We went, we saw, we made lots of memories! Ahhh....after all the upset right beforehand I wasn't sure the whole thing was a good idea. Stephen's fever did break and the next day he broke out from head to knees with what looked like chickenpox but it turned out not to be. I developed another eye infection but it was pretty well cleared up by the time we arrived in FL.
My sister, Jennifer, and her family came over for a few days and we were able to see them a little bit. They watched our boys at my brother, Jonathan's, home while Philip and I attended one of the Hobe Sound 50th anniversary celebrations. Alas, I didn't get one picture of them while they were there. I was able to see my aunts and uncles, John and Carol Jones, and Faye and Tommy Parsons and also my cousins, Janette and Janelle Parsons, and Brianne Jones (I'm sorry if I spelled your name wrong Bri). But I didn't get any pictures of them either....not that they mind.
The boys dearly loved Florida and Daniel asks on a regular basis when we're going to "our house in Florida". Our accomadations were wonderful! They put us in a three bedroom double-wide trailer right on campus. We were able to spread out and pretty much keep our schedule the same as at home. Since we didn't have a vehicle it was nice to be withing walking distance of everything we needed. I can't say how thankful I am for the wonderful place to stay. After envisioning all of us in one room with a bathroom down the hall it was so much more than that!
I don't know how else to write except snippets of some of the things we saw and did while there. Ate supper at Jonathan and Tonya's while Jennifer and Justin were here, played in Tyler's back yard, spent a lot of time with Gramme who instigated many adventures, played in the same oak tree that daddy played in when he was little, went through the house daddy grew up in on Athena street, found and opened a coconut, took a golf cart ride, played in the park on a dinosaur, threw rocks in the Indian River, played in the sand on the beach and tried to run away from the waves, found seashells, carried several pounds of sand back to Ohio in our shoes and the hems and pockets of our pants, played on green grass in February (evidently Stephen didn't remember from last summer and he just loved the grass), attended camp services, saw many friends and acquaintances and made many new friends, saw a black racer at daddy's old house. There were many new experiences that I could write about but I can't remember them all. Here are some pictures from our time.
This was the first time for flying that Allan and Daniel can remember. They were most excited about getting to have gum (which we don't allow them to have very often) to chew on the plane.
We left Cincinnati at 1:30 for Chicago. Once we landed in Chicago Daniel took over an hour nap on the floor while I paced with Stephen who woke up every time I tried to lay him down. He didn't sleep very much. At 6:00 we left Chicago to fly to West palm beach. Both Allan and Stephen fell asleep on the last part of that flight. In fact we couldn't get Allan to wake up to get off the plane!
Jonathan picked us up at the airport and we arrived in Hobe Sound sometime after 11:00. Stephen then decided it was time to be awake and so he ran around while we unpacked. It was a pretty fitful night after that because both Allan and Daniel woke up and not knowing where they were started crying and wondering around the house trying to find us.
The boys and I flew home on Wednesday morning. One woman, three boys (ages 1, 3, and 5) pulling two suitcases, carring one VERY large diaper bag and pushing a stroller generated quite a few stares, several comments and one offer of help (from an older gentleman who was heading in the opposite direction of where we needed to go). We went over all the groundrules and who was going to be responsible for what the day before we left and it went much better than I could have ever anticipated. The boys were wonderful troopers about taking turns lugging the suitcases from one end of the Chicago airport to the other. It was only until we were about 10 minutes from our gate that they collapsed. So I strapped the two suitcases together, put the diaper bag on top and pulled them while pushing the stroller. Everything worked out in the end. We had stopped at McDonalds (who because of the time change were serving breakfast though the boys had their hearts set on chicken nuggets)but decided to wash up and use the restroom. By the time we completed that task McDonalds was serving lunch so we got our lunch. Our plane to Cincinnati was delayed so we were able to eat at the airport and stretch our legs before finishing the trip. Like I said, many prayers were answered and we arrived home safe and sound to 10 inches of snow which the boys promptly went out and played in.
The day after we got home Allan said, "Mommy, isn't it wonderful to be at our own home?! I love being home but I miss daddy." That was the general refrain until Philip arrived home early Tuesday evening.
Thank you to everyone who prayed for us. Everyone was well (other than allergies), no plane delays and a wonderful time was had by all.