When the week ended here in Montana, me and the kids headed back to Texas with Clint and Rachel's crew on Friday. This allowed Kory to stay and work for a couple more weeks and give me and the kids extra time in Texas.
Rach had some app that showed her places we should stop on the way. One was a fake waterfall we tried to go to. When we got "there" we were on a flat road with not a mountain, stream, much less waterfall in sight. But we sure enough found the world's largest Jackalope! Somewhere in Wyoming, I already forgot the name of the town. We snapped a picture then discovered the trains behind the Chamber of Commerce building.
They were old trains that you could get inside! It was so much fun!
Here's Ro outside the dining car. It had tables with dishes and everything, a kitchen full of stuff just like they used when the train was running.
Nice comfy passenger car. Uncle Clint decided to test out the seats. Kan enjoyed walking up and down the isles while he held on to the seats.
They also had a sleeper car that was so cool! Beds that fold down, toilets, everything. It was a great little accidental jackpot on the way. Even if it did put us 2 hours behind schedule.
2 hours behind schedule meant we were 2 hours later seeing Kinsey! We made our usual stop at the Morgans in Greeley, CO for the night and surprised Kinsey who was there also enjoying the Morgan Inn and Suites accommodations. We had fun surprising her and enjoyed visiting with her whole family. We got there pretty late and were up and out the next morning with a long Saturday still ahead, but it sure was a fun stop!
Our vehicle/child arrangement was Me driving my suburban, Rachel my co-pilot/navigator/hand the kids stuff with Jaylie, Marion, Nolan, and Quinn in the seats. Though I was being overly dramatic (who ME?!) in the picture, it really was pretty smooth. The boys were studs in the back rarely needing us and the girls rotated being only moderately annoying. Rachel was a total rock star running the "snack bar" and helping with marker lids, dropped toys, fits, etc. We did keep a log of "Moms per hour" (MPH) because of the amazingly unbelievably number of times Jaylie said "Mommy! MOMMY!! Mommy?"
My temperature gage was reading 101. Welcome to Texas!
Clint drove solo with Ro and Kanyon in their car. Reason being: Kanyon is obsessed with riding in other peoples' cars. Especially Ro's. Ro is basically as good as a mother to Kanyon. She handles him so well and can help him with anything he needs so it would give the neediest kid (Kan Man) some 1 on 1 attention/help/playmate. This allowed Clint to not have to worry too much about dealing with kids since he didn't have a co-pilot. Ro made Kanyon a playground out of pipe cleaners and they completed their bingo page that Maggie gave us when we stayed at their house. Driving that many miles alone isn't easy, Clint rocked it.
Potty Pit Stop. Jaylie has ZERO respect for the privacy of others.
Saturday evening we had planned on making a quick stop in Childress to see our dear friends Eric and Amber Green and their kiddos. Then Dee and Susan (Eric's parents) offered to cook supper for us at their house! So we stopped in Childress, got to see Eric and Amber's new house thats being built, and ate a yummy dinner with some of our favorite people. Then we decided we were didn't want to drive the last 5 hours and get home at 3 in the morning, so we all crashed at Eric and Amber's! It was so good to see them and so good to let the kids play. The day had really zapped us so it felt good to stop and get a good night's rest.
We were up and out early Sunday morning to make it home by the time Mom and Dad were out of church. (we were church skippers that day). We snapped this adorable picture of the kiddos just before we left. My heart just skips a million beats when I see this!
So, after a long, 2 and 1/2 days of travel, with at least 650 MPH (moms per hour), lots of potty breaks, a few false alarm poopy stops, pictures at all the state signs, lots of music, bottomless snacks, google maps, a few movies in the car, and good visits and memories only a road trip can make, we made it!!!!
Driving up my driveway!!! There is NO place like home.
In record time, my boys had dad swimming in the pond. Even Ollie joined them for a swim.
Monday started Pee Wees at Camp Deer Run for the boys! Mom went with me Monday and we had the best time walking around camp while the boys did their day camp thing. I felt the need to be there in case things with Kanyon went haywire.
It was so fun spending most of our day with Janelle and Josiah--seen here in his Speedo (Drayton did Pee Wee's with Quinn)
We took a break from the heat and went to the house to play a while. June loved Josiah's horse. She sat on it told me to take her picture and then said "You GOTTA send this to Daddy!"
Me and my girl CDR! It still feels like home there. So good.
My 2 campers!! (this was not Kanyon's first time, but it was Quinn's. He had been looking forward to it ever since he turned 5 in December. It did not disappoint.)
This was after the first day of Pee Wee's. K and J OUT. Q doing DEER! since he went to Camp Deer Run! They had a blast!
We spent the night the rest of the week at my aunt and uncle's in Longview. It as great to be back with Uncle Steve and Boozie. Back in their house with all their great toys! We had so much fun staying with them. The relationship we were able to build with them while we lived in Longview is priceless. I'm so thankful for them and for the part they play in the lives of my kids.
I met up one evening with some girls form church. It was a WAAAAAY too short, but it was oh so wonderful. My friends in Longview are a huge part of who I am and my heart is flying high when I'm with them. This is the only picture I got so I missed getting pics with the whole group, but this picture of my dearest Amy and Mindi represents ALL my girls!!! and ALL THE HAPPY THEY MAKE ME!
Miss Juney girl rockin' her Boozie's flip flops. Feelin' mighty fine. No need for clothes, they would only be a distraction from the statement she's making with her shoes. Also...WHO TAUGHT HER TO PUT HER HAND ON HER HIP!!!!!!!???????!!!!?
Baby Jay came and spent a night too and it was a blast. We put the kids to bed and did what we did best....EAT CHERRY PIZZA FROM PIZZA HUT!!!! Nobody in the world I'd rather eat this with than these 2 right here!
Drayton (though he lives at camp) went to Pee Wee's with Quinn all week. They've always been such sweet buddies and I loved seeing them back together for a week at camp. They were hilarious and silly little boys. They had a blast together and I loved watching (from afar of course). This picture just makes me grin from ear to ear. 2 dirty boys with sticks in their hands at the end of a great day at CDR!
This is Brad. He was the staff member assigned to Kanyon all week. He did so great with him and hauled my kiddo all over camp. Kanyon had a blast and STILL talks about Brad. So thankful for people willing to make it possible for Kanyon to do things.
Kory made sure I didn't forget these lovely faces....
.....and he knows I'm a sucker for a sweet Mama and baby picture.
Jaylie June's obsession with Colbie has been a very real thing since the day she was born. So getting to see her in real life was a thrill for Jaylie...every time she saw her.
Many days were ended with kids outside playing on the driveway.
Kan Man and Avery creating their sidewalk masterpieces.
Kanyon, Landry, Avery, Quinn.....
Our first week was FULL and hectic, but so great!!!