so glad we went. The kids were so excited when we drove through the gate and the park ranger handed us beach toys! The kids loved building a town on the beach. They built Lewisburg on the rocks and Foolsville on the sand. Then the rains came down. Thankfully Lewisburg stood up pretty well. The kids were excellent news reporters, townspeople, and even the mayor on the hurricane that hit the towns. Fun times! So glad I didn't let our lack of swimsuits stop our fun. T even started swimming on his own!