Our road trip did have some exciting moments when we were at the rest stop to have lunch. There was a car in the parking lot that was emitting some smoke and seemed to be overheating. Soon, though, the car was completely engulfed in flames. As in, it looked like a movie. I had never seen anything like it! Everyone was scrambling to move their cars to a safer spot, and many people were taking pictures and video- it really was unbelievable. Since we were in a pretty rural part of the state, it took nearly 25 minutes for the fire truck to get there and start to get things under control. We kind of blocked the view of this from the kids for a while, but then Dave stood up to take Ben to be changed and Ben saw it. Immediately, he pointed out the window and said, "Uh oh!" No flies on this kid.
Anyway, things were soon under control and we fed, changed, and re-grouped the kids to head to Iron Gate Farm.
When we arrived, the kids were so happy just to get out of the car! They were even happier when they saw how much open space there is at Grandma and Grandpa's house. They just ran (in three different directions, of course) and started exploring.
Ben loved it because the entire driveway is filled with rocks. He loves rocks. Mostly, he loves throwing rocks, unfortunately, but he was happy as could be.
Then, it turned out that Grandma has a garden filled with even better rocks! Can you just see them trying to plot what to do with this newfound treasure?
I know, let's fill this fountain with rocks. Good idea.
Even while enjoying nature, a guy does have to have his phone with him.
Jack took a nice stroll with his Daddy and Aunt Ryane.
Uncle David helped Mairead to enjoy the flowers.
Mairead just ran from one place to another while carrying a 'baby jaguar' and announcing that she was 'in the jungle.'
Rachael was an AWESOME playmate for Mairead. I had never seen Mairead play with a 'big kid' before, and the girls had so much fun together. It was so great to watch because we saw Mairead engaging in regular play with her cousin and demonstrating so many great skills that were seriously lacking a few months ago. She was mimicking, following Rachael's lead, taking turns, pretending, everything that little girls do when they play together. I guess I just need to rent a seven year old to come and play with Mairead every day and maybe we can cut out her therapies all together! Too bad that Rachael doesn't live closer because she did such a great job with her younger cousin.
Grandma has a very sweet border collie named Rosie, and it is in Rosie's nature to herd. She was chasing our kids and Rachael every which way trying to herd them in! The kids loved her. The boys kept saying, "I see puppy! I see puppy!" and Mairead called her "whoa-zee" which was super cute.
Because we hadn't seen the NY family since Mairead's birthday, she was lucky enough to find some birthday gifts there for her. She is opening one from her Memeire (I hope I spelled that correctly!) here. There will be more birthday pictures in the second installment of posts from NY.
There were tons of toys to play with at Grandma's house. Mairead commandeered this group and brought them upstairs to higher ground where her brothers could not reach them.
Grandma found a bathrobe that Rachael had outgrown and handed it down to Mairead. She looked so cute playing in Grandma's room... with all of her 'friends' of course.
I love this one... she is growing up too quickly!
How cute to see three little coats hanging- ready to go out and play!
On Saturday night, Dave and I joined the family at a wonderful celebration of 25 years of marriage for Aunt Kathy and Uncle Frank. Their children (and many others) did a fantastic job of planning the party and of keeping things a secret! Aunt Kathy looked amazing and the happy couple literally was radiant- they looked like it was their wedding day all over. It was really inspiring to see them so happy after 25 years- we haven't even hit the four year mark! I hope we are just as happy as they are when we reach our 25th!
I don't have any pictures of the occasion because I forgot my camera when we left the house, and, well, once I escaped undetected by the children, there was no going back! There was a photographer at the event, though, so I hope to see some great pictures soon! It was so great to see the family and to spend time with everyone. It's not often that Dave and I get to enjoy time out with other adults, so we loved talking to the relatives we don't see often. I was thinking that between Dave's cousins who are in our age group, we have 9 little cousins, the oldest of whom is not quite seven years old. We were all having fun at the party, so the babysitters were working over time that night!
Thanks to Grandma's friend, Pat, and her daughter, Cindy, for babysitting for our kids and for Rachael so that we could all enjoy the party. It was the first time we had left the kids with babysitters who were not family AND who the kids had never met. Add that to sleeping in a strange place, and it was quite the challenge. The kids did great, though, and we knew they were in good hands!
While at the party, we met with a very nice woman named Lucille, who is a friend of Dave's grandmother. She told me that she reads our blog, and I just thought that was so nice of her. I often run in to people who I don't know or whom I barely know who tell me that they read the blog. I can't tell you how kind I think this is. To know that others are reading about our kids, thinking about us, and often praying for us and sending support is so humbling and so touching. I love to hear that people enjoy the pictures and the stories. So, a big thank you to all of you!
I promise to post more pictures of NY as well as video of the boys' first attempt to play 'tag' together. See you soon!