The girls were out of school on Friday, so we had everything pretty much ready to go when Daniel got home. We planned to leave by 3:30, make a stop in Tulsa, and then meet Daniel's side of the family for dinner. The trip takes about 2 1/2 hours if you don't make any stops. So, planning for the stop in Tulsa and probably one additional bathroom stop, we were thinking we should be there no later than 7.
When we stopped for gas, I went in and grabbed some snacks. Since we were going to be eating when we got there, I didn't want the kids to have much. So, I grabbed them each a "mystery flavor" laffy taffy and we were on our way. We got to Tulsa about 4:30ish and made our stop at the Army Surplus store. Daniel went in and did his shopping while the rest of us waited in the van. The kids played their DS's/leapsters (someone please remind me to buy earphones for those things before our next trip) and all was well.
Of course, no sooner did we get back on the highway-in five o'clock on Friday traffic-then someone says "I need to go to the bathroom." There was nowhere to stop at the moment, so they were told to wait. About five minutes later, another child says "I don't feel good." Still no where to stop. That child was given a plastic bag and told to close their eyes. We turned the air on in the back and kept going. After a few minutes, she was looking better and the bathroom child was distracted with a DS (she usually doesn't really have to go anyway, she just wants to get out of the van for a while) so we kept going. The next thing I know, Landon is crying. I ask him what's wrong, but he won't say anything. Cheyenne says he says his throat hurts. Just as I turn around to check on him, here comes his (BRIGHT BLUE) laffy taffy all over the seat and floor of the van! Great!
It took a while before we got to a gas station to clean him up. Once we got there and got him changed, he was fine. The seats and floor of my van, however, are not. There will be a big blue spot there forever!
Thankfully, we managed to make it the rest of the way there without any more excitement. We met Daniel's family at a yummy Mexican restaurant for dinner. Here's the birthday boy outside the restaurant after dinner.
Danny Jay was pretty happy to see us.
I love the look on Danny's face in this picture. He was READY for that cake! Landon's rescue hero was asking if he could share Landon's cake but I think Landon said no. :) (don't ask me what grandpa and Dakota are doing in the background. They're always up to something)
One more picture of the birthday boy (who will be the same age as me in two days. Then he will have to stop calling me old!)
On Saturday, we went to Grandma Debbie's house. It was a nice day, so Grandma Debbie and I took the kids to the park for a while in the afternoon. I forgot my camera, darn it, but we did have fun. The kids' favorite part was the merry-go-round. After watching the kids play on that thing, I know why you don't really find them in parks much anymore. That thing was the merry-go-round of death! Not like these that I remember
If you fall off this merry go round, you pretty much just go sailing off into the grass, get back up, and jump right back on. If you're pushing, you grab hold of one of the handrails as it comes by and give it a shove. No big deal. The one at this park was different. Remember these?
Well, someone had the bright idea to replace the handrails on the merry go round with four of these lovely horses. The problem is, there isn't really a good place to grab these and push. The kids would end up grabbing the backside of the horse as it went around. This meant that they had to bend down, which put their heads directly in the path of the next horse as it was coming around. After having my heart stop a couple of times when I thought I was about to witness some child's skull being crushed by the spinning horses of doom and having two of my children get too dizzy to hang on, my mean mom side came out and I made my kids choose other things to play on. We didn't stay long after that.
We got back to Grandma Debbie's house around dinner time. The kids all love to help Grandma Debbie in the kitchen. Sometimes having the four of them around the hot stove is a bit too much help, so they have started taking turns. One child is the "helper" each time we visit. This time it was Sierra's turn. Here she is in her Tinkerbell apron and chef's hat making the tea.
Sunday morning, Daniel and Grandma Debbie watched the kids for me while I went to visit the cemetery. It was the first time I had been able to go out there since the day of the funeral. It's been too icy/snowy/wet when we've been in town. We had bought a shepherd's crook and a little wind chime for Christmas and I was finally able to get them put up. I stopped by the store on my way and picked up some pink tulips (because they are my favorite) to take with me. On the way, I turned on the CD I have of the music we used in the service. I listen to it from time to time when I'm in the van by myself. I knew it was going to be emotional going out there, but I really wasn't prepared for how hard those memories were going to hit when I heard those songs on that road going to that place. It was nice that I was by myself so I could just let it out. I needed to do that. Once I got there, I got everything in place and cleaned up some of the loose flowers and things that were on the ground. I was glad to see that my aunt and uncle had taken a Christmas wreath out. I stayed a while and enjoyed the quiet of that place and thought about how much my dad would have liked to have been out on the lake on a day like that. Man, I miss him!
I left there and drove out to another little country cemetery to visit my friend Ray. I haven't talked about him on my blog before. He passed away almost a year before Dakota was born (it's where she gets her middle name Raye) when I was only 19 and he was 16. I hadn't been out there since Dakota was a baby. I left him some pink tulips too. It's nice to think that Ray and my dad are getting to enjoy heaven together. I can't wait to see them both again!
Sunday afternoon my grandparents, Pops
stopped by for a visit. (These pics are actually from Christmas, but I promise they still pretty much look like that).
cooked us some yummy lunch and we hung out for a while. (This pic is from Christmas too, but I like it anyway).
Then, it was time to head back to Grandpa and Grandma Phyllis'
house to pick up the rest of our things. First, we stopped by and hung out with Grandma Rita
for a while.
Then, we had dinner with Grandpa and Grandma Phyllis. While Daniel and Grandpa were talking after dinner, the kids "helped" Grandma Phyllis make peanut brittle (that we got to bring home-yeah!).
We had a good trip, but it was so nice to get back to my own bed on Sunday evening. It will be nice when we don't have to travel so far to see everyone. Just a few more months. Think I should probably go get to work on all that cleaning and organizing I have to do before then!