Monday, July 7, 2008

Family Vacation!

We had a fantabulous time on our family vacation. I mean a *real* family vacation! We started in the Blue Ridge Mountains and traveled north to a little village outside Syracuse, NY! It normally only takes about 8 hours, however we were only able to travel 3 miles in one hour due to road construction traffic in Scranton, PA! Nevertheless we were greeted with warm hugs from the B side of the family!

We thoroughly enjoyed J’s high school graduation party! Complete with a slip and slide and absolutely NO alcohol . Sweetness went down the slip and slide so many times that she moaned and groaned with body aches the entire next day. I gave her some pain reliever at bedtime and promised she would feel better by the next day. We ate a delicious dinner at the Outback Steakhouse with mom and dad B in celebration of their 49th Anniversary.

G’ma B took us to a strawberry patch!

It was my very last first time to a strawberry patch! My kids loved it and Cutie Pie got “FULL” on strawberries. She also took us on a nature walk through a bog at Beaver Lake! We seen a very dirty green frog, measured the black gooey quick sand with a stick, seen several wild flowers and a gold finch in the bird observatory!

Treasure Hunter was blessed with a family heirloom and other treasures to add to his collection. Mom B went into the attic and recovered some old bottles that Treasure Hunter found when he was a small boy walking in the woods with his mom. He was born to treasure hunt ; )

On our way to visit our V side of the family we decided to take a different route and bypass eastern PA traffic. WE traveled across western NY and tried to picture Buffalo in 6’ of snow! We enjoyed the view of Lake Erie from the highway. It cost $8 to travel the NY Thruway, but it was worth dodging I-81. As soon as we crossed the PA line we met more road construction. However, it was not a heavily traveled interstate so we were not delayed. I forgot just how windy and curvy the WV roads are. They have a ridiculous speed limit of 70 mph around these mountainous spiraling curves. By the time we got through N. WV I was car sick! But my oh my was the mountain views absolutely gorgeous! Take me home, country roads…

Again we were greeted with a warm welcome from the V side of the family. I thoroughly enjoyed a whole day with just my mom and dad. We went to a lake where the children swam and played on the beach, then enjoyed a dinner at my dad’s favorite restaurant, Captain D’s. The next day we spent with my sister and Sweetness’ bestest Aunt Barbara. She cooked us a delicious breakfast and dinner, then gave my kids their much awaited bubble bath in her jacuzzi tub!

We also visited my cousin who just graduated from nursing school! She was bone tired after working 4 - 12 hour days at a hospital. I am still kicking myself for not taking pictures of her kids! Especially cousin Brooke who had a major turf burn on her thigh from "Sliding into homeplate!"

On our final full day we visited Aunt Roxanne who taught my kids to do the finger wiggle!

Then we went to my brother’s house for a cookout with his darling wife and two kids! We had hotdogs, hamburgers, corn, beans, fruit, and S’mores over an open fire. My brother delighted the children with fireworks, although the fireflies seem to be more captivating : /

We thought about leaving on Sat. night, but my visit to WV would not be complete without going to my old home church. My kids love G’ma Nora’s church too. There was a good message preached about spreading the gospel to the lost souls of this world. What I love about this church is the Sunday School classes have a chance to tell what the children learn in their class and the kids recite their Bible verses and sometimes sing a special song or solo. This church also honors those with birthdays with a short little ceremony of matching your age with coins and placing them in the offering plate, then being pinned with birthday pennant. After the special birthday song was sang Sweetness spoke up and said, “I have my birthday in a few weeks.”

The congregation leader said, “Well you can come back in a few weeks and get your pin.”

“I won’t be here in a few weeks!” Sweetness explained.

Then her teacher (who use to be a very dear friend of mine) spoke up and said, “She’s is M’s daughter from VA, she won’t be here in a few weeks!.”

“OH! Well come on up and get your pin !”

And the congregation burst into another special birthday song. It touched my heart and tears came to my eyes as I watched her receive her pin (even though she had no coins to give).

Tears came to my eyes once again as I had to say goodbye to my precious family whom I miss so much. I am amazed at how distant all of them who live so close together have become. I suppose distance makes the heart grow fonder. It is hard to understand and deal with those in our families who have shortcomings and faults. But the Lord has shown me to overlook offenses and forgive as I have been forgiven. I admit it was a wonderful good feeling to be on the opposite side of hospitality! I have learned a lot and hope to become a better hostess.

In closing I have to brag that my children behaved extremely well especially traveling such long distances. I only had to get my electric poker out a few times : 0 ) >just kidding< They were so tired from all the stimulation they were pretty much whipped puppies in the backseat!

Last but not least I want to thank my Heavenly Father for his hand of protection upon my family during our journey.

Oh, and Lord Willing we will be visiting Alaska soon! Our nephew JP just scored a job as game warden in Alaska!!!! stay tuned...