Was anyone concerned that I had fallen off the face of the earth?
Well, I didn't exactly do that, but we did travel to Iowa.... (my apologies to my small town friends and family, I couldn't help myself).
We have been on vacation. It was much needed. However, I don't really recommend traveling 3500 miles in a 15 passenger van with 8 kids when you are 8 months pregnant. That part of the vacation was not fun. But, our time out of the van was great and I can't wait to show you some of what we did!
The first part of our trip was to visit my family in Iowa. We stayed with my mom, whom I'm sure was exhausted by our visit. We can be a lot to take all at once, especially when we come cruising into the farm at 1:00am. But, she was a good sport and a gracious hostess.
The children had a blast playing outside on the farm and finding all sorts of creatures. There were plenty of fuzzy caterpillars to capture and the children even found Frog and Toad! Unfortunately, for Frog and Toad, they were captured quite a bit. I'm sure it was traumatic for them.
The children were also fascinated by the crickets, the grasshoppers, and the lightening bugs. The only insects that the children didn't really care for were the mosquitoes.
Grandma has a horse on her farm right now. It's name was Susie. The children thought that was pretty funny.
Adrian played lots of baseball and kickball with the children, and there was a fair amount of hula-hooping going on as well. Even Uncle Roger came out to play a game or two of kickball with the kids.
We went to the park and played on the playground, we went swimming at the pool, and we took naps.
Grandma had lots of birds on her farm. Sparrows and Barn Swallows that would dive bomb at your head if they felt threatened. We felt like it was time to help Grandma out and try to rid her of some of those nuisance birds.
So we borrowed one of Grandma's pellet guns and headed to Wal-Mart for one of our own. There you have it.... two little boys in heaven because they have pellet guns and the go ahead to shoot birds.
The children did take a Hunter's Safety class this year, so they knew how to safely handle a gun. And, we also had target practice. Susie ended up being a pretty good shot. I wasn't too shabby myself...
By the end of our visit, the birds had vanished. Mission accomplished.
We had the chance to visit Aunt Sue's store in Dunlap, IA. Main Street Cakes and Gifts. They have the absolute best cinnamon rolls and pecan rolls in Western Iowa. If you have the chance, stop in for breakfast some time. They also have the best cakes, cupcakes, pies, and candy you're ever going to find on that side of Iowa. Not that I'm biased or anything.
Ben found a sock monkey that was as big as he was! Too bad our van was stuffed to the gills, or we might have ended up taking it with us.
We went to Aunt Sue's house later for ice cream where the children hung on their cousin Matt and tackled Uncle Mark. We went for a walk around the lake and called it a day.
It was a great visit in Iowa. The weather was absolutely gorgeous the whole time we were there.
The days went by quickly, and before we knew it, it was time to get in the van again and travel to Chicago, our next vacation destination.