After traveling for Father's Day and our short trip at the end of June, we realized how doable it was to travel with a van full of littles, including infant twins! I guess all we needed was a little confidence that it could be done!
I had been wanting to go visit my Granny who lives about 3 1/2 hours away, so we decided that Independence Day weekend would be the perfect time. Yes, the same week that we went to OKC for the night and to visit the zoo, we took a trip to Wichita, KS, as well! The fourth fell on a Saturday this year, so Chris had Friday off work. I invited Mom to come down to our house on Thursday the 2nd, spend the night, and ride with us to visit Granny. It ended up working out really well!
We got up early the morning of the 3rd (Friday), and left our house by just after 7:30am. I was pretty impressed that we said we were going to leave at 7:30am, and I think we were pulling out of the driveway at 7:33am! That's no small feat for us these days. Chris volunteered to drive our van with the kids so that I could ride with my Mom in her car. It was so nice to have some uninterrupted adult time, haha! The kids all did great during the drive, and we didn't even stop for the first two hours. At about 9:30am, we stopped at a rest stop to use the restroom and gets drinks. I went ahead and nursed the babies in the car (one at a time so it took 45 minutes) and changed their diapers. We were stopped for about an hour, but I didn't think that was too bad since the babies both ate.
For lunch, we decided to grab a bite at Five Guys once we got to Wichita. There is a Five Guys not too far from where my Granny lives. I decided that it would probably be best to meet Granny, her friend Herm, and my Aunt Cindy and Uncle Justin at the restaurant as soon as we got into town at a little before noon. We were able to eat and get back to my Granny's apartment before the girls got fussy, so it worked out perfectly. Once back at Granny's, I nursed the babies, then they played with everyone for a bit.
Cindy asked if I would mind if Justin and Chris took the big kids back to her house to swim for the afternoon. I thought that was a great idea! I knew the big kids might get bored at Granny's apartment, and their energy level could quickly become overwhelming. They had a blast swimming at Aunt Cindy's and Uncle Justin's! Chris snapped a couple photos on his phone:
For dinner that night, we decided to order in pizza and go to Justin and Cindy's house to eat. They have ample room for everyone and plenty of activities and toys for the kids. Even though the big kids had not had a nap, they did great that evening and we all had a good time visiting. The babies also did fantastic at the end of such a big day for them. I was so thankful :-)! I wish I had taken a few photos of us that evening.
Mom went back to Granny's apartment and stayed with her for the evening, and Chris, the kids, and I got a hotel close by. The babies went down easily, and we had a smooth night.
The next morning (July 4th), Chris had to head back to Oklahoma to pick up Russ, Lisa, and Chloe Jo from the airport. They were flying in from Fiji where they had been for several weeks on a mission trip. He took Mom's car and headed back at about 8:00am. I loaded up the kids in our van and headed over to Granny's for the day.
We were all dressed in our patriotic gear, so of course we had to go outside and take a few photos. I was sad that we didn't get a photo with Daddy before he left, but I do like the ones we did take.
Brenson, Momma, Brianna, Brecklyn (white shorts), and Brooke
Granny didn't have her patriotic clothes on yet (she later changed), but we had to have her in the photos anyhow.
Granny holding Brecklyn, Mom holding Brooke
Four generations :-)
The babies were just learning how to sit up on their own, so I was happy to get photos of them doing it. Brooke's first Independence Day!
Brecklyn's first Independence Day!
For lunch, we decided to eat at Larksfield Place where Granny lives. The aids set up a special room just for our family and even decorated it for us. I thought that was so nice! Justin and Cindy joined us for lunch.
One of the aids that knew my Aunt Diana (who helped run Larksfield when she was living) came and took a few group photos for us. Granny's friend, Herm, joined us for lunch, as well.
We each received a little menu to order from that had a few nice options. I went with the hot dog, corn on the cob, baked beans, and watermelon . . . A perfect Fourth of July meal!
Brenny enjoying his meal
After lunch, we went back to Granny's apartment to take more photos, play, and visit.
Aunt Cindy and Uncle Justin with my crew
Brecklyn and Brooke were born on Aunt Cindy's birthday, so I call them the birthday triplets (Brecklyn in white shorts).
Brenson SO enjoyed playing with Uncle Justin. Before Justin got there that morning, Bren kept asking, "When is Uncle Justin coming?" and "Why isn't he here yet?"
Just the ladies . . .
I'm thankful Uncle Justin was there to entertain my Bigs :-)
Our goal was to head back home at about 2:00pm with hopes that the babies and children would sleep in the car (they did). It was a short visit, but we really had a nice time. I love spending time with my extended family, and these memories are priceless!
Granny Tiger and me
After arriving home (around 6:30pm), Chris had dinner ready for us (he's a keeper!). We didn't do any fireworks that evening, but we let the Bigs watch our neighbors set them off across the street. We had purchased just a few small things, so we went to my sister's house after church the next day and set them off there. Brenson and the babies pretty much hated the noise, so I wasn't too sad that we didn't do much. Independence Day is one of my favorite holidays, and I'm so thankful that we were able to celebrate in such a special way this year!