Because Ben had to be back at work on Monday, he flew back to Oklahoma on a Saturday. This allowed me stay through one extra weekend with the kids so they could have more play time with their friends who were in school during the week. My sister Beth graciously agreed to drive home with me and on the way back we stopped by to visit our brother, Niel, and his family.
In an attempt to make the trip easier, Beth and I decided to leave at bedtime on Sunday night and drive overnight while the kids were sleeping. You know, it really might have been a good idea except for one major thing: We aren't as young as we used to be. It also didn't help that Connor puked all over himself sometime in Georgia and we didn't realize it till we got into Alabama. There are few things nastier than cleaning up vomit at a decrepit gas station in podunkville at 2:30 in the morning. Fortunately, Connor was considerate enough to just puke on himself and his car seat straps, so as car-vomit messes go, this one was relatively easy. Yay. And no, I didn't take any pictures of this escapade. Aren't you glad?
Before we got to Niel's house, we had to visit our favorite rest area ever on the banks of the Mississippi! If you're ever driving I-20 into Louisiana, you really should stop here at the last rest area in Mississippi (going East to West).
Technically, we were LEAVING Mississippi, but this rest area is accessible from either direction.
weird awesome children I have!
Kelsey and Olivia simply must climb up onto the cannon every time we go here. It never gets old! Maybe they know something I don't? Maybe I should try it next time.
I loved seeing the big American flag flying from the bridge. It just makes me feel all American inside.
Connor sure loves his Aunt Beth.
The girls also wanted to make some wildflower bouquets for me.
Aren't they gorgeous?
Connor had a blast doing what he usually does: he follows his sisters everywhere!
Around lunchtime on Monday we got to Niel's house in Louisiana. As we got there, Julie came walking out the door to meet us - so we thought. She was actually on her way over to her neighbor's house for a second opinion on whether to take a kid to the doctor. Her youngest, Simon, had hit his eye on the corner of a paint can and split his eyelid open. Poor little fella!
She also has a gorgeous 3-year old with unbelievable fashion sense!
And while there we discovered that Maddox is quite the "cow boy".
For Christmas this past year, Niel & Julie fixed up a playhouse that was in their backyard when they bought it. I wish I could show you some before and after pictures - they really did a FABULOUS job on this thing! Kelsey & Olivia spent a lot of time playing in it.
Among other things. (She's such a monkey!)
And in case you were worried about Simon...
...he survived the injury! The swelling went down the next day and he was all smiles.