It seems like we never get done having cousin times for the kids around here! The last two times (here and here) were local cousins coming for a visit. This time, we took a trip to the south to visit the Bremner cousins for a few days.
The breakfast table.
Since my sister had her third darling March girl (all her babies are girls, and born in March to boot!) on the 24th, I’ve been trying to figure out how and when to make a trip down to meet Charity and to help out a little bit when it was suitable. After considering all schedules, Miriam and I decided I would go down with my kids Monday through Wednesday of this week. Rachel Anne woke up with a cold on Sunday morning, so I was sure we should stay away to prevent the spread of illness. Miriam urged me to come anyway and said she would dose up her kids on extra potions and lotions to try to prevent them getting sick.
Rachel Anne adoring Charity.
Monday it was raining, but Tuesday it was not. It was easy to decide a picnic lunch was the best move. Since all my kids are old enough to sit up on their own and eat sandwiches, I’m completely sold on eating outdoors whenever possible. Cups of water get spilled—no big deal. Crumbs fall off the plate–who cares? The clean up is so much easier than when all that happens in the dining room.
Back row: Rachel, Marie
Front row: Susannah, Sylvia
Paul & Hannah
The swing set my parents gave them a few years ago was a great source of entertainment both Tuesday and Wednesday. How great it was for 6 little people to have fun and run around outside (and it was great for the big people too!)!
Paul became a multi-tasking musician one evening.
We sure didn’t move mountains while we were down there, but we enjoyed the visit and I tried to meet the needs of all my kids and Miriam’s toddlers so Miriam could focus on Charity and catching a few naps. I took Paul’s & Hannah’s math along, and we did math lessons in the afternoons while the younger ones took naps.
Before we left on Monday, Miriam told me that the thing she didn’t want coming in the house (on the germ/virus front) was a GI illness. I half-joked to her while we were there that the worst-case scenario would be one of my kids throwing up in the middle of the night, and then we’d all load up right then and there and head home so we’d have as little time as possible to spread the disease.
I’m sitting here shaking my head about it all, because that’s about exactly what did happen. Paul called for a dishpan around 3:30 Wednesday morning, and then started using it soon after 6:00 a.m. Of course, leaving immediately wasn’t possible because I had to load and pack a bunch of stuff. Plus, riding in a car while pale, vomiting, and needing facilities every little bit was not what I wanted to put Paul through. By the time I had things loaded and we were ready to go, he was feeling normal and his systems had slowed down enough that I felt comfortable setting out on the 3-hour drive home.
While I was packing the van, Rachel and Sylvia played in the car seats.
On the way home, Rachel wanted to hold my hand. For quite a while I reached my hand back behind my seat and held hers. After about an hour of that, my arm was getting tingly and uncomfortable, so I asked her if Marie could hold her hand instead.
Rachel didn’t put up any fuss at all, and was happy to hold hands with Marie. (I took these pictures while stopped and waiting at a road construction spot.)
After more stops than it seems a 3-hour trip should ever involve (!), we finally got home at 2:30. We were not home even half an hour before the electricity went out. I was disappointed about it, but I was also wanting a nap badly enough that I didn’t really care. We unloaded the car, and I let everyone run free for 30 minutes, and then it was mandatory nap time for all kids (and me!). Andrew said that with Paul’s GI episode, then the power outage, it would probably start snowing soon! Fortunately that didn’t happen. When we got back home from Bible study that night, the power was back on. I think our little spot in the country is doing a good job of keeping its reputation for having the most frequent power outages for our state (I give that prize to our little area. That’s not something I’ve seen charted out.).
We are back home, enjoying the luxury of electricity, and looking forward to spending more time with cousins again–whichever ones, and whenever it happens!
P.S. No one else has fallen ill to the GI virus, but Hannah and Marie have started on Rachel’s miserable cold. I haven’t heard how the host family has fared on the virus front…