Saturday, April 10, 2010

Road Trip

The kids and I took a road trip and were gone for about 10 days. This post is a bit long (okay, very long) but I didn't want to leave anyone out.

I had almost two weeks off from work and Ben had a lot of school work to do. We decided last minute that it would be a good time for me to make a trip to Michigan to visit family and friends. I could visit with people I didn't get to see over the holidays (since we were so sick) and Ben could have a lot of time to study without feeling like he was neglecting the family. The kids traveled really well and we had a wonderful time. It was so nice to not be on a schedule! We left on a Wednesday morning and headed over to the west side of the state. We stayed with Ben's aunt and grandmother for a couple of days. We went out to eat, shopped and enjoyed the unusually warm weather.
Owen with his "buddy," Great Aunt Judy. He adores Aunt Judy and will not let anyone else refer to him as their buddy. He is ONLY Judy's buddy.
I had to snap a picture of Aubrey sleeping in Aunt Judy's arms because she rarely sleeps while being held.
Owen with Great-Grandma Glupker. She watched Owen one evening while Judy and I shopped. While we were gone she went out to the garage and found some wood to build Owen a ramp for his cars. They then proceeded to race each other. I LOVE to see elderly people interact with young children. It's just precious. And it's even sweeter because she's our grandma.
Aubrey got to meet her Great-Uncle, Jack. They seemed fond of each other.
Aunt Judy spoiled the kids with a couple of new outfits. Here is one of them.
On Thursday I was able to meet up with my good friend, Shelby We have been friends for about 20 years but had not seen each other in several. We are both married now with two children. It was so fun to get together. Unfortunately our two year olds are not strong enough to hold my big camera to snap a picture of Shelby and I together. Instead, I captured a photo of two of our kids.

On Friday morning I loaded up the van and started to make my way across the state. After driving for a couple of hours I made my first stop at the cemetery where my mom is buried. I'm not in the area very often but whenever I am near my mother's grave I make a point to visit. It's always hard to go there but in some way it makes me feel better to go.
After leaving the cemetery I made my way over to my Grandmother Rademacher's house. If you count both grandchildren and great-grandchildren, she has 60! I was able to visit with her for a few hours and my Aunt Nancy even showed up. It was so nice to have lunch with Grandma and talk with her. As a child I always enjoyed spending time at her house.
After leaving Fowler, I headed over to St. Johns to visit with my Grandma Miller. We spent a few hours there chatting and having dinner. Two of my cousins, Jess and Allison stopped by for a visit as well. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures.
After leaving my grandmother's house I drove another hour and a half to Ben's parent's house. Saturday my dad surprised me by stopping by for a visit. Sunday we went to church and spent the afternoon playing outside. Monday I got to go shopping with my sister-in-law. Each day I was there the whole family got together. We stayed up way too late and ate way too much but it's always fun.
In no particular order, here are some pictures from my 4 day stay with them:
Ben's parent's own 26 acres of land. It was a great place for Owen to have an Easter egg hunt. He even had a fan club following him around as he hunted for eggs. He's pretty popular with the family!
I put an egg on the very top of this leaf pile. Owen got half way up, turned around and came back down. He looked at Ben's dad and said, "Grandpa, I'm too small for this." Grandpa kindly gave him a hand.
I didn't put anything in the eggs. And look at that smile - he doesn't know what he's missing.
Grandma and Owen love to read together. She put a couple of new books in his Easter basket. You can't go wrong with books or cars.
Aunt Amanda and Uncle Drew with Aubrey Ann
I wish I had this on video. Uncle Drew had Aubrey laughing hysterically.
Owen enjoyed lots of time wrestling with the uncles. He loves to tackle.
Owen likes to pound on the piano keys while he sings. Aubrey decided to join him. Owen usually sang the ABC's while Aubrey yelled.

Tuesday morning I loaded up the van once again and made my way south to my sister's house. Again, we stayed up way too late, ate way too much and had lots of fun. I must point out here that my sister and I beat my brother-in-law and my dad in Euchre. It's always fun when dad comes over. And it's even more fun to beat him in a game - any game.
The cousins had a blast together. Kim and Jeff live out in the country so there are always fun things for the kids to do. The day it rained we went to Chuck E Cheese. Wednesday night I went to Trinity Baptist Church and had the privilege of seeing some of my dear friends.
Here are some pictures from our time with my side of the family:
Uncle Jeff let Cole (age 6) take Carson (18 months) and Owen (2.5 years) for a ride on the four-wheeler (without helmets).
Holding on for dear life
And away they go - into the woods to ride the trails out of the sight of all adults.
Watching the turtle Grandpa Rademacher gave them
Matching outfits!
Goofy picture - the only kind of picture Kim's kids like to take. Owen never knew how to give a "goofy face" until now. The cousins were pleased to teach him.
Every time we get together we take a picture of all the kids from oldest to youngest. If you click on this picture it will enlarge and you will notice that Brooklyn has her eyes crossed. This girl, without any warning, will cross her eyes while she's talking to you just to be funny. I didn't notice it as I was snapping the pictures until my sister said, "BROOKLYN! Cut that out!" Brooklyn was very upset that she couldn't make a silly face. So we ended up with this picture:
Brooklyn with a sad face. Either way, Owen can't keep his eyes off her. He loves her!
Grandpa started reading to Owen and in seconds he had 4 kids pushing their way around him.
Snuggling with Aunt Kimmie before bedtime
Grandpa and Owen. Cole obviously didn't see the camera or he would have certainly posed. He loves the camera!

We had a great trip to Michigan and back. But after being home for just 2 days out of the last 3 weeks, I'm happy to be home. It was great to see Ben when we got home on Friday night. He even had some gifts waiting for me when I returned (clothes and shoes). It's an honor to be loved. I don't deserve it.
It's back to work on Monday for me. And this week we have company for the Together for the Gospel Conference. Life is never dull!


Anonymous said...

From Orlando to Lincoln's cabin to Michigan - you have spent a lot of time traveling and visiting with family. What a blessing - and tiring. I'm bummed we missed each other - we won't see each other until Ben is GRADUATED!

Debbie said...

Looks like you had a wonderful time, Kelly! So sorry we missed you, again! Will you be able to be up for Lance's wedding in June? Maybe then we'll get to see each other. :-)

Anonymous said...

Okay, a couple of corrections need to be made here. Yes, it is true that Kelly and Kim beat Jeff and I in Euchre. However, we played TWO games and we won the first one... just a minor detail that Kelly left out.

Second, where did you get the story that I stole the turtle for the kids. Oh, you didn't know that the turtle was stolen? That must be why Jeff said it was from Grandpa.

Grandpa Rademacher