While we were on the road, Gracie was having a blast with Grandma! She really seemed to enjoy being an 'only child' for a while. Saturday they had a special day together that included brunch at The Friendship Tea House:
A trip to our favorite rescue to help socialize the pups:
And an afternoon of thrift shops, where she scored a ton of Barbies and Barbie DVDs!
Back in Texas, we went out exploring again in the morning.
Of course it was Logan who was noticing and picking up the tiniest interesting rocks.
I think we got them all out of the cabin again...apologies to the staff if we missed any!
There was this very exciting family thing in the morning...but it hasn't hit Facebook yet, so I'm not going to tell you about it ;)
Instead, here's a gigantic walking stick the cousins found:
He kept going around people's backs when I tried to get a picture!
Oh, right, much better.
After he was safely relocated to some trees, we hung out one last time as everyone started wandering home.
Our newest cousin, Aurelia (and her Daddy). Isn't she gorgeous?
Fists of fury!
Cool tunnels by the pond...
More frog catching (and releasing, despite pleas to take some home)
And then they wanted to go back to "Kids' Kingdom".
This park is also a great place to meet dogs! It includes a disc golf course, and many area pups like to join in. I got slobbered on by a very excited German Shepherd, an adorable bulldog, and a smooshy hound puppy who just wanted to be carried and have her belly rubbed.
|This is pretty easy!|
We had one last surprise for the kids in the evening. While we were making plans, I discovered one of my favorite people - and one of the kids' favorite authors - lived only an hour away! We made arrangements to meet for dinner. Sheridan caught her first name when I was talking to Mike, and started turning it over in her head. When we met up outside the restaurant and she gave me an advance copy of her next book, you could see her connect the dots.
"Is she...is she the lady who writes the Chickies books???"
Why, yes. Yes, she is. We brought this new copy of our favorite (because the old copy has been read to pieces), and look how adorably she signed it! The kids were so tickled that she knew them so well (and as Sheridan mentioned several times, how to spell their names!)
If you do not have Janee Trasler's books in your library, you need to order them right now. And if you ever get the chance to spend time with her, take it! She is every bit as funny and sweet in person as she is online. We talked so much I hardly ate any of my food (or does that just mean I talked too much? Did I talk too much? Oh dear...)
About twenty minutes after we left, we both realized about the same time...we never took any pictures! We were just having too much fun! Oh well, that just means she has to come to New Mexico now.
Janee also gave each of the kids a bag for the ride home, and mean old Mom wouldn't even let them look until we were on the road the next morning. There were fun snacks greeted with cries of "Oh I love her!!!". Sheridan literally broke into song when she saw the Dove chocolate, her favorite. And then there was Flarp.
Flarp, for the uninitiated, is fart putty. When you make air bubbles and squish them, or squish it against the side of the container, it makes a farting sound. At first we just played with it in the container while on our tablets.
Then we started getting creative.
There were fart jokes. There were fart songs. And from farts, there isn't much of a leap to snot.
Such a proud Mommy moment.
I won't complain, though, because it kept them occupied pretty much the entire trip! The beautiful weekend weather was gone again, and we drove home in rain that froze to the windshield and heavy winds trying to toss us off the road.
We made it home after 9PM, the inside of the car pretty much trashed at that point, and somehow at least three children had Flarp in their hair, but we just tossed everyone into bed. I ended up taking the next day off to bathe children, unload the car, and do laundry...
Lots and lots of laundry!