I just finished taking Mary to and from tumbling and cheer, unpacking everyone's suitcases, doing laundry, grocery shopping, getting crickets, bathing the boys, getting the mail, watering the flowers, and getting everyone lunch.
Home sweet home.
It feels good to get everything all settled and to nestle back in to our nest...until Thursday, when we head to Pocatello for some 4th of July fun.
Now, Luke is down for a nap, the kiddos are out playing, and I get to blog about our awesome trip! I am dead tired, but because I have been going non stop today, I can't sleep, so I will blog. Oh, it feels so good to just sit here for a minute.
Monday, a week ago, we got up, took Mary to tumbling, packed lots and lots of stuff, made sure the neighbors were all set with taking care of our animals and flowers, and headed off to Sacramento (well, a town by it called Winters). We got there close to midnight. The drive went well. The usual ups and downs, but the car worked, we had lots of DVD players, treats and books, and we felt blessed to arrive safely.
When we pulled in to Sam and Sherean's house, we had a big welcoming committee of cousins come out to greet us. It was so fun to see our kids re-unite with their cousins. The excitement in the air reminded me of so many childhood memories with my own cousins, and the feelings I had seeing them and being with them. It warmed my heart so much to see my kids experiencing the same thing.
We also had a welcoming committee of horses, chickens, a sheep, a cow, a goat, and 2 dogs. Sam and Sherean live on a small ranch. Once we saw all the animals, the land, the HUGE fig trees with forts under them, and the orchards surrounding everything, I knew that my kids were going to be in heaven for the next week. I was right.
We all crashed soon after and the next morning, after Sam (Ben's brother) made an AMAZING breakfast of whole wheat pancakes with apples and walnuts in them, eggs, bacon, and the works, we all explored the ranch for a while.
|Luke was in love with "mini," the goat. He would feed it anything and everything that he could.|
|William would play with the dogs numerous times every day. He would lie down on them, feed them, pet them, and talk to them.|
|Sam also liked the goat, until he ran out of food, and as he walked away from the goat to get more food, he got two horns to his back. That ended Sam's relationship with the goat.|
I didn't get any pictures of Mary, but she was out collecting eggs from the chickens, playing with the horses, helping feed the sheep and loving every second of being close to the animals. This soon became the morning ritual for Mary and her cousin Alina. They would get up and do their "chores" around the ranch. Usually, before the rest of us were even awake. It was adorable.
After meeting the animals, we all headed out to a nearby creek.
Ben's brother Dan was also visiting for that day with his wife and 2 kids. All together there were 6 adults 4 teenagers, and 8 kids ages 10 and under. We had a big group, and it was a ton of fun!
The kids loved the creek. They rode in a canoe, waded in the creek, skipped rocks, built dams, explored, swam, and laughed and talked. Luke is in love with water, and spent the entire time sitting on a big boulder in the creek, throwing piles of rocks into the water.
Me and my 29 week pregnant body got extremely hot and tired pretty quickly, so after a few hours, and a really fun canoe ride with Sherean and our girls, we drove the little ones back to "the ranch" to do naps and lunch. Everyone else stayed and played longer.
After everyone came back, and naps were done, we all headed off to the coolest park I have ever seen, where we had an amazing barbeque and played some more.
|Sam, Ben and Dan. Ironically, they all wore red shirts that evening. It made for a great picture of the brothers.|
|I wish I had a better picture of the massive wood play structure at the park. It was really cool!|
I didn't get any pictures of Sam and Mary at the park, because they were playing baseball, tag, and everything else with all of the other cousins. They had so much fun!
Lucky for me, I was exerting so much energy chasing the kids, sweating in the crazy heat, and keeping track of everyone, that I was able to eat a few more carbs than normal at each meal, and still keep my blood sugar levels where they should be. I was truly in complete bliss being able to eat a pancake, drink regular milk, and even have a sandwich with both slices of bread one time for lunch!
After the park, it was popsicles for everyone!
The kids spent the rest of the evening playing in the tree forts, hanging out with the animals, playing night games with eachother and doing the fun things cousins do together.
Luke found his favorite thing in the entire world, and was perfectly content vacuuming the house over and over and over again...of course, with his double binkies. hahaha He kind of needed some extra comforts while he was away from home, I guess this is how he decided to do that. Sweet little Lukie.
|He was so excited to explain how to turn the vacuum on and off.|