Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Texas and the Family Reunion

After we left the MIND Institute, we went straight to Texas for a family reunion with Doug's family. The drive was long but the kids were amazingly well behaved for the trip and we had a good time visiting Doug's home state!

The first thing that happened after we left Sacramento was that the kids all got settled in the car for the long trip. David and Nathan watched movies and Jonathan watched David and Nathan and sometimes the movies. Mostly he just sat and looked out the window.

David made himself a bed on the floor and Nathan made himself a bed on the seat and they stayed in those spots for most of the drive. David slept and watched movies mostly. He also got very clever about sneaking snacks without us knowing it! Nathan spent most of his time playing PSP , watching movies and coloring. Mostly PSP though. He got a Ben 10 game and he was obsessed the whole trip!

Jonathan surprised me by how good he was in the car. He also made some great progress on some things while we were driving. He was quiet and didn't really fuss much at all except when he was hungry or tired. He has never been good about sleeping in the car so I was really worried about how he'd do on this trip but 5 minutes on the road from Sacramento, I looked back at him and he was sound asleep! I was amazed! Then later I was amazed to see him holding his own bottle up and drinking from it while he was sitting in his carseat, sitting up. He had not been able to do that yet so I was glad that he mastered this on our trip, even if he did use his feet half the time! It was cute!

We stopped in Albequerque for the night and were joined at the hotel by Jared, Laurie, Ethan, Rachel, Luke and Brady from Utah and Geoff, Natalie, Jacob, Anna, Bente, Isaac, Keaton and Lola from Arizona! The kids all went straight to the pool to swim before it closed for the night and had a great time! I don't know about anyone else but we had a hard time getting our kids to go to sleep that night cause they were so excited! The next morning, we all had breakfast and got on the road in a caravan. Doug and I provided the walkie talkies and most everyone seemed to enjoy using those to talk between the cars and tell jokes and play games. It definitely made the drive go faster! We made a quick stop at the border to take pictures by the Welcome to Texas sign then we continued on.

While in Texas we spent lots of time with siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, and Meemaw of course! WE had a great time. It was wonderful to see Meemaw and everyone else and get to know some of the relatives that I had never met before. We had a family reunion with Meemaw's family. We ate some good BBQ and took some pictures and then we went to a community pool and played in the water. It was a fun time!

We also paid a visit to the cemetary to visit David's (Doug's dad) grave. The kids were a little freaked out to see Nana's name on the headstone next to his but we explained what that was all about. Then we also visited Grandmom & Grandad's grave and Papaw's grave among other relatives. It was hot and dry so we enjoyed some yummy ice cream after we left the cemetary.

We got to go to Chuck E. Cheese with the Black family (Wright family friends) including our friend John who we hadn't seen in years. It was lots of fun to see them and the kids had a fun time playing games and eating pizza. We ate some more BBQ the next day and the next day I think. LOL! There was a lot of BBQ to eat but it's the best! We had a good time all together and were so glad we all got to make it down there! We even got a chance to get a video record of some family history, stories and such from Meemaw and her sisters! This is something we will all cherish and pass on for generations to come. We hope to make it back to Texas again before too long!

We also got a visit from Jim and Mary while we were there and that was a treat too, as always! (Jim is one of Doug's uncles on his dad's side) They came to our hotel to visit us before we left and the kids ran all over the place while the grown ups talked and laughed together. Thankfully we were able to contain the children in one big room with us so they were at least a little under control! At one point, Natalie took them all for a walk and they all found a big tarantula on the ground by the hotel. They thought it was the greatest thing and insisted that someone take a picture! Yuck! Then the next morning Jim and Mary came back and brought cookies and watched all the kids swim one last time before we had to get on the road again! The grown ups and older kids also had a fun game of Uno Splash that morning! We were so glad to see them again too!

All in all it was a wonderful visit with family and friends and was actually somewhat relaxing if you can believe it! We all just kinda took each other's kids in and took care of everyone together! That's what family's for right! Live, laugh, love and play together!