Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Roads, Tractors, and Family

 Road, tractors, and Family. That about sums up our vacation for this summer! We headed out to Michigan to spend a weekend with my cousin who works on the 10,000 acre farm owned by two of my uncles. They grow corn and soybeans and as you can imagine they have some big tractors, combines and 4 wheelers. This trip was made with Josiah in mind, but we all had a good time.

Oh yeah! The trip was 14 hours long. You read that right. 14 hours, 3 kids, 1 Grandma, and 2 dolls in one minivan! Let me tell you--Jeremy and I were very thankful for that 1 Grandma in the backseat. She was armed with an inordinate amount of patience and a bag filled with all kinds of fun things to do. She saved me a whole bunch of words on the trip!

Here are the dolls. Chocolate and Jenny. They were buckled in beside Grandma and Aliza was sure to give Grandma directions on how to care for them. Aliza's first direction was that they needed to be fed every 20 minutes. I thought the Grandma might get out of the car and walk at that point, but Aliza agreed to a feeding every 4 hours!
We did stop for the night and arrived at MY Grandma's house in Ohio the next day. We visited her for an hour or so before Jeremy and I and the children made the last leg of the journey to Michigan. Aliza read Bible stories to her doll, Jenny.
Another one of my great aunts lives in this retirement facility. She was sitting on the patio so we walked over to say hello. Anna was so endearing through the whole trip. She warms up quickly and let most everyone hold her. She also waves and says Hi to anyone and everyone.

Our time with Bart and Angie's family was low key and relaxing. Nothing was expected of us and we just puttered around the house and farm. Saturday evening a bunch of my cousins and aunts and uncles dropped by to visit. It was nice to get reacquainted with them and I was honored that they made the effort to see us. On to the tractors...
Bart taught Jeremy to drive the tractor right away so when it was time for Josiah to ride Jeremy was quite proficient and could drive and hold Josiah. Josiah wasn't sure he wanted to ride, but after a 14 hour drive he didn't have much choice! This is his scared and crying face.
It only took seconds for him to settle down and then he enjoyed the ride!
Jeremy took Anna and I for a ride too. I had a moment where I thought it would be a better idea if I rode with Bart! Nah, Jeremy did great! Something about him driving the tractor and 4 wheeler just made me laugh. He just doesn't have the farm boy look!
The next morning was 4 wheeler rides. Josiah didn't hesitate and he LOVED riding. He and Aliza took turns for a long time. During that time Anna had Bart wrapped around her finger. He took her to look at the animals multiple times. Anna was funny...there were 3 dogs and she wanted to see them so bad, but as soon as the door opened she got scared and jumped into whatever arms were closest. There were also horses, goats, pigs, chickens and rabbits on this farm!
Aliza wanted to go fast and would report how fast they went when she got off!
Then we went to the shop where the combines are kept. The children climbed up to the cab.
Man! Combines are huge!! Josiah was especially excited that they had crawler tracks.
And there were more tractors to explore!
We headed back to Ohio to pick up Mom and we spent the night with my aunt and uncle. Josiah was happy that there was, yes, a tractor to play on. He kept busy all evening loading and unloading the bucket.

There were two highlights in the hotel. Swimming and riding on the luggage cart. 3 kids on a full cart.
I must talk about swimming. We had two nights at hotels that had pools. In light of our swimming lesson experience I was very curious to see how Aliza was in the water. The first time she was very scared and stayed on the step. By the end we could tell that she wanted to do more so Jeremy picked her up and carried her across the 3 foot end of the pool. I carried her the second time. She held on to me for dear life--arms and legs wrapped around me, but she did it! Josiah was quite adventurous and when his head went under he wasn't happy, but hopped right back in the pool.

On our way home, we hit the pool again. This time Aliza walked across the 3 foot end of the pool by herself! She held the wall and my hand and after a few minutes she let go of my hand and then later let go of the wall. Success! We got back to where we were at the end of her first swimming lesson! Josiah continued being adventurous and Anna became so comfortable she was downright dangerous!!

We were happy to see our house at the end of the road! Today everyone is getting used to being home and not having a Grandma to cater to their every wish!

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