Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Spring Break: Part 3

Ride 'em cowboys and cowgirl! Nana knows my boys love being outside, touching animals, and playing in dirt. Nana also knows that Annalyse wants to do anything and everything her brothers do. With that in mind, Nana arranged a day with extended family to visit Paws Farm, a local nature center with a petting farm and many different educational centers with hands-on learning fun.
The kids touched and fed lots of animals, heard stories and assembled crafts, dressed up in veterinarian gear and helped "all the hurt animals that were clawed by bears" (?!), and played on numerous playgrounds.
Despite being there for almost three hours, I took very few pictures. I'm not sure why. Maybe my finger was tired from pushing the button a bazillion times the day before. Or maybe I was busy talking with family. Or maybe I was watching to be sure Annalyse didn't pick up any more, ahem, goose droppings. And yes, I say "any more" because I did, in fact, turn around at one point and see her with a fist full of what she probably thought were stones. (Did I really just advertise this gross moment for all of you to read?)
After a picnic lunch, Annalyse and I left to head home so she could nap. The boys stayed and played with cousins for another couple of hours and then Nana took them to the bus stop to pick up Grady from his return trip from NYC.

Friday morning we joined almost all of Grady's extended family for a day of soccer, playgrounds, grilling, and an egg hunt. We gathered at 10:00 am and the kids never came inside or stopped running and playing until we left at 5:00 pm. Talk about a fun and full day with cousins!
How cute are these two little men? Grady Lee told me that "CJ is my new best friend and Micah is my old best friend. Maybe someday CJ can visit my house and come to my birthday party because I want all my best friends at my party." And, yes, if your kid spent a day playing with Grady Lee he would probably dub him a new best friend, too. He really is eager to love and give!
While the kids were busy at the playground, the adults spent time hiding 300 eggs for the six very excited and very eager kids. Aunt Judy had baskets for the kids and Nana and Aunt Becki had eggs stuffed with jelly beans and pennies and stickers. Waiting for that, "On your mark, get set, go!" took remarkable self-control... but then they were all off and running to all corners or the yard.
For every egg Annalyse found, she either dropped or spilled three others. Her basket never got full but she didn't seem to mind!
Kings of the Mountain... Champion Egg Collectors... Winners of the Most Loot... Strong Men Heroes.
After finding all the eggs it was time to dump 'em and see what was inside! There was a little bit of trading, a lot of tasting, and a whole lot of "more money!" heard around the backyard. Grady Lee and Micah have offered to donate all their pennies and nickels from their eggs to "help us get a new house that is closer to church so we don't have to drive so much." Generous idea, but we'll need a tad more than their offering, I think.
Friday evening we enjoyed pizza and games with cousins back at Nana's house before saying good bye to everyone. Our spring break week went way too fast (doesn't time away always pass quickly?). Over the week we shared a whole lot of laughs and made a whole lot of memories. My heart smiles that, even though our visits are months between, kids can pick up right where they have left off and play and laugh together. 

Thanks Nana for letting our family invade your home for a week. For buying lots and lots of groceries. For sleeping on a futon so that we could all have beds. For organizing fun outings and neat activities. Thanks mostly, though, for showing great patience and deep love for my kids!

Thanks to all the uncles, aunts, and cousins who made time to see our family while we were there. It was wonderful to see everyone!

1 comment:

  1. Has it really been this long since I've commented? (I am sure you noticed that I am working my way back now.) I read all of these as you wrote them, but apparently had one (or likely two) children on my lap at those points.

    This trip sounds just and Grady got a night away and the kids got lots and lots of love and fun adventures. I am so glad you blog because someday they'll be able to look back and see how special they are to so many (and how special their parents are to make sure they see family...even with hours and hours in the car!)