Praise the Lord for safe travels, good weather, well-behaved children, wonderful friends, and understanding husbands. God is good.
The weekend couldn’t have worked out more perfectly. Gabe had a meeting in Lima at 4pm on Friday, so he dropped us (and all our stuff) off at a gas station close to Jamie’s house. We loaded up her van with kids and cargo, filled up the tank, and we were off.
Supper at McDonald’s, ran off some energy in the Play Place, back on the road. Stopped at a gas station for what Jamie calls “a false poop.” (not hers, one of the kiddos) While Jamie was in the gas station restroom with one kid, I was in the van with the others. We watched out the window as a young woman in skin tight black leggings and a flowered shirt did pirouettes in the parking lot while her tummy hung out for all to see. “What is she doing?” one of my girls wanted to know. “I think she’s in a dance contest,” said one of Jamie’s boys.
Got a little mixed up as to where we were on the map. Told Kristen we’d be there in 90 minutes. Turns out we were much closer. Called her at her exit. She freaked out, “I’m not ready!!!” We told her we’d come back tomorrow. (kidding)
Landon and Noah were getting out of the tub when we arrived. My goodness, they’re cute. That night is a bit fuzzy to me. I think Jonathan set up Landon’s super-duper train set for everyone to play with. My girls and Jamie’s boys slept on big blankets on the basement floor (segregated by gender), and Jamie and I slept on a double bed right beside them. (Jamie blogged about me being good in bed. She mostly meant that I kept my gas to myself. Sadly, I cannot say the same for her.)
Saturday morning Jonathan made us chocolate chip pancakes and scrambled eggs. Yum! The kids ate out on the deck. They played like crazy, then after a chicken nugget lunch, we went to a really cool wooden park. Landon was Nina’s self-appointed caregiver. It was so sweet (and freed me up to take pictures). After naps (for Landon, Noah, Erik and Nina), we ate supper (pizza!) then headed out to the sand dunes (my first time).
Pulled up to the gate, found out it was $10 a vehicle to park. BUT they stop charging at 7pm. It was 6:20. We left to get ice cream. Miraculously found a parking spot (quaint, adorable town + Sat. night on Memorial Day weekend = many, many people). Held hands, walked to ice cream shop, back to cars, on to dunes.
The dunes were a huge hit. The kids were giddy as all get-out. So were we. Once Noah realized the sand wasn’t going to eat him, he actually had some fun. Jamie got her pants full of sand (??) and the kids got tired of getting their pictures taken, but overall, huge success.
Baths, bedtime, mommies stayed up until 1:00 chatting.
We decided we weren’t brave enough for an unfamiliar church, 7 kids, and only 1 daddy, so we worshiped God in His creation on Sunday. Blueberry muffins for breakfast, picked up McD’s and took it to a park on Lake Michigan. We ate in the grass, played on the playground, then took the kids home for a nap. (the older ones watched a movie)
Jonathan grilled hot dogs and hamburgers for supper, then we gals and the kiddos headed for the beach. (my first time at a beach that isn’t an ocean) Kristen has a free parking sticker on her vehicle, so she took half of us in, dropped us off, then went to pick up the rest of our entourage. It was quite an ordeal. Oh, the things we’ll do to save $6.
The evening was beautiful, the water was frigid. We made sand castles, rescued little ones who fell in the water, and had all kinds of fun. Packed up, headed back home. Kristen’s mom, dad and sister were waiting on us with a bonfire (s’mores!) and fixins for sundaes. Her family is great, and we had fun talking to them.
Baths, bed for the kiddos (at 11:00), mommies up until 1:30. Up at 6:20 to drive home to Ohio. The first part of the trip was a little rough. “Are we there yet?” started about 45 seconds in. We stopped a few times for drinks, then fries. They slept the last 30 minutes. Gabe picked us up at 12:30 at the same gas station, we unloaded our stuff, hugged good-bye and went our separate ways.
Our family went to Gabe’s grandpa’s in Lima for a Memorial Day cook-out. We had fun but cut out early, because the kids were just beyond exhaustion.
And there you have it. I had a wonderful time with Jamie and Kristen. They’re amazing. We know all about each other (flaws and everything) and still love each other, so that’s pretty cool. Our kids each had at least one meltdown (or misbehavior incident), but they were so, so good.
God is so good, and I’m so grateful. His blessings just amaze me. Thank you, Lord! And thank you Kristen, Jonathan, Landon, Noah, Jamie, Eden, Erik, Ernie, Sally, Brenn, Livi, Ava, Nina (and Gabe and Christian)! You guys are awesome!