Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Winter vacation..4000 miles and then some!

*warning...following message will be a book!* *L*
To start off, we were able to take our trip after all. Things got real crazy after Jim almost cut his finger off and I didn't have a chance to get online again after I took him to see the surgeon (he didn't have to have surgery, the dr said he wanted to let mother Nature take it's course and that the nail may grow back or it may not..I am leaning towards not...but he said he may need surgery in the future if the finger gives him trouble. Right now it is wait and see.) But he also said take your trip and have fun!! So the next couple days were a whirlwind of getting things ready because we decided to leave on Friday instead of Saturday since he couldn't work and I was off Friday and there was a storm coming. The storm moved in shortly after we left! I am so glad we left when we did, not only because of the storm but because it took us 3 days to drive to Mississippi, instead of the 2 we had originally planned on. We stopped at each state line to get a pic of Harold by the state sign. *L* For those of you who don't know Harold, here is a pic of him at one of the state signs

We stayed in Albequerque the first night, in the same motel we were staying at when Jim proposed to me, and our room was just 1 room down from the room we had then! How cool is that?

Saturday, we made it as far as OK City. We were lucky to stop where we did because as we were watching the weather on the local news we discovered had we gone much further we would have ran into a storm of sleet. Not a good thing, in unfamiliar territory at night!!

Sunday we got up to drive the rest of the way and we were up with the birds....literally! Have you seen the movie The Birds? If not..it is a classic that I loved as a kid and Jim and I just happened to run across it on tv a few days before we left on our trip. Also, if you have seen it then you can so totally relate to what I am about to show you!! This is what we woke up to in Ok City at 5 am. The sound was deafening and talk about FREAKY!!!!! They were EVERYWHERE!! And more flew in. As we were walking into McD's to get a breakfast sandwich I was taking a couple pics and a bird on one of the light poles let out a BIG squack...talk about goosebumps! YIKES!!!!! They were everywhere..on the poles, wires, trees, signs, on the ground and even on one car in the parking lot! If anyone knows why, or if this happens regularly in OK City let me know! *L* I would love to know why there were so many birds!

We finally arrive in Mississippi around 4 pm, exhausted and excited! We went straight to Jenny and John's home to see the kids. OMG can you say PRECIOUS!! the twins were adorable, and the older kids came running out to see us and give us hugs! It was amazing!

Jim's son Ryann, DIL Mariam, Jim's daughter Jenny(mommy) and SIL Johnathon and all the kids loaded up to take us to Memphis on Tuesday after Mariam cooked us all a delicious breakfast. We got to see Graceland (which I really thought would be bigger than it was, but I loved all the written messages from Elvis fans on the wall and sidewalk around Graceland)
Then they took us to Beale Street which was awesome!

Jim spotted a Hooters, and since we LOVE Hooters Wings so much we decided to eat at Hooters on Beale St! Poor Jonnie was so embarrassed. Of course Grandma J had to have the waitresses pose with him so I could take a pic...and all the guys were cheering him on *L* I know what my scrapper buds are going to say *L* but you KNOW this is going to be scrapped....there is a whole story that goes with this.

Sammie crossing her eyes..I don't know how she does it, but it makes my eyes hurt just watching her do it *L* the next 2 pics are just because they make me happy. I thought the old pink van was cute and I loved this clock on Beale St.! I want one in my backyard!

While we were visiting the kids we also got to go to an awards program at Jonnie and Sammie's school.

The Superintendant even mentioned us being there..all the way from California, when he was giving his speech.
Our last day there, Jenny and John asked us if we would watch the kids so they could get out alone and get some couple time. We were more than happy to! And since we had the kids all up in the motel room with us (we were staying at the casino motel that Ryann works in...the Gold Strike...awesome place!!!!), we did a photo shoot with the kids. This is one of my favorites!

At one point Jim told the kids to give him some attitude and boy did he get 'tude. I loved these shots. Sammie is such a ham! If that girl doesn't grow up to be an actress I will be surprised!

When we were done with the photo shoot, I noticed Sammie watching Alex with this look of pure love on her face, so I had to grab my camera and capture the moment. It was breathtaking!

When we arrived at Jenny's she had asked Jim if he would bless the babies. He was finally able to get it approved on our last night there, what a special moment. With many tears, it was time for us to leave and head out for Ark. As we were leaving town I was able to get a pic of the billboard that Jonnie is on.

From there it was on to Arkansas to see grandkids Madi and Gavin. My how they have grown since we last saw them almost 2 years ago!

Gavin is a HUGE Cars fan, so when Papa Jim gave him the Cars cars he had brought for him, Gavin was beside himself!

We were only able to stay in Ark 1 night because we had to get to KS for my parent's 50th anniversary party.

While we were on the road we saw this van...so I am asking my blogger friends for some help again, if you know the story behind this van and trailer I would love to hear it!

Since the last week before we left was so busy I still hadn't finished mom and dad's sign in book for the party, so I worked on it on the road. *L* My scrapper buds will be proud of me!

I didn't get a pic of the photo board to post because I didn't get that finished until we got to my parents house. I had to stop in Salina, KS at a JoAnn's to buy supplies! *L*

When we got to KS and my parents house, my daughter Jamie and her kids, Jon and Kayden were there from Colorado and they were all excited to see us as well! Of course the first morning Kayden had to come in and give us hugs and get tickled by Papa Jim.

Rise and shine and time to get to the church to decorate for the anniversary party that was set for later in the day.
This is the best pic you are going to get of the photo board I made, no that is not me *L* I wish I was that slim...that is a friend of my mom's who was helping us set up.

Finally some pics from the anniversary party. I had my camera set up to get pics of the family, and then I forgot to get 1 pic that I wanted so badly. A pic of the 4 generations of women...my mom, me, my daughter and grandaughter. I am so sad I forgot to get that pic. So for all who don't know them, there are pics of my parents, Jim and I, me and two of my cousins, Tina and Cally, one of me and my kids(I have no idea what that look is on my face for...someone said something to me just as Jim snapped the pic *L*), the whole family and the great grandkids...and last but not least my neice JJ who is pregnant with future great-grandbaby! *L*

We may not get to see the grandkids very often, but when we do we always come away with some very special memories of our time together. This time was no exception. Jon told Jim that we were his favorite grandparents of all his grandparents. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh and then on their last day there, they had to leave a day before we did, Jim was giving Kayden a bunch of kisses (she loves when he kiosses her all over her face *L*) Jon told us that he was laughing about Kayden getting all those kisses but he was crying inside because he was going to leave and wouldn't be able to see us again for a long time. How precious is that? Gosh makes me tear up all over again thinking about it.
We had a wonderful time visiting family and I was able to reconnect with my sons, something I have prayed for for so long. There were tears as we left this leg of our trip as well. How we wish they were all closer!

Finally it was time for our final leg of the trip...Utah, to see Shaun, Brit and Patrick.

Patrick is at such a fun age! He's babbling and pulling himself up to walk around things. Before we know it he will be walking on his own!
I love this pic of Britney playing with him and this pic of Patrick sitting between Shaun's legs.

Once again I need my fellow bloggers help! *L* While in Utah we went to the Draper Temple open house. First off it was amazingly gorgeous! And HUGE!! WOW!! But on the way I saw this tree all wrapped up in different colors..can someone tell me why?? *L*

Finally in true form, it wouldn't be a trip to Utah for us without some rain or snow. We got both this time! *L* A light rain one day and then the morning we were leaving we woke up to snow! The weather forecaster said it would only dip down to the Salt Lake Valley....but what he didn't know is we were in Utah!! So of course it had to snow!! We hit snow off and on all the way to Beaver, where of course we had to stop to get cheese curds *L* here is what it looked like as we were leaving Payson

Time for me to call it a night! This post has taken me 2 hours...probably about as long as it will take you to read it *L* if you read the whole thing, bless your heart!


Meghan said...

Awesome pics.
How adorable are all the grandchildren!!

And I am glad to know I am not the only one who takes the kids to Hooters. LOL Cheeks has been there tons of times :>)

StmpnShell said...

I'm so glad to see the highlights of your trip! I kept wondering where you were and how things were going. Are you ready for some CROPS!! :) We've missed you!!

Jodi said...

Love the pictures! Very cute grandkids! Glad that your trip was nice and safe!

Nightscrapper said...

Sounds like a fun and memorable time. I'm so glad you were able to spend time with your kids and grandkids. You parents look great. They don't even look like they can be celebrating 50 years of marriage. What a legacy! Glad you had a great time.