Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Trip to Ohio

This past weekend, we had a mini-family reunion at my brother's house in Ohio.  My oldest brother, Kel, and his family have been missionaries in Brazil for 15-16 years.  They are returning to the field on August 13th so we worked to get as many of us together for one last time before they leave.  This time they will be gone for two years. 

If you know me at all, you will laugh at this first part.  The plan was to leave on Thursday after my husband got home from work.  I figured I could have the truck loaded and we would be on the road by 4:30.  Well, I am SO organized that I was 100% disorganized this time around :-/  I don't know if it was the fact that we just returned from camping or the heat or if I really thought I was wonder woman but I did not start doing anything until Thursday morning.  The boys and I took the dog to the kennel, waited for my in-laws to drop off their cat (we are cat sitting), and went to the grocery store all before lunch.  After lunch, I had to bake cupcakes, make some other food, do laundry, back, make sure the cats all had food/water, load the truck, and take shower due to sweating like mad.  Well, we walked out the door at 5:00 and left the house a mess (I had planned to clean too!!), stopped and grabbed dinner to eat in the truck and finally made it really on the road at about 5:30.  The trip was great - it is an easy 4 hour drive and other then a semi-truck blowing a tire just as I came up along side of him (gave us all a heart attack!) we had a fun trip, arriving at my brothers around 9:30.

Here are photos and the story from our trip.
 Thursday evening we all stayed up and chatted until about 10:00 - then we put the boys to bed.  They were so cute!  Darryl and I stayed up with my brother and sister-in-law until about 12:30 and when we walked into our room, we found these two all snuggled up together.  We took our own A/C unit (my brother said we might want to HA) so our room was nice and cool which was great!

 On Friday morning, the boys were up by 8:00 and it really was cute hearing them wake up and talk to each other.  My sister-in-law, Deb, made breakfast pizza (it was soooo good) and had fresh fruit and yogurt for breakfast.  We then headed over to my niece's new apartment.  As her parents go back to the field, she is staying here in the states and has a place with a room mate while she starts taking classes.  My parents brought her down some things for her place and grandpa did a thorough check of the whole place, giving her lots of pointers along the way.  While there, I think Josh thought it was his apartment because he gave the grand tour to Nana and then to his dad - walking them through every room and showing them all of the stuff in each room.  It was so cute. 
 Have you ever tried the Veggie Sticks/Chips?  The boys loved them and kept feeding them to Grandpa.  I have to admit, they are a great snack - low carb, low salt and they are made from veggies. 
 After we got back from seeing the apartment, my niece and her new husband as well as another brother and his family all arrived too.  The photo above is of my niece's new dog - talk about a great dog!  She was near perfect the whole day.

 Now that everyone had arrived, we started working on lunch.  A cookout was planned so all of the boys (of all sizes) were put to work husking corn.  Josh and Nate love to help so they carried in all of the corn, piece by piece, to my sister-in-law.  Darryl and the three older boys, well, they just had fun making jokes like, "This piece has an "Ear Infection" because it had a bad spot, or "We were walking but the cornfield but it got too "eary""  Yes, lots of CORNY jokes HA!  Lunch was served - hot dogs, hamburgs, and brats along with various dips and salads, corn on the cob and Brazilian Beans and Rice. 

 Apparently my new nephew-in-law was a little sleepy :-)

 Even though it was a warm day, sitting under the big shade tree and getting a fantastic breeze made for a very comfortable afternoon.  The photo above shows two of my three brothers.  The third brother, Jeff, and his family were unable to come and we missed them tons!

 My niece Alicia delivering dessert.  :-)

 My kids had so much fun.  This house is set way back from the road with a huge yard so they were pretty free to do what they wanted.  Not to mention that there were always people both inside and outside so someone was always watching them.  They loved riding their bikes all around the yard and playing with their new little cars that Papa and Nana got them.
 Later that afternoon, we all loaded up and headed to a local "watering hole" to swim.  It's actually a huge pond that was dug out when they were putting in the free way - they used the dirt from the farm land and in return, left behind these really great ponds for the farmers to use.  Many of them have boat houses or docks that have been added; this one include a beach/rocky area too. 
 I realize that this looks like the dock is really close to shore and people are diving into shallow water but this area is actually 12 feet deep all around the dock. 

 Two of my sister-in-laws, Deb and Lynnette. 
 Two of my nephews chasing down the third one who did NOT want to get in the water (I don't blame him - I didn't get in either  . .. I'm more of a pool kinda girl HA)
 Naturally my boys had a blast.  Nana hung out with them on the shore and they would wade out to their knees with her before running back in to higher ground.
 My sister-in-law Lynnette finally gave in and decided she really wanted to swim so she went in dressed in her clothes.  She is kinda crazy sometimes:-)
 Here sit the three anti-sun guys :-)  My husband is not a sun and beach kind of guy - he prefers the shade.  My dad has had skin cancer so the shade is his friend and I think my nephew would much rather hang out here then anywhere else.

 We returned back to the house and just hung out and watched the Olympics.  Around 7;30, we did finally order pizza and ate some dinner before my kids crashed!  Josh was actually asking to go to be at 6:45 but decided he'd like to have pizza first but then we took them back to get PJ's on and asked if they wanted to say good night to everyone and they said "NO! we want to go to sleep" and sleep they did!

We had planned to have a campfire that evening and we did get outside but about 5 minutes later we were all racing for cover as a huge rain storm came through.  Instead we hung out inside, played a game and watched the Olympics.

I did not take any photos on Saturday - I had really wanted to get some family/group shots but sometimes things just don't work.  Instead we had breakfast (my brother made Pancakes and Sausage) and then it was time for my parents to load up - they took our boys home with them.  Then we loaded up as did my other brother.  Once we were all loaded, came the good byes.  It's always hard to say good bye to my brother and sister-in-law as they return to the field because we know we won't see them for 2 years.  This time they are taking only one of their four kids back with them, my nephew Micah, as the rest of the kids have graduated from high school.  We will miss them alot while they are gone!

Our trip home was uneventful but we did laugh because . . .it was a four hour drive and we stopped 3 times HA!  First we stopped for gas, then about an hour later we stopped for lunch, and then about an hour later we stopped for coffee (and maybe a donut but I'll never tell!!).  Our lunch was awesome.  You may remember that back when we vacationed in Toledo, we ate at Tony Packo's and really loved it.  It just so happened that I saw a Tony Packo's sign on one of those food signs before an exit so we jumped off and went there to eat.  It was just as good this time.  We did try deep fried pickles - ummmm not a fan at all.  The rest of the food was great though! 

That was our trip in a nutshell :-)