Monday, July 28, 2014

family reunion in Illinois

Last weekend we made the long drive back to Illinois for my family reunion.  When I say the drive was long- I really mean it.  We hit stand still traffic at least 4 times, Gavin cried most of the way and we stopped more times than I could count.  On the bright side- Emily did fantastic and was a huge help with Gavin- as you can tell from the pictures.

Our first stop was only two hours into the drive- Gavin was ecstatic to be out of the car and didn't sit or stand still the whole time we were at the rest stop (thus the blurry picture).  Pretty sure this is when Steve and I knew we were in for it.

 Our last stop on the way to Illinois was by accident.  We were coming up on our 5th traffic jam and I screamed at Steve to take the exit that was literally right next to us on the interstate.  I knew none of us would keep our sanity if we had to sit in traffic again.  Thankfully there was a huge outdoor mall right off the exit and we ate dinner and the kids ran around.  It was a lifesaver.

these two kill me

When we got to my Grandpa's house it was about 9:00pm (we left at 8:30am) and the kids were WIRED.  We unpacked the car and started to get things settled.  My kids are shy- there's no doubt about that.  When they meet new people or see someone they haven't seen for awhile they hide behind my legs and take a bit to warm up.  But when they saw my Grandpa they walked right up to him and started showing him their "friends", it was absolutely heartwarming.

The next day we spent a lot of time at my dad's farm (where I grew up).  The kids had a lot of fun playing with some of their cousins and seeing lots of new things.

eating sour apples picked from Grandpa's tree

checking out grandpa's soy beans and throwing apples


shucking sweet corn for lunch

jumping on a tractor inner tube like mommy used to do

and of course- climbing trees!

That night most of the family went to Jungle Bungle and the kids had a blast while the parents did a lot of chasing the kids around. 

Sunday morning we went to visit my mom's grave.  The kids have never been to it so it was pretty emotional for me.  When we got out of the car and walked up to her grave, Gavin squatted down right in front of it and wiped her picture off and just stayed there looking at it.  Cue tears.



Then we went to my family reunion.  I've been going to these every year since I can remember but since we moved to PA, we haven't made it back for one in a couple of years.  It's basically a pot luck and a "meeting" where they record marriages, births, deaths, etc. I didn't get many pictures but I did get one of my Dad and Regina with most of their grandkids- I love it!

After the reunion we went back to the farm for more playing! Grandpa got one of his tractors out to take all the grandkids on rides but Emily and Gavin wanted no part of it...

These sweeties were all born in 2011 (can you believe Emily is the youngest of the three??)

 Future farmer Gavin- youngest (and possibly naughtiest) of the grandkids.

Minus the drive, it was a great trip back home. I was so happy to see my family and the kids were troopers.  Next time we visit I do believe we will be flying!


  1. It's so nice when they warm up fast! I'm glad you guys had a good time. I wish that we could see family more, Skype isn't enough.

  2. Goodness, what was with all the traffic? I don't think I could have handled being in the car that long. 3.5 hours was about the kids' max, but a full day?! You all are troopers! That picture of your kids visiting your mom...whew, emotions! I'm glad you were able to make it though and ended up having a great trip!

  3. What a fun trip (minus the drive there). What wonderful memories for the kiddos!

  4. LONG car trips with little ones is so hard! G is at a hard age for that kind of thing. Next year he will be better. And isn't it great to have E to distract him! Looks like you had a wonderful time with your family. Beautiful pics! I'm so happy you brought the kids to see your Mom.

  5. Even with all the traffic and your kids not loving the ride, they are still some of the cutest kids I've ever seen!!!


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