We flew up to Indiana on Wednesday with Michael and Matthew. They hadn't flown in almost two years, so we weren't sure how they would react. They were AMAZINGLY well-behaved! They watched videos, played with their toys and looked out the window. Oh yeah, and went to the bathroom a couple of times, always seemingly during the worst bumps. But maybe that's just my perception *laugh* I hate flying.
Scott's mom met us at the airport and took us to their house. The boys almost IMMEDIATELY wanted to go swimming. WOW! That pool was their favorite thing! It's a really big pool, and I think about five feet deep. Michael never did move away from his ring, although he tried a couple of times to get up the nerve. But that came on Saturday. They also enjoyed swimming at night, when we would turn on the pool light, light some torches and goof off.
We spent several days enjoying our time with the family. We had brought a laptop that Scott rebuilt and gave it to Malorie (niece) for her 14th birthday. That was a HUGE hit and we could hardly keep her off of it! Speaking of presents, Scott must have felt left out on this trip. When we got there, Scott's mom, sister and niece gave Michael and Matthew some large inflatable sports balls. They gave me a beaded purse kit for my graduation. Later in the week, Scott's aunt and uncle gave Michael and Matthew butterfly nets, and they gave me some hanging baskets which I'll put up in my office.
Can I recommend getting butterfly nets for your kids if they are four? ABSOLUTELY! I would have never thought of it, but the boys carried them all weekend and had the best time catching lightening bugs every evening. Too bad we really don't have lightening bugs in Plano. Maybe they can catch the butterflies that come to visit our catmint in the backyard.
Scott and I got small breaks from the kids. Scott spent every night over at his grandfather's house, which is only a couple of blocks away from his mom's. I spent every other night over there with them. The other nights I slept at his mom's with the boys. On the nights we were both gone, Michael and Matthew slept with their cousin, Malorie. They really do love her. I can't believe what a young lady she has become.
On Saturday, we had a family gathering. Scott's uncle and aunt were there, along with their two daughters. One had brought her husband and three kids. Scott's grandfather and his girlfriend were there, along with his mom, sister and niece. We ate lots of yummy stuff and swam half the day away. Matthew got more and more brave in the water. He would jump off the side of the pool, go underwater and come up sputtering and laughing. After a while, he got even braver and would throw his head and body underwater and start swimming for all he's worth. If he hadn't had his floaties on, he would have been swimming underwater, but he wasn't ready to take them off. We tried :)
One of the days, we took the boys to the Fort Wayne zoo. They enjoyed looking around, but they were the most impressed with the snakes. They got to feed some goats, which were WAY too aggressive and kept trying to attack Matthew. The keeper said they were about to ship off a lot of them for aggression. GREAT! You're running a petting zoo with gang-like goats? Thanks for the warning.
On out next to the last day there, we went to Grabill, which is a largely Amish community near their town. They have a general store we've always loved to visit with lots of candy, taffy, handmade toys, books and other fun things. We let the boys pick out some taffy and a couple of toys (a Jacob's ladder, a very soft foam baseball, and a couple of kaleidoscopes). Then we looked at antique furniture in another store and picked up a replacement part for Uncle Paul's hand cranked ice cream maker at the hardware store.
On many of the nights, the boys got to stay up late, and even eat ice cream. They don't get it often at home. But the ULTIMATE experience came on their last night there. Uncle Paul and Aunt Nancy brought over homemade vanilla ice cream!!! I haven't had any since I was a teenager, and it is the BEST TASTING THING EVER! I would eat half of the tub if you would let me. Hard around the sides, soft and melting in the middle. The boys and I had two cups each!!!
Anyway, we had to fly back yesterday. Matthew was really good and must have quietly played with his Transformers for most of the two hour flight. Michael watched a DVD, but we forgot to charge the player. Once it died, he became a bit restless. After landing about 5:30, we went to the Rainbow Cafe for dinner. Michael is STILL scared of the fake animals. He kept his hands over his ears most of the time and wouldn't eat. We got home around 8 or so, and put the kids right to bed. Then I had to frantically pack, and try to catch up with over 700 messages from work. Ouch.
Today, I woke up, showered, and hopped on a plane out to San Jose, CA. I got to eat sushi for dinner with two coworkers who are dear to me. Yay. Now I'm just sitting on a heavenly bed at the Westin, watching TV. Two days of meetings and I get back late Friday night. The boys start school on Monday.
When do I get to sleep? Maybe I'll try that right now, even though it's only 8:00 pm here.
OH! On to the pictures!
Log ride at the zoo (Malorie, Matthew, Michael and Trish):
Matthew feeding the goats with Scott:
Michael posing on the front porch:
Aunt Michelle on the 'big trike' racing Michael on his small one:
Saturday's family gathering (Hunter, Tonja, Elizabeth, Caroline, Malorie, then Michael and Matthew up front):
Michael and Matthew painting animals with Cousin Malorie: