We had a great time visiting Mommy and my family this year. Kristina was able to come with her boys, and of course Josh was there. Gary is deployed right now, so we missed him, but other than that the whole family was there.
The kids did awesome on the way up there. It was the first trip in quite a while that no one has thrown up or cried at all. Even ReC was happy almost the whole drive!
When we arrived Cadence helped Aunt Kristina make apple pie.
Alex has a really fun bed. That 'cabinet' is actually just a door leading to an open space under the bed. The munchkins loved it and spent a lot of time down there. Well, when Cadence wasn't bossing the older kids around, and when James wasn't flipping the light on and off just to listen to them yelp.
Mommy and Kristina - and Cadence - made lots of yummy pies and desserts, and Auntie brought goodies too. They lasted all the way until Thanksgiving day - barely past breakfast. Some of us skipped lunch to just eat pie. Not to name names... but that could have been me... I dunno though... It's kinda fuzzy ;)
James found a buddy - Gabriel is excellent at keeping tabs on the littles, and read to James a couple times, as well as letting him stay outside and ride his 'motorcycle' when I had to go in to take care of ReC.
We also got to see some family friends, which was a delight! This is everyone's surrogate grandfather. He takes wonderful care of my mother, and for that I am so grateful! I think half the area calls him Pop :)
Josh and Tony had some time to catch up - with so many adults and big kids around, we actually got to have whole conversations! In fact, Friday Tony took the kids outside to play in the leaves, and Mommy snuggled ReC, so I actually played a game... I beat Josh. He'll deny it. He'll say he won. But really, even though his score was higher... I totally whupped him.
See... it's like this. We didn't count the practice round, when I got fifteen points more than he did. And then I had to go feed ReC, and Mommy played in my stead, which was all well and good, except she wound up with really bad hands.
So see... if all that hadn't happened - I really did win.
We ate so much food I thought I was going to pop. And this was all just the first day.
Kristina cheesing. She knitted that sweater... along with half my kids winter accessories. Isn't she amazing? I love the things she's made us. She's a true artist.
Some more boys. Imagine that. Cadence and ReC are the only girls in this generation.
Cadence and Dominic playing castle. Cadence adores Dominic. All kids do. It's his
curse calling in life. I'm pretty sure she followed him around like a little puppy most of the time we were there.
On Thursday Jojo got to come, which upped Cadence's excitement even more - if that's possible.
"Here, quick, take our picture while I'm blocking his escape!"
Cadence loved the leaves. All the kids did, but Cadence got to slide and jump in them with Daddy before any of the other kids went out there, and she had a blast. When she finally came in, her boots were stuffed full of leaves.
~Mommy.... I'll vacuum next time I'm there...~
We have a tradition at my Mommy's house. Every time a lot of the family gets together for a special occasion we get this same tablecloth out. Anyone old enough to write signs their name, then Mommy embroiders it. The munchkins get to put their hand or footprint on it. James was not so thrilled with this tradition, but Kristina and I managed to finagle him into doing it, with lots of distraction. What finally worked was telling him we would count to ten together and then be done. That got him to cooperate without fussing... and we just counted really slow...
This was ReC's first Thanksgiving, so we took pictures.
She was enthralled, and watched very carefully.
Trying to eat the tablecloth...
The kids were very tired on the way home. Cadence kept saying she was going to take a little nap, but she never did. She didn't get grumpy though, so it was fine. In fact it was great. They did even better on the way home than on the way - which has never happened. God really answered prayer on that one! As we were leaving Mommy's neighborhood, Cadence prayed she wouldn't get sick, and then announced, "God always answers our prayers."
This... This... I can't even... We look back and James had shoved a bucket all the way over his ears and fallen asleep. Apparently that's what Bing Crosby does to the boy.
McDonald's at Midway is kind of a tradition - it happens to be the only convenient place to stop at lunch time, and the kids love it. They actually had cute toys this time. Both the big kids played with their little animals a lot. Cadence said, "My bunny's real name is Cutie Patootie, and her nickname is Snowy." She is, right this minute, sleeping with Cutie Patootie.
ReC still gets broken neck syndrome in her carseat. She's getting so big. This weekend she started rolling over all. the. time. She rolls to her stomach, gets bored, then starts fussing. Always. So then we have to go flip her back over. While we were gone she finally rolled back onto her back. Everyone got to see it but me. And they all teased me about it. Oh well.
All the cousins. They actually cooperated and sat reasonably still for this. I did a photomerge to get everyone's eyes open at the same time :) Ten cousins... and only two girls.