After almost two weeks of "vacation" I'm ready for a nice long rest. However, that is not in the cards for me right now, with lots to do before Christmas and baby arrival.
We spent the day packing on the 18th, madly doing laundry, that is until the dryer broke. Ugh! Thankfully it was a sunny day and warm enough so I could hang stuff out, which was done in a mad flurry by my oldest children. Things were hanging every which way, but it got dry and we were able to complete a good portion of the packing Saturday evening amongst our other usual activities.. baths, ironing, getting stuff out for church the next day, etc.
Sunday was a peaceful day, though busier than usual. We had our monthly fellowship dinner, and tried to finish up the packing. There is always that "last minute" list that can't be done until you leave, but we were in good shape for leaving Monday morning at a decent hour.
Well, off we went, and about a half hour out of town we heard this scraping noise on the drivers side of the van like something was dragging. Dale pulled over and with a wise nod said "Oh, I know what that is!". It was a long, thin, rusted piece of metal off the part of the van just below the door. There is a special name for it, but I have no clue. Dale just yanked it off the rest of the way, threw it in the bushes (Litterbug!!!!) , and we were off again. The children did very well riding, I have to say. Some of that is due to their excitement of going to Grandma and Grandpa's, some to the fact they are older and a little more patient than they were before, and some due to the fact that we listened to Patch the Pirate tapes 8 million times.
All was going well until just before we hit New Hampshire. All of a sudden we heard this "Thunkitythunk" and then some very loud "broomblamblamblam....". Apparently all the potholes on the way (don't you love road construction?) loosened the muffler and it decided to part company with the rest of the van. The rest of the way to Maine was so loud we had to turn off the Patch the Pirate tapes (there's a mixed blessing) because they couldn't be heard over the din.
So, the first day of vacation, Dale got to replace the muffler on the van. I have to say I was very impressed with the expediency in which he was able to do it. He and my dad went and got the parts. My stepmother and I went for a walk after they got back, and they had it all replaced and cleaned up before we returned!
We had a wonderful time with going to the beach and finding shells and letting the kids run, yell, and just be, well, kids. They found some interesting things on the beach, and even constructed a little log bridge over a small waterway made from the drainage system. Jerusha tried to chase some seagulls which taught her that their little legs are faster than her long ones. I have always said that there is nothing better than that first sip of coffee in the morning. I was wrong. Getting that first sip and watching the changing moods of the ocean, marvelling at God's creation, tops it all.
When our time was up for being in Maine, we went down to Massachusettes to visit my mom and Grandmother for a few days. My grandmother celebrated her 88th birthday, and all of us, plus my aunt and uncle and their boys went out for chinese food. It was a all you can eat buffet, and I think the resturaunt lost money on us! I have no idea how many plates of food my children went through, but it was several, and they were very good about eating what they took. I personally LOVE the tea and drank more than my full share of that.
On Sunday we visited the New England Baptist church, and enjoyed the services. My husband knows the pastor from way back, and we visit there whenever we are in the area. The pastor asked us to sing that night, which we did, and was glad to be a blessing to them. Monday was a "girls' day out" for my grandmother, mom and me. We got our hair done, then went out shopping for a little while. Me being pregnant, and my grandmother in her 80's, we didnt' last long. We were back by lunchtime, looking forward to a nap. Exciting, aren't we? There is a little playground near my mom's house which we took advantage of. It also has a soccer feild, which wasn't in use while we were there, and Dale had the children running laps. Well, one lap. They all were quite winded after the first time around the field.
Wednesday we returned home, glad for the wonderful time we had on vacation, but also glad to be in our own beds that night. There is nothing like your own bed!
Thursday Dale was able to fix the dryer, for which I am very thankful. Friday we drove 2 hours north up to his mom's, and visited with her, his sister and her little family. We also made several stops at a bulk food store, a fabric store, and a mennonite store where we get our apples. The van was once again loaded down quite a bit as we came home last night. 6 bushels of apples, plus lots of flour, fabric, and sundry items tucked away meant for Christmas.
One little note is that on the way home last night we "clipped" a dear. He hit the passenger side front corner of the van. Dumb thing! He was standing still and then bolted right in front of us at the last second. I heard the antlers break, but didn't see what else happened to it. Dale pulled over, but it was a ways down on the road, and too dark to see where the deer was, dead or alive. Thankfully, not much damage was done to the van. A little dent in the fender, broken lense on the parking light, but the bulb still worked, but nothing vital was damaged. Oh, the funny thing is the kids slept through it all and a couple pried open their eyes when Dale pulled the van over and got out. The dome light woke them up. One asked "what's wrong" and I said "we hit a deer, and daddy is just checking the van for damage." Benjamin groggily observed.. "I thought we hit a pot hole!". I got a chuckle out of that, because there were quite a few that were pretty bad on our trip.
Today is a cleaning/finish unpacking/preparations for church and school next week day. There is PLENTY to do! I loaded the laundry lines and still had to run a couple loads through the dryer. As I am looking around the house I am taking mental notes on what I need to sort/organize and clean up over the next couple weeks. Oh yeah, I must be nesting now!
My sewing pile didn't get any smaller while we were gone
There is our time away, in a nutshell! Oh, and here is a 32 week belly shot. Elizabeth took it for me. Excuse the apron and messy hair.. been doing housework before it was taken. :) I don't have any pics from vacation as we found out the first day out that the battery to the camera was dead and we didn't have the charger with us. DOH!