Sunday, August 1, 2010

Trip to Midwest---Day One---And They're Off!

Talk about a looooong day. Try as I might to be completely organized and ready to leave early in the morning so we could stop in time for the kids to swim after a long day in the car, in truth we didn't wind up leaving home until almost noon. Then we made a forty-five minute detour in WV to show Tex where he was born and lived for the first two years of his life. That put us arriving at the hotel around midnight with kids who had been sleeping in the car for much of the day. Not exactly a prescription for getting to sleep quickly...

BUT, there were MANY good things about day one of the trip. For example, since we left so late, we got to give Bubba hugs one more time, which was nice. He will be staying at the house during our absence and will take good care of the farm. Thank you, Bubba. We miss you already. We said "hi" to all of your favorite places in WV, and took a picture of your old sledding hill for you. Give Molly (the kitten) hugs from Ladybug.

Another blessing was that the children were really quite good in the car, and all of the advance preparations paid off in ease of travel. In fact, they were having so much fun, that after we had finished our "sit down dinner" stop at Subway, Cowboy asked if we could get back in the car now!

Here are some of the things I did to get ready
for the trip:
   I bought snacks and drinks on sale to carry along and that has helped
   save money and time.

   I borrowed a bunch of dvds from a friend that the kids had not seen.
   We watched episode one of The Story Keepers set I checked out from
   church, and Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm with Shirley Temple. Thank
   you, Lorraine!

   I packed all our clothes in several big trunks that we are carrying on an
   exterior cargo tray and that has given us a more roomy area inside the

   I packed each day's clothing items in plastic grocery sacks (recycling!),
   so once we were at the hotel, we only had to access one trunk and all the
   kids' stuff was in one place. That saved time both at night and in the
   morning. It took a while to organize all this by myself, but as the kids 
   get older and can help more, my prep time will be less, and my daily
   preparations will be so much easier.

   Friends loaned us their GPS (thank you, Walshes) and the guys used it
   to navigate around traffic and to find our old house (it has been a while
   and we forgot a few turns). We thought the GPS was awesome until it
   navigated us all the way through Frankfort, KY to our destination hotel
   instead of taking us directly there (we later discovered that there was an
   interstate exit right off the highway.)
   I packed special backpacks for the kids with new drawing and craft
   items, favorite toys, puzzle books, and some new projects to work
   on based on a few old ideas and some gleaned from the
   TOS Travel Kits e-book I reviewed a while back. Ladybug
   enjoyed the All About Me book I printed up from
   Enchanted Learning (one of my favorite sites) and
   dressing and re-dressing my childhood 18" doll, Rosie.
   Cowboy and Firefly enjoyed using their MagnaDoodle boards.
   Tex enjoyed listening to his iPod and reading a new book.

   We all LOVED listening to five episodes of Jonathan Park, a
   creationist "radio show" from Vision Forum. We have sets one
   through five and our goal is to listen to all of the episodes before we
   make it to the Creation Museum (click HERE for a virtual tour of
   the is very interesting!), and if we do, then we will hope
   they offer the newest set at their gift shop and that will be our
   "souveneir" from this trip. I think planning for what we are going
   get as a treat ahead of time will save in "can we get this or that?"
   questions during the trip.

   We read aloud from a new book for part of the ride. It is about
   Molly...not our kitten...but the American Girl. Once we finish it, we
   are going to read Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls
   Wilder. I am looking forward to reading that one again a lot.

Anyhow, that's the trip so far. We saw two capitol buildings, West Virginia's and Kentucky's, and our old house. We also drove through some beautiful mountains to get here and Ladybug was in awe of them. It is so neat to see things through fresh eyes. Our children can remind us to appreciate the things we almost take for granted, yet it is all so new and wonderful to them. I like that. I look forward to re-visiting all of the things on this trip that I have seen before, but (some of) the kids are experiencing for the first the zoo, the Story City Carousel, AND their Grandma J..

Here are the picures from yesterday.

Charleston, WV...note the dome is painted gold. It's very pretty.

Frankfort, KY...the view from our hotel room.

Milo the Mouse visits our old neighborhood.

That's it for now. Today is the rest of the way to Missouri, and tomorrow we plan to visit my aunt, her hubby, and my 92 year old grandma (dad's mom).

Check back for more adventures with Milo!

Blessings to you and yours,


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