I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving holiday! We headed to Joplin, Missouri this Thanksgiving to celebrate with Nate's parents. We had not seen them since Memorial Day, so we were anxious to get down there.
The drive to Missouri should take about 12 hours for two adults who are able to take minimal bathroom breaks. But, for a family with three little kids, that 12 hours turned into 14 1/2! Nate and I counted 8 stops on the way down. Eight! That is kind of ridiculous! But when you have a 4 year-old, 2 year-old and an eight month-old, things frequently become ridiculous. That's the fun of life with little ones! The stops were for coffee, fuel, diaper changes, nursing, food and just plain insanity breaks of being trapped in the van that long! And all those things never seemed to happen at just one stop, so every hour or so we would stop again to do something that we didn't do at the last stop.
God's blessing was definitely upon us during this trip. In the St. Louis area, God allowed Nathan to stop the car just in time to avoid the crash that happened right in front of us! Poor little Layla was very bothered by that accident and said she couldn't get it out of her head. We had to convince her that the people didn't seem to be hurt, only their cars. On the way home there were a few accidents as well, but on the other side of the expressway.
We were relieved to arrive in Joplin. Since we left around 4:30 am on Wednesday, we were able to get there by supper time. It was nice to finally eat real food, too! Nate's mother had a delicious roast with carrots, onions and potatoes. Yum! I think I ate two helpings!
In the middle of the night on Wednesday, we discovered a trip to Missouri is not complete without some puking! Last year at Thanksgiving, Layla was the one puking. This year, Julius decided it was his turn. By the next day we think he was nearing the 15 mark of number of times throwing up. Yuck! On and off the rest of the weekend, Julius would surprise us with his throwing up. At least we got some breaks in between!
The turkey did not thaw in time for Thanksgiving, so we made our Thanksgiving dinner on Friday, instead. This seemed like divine intervention since Julius threw up all day on Thursday, but not once on Friday. It is much nicer enjoying a Thanksgiving feast without running to catch puke! Dinner was wonderful! The stuffing tasted the best! Yum, I could eat more right now!
The kids loved their time with "Beepaw and Damma." I know, these are weird names for grandma and grandpa, but they are the names Layla came up with before she was even 2 years-old. Since she is the first-born, she has taught Julius and everyone else that those are their names! Nate's dad even has "Beepaw" on his license plate.
Layla and Julius loved coloring, reading, playing dominoes, making Christmas decorations, watching "Elf", playing at the park, and playing Lincoln Logs with Beepaw and Damma. I think their favorite was going to the petting farm. This was the best petting farm I had ever been to. You could only come by appointment, so there was only two other families there. There were so many animals, it was great! The kids got to take numerous pony rides and feed and pet a variety of animals. The kids loved the baby lama, calf, emu and buffalo. My favorites were the jersey cow, baby lama, and the miniature donkeys. The calf named Curly thought I was his favorite for a while. He wouldn't leave me alone! I was holding Gunnar in his baby carrier trying to peel this calf off me with my free hand. He seemed to love my corduroy pants. He kept rubbing his snotty nose up and down my legs and kept pushing me around. Nate and his mom finally came to my rescue and the farmer tied Curly up for a while. It was so much fun to watch the kids run around and feed all the animals. It really made our dream of having some farm animals that much clearer!
It is always sad to leave Beepaw and Damma, but it wasn't that bad this time because we knew we would be seeing them at Christmas. Only four weeks away! Can you believe it!
The ride home went well, considering the distance traveled. We managed to keep it to only 5 stops on our way home, but a few of them were 30 to 40 minute stops. We let the kids play at a McDonald's play land in the morning, we ran around at a rest stop for a bit in the early afternoon and about an hour away from home we spent about 30 minutes at a Taco Bell because everyone about had it by that point. Julius even managed to puke twice at the Taco Bell to finish off the trip with a bang!
Before we left for Missouri, we managed to put our house up for sale. It is such a relief to have the sign in the yard. We have our first showing scheduled for Sunday. Hopefully those people like what they see! Keep us in your prayers that our house will sell quickly!
We are enjoying our celebration of Advent and our anticipation of Christmas. Don't forget to enjoy the anticipation of Christmas just as the Jews anticipated the coming of the Messiah! Oh come, oh come Emmanuel!