Well, our trip to Disney is now a great memory - or, more accurately, a million great memories piled up into one terrific time. I can't sort out all that we did and saw and heard and experienced - but it was truly a memorable few days. I am so glad I had the opportunity to experience this with my kids!
The entire trip has been interesting and entertaining; we left Sunday afternoon after church. Before we actually drove out of town we went by the neighborhood where our church was doing a huge work project - and things there were so exciting that it took us 2 1/2 hours to leave! With that late start, we headed south - through rain. And more rain. And hail. And more rain.
A detour to Mocksville, NC was necessary, because Sarah had left her purse there at the Wendy's on the way home from her mission trip to Cherokee the previous day. The management was AWESOME - they plied us with free frosties, fries and nuggets, just because we drove from Richmond to pick up Sarah's forgotten bag. It was a blessed way to start the trip.
We made another stop in Durham, where I met another blogger - Milton, from donteatalone - who actually came out of the kitchen where he was working to say 'hi' as we dined in his fine establishment. It was way cool and a great experience. And Milton, by the way, has awesome striped chef pants!
On to Columbia, SC, where we spent the night with my uncle David, who shared stories and laughter from the family history files. We enjoyed staying up late, marveling over his antiques and awesome house and visiting together.
On to Disney - we had four days, one for each of the parks. It was busy - and hot - and crowded - but we navigated well together. I have more pics that I'll post later - not enough bandwith here - but suffice it to say that it was a great trip.
This week, we're back in NC for an extended family gathering. I am not officially on vacation any longer - I'm taking this as study break time, and doing some reading (mainly the book of Acts and the books of Timothy) and writing and thinking. But it sure is nice to do it all a stone's throw away from the Atlantic Ocean. My brother and his family are here, along with my parents, and we are loving some time together to sing (best new song of the vacation - 'To Love Somebody' by the BeeGees, an acoustic version with good ol' familial three part harmony) and reminicse (good stories about childhood and when our kids were younger) and cook (last night, fresh shrimp skewers and some excellent watermelon) and just enjoy one another's presence.
Our routine is beach in the morning, pool in the afternoon, laughter and the occasional nap in between. We stay up late and eat Mom's cookies and marvel at our children. Shana says that it feels like a kid is missing this year - I think it's because we are past the point of constant supervision, and they are outgrowing our intense parenting and moving on to self-reliance. They all can swim, we can leave them at the beach alone (but not IN the water without an adult); Sarah even brought boyfriend Elijah along this year.
Things stay the same, and yet they change. And that is not necessarily a bad thing.