Thursday, July 23, 2015

Jacksonville/St. Louis

After spending a few weeks in Chicago, we headed off to Daniel's hometown of Jacksonville. It's a 3.5-4 hour drive. We spent a lot of time cooking together, playing with nieces and nephews, and discovering new parks and places. Arizona and Brielle loved playing with their cousins Lily, Caleb, Rebekah, Camille and Amelia. Like I mentioned previously, it is so much easier to watch my kids when older kids are around. Yes, it's more hectic and louder for sure, but these kids sure do love each other and take care of each other so well. 
The kids went out together to watch Inside Out. This was Arizona's first experience in a movie theater and I don't think she expected the theater to get dark. It scared her for a bit, but she ended up enjoying it after all. I see more movie outings in our future. 
I've never walked thru a cornfield before. Behind Daniels parents backyard is a huge cornfield and Daniel and I walked thru it. With all the rain- it was nearly impossible to run thru. There was so much mud and even walking became a workout. 
Check out their faces going down the slide. I love it!
Arizona loves story time/music time. This guy was really good and had a lot of original songs. The place was packed and the kids loved it. 
I'm telling you- statues- kids love them. This one in particular- a little creepy. 

Daniel's dad is putting together a United Warrior Xtreme Race in Jacksonville, where people run thru different obstacle courses. One of them is a mountain of bubbles, and why not test it out on a sweet little girl named Arizona. She was not a fan of being placed in the middle of these bubbles. She did however love running thru while being held by Daniel. 

An evening of painting cars with grandpa. I'm glad Arizona painted with her grandpa because if it was me- there would have been huge blobs of paint everywhere and the cars would look pretty sad. Daniel's dad is really talented with a paintbrush. Let's just hope those genes get passed on to the girls. 

I miss these Midwest summers. Hot and humid during the day but cool and comfortable at night. As a kid I would run outside and catch lightning bugs. Driving thru these country roads and seeing the lightning bugs light up was the best. It brought me back to simpler times. 

We headed to St. Louis for the 4th of July weekend. It was our first time spending the night in a hotel with the kids. We survived is all I will say. We took the girls to the parade and Arizona filled her bag up with candy. For a three year old- candy would be a dream to eat- but she was only interested in suckers. She's more a chocolate girl anyway. She did however love catching and picking up pieces of candy from the floor. She did a little jig after each grab. It was hilarious. 
Daniel and Arizona went to Aquaport with the rest of the family. I stayed in the car while Brielle....and I slept. 

We also met up with Richard and Cherie and their kids at the St. Louis zoo. It was a hot day and thankfully the animals were very active. The kids enjoyed running around together.

The crew at the fireworks show. The girls and I and Daniel's parents didn't stay. We headed back to Jacksonville that evening. Daniel was to leave from St. Louis to Dallas and meet up with the movers on the 7th. I was to head back to Chicago and from there fly out to Dallas with the girls. It was a fun week and we are so blessed to have an amazing family we can come home to. We can't wait for Christmas!! 

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