We returned last night from our trip, but with my post-driving headache the most I could do was do a little reading before bedtime. We had a lot of fun and were able to visit with people we only see once a year.
I took the girls up early so that they could spend some time with their grandparents before the reunion. That was nice, although I am still never really comfortable around my in-laws with my girls. They are older, and more old school than my folks, and well I cringe over some things that the girls do that to be honest wouldn't bother me so much at home or we would laugh about around my parents. For instance, MB has started doing this thing where she will call people by the name she hears others saying. I call my father-in-law by his name, so she started calling him by his name. She means no disrespect, she just thinks it is funny. So several times I had to sit own with her and explain that he is her grandfather and a very good man, he deserves to be called by 'grandfather' and it is a sign of respect. I believe she heard "blah, blah, blah, call him whatever you want." If something like this happened with my father the two of us would probably chuckle about it and I would remind her that she needs to say 'grandaddy' and that would be the end of it. Up there when it would happen, I saw pursed lips and shaking of heads. So my 'gotta-be-liked' drive kicked in and I stressed over things like that.
The girls really did very well and they had a lot of fun. MB is even staying up there a few more days and will be coming home with the in-laws on Wednesday.
Thursday I was able to get away by myself for a quick shopping trip to the outlet mall, manly to pick up the clothing that DH asked me to get him, but I came home with something for everyone. Friday I spent with the girls. We headed down to the town in the valley below the in-law's cabin and played in the town park. This park was one that time forgot. And, before I go into detail don't get me wrong I like my children to be safe but I do notice that sometimes parents have made things so safe that children no longer get to experience things. So this was a park that has not been updated in about 40 years. It was located behind the town library - wouldn't that be neat a trip to the library and the park at the same time. The equipment was all metal - the hot burning type of metal, if it actually got hot up there. There was no awful mulch to get in the girls' shoes, just a soft carpet of grass. On one very steep hill the town had fashioned a very long slide down the hill, almost like at bobsled shute. No steps back up the hill just a very steep climb. Picnic table located here and there under old shady trees and a small creek ran through the center of the park. The girls had a blast. Like most of the other children there, they were drawn to the creek (because here at home if there is water near a park it is fenced off). They could lay sticks in the water an watch them float downstream over the rocks and small water falls. They took off their sandles and felt the cold water between their toes.
After the park we headed back into town and went to the Cheese Factory where they could watch cheese being made. At the Cheese Shoppe I picked up a block of my favorite cheese and some fudge for the girls. We had just finished reading Chitty Chitty Bang Bang the night before and at the end of the book it gives a basic fudge recipe, and MB asked what fudge was. She has had it before, but did not remember. Then we went back to the cabin and waited for DH and my sis-in-law to arrive.
Saturday we had the family reunion over at the church camp that my brother-in-law is the director of. Every year less people show up, mostly the 20-somethings who have so much going on in their lives, but it is nice to catch up with people we only see once a year. This year was special because we had three babies born within a week in December. Three six-month-old cousins (not real cousins - 2nd, 3rd, once removed and all that jazz that I can never keep straight. We have decided to keep it simple and if you are not directly an aunt/uncle/grandparent you are considered a cousin). The big girls had bigger cousins to play with - generally involving rolling a ball down a hill then chasing it down. But we also had a chance to head out in canoes. Very fun. DH and I took K out in one and bil took MB out in another. I haven't been in a canoe in almost 20 years - we had a blast.
MB in the canoe
K along for the ride
Little EM wearing her baby gift and looking cool. K is blowing bubbles in the background.
DH's trip to the US Open was canceled so he was able to stay with us for Sunday's breakfast with the family that stayed the night. Then we headed homeward.
It was a wonderful trip and a great get-away. Today I will be doing all the post-trip unpacking and laundry. I will also be trying to get things ready to have our house painted later this week (yeah!!). Also I have to put the finishing touches on my bible study to send to our pastor tomorrow. I am trying to read and catch up with everyone - but it seems so overwhelming right now. I can spend nearly 30 minutes at each blog.
On last picture for the day - Little EM turned Six months yesterday. She is such a sweet little baby and is fast becoming mobile - trying to catch up with the big sisters I believe. Happy half-birthday EM and I can't believe that we have been blessed with you for this long already!