We flew in last Wednesday morning from Atlanta (we missed all of our connecting flights from Denver on Tuesday), drove home from the airport, grabbed a few additional items, picked up the kids from my mom’s house, and began the drive up to Mechanicsburg, PA to see Tom’s family.  It was a bit chaotic trying to get out of town, but it worked out well because we already had bags packed from the week prior and could get out of town earlier than expected.  Now that the kids are older, these nine hour drives are much more enjoyable than they were in years past.

This year’s trip went very well.  We were able to spend a good amount of quality time with Rebecca, Will, Kim and Alexis.  We even got over to Shelly and Vern’s house for ice cream one afternoon.  It rained all day on the 4th but that didn’t stop us from having steak and burgers for lunch…..

We had a great time visiting with family, especially Tom’s mom, Rebecca.  She was diagnosed with cancer two years ago.  We have been very blessed to have her around for two full years and many visits.  She has recently stopped all treatments and now waits to see what the Lord has in store for her and her husband, Will.  It was difficult to say “good-bye” to her this time because the cancer will eventually win, but hopefully not before we can make it back up there for Christmas.  I am very thankful that we were able to see her, talk to her and give her many hugs.  I am praying that we will see her at Christmas or sooner.  She is a wonderful Grandmother to the kids and I know that they enjoy seeing her as well.  She and Faith have a very sweet relationship.   Here they are together testing out Maw-Ma’s cool bed….

As usual, we took one day to drive over to Dutch Wonderland for the day.  If you have never been to Dutch Wonderland and are planning to drive through Lancaster, PA with small children, then you must go!  It is an amusement park geared towards children under the age of ten.  This year Alexis went with us and my brother Doug drove over to meet us with his two boys, Gabriel and shepherd.  It is always nice to have extra adults because the kids tend to want to ride different rides due to their level of bravery and interests.  At first, I took the little boys on the easy rides, Tom took Faith on the roller coasters, and Wilson and Gabriel vacillated between the two.   Towards the end of the day, I went on three rides with Faith, one of which was the Tilt-a-Whirl.  I was so dizzy by the end of the ride that I literally didn’t know if I was going to be able to walk off of the platform without falling over.  I don’t do spinning rides, but Faith was begging me to go with her and I wanted to give her the gift of riding something fun with her mom.  After the Tilt-a -Whirl I rode two roller coasters with her…..yes, I was getting more and more dizzy.  Finally, she asked to ride the carousel, at which point I had to say, “You are riding this one alone.”

One of our favorite events is the diving show.  Here we are dry, before the show…This gathering was especially neat because my kids were with all of their first cousins: Alexis, Gabriel and Shepherd (who had never previously met each other)….

We always enjoy our trips up north.  It is a fun time with extended family and our own little family.  For the drive home we added two more kids to the car – Gabriel and Shepherd rode back to NC with us.  The more the merrier!!

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