Well, as much as I thought I would be able to write more on my blog during vacation, I have failed and thus I am left to write something on the return trip home. We stayed relaxed, then completely off the electronics and then so busy I had no time for the computer. There I have ended my lousy excuses why you have had nothing to read. I hope you haven’t been sitting around drumming your fingers for information.
We have had a wonderful time. After the nightmare/ ridiculous to hilarioius trip down with children throwing up so much and getting the entire city of McDonough Georgia sick, things started looking up. Brandon and I left the children (ah, complete bliss) to head to Florida where we took a couple of days to remember that we love each other and enjoy being together. I don’t mean to say that we don’t love each other most of the time, but rather that we just get distracted with other things in our life and have very little time for our own relationship these days. It was nice to have a little of that newly wed feeling again. After I’ve been holding kids, spit on, tugged on, and generally mauled over all day, it’s hard for me to feel especially cuddly, but the break was nice and since Brandon doesn’t usually make a habit of tugging on my skirt hard enough to risk it coming off, I don’t mind the closeness.
Ahem…ok, so it was lots of fun. The next thing we did was take the kids over to the Andersons for a week of fun with just our family. I am learning that sometimes at home it’s hard to find time to be our own family unit, but this week we made time. We stayed in their basement apartment where we were furnished with two lovely rooms for sleeping, a great room with a functional kitchen and living area and two bathrooms with toilets perfect for 3 year old clogging adventures. Actually, Jeff only clogged one toilet and we got it fixed with a top rated plunger, but he did manage to clog my parents bathrooms several times with an overabundance of TP, a large selection of paper towels, and at one point I caught him trying to flush a medium size plastic side salad disposable dish down the hole. Arg! Ok, so back to the Andersons,…
We stayed there for 4 nights with the idea that we would not see anyone, go anywhere, or have anything to to with electronic entertainment for that portion of time. It turned out to be one of my favorite times of the whole trip. Each day we did a little bit of school with the boys, and then did something fun. In the upstairs portion f the house is a room with a closet designed into a playhouse. That was the highlight of one afternoon. Another afternoon it was the treehouse in the woods. We also took a tromp in the creek and pulled out leaves, built dams, and rerouted the water in a couple of spots just for fun. The boys caught “a big pile” of lizards, saw beetles, stomped on scorpions, spiders, and centipedes, and played in the dirt. Jonathon learned how to shoot hoops and was hoping for a chance to beat his Daddy at a game, but we’ll have to save that one for another trip.
In fact, we liked it so much, we based the last week of our trip from their house. We slept really well there with the children waking up after 8am many mornings and then went to my parents and visited others during the day. Several of our favorite activities this past week were: church on Sunday with waffles being the theme for the potluck lunch. Our children LOVE waffles! We also had a great time with Dan and Pari- relatives of Brandon. Pari is Tamil (Indian) and she blessed us with some of her “mild” chicken curry which turns me into a glutton everytime. It is SO delicious I always wish I had enough room to finish off the entire pot. The children had a great time playing with their cousins Joshua and Rebekah. Another big hit was going fishing. We bought some worms and crickets from the Bait Store and the “fishing grandpa” was true to his name and took them out to wet a hook. My parents have a lake in the back yard and so it makes going fishing a relatively simple task. We had to wait for the weather to cooperate since it managed to rain for the second time in months (record breaking droughts) but it did eventually and we had a lovely sunny afternoon to stand on the dock and play with fish guts, worms, and bugs. The boys actually caught about 8 fish. We have always called them Brim, but they probably have a longer name that I don’t know. They are small fish, but taste great and even though some of the ones we caught weren’t bigger than my hand, Grandpa cleaned and fried up everyone and we had them for breakfast- something his mother used to do for him when he was younger. In all the fishing excitement, Grandpa got a bit distracted at point and left the scene and I was left to pull out my fishing techniques and bait their hooks, cast the line, and take the fish off the hook when caught. I recal the last part being my least favorite as I have been stuck more than once by fish fins in my time, but my courage prevailed and I successfully got about 4 off their hooks and into the basket without being cut to pieces or even pricked.
The last grand adventure was put on by our friends Nate and Penny who in an effort to visit with us and keep the children entertained at the same time, treated us to playtime and dinner at Kangaroo Kids. This facility is home to several large blow up jumping cages, slides, and climbing things. The children a lot of fun and got some wiggles out after a very rainy day and we had some great food delivered there from a restaurant nearby. So a winning combination: occupied children, great food, wonderful company!
The other major accomplishment during our trip was that I managed to pull my natural Southern accent back out from some dark closet in the back of a cave and use it excessively. It is quite unintentional, my accent doesn’t change at my command except to slaughter a British one or when I pull out my baby talk or duck quaking talents, More subtle ones change depending on who I am talking to and around. If you have never heard me speak so thickly Southern that you can’t hardly understand what I say, then you must come to Georgia for a visit with us sometime and I will demonstrate how my tongue simply runs along without me in its more red-neckish rambles. There are times when I do things that make me wonder how on earth Brandon put up with me long enough to get stuck permanently.
And now, my dear friends…we are headed home via I-95. We left this morning shortly after 6am and then stopped for breakfast at Cracker Barrel (a favorite that is quickly becoming tradition). The children had pancakes and bacon and devoured almost all of it. Brandon and I had eggs, grits, bacon, biscuits, and gravy. I added a cup of coffee and all of it was delicious!
I thought of two more things to mention- the campout, and some things I’ve learned this trip.
First, the campout was, I think, a smashing success. The food was delicious and not just because my Dad employed his secret technique of cooking (wait to eat so long that it doesn’t matter what it tastes like- and eat it in the dark). We had stew cooked over the campfire, salad, and bread. We slept out, saw lots of people and then had eggs, bacon, and grits the next morning for breakfast. I got to see Roy- who is looking really good these days I might add, several of my friends from different times in life, and meet some new people I look forward to knowing into old friends. My music director from the church I attended as a little girl was there, a friend from my teenage years came by with her 6 children, another mother of 6 I met for the first time and we hit it off great. My grandmama was there and a bunch more. I think the total was just under 70. If you missed it- it was a highlight and you should come next year, they have it every year. We did cheat a little on the sleeping part and let Joseph sleep inside the house with my mother, but the rest of us had a fun time (don’t ask Brandon if he had a “fun” time sleeping in the tent) outside.
Oh, another thing we did was we went to the Bethany Baptist Church picnic Sunday Afternoon. That was a step into the past for me. I sort of enjoy being able to see those people and be a testimony that God straightened me out from what I was before. It was so good to see people that my parents and later, I became friends with as I grew up. There were a lot of memories- good ones, that came to mind and I enjoyed seeing people who I knew as a teenager did care about me. I felt very loved and cared for and that makes them special to me.
Ok, the last thing I’ll talk about is the things I learned on our trip and I’ll try to put them in the order I learned them:
- I have decent balnce while standing backwards in the moving van, going around a curve, and catching vomit at the same time.
- Always carry several trash bags.
- I know now that I can do a lot more that I think I can when I’m sick, but I’ll never admit it unless it is absolutely necessary.
- When I have too much to do I wish I had nothing and when I have nothing to do I wish I had something, thus it takes some effort to make myself relax.
- Never underestimate God’s ability to stretch the penny.
- I don’t really mind lizards as much as I thought I did, but I do mind beetles.