I'd like to post pictures, but my camera ended up in my mom's purse. I'll see her by the end of the week, so I'll do it then.
A short recap, because I need to get busy getting my kids fed and in bed for tomorrow. We left last Friday and went to Minneapolis. Honestly, I don't remember what we did Saturday morning, but Saturday night was my cousin's wedding. She looked so beautiful! It was great to see cousins I haven't seen for 6 years! Samuel got to hang out with my youngest cousins, boys 1/2 my age! Sweet guys who were kind to include him in their activities. He was thrilled to show them his LEGO's. Which helped me remember what we did that morning. The Mall of America was just down the road. What was there? The Lego store (under construction, so a much smaller version) and the American Girl Store. Such heaven for children! It was Samuel's birthday, and I'd finished his sweater on the way up. He really liked it a lot! Now, it needs to be washed and blocked.
Sunday, after spending some time chatting with family, we took off for our next stop. Next door to where my dad grew up. We stayed with his oldest brother and his wife, saw a cousin, got to explore the woods and find cool things like mosses and birch bark, observe decomposition in the trees, see some deer (perhaps in their last few days of life, if my family was successful), and visit with a friend I've known since Kindergarten!
Off on Wednesday to see the house I lived in growing up. It's fun to see the changes and tell stories the kids can now identify with the actually places. We went to see more cousins by Duluth, and stayed with my mom's next youngest sister. My cousin, Lindsey, stayed over a few extra days so she could see more of us. It was really nice for my kids, getting to play with her, and making memories. Caleb would talk to Buddy and tell him he was at Lindsey's house. Catherine kept asking about Carrie, who had just gotten married. Samuel didn't really have a preferrence- they had Lego's to play with! We managed to get some school in everyday, which they tolerated nicely. Not as much as if we were home, but we gave it a good effort.
One of the nicest things about our time there was our visits with my Grandma. She's almost 83 and is having some drastic changes in her mental state. I wanted my kids see her, and have some memories together. We weren't sure how she'd be when we got there, but it was actually a very nice time. Caleb found a beach ball at the care center, and wanted to play catch with G'ma. She perked up the best she'd been during our visits, and seemed so much more of her "old" self. We helped her go to bed before we left and sang songs, at Caleb's request. It was sweet to hear him talk about Grandma V after we left and ask what she was doing.
We left from for home, via the IKEA store in Minneapolis! My first time there was a thrill! I had looked at a catalog YEARS ago and dreamed of using all their great organizational devices. It was really hard knowing I could only bring a few things home, since we were stuffed like sardines in the Suburban. It did help me get in the mood, though, and I spent part of today organizing in the boys' room/closet, and planning new things to build and do with Buddy.
Glad to be home, and looking forward to a great week. The kids did awesome, Hannah was a hit with everyone, and was her charming self. Still working on boundaries and such, but she traveled great, as did Caleb, and handled each long day and different bed like champs.
Now, if I could just find my pillow....